Dhaka’s attractions range from thousand-year-old religious structures, botanical gardens, traditional markets and modern night hubs. Travellers start off at the Dhakeshwari Temple which has served the Bangladeshi Hindus since the 12th century. It was built by a Kind Ballal Sen from the ancient Sena dynasty. Considered an essential part of Dhaka’s cultural heritage, the temple was named as the National Temple of Bangladesh. The architecture has had many changes due to damages inflicted by political and religious unrest in the past. A lucky traveller can have a chance to witness the Durga Puja celebration in the Dhakeshwari Temple around September or October. It is the most important Hindu festival in South Asia.
Sadarghat Port is at the southern part of the city, at the Dhaka River Front. It is the very soul of the city for the thousand canoes and fishing boats and the bustle of people. Tourists can view the dynamic Dhaka river life from the deck of a small boat. More than 50,000 people arrive and leave depart the Sadarghat Port every day. The crowd is coupled by children with their home-made fishing nets, sweaty boat repairmen swinging away with hammers and boat crews scrubbing the ship hulls. It’s like a scene out of Pirates of the Caribbean, only without a one-eyed captain with a parrot on his shoulder.
Suhrawardy Udyan was originally served the British military soldiers who were stationed in Dhaka. It used to be called Ramna Race Course but it was later named after Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy, a political figure during the British conquest of India, Pakistan and Bengal. The freedom fighter’s tomb is located in this national memorial ground. The place was also once home to centuries-old Ramna Kali Mandir Hindi temple that was burned during a plight with the Pakistan Army.
Ramna Green is a large ecological conservation park in the heart of the city. Much like New York’s Central Park, Ramna Green has a lake at the center. It’s been in existence since 1610, when the city was founded under Emperor Jahangir. After much conservation efforts by the government, it now has a miniature zoo, the Bangladeshi Supreme Court, and numerous species of plants which includes fruit-bearing trees and medicinal herbs spread across 68 acres of land. Another park that naturalists will enjoy is the Baldha Garden in Old Dhaka. Established in 1904, the oldest botanical garden of Dhaka has a wide collection of indigenous pants which are classified into orchids, cacti, aquatic, rockery, among many others.
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