Bangladesh Tourist Spots
Division’s of Bangladesh –
1) Dhaka 2) Chittagong 3) Rajshahi 4) Khulna 5) Barisal 6) Sylhet
The capital city of Dhaka, gateway to Bangladesh for most international visitors, is a colorful and thriving metropolis of some 12 million people. It bears an exciting history and rich culture. Known all over the world as the city of mosques and rickshaws, it has attracted travelers from far and near through the ages. According to recorded history it was founded in 1608 A.D. as the seat of the imperial Mughal viceroy of Bengal. Having a splendor blending of old and new architectural trends, Dhaka has been developing fast as a modern city and is vibrating with activities in all spheres of life. It is the center of industrial, commercial, cultural, educational and political activities for Bangladesh. Dhaka's main waterfront sadarghat is on the bank of the river Buriganga and is crowded with all kinds of river craft, yachts, country-boats, motor launches, paddle steamers, fishermen's boats all bustling with activity. Colorful rickshaws (tricycle) on the city streets are common attractions for the visitors.
Sadarghat and Badamtole is the waterfront of Dhaka city. It’s a part of old Dhaka and very busy and crowded. If you have time to do only one thing in Dhaka, then you had better take one of our Cruise Package for a short boat trip from Sadarghat boat terminal to see the riverfront. The panorama of river life is fascinating. In the middle of the river, which is roughly 500 m wide, you'll see an unbelievable array of boats, speedboats, tugs and motor launches- going in every direction. You'll see crew-painting boats, bathing, cooking or just resting and observing, while hordes of people cross the river in small canoes, and both large and small ships ply up and down the rivers. If you look hard along the river's edge, you may also spot some of the ancient houseboats called Baras. These worn-out boats, some half a century old, are popular floating restaurants catering to the poorest of the poor, where meals are served from until .
Ahsan manjil is known as pink palace and one of the most interesting buildings in Dhaka. It occupies a prominent place in the history of Dhaka as well as East Bengal from the mid-nineteenth century to the first quarter of the twentieth century. Ahsan manjil being the residence and official center of the East Bengal's most influential Zamindars (landowner) who were later conferred the title of Nawab by the British Government, was the nerve center in the political, social, economical and cultural life of East Bengal. It's a magnificent pink colored building with an imposing staircase leading to the 2nd floor, and it is topped by a lofty dome. In each of the 23 grand rooms there is a photograph of the rooms dating from around 1902.The museum gives a good insight into the life of the ruling classes of Bengal during the Raj. Some important Zamindars were Nawab Khwaja Abdul Ghani, Nawab Khwaja Ahsanullah, Nawab Khwaja Salimullah etc.
A rickshaw ride or walking along the narrow lanes of old buildings in old Dhaka can be a one of the big experiences in Bangladesh for any foreign nationals or holiday makers. It’s busy and crowded. You will find a strange life style in all old Dhaka. Walking from Sadarghat to Lalbagh fort is a good way to get to know old Dhaka, or at least to discover how easy it is for some one to get lost in tits winding lanes.
Rickshaw /Rickshaw Painting:
There are certain things that one would come across in this unique city, which they would not find anywhere else in the world. In fact, these things are so rare that they should be treated as a typical "gems". And one of these rare gem that give Dhaka city this individuality from rest of the human civilization is- Rickshaw. This one-man driven contraption is generally defined as follows. “A door less, three-wheeled public vehicle pulled by a man. It has a chair-like frame designed to seat one or two people and collapsible hood to protect passengers from the weather." Rickshaw is one of the most popular transports available everywhere in Bangladesh. In Bangladesh all rickshaw are bicycle driven. Unlike in Kolkata, there is none of the human puller variety. It is estimated that one in every three taka goes to the rickshaw business. According to Lonely Planet publisher, author of Chasing Rickshaws, a pictorial celebration of the world's remaining Rickshaws, Dhaka is the undisputed rickshaw capital of the planet, with one rickshaw for every 8-9 inhabitant. Surely rickshaw counting is an impossible task in Dhaka city like trying to count the pigeons in New York City. Painting on rickshaw is peoples dream. This work is considered as folk art. Almost one third of money to make rickshaw goes to decorate and paint rickshaw. The painting are so innocents, because the people behind the brush are so very simple themselves Despite being an everyday utilitarian vehicle, the rickshaw is not without adornment, and one of the first things that strikes a foreigner is not only how many rickshaw there are, but how profusely decorated they are as well- with not only paint, but chrome, plastic streamers and upholstered designs covering every square inch of the vehicle. Like the gaudy trucks and buses of Afghanistan and Pakistan, the decoration of rickshaws in Bangladesh has developed into a noteworthy folk art form. Among the thousands of painted rickshaw backboard ,there are, of course a number of recurring themes and designs: famous film stars with red-faced villains and heroines, and movie scenes which seem to be the most popular, patriotic scenes glorifying heroes from Bangladesh's 1971 War of Liberation from Pakistan, Islamic religious motifs-such as scenes of Mecca, a boy reading from the Koran, or the winged creature with a woman's head, said to have carried the prophet from Jerusalem to Sheaven--- as well as exotic birds in gorgeous plumage, futuristic cityscapes, folk-lore and mythology such as scenes from the " Arabian Nights", in addition to the more pedestrian village and river boat scenes.
It is situated in the old part of Dhaka City. It is known that one Mirza Golam Pir, whose ancestors had come to Dhaka and settle in Mohalla Ale Abu Sayeed (present-day Armanitola), erected it in the first half of the 19th century. In 1926 a local businessman named Alijan Bepari renovates the mosque. The outer wall between the doors is decorated with the motif of Fujisan (Mount Fuji) on glazed tiles and a crescent-and-star design decorates the upper part of the façade. Hundreds of blue stars have been created on the domes of white marble. The motif of stars dominates the decoration and so the mosque is called the Star Mosque.
