IN SHORT: Bangladesh was once part of the Indian state of Bengal. East and West Bengal together was called Greater Bengal. In 1947, India became independent and a new country was created from the two parts called Pakistan where Muslims were in the majority.East Pakistan actually was East Bengal which is now Bangladesh. After a brief period of conflict with Pakistan, Bangladesh came into existence on 16th December1971.
History of Bangladesh: Bangladesh came to today's shape through a long historyof political evolution. Bengal was probably the wealthiest part of the subcontinent up till the 16th century. The area's early history featured a succession of Indian empires, internal squabbling, and a tussle between Hinduism and Buddhism for dominance. All of this was just a prelude to the unstoppable tide of Islam which washed over northern India at the end of the 12th century. Mohammed Bakhtiar Khalzhi from Turkistan captured Bengal in 1199 with only 20 men.Under the Mughal viceroys, art and literature flourished, overland trade expanded and Bengal was opened to world maritime trade - the latter marking the death knell of Mughal power as Europeans began to establish themselves in the region. The Portuguese arrived as early as the 15th century but were ousted in 1633 by local opposition. The East India Company negotiated terms to establish a fortified trading post in Calcutta in 1690.
The decline of Mughal power led to greater provincial autonomy,heralding the rise of the independent dynasty of the nawabs of Bengal. Humble East India Company clerk Robert Clive ended up effectively ruling Bengal when one of the impetuous nawabs attacked the thriving British enclave in Calcutta and stuffed those unlucky enough not to escape in an underground cellar. Clive retook Calcutta a year later and the British Government replaced the East India Company following the Indian Mutiny in 1857.
The Britons established an organizational and social structure unparalleled in Bengal, and Calcutta became one of the most important centers for commerce, education and culture in the subcontinent. However, many Bangladeshi historians blame the British dictatorial agricultural policies and promotion of the semi-feudal zamindarsystem for draining the region of its wealth and damaging its social fabric. The British presence was a relief to the minority.Hindus but a catastrophe for the Muslims. The Hindus cooperated with the Britsh, entering British educational institutions and studying the English language, but the Muslims refused to cooperate,and rioted whenever crops failed or another local product was rendered unprofitable by government policy
At the closure of World War II it was clear that European colonialism had run its course and Indian independence was inevitable. Independence was attained in 1947 but the struggle was bitter and divisive, especially in Bengal where the fight for self-government was complicated by internal religious conflict. The British, realizing any agreement between the Muslims and Hindus was impossible, decided to partition the subcontinent. That Bengal and Punjab, the two overwhelmingly Muslim regions, lay on opposite sides of India was only one stumbling block.The situation was complicated in Bengal where the major cash crop,jute, was produced in the Muslim-dominated east, but processed and shipped from the Hindu-dominated city of Calcutta in the west
Inequalities between the two regions i.e. East and West Pakistan soon stirred up a sense of Bengali nationalism that had not been reckoned with during the push for Muslim independence. When the Pakistan government declared that `Urdu and only Urdu' would be the national language, the Bangla-speaking Bengalis decided it was time to assert their cultural identity. The drive to reinstate the Bangla language metamorphosed into a push for self-government and when the Awami League, a nationalistic party, won a majority.in the 1971 national elections, the president of Pakistan, faced with this unacceptable result, postponed opening the National Assembly. Riots and strikes broke out in East Pakistan, the independent state of Bangladesh was unilaterally announced, and Pakistan sent troops to quell the rebellion.
The ensuing war was one of the shortest and bloodiest of modern times, with the Pakistan army occupying all major towns,using napalm against villages, and slaughtering and raping villagers.Bangladeshis refer to Pakistan's brutal tactics as attempted genocide. Border clashes between Pakistan and India increased as Indian-trained Bangladeshi guerrillas crossed the border. When the Pakistani air force made a pre-emptive attack on Indian forces, open warfare ensued. Indian troops crossed the border and the Pakistani army found itself being attacked from the east by the Indian army, the north and east by guerrillas and from all quarters by the civilian population. In 11 days it was all over and Bangladesh, the world's 139th country, officially came into existence. Sheikh Mujib, one of the founders of the Awami League, became the country's first prime minister in January 1972 ; he was assassinated in 1975 during a period of crisis
The ruined and decimated new country experienced famine in 1973-74,followed by martial law, successive military coups and political assassinations. In 1979, Bangladesh began a short-lived experiment with democracy led by the overwhelmingly popular President Zia, who established good relationships with the West and the oil-rich Islamic countries. His assassination in 1981 ultimately returned the country to a military government that periodically made vague announcements that elections would be held `soon'. While these announcements were rapturously greeted by the local press as proof that Bangladesh was indeed a democracy, nothing came of them until 1991. That year the military dictator General Ershad was forced to resign by an unprecedented popular movement led by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party and the Awami League.
Democracy was re-established and the economy ticked along at a 4.5% growth rate, which hardly made it an 'Asian tiger' but was at least respectable. Political dog-fighting between the BNP and the Awami League became acrimonious in the run up to national elections in February 1996 leaving the country strike-ridden and rudderless. The election was marred by violence and boycotted by the three main opposition parties, resulting in a BNP shoo-in.However, low voter turnout and reports of ballot-box stuffing by polling officials raised serious questions about the government's legitimacy and in April 1996 Prime Minister Begum Khaleda agreed to stand down and appointed an interim caretaker administration, pending new elections scheduled for 12 June 1996.In the elections Awami League got the largest number of seats. Sheikh Hasina Wazed, the leader of the Awami League, was sworn in as the Prime Minister of Bangladesh Government.The four-party alliance led by the BNP won over a two-thirds majority in Parliament. Begum Khaleda Zia was sworn in on October 10, 2001, as Prime Minister for the third time under an interim caretaker government system.In the year 2007 it became worst political situation ever when the four-party alliance led by the BNP government handover their power to another caretaker government led by President Professor Iajuddin ahmed.But on that time all opposition parties reject that government.Bcoz they think that caretaker government was influenced by last government & could not be able for building a level playing field for all opposition parties in that election.On January 3, 2007, the Awami League announced it would boycott the January 22 parliamentary elections. The AL planned a series of country-wide general strikes and transportation blockades.On January 11, 2007, President Iajuddin Ahmed declared a state of emergency, resigned as Chief Adviser, and indefinitely postponed parliamentary elections. On January 12, 2007, former Bangladesh Bank governor Fakhruddin Ahmed was sworn in as the new Chief Adviser, and ten new advisers (ministers) were appointed. Under emergency provisions, the government suspended certain fundamental rights guaranteed by the constitution and detained a large number of politicians and others on suspicion of involvement in corruption and other crimes. The government announced elections will occur in late 2008.Still now that interim government is in power.
Geography: Bangladesh occupies part of the north-eastern corner of the Indian subcontinent. It is surrounded by India apart from a short border with Myanmar and its 580 kilometer coastline. Most of the coastline is not continous but broken up by the channels of delta.There are many rivers which flow through the delta and end up at the Bay of Bengal in the Indian Ocean. These rivers are the Ganges, Brahmaputra, Meghna etc.The Ganges and the Brahmaputra start in the Himalaya Mountains. In Bangladesh the Ganges is known as the Padma and the Brahmaputra becomes the Jamuna. These rivers drain about 2500000 sq kilometres of land.The land of Bangladesh is very flat and low. The highest point are the hills in the north-east and southeast. About 15% of land is covered with forests. More than 75% of Bangladesh is less than 10 meters above sea level. Bangladesh is the largest delta in the world. The area of Bangladesh is 55126Sq Miles.
