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Bangladesh is a small densely populated country of contrasts, which has absorbed the traditions of Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam, and therefore is full of a variety of temples and mosques. Its exotic nature and rich cultural heritage attract romantic and extreme travelers who are not afraid of the bustle and poverty of this corner of the Earth.

bangladesh

Who comes to Bangladesh and why

The country of cycle rickshaws and tuk-tuks, Bengal tigers and elephants, ancient viharas and mosques is not for everyone. But still, as one of the original countries with its own traditions and customs, it will be able to interest curious and thirsty tourists for unusual sensations.

A country with a rich past will suit people interested in the world of archeology and architecture. Fans of gastronomic tours will be able to appreciate the national cuisine, which is distinguished by an abundance of spices and spicy food with an emphasis on rice and seafood. And for families with children in Bangladesh there are natural parks, a zoo, a water park and various entertainment centers.

Muslims and Buddhists alike will enjoy the variety of ancient and modern shrines, many of which continue their religious activities.

The beach resorts here are not developed, but lovers of wild beaches will be interested in the coastal zone of the Bay of Bengal, as well as the island of St. Martin.

Bangladesh is the perfect place to get out of your comfort zone. Here live simple but friendly people who lead a more than modest life. Plunging into such an unusual world, you can not only learn something new, but also find yourself again.

Mosques and churches

Star Mosque Tara Masjid

svesdnaua mechet

The beginning of the construction of this mosque in the ancient part of the city of Dhaka dates back to the beginning of the 18th century. Originally of a simple rectangular shape, it was reconstructed twice (in the 19th and 20th centuries) and as a result acquired its present-day unique appearance.

Starry decorations, floral ornaments and a mosaic pattern of fragments of Chinese porcelain and ceramics have turned the mosque into a rare architectural masterpiece, decorated in the Chainitikri style. The original solution was the image of Mount Fuji between the entrances to the mosque.

Khan Mohammed Mridh Mosque

mechet khana muhameda

According to Persian inscriptions on the mosque, it was erected in 1704-1705 by Khan Mohammed Mridha in Dhaka near the fortress of Lalbagh. A five-meter platform, under which there are living rooms, raises the mosque complex above the surrounding landscape.

A staircase of 25 steps on the east side leads to a platform and a rectangular prayer hall crowned with three domes. The northern annex to the mosque serves as a religious school (madrasah) and a cell for visitors (khujra).

Mosque Shait Gunbad

mechet shaid gun bad

The Sixty Domes Mosque, as it is also called, is the largest in the historical city of Bagerhat and the oldest in Bengal. It was built in the 15th century by the founder of the city, Jahan Ali, in the southern mangrove forests and bears the features of the tughlak style.

Strict and ascetic in appearance, the thick-walled mosque is decorated with 81 domes, 60 thin columns and numerous arches. There is a museum on its territory, and next to the Muslim temple there is a large pond.

Baitul Mukarram Mosque

mechet baitun mukaran

The construction of the National Mosque, located in Dhaka, began in 1960. It is distinguished by a cubic shape, including the mihrab, as well as the absence of a dome, which is compensated by two domed entrance porticos. The main eight-story building houses a prayer hall surrounded by three verandas.

Black and white design gives the building solemnity and severity. This mosque, modeled after the Kaaba in Mecca, is an example of modern Muslim architecture with its characteristic minimalism. Although traced in it and the traditional principles of building a mosque.

Gutya Barisala Mosque (Baytul Aman)

gutia amab barisala

The mosque complex opened in 2006 in southern Bangladesh near the city of Barisal. In addition to the mosque itself, it includes a madrasah, a cemetery and an orphanage. The structure is crowned with 20 domes, and its highlight is a 58-meter minaret made of white marble.

Three lakes surround Gutya Barisala — so that it is reflected in them from different angles — and the entire territory of the complex is surrounded by gardens. The night mosque looks especially impressive, thanks to the bright illumination.

Armenian Church in Dhaka

armianska cerkov

Church of the Holy Ascension (Surb Harutyun) is the only Armenian church in Bangladesh. It was built in 1781 at the expense of the Armenian community of Dhaka at a time of close mutually beneficial cooperation between Armenians and Bengalis.

A small church with a balcony was decorated with a bell tower with a clock, which collapsed in 1837 and was restored (already without a clock) at the end of the 19th century. From the inside, the church is painted with frescoes, and on the territory adjacent to the building there is an Armenian cemetery.

The last Armenian abbot of the temple died in 2013 without finding a successor. Now the church is closed, but the Australian archbishop conducts services here twice a year.

Museums

National Museum of Bangladesh

nac musei

Founded in 1913, the largest museum in the country occupies a 4-story building. Its collections span from prehistory to the present and include sculptures and coins, weapons and armor, embroidered bedspreads and shoes, ceramics and furniture, as well as musical instruments, textiles and many other historical artifacts.

  • The first floor includes 22 expositions of archaeological finds and ethnographic items. Also here you can see a statue of a Bengal tiger and a huge map of Bangladesh.
  • The second floor is devoted to military subjects and photography.
  • The third is occupied by two libraries and three art galleries.
  • The fourth is used for conferences, seminars and lectures.

