Tourism In Bangladesh
Bangladesh as a holiday making land exposes to many flamboyant facets. Its tourist attractions are many folded, which include archaeological sites, historical mosques and monuments, resorts, beaches, picnic spots, forests and tribal people, wildlife of various species. Bangladesh offers ample opportunities to tourists for angling, water skiing, river cruising, hiking, rowing, yachting, sea bathing as well as bringing one in close touch with pristine nature.
Bangladesh is a picturesque and beautiful country. It is resplendent with sights to behold, both natural and man-made. One can never do complete justice to the beauty that is Bangladesh without personally taking you there.
Bangladesh is endowed with enchanting scenic beauty, mighty rivers, sunny beaches, historical relics and colorful tribal life all the potentials to attract visitors for echo tourism, sight seeing and plain holidaying in pristine and unspoiled surroundings. Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation the national tourism organization- and allied Government and private tour operators are making vigorous efforts to develop the special interest places for visitors. As a result modern hotels, motels with recreational and other facilities, rest houses, youth inns, restaurants and cafe's of world-class standards are rapidly coming up all over the country. Currently, 12 such locations starting from the capital to the hinterlands have evolved into frequently visited tourist spots offering regular and specialized services. These facilities coupled with improved communications and liberal customs and immigration rules has turned Bangladesh into a favorite tourist destination in the region.
Founded in 1608 as the seat of the imperial Mughal Viceroys of Bengal Dhaka is now a city about 9,912,908 people and is the capital of the country. It is in the central point of the country surrounded by Buriganga & Turag River. Dhaka is best known for its historical architecture especially mosques – and thus the epithet – City of Mosques defines its history appropriately. However, being an old city seeped in history the monuments span both Hindu and Muslim dominant era.
Some of its ancient monuments are Lalbagh Fort (1678 A. D.), Ahsan Manzil (A. D.),
Paribibi’s tomb (1678 A. D.), Sathgambuz (seven-domed) Mosque (1680 A. D.), Bara Katra, Hussaini Dalan, Star Mosque and Dhakeswari Temple.
Dhaka is not a city of relics only but a melting pot of contemporary architectural style. The western and eastern influence has lent this city a uniqueness that surmounts the apparent clutter and attracts the discerning eye. Among the modern constructions, Parliament House designed the world renowned Lewis Kahn at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar, Baitul Mukarram Mosque, National Museum at Shahabagh, Kamalapur railway station and Zia international airport at Kurmitola and central National Shaheed Minar are worth visiting. For those who are more interested in nature and amusements Ashulia lake view, Fantasy Kingdom Theme park, National Botanical Garden, Mirpur National Zoo, Crescent Lake, Dhanmondi Lake offer a variety of entertainment for all ages.
The outskirts of Dhaka gives a glimpse of its heritage, history of independence and the people who made it all happen. Easy to reach a must-see are the National Martyrs Memorial at Savar, ruins of the old seats of power at Vikrampur, (7TH Century), and Sonargaon (10TH Century).
Described by the famous Chinese traveller Hiuan Tsang in the 7TH Century as ‘ sleeping beauty emerging from mist and water’ Chittagong with its green sloping hills, rain forests and wide sandy sea beaches is an attractive destination. It is the second largest city of Bangladesh located in the southern-east side and a busy seaport. Many heavy, medium and large industries are also located in Chittagong. The country’s only steel mills and oil refinery are among them. Besides these the city also boasts of tea and rubber plantations.
Chittagong offers a wide selection of places to visit. Along with historical sites one of the prominent features is the collection of ethnic settlements still in their original habitats. The history of this natural harbor city includes landings of Portugese merchants in search of spices. The arrival of such races as Greeks, Spanish, British and Moghuls on the shores of Chittagong has left their influences in the architecture, emergence of ethnic segments, food and the dialect. The commonly spoken Bengali dialect of Chittagong is very different from the rest of the country. Places of interest in and around Chittagong includes shrine of Dozen Muslim saints such as Hazrat Byazid Bostami (famous for the turtles in the pond), Shahi Jame Mosque and Chandanpura Mosque. The Hindu and Buddhist temples at Sitakunda and the Cemetery of the 2nd world war heroes offer a peek into the history and its present impact. The Ethnological museum, Pahartoly Lake, Foys Lake and Patenga and Fauzderhat beaches are places to enjoy nature and ancient relics.
About 80 km southern-east from Chittagong, connected by a good meter road amidst green fields and winding hills is Rangamati. With its enchanting scenic beauty Rangamati is an attractive holiday resort. This is a tribal area inhabited mostly by ethnic population representing different tribes but predominantly belong to the ‘Chakma’ race. Although, most of these tribes are now merged with the mainstream population but one can see their lifestyle by visiting the surrounding villages. Of special interest are some of their rituals, weaving clothes and making other handicrafts.
The area was under the jurisdiction of a tribal King known as the Chakma Raja. At present he is an honored and titular head enjoying special benefits from the Government. His palace is now converted into a tribal museum and houses local artifacts.
