Sightseeing in Dhaka - what to see. Complete travel guide

The city of Dhaka is the capital of Bangladesh. This is a multifaceted and picturesque settlement. Dhaka is a real “melting pot” of different nations. You will understand why the city is often called this way if you visit it. Dhaka is an interesting combination of customs and traditions of different nations that have been living for centuries in this region. Nowadays, the capital of Bangladesh is a colorful megalopolis that is always loud and lively. The city’s population grows every year, and Dhaka is the sixth-largest city in the world at the moment.
The first settlement on the territory of modern Dhaka appeared in the 7th century. However, certain historical files assume that there were settlements in this area yet in the 1st century BC. At the beginning of the 7th century, the Buddhist kingdom of Kamarupa existed in this region. According to a legend, the city got its name because of a temple dedicated to goddess Dhakeshwari that was built here. In the 8th century, Dhaka became the capital of the Bengali Kingdom. When a Muslim dynasty established its reign in Dhaka in the 13th – 14th centuries, a new religion, Islam, started spreading quickly in the region.
In the 50s of the 18th century, Dhaka together with other cities became a part of British India. At the beginning of the 20th century, local people participated in the national movement and the rebellion against the British colonizers. The main purpose of the rebels was to make their homeland independent. When India finally achieved its dream of gaining independence, it was divided into two main parts, and Dhaka became the center of one of these parts. The city became the capital of Bangladesh only at the beginning of the 70s of the 20th century. Copyright
Do you want to see the landmark that gave the city its current name? In this case, don’t forget to visit the Dhakeshwari National Temple that is the main architectural and historical landmark of the city. Without a doubt, this is an important part of Bangladesh’s cultural heritage. The temple’s building can be conventionally divided into two parts. The ancient part is made from rough stones. Visitors can see them on the inner premises and underground passages. The new part of the shrine was built two centuries ago, during a large-scale restoration.
In order to get to the temple, visitors need to go through tall gates. The gates are really tall – in the past, an elephant could easily move through them. A pond in front of the main building underlines the elegant beauty of the temple. In the east part of the gorgeous complex, tourists will find a cemetery – priests and monks of the temple were buried here previously. There are also tombs of saints nearby. Many local people visit this temple to pray and meditate.
Tourists should also visit one more important landmark of Dhaka that simply cannot leave them indifferent. This is a truly marvelous building that never ceases to amaze guests of the city. It is called the Star Mosque. Why does the mosque have this unusual name? You will find the answer to this question once you enter the complex. All inner and outer walls of the building are covered with drawings of stars of different shades and styles. Initially, the mosque had a rectangular shape and three arched entrances. Further restorations added towers on the sides of the building. Three large cupolas form the top of the mosque, with the central one being the biggest.
In the 30s of the 20th century, a decorative mosaic made from the finest Chinese porcelain was discovered in the mosque. The examination of the mosaic revealed a crescent and stars. Because of numerous renovations, the precious mosaic was hidden in the hall for prayers under numerous layers of paint and plaster. Nowadays, the gorgeous mosaic beautifully adorns the main façade of the building.
Tourists with small children will find it interesting to visit the local zoo, which is situated sixteen kilometers away from the central part of Dhaka. When taking a stroll in this enchanting place, visitors will find two big lakes that become home for thousands of migratory birds every winter. There is a monkey center with more than two hundred species of these cute animals. Besides monkeys, visitors enjoy visiting a large caged area with fifteen tigers and twelve lions. Finally, all guests of the zoo like a beautiful garden with several thousand butterflies, including the biggest species in the world, the size of which is equal to a man’s palm. In the zoo, it is possible to see such rare animals as the panda, grey African parrot, black bear, and tapir.
Dhaka has its own airport that accommodates international flights from many countries of the world. The flight will be not short for tourists from many countries, and many passengers need to make a change – unfortunately, not all countries have direct flights to Bangladesh. It is better to think in advance about your transfer from the airport to the city center and book a transfer. In this case, the driver will be waiting for you at the airport. Of course, it is possible to get a taxi – there are usually many taxis waiting nearby. Auto rickshaws have a stop at some distance from the airport.

Sightseeing in Bangladesh: things to see

Do you want to see a truly glorious and unique architectural landmark? Then don’t forget to visit the city of Dhaka that is home to the Star Mosque (Tara Masjid). Built at the end of the 18th century, the mosque got its name because of the unusual design. The star theme is clearly visible in the outer and inner décor of the building. The design of the Star Mosque features beautiful Chinese ceramics, rare types of marble, and other precious materials. There are thousands of small stars on the cupolas and façade of the mosque. This is definitely one of the most unusual mosques in the world. … Open
Reference information
Map of all art museums
Art galleries in Dhaka and around
♥   Art museum 'National Art Gallery (Bangladesh)' Dhaka, 8.5 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Art museum 'Zainul Gallery' Dhaka, 8.5 km from the center. On the map   Photo

Sights around Dhaka from our guide 'Extreme places on Earth'


From the series “Permanently Sinking Cities and Regions”
This flood became the most destroying and widest for last 100 years. It was caused by the uncontrolled forest exploitation in the Himalayas. For thousands of years there had formed the unique ecosystem that naturally saved Bangladesh’s lower reaches of rivers from the destroying actions of monsoon waters. Soil barriers naturally saved the water, although, when the forest became to exploitation, some barriers were destroyed. Nowadays monsoon rains have plagued the locals and threatened the region every year. … Read further


From the series “Top 14 Most Polluted Cities of the Planet”
The increased concentration of chromium in the air and water leads to the development of the chronic diseases of the respiratory system and increases the probability of development of the malignant tumors a thousand times. At present, about 15,000 people work on the farms. Among the workers, there are many women and children who begin work at the age of 11. For the processing of the raw material, the local companies use the solution of hexavalent chromium - the general use of this element has spoiled the ecology of the large industrial city forever. … Read further

Sightseeing in regions nearby Dhaka

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