The Sundarbans is the largest littoral mangrove in the world, stretches for 80 km inland from the coast of Bangladesh. The forests, however, are not made only by mangroves: they also include what remains of the majestic jungle that once covered the Gangetic plain. The Sundarbans cover an area of 38,500 sq km, one third of which are covered by water. Since 1966, the Sundarbans has become a nature reserve, at the time it is estimated that up to 400 Royal Bengal tigers and about 30,000 deer. The park is also home to some gypsy families who fish using otters make disciples. To see this pristine environment, you must obtain a permit by the Forest Service (Divisional Forest Office) of Khulna. Once you have permission, you can rent a boat from Mongla or Dhangmari to reach Hiron Point. From Hiron Point you need to get a guide that makes you visit the park.
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The monastery of Somapura Vihara, the eighth century, located at Paharpur, was once the largest Buddhist monastery south of the Himalayas. It is still the most fascinating and impressive archaeological site of Bangladesh and covers about 11 hectares of land. While you are in an advanced state of decay, you can imagine the overall vision of the temple: the monks’ cells, enclosed in a large quadrangle, determine the structure surrounding the inner courtyard. At the center of the courtyard there are the remains of a 20 m high stupa which dominates the surrounding countryside. The more protected the monastery walls are decorated with well-preserved terracotta bas-reliefs and a small museum specimens of domestic and religious objects found during excavations.
To reach the archaeological site from Dhaka, take a bus or train to Bogra and from there another bus to Jaipurhat. From Jaipurhat there are two alternatives: either take a rickshaw to the crossroads and look for a passage to the village of Paharpur, or walk (or risks) to Jaipurhat station and from there take a train to Jamalpur and finally a Another risk to Paharpur. You can also reach Paharpur from Rajshahi, but it’s more complicated than the journey from Paharpur in Bogra and involves a stretch of 8 km on foot. Paharpur is located 260 km from Dhaka.
The buildings excavated in this area, famous between the seventh and twelfth centuries as an important center of Buddhist culture, consisting entirely of baked bricks. More than 50 scattered Buddhist sites in the area, the three most important are Salban Vihara, Kotila Mura and Mura Charpatra. Salban Vihara was a well-designed monastery of 170 square meters located in front of a temple in the center of the courtyard. Nearby is a museum where the remains are found at the excavations. These remains include terracotta plaques, bronze statues, a bronze casket, coins, jewelry, votive stupas and decorated with Buddhist inscriptions. Kotila Mura comprises three large stupas representing Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, the ‘Three Jewels of Buddhism’. The most important discovery took place in Charpatra Walls shall consist of the four royal copper plates with inscriptions of laws, three belonging to Chandra rulers, the other to Sri Viradhara Deva, a Hindu king of late. It should be noted that the remains are housed in a major military cantonment and can not be visited without permission from military authorities.
The ruins are located about 70 km southeast of Dhaka.
The second largest city of Bangladesh, in order of size, situated on the bank of the river Karnapuli and has an interesting old port area, known as Sadarghat, which testifies to the importance of trade along the river to the city’s development. Nearby is the Portuguese enclave of Paterghatta which remains mostly Christian. The mosques of Shahi Jama Masjid-e-Mubarak and qadam are two of the most majestic buildings in the city. It is also worth visiting the Ethnological Museum in the Modern City, where there are many evidences of the life of the indigenous peoples of Bangladesh. From the Fairy Hill (Hill of the Fairies), in the British City in the north-west of the city, you can admire the beautiful scenery and enjoy a pleasant breeze.
Flights between Chittagong and Dahka leave three or four times a day, as trains can take up to seven hours to complete the journey. The Dhaka-Chittagong highway is one of the best roads in the country and there are many buses that route, but the journey can sometimes be quite dangerous. The bus ride lasts as long as the train, but that is definitely more comfortable and quieter. Chittagong is located 264 km southeast of Dhaka.
The capital of Bangladesh is on the north bank of the river Buriganga, more or less at the center of the country. If you arrive in Dhaka from South-East Asia, most likely will be struck by the absence of advertising and commercial activities. If you arrive from Delhi or Kathmandu, you’ll definitely less pollution. If you are from Calcutta, you will find the city clean and tidy, but if you traveled through the countryside of Bangladesh will seem a bit ‘as Babylon. Here you will find the best that Bangladesh can offer, including goods and services that do not exist anywhere else in the country.
The oldest part of the city extends along the north bank of the river and was developed when Dhaka was a significant Moghul mall. In the Old City, do not miss the area between the two main terminals for the transport on the river, Sadarghat and Badam Tole, where he attend the scenes of life on the river Buriganga is particularly fascinating, because this area is often teeming with people and boats of all type. Along the riverbank there is a baroque palace, the Ahsan Manzil, which was painted bright pink.
The most interesting building of Dhaka is the Lalbagh Fort, an unfinished high dating back to 1678 and located in the Old City. In the same area there are also a couple of attractive mosques, including Hussain Dalan. The National Museum is located north of Old Town, in the old European zone known as Modern City. There are fascinating displays, witnessing the Hindu, Buddhist and Moghul of Bangladesh, as well as a large collection of art objects and crafts.
Most of the accommodation and eateries located in the Modern City, in central Dhaka. This area includes the area of Motijheel, where the commercial district is located most of the banks, travel agencies and airline offices. Dhaka is the capital world risk: there are more than 300,000 in circulation, colorful. Take a ride on a rickshaw is a must, as is taking a double decker bus in London.