ANYHOW here BANGLADESH geography in details: Physical Overview:Most of the areas of Bangladesh lies within the broad delta formed by the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers. Lands are exceedingly flat, low-lying, and subject to annual flooding. Much fertile, alluvial soil is deposited by the floodwaters. The only significant area of hilly terrain, constituting less than one-tenth of the nation's territory, is the Chittagong Hill Tracts in the narrow southeastern panhandle of the country. There, on the border with Burma, is Mowdok Mual (1003 m/3292 ft), the country's highest peak. Small, scattered hills lie along or near the eastern and northern borders with India. The eroded remnants of two old alluvial terraces-the Madhupur Tract, in the north central part of the country, and The Barind, straddling the northwestern boundary with India- attain elevations of about 30 m (about 100 ft). The soil here is much less fertile than the annually replenished alluvium of the surrounding floodplain.
Total area: 147,570 squire kilometres;
Land area: 133,910 square kilometers
Land boundaries: 4,246 km total; 193 km with Myanmar, 4,053 km with India, Coastline: 580 km.
Land distribution: arable land 67%
forest and woodland: 16%
permanent crops: 2%
meadows and pastures: 4%
Rivers and Lakes: Bangladesh is a land of rivers that crisscrossed throughout the mostly flat territories of the country. They include hundreds of brooks and a good number of big ones. The Ganges (Ganga) is known as the Padma below the point where it is joined by the Jamuna River, the name given to the lowermost portion of the main channel of the Brahmaputra. The combined stream is then called the Meghna below its confluence with a much smaller tributary of the same name. In the dry season the numerous deltaic distributaries that lace the terrain may be several kilometers wide as they near the Bay of Bengal, whereas at the height of the summer monsoon season they coalesce into an extremely broad expanse of silt-laden water. In much of the delta, therefore, homes must be constructed on earthen platforms or embankments high enough to remain above the level of all but the highest floods. In non-monsoon months the exposed ground is pocked with water-filled borrow pits, or tanks, from which the mud for the embankments was excavated. Throughout the country there are bils, haors and lakes that meet the need of drinking, bathing and irrigating water.
Seasons : Traditionally Bangladeshis subdivide the year into six seasons: Grismo (summer), Barsha (rainy), Sharat (autumn), Hemanto (cool), Sheet (winter), and Bashonto (spring). For practical purposes, however, three seasons are distinguishable: summer , rainy, and winter.
Climate: Bangladesh has a tropical monsoon-type climate, with a hot and rainy summer and a dry winter.January is the coolest month with temperatures averaging near 26 deg C (78 d F) and April the warmest with temperatures from 33 to 36 deg C (91 to 96 deg F). The climate is one of the wettest in the world. Most places receive more than 1,525 mm of rain a year, and areas near the hills receive 5,080 mm ). Most rains occur during the monsoon (June-September) and little in winter (November-February).
Bangladesh is subject to devastating cyclones, originating over the Bay of Bengal, in the periods of April to May and September to November. Often accompanied by surging waves, these storms can cause great damage and loss of life.The cyclone of November 1970, in which about 500,000 lives were lost in Bangladesh, was one of the worst natural disasters of the country in the 20th century.
In Dhaka the average temperature in January is about 19° C (about 66° F), and in May about 29° C (about 84° F).
Flora and Fauna: Chittagong Hill Tracts, portions of the Madhupur Tract, and the Sundarbans (a great tidal mangrove forest in the southwestern corner of the country) are principal vegetation in Bangladesh. The wooded area amount to less than one-sixth of the total area. Broadleaf evergreen species characterize the hilly regions, and deciduous trees,such as acacia and banyan, are common in the drier plains areas. Commercially valuable trees in Bangladesh include sundari (hence the name Sundarbans), gewa, sal (mainly growing in the Madhupur Tract), and garan (in the Chittagong Hill Tracts). Village groves inslude fruit trees (mango and jackfruit, for instance) and date and areca (betel) palms. The country also has many varieties of bamboo.
Bangladesh is rich in fauna, including nearly 250 indigenous species of mammals, 750 types of birds, 150 kinds of reptiles and amphibians,and 200 varieties of marine and freshwater fish. The rhesus monkey is common, and gibbons and lemurs are also found.
The Sundarbans area is one of the principal remaining domains of the Royal Bengal tiger, and herds of elephants and many leopards inhabit the Chittagong Hill Tracts. Other animals living in Bangladesh include mongoose, jackal, Bengal fox, wild boar, parakeet, kingfisher,vulture, and swamp crocodile.
Mineral Resources: Bangladesh is not so rich in mineral resources. The principal energy resource, natural gas, is found in several small fields in the northeastern part. With the assistance of some foreign especially American companies gas expedition has increased. There is a coalfield in the northwest and large peat beds underlie most of the delta. Limestone and pottery clays are found in the northeastern Bangladesh
BANGLADESH at a glance:
Official Name(In English) : The People's Republic Of Bangladesh
Official Name(In Bengali) : Gana Prajatantri Banladesh Sarkar.
Independence Declared : March 26, 1971.
Victory Day : December 16 1971.
Flag description: The national flag of Bangladesh is bottle green in color and rectangular in size with the length to width ratio of 10:6. It bears a red circle on the background of green. The color in the background represents the greenery of Bangladesh while the red circle symbolizes the rising sun and the sacrifice of lives in our freedom fight. The national flag was designed by Kamrul Hasan.Prescribed sizes of the flag for buildings are 305cm X 183cm, 152cm X 91cm and 76cm X 46cm and for vehicles are 38cm X 23cm and 25cm X 15cm. At the very outset the flag had a different look. There was a golden colored map of Bangladesh at the center of the red circle. This was the original design of the flag of Bangladesh under which the valiant freedom fighters fought during the liberation war.The national flag was first hoisted on the 3rd of March 1971 by ASM Abdur Rab, then the Vice President of Dhaka University Students´ Union, at the historic 'Bat tala' in Dhaka University campus. This flag was also raised at the then Ramna Racecourse (now a park renamed as Shuhrawardy Uddayan) when Sheikh Mujibur Rahman gave his historic speech "this time our struggle is for liberation."
The flag of Bangladesh was first hoisted in the UN September 1974. China used her veto against admission of Bangladesh in the UN 1972 and repeated in the year 1973. The Bangladesh flag appeared later in the UNs´ stamp series "Flag of the member state".
Anthem : Amar Shonar Bangla.Original in Bangla by Rabindranath Tagore & Translated by Professor Syed Ali Ahsan
The National Emblem: The National Emblem of the People's Republic of Bangladesh is the national flower Shapla (water Lily) surrounded by two sheaves of rice, four stars and a bud with three tender leaves.
National flower:The Water Lily (shapla)
Martyrs Memorial: Shaheed Minar.It has always been the source of our national inspiration. The National Monument reminds of those who sacrificed their lives for the independence. Situated at Savar near Dhaka, it is a tourist spot.We come here to commemorate Language Martyrs of 1952.
National bird: The Doel ( magpie robin)
National fruit: The Jackfruit [Kathal]
National animal : Worldwide Known Royal Bengal Tiger
National poet: Kazi Nazrul Islam
Capital : Dhaka (Area 414 sq. km. Master plan 777 sq.km.)
Currency: Currency unit is Taka. Notes are of 1,2,5,10,20,50,100 and 500 Taka. Coins are of 1,5,10,25,50 and 100 Poisha (100 Poisha = 1 Taka).Bangladesh has a variable currency rates with other countries. For currency rates click at this link :- http://www.bangla2000.com/Currency_Rate/currency_rate.html .
