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Things to do in Dhaka, Bangladesh

With its colourful history and rich cultural traditions, Dhaka – the capital and largest city of Bangladesh – is known the world over as the ‘City of Mosques’.

Having attracted travellers from near and far throughout the ages, Dhaka has grown into a mega city of around 15 million people and the hub of the nation's industrial, commercial, cultural, educational and political activities today. Its Muslim influence is reflected in more than 700 mosques and historic buildings found throughout the city.

Dhaka is located in the geographic centre of the country; in the great deltaic region of the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers. The city is within the monsoon climate zone and is in one of the world's leading rice and jute or natural raw jute growing regions. Its economy is mainly driven by the jute textile industries, muslin and cotton industries as well as food processing; in particular, rice milling.

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Local Attractions

National Memorial:

Located at Savar, 35km from Dhaka city, this memorial was designed by architect Moinul Hossain and is dedicated to the sacred memory of the millions of unknown martyrs of the Liberation War.

Lalbagh Fort:

Built in 1678 A.D. by Prince Mohammad Azam, son of Mughal Emperor Aurangazeb, this fort was the scene of a bloody battle during the first War of Independence in 1857. Outstanding among the monuments of the Lalbagh are the tomb of Pari Bibi, Lalbagh Mosque, Audience Hall and Hammam of Nawab Shaista Khan, which now houses a museum.

Bangabandhu Memorial Museum:

The residence of the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, at Dhanmondi has been turned into a museum that contains a rare collection of personal effects and photographs of his lifetime.

Liberation War Museum:

Situated at Segun Bagicha, this museum contains rare photographs of the Liberation War and items used by the freedom fighters during this period.

Ahsan Manzil Museum:

Located on the bank of the river Buriganga in Dhaka, the majestic Ahsan Manzil was renovated and turned into a museum recently to epitomise the nation’s rich cultural heritage. Once the home of the Nawab of Dhaka and a silent spectator to many events, the new 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, as well as 23 galleries displaying portraits, furniture and household articles and utensils used by the Nawab.

Curzon Hall:

This beautiful architecture is named after Lord Curzon and houses the Science Faculty of Dhaka University.

Dhaka Zoo:

Popularly known as the Mirpur Zoo, it contains different local and foreign species of animals and birds including the majestic Royal Bengal Tiger.

National Museum:

Located at the central point of the city, this museum contains a large number of interesting collections including sculptures and paintings of the Hindu, Buddhist and Muslim periods.

Botanical Garden:

Built on 205 acres of land at Mirpur and adjacent to the Dhaka Zoo, this botanical garden contains a stunning collection of flora.

Central Shahid Minar:

A 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 bouquets gather on 21 February every year to pay their respects at midnight.

Suhrawardy Uddyan (Garden):

Besides being the place where the oath of independence of Bangladesh was taken on 7 March 1971, this place is famous for its lush verdure.

Parliament House:

Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban (Parliament House) has distinctive architectural features designed by the famous architect Louis I. Kahn.

Institute of Arts and Crafts:

Situated in the picturesque surroundings of Shahbagh, the Institute of Arts and Crafts houses an impressive collection of folk-art and paintings by artists of Bangladesh.

Sonargaon:

Located about 29km from Dhaka, Sonargaon is one of the oldest capitals of Bangal with a historic Folk Arts and Crafts Museum.

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