Dhaka : Capital of Bangladesh
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DHAKA

Dhaka is the capital and largest city of Bangladesh. With its colourful history and rich cultural traditions, Dhaka is known the world over as the city of mosques and muslin. Its fame attracted travelers from far and near throughout the ages. Today it has grown into a megacity of about 8.5 million people, with an area of about 1353 sq. km. becoming the hub of the nation's industrial, commercial, cultural, educational and political activities.

Dhaka sits on the north bank of the bustling Buriganga River, roughly in the centre of the country. If you've arrived in Dhaka from South-East Asia, you'll probably be struck by the lack of hype and commercial activity. If you arrive from Delhi or Kathmandu, you're sure to notice the relatively clean air. If you've flown from Calcutta you might find it clean and orderly and if you've come overland through rural Bangladesh, it will seem like Babylon. Here the lights are as bright as they get in Bangladesh, and there's a range of goods and services lacking elsewhere in the country.

The oldest section of the city runs along the north bank of the waterfront and was developed when Dhaka was a significant Moghul trading centre. A must-see in the Old City is the area between the two main water transport terminals, Sadarghat and Badam Tole where the panorama of river life on the Buriganga is particularly fascinating. This area is always crowded with people and watercraft of every type. Along the waterfront is the old baroque-style palace, Ahsan Manzil which has been painted bright pink.

Dhaka is located in the geographic center of the country. It is in the great deltaic region of the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers. The city is within the monsoon climate zone, with an annual average temperature of 25 deg C (77 deg F) and monthly means varying between 18 deg C (64 deg F) in January and 29 deg C (84 deg F) in August. Nearly 80% of the annual average rainfall of 1,854 mm (73 in) occurs between May and September.

Dhaka is in one of the world's leading rice- and jute-growing regions. Its industries include textiles (jute, muslin, cotton) and food processing, especially rice milling. A variety of other consumer goods are also manufactured here. The Muslim influence is reflected in the more than 700 mosques and historic buildings found throughout the city. The University of Dhaka (1921) and several technical schools and museums are located here. 

GENERAL INFORMATION

Area : 815.85 Sq. kilometres (approx.)
Population : Seven million (approx.)
Climate : Tropical, with heavy rainfall and bright sunshine in the monsoon and warm for the greater part of the year. The winter months, from November to March, are however, most likeable, cool and pleasant.

Temperature: Max. Min.
Summer :  36.7°C 21.1°c
Winter :  31.7°C 10.5°c

Rainfall : 2540 mm annually.
Humidity : 80 percent (approx.)

ATTRACTION OF DHAKA 

Mosques : Dhaka has several hundred mosques. Prominent are Baitull Mukarram-National Mosque, the seven Domed Mosque (17th century), Star Mosque (18th century) , Chawkbazar Mosque and Huseni Dalan Mosque. 

Hindu Temples : Dhakeshwari Temple (11th Century), Ramkrishna Mission. 

Churches : Armenian Church (1781 A.D.) St. Mary's Cathedral at Ramna, Church of Bangladesh or former Holy Rosary Church (1677A.D.) at Tejgaon. 

National Memorial : It locates at Savar, 35, km. from Dhaka city. The memorial designed by architect Moinul Hossain is dedicated to the sacred memory of the millions of unknown martyrs of the war of liberation. 

Lalbagh Fort : It was built in 1678 A.D. by Prince Mohammad Azam, son of Mughal emperor Aurangazeb. The fort was the scene of bloody battle during the first war of independence (1857) when 260 sepoys stationed here backed by the people revolted against British forces. Outstanding among the monuments of the Lalbagh are the tomb of Pari Bibi , Lalbagh Mosque, Audience Hall and Hammam of Nawab Shaista Khan now housing a museum. 

The capital city Dhaka predominantly was a city of the Mughals. In hundred years of their vigorous rule successive Governors and princely Viceroys who ruled the province, adorned it with many noble monuments in the shape of magnificent places, mosques, tombs, fortifications and 'Katras' often surrounded with beautifully laid out gardens and pavilions. Among these, few have survived the ravages of time, aggressive tropical climate of the land and vandal hands of man.

But the finest specimen of this period is the Aurangabad Fort, commonly known as Lalbagh Fort, which, indeed represents the unfulfilled dream of a Mughal Prince. It occupies the south western part of the old city, overlooking the Buriganga on whose northern bank it stands as a silent sentinel of the old city. Rectangular in plan, it encloses an area of 1082' by 800' and in addition to its graceful lofty gateways on south-east and north-east corners and a subsidiary small unpretentious gateway on north, it also contians within its fortified perimeter a number of splendid monuments, surrounded by attractive garden. These are, a small 3-domed mosque, the mausoleum of Bibi Pari the reputed daughter of Nawab Shaista Khan and the Hammam and Audience Hall of the Governor. The main purpose of this fort, was to provide a defensive enclosure of the palacial edifices of the interior and as such was a type of palace-fortress rather than a seige fort.