This unfinished fort is touted as Dhaka’s premier tourist attraction. Construction of the fort began in 1677 under the auspices of Prince Mohammed Azam, third son of Aurangazeb, who then handed it over to Shaista Khan for completion. The death of Khan's daughter, Pari Bibi (fair lady), was considered such a bad omen that the fort was never completed. However, three architectural monuments within the complex, all in the Bangla-Mughal style of architecture, where finished in 1684 and remain in good condition. It's an elegant two storey structure with symmetrical facade and a central hall. Inside, there's a small museum of Mughal miniature paintings and beautiful examples of calligraphy, along with the usual swords and firearms. The mosque on the western side of the complex is quite attractive but the middle building, the Mausoleum of Pari Bibi is a unique and important structure. It's the only building, in Bangladesh where black basalt and white marble (from Bangladesh) and encaustic tiles of various colors have been used to decorate an interior.
It is the main Hindu temple of Dhaka city dating from the 12th century. There are two sets of buildings. The one often seen in tourist Photos consists of four adjoining rekha temples (buildings with a square sanctum on a raised platform with moldings on the walls covered by tall pyramidal roofs of the typical curvilinear Bangla style. It's been modernized and is nothing special, but it is colorful and you are likely to find some long-haired sadhus (itinerant holy men) hanging around smoking ganja.
National Museum: A visit to the national museum is a must. where you can see a mat made from ivory , beautiful and fine embroideries( Nakshi Katha), piece of muslin clothes ,large number of black stone images ,Coins of 2nd an 3rd Century BC and liberation gallery. Here you can learn a good deal about the country. There are displays from Bangladesh’s Hindu, Buddhist and Mughal past, but the real value of the museum is in the extensive collection of fine folk art and handicrafts. Check out the models of the many plus varieties of country boats most of which you'll still see on the rivers. One of the highlights is the collection of paintings and charcoal drawings by Zainul Abedin depicting the1943 Great Bengal Famine.
It is popularly known as the Sangsad Bhavan. Built in 1963 by world-renowned American architect, Louis Khan. Due to the liberation movement and ensuing war the building wasn't completed until 1982. The building often features in books on modern architecture, and is regarded as among Khan's finest works. It's a huge assembly of concrete cylinders and rectangular boxes sliced open with bold, multi story circular and triangular apertures instead of windows. The marble strips between the concrete layers have been likened to pinstripes on a finely tailored suit. The interior, which includes the octagonal assembly hall, features bizarre piranesi- inspired spaces.
Liberation War Museum:
This museum has a very moving display on the1971 War of Independence, with lots of English and Bangla newspaper reports, photographs (some quite graphic) and memorabilia. The lines on the floor take you on a chronological tour of the conflict. It's one of the best museums in the country.
Sonargaon: Sonargaon (means golden city), 27 Km away from Dhaka was the capital of Bengal from the 13th to early 17th century during the Chandra and Deva dynasty. The city of Panam was a flourished city in those days. In 1611, the Sultanat collapsed under the pressure from the Mughal expansion, and the Mughals considered the location too exposed to the Portuguese and the Mogh Pirates and thus established Dhaka as their capital. You can also visit the folklore museum at Sonargaon.
National Martyrs' Memorial: This memorial is located in Savar known as Jatia Sriti Saudha, 35 Km far from Dhaka. The tapering 50m-high memorial to the millions who died in the struggle for independence. The beautifully kept grounds contain a number of glassy platforms that cover the mass graves of some of those slaughtered in the Liberation War.
The commercial capital and the largest international seaport of Bangladesh, the health city (declared by UNESCO), Chittagong is located in a picturesque hinterland of large hill forests and lakes. It is really an amazing vacation spot. Its green hills and forests, broad sandy beaches and fine cool climate always attract holidaymakers. It combines the hum of a restless sea-port with the pleasure of a charming hill-town with its undulating topography. Chittagong is connected with Dhaka by rail, road, air and water. It is also connected with Cox's Bazar, Kolkata, Phuket, Singapore and Middle East by air. Bangladesh Biman and private GMG airlines operate daily services from Dhaka to Chittagong.
Though this city is nearer from Dhaka but it is in Chittagong Division. Distance of Comilla from Dhaka in 95 km where as from Chittagong town its 167 km .The main attractions of Comilla are Bangladesh Academy for Rural Development (BARD), the home of famous Comilla Approach to rural development, Lalmai and Maynamoti hills, Shalban Monastery, Maynamoti museum and Comilla Zoo. Comilla Maheshangon houses one of the richest libraries of old literature and culture.
BARD (Bangladesh Academy for Rural Development):
This is one of the main attractions in Comilla. This is one of the richest academic institutions for conducting research and action research; execute projects and pilot experimentation and imparting training in the diversified areas of rural development. The famous Comilla Model has been developed for sustained development. Besides academic excellence, the beautiful gardens and planned plantations of various trees are really enjoyable. You can also avail yourself of the facilities to organize seminar symposium and training in this complex .It is undoubtedly one of the good venue in Bangladesh where you can organize seminar, symposiums and workshops. BARD has excellent accommodation facilities for over 250 persons and its cafeteria provides quality foods. For one or two days refreshing you can go to BARD and spend some good time in a very secured and calm place.
