Bangladesh is a small country with a land area of 55,598 sq miles. At present, it may be known as an underdeveloped country but it has a rich historical and cultural heritage. Bangladesh is also my homeland and today I will give you twelve reasons for traveling Bangladesh.
- If you look at the location of Bangladesh then you will see that it lies on the south downward from the Himalayas. This country is basically a deltaic region formed on the mouth of rivers. The 1400 kilometer long coastline makes it a very attractive trading location since the ancient times. Suitable trading location, added with tropical climate and fertile soil made it a very prosperous country in the ancient times. All the famous travelers of ancient period, such as Hiuen Tsang, Fa Hien, Ibn Batuta (famous Moroccan traveler) described the beauty of “Banga or Bangala” (The ancient name of Bengal) in their travelogues.
- Paharpur Buddha Vihara: The ancient Bengal was mainly ruled by Buddhist kings who built many viharas and temples around the country. Paharpur Buddha Vihara is one of the major Buddha viharas of seventh century. Buddhism entered in India in 5th century. Built on 27 acres of land the Vihara has a quadrangular court of more than 900 ft. This vihara was built during the rule of the Pala dynasty. In 1985, this site was included in the UNESCO’s world heritage list. This famous Buddhist site was first discovered by Buchanan Hamilton in 19th century. Alexander Cunningham, known as the “Father of Indian Archaeology” wanted to excavate this vihara but did not get permission from the local landlord.
- Mahasthangarh: It is the oldest city and one of the main tourist attractions in North Bengal. The history of Pundranagara can be traced back to 3rd century B.C. It is situated on the western bank of the Korotoa River. During the reign of the Maurya, Gupta and Sena dynasty, it was the capital of Bengal. The total area measures 5000 ft. by 4500 ft. This site is of great importance to the Hindu community of Bangladesh. Some of the major sites of Mahasthangarh are: Govinda Bhita Temple, Khodai Pathar Mound, Mankalir Kunda, Parasuramer Bedi, Jiyat Kunda etc. Another major attraction of this area is the Mahasthangarh museum that exhibits recovered objects from Mahasthangarh.
- Kantajee’s temple: Another great historical site of Bangladesh. It is one of the oldest temples built in 1752. The temple was partially destroyed by earthquake in 19th century. Still, it has many great things to offer to the tourists. The most noticeable feature of this temple is its terra quota plaques. These plaques are a great source of knowledge for the historians because the craftsmen who made these plates engraved pictures of the contemporary society, trees and plants, creatures, socio-economic condition of the people. Situated in Dinajpur, this temple was built by Maharaja Pran Nath. The temple is a three storied building.
- Shat Gambuj Mosque: The period between 13th to 16th centuries is known as the medieval period. During this period, Islam spread all over Bengal. Saints and Sufis of Middle East, especially from Iraq, Iran, Turkistan and Samarqand spread Islam in this region. In addition, from thirteenth century onwards, the rulers of Bengal were Muslims. This mosque was built during that period. This mosque has many great features that show the ingenuity of the contemporary craftsmen.
- Ahsan Manjil: This spectacular building, once the dwelling place of the famous Nawab family of Dhaka, is now turned into a museum. The building was named after Khaza Ahsanullah. The building contains thirty one rooms that are now turned into galleries. Situated on the bank of Buriganga, there is a dome on the top of the building which can be seen from a long distance. This building was actually built during the reign of the Mughals and was bought and sold to different person. Each of them reconstructed the building according to their own necessity. Hence, it lost many of its original features.
- Tourist attractions of Old Dhaka city: Dhaka is the capital of Bangladesh and one of the rapidly growing cities of the world. Its population is more than twelve million (12,479,000). The historical background of this city can be traced back to 7th century A.D. During the reign of the Mughals, it became an important administrative and economic center. After the Liberation war of 1971, the modernization of this city started. Now the city is divided into two parts: Old Dhaka and New Dhaka. Old Dhaka is the place where most of the historical sites are to be found: the Lalbagh fort, Choto katra & Borokatra, Hoseni Dalan, Dhakeshwari Mandir etc. If you are looking for excitement and fun then I would suggest you to visit Old Dhaka. The whole area is very congested, the streets are very narrow. The shops on the both sides of the streets are small. However there are many shops that are more than hundred years old. Another great attraction is the foods of old Dhaka.
- Tourist attractions of New Dhaka city: The New Dhaka city started to grow after independence of Bangladesh. Some major features of the new Dhaka city are: comparatively wide roads, high rise buildings and shopping malls, various important administrative offices. The Parliament Building of Bangladesh, designed by famous American architecture Louis I. Kahn, in the 60’s, is a major landmark in the field of Bangladeshi architecture. Among other major tourist attractions there are: the National museum, the Science museum, the Liberation war Museum (Mukti Juddha Jadughar) and many more. You can get detail information about these places in Dhakacalling.com.
So far, I have talked about various important historical sites. Now, I am going to talk about various natural sites. If you like Eco-tourism then Bangladesh is a good choice. Bangladesh has a tropical climate. On the south, lies the Bay of Bengal. Due to the Himalayan range on the south, the cold wind of Central Asia does not reach Bangladesh. On the other hand, the monsoon wind from Indian Ocean causes plenty of rainfalls. In addition, the alluvial soil of deltaic plain has made it very suitable for growing a wide range of crops all through the year. Not only crops but numerous trees and plants grow in Bangladesh.
- Forests: Due to agriculture, fuel wood and other reasons the forest area of Bangladesh has decreased significantly. At present, the total forest covered area is only 0.27 million hectors. However, this small cover is very significant. There are mainly five types of forests in Bangladesh. They are: Tropical wet evergreen forest,Tropical semi-evergreen forest,Tropical moist deciduous forest,Tidal forest, and Plantation forest. Each of these forests has their own unique attractions in terms of flora and fauna.
- Sundarbans (Tidal forest): The word “Sundarban” means “Beautiful forest.” It is the largest natural mangrove forest in the world. It was declared as a wildlife sanctuary in 1966. UNESCO has declared it a ‘World Heritage Site’ in 1997. It is the largest tiger reserve of the world. Royal Bengal Tiger (Panthera Tigris Tigris), Pallas Fishing Eagle, Masked Finfoot and many other animals are found in this forest. Among tree species Sundri (Heritiera fomes), Gewa (Excoecaria agallocha), Passur (Xylocarpus mekongensis) deserves mention. In 2001, Shell Oil Company planned to drill for oil in Sundarban but due to extreme pressure from different environmental groups, it decided not to proceed further. For detail information about tours in Sundarban visit Disovery Bangladesh.
- Beach: Another great attraction for tourists. The Cox’s Bazaar has the longest sea beach of the world (120 kilometers). Situated 152 kilometers south of Chittagong, this place has great natural landscapes and beautiful sea beaches. There are several Buddhist pagodas. The major tourist attractions of Cox’s Bazaar are: Himchari, Inani, Tekhnaf, Moheshkhali, Sonadia Island, St. Martins Island and many more. You can get detail information about these places from this link.
- Another major attraction for travelers is Bangladeshi foods. The main feature of Bangladeshi food is that various kinds of spices are used in their preparation. Bangladesh foods are very popular in many European countries. In U.K, there are ten thousand Bangladeshi restaurants. Bangladeshi sweet is also very famous for its test. Sweets are eaten in many occasions in Bangladesh. Various kinds of sweets and sweet dishes are prepared during religious festivals. In marriage ceremonies sweets are a very important element. If you go to some one’s house for the first time in Bangladesh, you should bring some sweets for your host.
Bangladesh is a great place to be. I am sure you will enjoy your experience here.