Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Lalbagh Fort, Dhaka

Tomb of Pari Bibi, Lalbag Fort
Tomb of Pari Bibi, Lalbagh Fort

The capital city Dhaka predominantly was a city of the Mughals. In hundred years of their vigorous rule, successive Governors and princely Viceroys who ruled the province adorned it with many noble monuments in the shape of magnificent palaces mosques, tombs, fortifications and Katras often surrounded with beautifully laid out gardens and pavilions. Among these, a few have survived the ravages of time, aggressive tropical climate of the land and vandal hands of man. But the finest specimen of this period is the Aurangabad Fort, commonly known as Lalbagh Fort, which indeed represents the unfulfilled dream of a Mughal Prince.

I live in old town. Lalbagh Fort (লালবাগ কেল্লা) is near my house, within 2.5 km distance, along with Sadarghat. I went there several times. It's a nice place to pass the evening and to gather knowledge about history. Though I went there several times I never realized the significance of the historical background of this place. Until I start writing about it. After I google it I found the glorious history of Mughal dynasty.
Mughal dynasty: The Mughal empire ruled the large parts of the Indian subcontinent. The Mughal dynasty started after the Babur’s victory over Ibrahim Lodi in 1526 at the Panipath Battle and after the death of Aurangzeb (1707), Mughal dynasty started decline rapidly. Mughal Empire excepted the defeat of the Maratha army in Bhopal, in 1737. The final blow came from Nadir Shah. He defeated the Mughal army at the Battle of Karnal on 13 February 1739. For the next century the Mughal emperors had the power over Delhi. In 1857, Emperor Bahadur Shah II was overthrown by the British, his sons killed, and the last remains of the Mughal empire was absorbed into the British rule.


Lalbagh Fort: Lalbagh Fort is the architectural monument of Mughal-era. Lalbagh Kella was built in 1678 AD by Prince Mohammad Azam Shah, the 3rd son of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. It occupies the south-western part of the old city, overlooking the river Buriganga's northern bank, it stands as a silent sentinel of the old city. Rectangular in plan, it encloses an area of 1082' by 800 and in addition to corners and a subsidiary small unpretentious gateway on the north, it also contains within its fortified perimeter a number of splendid monuments, surrounded by attractive gardens.
The main purpose of this fort was to provide a defensive enclosure of the palatial edifices of the interior and as such was a type of palace-fortress rather than a seize-fort.

History says, before the work could complete, Prince Muhammad Azam Shah was recalled by Aurangzeb. He handed the fort to Subahdar Shaista Khan. Subahdar Shaista Khan was a general in the Mughal army. He served the Mughal governor of Bengal from 1664 to 1688. Under Shaista Khan's authority, the city of Dhaka and the Mughal power in the region achieve its greatest heights. He was a key figure during the rule of his nephew, Muhammad Azam Shah. Though Shaista Khan stayed in Dhaka up to 1688 he did not complete the work of Lalbag Fort.   
 
Another interesting fact is, Azam Shah married his cousin, Iran Dukht Rahmat Banu (Pari Bibi), she is the beloved daughter of Shaista Khan. Pari Bibi died in Dhaka in 1685. The death of Shaista Khan's daughter was considered the one of the reason that the fort was never completed.

Three buildings within the complex with three gateways were finished in 1684. There are a small 3-domed Mosque (Quilla Mashjid), the Mausoleum of Pari Bibi , the reputed daughter of Nawab Shaista Khan and the Hammam and Audience Hall of the Governer (Diwan). The residence of the governor (Diwan) is a two storied building. Ground floor was used as a bathing place and first floor as an audience hall. That's why this building also called Hammam Khana (Temporary rest room). Now the 2nd floor is used as a Museum where you will find few Mughal signs like clothes, paintings and weapons. The Moshjid also called Lalbag Shahi Mosjid, was used for prayer and still open for praying. Authorities make it separate by a boundary so that the general people can go there for prayer. At present the fort area is 18 acres. 327 meter in the North to south and 234 meter in the East to West. People believe that there is a secret passage that goes to the Buriganga river. Currently the Archaeological department of Bangladesh is in the charge of this area. Thanks to them for saving this place and for taking good care of it. 


Audience Hall (Diwan-I-Alam) & Hammam Khana
Audience Hall (Diwan-I-Alam) & Hammam Khana
Places I see:
1. Tomb of Pari Bibi.
2. Lalbagh Masjid.
3. Hammam Khana (bath house) &
4. Audience Hall of Governor (Diwan-I-Alam).

Lalbagh Masjid
Lalbagh Mashjid

Name of some historical Mughal architectures are: 
1. Tajmahal, Agra - India by Shah Jahan.
2. Jama Mashjid, Delhi - India by Shah Jahan. 
3. Red Fort, Delhi - India by Shah Jahan.    
4. Shalimar Garden, Lahor - Pakistan by Aurangzeb.  
5. Lalbagh Fort, Dhaka - Bangladesh by Aurangzeb.  
6. Alamgiri Gate, Lahore - Pakistan by Aurangzeb.


Site map of Lalbagh Fort

 >> Click on the picture to see full view <<

Lalbagh-Fort
Tomb of Pari Bibi, Lalbagh Fort.
Lalbagh-Fort
Lalbagh Fort.
Diwan-I-Alam & Hammam Khana
Diwan-I-Alam & Hammam Khana.
Lalbag-Masjiz
Lalbagh Masjiz.
Lalbag Fort
Lalbagh Fort.
Lalbag Fort
Lalbagh Fort.
Lalbag Fort
Lalbagh Fort.
Lalbag Fort
Lalbagh Fort.
Lalbag Fort
Lalbagh Fort.
Lalbag-Fort
Lalbagh Fort.
Lalbagh-Fort
Lalbagh Fort.
Lalbagh Fort
Lalbagh Fort.
Lalbagh Fort
Lalbagh Fort.
Lalbagh Fort
Lalbagh Fort.
Lalbagh Fort
Lalbagh Fort.

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Everybody needs a hobby. It shows how creative you are and separates you from others. I tried a few and fail to continue them for long. Unless I find myself comfortable in Photography, traveling and blogging.  I always wanted to share my travel experiences with my friends, family and others. I took lots of images while traveling. I am not a professional photographer. So I capture everything I feel good. I also like to edit them. I share a few videos in my blog as well  and I assure you they are all my own property. That’s how it becomes my hobby. I feel good inside me when I see it and when others appreciates my work. I try to provide real information on all the articles. I studied a lot before writing every post. Still if you find any incorrect information feel free to inform me. Please read the site map in order to get a clear idea about my blog. Keep in touch. Life is wonderful.  

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