Points of Interest in Dhaka

Dhaka is the capital of Bangladesh. It is the largest and most populated city of Bangladesh with the population of 17 million among the top 3rd populated in the world. It is located on the east bank of river Buriganga. Dhaka is the social and economic hub of Bangladesh.   This place is very noisy, rushed with people. Dhaka’s road and streets are also populated with colorful rickshaws (Cycle and Auto) as it possesses the highest number of rickshaw all across the world. Dhaka is also the rickshaw capital of the world. At first, it feels like, there is so much chaos in the city but after some time, Dhaka’s charm slowly reveals itself. It has many historical monuments and it is the important city in South Asia.  Mughal, Hindu and British architecture remind its historical moments. Ethnic and cultural diversity provides more charm to this city.Dhaka is loaded with historical sites and Bengali culture. The traffic is so dense there, it might take longer than you expect.   The popular points of interest in Dhaka for tourists include these:

#1 of 17 Points of Interest in Dhaka – Old City of Dhaka

Dhaka is bonded with its past history. It was an important Mughal capital in the 17th century of Bengal which generated 50% of Mughal GDP at that time. It was previously named as Jahangir Nagar which means the city of Jahangir. Jahangir was the Mughal emperor in Sub- continent. Mughal’s adorn this capital with gardens, tombs, Mosques, Palaces, and forts. They made their city known as a city of mosques at that time. It was also called as the Venice of the East.  At the peak of its Medieval glory, Dhaka was among the wealthiest and productive city in the world.

Modern Dhaka developed in late 19th century during the British Raj. At first, it was the administrative capital of eastern Pakistan but later in 1971, it became the capital of the independent state of Bangladesh.

Weather is tropical here in Dhaka, Humid and hot in summers and a little dry and chilly in winter. People there speak Bengali. Other people might speak Urdu, Bihari, and Hindi as well.

Bangladeshi staple cuisine includes the traditional rice and fresh fish cooked in mustard oil. There cooking resembles Pakistani and Indian cuisine. Almost the same course of masalas is used in food there as Pakistan. Halal food is prevalent there.

#2 of 17 Points of Interest in Dhaka – The Incomplete Lalbagh Fort

Lalbagh fort is among the points of interest in Dhaka for those who are the sucker for the history. It was named as Fort Aurangabad and depicts the Mughal architecture.  It was commissioned by Subahdar Muhammad Azam Shah who was the third son of Aurangzeb. He later became emperor himself.  He started its construction in 1678 but he left Dhaka after 15 months. Later his successor Nawab Shaista Khan did not complete it although he remained in Dhaka and lived in this fort for several years until 1688. In 1684, his daughter Iran Dukht also known as Pari Bibi died in this very fort. After her death, he started to think that this fort is unlucky so he did not complete the construction and left it as it is. The tomb of Pari Bibi is the major part of this Lalbagh fort.

When the capital was moved to Murshidabad, Shaista Khan left Dhaka and this fort lost it fame. After the end of the royal Mughal era, this fort was totally abandoned. It was opened in 1844 again and renamed as Lalbagh Fort replacing Fort Aurangabad. It consists of three major buildings which are the Mosque, Tomb of Pari Bibi and Diwan e Aam.  This fort has two gateways, a utility area, residential area, roof- garden with fountains and a water reservoir. In recent times, archaeologists have discovered that there were more to be built in this fort at the time of Mohammad Azam.

People often get confused with this Lalbagh Fort and Lalbagh in India which is a red botanical garden also built on Mughal architecture.

#3 of 17 Points of Interest in Dhaka – Ahsan Manzil

Ahsan Manzil has also quite a history and myths like Lalbagh Fort.  It is the most significant architectural monument of the Bangladesh. It is said that in the royal Mughal period, there was a landlord named as Sheikh Enayet Ullah of Jamalpur Pogona. He had very charming and playboy nature. He built a garden house here in this place. He acquired a big land there in Kumartuli and included a beautiful palace named as Rang Mahal. It is where he kept his beautiful girls collected from all over the world. He used to enjoy them with gorgeous dresses and expensive ornaments. There is also another saying that the representative of Dhaka was attracted to a beautiful girl among them. He invited Sheikh Enayet Ullah to a party where he killed him in a conspiracy. That girl also committed suicide there with utter grief and anger. The remains of Sheikh Enayet Ullah were buried in the Palace yard.

In 1740, Moti Ullah, the son of Sheikh Enayat Ullah sold this property to French traders.  There was a French trading center beside this which became the wealthier business at that time in comparison to British and other European companies at that time. They built a beautiful palace and dig out a pond of sweet water. After the war between French and British, French lost and fleet back to France. They claimed their properties at Dhaka according to the Paris Agreement in 1814. As British became more powerful, French were forced to leave Sub-Continent, they sold their all properties in Dhaka.  This French trading house was then bought by landlord Khwaja Alimullah.