Second World War warrior’s graveyards are in this Cemetery. There are 755 graves in this graveyard of the great warriors who died d in world war from1939 to 1945 in Chittagong areas. In this well-preserved cemetery at a quiet and picturesque place within the city lie buried in eternal peace over 700 soldiers from British, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, India, Myanmar, East and West Africa, The Netherlands and Japan who laid down their lives on the Myanmar front during the World War II. Every year a number of tourists come here to visit this Cemetery
Zia memorial Museum:
Previously it was known as Circuit house where the former President of Bangladesh Zia-ur-Rahman and one of the architects of the liberation war was killed by a group of disgruntled army personnel. To the memory of Zia, the Circuit house was declared as Zia Memorial museum .In this museum you can see late president Zia-ur-Rahman’s daily usage materials.
This museum located in Agrabad is a treasure house of a variety of tribal culture and heritage of Bangladesh
Court Building Museum:
Situated on the Fairy Hill, this building commands a panoramic bird's eye view of Chittagong. This had been the scene of intense activity during the independence War in 1971. A museum has been established here.
Shrine of Hazrat Bayezead Bostami :
The shrine of this famous saint is situated in Chittagong. This great priest came to Chittagong in 10th Century to spread the religion of Islam. You can also visit the ancient rare variety of Turtles in the Dighi in the Shrine premises. This shrine attracts a large number of visitors and pilgrims. At its base is a large tank with several hundred tortoises. Tradition has it that these animals are the descendants of the evil spirits (genii) who were cast into this shape because they incurred the wrath of the great saint who visited the place about 1100 years age.
Located near the river mouth of the river Karnaphuli, the Chittagong port has a recorded history from 9th century. Today, this is the principal seaport of the country. You can enjoy the steer ridings to go to Chandranath's temple by walking. It is situated on the top of the hill from where you can enjoy the beauty of the sea & also the hill areas. Now in sitakunda there's made an eco park.
Forty-eight kilometer from Chittagong, on the Kaptai Road is Chandraghona where one of the biggest paper mills in Asia is located. Close to the paper mill, there is a rayon factory, which produces synthetic fibers from bamboo.
Shrine of Shah Amanat
The Shrine of Shah Amanat is another place of religious attraction, located in the heart of the town; the shrine is visited by hundreds of people everyday who pay homage to the memory of the saint.
This lake is a natural beauty of Chittagong, where you can enjoy boating and also you can spend your leisure time in a serene atmosphere of lake and hills. This is in Pahartoli, a satellite town of Chittagong
Patenga and Fouzdarhat Sea Beaches
Patenga beach is about 22 km. from Chittagong and is approachable by a motorable road. On the way to the beach, one passes the Patenga Airport. Another ideal picnic spot is the Fouzdarhat sea-beach about 16 km. from Chittagong. Patenga sea beach is one of the major attractions of Chittagong for the tourists. Besides the sea beach, you can enjoy boating and river cruise in the River Karnaphuli. You can see the busy seaport activities here.
Outside site Chittagong City:
The famous Chandranath Temple & Buddhist temples are in Sitakundu, 37 km for from Chittagong city. Famous among the many temples in this place, the Chandranath Temple and the Buddhist Temple has a footprint of Lord Buddha. These places particularly the hilltops are regarded as very sacred by the Buddhists and the Hindus. Siva-chaturdashi festival is held every year in February when thousands of pilgrims assemble for the celebrations, which last about ten days. There is a salt-water spring 5 km. to the north of Sitakunda, known as Labanakhya.You can enjoy the steer ridings to go to Chandranath’s temple by walking. It is situated on the top of the hill from where you can enjoy the beauty of the sea & also the hill areas. Now in Sitakunda there’s made an eco park.
Parki beach might be the next tourist attraction of Bangladesh, which is situated in Anwara thana under southern Chittagong region. The beach lies 16-17 km away from Chittagong city. As the beach is situated at the Karnafuli river channel, visitors can view both the Karnafuli river and the sea together. Tourists enjoy the views of big ships anchored at the outer dock, fishermen catching fish in sea, sunset, various colored crabs at the beach and quiet environment.
The world's longest unbroken white sandy beach
A conglomeration of miles of golden sands, towering cliffs, surfing waves, rare conch shells, colorful pagodas, Buddhist temples and tribes, delightful sea-food- this is Cox's Bazar - the tourist capital of Bangladesh, having the world's longest unbroken (120 km). Smooth, sandy, shark-free beach sloping down to the blue waters of the Bay of Bengal against the picturesque background of a chain of hills covered with deep forests. Cox's Bazar is one of the most attractive tourist spots in the world. The beach is good for bathing, sun-bathing and swimming. The breath- taking beauty of the setting-sun behind the waves of the sea is captivating. Located at a distance of 152 km south of Chittagong, Cox's Bazar is connected both by air and road from Dhaka and Chittagong.
Himchori and Inani Beach
There are many attractions for the tourists around Cox’s Bazaar. From Cox’s Bazaar Sea shore, you can go to these places by jeep and it is really exotic to drive on the seashore. Himchori is famous for waterfall, though in the winter season it dwindles but during the rainy season it’s really a fabulous and full waterfall can be enjoyed. Inani beach is famous for the rock and coral boulders; you will find big coral boulders in this beach. You can plan a trip to Inani beach via Himchori for a half day or may be a full day sightseeing. Please take packet lunch with you.
