Things to see in Dhaka
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 palaces, mosques, tombs, fortifications and Katras often surrounded with beautifully laid out gardens and pavilions. Among these, a 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 corners and a subsidiary small unpretentious gateway on north, it also contains 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 palatial edifices of the interior and as such was a type of palace-fortress rather than a seize-fort.
How to Go :
You can visit lalbagh fort very easily through rickshaw or public bus transport with minimum cost of 10-50 BDT from Gulistan Golap Shah Mazar in Dhaka.
Ahsan Manzil is one of the most significant architectural monuments of Bangladesh. The building structure was established on a raised platform of 1 meter, the two-storied palace measures 125.4m by 28.75m. The height of the ground floor is 5 meters and the height of the first floor is 5.8 meters. The thickness of the walls of the palace is about 0.78 meters. There are porticos of 5 meters height on the northern and southern sides of the palace. The building has a broad front-facing the Buriganga River. On the river side, an open spacious stairway leads right up to the second portal and on their stands the grand triple- arched portals. There was once a fountain in the garden in front of the stairs which does not exist today. All along the north and the south side of the building run spacious verandahs with an open terrace projected in the middle.
The palace Ahsan Manzil is divided into two parts: the eastern side and the western side. The eastern building with the dome is called the Rangmahal and the western side with the living rooms is called Andarmahal. The high octagonal dome is placed on the central round room. There is a large drawing room, card room, library, state room and two other guest rooms are located on the east side of the palace. The ballroom, the Hindustani room and few residential rooms are situated on the western side. A beautiful vaulted artificial ceiling, made of wood, decorates the drawing room and the Jalsaghar. A splendid dining hall and few smaller rooms are placed on the west part. The floors of the dining and Darbar Halls are decorated with white, green and yellow colored ceramic tiles. The famous store room, where the valuables of the Nawabs used to be stored, was in the middle of the five rooms located in the western half of the ground floor. Along with those rooms a Darbar Hall or assembly hall and a chest room is also place there.
Sonargaon Panam City
Sonargaon (meaning Village of Gold) was a historic administrative, commercial and maritime center in Bengal. Situated in the center of the Ganges delta, it was the seat of the medieval Muslim rulers and governors of eastern Bengal. Sonargaon was described by numerous historic travelers, including Ibn Battuta, Ma Huan, Niccolò de' Conti and Ralph Fitch as a thriving centre of trade and commerce. It was an administrative centre of Fakhruddin Mubarak Shah's sultanate, the Bengal Sultanate and the Kingdom of Bhati. The area is located near the modern industrial river port of Narayanganj in Bangladesh. Today, the name Sonargaon survives as the Sonargaon Upazila (Sonargaon Subregion) in the region.
Panam City was established in the late 19th century in the vicinity of Sonargaon as a trading centre of cotton fabrics during British rule. Hindu cloth merchants built their residential houses following colonial style with inspiration derived from European sources. Today this area is protected under the Department of Archaeology of Bangladesh. The city was linked with the main city area by three brick bridges – Panam Bridge, Dalalpur Bridge and Panam Nagar Bridge – during the Mughal period. The bridges are still in use. Sonakanda Fort is a Mughal river-fort located on the bank of the Shitalakshya River at Bandar.
Shilpa Jadughar Bangladesh Folk Arts and Crafts Foundation of Sonargaon was established by Bangladeshi painter Joynul Abedin on 12 March 1975. The house, originally called Bara Sardar Bari, was built in 1901. On 15 February 1984, Narayanganj subdivision was upgraded to a district by the Government of Bangladesh. Hence Sonargaon became a subdistrict of Narayanganj District of Dhaka division. Due to the many threats to preservation (including flooding and vandalism), Sonargaon was placed in 2008 Watch List of the 100 Most Endangered Sites by the World Monuments Fund.
Liberation War Museum
The Liberation War Museum is a museum in Sher-e-Bangla Nagar, Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, which commemorates the Bangladesh Liberation War that led to the independence of Bangladesh from Pakistan.