Language: Bangla is the state language. English is also widely spoken and understood.Arabic is read and spoken for religious purposes
Population : Total estimated population 130 million.
Religions : Muslim 88.3%, Hindu 10.5%, others 1.2%.In details,Bangladesh is one of the largest Muslim countriesin the world. About 80 percent of Bangladeshis are Muslims. Most Bangladeshi Muslims are Sunnis, but there is a small Shia community. Hinduism constitutes about 12 percent of the population. Hindus in Bangladesh in the 1990s were almost evenly distributed in all regions, with concentrations in Khulna, Jessore, Dinajpur, Faridpur, and Barisal. There are significant numbers of Buddhists and Christians in Bangladesh. In the Chittagong Hills, Buddhist tribes formed the majority of the population and their religion appeared to be a mixture of tribal cults and Buddhist doctrines. According tothe 1981 census, there were approximately 600,000 Buddhists in Bangladesh, representing less than 1 percent of the population. In the 1990s, Christianity had about 600,000 adherents, mainly Roman Catholic, and their numbers were growing rapidly. Bangladesh also has a very small number of tribal community that obey a different type of religious beliefs.
Area : Total: 144,000 sq km Land: 133,910 sq km Water: 10,090 sq km
Location : Latitude from 20 degree 34' to 26 degree 38' north. Longitude from 88 degree 01' to 92 degree 41' east.
Boundary: Bounded by India from the north, east and west, Burma from the south-east andthe Bay of Bengal from the south .
Climate: Tropical; cool, dry winter (October to March); hot, humid summer (March to June); cool, rainy monsoon (June to October)
Rainfall: Lowest 47" and highest 136"
National Days : National Martyrs Day ( February 21)
Independence Day ( March 26 )
Victory Day ( December 16)
Principal Rivers: Padma, Meghna, Jamuna, Brahmaputra, Madhumati, Surma and Kushiara
Principal Crops:Rice, jute, tobacco, tea, sugarcane, vegetables, potato, pulses, etc.
Fruits : Mango, banana, pineapple, jack-fruit, water-melon, green coconut, guava, lichis, etc.
Major Industries : Jute, sugar, paper, textiles, fertilizers, cigarette, cement, steel, natural gas, oil-refinery, newsprint,power generation, rayon, matches, fishing and food processing, leather, soap, carpet, timber, ship-building, telephone, etc.
Airports : Zia International Airport, Dhaka,
Chittagong International Airport,
Sylhet International Airport
and domestic airports at Jessore, Sylhet, Cox's Bazar, Rajshahi and Saidpur
Sea Ports: Chittagong
Tourist Interests : Longest sea beach, colorful tribal life, centuries' old archeological sites,the Sundarbans (home of the Royal Bengal Tigers and spotted deer), largest tea gardens, interesting riverine life, etc.
Calling code : +880
Economy of BANGLADESH:
Bangladesh is an agricultural country, with some three-fifths of the population engaged in farming. Jute and tea are principal sources of foreign exchange. Other important agricultural products are wheat, pulses (leguminous plants, such as peas, beans, and lentils), sweet potatoes, oilseeds of various kinds, sugarcane, tobacco, and fruits such as bananas, mangoes, and pineapples.
Agriculture has in the past been wholly dependent upon the vagaries of the monsoon. A poor monsoon has always meant poor harvests and the threat of famine. Among the remedial measures adopted has been the construction of a number of irrigation projects designed to control floods and to conserve rainwater for use in the dry months. The most important are the Karnaphuli Multipurpose Project in the southeast, the Tista Barrage Project in the north, and the Ganges-Kabadak Project, to serve the southwestern part of the country. Economic planning has encouraged double and triple cropping, intercropping, and the increased use of fertilizers.
Economy of Bangladesh at a glance GDP: purchasing power parity—$175.5 billion (1998 est.)
GDP—real growth rate: 4% (1998 est.)
GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$1,380 (1998 est.)
GDP—composition by sector: agriculture: 30% industry: 17% services: 53% (1997)
Population below poverty line: 35.6% (1995-96 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 4.1% highest 10%: 23.7% (1992)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 7% (1998)
Labor force: 56 million
note: extensive export of labor to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, and Oman (1996)
Labor force—by occupation: agriculture 65%, services 25%, industry and mining 10% (1996)
Exports—commodities: garments, jute and jute goods, leather, frozen fish and seafood
Exports—partners: Western Europe 42%, US 30%, Hong Kong 4%, Japan 3% (FY95/96 est.)
Imports—commodities: capital goods, textiles, food, petroleum products
Imports—partners: India 21%, China 10%, Western Europe 8%, Hong Kong 7%, Singapore 6% (FY95/96 est.)
Debt—external: $16.7 billion (1997)
Economic aid—recipient: $1.475 billion (FY96/97)
Currency: 1 taka (Tk) = 100 poisha
Exchange rates: taka (Tk) per US$1—48.500 (January 1999), 46.906 (1998), 43.892 (1997), 41.794 (1996), 40.278 (1995), 40.212 (1994)
Fiscal year: 1 July—30 June
98 percent of the people of Bangladesh are Bangalees. The major religion is Muslim with 80 percent of total population.The second major religion is Hinduism which constitutes 16 percent. Other religions include Buddhism and Christianity. Minorities include Biharis and tribes. Among the tribes Chakma is the biggest.
Bangladesh is one of the largest Muslim countries in the world. Most Bangladeshi Muslims are Sunnis, but there is a small Shia community.Among religious festivals of Muslims Eidul Fitr, Eidul Azha, Eiday Miladunnabi, Muharram etc. are prominent . The contention that Bengali Muslims are all descended from lower-caste Hindus who were converted to Islam is incorrect; a substantial proportion are descendants of the Muslims who reached the subcontinent from elsewhere.
Hinduism is professed by about 12 percent of the population. Durga Puja, Saraswati Puja, Kali Puja etc. are Hindu festivals. Hindus in Bangladesh are almost evenly distributed in all regions, with concentrations in Khulna, Jessore, Dinajpur, Faridpur, and Barisal.
Biharis, who are not ethnic Bangalees, are Urdu-speaking Muslim refugees from Bihar and other parts of northern India. They numbered about 1 million in 1971 but now had decreased to around 600,000. They once dominated the upper levels of the society. They sided with Pakistan during the 1971 war. Hundreds of thousands of Biharis were repatriated to Pakistan after the war.
Tribal race constitutes less than 1 percent of the total population. They live in the Chittagong Hills and in the regions of Mymensingh, Sylhet, and Rajshahi. The majority of the tribal population live in rural areas. They differ in their social organization, marriage customs, birth and death rites, food, and other social customs from the people of the rest of the country. They speak Tibeto-Burman languages. In the mid-1980s, the percentage distribution of tribal population by religion was Hindu 24, Buddhist 44, Christian 13, and others 19.
Major tribes are the Chakmas, Maghs (or Marmas), Tipras, Murangs, Kukis and Santals. The tribes tend to intermingle and could be distinguished from one another more by differences in their dialect, dress, and customs than by tribal cohesion. Only the Chakmas and Marmas display formal tribal organization. They are of mixed origin but reflect more Bengali influence than any other tribe. Unlike the other tribes, the Chakmas and Marmas generally live in the highland valleys. Most Chakmas are Buddhists, but some practice Hinduism or Animism.
