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Visit Bangladesh
Visit Bangladesh

Visit Bangladesh: The Darling Child of Nature

Located in the South-East Asia, Bangladesh is known for its natural beauty. The picturesque scenery and the greenery of the nation make it stand out from the rest of the world. The land is known to be laden with waterways, and so you can often spot numerous water bodies during your visit to Bangladesh. The elements of nature play joyfully in the land to add to the dramatic beauty of Bangladesh. The never-ending fields of green vegetation are sure to soothe your heart, body, mind, and soul. The sky is often clear blue or is gloomy with gray clouds floating around. Rich in flora and fauna, this nation is on the bucket list of every nature lover. If you are planning a trip to this beautiful nation, make sure to get some proper research done. With the varied range of birds, reptiles, animals, and fish, the beauty of Bangladesh is sure to mesmerize you. Bangladesh has a rich cultural history also. There are many archaeological sites in Bangladesh which are yet to be exploited. Sundarbans, the world’s largest tidal block mangrove forest and the playground of the Royal Bengal Tiger, is also situated here. You should not also miss visiting Cox’s Bazar, the world’s longest natural Sea beach.

Visit Bangladesh
Visit Bangladesh

To make your planning part a bit easier, we have chalked out a list of places along with their respective descriptions which are must visit in Bangladesh. You might not manage to visit all the places but that will not make your visit to Bangladesh any less exciting.

Let us now take a look at the best places to visit in Bangladesh

Mahasthangarh

Mahasthangarh is believed to be the most ancient urban settlement of Bangladesh and among the oldest civilizations of the world.  The ancient name of Mahastangar is Pundranagara. The findings of excavations and other historical data show that the civilization belongs to 3rd-4th century BC, as old as the Mohenjodaro and Harappa Civilization.  It is located in the district of Bogra, about 200 km northwest of Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. If you visit Mahasthangarh, you will find the ruined structure of a Citadel; believed to be the fortified center of the city and some Buddhist structures.

Ramparts of Mahsthangarh
Ramparts of Mahsthangarh (Credit: By P.K.Niyogi, via www.wikipedia.org, Public Domain)

Inside the citadel, the site has a number of bhitas known by the names of Bairagir Bhita, Khodarpathar Bhita, Parasuramer Bhita, Mankalir Dhap and Bangla Franco joint venture. The Bairagir Bhita has been excavated to reveal ruins which resemble various kinds of temples. Two pillars made up of sand stones have also been excavated from this site. The Khodarpathar Bhita is carved with images of Buddha and his disciples kneeling. All the other archaeological structures located inside the terracotta exhibit artistic marvels on terracotta and even bronze in a case of Mankalir Dhap. The Bangla Franco Joint venture has revealed archeological layers belonging to different centuries.

There is some unique architecture outside the citadel as well. The architectural structures located outside the citadel are Govinda Bhita, Totaram Panditer Dhap, Narapatir Dhap, Gokul Medh, Skandher Dhap, Khulnar Dhap, Bhimer Jangal, Jogir Bhaban, Arora, Teghar, Rojakpur, and Mathura. The structures outside the citadel are scattered but nearby each other. Each one of them is sure to leave the beholders awestruck.

Get ready to take a tour back in time when the world was much different. The dates and the chronological order of the structures have been deciphered from the lines written in Brahmi script on a limestone slab.

Paharpur Buddhist Bihar

Not far from Mahasthangarh, lies the world’s largest and ancient Buddhist Monastery, Paharpur Buddhist Bihar. It is also known as the Somapura Mahavihara. It is one of the most important sites of archaeological marvel in the nation of Bangladesh. This popular tourist destination of Bangladesh is located in the district of Naogaon under Badalgachhi Upazila. It is easy for you to reach this destination because it is reasonably close to the railway station of Jamalganj which is the district town of Naogaon. The whole of Paharpur is known to be a monastery city because of the ruins which are considered to be one of the world’s heritage sites of UNESCO.