Folklore Museum of Chittagong

ethnic museum

In the second major city of Bangladesh, on Agrabad Street, there is the only museum that gives an idea of ​​the peoples that have ever inhabited this country. Founded in 1965, the museum became the owner of rare collections of everyday objects of national communities.

Sculptures, frescoes, decorations, clothes, paintings, photographs — from the presented exhibits you can learn about the culture and lifestyle of the indigenous people. The ethnographic museum fulfills an important mission of maintaining tolerance and respect of people for each other.

Buddhist and Hindu temples

Vihara in Paharpur (Somapura Mahavira)

vihara v samaputhe

Viharas — temples for wandering monks — were common in the Indian subcontinent. And Somapura Mahavira in the Bangladeshi city of Paharpur was considered the largest of them. Built in the 8th-9th centuries AD, it became the abode for Buddhist philosophers and flourished until the 11th century.

Hundreds of cells and altars adjoined the inner side of the wall that surrounded the temple courtyard along the entire perimeter, and on the outer side it was decorated with images of the Buddha. The central temple had three tiers with sculptures and walking paths.

Now only ruins remain from the vihara, but the main 20-meter stupa, sculptural bas-reliefs and the nearby museum still attract tourists with their energy and the spirit of antiquity.

Putia Temple Complex

hramovi complex putia

Not far from the city of Rajshahi, 14 Hindu temples rise, surrounding the Putia Rajbari Palace. The palace, which belonged to a noble raja, dates from 1895 and is an example of Hindu Gothic.

One of the most beautiful and romantic monasteries of the complex is the Pancharatna Govinda temple, dating back to the 19th century and dedicated to the god Krishna and his beloved goddess Radha. Five graceful temple towers crown the square structure, and the walls of the facade are decorated with terracotta tablets with scenes from the ancient Indian epic.

Another decoration of Putia is the Bubaneshwar Shiva Temple with five carved towers, built in 1823 in the Jaipur style. Inside it is a marble statue of Shiva, and the facade of the building is covered with miniature bas-reliefs made of baked clay.

Dharmarajika Bauddha Vihara

dgarmaradgika

The first Buddhist monastery in Dhaka was founded in 1960 and since then it has been the religious and cultural center of Bangladeshi Buddhists. The monastery has a large collection of Buddha statues, two of which were donated by Thailand and Japan.

On the basis of the monastery there are a college, a school, an orphanage, a clinic, an academy of fine arts and a literary society. The International Prayer Hall, opened in 1996, gathers Buddhists from all over the world during religious holidays.

Golden temple in Bandarban

solotoi temple

The main Buddhist temple, built in 1995 on the highest hill of the city of Bandarban, can be seen from any point. Being part of the modern cultural heritage of Bangladesh, Buddha dhatu Jadi also meets the basic principles of traditional Buddhist temple architecture.

The graceful building, painted in golden color, is shrouded in radiance in the sunlight, while the elegant staircase and exquisite sculptures fit organically into the common space.

Here is not only the largest Buddha statue in the country, but also his relics. At the top of the hill, you can also see the lake, known as the «Pond of God», near which various religious events are often held.

Dhakeshwari temple

temple-dakeshvari

The main Hindu temple has adorned Dhaka since the 12th century. Due to frequent restorations and reconstructions, the temple building reflects the trends of different architectural styles, and its colorful colors always attract the tourist’s eye. The doors of Dhakeshvari are open to those seeking peace in meditation and prayer, and to those who wish to participate in religious festivities.

Huge gates lead to the territory of the complex, consisting of the main temple and six pagodas, through which elephants once passed. At the entrance to the central building there is a pond, and the eastern part of the temple ensemble is occupied by the cemetery of clergy and saints.

Entertainment and recreation

Zoo in Dhaka

zoo

Established in 1964, the Central Zoo has grown from a small menagerie into Bangladesh’s most visited zoological park. Covering an area of ​​almost 75 hectares, it is home to over 2,000 animals, including elephants, lions, baboons, giraffes, rhinoceroses and, of course, Bengal tigers.

A separate aviary for birds, a lake of hippos and a crocodile hall will not let even the most sophisticated visitor get bored, and the most inquisitive will be pleased with the local museum. The abundance and variety of animals, walking paths and two lakes make the territory of the zoo a favorite place for both locals and tourists.

Cox’s Bazar Beach

pliag koks basar

The most popular beach area in Bangladesh is located near the town of Cox’s Bazar near the border with Myanmar. Local beaches are 200 km long, and the most visited and crowded of them — Inani Beach — is considered the longest in the world (120 km).

On the coast of the Bay of Bengal, there are good conditions for surfing and diving, and 50 km from Cox’s Bazar there is a safari park Dulhazar.