It is another attraction for the tourists who go to Cox’s Bazaar. An island off the coast of Cox's Bazar. It has an area of 268 square kilometers. Through the center of the island and along the eastern coastline rises, a range of low hills, 300 feet high; but the coast to the west and north is a low-lying treat, fringed by mangrove jungle. In the hills on the coast is built the shrine of Adinath, dedicated to Siva. By its side on the same hill is Buddhist Pagoda. You can go to this Island by local motorboat called trawler or by speedboat. By trawler, it takes an hour and a half and by speedboat, it takes only half an hour to reach this Island. You will find mangrove forests, hilly areas, salt field etc. This island is famous for Buddhist Temple and Pagoda; you can enjoy a full day sight seeing if you intend to visit Sonadia and some other Islands nearby. In the morning you can start for Moheskhali, spend time to watch Moheskhali’s tourist places, take lunch there and on return you can visit Sonadia and other nearby Islands where you can sea the live fishing & fishermen lifestyle; By the afternoon you can come back to Cox’s Bazaar.
It is about seven kilometer of Cox's Bazar and about nine square kilometer in area. The western side of the island is sandy and different kinds of shell s are found on the beach. Off the northern part of the island, there are beds of windowpane oysters. During winter, fisherman set up temporary camps on the island and Dries Sea fishes, which they catch from Sea.
Is a part of St. Martins Island but divided during tides. You can go to Cheera-dwip by walking. About two and a half hours walk from St. Martins Island or you can go there also by local motorboat or tourist boat. In that Island you will find the Corals - living and dead all over the Island. A small bush is there which in the only green part of Cheera-dwip, enhancing the beauty of this island. People do not live in this Island, so advisable for the tourists to go there early and come back by afternoon.
This Island could be the next prime tourist spot after St. Martins Island. It’s a natural beauty of mangrove forests where you will find Dears of specific species and Monkeys. A huge numbers of migrated birds come in this Island in winter season, enhancing the beauty of this Island. The communication is not excellent but if some one wishes to bear the trouble to go to this Island, he will be enchant to see the beauty of this Island. You can go to this Island either from Dhaka or from Chittagong.
This is a typical Buddhist village, about 16 km. from Cox's Bazar, on the main road to Chittagong. There are monasteries, khyangs and pagodas containing images of Buddha in gold, bronze and other metals inlaid with precious stones. One of the most interesting of these temples is on the bank of the Baghkhali River. It houses not only interesting relics and Burmese handicrafts but also a large bronze statue of Buddha measuring thirteen feet high and rests on a six feet high pedestal. The wood carving of this khyang is very delicate and refined.
The side of river Naf and the Bay of Bengal situate Teknaf Town, which is the southernmost tip of Bangladesh. It’s a real natural beauty of hills, forest & Naf River. Lots of Salt fields are there by the side of River Naf. There are natural waterfalls in Teknaf, which increases the beauty of nature.
You can come to Teknaf from Cox’s bazaar by an exotic jeep drive besides the Seashore or you can go there by bus or Microbus by road. By road journey, it is 84 km from Cox’s Bazaar. You can enjoy shopping in the local market called Burmese Market where you will find all the Burmese & tribal hand made materials. Do not forget to see the Well of Ma-Thin – which tells a sad story of love. Myanmar is on the opposite bank of Naf River. Wild animals and birds are available but the most interesting thing is a journey on the river. Wide sandy beach in the backdrop of high hills with green forests is an enchanting scene never to be forgotten.
SAINT MARTIN`S ISLAND:
St. Martin is the country's only Coral island.
Saint Martin’s Island, the only coral island of Bangladesh lies at a distance of around 90 km from Cox’s Bazar. On the concluding day of the event, a day-long cruise will be organized for the participants, judges, representatives from the sponsoring bodies. Media and local Government authority will also be invited to join the cruise. All the invitees will be picked from Cox’s Bazar on board the ship and this would ensure a closer cross-sectional interaction among all the people concerned. The ship will dock back in Cox’s Bazar on the same day. Meanwhile, all the necessary preparations for the closing ceremony will be taken care of. Forty eight km from Teknaf - St. Martin is the country's only Coral island and unspoilt paradise with friendly people. Named Narikel Gingira (Coconut Island) by the local, the dumb-bell shaped St. Martin has an area of only eight sq. km from one to four meters above sea level during sea level during high tide.
The Lake Districts
From Chittagong, a 77 km road amidst lush green fields and winding hills will take you to Rangamati- which is a wonderful repository of scenic splendors with flora and fauna of varied descriptions. The township is located on the western bank of Kaptai Lake. Rangamati is a favorite holiday resort because of its beautiful landscape, scenic beauty, lake, colorful tribes, hanging bridge, and tribal museum. For tourists the attractions of Rangamati are numerous - tribal life, fishing, speed boat cruising, water skiing, bathing or merely enjoying nature as it is. It is a rare spot for ecotourism.
Famous Kaptai Lake, the largest "man-made" lake, spreading over 680 sq. km. of crystal-clean water flanked by hills and evergreen forests lies in the Rangamati Hill District. The lake was formed when the Karnaphuli river dam (153 feet high, 1800 feet long crest) was built for the purpose of hydroelectric power project at Kaptai. The old Rangamati town was submerged under lake water and a new town had to be built later. The lake is full of fish and provides facilities for cruising, swimming and skiing. There are also facilities for angling and short trip by Sampan, local name for country boats.
The roof of Bangladesh
The inhabitants of the Hill Tracts are mostly tribal. Life of the tribal people is extremely fascinating. Majority of them are Buddhists and the rest are Hindus, Christians and Animists. Despite the bondage of religion, elements of primitiveness are strongly displayed in their rites, rituals and everyday life. The tribal families are matriarchal. The women-folk are more hardworking than the males and they are the main productive force Boats that visit the villages leave from Rangamati. Bring your swimming gear because you can take a plunge anywhere.. The tribal people are extremely self-reliant, they grow their own food, their girls weave their own clothes and generally speaking, they live a simple life. Each tribe has its own dialect, distinctive dress and rites and rituals. The common feature is their way of life, which still speaks of their main occupation. Some of them take pride in hunting with bows and arrows. Tribal women are very skilful in making beautiful handicrafts. Tribal people are generally peace loving, honest and hospitable. They usually greet a tourist with a smile.