Paharpur Buddhist Bihar
Paharpur Buddhist Bihar

The artistic brilliance exhibited in ruins mesmerizes tourists from around the world. It is one of the most precise examples of Buddhist architecture and the ruins have influenced the Buddhist architecture in faraway places like Cambodia. It is one of the most prominent monuments built during the pre-Islamic era of Bangladesh.

The beauty is further enhanced by the environment of the surrounding setting. The ornate beauty of terracotta and the central shrine is sure to leave tourists awestruck. However, the natural element, as well as the growing pollution, is greatly degrading the beauty of the ruins. The symmetrical layout of the monastery city and the colossal single body located within the ruins greatly qualify for an artistic masterpiece. The ornate decorations on the stone will take you back in time when the religion of Buddhism saw its rise in the nation of Bangladesh.

To sum up, if you are planning a trip to Bangladesh, visiting Paharpur is a must because who wants to miss indulging in archaeological wonders of the world with historical significance!

The Sundarbans

This happens to be one of the most favorite tourist destinations in the nation. Sundarbans is marked by dense and vast forest located along the coastal region along the Bay of Bengal. This is known to be one of the natural wonders of the world. Bangladesh as you already know is known for greenery and this place symbolizes just that. Parts of the forest extend to the state of West Bengal in India. In Bangladesh, this natural wonder spans across the districts of Khulna,   Bagerhat, and Satkhira. You can be absolutely ready to see the wonders and beauty of nature at its very best in the Sundarbans.

Royal Bengal Tiger
Royal Bengal Tiger in the Sundarbans

It is known to be the world’s biggest forested forest. The mangrove forest of Sundarbans is the largest to exist in the coastal environment which has helped it to gain the previously mentioned title. Out of the ten thousand square kilometers’ area of Sundarbans, six thousand square kilometers of it is in Bangladesh and the rest is in India. UNESCO has recognized Sundarbans to be UNESCO World Heritage Site.

This land of greenery is located in the delta region which is formed by the river basins of three rivers, namely the Brahmaputra, Meghan, and the Padma. Archipelagos in small scales, mud shores, mangrove forests and marine streams are common sights you will get to enjoy once you are here. Needless to say, it also houses a number of species of birds and animals. May you be informed that you might even get to see the majestic Royal Bengal Tiger in here, well you should decide for yourself if that would be a lucky event or not! There are several other animals that you might not find in other forests or national parks, but common over here, like Crocodile, Chital Deer and many different varieties of snakes.

With about 1874 square kilometers of the total land consisting of the riverbed, water, bill, and inlet, this is a destination you just cannot miss once you are in Bangladesh!

Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban

Back to Dhaka, the Capital of Bangladesh, you will find the immortal creation of famous architect Louis i Kahn, the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban. The building complex is a legislative complex which is one of the largest of its kind in the whole world, covering an area of about two hundred acres!  It is situated in Sher-e-Bangla Nagar and is surrounded by four main streets. Besides the primary structure, are lawns, lakes, and residence buildings for Parliament Members. The Bhaban is constituted of individual blocks which are nine in number. There is a central octagonal block of the height of one hundred and fifty-five feet. The peripheral blocks which are eight in number have heights of one hundred and ten feet each.

Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban
Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban

 

However, the whole complex appears to be a single story when viewed externally. The crescent lake along with the Chandrima Uddan located towards the north of the complex is a major tourist attraction. These complexes are not only meant for the tourists but also for the fitness freaks like joggers as well as skaters belonging to Dhaka or anywhere else.

 Ahsan Manzil

Ahsan Manzil happens to be one of the most significant architectural wonders of the nation of Bangladesh. Situated on the banks of river Buriganga, this building is assigned the title of a national museum of the nation of Bangladesh. It is also known as Pink Palace. Inside the palace, there are 31 rooms and 23 galleries.  The building is situated over a structure which is raised to a height of about a meter. The palace is a two storied structure. The porticos which are present towards the northern, as well as the southern ends of the palace, are of five meters each.  The palace is divided mainly into two parts- eastern and western. Both the sides carry heritage and glory of the past days and the ornate decorations on the interiors of the palace which include the ballroom, the residential rooms, the Hindustani room, Darbar halls, dining halls and of course the famous store room, are sure to mesmerize you. If you visit Ahsan Manzil you can experience the life style of the Nawabs of Bangladesh.