The galleries on the ground floor begin with covering the early history of Bangladesh and the Indian independence movement against British Raj in Bengal. A major section records the events of the Language Movement for the recognition of the Bengali language in Pakistan, which is regarded as the beginning of the movement for Bangladesh's independence. Several galleries highlight the building sectional conflict between West Pakistan and Bangladesh (then East Pakistan), the rise of Bengali nationalist leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the events of 1971, when the postponement by Pakistan's military ruler Gen. Yahya Khan of the convening of the National Assembly of Pakistan, in which Sheikh Mujib's Awami League had won a majority, led to the call for the independence of Bangladesh.
The coverage of the liberation war includes the training and operations of the Mukti Bahini, the guerrilla army built by the Awami League to resist Pakistani forces. Several galleries focus on the genocide carried out by the Pakistani army against the Bengali population, with Operation Searchlight targeting Bengali intellectuals, students, Hindus and Awami League leaders, and the humanitarian crisis created with the pouring of an estimated ten million refugees into neighbouring India.
The galleries display the weapons used by the Mukti Bahini, personal effects of many Mukti Bahini fighters and civilian victims of the atrocities committed by Pakistani forces, many donated by their families after the conflict. Also displayed are remains of human skulls and bones retrieved from mass graves of civilians killed by Pakistani forces.
Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban or National Parliament House, is the house of the Parliament of Bangladesh, located at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka. Designed by architect Louis Kahn, the complex is the largest legislative complexes in the world, comprising 200 acres (800,000 m²).
The building was featured prominently in the 2003 film "My Architect", detailing the career and familial legacy of its architect, Louis Kahn. Robert McCarter, author of Louis I. Kahn, described the National Parliament of Bangladesh as one of the twentieth century's most significant buildings.
Construction was started in 1961 when Bangladesh was East Pakistan, led by Ayub Khan from the West Pakistan capital of Islamabad. As part of his efforts to decrease the disparity and secessionist tendencies of East Pakistan, Khan aimed to make Dhaka a second capital, with appropriate facilities for an assembly.
Construction was halted during the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War and was completed on 28 January 1982. Kahn died when the project was approximately three-quarters completed and it continued under David Wisdom, who worked for Kahn.
Louis Kahn designed the entire Jatiya Sangsad complex, which includes lawns, lake and residences for the Members of the Parliament (MPs). The architect’s key design philosophy was to represent Bangladeshi culture and heritage, while at the same time optimizing the use of space. The exterior of the building is striking in its simplicity, with huge walls deeply recessed by porticoes and large openings of regular geometric shapes. The main building, which is at the center of the complex, is divided into three parts – the Main Plaza, South Plaza and Presidential Plaza. An artificial lake surrounds three sides of the main building of Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban, extending to the Members of Parliament hostel complex. This skillful use of water to portray the riverine beauty of Bangladesh adds to the aesthetic value of the site.
National Martyrs’ Memorial
National Martyrs’ Memorial is the national monument of Bangladesh, set up in the memory of those who died in the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971, which brought independence and separated Bangladesh from Pakistan. The monument is located in Savar, about 35 km north-west of the capital, Dhaka. It was designed by Syed Mainul Hossain.
Plans for the monument were initiated in 1976. Following the site selection, road and land development, a nationwide design competition was held in June,1978. Following evaluation of the 57 submissions, Syed Mainul Hossain's design was chosen. The main structure and the artificial lake and other facilities were completed in 1982. It was Inaugurated at 16 December 1982.
The architecture is composed of seven pairs of triangular-shaped walls or prisms; the outermost pair being the shortest in height but widest in span, the inner pairs gradually change their aspect ratio and the innermost pair thus forms the peak point of the architecture. Each of these seven pairs of walls represents a significant chapter in the history of Bangladesh, namely the Language Movement in 1952, the Election of United Front in 1954, the Constitution Movement in 1956, the Education Movement in 1962, 6-point Movement in 1966, the Mass Uprising in 1969, and finally the climatic event of Liberation War in 1971, through which Bangladesh was liberated.