Tourism Industry In Bangladesh

View with images and charts



Tourism is one of the most dynamic industries of the present world. People want to travel. This is the basic trait in human nature. Millions of people are traveling each year from one part to another part of this planet. People are now prone to fun and enjoy. They intend to gather experiences of new things and new places, get lasting pleasure, and know different cultures through visiting destinations. They also want to escape from the pressures of work-deadlines. People, being curious, move from one place to another, from one country to another country, from one end of the world to another, and may be in future, from one planet to other ones. Thus tourism is one of the initiators of people’s movement, a facilitator for exchange of knowledge, a provider of pleasure, a way to enjoy leisure, and a means to enrich culture.

Bangladesh is a poor country having lots of potentiality in various sectors. Tourism is one of his potential sectors but it is still unexplored by the decision maker or relevant agency. Her tourist attractions include archeological sites, historic mosques and monuments, resorts, beaches, picnic spots, forest and wildlife. Bangladesh is an irrigated country having attractive panoramic beauty. There are hills, vales, deep and mangrove forests, rivers and the longest beach in the world. In this country, the scope of nature based tourism, research based tourism, culture based tourism, and eco-tourism is quite evident.


The purposes of preparing this project paper are:

1. To analyze the significance of tourism

2. To study the existing tourism facilities and opportunities.

3. To create a significant judgment about its various resources.

4. To evaluate the potentials of tourism

5. To identify the problems to the development of tourism.

7. To provide necessary suggestions and policy implications for the development of tourism.

Methodology of the Study

Necessary information and data has been collected from the officials of those organizations through the direct interview method by using structured questionnaire. In addition, review all the tourism related websites for updated information. In total 25 officials have been interviewed during the study period for official information and 50 domestic tourists have been interviewed for unearthing the most demandable facilities regarding tourism industry.

Limitations of the study

The study covered very limited number of sample organizations in respect of its real scope all over the country. There is no plethora of research work in Bangladesh context in this field. Sometimes respondent were not interested to express to their honest opinion. To overcome these limitations, an exhaustive study of existing literature in this field, foreign journal, relevant publication by Government and other private agencies were studied. This is fully self-financed research work that is it could not be able to cover wider area.

An Overview of Tourism Industries in Bangladesh

Tourism is the business of the transport, care, feeding and entertainment of the tourists. Indian Merchants Chamber states, ‘Tourism is a force that enriches, restores and transforms, and does that both for a land and its people’. Therefore, tourism may be defined as an industry which aims at enhancing social and geographical mobility of the man by performing a variety of necessary functions for fulfilling various human motives with a view to earning profit.

Bangladesh had always been a good destination for the international tourists. But with passage of time Bangladesh has lost its attraction as a major tourist destination and at present it could not be placed in the list of major tourist importing countries of the world.

Brief History

Bangladesh as a vacation land has many facets. Her tourist attractions include archaeological sites, historic mosques and monuments, resorts, beaches, picnic spots, forest and wildlife. Bangladesh offers opportunities for angling, water-skiing, river cruising, hiking, rowing, surfing, yachting and sea bathing as well as bringing one in close touch with Mother Nature. She is also rich in wildlife and game birds.

Location and Physical Features

Bangladesh is situated in the north-eastern part of south Asia. It lies between 20′ 34′ and 2e 36′ north latitude and 88′ I’ and 92′ 41′ east longitude. The hoary and great Himalayas stand as the northern ramparts, while the southern frontier is guarded by the Bay of Bengal. On the west lies the expansive gangetic plains (West Bengal) of India and on the eastern frontier lay the almost impassable forest of Myanmar (Arakan Province) and India (Tripura and Assam hills). These picturesque geographical boundaries delineate

out a low lying plain at about 144,000 sq. km. (55,598 sq. miles) cries -crossed by innumerable brooks, rivers, rivulets and streams. Mighty rivers the Padma, Jamuna, Meghna, Karnaphuli and others flow through Bangladesh. The unsalable blue is stretched high above, and the green and silvery landscape below runs far and beyond. This is Bangladesh, a fertile land where nature is bounteous.

Bangladesh is a deltaic region. Much of the country’s land area has been built up from alluvial deposits brought down by the major rivers. The land is mostly flat except for a range of hillsin the south-east. Wooded marshy lands and jungles mainly characterize it with forest regions in Sylhet, Rangamati, Khagrachari and Bandarban Hill Tracts, Sundarbans, Mymensingh and Tangail.