Historical landmarks

Fortress Lalbagh

krepost lalbah

Lalbagh Fort is an unfinished, monumental 17th-century fort located in Dhaka on the banks of the Buriganga River. The complex of buildings is located in the well-groomed territory of the local park, surrounded by a wall with 4 octagonal bastions at the corners. The very same rectangular fort with its 8 towers around the perimeter was built in the style of the Great Moghuls.

The two entrances to the fortress are arched gates, and the domed ceiling with decorative carvings attracts attention in the interior. In the building of the fortress there is a small museum of Bengali history, where you can see weapons and armor, books and coins, carpets and jewelry.

Pink Palace in Dhaka

rosovii dvorec

The main attraction of Dhaka, located in its center, was built in 1869. At the time when Bangladesh was a British colony, Bengali governors, the so-called Nawabs, lived in this palace. After their expulsion from the country, the palace was ruined and abandoned, but still retained its elegance.

The territory is planted with palm trees and a beautiful lawn. Now the building houses a branch of the National Museum of Bangladesh.

Northern People’s House (Rajari complex in Nator)

severni narodni dom

The palace complex was built in 1734 near the city of Nator as the residence of the maharajas. The area of ​​the palace is surrounded by a moat, a high wall and a picturesque area with lakes. The main building is decorated with an entrance gate with a clock tower, columns and arched windows, a floral facade and a pointed dome.

Having been devastated more than once, the palace still keeps some historical relics within its walls: Greek statues, furniture, vases and chandeliers. On the territory of the palace there is a garden with foreign trees, among which here and there you can find decorative urns, busts of Rajas and even cannons.

The abandoned city of Panama Nagar

sabrosheni city

In fact, this is not a city, but a district of the city of Sonargaon, in which rich Indian traders lived, expelled after the independence of Bangladesh. The surviving facades of some buildings in the Baroque style, interior paintings and wall carvings remind of its former beauty.

Many houses here are of unique architectural value, and the house of Anand Mohan Piddar is generally a kind of symbol of this ghost town. In addition to buildings, three brick bridges, several artificial canals, as well as the Lok Shilpa Jadukhar Museum of Folk Arts and Crafts, opened in 1975, have survived on the territory of Panam Nagar.

National Martyrs Memorial

nac memorial

This national monument, located in Savar, commemorates those who died in the 1971 Liberation War that led to Bangladesh’s independence from Pakistan. Opened in 1982, the building has become one of the main historical attractions of the country.

The monument consists of seven pairs of triangular walls, gradually increasing in size. Each of these couples symbolizes a significant event for Bangladesh on the path to liberation.

At the foot of the composition there is a mass grave, and an artificial reservoir has been created on the landscaped territory of the complex. In the foreseeable future, it is planned to expand the memorial with the Green House with a museum.

Architecture

Kamalapur Railway Station

gd voksal

Dhaka Central Station, built in 1967 on the former rice fields, performs both a practical function, connecting the capital with other cities of Bangladesh, and a purely aesthetic one, being an original architectural monument.

The American architect Robert Bugey relied on modern world trends in the construction of this station, not forgetting the general architectural style of Dhaka.

The roof of the building became a unique solution: semicircular blocks resting on thin columns resemble opening lotus petals. In addition to 8 platforms, there are several restaurants and shops inside the station.

National Assembly of Bangladesh

nac assembly

The National Assembly building, opened in 1982, is located in Sher-e-Bangla Nagar and is a massive structure of concrete, red brick and marble. This is one of the most unusual architectural structures in the world, the daring idea of ​​which was embodied for 23 years by the American architect Louis Kahn.

The foundation of the National Assembly building is immersed in the lake, which creates the effect of a surrounding moat. The whimsical modernist structure consists of intersecting circles, squares and triangles, and the main building is a 47-meter octagon surrounded by 8 brick cylinders.

The complexity can also be seen inside the building: the buildings have irregular shapes, and the halls are carved with various geometric patterns.

natural attractions

Saint Martin’s Island

island st martina

This island is the southernmost point of the country, which can be reached by boat or ferry from the border city of Tekanfa with Myanmar. The beach with palm trees and huts on the seashore resembles a classic tropical landscape, and the rich underwater world invites not only to explore it, but also to sample local seafood: fresh fish, crabs and lobsters.

Sundarbans National Park

nac park sundabran

The Sundarbans is the largest mangrove forest in the world and is home to the largest population of Bengal tigers. The wetlands located in the delta of the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers are often flooded by sea tides, which leads to the appearance of mud patches — watts.

Monkeys, fishing cats and flying foxes live on the territory of the reserve, and Gangetic dolphins and combed crocodiles inhabit the waters. The territory of Surdaban is protected and included in the UNESCO list.

Ramna Park

ramna park

One of the most beautiful places in Dhaka dates back to the 17th century, and since then it has gone through a long process of transformation from a barren land to a well-kept recreation area. Once there was a hippodrome and a zoo, and the Nawabs turned this area into a garden, calling it the Royal.

The official opening of Ramna took place in 1949. The territory of the park is planted with rare trees and plants, including flowering, fruiting and medicinal. Numerous walking paths make the park a good walking area, and a deep lake completes the landscape.

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