Ahsan Manzil
Ahsan Manzil

Lalbagh Fort

This is one of the key tourist attractions in the capital city of Dhaka. This is a half-completed fort. The beautiful gardens of the fort provide enough reasons for travelers to escape the busy schedule of the crowded city of Dhaka. The construction of the fort began as early as in 1977 but was left incomplete after the death of the daughter of   Shaista Khan who was looking after the construction at that point of time because the sudden death was considered to be a bad omen. If you are fascinated by paranormal activities, definitely visit this place because numerous paranormal incidents are associated with the fort!

Lalbagh Fort
Lalbagh Fort

Sonargaon

Sonargaon means the city of gold. It used to be a maritime, administrative and commercial center of Bengal. The place has a very interesting location which always made it an attractive choice for trades. Located centrally in the delta of the great Ganges, it is a place you would love to spend an entire day at. Various famous historic explorers and travelers had visited the place and sung about its beauty and a potential center for the commencement of trade and commerce.

The area under discussion is located close to the modern river port of a high industrial value that is known by the name of Narayanganj. Sonargaon was known for being the seats of Muslim rulers of the medieval times as well as the governors of the eastern side of Bengal. The natural threats that the place has to face are many in number. Due to rampant flooding as well as vandalism that are common in the area, the place has been losing its charm over the years. In fact, in the year 2008, it was listed on the list known as ‘2008 watch list of the hundred most endangered sites’. The World Monuments Fund published this list.

Sonargaon Museum
Sonargaon Museum

The tourists mainly get attracted to Sonargaon because of the art and craft museum of the folks which goes by the name of ‘Lok Shilpa Jadughar’. This museum beautifully preserves the art and craft heritage designed by the folks. The place smells of history dating back to the time when during the pre-Muslim era, the Buddhist rulers ruled the place. This was followed by the Muslim period which was further followed by the British period. What you can see today is something that has managed to survive over all the years. Visiting Sonargaon when you are planning a trip to Bangladesh is something you will never ever regret!

Mainamati

Mainamati is a range of hills that are low and isolated. It is a land of Buddhist settlement that can be dated to ancient centuries. The range of the low hills of Mainamati is filled with Buddhist settlements that can be dated to a time as far back as eighth and twelfth centuries. If you are done exploring the capital city, then visiting these isolated ranges of hills with a Buddhist touch is a must because these are located at a distance of about 114 kilometers only from Dhaka.

Buddha Sculpture Found in Moinamoti
Buddha Sculpture Found in Moinamoti

Home to one of the most prominent Buddhist sites, this archaeological marvel attracts tourists largely. Shalban Vihara located in Mainamati is known to be one of the best Buddhist Viharas located in the entire Indian Subcontinent. It is also one of the most attractive and important archaeological marvels of the nation. Many precious and antique archaeological elements that were found in Shalban Vihara are now kept in the museum of Mainamati.  The Maynamati War cemetery is a memorial located in Comilla. The place houses graves of soldiers during the time of Second World War from the neighboring areas. It was built in order to pay tribute to those brave hearts who had sacrificed their lives during the war.

It will take just one day to explore all the three mentioned places and the experience will definitely have a great reviving effect on your mind and soul.

Cox’s Bazar

If you are searching for a bit of Vitamin Sea in your vacation, Cox’s Bazar is just the right choice for you because it has that particular vitamin not just in bits but in very large quantity! Introducing you to Cox’s Bazar which is known to be the longest beach in the world. This has not yet hit the wish list of most Asians and thus the beach is clean and calm and not crowded. Yo can also make a trip to the St. Martin’s Island, the only coral island of Bangladesh. It will be a wise decision to visit this beach before it gets too crowded in the coming years! The Cox’s Bazar district is bounded on the North by the Chittagong District and Bandarban District towards its east. The Bay of Bengal lies towards its south and the west. With the Bakkhali River binding the city of Cox’s Bazar at the north and east, Jhilwanj union towards the south and Bay of Bengal on the west, this is a spot you just cannot afford to miss!

