walls towards east below Shaishta Khan Road and opine that the present area of
Qilla only represents half portion as planned by Prince Azam Khan. The gate at
south east of Fort (adjacent to Lalbagh Shahi Masjid) as per requirement fits
properly as the Central Gate in the middle of Fort, the other half on east-
likely palnned for administrative purpose (Girde Qilla area)- were incomplete
or extinct long ago.
riot), the name preferred by the British after crushing the uprising in the
fort in 1857 known as the ‘first Independence war’ (Sipahi bidroho)
remains of either 26 or 27 structures, with elaborate arrangements for water
supply, sewerage, roof gardens, and fountains. Renovation work by the
Archaeology Department has now put Lalbagh Fort in a much-improved shape, and
it has now become an interesting spot for tourists and visitors.
southern fortification wall, running westward from the South Gateway, stretches
up to the huge bastion in the southwestern corner of the fort. It runs
northward for a distance, and is then lost. The boundary wall on the eastern
side, connecting the southern and northern gateways, is a modern wall, and it
is now assumed that the fort originally embraced areas further east, beyond the
present Shaista Khan Road.
buildings, such as the stable, the administrative block, and its western part
accommodates a beautiful roof-garden, with arrangements for fountains and a water
reservoir. The residential part is located on the eastern side of the western
fortification, mainly to the south-west of the mosque, where the remains of a
sewerage line have been found.
the upper part of the inner wall.
intervals, and the western wall has two. Among the seven bastions, the biggest
one is near the main southern gate at the back of the stable, which occupies
the area to the west of the gateway. The bastion has an underground tunnel. Among
the five bastions of the southern fortification, the central one is
single-storeyed, while the rest are double-storeyed structures. The central one
contains an underground room with verandahs on three sides, and it can be
approached either from the riverside or from its roof. The double-storeyed
bastion at the southwestern corner of the fort is possibly a Hawakhana, with a
water reservoir on its roof.
establishments of the fort with the reservoir. An extra-strong terracotta pipe
line, made with double pipes (one inside the other), has been uncovered in the
area between the Hammam and the tomb of Bibi Pari.
surviving gateways, the southern one is the most imposing. Seen from the front,
it is a three-storeyed structure with a front-on, bordered with slender
minarets. From inside, it gives the impression of a two-storeyed structure. The
gateway on the northeast is a much smaller and simpler structure. Structural
evidence indicates that the fort extended to the eastern side, beyond the
present Shaista Khan Road. The third gate, now in the centre of the northern
boundary wall, was left incomplete. The present one is a recent construction.
double-storeyed Diwan-i-Aam, attached with a single-storeyed Hammam on its
west, is an imposing building. The Hammam complex includes an open platform, a
small kitchen, an oven, water storage area, a masonry brick bath-tub, a toilet,
a dressing room and an extra room. The Hammam portion has an underground room
for boiling water, and a passage for sweepers. A long partition wall runs
north-south along the western facade of the Hammam, dividing the whole fort area
into two divisions.
area of the fort is occupied by three buildings:
buildings from east to west, and two similar channels run from south to north:
of Bibi Pari
surviving buildings of the fort. Eight rooms surround a central square room
that contains the mortal remains of Bibi Pari. The central room is covered by a
false octagonal-shaped dome, wrapped by a bronze plate.
the four rooms at the sides had stone skirting up to a height of one metre. The
walls in the rooms at the four corners are skirted with beautifully-glazed
floral tiles. The tiles have recently been restored; two of the original tiles
have been retained. The room at the south eastern corner contains a small
grave, popularly known to be of that of Shamsad Begum, possibly a relative of
well as of the pre-Muslim periods, from where terracotta heads and plaques have
been found. Thus, it is now justified to say that though the Mughals founded
Dhaka, it was definitely inhabited long before the Muslims came to Bengal.
the capital of Bangladesh, well known as city of fine muslin, mosques and
rickshaws has a fairly long history of evolution. Before it rose into
prominence as Mughal capital of Bengal in 17th century and urban &
commercial centre, it was under the Sultanates from 14 century. It came under
British control in 1757. Dhaka with passage of time TESTIFIES different faces
of history. Photographs and digital archives are the most effective ways that
can keep visual records of its colourful history
1874 sketch of Ruined gateway of Lalbagh fort
Lalbagh Killa (Fort) sketch reconstructed after
excavation by Bangladesh Archeological Dept. (Fort Area: 18 acres). Excavations
revealed remains of 26/27 structures with elaborate arrangements for water
supply, sewerage, roof gardens, and fountains.