1857 Memorial : ( Bahadur Shah Park) Built to commemorate the martyrs of the first liberation war (1857-59) against British rule. It was here that the revolting sepoys and their civil compatriots were publicly hanged. 

Bangabandhu Memorial Museum : The residence of the father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at Dhanmondi has been turned into a musuam. It contains rare collection of personal effects and photographs of his lifetime.

Mukti Juddha Museum : Situated at Segun Bagicha area of the city the museum contains rare photographs of Liberation war and items used by the freedom fighters during the period. 

Ahsan Manzil Museum : On the bank of the river Buriganga in Dhaka the pink majestic Ahsan Manzil has been renovated and turned into a museum recently. It is an example of the nations rich cultural heritage. It was the home of the Nawab of Dhaka and a silent spectator to many events. The renovated Ahsan Manzil is a monument of immense historical beauty. It has 31 rooms with a huge dome atop which can be seen from miles around. It now has 23 galleries displaying portraits, furniture and household articles and utensils used by the Nawab. 

Curzon Hall : Beautiful architectural building named after Lord Curzon. It now houses the Science Faculty of Dhaka University. 

Old High Court Building : Originally built as the residence of the British Governor, it illustrates a happy blend of European and Mughal architecture. 

Dhaka Zoo : Popularly known as Mirpur Zoo. Colorful and attractive collections of different local and foreign species of animals and birds including the majestic Royal Bengal Tiger are available here. 

National Museum : Located at the central point of the city, the museum contains a large number of interesting collections including sculptures and paintings of the Hindu, Buddhist and Muslim periods. 

Botanical Garden : Built on an area of 205 acres of land at Mirpur and adjacent to Dhaka Zoo. One can have a look at the zoo and the botanical garden in one trip. 

National Park : Situated at Rejendrapur, 40 km. north of Dhaka city , this is a vast (1,600 acres) national recreational forest with facilities for picnic and rowing etc. 

Central Shahid Minar : Symbol of Bengali nationalism. This monument was built to commemorate the martyrs of the historic Language movement of 1952. Hundreds and thousands of people with floral wreaths and bouquet gather on 21 February every year to pay respect in a solemn atmosphere. Celebrations begin at zero hour of midnight. 

National Poet's Graveyard : Revolutionary poet Kazi Nazrul Islam died on the 29 August 1976 and was buried here. The graveyard is adjacent to the Dhaka University Mosque. 

Suhrawardy Uddyan (Garden) : A Popular Park. The oath of independence of Bangladesh was taken here and Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheik Mujibur Rahman gave clarion call for independence on this occasion on the 7th March 1971. The place is famous for its lush verdure and gentle breezes. Eternal Flame to enliven the memory of the martyrs of our Liberation war has been blown here recently.

Mausoleum of National Leaders : Located at the southwestern corner of Suhrawardy Uddyan, it is the eternal resting place of great national leaders, Sher-e-Bangla A.K. Fazlul Haque, Hossain Shahid Suhrawardy and Khaja Nazimuddin. 

Banga Bhaban : The official residence of the President, located in the city . One can have an outside view of this grand palace. 

Baldha Garden : Unique creation of the late Narendra Narayan Roy, the landlord of Baldha. Year of establishment was 1904. Located in Wari area of Dhaka city, the garden with its rich collection of indigenous and exotic plants is one of the most exciting attraction for naturalists and tourists. 

Ramna Green : A vast stretch of green garden surrounded by a serpentine lake near the Sheraton Hotel. 

Parliament House : Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban (Parliament House) located at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar has distinctive architectural features. Designed by the famous architect Louis I. Kahn, it may be called an architectural wonder of this region. 

Science Museum : The museum is a modern learning center related to the latest scientific discoveries. It is situated at Agargaon. 

Institute of Arts and Crafts : Situated in the picturesque surroundings of Shahbagh the Institute of Arts and Crafts has a representative collection of folk-art and paintings by artists of Bangladesh. 

Sonargaon : About 29 km. from Dhaka. Sonargaon is one of the oldest capitals of Bangal. A Folk Arts and Crafts Museum has been established here.