The valleys of the Hill Tracts are covered with thick-planted forests. The vegetation in semi-evergreen to tropical evergreen dominated by tall teak trees. The natural vegetation can be seen best in the Rain-khyong valleys of the Bandarban district. This district provides valuable wood which is used for various purposes, besides supplying wood and bamboo for the Karnaphuli Paper Mills and the Rayon Mills situated at Chandraghona. Here a tourist may be lucky to see how huge logs of wood are being carried to the plain by the tamed elephants.
Another tourist spot in Bandarban is Meghla - it’s a beautiful spot where you can enjoy boat or speedboat riding on the lake Meghla. If you are lucky you may see the wild animals in the forest. There are small shades in this spot to protect you from rains in the season of monsoon and from the hit of the Sun in hot summer days. A beautiful hanging wooden bridge enhances the beauty of this spot. In one side there are some constructions and facilities for the tourists like tower, restaurant while on the other side is wild life, natural forest and hills. In the town you can visit the house where the king of tribe Chakma lives and from there you can visit the archeological museum of Bandarban. In this museum you will find the archeological history of the tribal life and the tribes of hill areas of Bandarban. The museum authority has set up various tribal houses in the museum, which will give you a brief idea of kinds of tribal houses, their design and architectural structures.
Ninety two km from Chittagong by road - Bandarban is the district headquarters of the Bandarban Hill District. It is the home town of the Bhomang Chief who is the head of the Mogh tribe. The Moghs are of Myanmar origin and Buddhists by religion. The moghs are simple and hospitable people. Bandarban is also the home of the Murangs who are famous for their music and dances. Several other tribes of great interest live in the remote areas of the district. The highest peak of Bangladesh- Tahjin dong (4632 ft) is located in the Bandarban district.
Is better known for its Buddhist remains exposed by excavations. Here, indeed, lies the greatest assemblage of ancient Buddhist remains in Bangladesh. The Mainamati ruins were rediscovered during the Second World War. While setting u p an advance camp, the military came across ancient remains at a number of points in the ridge. In the hurried survey that followed, 18 sites were recognized and protected by the government. In more regular and systematic surveys undertaken between 1955 and 1957, more than 50 sites were located. Most of those sites lie in the northern half of the ridge, now within the
Cantonment. Mainamati an isolated ridge of low hills in the eastern margins of deltaic Bangladesh, about 8 km to the west of Comilla town is a very familiar name in our cultural heritage, where archaeological excavations have revealed very significant materials. A landmark of our ancient history, it represents a small mass of quasilateritic old alluvium. The ridge, set in the vast expanse of the fertile lower Meghna basin, extends for about 17 km north-south from Mainamati village on the Gomuti River to Chandi Mura near Lalmai railway station. In its widest parts, the ridge is about 4.5 km across and its highest peaks attain a height of about 45 meters. These highlands were once thickly wooded with an abundance of wild life, but modern developments have rudely disturbed its serene idyllic setting.
The land of two leaves and a bud
Immaculately nestled in the picturesque Surma Valley amidst scenic tea plantations and lush green tropical forests, it is a prime attraction for all tourists. Its terraced tea gardens, eye-soothing orange groves and pineapple plantations and hills covered with tropical forests form a beautiful landscape. The Sylhet valley has a good number of haors which are big natural wetlands. These haors which provide sanctuary to the millions of migratory birds who fly from Siberia across the Himalayas to avoid the severe cold.
In Moulvibazar district known as the tea capital of Bangladesh is the main tea centre of the area. For miles and miles around the visitors can see the tea gardens spread like green carpet over the plain land or on the slopping hills. Sylhet, the tea granary of Bangladesh, not only has over 150 tea gardens. A stay in one of the rest-houses of tea gardens would be an enchanting one.
Sylhet is also known as the land of the famous Muslim Saint Hazrat Shah Jalal (RA), the great torch bearer of Islam to this region. The shrine of this great saint is located at Sylhet town. Another shrine of this town is the Shrine of Hazrat Shah Paran (RA). Colorful Manipuri, Khasia and Garo tribes live in Sylhet. Manipuri’s are famous for their wide variety of exquisite handicrafts of cane and bamboo. Sylhet is linked with Dhaka by rail, road and air.
Northen Region of Bangladesh
RAJSHAI - A NATURAL SILK PRODUCING CENTRE
Rajshahi has seen the most glorious periods of Bengal's Pala dynasty. It is famous for pure silk, mangoes and lichis. Attractive silk products are cheaper. A visit to Varendra Research Museum at the heart of the city of rich archaeological finds would be most rewarding. There are also a number of ancient mosques, shrines and temples in and around Rajshahi. Connected with Dhaka by road, rail, river and air, Rajshahi is located on the bank of the Padma river. Bangladesh Parjathan Corporation offers comfortable accommodation and restaurant facilities at Rajshahi.