South west corner (Qillar Mor) – reconstruction
and renovation in progress. Narrow lane beside the south wall is Kazi Reazuddin
The dense area linking ‘Kamrangir char’ was once
part of river Buriganga, where from Charles
D’oyle drew his famous etching of Lalbagh Fort in 1816 AD
The southern fortification wall upto west end have
5 bastions at regular intervals. The central one contains an underground room
(pic below) with verandah on three sides, and it can be approached either from
the riverside or from its roof. The double-storeyed bastion at the southwestern
corner of the fort was possibly a Hawakhana, with a water
reservoir and garden on its roof. Two lines of terracotta pipes were discovered
that connected all establishments of the fort with this reservoir. An
extra-strong terracotta pipe line made with double pipes, one inside the other,
was uncovered in the area between the Hammam (bath house) and
Renovated Fort area – south west. The passage on
right goes to Mosque. The southern fortification is a twin wall, the outer one
is about 6.10m high and 1.37m thick, while the inner one is 13.72m high with
same thickness. The two are solid up to the height of 6.10m and there are
regular openings in the upper part of the inner wall.
Fort Mosque on west: The fort was considered to be
a combination of three buildings (the mosque, the tomb of Bibi Pari and the Diwan-i-Aam
and Hammam), two gateways and a portion of the partly damaged fortification
wall. The underground water line and tank can be seen beside the Mosque.
Fort is now under control of Archeological Dept. and open for visitors 6 days a
week. Admission to the fort is Tk 5.
A fast-track historical journey
back to ancient Dhaka with the 300-year-old Lalbagh Fort in
the spotlight is in process through ‘Light and Sound’ in
Bangladesh. According to the proposal, the project is to be completed in three
phases. The first phase had been completed in June 2006. The second and third
phase will include the main project work and are nearing completion. When
completed, the architectural heritage of old Dhaka can be a good source of
entertainment for city dwellers, and educational as well.
View of Mosque and Paribibi’s tomb
Some Changing sequences are shown below.
This is how the British rule treated with the
Mughal splendor of Bengal
The look of Lalbagh Fort during 19th century – 100
years after occupation by the British
Neglected Paribibi’s tomb in 1904
Lalbagh Fort (Bengali: Lalbag Kella) (also known as
“Fort Aurangabad”) is an incomplete Mughal palace fortress at the
Buriganga River in the southwestern part of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Construction was
commenced in 1678 by Prince Muhammad Azam during his 15-month long vice-royalty
of Bengal, but before the work could complete, he was recalled by Aurangzeb.
His successor, Shaista Khan, did not complete the work, though he stayed in
Dhaka up to 1688.
the tomb of Bibi Pari; and the Diwan-i-Aam, comprising two gateways and a portion of the partly
damaged fortification wall. Recent excavations carried
out by the Department of Archaeology of Bangladesh, however, have revealed the
existence of other structures, and it is now possible to have a more or less
complete picture of the fort.
the outer one is about 6.10 m high and 1.37 m thick;
and the inner one is 13.7 m high
with same thickness.
The area westwards from the stable, parallel to the
southern fortification, once had a beautiful roof garden with fountain, rose,
flower beds (marked with star designs), and a water reservoir. The buildings
underneath contains the administrative blocks, and the residential part on the
the Diwan-i-Aam and the Hammam on its east;
the mosque on the west; and
the tomb of Bibi Pari in between the two (in one
line, but not at equal distance).
The mosque is a three-domed mosque, with a water
tank in front (on the eastern side) for ablution.
One through the middle of the ground, in between the
Diwan-i-Aam and the tomb, forming a square
tank, with fountains at the intersection with the
east-west channel; and the other, from the water
reservoir, passing through the bottom of the tomb.
The water channels and the fountains, a very common
feature of Mughal architecture, create an atmosphere, not unlike those of the
north Indian Mughal forts. A big square water tank (71.63 m each side), placed
in front of and to the east of the Diwan-i-Aam, between the southern and
northern gateways, adds to the beauty of the building. There are four corner
stairs to descent into the tank.