Lalbagh Fort – The incomplete Mughal Palace:
Lalbagh Fort, one of the greatest signature of art by the Mughal’s is an incomplete Mughal palace citadel at the bank of Buriganga River. At present the river has gone further south and is flowing by maintaining a distance from the palace. It is situated in Lalbagh of Old Dhaka. Lalbagh Fort is also known as Fort Aurangabad. In the year 1844 the area Aurangabad renamed to Lalbagh and thus the fort becomes Lalbagh Fort.
It was Prince Muhammad Azam, the third son of Mughal Emperor Aurangazeb who started the construction of Lalbagh Fort in the year 1678 during his Vice-Royality in Bengal. He stayed here for 15 months and then called up by his father Aurangazeb. Thus the fort remains incomplete. The work continued by his successor Shaista Khan, the new Subedar of Dhaka at that time. After the demise of Shaista Khan’s daughter Iran Dukht Pari Bibi in 1684, he left the structure incomplete. Though Shaista Khan couldn’t make the fort better but he decorated the tomb of Pari Bibi in a gorgeous manner with marble stone, tiles and hadi-crafts of flower. Gradually with the end of the royal Mughal period, the fort become abandoned.
The fortress consists of three major building complexes. At the western portion of the bastion there is a mosque. In the middle of east and west there is a tomb named the tomb of Pari Bibi . In the eastern bank there is a palace named Diwan-i-aam palace. The mosque was used for prayer at that time and is still in use. The tomb of Pari Bibi is a pure sign of architectural beauty and represents the artistic and cultural superiority at that time. The Diwan-i-aam palace was used as office at that time. There is also a royal bathroom in the palace known as ‘Hammam’. A square shaped water tank before the palace takes its artistry to a different level.
The Lalbagh Fort is certainly worth adding to the list of places to see when anyone intenses to visit Bangladesh.