The history of Bangladesh has been one of extremes, of turmoil and peace, prosperity and destitution. It has thrived under the glow of cultural splendor and suffered under the ravages of war. The earliest mention of Bangladesh is found in the Hindu epic, the Mahabharata (the story of Great Battle-9th century B.C). Evidence also suggests that there was a strong Mongoloid presence as well. Soon after, in the 5th and 6th centuries B.C. came the Aryans from Central Asia and the Dravidians from Western India. Then the Guptas, Palas, and Senas, came who were Buddhist and Hindus.

From the 13th century A.D. the flood of Muslim invaders and the tide of Islam swamped the Buddhist and Hindus untold 8th century. Sometimes there were independent rulers like the Hussain Shahi and Ilyas Shahi dynasties while at other times they ruled on behalf of the imperial seat of Delhi. From 15th century the Europeans, namely; Portuguese, Dutch, French and British traders exerted an economic influence over the region. British political rule over the region began in 1757 A.D. when the last Muslim ruler of Bengal was defeated at Palassey. In 1947 the country was partitioned into India and Pakistan. Present Bangladesh becomes the Eastern Wing of the then Pakistan. But the movement for autonomy for East

Pakistan started within a couple of years because of language and cultural difference and economic disparity between the two wings. The seeds of independence were sown through the Language Movement of 1952 to recognize Bangla as a state language. Ultimately the then East Pakistan emerged as a sovereign and independent state of Bangladesh in 1971 after nine month – long war of Liberation (starting on 26 March 1971) in which 3 million people courted martyrdom.


Air: Bangladesh can be reached by air from any part of the world. Biman, Bangladesh airlines connects Dhaka with 27 major cities of the world. Abu Dhabi, Amsterdam, Athens, Bangkok, Bombay, Calcutta, Doha, Dubai, Jeddah, Karachi, Kathmandu, Kualalumpur, London, Muscat, Dhahran, Baghdad, Kuwait, Yangoon, Rome, Tripoli, Tokyo, Singapore, Baharin, Frankfurt, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Sarjah, Seoul, Riyadh and Delhi. Besides Biman, several other (international) carriers also fly to and from Dhaka. Biman, Bangladesh Airlines also connects Dhaka with Chittagong,

Jessore,Cox’s Bazar, Rajshahi Saidpur and Sylhet in its 7 domestic routes. (Biman, Bangladesh Airlines, Ph: 9560151-9; Enquiry & Reservations).

Foreign Airlines:

Aeroflot, Ph: 880-2-506636, 503056, 8613391 Trans World Airlines Inc. Ph:880-2-9552491, 9552208
Air France, Ph: 880-2-9568277, 9563050, 9551338, Japan Airlines Ph: 880-2-9129322, 9129710
Indian Airlines, Ph: 880-2-9555915, 9557813, 8912205(Airport) Kuwait Airways, Ph: 880-2-9110238, 9118829(City) 8914215(Airport)
British Airways, Ph: 880-2-9564869-72, 8914410, 8912467(Airport) Lufthansa, Ph: 880-2-8618995, 8611191
Myanmar Airlines International,Ph: 880-2-8810579-80 United Airlines, Ph: 880-2-9556538-9, 9556505, 9567379
Cathay Pacific, Ph: 880-2-9559390, 9559721, 9557117 Pan Am, Ph: 880-2-9554369
Gulf Air, Ph: 880-2-8113237-40 PIA, Ph: 880-2-8312985, 8823023
Singapore Airlines, Ph: 880-2-8828769, 8828774, 8811504-8 Emirates, Ph: 880-2-9563825-29, 9563830
Swiss Air, Ph: 880-2-8821908, 8822376 Korean Air, Ph: 880-2-9563817-9
Saudia Ph: 880-2-8116859-60,(City) 8914436, 8914341(Airport) Malayasian Airlines,Ph:880-2-9885479, 9885480
Thai International, Ph: 880-2-8314711-9, 8914351(Airport) Qatar Airways, Ph: 880-2-9563050, 9564945
Royal Nepal Airlines,Ph:880-2-9550423, 9559353 Qantas, Ph: 880-2-9886634-7
KLM, Ph: 880-2-8113005, 9116519 Philippines Airlines, Ph:880-2-411488
Air litalia, Ph: 880-2-9551673 ContinentalAirlines, Ph:880-2-9565386-1,

Rail: The Bangladesh Railway provides an efficient service to places of interest such as Chittagong, Sylhet, Khulna, Mymensingh, Bogra, Rajshahi, Dinajpur starting from Dhaka. The inter-city Express Service is available to and from important cities at cheap fares.

