Airport Road, Dhaka Telephone
The intriguing capital city of Bangladesh sits on the north bank of the
Dhaka's premier attraction is Lalbagh Fort, an unfinished fort dating
from 1678 located
The second largest city in Bangladesh sits on the bank of the Karnapuli River and has an interesting old waterfront area known as Sadarghat that reflects the importance of river trade to the city's growth. Nearby is the old Portuguese enclave of Paterghatta which remains mostly Christian.
The Shahi Jama-e-Masjid and Qadam Mubarak Mosque are two of the most impressive buildings in the city. The Ethnological Museum, in the Modern City, has interesting displays on Bangladesh's tribal peoples, while Fairy Hill in the northwestern part of the city offers good views and cooling breezes.
Bangladesh's only beach resort is near the Myanmar border in an area where Rohingya refugees have settled to escape persecution in Myanmar. It has a Burmese Buddhist flavor and ever increasing amenities to service the visitors attracted by its enormous expanse of shark-free beach.
Even modestly clad bathers, especially females, should expect to be gawked at by locals. South of Cox's Bazar are more secluded beaches such as Himacheri and Inani where having a swim can still be a private experience. Note that the beaches are not considered entirely safe at night.
Famous as an important center of Buddhist culture from the 7th to 12th centuries, the buildings excavated here were made wholly of baked bricks. There are more than 50 scattered Buddhist sites, but the three most important are Salban Vihara, Kotila Mura and Charpatra Mura.
Salban Vihara was a well-planned, 170 sq m (182 sq ft) monastery facing a temple in the center of the courtyard. Nearby is a museum housing the finds excavated here, which include terracotta plaques, bronze statues, a bronze casket, coins, jewellery and votive stupas embossed with Buddhist inscriptions.
Kotila Mura comprises three large stupas representing Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, the 'Three Jewels of Buddhism'. The most important discovery at Charpatra Mura were four royal copper-plate decrees, three belonging to Chandra rulers, the other to Sri Viradhara Deva, a later Hindu king.
Note that some of the major ruins are within a military cantonment and cannot be visited without permission from military officers.
The 8th-century Somapuri Vihara at Paharpur was formerly the biggest Buddhist monastery south of the Himalaya. It's by far the most impressive archaeological site in Bangladesh, and covers some 11 hectares (27 acres).
Although in an advanced state of decay, the overall plan of the temple complex is easy to figure out and includes a large quadrangle with the monks' cells forming the walls and enclosing a courtyard. From the center of the courtyard rises the 20m (66ft) high remains of a stupa which dominates the surrounding countryside.
The monastery's recessed walls are embellished with well-preserved terracotta bas-reliefs, and a small museum houses a representative display of the domestic and religious objects found during excavations.
Sundarbans National Park
The Sundarbans are the largest littoral mangrove belt in the world, stretching 80km (50mi) into the Bangladeshi hinterland from the coast. The forests aren't just mangrove swamps though, they include some of the last remaining stands of the mighty jungles which once covered the Genetic plain.
The Sundarbans cover an area of 38,500 sq km (14,865 sq mi), of which
about one-third is covered in water. Since 1966 the Sundarbans have been a
wildlife sanctuary, and it is estimated that there are now 400 Royal
Bengal tigers and about 30,000 spotted deer in the area. The park is also
home to sea gypsy fishing families who catch fish using trained otters. To
see this pristine environment, you need to get a permit from the
Divisional Forest Office in Khulna. With permit in hand, it's possible to
hire a boat from Mongla or Dhangmari to get you to Hiron Point. From Hiron
Point you will have to hire a guide to take you into the park.
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