BANGLADESH: COUNTRY PROFILE
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.
LOCATION AND PHYSICAL FEATURES
Located in the north-eastern part of South Asia, Bangladesh lies between 20º34′ and 26º36′ north latitude and 88º01′ and 92º41′ east longitude. The majestic Himalayas stand some distance to the north, while in the south lies the Bay of Bengal. The gangetic Plains of west Bengal border the country on the west and in the east lie the hilly and forested regions of Tripura , Mizoram(India) and Myanmar.
Much of the country’s land area has been built up from alluvial deposits brought down by the major rivers. The country is mostly flat except for a range of hills in the south-east. The topography of the country is characterized by wooded marshy lands and jungles with plane lands occupying most of the river basins. There are deep forested regions in Sylhet, Rangamati, Khagrachhari and Bandarban Hill Districts, Sundarbans (the World Heritage site), Mymensingh and Tangail.
Miles of golden sands, towering cliffs, surfing waves, rare conch shells, colorful Pagodas, Buddhist Temples and delightful sea-food – all this makes what Cox’s Bazar is today , the tourist capital of Bangladesh. The World’s longest unbroken (120 km.) beach slopes here down to the blue waters of the Bay of Bengal against the picturesque background of a chain of hills covered with deep forests. Located at a distance of 152 km. south of Chittagong, Cox’s Bazar is connected both by air and road from Dhaka and Chittagong.
St.Martins island is the most beautiful Coral island where you will find live corals.Its only 30 km. from Teknaf and you can go there by local motorboats, tourist boats, or sea truck. Most of island’s 5500 inhabitants live primarily from fishing, and between October and April fisher people from neighboring areas bring their catch to the island’s temporary wholesale market.
A rare scenic spot on the southernmost tip of Patuakhali district Kuakata has a wide sandy beach from where one can see both the sunrise and sunset. Kuakata is located at a distance of 70 km. from the district headquarters of Patuakhali.
Kuakata is a place of pilgrimage for the Hindu and Buddhist communities. Devotees arrive here during the festival of ‘ Raash Purnima’ and ‘Maghi Purnima’– two sacred full moon festivals. Kuakata has road communication with Dhaka.A much easier way is to go to Barisal by air and from there travel by road or water to Patuakhali or Kuakata.
Hills & Island
From Chittagong, a 77 km. winding road that passes through lush green fields and forested hills take you to Rangamati at the heart of the lake district. The township is located on the western bank of Kaptai Lake.
Set amidst panoramic surroundings of small hills and islands a few kilometers from the heart of Chittagong, this ideal spot for outing and picnics attracts hundreds of visitors every day.
Ninety two km. from Chittagong by a metalled road, Bandarban is the district headquarters of the Bandarban hill district. It is home town of the Bohmang Chief who is the head of the Mogh tribe. The Moghs are of Myanmar origin and Buddhists by religion. The Moghs are a simple and hospitable people.
Sylhet is one of the popular tourist destinations of the country.For most part plain land , Sylhet is ringed by low hills on northern and southern boundaries. These are the foot hills of the Khasia and Jaintia range. Sylhet is dotted with lakes, thick forest and fruit gardens,. abounds in wildlife.
The tea gardens stretch for miles like a green carpet spread over the slopes of the hills. There are excellent rest-house facilities in many of these tea gardens.
Forest & Jungle
Located about 320 km. south-west of Dhaka and spread over an area of about 60000 sq, km of deltaic swamps along the coastal belt of Khulna, the Sundarban is the world’s biggest mangrove forest – the home of the Royal Bengal tiger. These dense mangrove forests are crises-crossed by a network of rivers and creeks. There are rest-houses for visitors to stay and enjoy the unspoiled beauty and splendor of the forest.
The most ornate among the late medieval Hindu temples of Bangladesh. Kantaji temple is situated near Dinajpur town. It was built by Maharaja Pran Nath in 1752.
The fort was built in 1678 by Prince Mohammad Azam, son of Mughal emperor Aurangozeb. The fort was the scene of a bloody battle during the first war of independence (1857) when 250 soldiers stationed here backed by people revolted against British forces.
