Address: Dhakeswari Road, Old Dhaka
Open: Varies throughout the year, but generally at least 10am to 5pm Sunday to Friday and 3pm to 6pm Friday
The fort was built in 1678 by Prince Mohammad Azam, son of the Mughal Emperor Aurangazeb, who was then Viceroy of Bengal, but it was never finished because of the death of a young woman associated with the family. It was the scene of a bloody battle during the first war of independence (1857) against the British.
The walled fort covers quite a large area, but inside, there are only three buildings. One is a mosque, another a mausoleum, and the third a hall of audience. This latter building is the most interesting. The two-storey structure is attractive from the outside, and the inside provides an interesting look into another era. On the upper floor there is a small museum of Mughal paintings, various documents, swords, firearms, and other memorabilia. There are few explanations in English, and there may be some interesting items, but the museum was so hot on the day I visited that I was keen to get out as quickly as possible.
The mausoleum was closed, but I could walk around the building and see the inside. There is plenty of black-and-white marble and colored tiles, which I am told is unique within Bangladesh. I didn’t visit the mosque.
The grounds are extensive, and concrete paths lead through both mown and unkempt areas. Bangladeshis were sheltering under the trees to escape the blazing sun, and they looked in wonder or pity, I’m not sure which, at a foreigner walking around without a hat or umbrella. Clearly it would have been better to have been there at 5pm rather than 11:30am.