The Santals live in the northwestern part of Bangladesh. They obey a set of religious beliefs closely similar to Hinduism. The Khasais live in Sylhet in the Khasia Hills near the border with Assam, and the Garo and Hajang in the northeastern part of the country.
Birth rate: 25.2 births/1,000 population (1999 est.)
Death rate: 8.5 deaths/1,000 population (1999 est.)
Net migration rate: -0.79 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1999 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 38% (male 24,516,722; female 23,346,904) 15-64 years: 59% (male 38,441,064; female 36,586,743) 65 years and over: 3% (male 2,303,613; female 1,922,921) (1999 est.)
Sex ratio: At birth: 1.06 male(s)/female Under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 1.05 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 1.2 male(s)/female Total population: 1.06 male(s)/female (1999 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 69.68 deaths/1,000 live births (1999 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total 55.86 years male: 56.02 years female: 55.69 years (1996 est.)
Total fertility rate: 3.57 children born/woman (1996 est.)
Ethnic divisions: Bengali 98%, Biharis 250,000, tribal less than 1 million
Religions: Muslim 83%, Hindu 16%, Buddhist, Christian, others 1%
Languages: Bangla (official), English
Literacy: 38.1% male: 49.4% female: 26.1%
Bangladesh became one of the youngest major nation states following a pair of twentieth century secessions from India (1947) and Pakistan (1971). The region's history combines Indo-Aryan, Austro-Asiatic, Dravidian, Mughal, Persian, Turkic andBritish influences. Bangladesh's territory became part of the state of Bengal as part of the Mughal Empire for two centuries and also during the succeedingtwo centuries of British rule. During the twentieth century, its resilient inhabitants seem to have suffered one trauma after another. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (Mujib) led the nation to independence in 1971, but he and his successor Ziaur Rahman (Zia) were both assassinated.only in a span of six years. Their legacies (and families) define Bangladesh's democracy to this day..ANYHOW BANGLADESH IS DIVIDED BY 6 DIVISONS.
CAPITAL: Dhaka is the capital and largest city of Bangladesh. Today's Dhaka has a long story of evolution. It was founded during the 10th century. It served as the Mughal capital of Bengal from 1608 to 1704.Before coming under British rule in 1765 it was a trading center for British, French, and Dutch colonialism . In 1905 it was again named the capital of Bengal, and in 1956 it became the capital of East Pakistan.During the Bangladesh war of independence in1971 the city suffered a heavy damage. In 1982 the spelling was changed from ' Dacca' to 'Dhaka'. Dhaka is located in the geographic center of the country. It is in the great deltaic region of the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers. The city is within the monsoon climate zone, with an annual average temperature of 25 deg C (77 deg F) and monthly means varying between 18 deg C (64 deg F) in January and 29 deg C (84 deg F) in August. Nearly 80% of the annual average rainfall of 1,854 mm (73 in) occurs between May and September.Dhaka is located in one of the world's leading rice- and jute-growing regions.Its industries include textiles (jute, muslin, cotton) and food processing, especially rice milling. A variety of other consumer goods are also manufactured here. The Muslim influence is reflected in the more than 700 mosques and historic buildings found throughout the city. The University of Dhaka (1921) and several technical schools and museums are located here.
Attractions of Dhaka :
Mosques : Dhaka has several hundred mosques. Prominent are Baitull Mukarram-National Mosque, the seven Domed Mosque (17th century), Star Mosque (18th century) , Chawkbazar Mosque and Huseni Dalan Mosque.
Lalbagh Fort : It was built in 1678 A.D. by Prince Mohammad Azam, son of Mughal emperor Aurangazeb. The fort was the scene of bloody battle during the first war of independence (1857) when 260 sepoys stationed here backed by the people revolted against British forces. Outstanding among the monuments of the Lalbagh are the tomb of Pari Bibi , Lalbagh Mosque, Audience Hall and Hammam of Nawab Shaista Khan now housing a museum.
Bahadur Shah Park: It was built to commemorate the martyrs of the first liberation war (1857-59) against British rule.It is said that the revolting sepoys and their civil compatriots were publicly hanged here.
Bangabandhu Memorial Museum : The residence of the father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at Dhanmondi has been turned into a musuam. It contains rare collection of personal effects and photographs of his lifetime.
Mukti Juddha Museum : Situated at Segun Bagicha area of the city the museum contains rare photographs of Liberation war and items used by the freedom fighters during the period.
Ahsan Manzil Museum : On the bank of the river Buriganga in Dhaka the pink majestic Ahsan Manzil has been renovated and turned into a museum recently. It is an example of the nations rich cultural heritage. It was the home of the Nawab of Dhaka and a silent spectator to many events. The renovated Ahsan Manzil is 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 displaying portraits, furniture and household articles and utensils used by the Nawab.
Curzon Hall : Beautiful architectural building named after Lord Curzon. It now houses the Science Faculty of Dhaka University.
Old High Court Building : Originally built as the residence of the British Governor, it illustrates a happy blend of European and Mughal architecture.
Dhaka Zoo : Popularly known as Mirpur Zoo. Colorful and attractive collections of different local and foreign species of animals and birds including the majestic Royal Bengal Tiger are available here.
National Museum : Located at the central point of the city, the museum contains a large number of interesting collections including sculptures and paintings of the Hindu, Buddhist and Muslim periods.
Botanical Garden : Built on an area of 205 acres of land at Mirpur and adjacent to Dhaka Zoo. One can have a look at the zoo and the botanical garden in one trip.
National Park : Situated at Rejendrapur, 40 km. north of Dhaka city , this is a vast (1,600 acres) national recreational forest with facilities for picnic and rowing etc.
Shahid Minar : Symbol of Bengali nationalism. This monument was built to commemorate the martyrs of the historic Language movement of 1952. Hundreds and thousands of people with floral wreaths and bouquet gather on 21 February every year to pay respect in a solemn atmosphere. Celebrations begin at zero hour of midnight.
National Poet's Graveyard : Revolutionary poet Kazi Nazrul Islam died on the 29 August 1976 and was buried here. The graveyard is adjacent to the Dhaka University Mosque.
Suhrawardy Uddyan (Garden) : A Popular Park. The oath of independence of Bangladesh was taken here and Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheik Mujibur Rahman gave clarion call for independence on this occasion on the 7th March 1971. The place is famous for its lush verdure and gentle breezes. Eternal Flame to enliven the memory of the martyrs of our Liberation war has been blown here recently.
Mausoleum of National Leaders : Located at the southwestern corner of Suhrawardy Uddyan, it is the eternalresting place of great national leaders, Sher-e-Bangla A.K. Fazlul Haque, Hossain Shahid Suhrawardy and Khaja Nazimuddin.
Banga Bhaban : The official residence of the President, located in the city . One can have an outside view of this grand palace.
Baldha Garden : Unique creation of the late Narendra Narayan Roy, the landlord of Baldha. Year of establishment was 1904. Located in Wari area of Dhaka city, the garden with its rich collection of indigenous and exotic plants is one of the most exciting attraction for naturalists and tourists.
Ramna Green: A vast stretch of green garden surrounded by a serpentine lake near the Sheraton Hotel.
Parliament House : Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban (Parliament House) located at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar has distinctive architectural features. Designed by the famous architect Louis I. Kahn, it may be called an architectural wonder of this region.
Science Museum : The museum is a modern learning center related to the latest scientific discoveries. It is situated at Agargaon.
National Memorial : It locates at Savar, 35, km. from Dhaka city. The memorial designed by architect Moinul Hossain is dedicated to the sacred memory of the millions of unknown martyrs of the war of liberation.
