Dhaka, predominantly was a city of the Mughals. In the years of their vigorous rule the successive Governors and princely Viceroys who ruled the province, adorned it with many noble monuments, mosques, tombs, fortifications and 'Katras' often surrounded with beautifully laid out gardens and pavilions. The Parliament building designed by, Louis Kahn, is definitely something to see along with numerous memorials, parks and mosques. Places worth visiting include: Ramna Park, Lal Bagh Fort and museum, Old Dhaka, the Shahid Minar memorial, the Shadarghat port, Ahsan Manjil, Bangabandhu Memorial, National Poet's Graveyard, Suhrawardy Uddyaan, National Leader Mausoleum, Banga-Bhaban, Shadhinota Stambha, Curzon Hall, Old High Court and 1857 Memorial, the Botanical Gardens, Baldha Garden, Sitara Mosque, Baitul Mukarram Mosque as well as Hindu, Buddhist and Christian churches and temples.
Ahsan Manjilthe pink palace, has a Tk 2 entrance fee and a small exhibition about the history of the palace and a garden.
Mosques around DhakaDhaka has several hundred mosques. Prominent are Baitul Mukarram-National Mosque, the Seven Domed Mosque 17th century, Star Mosque 18th century inlaid with mosaic and tiles , Chawkbazar Mosque and Huseni Dalan Mosque.
Hindu TemplesDhakeshwari Temple 11th Century, Ramkrishna Mission.
ChurchesArmenian Church 1781 A.D. St. Mary's Cathedral at Ramna, Church of Bangladesh or former Holy Rosary Church 1677A.D. at Tejgaon.
Buddhist TemplesDhammarajika Bouddha Maha Vihar (http://Dhammarajika.com), Atisha Dipankar Sarak, Kamalapur. Tel:+88 2 841-162. email: [email protected] International Buddhist Monastery, Merul Badda, Gulshan. Tel:+88 2 881-2288. email: [email protected]
The National Memoriallocated 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 FortIt 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. Monuments of the Lalbagh which are outstanding include the, tomb of Pari Bibi , Lalbagh Mosque, Audience Hall and Hammam of Nawab Shaista Khan now housing a museum. The fort is closed on Saturday but open until 5pm every other day.
1857 MemorialBahadur 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.
Curzon HallBeautiful architectural building named after Lord Curzon. It now houses the Science Faculty of Dhaka University.
Old High Court BuildingOriginally built as the residence of the British Governor, it illustrates a happy blend of European and Mughal architecture.
National ParkSituated at Rejendrapur, 40 km. north of Dhaka city , this is a vast 1,600 acres national recreational forest with facilities for picnics and rowing etc.
Central Shahid MinarSymbol 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 bouquets gather most march barefoot on 21 February every year designated by the UN as International Mother Language Day to pay respect to the departed in a solemn atmosphere. Celebrations begin at midnight.
National Poet's GraveyardRevolutionary 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 the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheik Mujibur Rahman gave the clarion call for independence on the 7th March 1971. The place is famous for its lush greenery and gentle breezes. An eternal flame in remembrance of the martyrs of the war of Liberation burns here.
Mausoleum of National LeadersLocated 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 BhabanThe official residence of the President, located in the city. One can have an outside view of this grand palace.
Baldha GardenUnique 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 botanists, naturalists and tourists.
Ramna GreenA vast stretch of green garden surrounded by a serpentine lake near the Sheraton Hotel.
Parliament HouseJatiya 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.
If you feel the need to escape and take a break from the chaos of Dhaka, Songargon, about 29 km. from Dhaka offers you the chance to do just that. The town has a few worthwhile sights that are separated from one another and whilst going from sight to sight, you have the opportunity experience rural life and take in the less chaotic surroundings.
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 a subsidiary capital of the Sultanate of Bengal. The main places of interest in Sonargaon are the ruins of Panam Nagar, the local crafts museum or the Lok Shilpa Jadughar charges an entrance fee, the tomb of Sultan Ghiyasuddin, the Goaldi Mosque, and the shrines of Panjpir and Shah Abdul Alia. The first two lie on one side of the Dhaka-Chittgong Highway and the rest lie on the other side. Once at Mograpara, a rickshaw may be hired for sightseeing. It is best to hire the same rickshaw for a fixed amount BDT 200-250 to visit all the places in Sonargaon. Most rickshaw pullers know the more popular destinations like Panam Nagar, the Lok Shilpa Jadughar, etc. Some may not know of the tomb of Sultan Ghiyasuddin or the Goaldi Mosque and the shrines. Usually rickshaw drivers who are locals from the village know all of these places.
Frequent bus services to Sonargaon operate from Gulistan, Saidabad and other bus stands in Dhaka. Tickets may be bought on roadside counters. Mention your destination as Mograpara as you might end up at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel instead. The price of the ticket from Gulistan bus stand is Tk 35.
Hajiganj is another place of historical interest, situated about 10 kms from Mograpara bus stand. However, the above mentioned places usually take up most of the day and it is best to return to Dhaka before evening. Sonargaon and Hajiganj may be combined into a single day if one sets off very early from Dhaka.