This landlord of Dhaka slightly renovated this place and turned it into his residence by adding a small family mosque. After his passing, his son Khwaja Abdul Ghani made great renovations by adding newly designed buildings and restored the old one. He renamed it as “Ahsan Manzil” on his son Ahsan Ullah.   In 1888, the building was hit a tornado which severely damaged it along with other Dhaka. It was reconstructed again by both Khwajas under the guides of English engineer and a local supervisor. A dome was added into this Palace at that time which made it more beautiful.

After the death of Ahsan Ullah, its glory was ended. The new successor did not pay any attention to it and rented the parts of Palace to tenants who made it into a slum. Palace was acquired by Govt. in 1952 under the supervision of Dhaka Nawab Court. In 1985, Dhaka National Museum took this property and made it into a museum.

Politically, it was an integral part of All India Muslim League.

#4 of 17 Points of Interest in Dhaka – Dhakeshwari National Temple

Dhakeshwari means Goddess of Dhaka. It is a small Hindu Temple in Dhaka, Bangladesh.  It has the antique importance in Dhaka as Dhaka’s name derived from this place. Along with the other folklores in Bangladesh, this place has also one. Temple was first built by king Ballal Sena of Sena dynasty in the 12th century. It is said that sanctuary is additionally one of the Shakti Peethas, where the gem from the crown of the Goddess Sati had fallen.

It is also broadly trusted that the Queen, spouse of King Bijoy Sen went to Langolbond for showering. While returning she brought forth a child, referred to the historians as Ballal Sen. In the wake of climbing to the position of authority, Ballal Sen constructed this sanctuary to honor his origin. Legends say that Ballal Sen once dreamt for the god secured under the wilderness. Ballal Sen revealed the god from that point and fabricated a sanctuary, named for Dhakeswari. Whatever the legends portray, Hindu religious view Dhakeswari as the directing god of Dhaka, which is an incarnation or type of Goddess Durga the Adi Shakti. The symbol of Durga is called Dhakeswari.  The original 800 years old statue was taken to India while the replica is in here at Dhaka. With these beliefs, it holds historic importance for Hindus among other points of interests in Dhaka.

Its present architecture is 200 years old, which was renovated by an agent of East India Company.  Mainly two types of architecture are there. Poncharotna Goddess Durga and other are four Shib temples around it which were built by 16th century King Maansing.

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Credit: Wikipedia

It was declared as National Temple of Bangladesh in 1996. It reflects the majority part of Hindu Culture in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

#5 of 17 Points of Interest in Dhaka – Sixty Dome Mosque

Another from Mughal history, the sixty dome mosque is the most impressive piece of architect mosque in the whole Sub-Continent. Its architectural style is Tughlaq.  It is a UNESCO world heritage site. It was built by Khan Jahan Ali in 1442 to 1459. It is in Begherhat Town around Dhaka.

The mosque is widely known as the ‘Shait Gombuj Masjid’, which in Bangla implies Sixty Domed Mosque. In any case, there are 77 domes over the primary corridor and precisely 60 stone columns. It is conceivable that the mosque was initially alluded to as the Sixty Pillared Mosque where Amud meaning column in Arabic/Persian, later got defiled to Gombuj in Bangla, which implies domes. Also, see the Mosques in Istanbul and Islamabad.

Shait-Gumbad-Masjid- Points of Interest in Dhaka

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#6 of 17 Points of Interest in Dhaka – Star Mosque

It is known as Tara masjid or Sitara masjid. It is located in Armanitola area within Dhaka. The mosque has Mughal style Architecture and it is enriched with motifs of blue stars. It was built in the early of the nineteenth century by Mirza Golam Pir. Initially, it has three domes, later Ali Jan Bepari financed its renovations with lavishly imported English and Japanese decorated china clay tiles and China- Tikri work. It has become five domes mosque now.

Star Mosque- Points of Interest in Dhaka

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#7 of 17 Points of Interest in Dhaka – Baitul Mukarram Mosque

It is the National Mosque of the Bangladesh. It is the world 10th largest mosque in the World with the capacity of 40,000 people at the same time. This one is also built on Mughal style architecture by Abdulhusein M. Thariani in 1960.It features the shape of Holy Kaaba at Mecca without the traditional dome. Large ornamentation is avoided but simply it is modern in its structure.  Initially, it has a Pond and a garden. It was built, when Bengal was a part of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

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#8 of 17 Points of Interest in Dhaka – Bangladesh National Museum

It was initially settled on 20 March 1913, yet under another name (the Dhaka Museum), and formally initiated on 7 August 1913, was given the status of the National Museum of Bangladesh on 17 November 1983. It is situated at Shahbag, Dhaka. The museum is efficiently structured. It unveils the chronological sequential in a few departments like ethnography and decorative art, department of history and classical art, department of natural history, and department of contemporary and world civilization The historical center additionally has a rich preservation research center.

Bangladesh_National_Museum, Points of Interest in Dhaka

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#9 of 17 Points of Interest in Dhaka – Liberation War Museum

This museum shows the early political histories of Bengal and the independence movements of Bangladesh from Pakistan. Also, display some of the artifacts and weapons used by the army for independence.

