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A Brief History of Lalbagh Fort
Lalbagh Fort (Lalbagh Kella) is the only historical landmark of Bangladesh built during the Mughal period. It is constructed of a combination of touchstone, marble stone and colored tile. Apart from Lalbagh Fort, no such historical combination has been found in any other historical landmark of Bangladesh. Lalbagh Fort is located in Lalbagh of the old part of Dhaka. Shah Azam designed the Lalbagh fort. Azam Shah, the third son of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, began construction of the fort in 1678 as the residence of the Subedar of Dhaka. But before the construction of the fort was completed, Emperor Aurangzeb called him to Delhi to suppress the Maratha insurrection. As a result, after the construction of a mosque and Darbar Hall, the construction of the fort stopped. Then Nawab Shaista Khan came to Dhaka in 1680 and started construction of the fort again. However, after the death of Shaista Khan’s daughter Paribibi, the fort was considered ill-omen and Shaista Khan stopped its construction in 1684. Paribibi is buried in between the Darbar Hall and the mosque. The fort named as Aurangabad Fort at first, later it became known as Lalbagh Fort.
Infrastructure of Lalbagh Fort
For a long time, the fort was considered to be a combination of its three main buildings (mosque, Paribibi’s tomb and Diwan-i-Am), two entrances and a partially damaged fort wall. However, the Bangladesh Archeology Department recently unearthed some more buildings here by excavation, which helps to give a fairly complete picture of the present fort. At present, the excavation area of the 18-acre castle provides 26/27 structures with water supply, irrigation systems, roof gardens and fountains. After the reform by the Department of Archeology, Lalbagh Fort has become a little better and has become an attractive destination for travelers and visitors.
How to Go
Lalbagh Fort is situated to the southwest side of the old Dhaka city, on the bank of river Buriganga. From Golap Shah’s shrine at Gulistan, you can go to Lalbagh Fort riding a tempo for only 6 taka rent. Besides, you can take a rickshaw from New Market or Gulistan area, the fare will be 30-40 taka till the fort. And from the front of Bangladesh National Museum (Shahbag), there is a special bus service for those interested in visiting Lalbagh fort. Also, those who want to visit the fort at a lower cost can go through Sadarghat-Gulistan-Golap Shah road, the fare will require only 5 taka. Moreover, if you’re near Dhakeshari temple, you can reach to the fort by walking 5 minutes or hiring a rickshaw with 10 taka only.
There are two counters on both the side of the main gate of Lalbagh fort. No ticket is required for children under 5 years of age. However, it’s required for adults. Ticket prices: Tk. 10 per person for domestic tourists and visitors; and TK. 100 per person for foreigners.
Lalbagh Kella is open from 10am to 6pm in the summer, and 9am to 5pm in the winter. However, there is a midday break between 01:00 pm to 01:30 pm in both winter and summer seasons. On Friday, the fort opens at 9am, and takes a break from 12:30 to 02:00 pm for Jumua prayer. It is closed on Sundays and half-days on Mondays. Apart from this, Lalbagh fort remains closed on all public holidays.