Dhaka is the capital and largest city of Bangladesh. With its colorfoul history and rich cultural traditions, Dhaka is known the world over as the city of mosques and muslin. Its fame attracted travellers from far and near throughout the ages. Today it has grown into a mega city of about 16 million people, with an area of about 1353 sq. km. becoming the hub of the nation’s industrial, commercial, cultural, educational and political activities.
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.
Summer: Max.36.7°C Min. 21.1°c
Winter: Max.31.7°C Min. 10.5°c
Rainfall : 2540 mm annually.
Humidity : 80 percent (approx.)
GENERAL INFORMATION :
Area : 815.85 Sq. kilometres (approx.)
Population : 16 million (approx.)
Climate : Tropical, with heavy rainfall and bright sunshine in the monsoon and warm for the greater part of the year. The winter months, from November to March, are however, most likeable, cool and pleasant.
Attractions of Dhaka
Puran Dhaka (Old Dhaka)
The highlight of any visit to Dhaka is to take in a serving of the pulsing vibrancy and extraordinary atmosphere of Puran Dhaka (Old Dhaka). With its winding alleyways and frenetic buzzing energy, there is something to see around every corner and a walk here proves to be quite the photographer’s delight. Travel by a horse driven cart or rickshaw along busy Dhaka streets is a rewarding experience.
Sadarghat: Dhaka’s heaving boat terminal. The terminal itself and all of it’s launches are absolutely stacked with people. Taking a small boat out on the river in the early morning is the best way to witness this. To float away from Dhaka’s intensity in a launch or rocket paddlewheel is by far the best way to leave the city behind.
Shakhari Bazaar: A Hindu predominant area and one of the oldest mohallas (a traditional neighborhood) of Puran Dhaka, located near the intersection of Islampur Road and Nawabpur Road; the two main arteries of the old city and only a block away from the Buriganga River. Shakhari Bazaar stretches along a narrow lane, lined with thin slices of richly decorated brick buildings, built during the late Mughal or Colonial period. It seems like the buildings, temples and alleys haven’t changed since the 16th century, when Old Dhaka was the heart of former capital of Bengal.
Boro and Choto Katra (Mitford Road): These illustrative names- boro means big and choto means small- indicate the relative sizes of these historical residences built during the Mughal Dhaka period. The smaller of the two was built Subahdar Shaista Khan, one of the earliest Mughal generals of Dhaka, while the origins of the larger building are not known. Today these two buildings are some of the oldest in Dhaka, which probably accounts for why they’re falling to pieces now.
Dhakeshwari Temple: City’s most prominent Hindu temple. The temple throngs with trinket stalls, pilgrims and a prominent Durga idol. The site’s current buildings- one main temple and four small mandirs- are simple in design.
Haji Biriyani (Bangshal Road): This biriyani restaurant is a real Old Dhaka institution. At meal time there is a massive queue that stretches out the door. Biriyanis are served in a shal pata- quite similar to a banana leaf.
Star Hotel (Thatari Bazaar): Something of a late-night institution in Old Dhaka. Meals include a range of biriyanis and kababs, and at night the street is furore of kebab-making activity.
Dhaka University: Dhaka University is widely recognized as Dhaka’s best educational facility and a significant source of dissenting voices in the country, a place where the tenets of the wider society could be challenged and debated. There are some worthy architectural and cultural sites scattered around the campus, including the picturesque Curzon Hall, which is a unique blend of European-Mughal architecture. The Central Shaheed Minar commemorates the language movement of 1952, which represents the country’s earliest longings for independence. The Raju Chattar sculpture is dedicated to a student who was killed during political violence, a notorious event at university campuses across the country. Suhrawardy Park is a pleasant place to walk around and to find quite places in the park to have tea and adda (traditional small talks). Situated in the picturesque surroundings of Shahbagh the Institute of Fine Arts has a representative collection of folk-art and paintings by artists of Bangladesh.
National Museum (Shahbagh, near Aziz Super Market): Bangladesh’s state museum offers an extensive overview of the country’s culture, heritage, craftsmanship and ethnicities. There are some gems among the dusty collections, including Zainul Abedin’s stark series of charcoal drawings depicting the 1943 famine of Bengal and a massive 40ft boat that was constructed inside the museum.
National Assembly Building (Manik Mia Av): Bangladesh’s signature parliament building is the most unique structure that the country has, and stands as a testament to the youthful spitrit of the country and its people. Known as the largest legislative complex in the entire world, the building was originally designed by American architect Louis Kahn. The architect’s monolithic style is unmistakably in the design: its towering walls are recessed by geometric shapes such as triangles and squares, all of which allow large amounts of natural light into the building complex.
Kawran Bazaar: Located in the heart of the new city and housing of the major media outlets, Kawran Bazaar isn’t so much a ‘sight’ as a place to get afeel fro Dhaka’s thronging heartbeat. Between the office buildings and the railway artery, the bazaar hums with activity all the times of the day. Most of the city’s fresh goods are brought here first, where scores of workers then load massive baskets of fruits and vegetables onto their heads to get them to smaller markets around town.