Dhaka – Holiday Tourist Location
Dhaka is one of the great tourist location and is the capital city of Bangladesh. It is a megacity and one of the major cities of South Asia. Located on the east banks of the Buriganga River in the Ganges delta, Dhaka has an estimated population of more than 15 million people, making it the largest city in Bangladesh. Dakha is also the 9th largest city in the world. It is known as the City of Mosques, and with 400,000 cycle-rickshaws running on its streets every day, the city is described as the Rickshaw Capital of the World. Dhaka is also one of the world’s most densely populated cites.
Experience the rich heritage and diverse culture of Dhaka, the city of contrasts.
1. Dhaka National Museum
A tour of the museums in and around the capital city is a great way to appreciate the history and the ethos of the country. Situated on the banks of the Buriganga River, the Bangladesh National Museum with over 85,000 exhibits is the biggest museum. The Folk Art Museum in Sonargaon is set amidst a tranquil landscape, artificial lakes and ponds. It brilliantly preserves the traditions and culture of Bangladesh. With an eternal flame burning at its entrance, the Liberation War Museum, is dedicated to the memory of the sacrifices of soldiers and civilians during the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971 and it poignantly captures the history of this nation and their war of independence.
2. Shahid Minar
The monuments dotting Dhaka are evidence of its rich history and diverse culture. The striking Shahid Minar, built to commemorate those who died in the massacre of February 21, 1952 during the Bengali Language movement, looks magnificent with its tall marble minarets atop a 14 foot high stage. The majestic National Assembly of Bangladesh or the Jatiyo Sangsad Bhaban is one of the largest legislative complexes in the world. Another historical monument that deserves a visit is the Lalbagh fort with its beautiful three-domed mosque, the tomb of Bibi Pari and the Audience Hall and Hammam complex which is now a museum.
3. Dhakeshwari Temple
The Dhakeshwari Jatiya Mandir or the Dhakeshwari National Temples is the oldest. Hindu temple in the city and it is situated on orphanage Road in Old Dhaka. The temple complex houses several temples and ancillary buildings. There is a marble altar in the inner quarter where puja (prayers) is offered. The main temple has three rooms where you will find statues of revered deities. While there is a shivaling in the two side-rooms, a four-armed Vasudeva and a ten-armed Dhakeshwari adorn the central room.
4. National Art Gallery
The first art exhibition in Bangladesh took place on January 16, 1951, which showcased the works of 19 patterns. A permanent art gallery was built in Bangladesh in 1963 by the East Pakistan Arts Council. This became the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy in 1974. Currently the National Art Gallery at Shilpakala Academy are also into conserving and protecting art. Besides this, if you are interested in folk art and paintings, visit the Institute of Arts and Crafts.
5. Shahbag – Zainul Gallery
Since ancient times Shahbag has been a cultural and political hub. The Zainul Gallery in the Fine Arts Faculty of Dhaka University regularly exhibits works of art, especially by students. In an open part of the Ramna Garden, where a replica of the ‘Aparajoy Bangla’ statue stands, every Friday afternoon artists gather to exhibit and sell their paintings. Known as ‘Chobir Heat’, this open market is an initiative by young artists, where you can find fine paintings at relatively low price.
Archaeological excavations, such as that of Wari-Bateshwar, about 75 km from Dhaka, have lent a different perspective into the history of this country. It is averred that Wari-Bateshwar was the eastern most limit of the Mauryan Empire and that the location of Wari-Bateshwar carries all the characteristics of Ptolemy’s sites.
7. Gardens & Parks
Though eco-tourism has still not picked up here, the gardens and parks in the city offer a pleasant green retreat. Adjacent to the Dhaka Zoo is the Botanical Gardens that tops the list with over 55,000 trees, herbs and shrubs, including a fine collection of aquatic plants. The rose garden with around 300 species is a highlight of the garden. Other tourist draws are the criss-crossing lake, the artificial water fall and the watch deck. Baldha Garden, a satellite unit of the Botanical Gardens in Old Dhaka houses over 600 species. Another green delight is the vast recreational National Park at Rajendrapur.
8. Dhaka Zoo
With its tree-lined, sun-dappled paths, lakes and open animal enclosures, the Dhaka Zoo is great for a spot of family fun. There is a collection of regular and rare animals, including some that have been brought all the way from South Africa. The majestic Royal Bengal Tigers and the estuarine crocodiles are a highlight of this zoo. Besides the aviaries that house more than 1,500 birds, you can also spy migratory fowl each winter at the lakes.
9. Eating out
For a veritable gastronomic delight head to the busy by-lanes of old Dhaka, between the biryani at Hajir Biryani (Kazi Allauddin Road). Fakruddin Biryani (Gulshan 1) and Nanna Miah Biryani (Nazimuddin Road), you must try at least one if not all. The Dhaka speciality kachchi biryani made of marinated mutton and kali jeera (black cumin) rice is especially recommended.
Besides handicrafts, you must go for pink pearls and Jamdani saris. Check out the Mirpur Banarashi Polli for saris. Veteran shopaholics can head to Banga Bazaar for great deals, especially on clothes. However, if you are looking for a one-stop shop, step into one of the Aarong outlets where you will find everything from handicrafts in dress material.
Jet Airways has daily flights to Dhaka from Mumbai, New Delhi and Kolkata.
Booking a Hotel in Dhaka
Dhaka has it’s share of fine hotels to stay at, the Radisson Garden Water hotel is a beautiful five star in the heart of the city. There are mid-range and budget hotels to stay at as well. You can also book hotels in Dhaka using following Search window.