Ahsan Manzil Museum, Dhaka
On the bank of river Buriganga in Dhaka the Pink majestic Ahsan Manzil has been renovated and turned into a museum recently. It is an epitome of the nation’s rich cultural heritage. It is the home of Nawab of Dhaka and a silent spectator to many events. Today’s renovated Ahsan Manzil a monument of immense historical beauty. It has 31 rooms with a huge dome atop which can be seen from miles. around. It now has 23 galleries in 31 rooms displaying of traits, furniture and household articles and utensils used by the Nawab.
Shilaidaha Kuthibari, Kushtia
The beautiful mansion carries memories of Nobel laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) who made frequent visits to this place and used to stay here in connection with administration of his Zamindari and enriched Bengali literature through his writings during that time. It is located at a distance of about 20 km. from Kushtia town.
About 29 km. from Dhaka, Sonargaon dating back from the 13th century is one of the oldest capitals of Bengal. A folk-art and craft museum has been established here. Among the ancient monuments still intact are the tomb of Sultan Abdul Alla and a beautiful mosque in Goaldi village.
Shat-Gambuj Mosque, Bagerhat
In mid-15th century, a Muslim colony was founded in the inhospitable mangrove forest of the Sundarbans near the seacoast in the Bagerhat district by an obscure saint-general, named Ulugh Khan Jahan. He was the earliest torchbearer of Islam in the South who laid the nucleus of an affluent city during the reign of Sultan Naseruddin Mahmud Shah (1442-59), the city was known as “khalifatabad”.
World War II Cemetery
In this well-preserved cemetery, in Chittagong lie buried over 700 soldiers from Commonwealth countries and Japan, who died during the Second World War.
Situated about 23 km. north west of Choumuhani town and 2 km. east of Chatkhil at Jayag in Noakhali district. This asram was established in the memory of historic visit of the Mahatma Gandhi to Noakhali and devoted to his ideology.
Kamalapur Buddhist Monastery, International Buddhist Monastery, Merul, Badda.
The largest Buddhist seat of learning
Paharpur is a small village known as Somapura Vihara (8th two 12th century of pala dynasty) where the remains of the most important and the largest Buddhists monastery, south of the Himalayas has been excavated.
The oldest archaeological site
Located at a distance of 18 km north of Bogra town, 3rd century BC Mahasthanragh is the oldest archaeological site of Bangladesh on the western bank of river Karatoa. The spectacular site is an imposing landmark in the area having a fortified long enclosure.
About eight km. to the west of Comilla town and 114 km. South-east of Dhaka lie the low hills of Mainamati Lalmai ridge – an extensive center of Buddhist culture. On the slopes of these hills lie scattered a treasure of information about the early Buddhist civilization (8th to 12th century). At Salban in the middle of the ridge, excavations laid bare a large Buddhist Vihara (monastery) and an imposing central shrine.
Chandranath Hindu Temple – Sitakunda
It is approximately 37 km. far from Chittagong. This is famous for Chandranath Hindu Temple – one of the oldest temples in the subcontinent. There is also Buddhist Temple having a footprint of Lord Buddha. These places particularly the hilltops are regarded as a very sacred by the hindus and buddhist. There is also a hot-water spring 5 km. to the north of Sitakunda.
It is the single largest project Bangladesh has ever implemented. The bridge was constructed on the river Jamuna connecting east and north-western region of the country. The 4.8 km. long bridge was constructed at a cost of US$ 950 million thus creating an uninterrupted surface transport facility from Teknaf, southernmost tip of Bangladesh to Tetulia, the northern tip of Bangladesh
Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban
Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban (The National Parliament Building) at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar, designed by the famous architect Louis I Kahn, is known throughout the region for its distinctive architectural features. The main building is surrounded by a lake which also doubles as a reflecting pool and in set amidst spacious lawns.
Also can visit Chandanpura Mosque at Chittagong, Guruduara Nanak & Dhakeshwari temple at Dhaka, Hajrat Khanjahan Ali Dargha at Khulna, Hajrat Shah Jalal and Shah Paran at Sylhet, Chandranath temple, Llalon majar at Kustia, Hasan Raja at Sylhet and many places in Bangladesh.