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Hajiganj Fort, a palace of antiquity

Published : Sunday, 29 January, 2017 at 12:00 AM Count : 618
AR Sumon

In today's world we are constantly surrounded by mechanical life and work. It's true to say that this mechanical life holds our living standard but we need to give ourselves a break to re-fuel our body and mind, otherwise life may get monotonous. To get a relief from this busy-life and to take a fresh breath one can visit the Hajiganj Fort, which is not far from the capital.
Hajiganj Fort also known as Khizrpur Fort is situated at Hajiganj locality of Narayanganj on the western bank of the Sitalakshya River. It is a water fort and it was built just at the point where the old Buriganga discharged into the Sitalakshya.  It may have been built soon after Subadar Islam Khan established the Mughal capital at Dhaka and it was intended to counter the raids of the Magh and Portuguese pirates.
To ensure the security of Dhaka at 17th century, three water forts were built which was altogether called "Triangular Fort"; Hajiganj fort was one of those.
The architectural design of the fortrefers to the Muslim architectural design. It is quadrangular in size, consists of a pentagonal curtain wall machicolated for muskets with rounded corner. On the inner side of the curtain wall there is 1.22m high rampart walkway from the base of the curtain wall which is itself pierced by several musketry holes. The holes are wider meant probably for 'gun firing at the pirates proceeding up the river'. In a corner of the fort enclosure there is a tall free standing  square column of brick which must have been used for observation and placing guns in the rainy season. Only entrance is situated at its northern wall. There is no roof or shelters for the soldiers, historians think that soldiers stayed at the fort under the tents. To watch the 17th century's architectural design and security measure for the capital, smell the life-style of the army, one can visit the fort.
Due to the lack of proper care and maintenance, the fort is perishing day by day. The watch tower is damaged badly and the stairs are falling apart already. Walls of the fort are decayed as well. Local boys play here at day time and at night the fort is occupied by the drug addicted and muggers.
It can be a place of tourist attraction if renovation is done and safety is assured. In this manner we may save an important witness of history. People of current era will have a chance to visit the heritage and architectural beauty of 17th century. One will also learn the historyof the ancient capital of the Mughal Kingdom to enrich knowledge .
Hajiganj Fort is located at the centre of the Narayanganj town. You shouldn't face any difficulty to locate this fort. At first, come to the Chashara of Narayanganj using BRTC or any similar buses departing from Gulistan. Fare is around 40 taka per person. You can use train too. From Chashara take a rickshaw and ask the rickshaw puller to drop you at the Hajiganj Fort. Local people know this as Kella instead of Durgo/Fort. It is strongly recommended to avoid visiting this fort during evening or at night until the safety measures are taken.

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