Attractions of Chittagong: Chittagong is the second largest city in Bangladesh, sits on the bank of the Karnapuli River,which ends nearby, in the Bay of Bengal.ladesh. It is Bangladesh's chief sea-port. Chittagong is about 268 km from Dhaka by road and 30 minutes by air. The city has a population of 3.9 million,and is constantly growing. Much of the city is surrounded by hilly terrains.The Chittagong Hill Tracts range is situated nearby.The green hill forests and the sea beaches have made Chittagong a good spot for the holiday-makers.
In Bangladesh about 35% adults are litereate. Poor families cannot afford to let their children go to school so instead they work. Although primary schools are free, only about 80% of eligible pupils attend them. Only 25% of them will complete five years of basic education.After having completed basic or primary education pupils start class 6 at high school and get their Secondary School Certificate after they have studied another 4 years.
Subjects: English, Bengali, General Maths, Additional Math(optional), Science eg, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Home Economics, Religious study etc. (10 subjects)
Students need to study for two more years to get Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC), which is the equivalent of 'A levels'.
In higher education a student must complete 2 years for ordinary graduation and 3 years for an Honours degree. 'Ordinary' graduates need two more years for a Masters whilst an Honours graduate need only study for one more year.
There is also Madrasa system which emphasizes on Arabic medium Islam-based education. This system is supervised by the lone Madrasa Board of the country.
Festivals have always played a significant role in the life of the people of Bangladesh. Those are parts and parcels of Bangalee culture and tradition. Brief account of the major and regular festivals are given below.
The advent of Bengali New Year is gaily observed throughout the country. The Day (mid-April) is a public holiday. Most colorful daylong gatherings along with arrangement of cultural program and traditional Panta at Ramna Park, Dhaka is a special feature of Pahela Baishakh. Tournaments, boat races etc. are held in cities and villages amidst great jubilation. Many fairs are held in Dhaka and other towns and villages.
Martyred Intellectuals Day :
On this day in 1971 renowned academics, doctors, engineers, journalists, teachers and other eminent personalities were dragged blind-folded out of their homes in the capital and killed in cold blood to intellectually cripple the newly-born nation. Their bodies were dumped at Rayerbazar, Mirpur and a few other places in the city.
Sensing the imminent defeat, the Pakistani occupying army and their local collaborators formed Razakar, Al-Badr and Al-Shams and abducted the sons of the soil and killed them only two days before the nation's victory in the nine-month-long Liberation War.
The martyred intellectuals include Prof Muneir Chowdhury, Dr Alim Chowdhury, Prof Muniruzzaman, Dr Fazle Rabbi, Sirajuddin Hossain, Shahidullah Kaiser, Prof GC Dev, JC Guha Thakurta, Prof Santosh Bhattacharya, Mofazzal Haider Chowdhury, journalists Khandaker Abu Taleb, Nizamuddin Ahmed, SA Mannan (Ladu Bhai), ANM Golam Mustafa, Syed Nazmul Haq and Selina Parvin.
The national flag will be hoisted at half-mast along with black flags for this day..
March 26 is the day of Independence of Bangladesh. It is the biggest state festival. This day is most befittingly observed and the capital wears a festive look. It is a public holiday. The citizens of Dhaka wake up early in the morning with the booming of guns heralding the day. Citizens including government leaders and sociopolitical organizations and freedom fighters place floral wreaths at the National Martyrs Monument at Savar. Bangla Academy, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy and other socio-cultural organizations hold cultural functions. At night the main public buildings are tastefully illuminated to give the capital city a dazzling look. Similar functions are arranged in other parts of the country.
The National Mourning Day and World Mother Language Day.21 February is observed throughout the country to pay respect and homage to the sacred souls of the martyrs' of Language Movement of 1952. Blood was shed on this day at the Central Shahid Minar (near Dhaka Medical College Hospital) area to establish Bangla as a state language of the then Pakistan. All subsequent movements including struggle for independence owe their origin to the historic language movement. The Shahid Minar (martyrs monument) is the symbol of sacrifice for Bangla, the mother tongue. The day is closed holiday. Mourning procedure begin in Dhaka at midnight with the song Amar vaier raktay rangano ekushay February (21st February, the day stained with my brothers' blood). Nationals pay homage to the martyrs by placing flora wreaths at the Shahid Minar. Very recently the day has been declared World Mother Language Day by UNESCO.
Ramadan: One months fasting during the day. The date of Ramadan changes each year
Eid-e-Miladunnabi: A muslim festival of celebrating the birthday of the Prophet Muhammed -18th JulyEid-e-Miladunnabi is the birth and death day of Prophet Muhammad (s). He was born and died the same day on 12th Rabiul Awal (Lunar Month). The day is national holiday, national flag is flown atop public and private houses and special food is served in orphanages, hospitals and jails. At night important public buildings are illuminated and milad mahfils are held.
The feast after Ramadan.The biggest Muslim festival observed throughout the world. This is held on the day following the Ramadan or the month of fasting. In Dhaka big congregations are held at the National Eidgah and many mosques.
The feast of Sacrificing.Second biggest festival of the Muslims. It is held marking the Hajj in Mecca on the 10th Zilhaj, the lunar month. Eid congregations are held throughout the country. Animals are sacrificed in reminiscence of Hazrat Ibrahim's (AM) preparedness for the supreme sacrifice of his beloved son to Allah. It is a public holiday.
Muharram procession is a ceremonial mournful procession of Muslim community. A large procession is brought out from the Hussaini Dalan Imambara on 10th Muharram in memory of the tragic martyrdom of Imam Hussain (RA) on this day at Karbala in Iraq. Same observations are made elsewhere in the country.
Sharodia MA DURGA puja: A Hindu festival in honour of Ma DURGA,Goddess of power & prosperities.The date of this festival depends on Bengali calendar.Durga Puja, the biggest festival of the Hindu community continues for ten days, the last three days being culmination with theidol immersed in rivers. In Dhaka the big celebrations are held at Dhakeswari Temple, where a fair is also held and at the Ram Krishna Mission.
A Hindu festival in honour of Ma Laxmi,Goddess of wealth.The date of this festival also depends on Bengali calendar.
A Hindu festival in honour of Ma Kali,Goddess of power.The date of this festival also depends on Bengali calendar.
A Hindu festival in honour of Saraswati, Goddess of knowledge - February
Another Hindu festival in honour of Ma Manasha,Goddess of snakes.The date of this festival also depends on Bengali calendar.
Budda Purnima: A Buddhist festival on Buddhist birthday - May-June
Christmas: 25th December.Christmas, popularly called "Bara Din (Big Day)", is celebrated with pomp in Dhaka and elsewhere in the country.Several day-long large gatherings are held at St. Mary's Cathedral at Ramna, Portuguese Church at Tejgaon, Church of Bangladesh (Protestant) on Johnson Road and Bangladesh Baptist Sangha at Sadarghat Dhaka. Functions include illumination of churches, decorating Christmas tree and other Christian festivities.
Rabindra & Nazrul Jayanti:
Birth anniversary of the noble laureate Rabindranath Tagore on 25th Baishakh (May) and that of the National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam on 11th Jaystha (May) are observed throughout the country. Their death anniversaries are also marked in the same way. Big gatherings and song sessions organized by socio-cultural organizations are salient features of the observance of the days. Tagore is the writer of our national anthem while National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam is famous as Rebel Poet.