Other attractions in and around Dhaka include the Institute of Arts and Crafts with its representative collection of folk art and paintings, handicraft shops. Aparajeya Bangla monument, picnic spots at Chandra and Salna, industrial estates of Tongi, Narayanganj, Demara, Tejgaon, cruising by country boat in the nearby river or a visit to a village to see jute cultivation, weaving and pottery making. Last but not the least travel by a horse driven cart or rickshaw along busy Dhaka streets is a rewarding experience.


About 27 km. from Dhaka, Sonargaon is one of the oldest capitals of Bengal. It was the seat of Deva Dynasty until the 13th century. From then onward till the advent of the Mughals, Sonargaon was subsidiary capital of the Sultanate of Bengal. Among the ancient monuments still intact are the Tomb of Sultan Ghiasuddin (1399-1409 A. D), the shrines of Panjpirs and Shah Abdul Alia and a beautiful mosque in Goaldi villaae.

Picnic Spots : There are good picnic spots in the area around Savar and Mirzapur. Other beauty spots connected by road with Dhaka include Joydevpur, Sripur, Madhupur, Rajendrapur National Park, Chandra and Salna, all of which have rest-houses that can be used by tourists on request to the Forest Department. 
Bangaldesh Parjatan Corporation owns two picnic spots with Bunglows at Chandra and Salna which can also be hired by tourists.

Mosque of Baba Adam : Of a slightly later date the elegant 6-domed mosque (43'x36') of Baba Adam in Rampal near Dhaka was erected by one Malik Kafur during the reign of the last llyas Shahi Sultan, Jalauddin Fateh Shah in 1483 A.D. It displays the same characterstic features of the period such as the faceted octagonal turrets at 4 corners, the curved cornice, the facade and 3 mihrabs relieved richly with beautiful terracotta floral and hanging patterns.

Star Mosque : A very beautiful mosque of the city is situated at Mahuttuly on Abul Khairat Rd; just west of Armanitola Govt. High School. Architecturally faultless (Mughal style) is a five-dome mosque with hundreds of big and small twinkling stars as surface decorations. The stars have been created by setting pieces of chinaware on white cement. Seen from the front and from far it looks as if shining above the surface of the earth. The inside of it is even more beautiful that the outside, lovely mosaic floor and excellent tiles with many floral patterns set on the walls, are all in complete harmony. The sitara Masjid was built originally with three domes in early 18th century by Mirza Ghulam Pir, a highly respectable Zamindar of Dhaka. Frequently used in calendars. Entrance: through a lane named after the mosque.

Baitul Mukarram Mosque : Baitul Mukarram Mosque is situated at Purana Paltan east of Bangladesh Secretariat and north of Dhaka Stadium. Largest Mosque in the city, three storied and built after the pattern of the Kaba Sharif. Very beautiful and costly decorations in the interior. Long lawn, garden and rows of fountains to the south and east. The mosque is on a very high platform. Lovely flight of stairs lead to it; from the south, east and north. On the east is a vast varanda which is also used for prayer and Eid congregation. Below in the ground floor is a shopping centre.

Ahsan Manzil Museum : On the bank of river Buriganga in Dhaka the Pink majestic Ahsan Manzil has been renovated and turned into a museum recently. It is an epitome of the nation's rich cultural heritage. It is the home of Nawab of Dhaka and a silent spectator to many events.

Today's renovated Ahsan Manzil a monument of immense historical beauty. It has 31 rooms with a huge dome atop which can be seen from miles around. It now has 23 galleries in 31 rooms displaying of traits, furniture and household articles and utensils used by the Nawab.

Sightseeing Tours : Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation runs conducted sightseeing tours from its Tourist Information Centre at Dhaka Sheraton Hotel. The duration of the Dhaka City sightseeing tours is three hours approximately. Other tour operators…….. 

CLUBS : 

Dhaka Club, Dhaka: formed in 1851 in the name of Ramna Dhaka Club. Accom, Rest. & Bar, Swimming Pool, Indoor Games, Tennis, Squash Ph: 880-2- 8619180-4, 505800-4 

Golf Club, Kurmitola : Temporary Membership for tourists available, Golf, Rest. & Bar. Ph: 880-2-605301 

Australian Club : Rd. 83, Gulshan, Membership to all Australians and New Zeaianders, Swimming, Tennis, Squash, Volleybal, 
Ph:880-2- 603775

American Club : Gulshan, Membership open to all Americans and their families, Swimming, Tennis, Squash, Volleyball, Basketball, Rest,
Ph: 880-2-8821025-27 

Swedish Club : Rd. 47, Gulshan, open to all Swedesh and their guests, Swimming, Squash, Tennis, Ph: 880-2-601043. 

Netherlands, Recreation Cantre : Road 74, house 33, Gulshan 2, members must be Dutch, Swimming Tennis, Rest, Ph: 880-2-602039


 
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