River: Country-Made boats are the most widely used carrier one can see in the river and rivulets. These carry passengers and merchandise on a large scale. The landscape of Bangladesh is dominated by about 250 rivers which flow essentially north-south. The alluvial flood plain formed by these rivers covers most of the country. Wherever there is a river and a village, a launch or steamer will play for trade. A journey by Rocket Steamer service from Dhaka (Sadarghat) to Khulna, the gateway to Sundarbans is a rewardingexperience.

Bus/Coach Services: Road transport in Bangladesh is predominantly a private sector affair. Rates are among the cheapest in the world. Express and non-stop services are available to principal towns from Gabtali, Saidabad and Mohakhali bus terminals in Dhaka. The Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) also maintains a country-wide network of bus services.

Tourist Information Centers

DHAKA Parjatan Head Office :Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation National Tourism OrganizationMohakhali, Dhaka

Tel : 8119192, 8117855-9

FAX : 880-2-8117235

E-mail :

Dhaka Seraton Hotel1, Minto Road, Dhaka Tel : 8611191-5, 8613391-7,509479FAX : 880-2-8312975,8312915
Zia International Airport Tel : 880-2-8914416
Sonargaon Hotel Tel : 880-2-8111641, 8111005
COX’S BAZAR Hotel Shaibal Tel : 880-781-4246,4258,3274-5
BOGRA Parjatan Motel Tel : 880-51-6753
CHITTAGONG Motel Shaikat Tel : 880-31-209845, 220181-5,(Station Road)

619514, 619845

RANGPUR Parjatan Motel Tel : 3880-521-2111, 3681 & 2911
RANGAMATI Parjatan Motel Deer Park, Tel : 880-351-3126
RAJSHAHI Parjatan Motel Tel : 880-721-775492, 775237
DINAJPUR Parjatan Motel Tel : 880-531-4178
SYLHET Parjatan Motel Tel : 880-821-712426
KUAKATA Parjatan Motel Tel : 880-441-2751

Physical Geography

It lies roughly between 20°-24¢ North Latitude and 88°-1¢ East Longitude. It has an area of 1; 44,000 sq km. Bangladesh is situated on the north eastern side of the South Asian Subcontinent. Her long southern coastline along the Bay of Bengal shares the Indian Ocean with India and Burma. It is bordered on the West by the two Indian states of West Bengal and Bihar and on the East by Assam and Burma. On the North of Bangladesh lie Nepal, Sikkim and Bhutan and to their North sprawl the vast territories of Tibet in the People’s Republic of China. In the South eastern corner, she has a common border with Burma. The plains of Bangladesh are watered by one of the most remarkable network of rivers in the world the important rivers being Padma, Meghna, Brahmaputra and Jamuna. The Hills, which are located in Sylhet and the Hill Tracts Districts, are mostly low hills covered with green forests.


Tourist Hotel: Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation the National tourism Organization Operates Number of Modern hotels, motels and cottages throughout the country. Besides these there are private hotels and different Government, semi-Government and departmental rest-houses/guest-houses which may be hired. International standard hotels are available in Dhaka, Chittagong and Cox’s Bazar. For booking of Parjatan accommodation one may contact Central Reservation, Parjatan Head OfficeMohakhali, Dhaka, and Fax: 880-2-8117235, Phone: 880-2-8119192, 8117855-9 or any Tourist Information Centre.

Restaurant: Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation’s Tourist Hotel and Restaurant at Mahakhali is ideal for budget tourists.

Recommended Restaurants in Dhaka:

A number of good restaurants provide local and western food. These include:-

· Parjatan Restaurant, Hotel Abakash, Mohakhali, Ph: 607085-89, 8811548, 8811109

· Santoor, House-2, Road-11(New), Dhanmondi. Ph: (880-2) 9128737, 8213336

· Goffers’ Inn, Kurmitola Golf Club, Ph: 604592

· Sakura Restaurant, near Dhaka Sheraton Hotel, Ph: 509296

· Ruchita Restaurant, Bangabandhu Avenue, Ph: 9555693

· Mary Anderson, Floating Restaurant, Paglaghat, Ph: 067171288

· La Diplomat, Gulshan, Ph: 602282

· Red Button, Farm Gate, Ph: 9117717

· Balaka, Zia International Airport, Ph: 8914008

· Kawran Saraj, Sonargaon Hotel, Ph: 8111005

· Bithika, Dhaka Sheraton Hotel, Ph: 8611191, 8613391, 8614065

Recommended Chinese Restaurants include:-

· Parjatan Restaurant, Hotel Abakash, Mohakhali, Ph: 607085-89, 8811548, 8811109

· Royal Orchid, Gulshan Avenue, Ph: 603573

· Panda Garden, near Mohakhali Rail Gate, Ph: 608469

· La Diplomat, Gulshan, Ph: 602282

· Hwwang Ho, Banani, Ph: 602932

· Chung Wah, North-South Road, Ph: 9553263

· Kawloon, Ph: 9111353; Goffers’ Inn,

· Kurmitola Golf Club, Ph: 604592;