Bangalees have a rich literary heritage. The earliest available specimen of Bengali literature is about a thousand years old. During the mediaeval period. Bengali Literature developed considerably with the patronage of Muslim rulers. Chandi Das, Daulat Kazi and Alaol are some of the famous poets of the period. The era of modern Bengali Literature began in the late nineteenth century Rabindranath Tagore, the Nobel Laureate is a vital part of Bangalee culture. Kazi Nazrul Islam, Michael Madhusudan Datta.Sarat Chandra Chattopadhaya, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhaya, Mir Mosharraf Hossain and Kazi Ahdul Wadud are the pioneers of modern Bengali Literature.
The traditional music in Bangladesh shares the perspectives of that of the Indian sub-continent. Music in Bangladesh can be divided into three distinct categories -classical, folk and modern. The classical music, both vocal and instrumental is rooted in the remote past of the sub-continent. Ustad Alauddin Khan and Ustad Ayet Ali Khan are two names in classical instrumental music who are internationally known.
The store of folk song abounds in spiritual lyrics of Lalan Shah, Hasan Raja, Romesh Shill and many anonymous lyricists. Banglamusic arena is enriched with Jari, Shari, Bhatiali, Murshidi and other types of folk songs. Rabindra Sangeet and Nazrul Sangeet are Bangalees' precious heritage. Modern music is also practiced widely. Contemporary patterns have more inclinations to west. Pop song Bangladesh has a good number of musical instruments originally of her own. Originally country musical instruments include, Banshi (bamboo flute), Dhole (wooden drums), Ektara (a single stringed instrument), Dotara (a four stringed instrument), Mandira (a pair of metal bawls used as rhythm instrument), Khanjani, Sharinda etc. Now-a-days western instruments such as Guitar, Drums, Saxophone, Synthesizer etc. are being used alongside country instruments.and band groups are also coming up mainly in Dhaka City.
There is a rich tradition of modern painting which was pioneered by Zainul Abedin, Kamrul Hassan, Anwarul Haque, Shafiuddin Ahmed and S. M. Sultan. Zainul Abedin earned international fame for his sketches on famine of 1943 in Bangladesh. Other famous artists of Bangladesh are Abdur Razzak, Qayyum Chowdhury, Murtaza Baseer, Aminul Islam, Debdas Chakraborty,Kazi Abdul Baset, Syed Jahangir, and Mohammad Kibria
Drama in Bangladesh has an old tradition and is very popular. In Dhaka more than a dozen theater groups have been regularly staging locally written plays as well as those adopted from famous writers, mainly of European origin. Popular theatre groups are Dhaka Theatre, Nagarik Nattya Sampraday and Theatre. In Dhaka, Baily Road area is known as 'Natak Para' where drama shows are regularly held. Public Library Auditorium and Museum Auditorium are famous for holding cultural shows. Dhaka University area is a pivotal part of cultural activities.
Dance: Classical forms of the sub-continent predominate in Bangladeshi dance. The folk, tribal and Middle Eastern traits are also common. Among the tribal dances, particularly popular are Monipuri and Santal. Rural girls are in the habit of dancing that does not require any grammar or regulations. Bangla songs like jari and shari are presented accompanied with dance of both male and female performers.
Jatra: Jatra(Folk Drama) is another vital chapter of Bangalee culture. It depicts mythological episodes of love and tragedy. Legendary plays of heroism are also popular, particularly in the rural areas. In near past jatra was the biggest entertainment means for the rural Bangalees and in that sense for 80% of the population since the same percentage of the population lived in rural Bangladesh. Now-a-days jatra has been placed in the back seat in the entertainment era. Gradually western culture is occupying the place of traditional culture like jatra.
Traditional Transportation Means: There are some transportation means that are parts of culture of Bangladesh. In rural areas bullock carts, buffalo carts and tomtoms (horse carts) are commonly used. In old Dhaka once tomtom was a common vehicle and still it is found, though rare. Bicycles are used both in rural and urban areas. Palki (a box-like vehicle carried on shoulders by six men) is a wedding transportation means. Brides are carried to the bridegrooms' places by Palki. Being a land crisscrossed by rivers, Bangladesh has a wide-ranged tradition of ferry transport. Wooden boat popularly called nawka is a vital means of rural communication. Rickshaw is a very common vehicle to Bangladeshis.
Clothing: Bangladeshi women habitually wear Sarees. Jamdani was once world famous for it's most artistic and expensive ornamental fabric. Moslin, a fine and artistic type of cloth was well-known worldwide. Naksi Kantha, embroidered quilted patchworkcloth produced by the village women, is still familiar in villages and towns simultaneously. A common hairstyle is Beni (twisted bun) that Bangalee women are fond of. Traditionally males wear Panjabis, Fatuas and Pajamas. Hindus wear Dhuty for religious purposes.Now-a-days common dresses of males are shirts and pants. Government and non-government organizations like Bangla Academy, Nazrul Institute, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Fine arts Institute, Chhayanat etc. play significant role to flourish Bangladeshi art and culture providing encouragement in music, drama, dance, recitation, art etc. Many other cultural organizations are also popularizing Bangladeshi art and culture
LANGUAGE: Bangla is the official language of Bangladesh. It is also spoken in West Bengal. Bangalees protected Bangla from the clutches of Pakistani oppressors in 1952 by preventing Urdu from being the state language of East Pakistan where a vast majority of people spoke in Bangla. Bangalees had to sacrifice lives for their mother tongue on 21st February, 1952. 21st February being declared International Mother Language Day by UNESCO, Bangla reached the peak of maturity.
Evolution Bangla's direct ancestor is a form of Magadhi Prakrit or Middle Indo-Aryan which descended from Sanskrit or Old Indo-Aryan. Bangla evolved mainly from Sanskrit. Also Hindi, Urdu, Farsi, English--all contributed lots of words and terms to form this language.
The Origin of Bangla Alphabet : Bangla alphabet originated from Brahmi alphabet of the Asokan inscriptions. The Bangla script in its present printed form took shape in 1778 when printing types were first cast by Charles Wilkins. There still remained a few archaic forms and these were finally replaced in the middle of the nineteenth century.
The Oldest Records : For old Bangla the only record is Charjapad discovered from a palace in Nepal by Haraprasad Shastri. It is a collection of the oldest verses thought to be the oldest records of Bangla literature. The language of Charjapad is basically vernacular, but at the same time it is also something of a literary language.
Two Styles : Bangla at the present day has two literary styles. One is called "Sadhu Bhasha" and the other "Chalit Bhasa". The former is the traditional literary style based on Middle Bangla of the sixteenth century. The later is practically a creation of the present century, and is based on thecultivated form of the dialect and day-to-day talks. The difference between the two literary styles is not very sharp. The vocabulary is practically the same. The difference lies mainly in the forms of the pronoun and the verb. The Sadhu Bhasa has the old and heavier forms while the Chalit Bhasa uses the modern and lighter forms. The former shows a partiality for lexical words and for compound words of the Sanskrit type, and the latter prefers colloquial words, phrases and idioms. The Chalit Bhasa was first seriously taken up by Pramatha Chawdhury at the instance of Rabindranath Tagore during the early years of the first World War. Soon after Tagore practically discarded Sadhu Bhasa, and Chalit Bhasa is now generally favored by writers who have no particular fascination for the traditional literary style.