NATORE PLACE OF DIGHPATIYA RAJBARI
About 40km. from Rajshahi by road is Natore, an old seat of Maharajas with a beautiful palace, now serving as the Uttara Ganabhaban (President's Official residence of the northern region). It was residence of the Dighapatiya Raj. It is situated amid well kept ground surrounded by a fine moat. The buildings are modern. They include a well equipped guest house, an imposing gateway and a fine garden decorated with statues of white marble. *Guided Tours in Natore TRAVEL BANGLADESH (TRAVELBD) arranges guided package tours for groups of and above from Dhaka to Natore. For details please contact:
Represents the earliest and the largest archaeological site of Bangladesh, lies on the western bank of river Karatoya, about 13 km north of Bogra town on the Dhaka-Dinajpur highway, and is connected by a good metalled road. The spectacular site is an imposing landmark in the area, having a fortified, oblong enclosure measuring 1542m by 1370m with an average height of 5m from the surrounding paddy fields. Mahasthangarh consist of the ruins of the ancient city of Pundranagara. The highest point within the enclosure at the southeast corner occupied by the mazar (tomd) of Shah Sultan Mahisawar and b y a mosque of the Mughal Emperor Farrukh Siyar. In the Mahasthan Garh, Karatoya is the major river that passes near the eastern margin and flows towards south. Three small rivers (Ichamati, Bengali and Nagar) are around the Mahasthan Garh. The northern, western and southern sides of the fortified city were encircled by a deep moat. The moat and the river might have served as a second line of defense of the fort city. Many isolated mounds occur at various places outside the city within a radius of 8 km on the north, south and west, testifying to the existence of suburbs of the ancient provincial capital. Many travelers and scholars, notably Buchanan, O'Donnell, Westmacott, Beveridge and Sir Alexander Cunningham visited this site and mentioned it in their reports.
Due to its geographical situation the entire region of Bengal, including the Paharpur Buddhist Vihara has been one of the vital links between India and Southeast Asia since ancient times.
This region witnessed the ascendance of the Pala Dynasty in the 8th century, whose rule continued until the 12th century. Buddhism attained its last major developments in India at that time under these Pala Dynasty Kings, who embraced and protected the Buddhist ideals. Paharpur Buddhist Vihara was built under the second Pala King Dharmapala.
Evidence of the rise of Mahayana Buddhism in Bengal from the 7th century onwards, this monastery, known as Somapura Mahavira, the Great Monastery, was a renowned intellectual centre until the 17th century. Paharpur Buddhist Vihara was included in the World Heritage list in1985
Puthia is an upazila in Rajshahi district. Puthia zamindari created by the Mughal in the early 17th century is one of the oldest estates of Bengal. The extensive area of the estate, enclosed within a moat, has a number of elegant temples embellished with terracotta sculpture, e.g. the Pancharatna Govinda Temple, a beautiful little do-chala shrine behind the palace, the hut-shaped Jagaddhatri Temple on the west and the large Shiva Temple at the entrance of the estate. The Shiva Temple was erected by Tani Bhavan Mohini Devi in 1823 Ad.
Kantajee Temple is an eighteenth century brick temple, situated about 18 km. north of Dinajpur town. It has gained eminence as an outstanding monument in Bengal for its fabulous terracotta embellishment. This Navaratna Hindu temple, exhibits the exuberance of Terracotta Art at its best in Bangladesh.
Maharaja Prannath of Dinajpur began its construction about 1722. It was completed by his adopted son Maharaja Ramnath, in Shaka era 1674 (1752 AD). This magnificent pyramidal temple rose in three receding terraces and was crowned with nine ornamental spires or ratnas (jewels) on the corner of the three terraces which imparted to it an appearance of a huge ratha or an ornate chariot resting on a high plinth. It was provided with arched openings on all four sides in order to enable devotees to see the deity enshrined inside from all directions.
Bihar and Vasu-Bihar, Near Mahasthan
Bihar and Vasu-Bihar are two villages, situated about 4km to the west of Mahasthangarh. The Nagar River passes through the present Bihar village and, on its western bank, there is a very large brick mound, approximately measuring 213.3m × 182.8m. About 1.61km northwest of this place is the Vasu-Bihar village, where there is another considerably large mound, about 9.14m high, locally known as Narapatir Dhap. A little south or this ruined mound lies a large tank known as Jhinjhrailer Dighi. Close to it on the northwest, the ruins of a temple with carved and ornamental bricks are visible, which now bears the name of Sanyasir Bari. Beyond that on further south lies the Susong Dighi or Sasanka Dighi, traditionally known to have been excavated by king Sasanka (606-636 A.D.). Another large ancient brick mound also is visible towards the south of the Bihar village, situated on a large tank.
The famous Chinese pilgrim, Yuan Chwang, in his itinerary has mentioned Po-Shi-Po, the name of a grand monastery situated about 6km west of Pundravardhana (Pan-na-fa-tan-na), which he visited. Cunningham identifies this Po-Shi-Po either with the mound located at Bihar or at Vasu-Bihar. The pilgrim found here ‘a grand monastery remarkable for the size and height of its tower and pavilion. It was occupied by no less than 700 monks who studied the Mahayana; and men famous for their learning flocked here from the eastern districts. At a short distance from the monastery there was a stupa built by Asoka on the site where Buddha explained his laws to the Devas. Near this was a spot where the last Buddha had taken exercise and rested, traces of his foot-marks were still to be seen’. Not far from the last place there was a temple containing the statue of Avalokitesvara which manifested its divine powers by prodigies’.
Cunningham identifies the great monastery of Yuan Chwang with the extensive brick mound of the Bihar village itself. The lofty stupa built by Asoka, he thinks, is well represented by the solid brick mound at Vasu Bihar (present Narapatir Dhap), to the east of which is a large tank (present Jhinjhrailer Dighi).