· Shangri-La, Ph: 8824015 at Banani Bazar and the Cathey Dhaka, Road 133

· Gulshan, Ph: 608476

Besides there are some specialized restaurants which included,

· Doice vita (Mexican & Italian), 54 Kamal Ataturk Avenue,

· Banani, Ph: 500589, 607980;

· Sea Food Centre, 78/A Gulshan Avenue, Ph: 606175

· Sawasdee (Thai), 65 Kamal Ataturk Avenue,

· Banani, Ph: 60607571, 8824476

· Lemon Grass (Thai & Vietnarness), Road 131, Gulshan-2, Ph: 8822376;

· The White Castle, 20, Kamal Ataturk Avenue, Banani, Ph: 605914, 606268, 8812658

Angan Restaurant, SWC (3), Gulshan Avenue, Dhaka-1212 Ph: 8810448.

Major Tourist Spots in Bangladesh

1. Bogra2. Chittagong

3. Cox’s Bazar

4. Dhaka

5. Dinajpur

6. Kaptai

7. Kuakata

8. Khulna

10. Mainamati11. Rangamati

12. Rajshahi

13. Sylhet

14. Sundarban

15. Mymensingh

16. Natore

17. Paharpur

9. Shahjadpur Kuthibari

1. Bogra

This small district town serves as the nerve-centre of northern Bangladesh and is fast coming up as an industrial zone. It provides several road links with other district towns and historical sites in the region besides being itself well connected with Dhaka. Some of the largest coal and lime deposits have been discovered in this district and ambitious plans have been made for their utilization. The district already has a number of sugar, textile and chemical industries. The handloom products of the area are popular throughout the country. Bogra is also popular for its rice, sweets and yogurt. A Tourist information Centre is there to provide assistance to the tourists, Tel: 880-51-6753.

Gokul Medh, a historical relic at Mahasthangarh, Bogra

2. Chittagong

Chittagong, the second largest city of Bangladesh and a busy international seaport, is an ideal vacation spot. Its green hills and forests, its broad sandy beaches and its fine cool climate always attract the holiday-markers. Described by the Chinese traveler poet, Huen Tsang (7th century A.D) as “a sleeping beauty emerging from mists and water” and given the title of “Porto Grande” by the 16th century Portuguese seafarers. Chittagong remains true to both the descriptions even today. It combines remains true to both the descriptions even today. It combines the busy hum of an active seaport with the shooting quiet of a charming hill town.

Chittagong Port, Chittagong

Chittagong is the country’s chief port and is the main site for the establishment of heavy, medium and light industries. Bangladesh’s only steel mill and oil refinery are also located in Chittagong.

Bayazid Bostami Mazar,


Tomb of Sultan Bayazid Bostami: Situated on a hillock at Nasirabad, about 6 km. to the north-west of Chittagong town, this shrine attracts a large number of visitors and pilgrims. At its base is a large tank with several hundred tortoises. Tradition has it that these animals are the descendants of the evil spirits (genii) who were cast into this shape because they incurred the wrath of the great saint who visited the place about 1100 years age.

World War II Cemetery:In a well-preserved cemetery at a quiet and picturesque place within the city lie buried in eternal peace over 700 soldiers from British, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, India, Myanmar, East and West Africa, The Netherlands and Japan who laid down their lives on the Myanmar front during the World War II.

World war Cemetery, Chittagong

Shrine of Shah Amanat: The Shrine of Shah Amanat is another place of religious attraction, located in the heart of the town; the shrine is visited by hundreds of people everyday who pay homage to the memory of the saint.

Court Building Museum: Situated on the Fairy Hill,this building commands a panoramic bird’s eye view of Chittagong. This had been the scene of intense activity during the independence War in 1971. A museum has been established here.

Foy’s Lake (Pahartali Lake): Set amidst picturesque surroundings in the railway township of Pahartali 8 km. from Chittagong this is an ideal spot of outing and picnic thronged by thousands of visitors every week.