International Mother Language Day : The UNESCO has declared 21st February as The International Mother Language Day to be observed globally in recognition of the sacrificesof the Bangla language martyrs who laid their lives for establishing the rightful place of Bangla. The proclamation came in the form of a resolution unanimously adopted at the plenary of the UNESCO at its headquarters in Paris in November 1999. In its resolution the UNESCOsaid-' 21st February be proclaimed International Mother Language Day throughout the world to commemorate the martyrs who sacrificed their lives on this very day in 1952’.It is a great tribute and glowing homage paid by the international community to the language martyrs of Bangladesh. The genesis of the historic Language Movement which ensued since September 1947 with the students in the vanguard backed by intellectuals, cultural activists and patriotic elements was the first spurt of Bangalee nationalistic upsurge culminating in the sanguinary events of February 21, 1952 andfinally leading to the war of Liberation in 1971.
The UNESCO in its resolution said-the recognition was given bearing in mind that all moves to promote the dissemination of mother tongues will serve not only to encourage linguistic diversity and multilingual education but also to develop fuller awareness about linguistic and cultural traditions throughout the world and to inspire solidarity based on understanding, tolerance and dialogue.
Henceforth UN member countries around the world will observe 21st February as the International Mother Language Day. The historic 21st February has, thus, assumed new dimension. The sacrifices of Rafiq, Salam, Jabbar, Barkat and other martyrs as well as of those tortured and repressed by the then authoritarian government of Pakistan for championing the cause of their mother tongue have received now a glorious and new recognition by the November 1999 resolution of the UNESCO.
Countries who gave support to the proposal of Bangladesh Govt. for declaring the 21st February as The International Mother Language Day are Banin, Bhahama, Balaroush, Comoros, Chili, Dominic Republic, Egypt, Gambia, Honduras, Italy, Iran, Micronesia, Oman, The Philippines, Papua Newgini, Pakistan, Paraguay, Russian Federation, Sir Lanka, Saudi Arabia, Surinam, Slovakia, Vanuatu, Indonesia, India, Ivoricost , Lithuania, Malaysia The following persons worked hard for bringing this international recognition to Bangla.:
Air : By air Bangladesh can be reached from any part of the world. Biman Bangladesh airlines is the national air service authority that connects Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet with 28 major cities of the world. International carriers like British Airways, Thai Airways, Saudia, Kuwait Airways, Singapore Airlines, PIA, Cathy Pacific, Indian Airlines, Emirates, Gulf Air, Aeroflot, Myanmar Airways, Royal Nepal Airlines, Uzbek Airways, Qatar Airways, Oman Air and Malaysian Airlines fly to and from Dhaka . Biman Bangladesh airlines also operates domestic route services. Presently private sector airlines are also operating in domestic routs.
Airports: 16 (1998 est.)
Airports—with paved runways: Total: 15 over 3,047 m: 1 2,438 to 3,047 m: 2 1,524 to 2,437 m: 4 914 to 1,523 m: 1 under 914 m: 7 (1998 est.)
Bus/Coach Services: Road transport in Bangladesh is a private sector affair operating predominantly in domestic routes. Rates are among the cheapest in the world. Express and non stop services are available to principal towns from Gabtoli, Saidabad and Mohakhai bus terminals in Dhaka.The Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) also maintains a countrywide network of bus services. Recently they have introduced Dhaka - Calcutta - Dhaka direct daily bus services via Benapole, Jessore.
Highways: total: 204,022 km paved: 25,095 km unpaved: 178,927 km (1996 est.)
Railway: Nationally operated Bangladesh Railway provides an efficient service throughout Bangladesh. The inter city Express Service is available to and from important cities if in all. Local trains serve in cheaper rates.
Railways: total: 2,745 km broad gauge: 923 km 1.676-m gauge narrow gauge: 1,822 km 1.000-m gauge (1998 est.)
The landscape of Bangladesh is dominated by about 250 rivers providing over 5,000 miles [8,000 km) of navigable waterways. Country-made boats are the most widely used carrier one can see in the rivers and rivulets. They carry passengers and merchandise on a large scale. Mechanized Watertransport is mainly operated by the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC), which run ferry and launch services on the main routes. There are also water transport services run by private companies.
Waterways: 5,150-8,046 km navigable waterways (includes 2,575-3,058 km main cargo routes) Ports and harbors: Chittagong, Dhaka, Mongla Port
Car Rental: Private car hire service is available in Dhaka and some other major cities. Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation (BPC), a government organization,has a fleet of air-conditioned and non air-conditioned cars, microbuses and jeeps. Besides they offer transfer service for tourists between Dhaka airport and main city points or hotels.
HERE R SOME BEAUTIFUL PLACES IN BANGLADESH IN SHORT:
Sundarbans Located at about 320km. West of Dhaka. Here in the south, spread over anarea of about 6000 sq. km. of delta swamps along the coastal belt of Khulna is the biggest mangrove forest, Sundarbans (beautiful forest) - the home of the Royal Bengal Tiger. These dense mangrove forests are criss-crossed by a network of rivers and creeks. One find here tides flowing in two directions in the same creek and often tigers swimming across a river or huge crocodiles basking inthe sun. Other wildlife in this region is cheetahs, spotted deer, monkeys, pythons, wild bears and hyenas. The forest is accessible by river from Khulna and Mongla. There are rest houses for the visitors to stay and enjoy the unspoiled nature with all its charm and majesty. Spending some times inside the forest can be a rare treat for the lovers of nature. BPC offers package tours to Sundarbans.
Kaptai: Kaptai is an upazila under Rangamati district. It is famous for hydro-electric project. A panoramic man-made lake called Kaptai lake (680-sq. km.) in the midst of hills has added to its beauty. A pleasant and picturesque drive of 64 km. from Chittagong brings you to huge expanse of emerald and blue water ringed with tropical forest. Only 3 km. from Kaptai along Chittagong road, lies the ancient Chit Morong Buddhist temple having beautiful Buddhist statues.
Kuakata: A rare scenic beauty spot on the southern most tip of Bangladesh in the district of Patuakhali. It has a wide sandy beach from where one can get the unique opportunity of seeing both the sunrise and sunsetting. It is located at a distance of 70 km. from the district headquarters of Patuakhali. Accessible by road, by air to Barisal and then by road, by river vessel. Kuakata, locally known as Sagar Kannya (Daughter of the Sea) is a rare scenic beauty spot on the southernmost tip of Bangladesh. Kuakata in Latachapli union under Kalapara Police Station of Patuakhali district is about 30 km in length and 6 km in breadth. It is 70 km from Patuakhali district headquarters and 320 km from Dhaka. At Kuakata excellent combination of the picturesque natural beauty, sandy beach, blue sky, huge expanse of water of the Bay and evergreen forest in really eye-catching. Kuakata is one of the rarest places which has the unique beauty of offering the full view of the rising and setting of crimson sun in the water of the Bay of Bengal in a calm environment. That perhaps makes kuakata one of the world's unique beaches. The long and wide beach at Kuakata has a typical natural setting. This sandy beach has gentle slopes into the Bay of Bengal and bathing there is as pleasant as is walking or diving. Kuakata is truly a virgin beach-a sanctuary for migratory winter birds, a series of coconut trees, sandy beach of blue Bay, a feast for the eye. Forest, boats plying in the Bay of Bengal with colourful sails, fishing, towering cliffs, surfing waves everything here touches every visitor's heart. The unique customs and costumes of the 'Rakhyne' tribal families and Buddhist Temple of about hundred years old indicate the ancient tradition and cultural heritage, which are objects of great pleasure Kuakata is the place of pilgrimage of the Hindus and Buddhist communities. Innumerable devotees arrive here at the festival of 'Rush Purnima' and 'Maghi Purnima'. On these two days they take holy bath and traditional fairs are held here. All these additional offers to panoramic beauty make the beach more attractive to the visitors. One should visit Kuakata and discover the lovely grace of Bangladesh.