He further identifies the Vihara containing statue of Avalokitesvara with the small ruined temple to the north-west of the Asokan Stupa (present Sanyasir Bari). He describes that ‘It is a small building, only 3.9m ×3.3m inside, but the walls are 1.21m thick and it is surrounded by a wall forming an enclosure 31.69m long from north to south by 19.50m broad. The entrance is on the south towards the stupa. No remains of sculpture could be found, but there were plenty of carved bricks, both in situ in the walls and scattered about the ground. Recent excavation, however, has revealed the derelict relic of a medium size Buddhist monastery at village Bihar and a group of three smaller monasteries at village Vasu-Bihar. They have been dated in the 7th- 10th century A.D.
This city’s name broadly taken means ‘habitat of tigers’ but the literal meaning for bagh is garden or tiger, and hat is market place. This meaning aptly describes the physical condition of this low mangrove forest, which was inhabited by the Royal Bengal Tiger.
Founded by legendary warrior–Saint Ulugh Khan Jahan in the early fifteenth century, Bagerhat later become a mint town of the independent Sultans of Bengal and was called Khalifatabad. Khan Jahan is considered one of the main torchbearers of Islam in the south of Bengal and built hundreds of mosques and public structures. Among those, 60-domed mosque is the biggest brick-made mosque in Bangladesh. Today, Bagerhat is being developed as a tourist spot but the tomb of Khan Jahan still remains a center of pilgrimage.
This Historic Mosque City of Bagerhat is declared as a world Heritage site in 1985.
Mongla is the second seaport of the country and gateway to the Sundarban. It lies 38 km. to the south of Khulna. The port authority has got motor launches to go to the forest.
In the south-western part of Bangladesh, in the district of greater Khulna, lies the Sundarban, the beautiful forest. It is a virgin forest which until recently owed nothing to human endeavor and yet nature has laid it out with as much care as a planned pleasure ground. For miles and miles, the lofty treetops form an unbroken canopy, while nearer the ground, works of high and ebb-tide marked on the soil and tree trunks and the many varieties of the natural mangrove forest have much to offer to an inquisitive visitor.
Here land and water meet in many novel fashions, Wildlife presents many a spectacle. No wonder, you may come across a Royal Bengal Tiger swimming across the streams or the crocodiles basking on the river banks. With the approach of the evening herds of deer make for the darkling glades where boisterous monkeys shower Keora leaves from above for sumptuous meal for the former. For the botanist, the lover of nature, the poet and the painter this land provides a variety of wonder for which they all crave.
The Sundarban is a cluster of islands with an approximate area of 6000 sq. km. forming the largest block of littoral forests. Its beauty lies in its unique natural surrounding. Thousands of meandering streams, creeks, rivers and estuaries have enhanced its charm. Sundarbans meaning beautiful forest is the natural habitat of the world famous Royal Bengal Tiger, spotted deer, crocodiles, jungle fowl, wild boar, lizards, theses monkey and an innumerable variety of beautiful birds. Migratory flock of Siberian ducks flying over thousands of sail boats loaded with timber, golpatta (round-leaf), fuel wood, honey, shell and fish further add to the serene natural beauty of the Sundarban.
This is indeed a land for the sportsmen, the anglers and the photographers with its abundance of game, big and small, crocodile, wild boar, deer, pythons, wild-birds and above all the Royal Bengal Tiger, cunning, ruthless and yet majestic and graceful, For the less adventurously inclined, there are ducks and snipes, herons and coots, yellow-lags and sandpipers. It is also the land for the ordinary holiday makers who desire to rest or wander around at will to refresh their mind and feast their eyes with the rich treasure that nature has so fondly bestowed.
AREA : Nearly 2400 sq. miles or 6000 sq. km.
FOREST LIMITS : North-Bagerhat, Khulna and Sathkira districts : South-Bay of Bengal; East-Baleswar (or Haringhata) river, Perojpur, Barisal district, and West-Raimangal and Hariabhanga rivers which partially form Bangladesh boundary with West Bengal in India.
MAIN ATTRACTIONS : Wildlife photography including photography of the famous Royal Bengal Tiger, wildlife viewing, boating inside the forest will call recordings, nature study, meeting fishermen, wood-cutters and honey-collectors, peace and tranquility in the wilderness, seeing the world's largest mangrove forest and the riverine beauty.
FAMOUS SPOTS: Hiron Point (Nilkamal) for tiger, deer, monkey, crocodiles, birds and natural beauty.
Katka for deer, tiger, crocodiles, varieties of birds and monkey, morning and evening symphony of wild fowls. Vast expanses of grassy meadows running from Katka to Kachikhali (Tiger Point) provide opportunities for wild tracking. Tin Kona Island for tiger and deer.
Dublar Char (Island) for fishermen. It is a beautiful island where herds of spotted deer are often seen to graze.
Means of Communication: Water transport is the only means of communication for visiting the Sundarbans from Khulna or Mongla Port. Private motor launch, speed boats, country boats as well as mechanised vessel of Mongla Port Authority might be hired for the purpose. From Dhaka visitors may travel by air, road or rocket steamer to Khulna - the gateway to the Sundarbans. Most pleasant journey from Dhaka to Khulna is by Paddle Steamer, Rocket presenting a picturesque panorama of rural Bangladesh. Day and night-long coach services by road are also available. The quickest mode is by air from Dhaka to Jessore and then to Khulna by road.
Journey time: It varies depending on tides against or in favour in the river. Usually it takes 6 to 10 hours journey by motor vessel from Mongla to Hiron Point or Katka.
Accommodation Inside the forest
Hiron Point: Comfortable three-storied Rest-House of the Mongla Port Authority. Prior booking is to be made.
Katka: Forest Department Rest-House located here. Prior booking essential.