Rangamati is of special interest to nature lovers and out-door people. Its winding hilly paths through natural rain forests and quaint villages offer vistas of indelible beauty. Kaptai lake formed by damming the river Karnafuly spreads over an area of about 689 sq.kms. and is ideal for speed boat cruising, water skiing, and fishing. Emerald-blue waters of the lake flanked by green hills are excellent for swimming and family picnics on pontoons.
For shoppers who look for regional products Rangamati is a haven. Not only handicrafts it provides the opportunity to see the craftspeople at work. At Tabalchhri handicraft center all the local products are brought under one roof for those shoppers who like to browse or are pushed for time.
National Tourism Organization has built a modern tourists complex with panoramic view of the Kaptai Lake at Rangamati having good accommodation, food, rent-a-boat and other facilities for holiday-makers. Local sight seeing tours are also arranged.
Terraced tea gardens, eye catching orange cloves and pineapple plantations, tropical forests and colourful Khasia and Monipuri tribes make the visit to Sylhet an unforgettable experience. Sylhet is the northern queen of the country.
Famous for tea gardens that has become its landmark Sylhet boasts of natural beauty, mixed cultures and history that still reflects influences from the past. The other aspect of Sylhet is its population of non-resident Bangaldeshis who have successfully invaded the business and employment sector abroad specifically the U.K.
It is also known as the land of the famous Muslim saint Hazrat Shah Jalal and Hazrat Shah Paran-the great torch bearers of Islam to this region. Their shrines are places of interest and people of all religion visit it.
The terrain of Sylhet is like Chittagong hills covered with vegetation, pristine valleys and rivers. Being land blocked it does not have beaches and lakes. However, the visitors can find one of the most beautiful natural waterfalls in the region in Jaflong. The sound of the cascading water-fall resounds all around and can be heard from afar. On a clear sunny day one can glimpse the rainbow arched above the mists of the water-fall. Visit to the innumerable tea gardens most of which are privately owned and some offer rest houses, the water-fall, hiking through the tribal villages of Khasia and Monipur and shopping for tribal handicrafts are some of the main attractions of Sylhet.
The headquarters for the northern region of the country Rajshahi is famous for its hand woven silk fabrics, mangoes and lichis. Its Hindu dominant history is evident in the palatial houses that abound in various stages of decay. And are now relics of the past.
About 40 kms off the town is Natore, an old seat of Maharajahs with a beautiful palace. In the serene and picturesque surrounding at Paharpur lies the relics of the glorious Pala dynasty (8th century). Excavations at this historic side have reveled the biggest Buddhist Monastery is distinguished by its unique architectural design.
Santal tribe is another interesting attraction of Rajshahi. There are also a number of ancient mosque and temples in this region.
This ancient district town serves as the nerve-centre of northern Bangladesh and is fast coming up as an industrial zone. Some of the largest coal and lime stone deposits of the country have been discovered in this area. The city is very old and distinguished by a square that connects seven lanes or by-roads. Historically, the district was a business hub and still enjoys its trading status.
Twelve kilometers off the town is the ancient archeological site of Mahastanghar. This is the original city of Hindu dynasty that was taken over by a Muslim saint and later became famous as Holy spot. Here buried among the mounds of earth-some of which have been excavated-lies the ruins of the earliest known capital of Bengal. Nearby is the local museum and gardens. The excavated findings of the Hindu Pal dynasty and early Islamic calligraphy are housed in the museum.
The northernmost district Dinajpur offers a number of attractions to the visitors. The Ramsagar lake is one such attraction. It is a good picnic spot with rest houses and facilities for fishing and rowing. The lake is legendary and surrounded with many tales from the past.
Kantanagar Hindu Temple (1722 A. D.) with exquisite mythological Terracotta decorations on its walls, the Maharajah’s palace with relics from the past and the local museum are some of the interesting places to visit in this hinterland.
The northern most tip of Bangladesh – Tetulia is about 40 km from the city center.
Located about 320 kms southern-west of Dhaka, Khulna is the country’s third biggest city. It serves as the gateway to the port of Mongla and Sundarbans. A journey by paddle steamer from Dhaka to Khulna along the southern river system running through the green countryside is an unforgettable experience.
About 32 kms from Khulna are the popular tourist attractions of Khan Jahan Ali’s 60-domed ancient Mosque (1459 A. D.) and his mausoleum at Bagherhat.
In the south, spread over an area of about 6000sq. kms of deltaic swamps along the coastal belt of Khulna is the mangrove forest of Sundarbans - home to the Royal Bengal Tigers. Its dense evergreen rain forests are criss-crossed by a network of rivers and creeks. It is one of the greatest deltas in the world. Snow from the Himalayan range flows down the five rivers and its tributaries into the Bay of Bengal. One finds here tides flowing in two directions in the same creek. Tigers swimming across a river, huge.