Liberation War museum- Points of Interest in Dhaka

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#10 of 17 Points of Interest in Dhaka – Bahadur Shah Park

Bahadur Shah Park, once known as Victoria Park, is a recreation center situated in Old Dhaka, Bangladesh. It has a memorial committed to the warriors executed by the British in the outcome of the Indian Mutiny of 1857. It was implicit in 1858 at the activity of Nawab Khwaja Abdul Ghani, in the Sadarghat zone. It was named Victoria Park until 1947. From that point onward, it was renamed after Bahadur Shah II, the last Mughal sovereign.


bahadur shah park, Points of Interest in Dhaka,

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#11 of 17 Points of Interest in Dhaka – Bangladesh National Zoo

Bangladesh is known for its versatility. Another point of interest in Dhaka is a Zoo situated in the Mirpur area of Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh. The Zoo contains numerous local and non-local creatures and untamed life and has around three million guests every year. The name of Zoo has been changed on fifth February 2015 from Dhaka Zoo to Bangladesh National Zoo.

It was Set up in 1974, the 186-section of land Dhaka Zoo is the biggest zoo in Bangladesh, and is worked under the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock.

Bangladesh_national_zoo- Points of Interest in Dhaka

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As per Wikipedia, The zoo is at present home to 2,150 creatures from 134 species. The zoo displays 58 types of warm-blooded creatures, including elephants, cheetahs, rhinos, zebras, waterbucks, otters, hyenas, deer, giraffes, impala, wild bears, ungulates, hippos, lions, numerous types of monkeys, chimpanzees, mandrills, and Bengal tigers. The aviaries at the zoo house more than 1500 winged animals speaking to 91 species, including peacocks, rhea, African dark parrots, cassowary, owls, ostrich, emus, greenish blues, finches, babblers, owls, vultures, and birds. The two lakes at the zoo additionally have transitory water feathered creatures each winter. Guests can likewise observe 13 types of reptiles including snakes and crocodiles, and 28 types of fish.

#12 of 17 Points of Interest in Dhaka – National Botanical Garden of Bangladesh

It is adjacent to the National Zoo. The National Botanical Garden of Bangladesh and the Bangladesh National Herbarium make up the biggest plant preservation focus in Bangladesh, with a zone of around 84 hectares (210 sections of land). It is situated at Mirpur in Dhaka, close to the Dhaka Zoo. It was built up in 1961. It is one of the best botanical gardens of Bangladesh, a learning place for nature sweethearts and botanists and a point of interest for tourists. The herbarium has a logical accumulation of around 100,000 safeguarded examples of plants. It is partitioned into 57 segments and is overseen by Forest Department under Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of Bangladesh.

Baldha Garden which is in the Wari zone of Dhaka is officially some portion of the National Garden.

#13 of 17 Points of Interest in Dhaka – Armenian Church, Dhaka

The Armenian Church otherwise called Armenian Apostolic Church of the Holy Resurrection is a generally critical compositional landmark arranged in the Armanitola territory of old Dhaka, Bangladesh. The congregation bears declaration to the presence of a huge Armenian people group in the area in the seventeenth and eighteenth hundreds of years. It was built in 1781, the place was Armenian graveyard before the construction of the church. A clock tower was erected on its western side.

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Mother Teresa stayed in this church compound during a 1996 visit to Dhaka.

#14 of 17 Points of Interest in Dhaka – Sadarghat, Dhaka

Dhaka Sadarghat, additionally called Sadarghat Port, the Dhaka City River Front, situated in the southern piece of Dhaka, on the river Buriganga, is a standout amongst the most element places in Dhaka. Here, the Sadarghat River Boat Terminal is one of the biggest waterway ports on the planet. Around 300 extensive and little traveler stream water crafts (mechanized) withdraw and touch base with a normal of 500 travelers consistently at the terminal consistently. As per the authorities at the terminal, 1,50,000 individuals, in normal, utilize the terminal for flight and entry consistently. At this place, many nation water crafts loaded down with travelers and stock cross the stream.

Sadarghat - Points of Interest in Dhaka

#15 of 17 Points of Interest in Dhaka – Hatirjheel

According to Wikipedia, Hatirjheelis a lakefront in Dhaka, Bangladesh that has been changed into a transportation medium for limiting traffic blockage. The range was built under Bangladesh Army and ‘Unique Works Organization’ (SWO). It is currently a well known recreational spot for inhabitants of Dhaka and as of late been remodeled.

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#16 of 17 Points of Interest in Dhaka – Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Novo Theatre

This planetarium highlights three sorts of shows. They Journey to Infinity introduces a divine show of stars, planets and other magnificent bodies in virtual reality. The Ai Amader Bangladesh highlights Bangabandhu Sheik Mujibur Rahman`s 7 March address, while The Grand Canyon depicts North America`s settlement family, Garikhad, which existed in The Grand Canyon four thousand years back. It was opened to the public in 2004.

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#17 of 17 Points of Interest in Dhaka – Shaheed Minar

This was built in 1952 at the University of Dhaka. This is a national monument and tribute to those students who sacrificed their lives for the Bengali Language Movement.

Shaheed minar, Points of Interest in Dhaka

There is much more to explore in Dhaka, Bangladesh but the main point of interests are mentioned in this article.