Journey by Rocket Steamer to Mongla and Khulna
Guided Tours: Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation & other tour operators offers all-inclusive guided package fours from Dhaka to Sundarbans and return during the tourist season (October to March).
Climate: Climate in the Sundarbans is moderate. Air is humid. Full monsoon is from June to September. The annual rainfall average between 65" and 70". During ebb-tide the forest becomes bare by 6-7 feet and at high tide (30 miles and hour) the entire territory of the forest floats on water.
Life in Forest: Only means of transportation inside the forest is boat. There is no road, no trail of a path anywhere. The wood-cutters make temporary dwellings at the edge of the forest at a height of 8-10 feet for fear of wild animals others live on boats. In the chandpai region it is fascinating to see the nomadic fishermen (living with families on boats) catching fish with the help of trained offers. Exciting activities take place in Dublar Char in the forest where fishermen from Chittagong gather for four months (mid Oct. to mid Feb.) to catch and dry fish. But the most daring and exciting of all activities is presented by the honey-collectors who work in groups for just two months (April-May) and it is interesting to see how they locate a hive and then collect honey.
Flora and Fauna: The Sundarbans is endowed by nature with rich flora and fauna. It is a wonderful place to see or to shoot a Royal Bengal Tiger with Camera if one has the time to wait in the forest. There are a good number of tigers in the Sundarbans. Lovely spotted deer are easy to find. Besides there are a wide variety of wildlife for which the Sundarbans is so famous.
Visit to the Forest
Permission from the Division Forest Officer, Khulna is required to visit to the forest. Cholera vaccine is to be taken well in advance. Anti-malarial, anti-diarrhea, insect repellent cream, drinking water, green coconuts, medical kit, light tropical dress, thick rubber soled boots etc. are to be carried with the tourist. It will be wise to take the help of an experienced guide to make the journey fruitful.
Tourist season & Shooting: Best time to visit the Sundarbans is from November to March. Exciting honey collection season is during April-May. Hunting is prohibited by law in the country for the preservation of wildlife. Certain species of birds, however, can be shot with prior permission of the Divisional Forest Officer, Khulna, (Phone: 20665 & 21173).
Visit to the Forest: Permission from the Division Forest Officer, Khulna is required to visit to the forest. Cholera vaccine is to be taken well in advance. Anti-malarial, anti-diarrhea, insect repellent cream, drinking water, green coconuts, medical kit, light tropical dress, thick rubber soled boots etc. are to be carried with the tourist. It will be wise to take the help of an experienced guide to make the journey fruitful.
The Sunderbans is the mirror image of many facts of a single one. Located about 320km, southwest of Dhaka and spread over an area of about 6000sq,km of deltaic swamps along the coastal belt of Khulna. It is the largest mangrove forest of the world. In the deeper parts of it there are The Royal Bengal Tigers and Crocodiles in water. The hidden beauties of the Sunderbans are enormous. The attractive beauties of the deep green forestry as seen in the morning and evening, the cock-a- doodles at dawn, basking of Crocodiles in groups on the shores, the quick group movements of the Deer and their drinking of water and the beautiful seashore will, no doubt, fill your hearts with unknown and unexplainable feeling of pleasure and joy. Sundari trees are one of the important assets of the Sunderbans. Basically, the name of Sunderbans is derived from Sundari and also from its immense beauty. The six different seasons give different views of the forest.
In rainy season, the forest is seen with fresh green leaves as if full of adolescence. The canal, in this period is full of fishes and one can get pleasure in fishing. On the seashore, you will be delighted to see the big white waves of the sea and at night the full moonlight.
In winter, the guest birds and ducks will take you to a new world and you will see the different movements of Deer and Monkeys. The honey, goal leaves collection and fishing by the mawaliare people one of the traditional scenes for their existence for living.
Different species of Monkey, Deer, Birds, Crocodiles, Snakes, Ducks, water Peacocks, Seagull and such many varieties of animals, not to mention of the great Royal Bengal Tiger are present in the Sunderbans. UNESCO has declared the Sunderbans a world heritage site that it offers splendid opportunities for tourism. The main tourist spots inside the Sunderbans include Hiron Point, Katka, Dubla and Tri Kona Island. Water transport is only means of communication with the Sunderbans from Khulna or Mongla. Sunrise Tours having comfortable cruiser on these routes.
Located at a distance of about 7km. from the town of Meherpur. First provisional revolutionary Government of Bangladesh was declared here on the 14 April during the liberation war in 1971. A monument has been built to commemorate this historical occasion.
Shilaidaha Thakur Bari (Kushtia):
You can enjoy the steer ridings to go to Chandranath’s temple by walking. It is situated on the top of the hill from where you can enjoy the beauty of the sea & also the hill areas. Now in sitakunda there’s made an eco park.
Kuakata is a scenic sea beach where you can see sunrise and sunset in one point. It is in south-western Bangladesh. It is about 320 Kilometres south of Dhaka, the capital, and about 70 Kilometres from the Patuakhali District headquarters. On 13 September, 2007 government have announced red alert in Kuakata as caution for the Tsunami.
It is a famous destination for people around Bangladesh and from overseas. The most important attraction of the beach is that one can see both sunrise and sunset from some of its locations. The government and local business owners have made currently significant development. Not so long ago tourists were uncomfortable to visit Kuakata due to poor communication systems and dangerous road conditions. Beside that the local communities were not very supportive towards the tourists; resulting some unpleasant events in the beach area.
But now, those days seems gone from Kuakata beach. People are now more business concerned and communications are much better than before. A new Police station was build 4 years ago and Community awareness is in place