Tamabil & Jaflong : Situated amidst splendid panorama, Tamabil is a border outpost on Sylhet-Shilong road, about 55 km. away from Sylhet town. Beside enchanting views of the area one can also have a glimpse of the waterfall across the border from Tamabil. Jaflong is also a scenicspot nearby amidst tea gardens and rare beauty of rolling stones from hills.
Mainamati : An isolated low, dimpled range of hills, dotted -with more than 50 ancient Buddhist settlements of the 8th to 12th century A.D. known as Mainamati-Laimai range areextended through the centre of the district of Comilla.
Salban Vihara:, almost in the middle of the Mainamati-Lalmai hill range consists of 115 cells, built around a spacious courtyard with cruciform temple in the centre facing its only gateway complex to the north resembling that of the Paharpur Monastery.
Kotila Mura: situated on a flaftened hillock, about 5 km north of Salban Vihara insidethe Comilla Cantonment are is picturesque Buddhist establishment. Here three stupas are found side by side representing the Buddhist "Trinity" or three jewels i.e. the Buddha,
Charpatra Mura: is an isolated small oblong shrinesituated about 2.5 krn. north-west of kotila Mura stupas. The only approach to the shrine is from the East through agateway which leads to a spacious hall. The Mainamati site Museum has a rich and varied collection of copper plates, gold and silver coins and 86 bronze objects. Over 150 bronze statues havo been recovered mostly from the monastic cells, bronze stupas, stone sculptures and hundreds of terracotta plaques each measuring on an average of 9" higli and 8" to 12" wide. Mairiamati is only 114 km. from Dhaka City and is just a day's trip by road on way to Chittagong.
Cox's Bazar : Located at a distance of 152 km. to the south of Chittagong, Cox's Bazar is the tourist capital of Bangladesh. Having the world's longest unbroken (120 km.) beach sloping gently down tothe blue waters of the Bay of Bengal against the picturesque background of a chain of hill covered with deep green forests, Cox's Bazar is one of the most attractive tourist spots in the world. Miles of golden sands, towering cliffs surfing waves, rare conch shells, colorfulpagodas, Buddhist temples and tribes, delightful seafood - these are specialties of Cox's Bazar. The beach is good for bathing, sunbathing and swimming. The breath-taking beauty of the sun-setting behind the waves of the sea is captivating. Attractive local variety of cigars and handloom products of the Rakhyne tribal families are good buys. Their unique customs and costumes attract visitors. Cox's Bazar is connected both by air and road from Dhaka and Chittagong. Visits to the fascinating picnic spot at Himchari, Teknaf, Buddhist temple at Ramu and nearby island of Sonadia, St. Martin and Mohaskhali are memorable experience of one's lifetime. The Aggameda Khyang, Cox's Bazar : Equally elaborate in plan, elevation and decorationis the Aggameda Khyang near the entrance to the Cox's Bazar town which nestles at thefoot of a hill under heavy cover of a stand of large trees. The main sanctuary-cum-monasteryis carried on a series of round timber columns, which apart from accommodating the prayer chamber and an assembly hall, also is the repository of a large of small bronze Buddha images-mostly of Burmese origin-- and some old manuscripts. Beyond the main khyang to thesouth there is an elevated wooden pavilion and a smaller brick temple with a timber and corrugated metal root. Apart from bearing an inscription in Burmese over its entrance the temple contains some large stucco and bronze Buddha images.
Himchari : It is about 32 km. South of Cox's Bazar along the beach, a nice place for picnic and shooting. The famous "Broken Hills" and waterfalls here are rare sights.
Inani : It is about 32 km. South of Cox's Bazar and just on the beach, with the sea to the west and a background of steep hills to the east. Inani casts a magic spell on those who step into that dreamland. It is only half an hour's drive from Cox's Bazar and an ideal place for Sea-bathing and picnic.
Maheskhali : An island off the coast of Cox's Bazar. It has an area of 268 square kilometers. Through the centre of the island and along the eastern coast line rises a range of low hills, 300 feet high; but the coast to the west and north is a lowlying treat, fringed by mangrove jungle. In the hills on the coast is built the shrine of Adinath, dedicated to siva. By its side on the same hill is Buddhist Pagoda.
Ramu : This is a typical Buddhist village, about 16 km. from Cox's Bazar, on the main road to Chittagong. There are monasteries, khyangs and pagodas containing images of Buddha in gold, bronze and other metals inilaid with precious stones.One of the most interesting of these temples is on the bank of the Baghkhali river. It houses not only interesting relics and Burmes handicrafts but also a large bronze statue of Buddha measuring thirteen feet high and rests on a six feet high pedestal. The wood carving of this khyang is very delicate and refined.The village has a charm of its own. Weavers ply there trade in open workshops and craftsmen make handmade cigars in their pagoda like houses.
Sonadia Island : It is about seven kilometer of Cox's Bazar and about nine square kilometer in area. The western side of the island is sandy and different kinds of shells are found on the beach. Off the northern part of the island, there are beds of window pane oysters. During winter, fisherman set up temporary camps on the island and dry their catches of sea fish.
Teknaf : Southernmost tip of Bangladesh, Teknaf situated on the Naaf river and just at the end of the hilly regions of the district. Mayanmar is on the opposite bank of Naaf river. Wild animals and birds are available but the most interesting thing is a journey on the river. Wide sandy beach in the backdrop of high hills with green forests is an enchanting scene never to be forgotten.
Mahasthangarh: Located at a distance of 18 km. to the north of Bogra town. Mahasthangarh is the oldest archaeological site of Bangladesh on the western bank of river Karotoa. The spectacular site is an imposing landmark in the area having a fortified long enclosure. Beyond the fortified area, other ancient ruins fan out within a semi-circle of about 8-km. radius. Several isolated mounds, the local names of which are Govinda Bhita Temple,Khodai Pathar Mound, Mankalir Kunda, Parasuramer Bedi, Jiyat Kunda etc.surround the fortified city.
This 3rd century BC archaeological site is still held to be of great sanctity by the Hindus.Every year (mid-April) and once in every 12 years (December) thousands of Hindu devotees join the bathing ceremony on the bank of river Karatoa. A visit to theMahasthangarh site museum will open up for one a wide variety of antiquities, ranging from terracotta objects to gold ornaments and coins recovered from the site. Also noteworthy are the shrine of Shah Sultan Bulki Mahisawary and Gokul Medh in the neighborhood of Mahasthangarh.
Paharpur : In Paharpur, a small village 5 km. west of Jamalganj railway station in the greater Rajshahi district, the remains of the most important and the largest known monastery south of the Himalayas has bee excavated. This 8th century A.D. archaeological find covers approximately an area of 27 acres of land. The entire establishment occupies a quadrangular court, measuring more than 900 ft. and from 12fh to 15ft. in height with elaborate gateway complex on the north. There are 45 cells on the north and 44 in eachof other three sides with a total number of 177 rooms. The architecture of the pyramidal cruciform temple is profoundly influenced by those of South-East Asia, especially Myanmar and Java. It had taken its name from a high mound, which looked like pahar or hillock. A site museum built recently houses the representative coactions of objects recovered from the area. The excavated findings have also been preserved at the Veranda Research museum at Rajshahi. The antiquities of the museum include terracotta plaques, images of different gods and goddesses, potteries, coins, inscriptions, ornamental bricks and other minor clay objects . It has been declared as a World Heritage site by UNESCO.