The Lalbagh Fort is one of the finest places to visit in Dhaka city.
The Lalbagh Fort (or Qilla) has a very special place in my heart. I often visit it all by myself.
If you are considering a short tour, you could easily visit this ancient spot.
The historical background
When Subahdar (Governor) Mohammed Azam Shah, third son of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, took the throne, he began the construction of the fort in 1678.
Due to a sudden call from Delhi, Prince Azam handed over the incomplete fort to the new Subahdar Shaista Khan for completion.
After the death of his daughter, Shaista Khan started to consider the fort as a bad omen and discontinued the work.
The visible architectural monuments within the fort were completed by 1684 – the Diwan-i-Aam and the Hammam (bath house) on its west, the Tomb of Pari Bibi, and the Lalbagh Fort Mosque.
There is also a huge garden which draws the attention of visitors.
The Diwan-i-Aam and the Hammam
The two-storied Diwan-i-Aam is an elegant structure and the only open monument for visitors.
The building is located in the east and attached with a single-storied Hammam on its west.
The Hammam building has an underground space for boiling water and a channel for sewage.
The architectural memorial has a small but valuable museum where you can see coins, paintings, calligraphy, carpets, swords, and firearms from the Mughal period.
The Tomb of Pari Bibi
While the construction was going on, Iran Dukht (locally known as Pari Bibi), Shaista Khan's daughter, died inside the fort.
This one-storied building is one of the three focal architectural works of the fort. The tomb is made of black basalt.
The Lalbagh Fort Mosque
The three domes give the mosque an authentic view.
During the lockdown period, everything was shut down except for this beautiful little mosque.
Its front gate is open so people can enter the mosque from the north side of the fort premises.
Gardens and greeneries
There are beautiful flower gardens and green fields inside the fort property.
Colourful flowers and open green spaces have made the fort attractive to all people, especially to children.
In fact, in this crowded city, the fort is a wonderful place to visit with friends and family, spend some good quality time in the greenery, take photos and capture some moments with loved ones.
Myths say Pari Bibi was in love with Prince Azam Shah.
There is another myth about Pari Bibi that she was actually an Ahom princess who was converted to Islam and married off to Prince Azam.
However, despite all the debates, she was a loving daughter who had a short-lived life.
Some people believe that her unsatisfied soul still walks around the lanes of Old Dhaka.