Beach of St. Martin's Island
Beach of St. Martin’s Island

The Chittagong Hill Tracts

The Chittagong Hill tracts are located towards the southern part of the nation of Bangladesh. Indulge in the greenery of nature like never before at these hill tracts. This is a home to various native tribes as well.

Breathe in some fresh air at the beautiful hill tracks!  The hill tracts are actually a combination of mainly three districts. These three hilly districts are known by the names of Bangladesh Rangamati, Bandarban and Khagrachori. The hill tracts cover approximately an area which is one tenth of the total area of the entire nation.

In the hill tracts of Chittagong, half the population is tribal (aborigines). About forty-eight percent of the population is Bengalis who are followers of Islam. The remaining population constitutes of people belonging to Animism, Hinduism, and Christianity. There are numerous local communities of tribes who live in the hill tracts. All the people are collectively called the    Jummas. There exists a communal unity among the tribal and the non-tribal population of the Chittagong hill tracts.

The main rivers which flow in the districts of Chittagong hill are Feni, Matamuhuri, Sangu, and Karnafuli. The hill tracts of Chittagong can be broadly divided into areas on the basis of geographical differences. The two divisions are hilly area and non-hilly area. The hill tracts of Chittagong are filled with forests, hills, natural waterfalls, lakes, creeper jungles and very tall trees. The greenery of the area makes the place a very attractive tourist spot.

Shuknachara Waterfall
Shuknachara Waterfall

The place is rich in flora and fauna. The hill tracts are home to numerous species of birds and animals. More than sixty different species of birds are found in the hill tracts. A great place to visit for bird watchers for sure! Among the animals that are found here, monkeys, fox, fishing cat, turtle, wild boar, python, king cobra, Fox and jungle cats are common. Many non-poisonous breeds of snakes, lizards, and frogs are also commonly found.

Sylhet

Sylhet happens to be one of the most loved tourist places in Bangladesh. The tea plantations provide extremely picturesque beauty to the place. Bangladesh is a very important producer of tea. Explore the tea gardens in Sylhet and spend some time amidst greenery at its best! Nestled amidst the Surma Valley, Sylhet is visited commonly by tourists. The lush green tropical forests of the area further add to the green beauty of the place. The land is monotonously flat. However, this monotony is broken by terraced tea gardens which add multitude to the area.

The countryside is rich in flora and fauna, making you experience nature’s beauty and creations at their best! The tropical forests of the region are extremely thick and they are home to numerous species of birds and animals. The forests are also homes to the Monipuri tribe whose maidens are famous for their dancing skills.

Tea Garden in Jaflong Sylhet
Tea Garden in Jaflong Sylhet

The valley of Sylhet is produced by a pair of rivers which are known as the Kushiara and the Surma. Both of these two rivers are fed by a number of streams on the hills located both towards the north and the south.

The valley supports a number of haors which are huge depressions formed naturally. During the winter season, these ‘haors’ act as stretches of land which are filled with greenery, but during the rainy season, they transform into seas which are extremely turbulent.   There are a number of tourist spots available in the place other than the tea gardens.

Some of the major tourist attractions of the place are Kalibari at Jaflong, Sree Mangal, Greeva Peet- Mahalakshmi Peet, Tamabil-Jaflong, Lawacherra rain forest, Tilagor, Nazimgarh resorts and Madhabkunda. What more? It is also a shopper’s paradise! Zindabahaar has the best shopping malls and the entire place is famous for handcrafted textiles.

Bangladesh is famous for its greenery and picturesque natural beauty. You have already been informed about the favorite holiday destinations of the nation. So, start packing your bags now! Visiting Bangladesh is a decision you will never ever regret!

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