Panoramic view of

Foy’s Lake, Chittagong

Mercantile Marine Academy at Juldia: The only training institute of its kind in Bangladesh situated on the month of the river Karnaphuli.

Patenga and Fouzdarhat Sea Beaches: Patenga beach is about 22 km. from Chittagong and is approachable by a motorable road. On the way to the beach one passes the Patenga Airport. Another ideal picnic spot is the Fouzdarhat sea-beach about 16 km. from Chittagong.

Panoramic view of Patenga sea beach, Chittagong

Port Area: Located near the river mouth of the river Karnaphuli, the Chittagong port has a recorded history from 9th century. Today, this is the principal seaport of the country.

Ethnological Museum: This museum located in Agrabad is a treasure-house of a variety of tribal culture and heritage of Bangladesh.

Panoramic view of Chittagong

Zia Museum: The government Circuit House where former president Ziaur Rahman was assassinated has been turned into a museum.

Sitakunda: About 37 km. from Chittagong lays an interesting place known as Sitakunda, served by a railway station of the same name. Famous among the many temples in this place are the Chandranath Temple and the Buddhist Temple has a footprint of Lord Buddha. These places particularly the hilltops are regarded as very sacred by the Buddhists and the Hindus. Siva-chaturdashi festival is held every year in February when thousands of pilgrims assemble for the celebrations which last about ten days. There is a salt water spring 5 km. to the north of Sitakunda, known as Labanakhya.

Climate : Pleasant and cool in winter and warm and humid in summer.

Language : Bangla, English is spoken and understood.

Wearing Apparel: Tropical in summer and light woolen in winter.

Climate : Pleasant and cool in winter and warm and humid in summer.

Language : Bangla, English is spoken and understood.

Wearing Apparel: Tropical in summer and light woolen in winter.

Parjatan facilities for Tourists in Chittagong: Motel Shaikat at Station Road is a good Motel for budget tourists. It has 2 AC suites; 13 AC Twin Rooms; 13 non-AC Twin Rooms; Shaikat Restaurant-60 seating, Tourist Information, Phones: 619514, 619845, and 611046-8. Other hotels in town are Hotel Agrabad, Hotel Shahjahan, Hotel Miskha, and Hotel Safina & Hotel Hawaii.

Meghla tourist spot, Bandarban

Communication & Transport: Chittagong is connected by road and rail with rest of the country. Air link is available with Dhaka and Calcutta.

Car Rental: Rent-A-Car facilities are available for city sightseeing and trips to Rangamati, Cox’s Bazar, Sitakunda and other touristically important places.

Hill Districts: The Hill Tracts is divided into three districts, namely Rangamati, Khagrachari and Bandarban.

From Chittagong a 77 km. road amidst green fields and winding hills will take you to Rangamati, the headquarters of the Rangamati Hill District which is a wonderful repository of scenic splendours with flora and fauna of varied descriptions. It is also connected by water way from Kaptai.

The Hills: The Hill Tract is divided into four valleys surrounded by the Feni, Karnaphuli, Sangu (Sankhu) and Matamuhuri rivers and their tributaries. The rangesor hills of the Hill Tracts rise steeply thus looking far more impressive than what their height would imply and extend in long narrow ridges. The highest peaks on the northern side are Thangnang, Langliang and Khantiang while those on the southern side are Ramu, Taung, Keekradang, Tahjindong (4632 ft, highest in Bangladesh), Mowdok Mual, Rang Tlang and Mowdok Tlang

The Lakes: Famous Kaptai Lake, the largest “man-made” lake, spreading over 680 sq. km. of crystal-clean water flanked by hills and evergreen forests lies in the Rangamati Hill District. The lake was formed when the Karnaphuli river dam (153 feet high, 1800 feet long crest) was built for the purpose of hydroelectric power project at Kaptai. The old Rangamati town was submerged under lake water and a new town had to be built later. The lake is full of fish and provides facilities for cruising, swimming and skiing. There are also facilities for angling and short trip by Sampan, local name for country boats.

The forests: The valleys of the Hill Tracts are covered with thick planted forests. The vegetation in semi-evergreen to tropical evergreen is dominated by tall teak trees. The natural vegetation can be seen best in the Rain-khyong valleys of the Bandarban district. This district provides the country with valuable wood used for various purposes, besides supplying wood and bamboo for the Karnaphuli Paper Mills and the Rayon Mills situated at Chandraghona. Here a tourist may be lucky to see how huge logs of wood are being carried to the plain by the tamed elephants.

View of Bandarban town.

Climate: There are three main seasons, the dry season (November to March), which is relatively cool, sunny and dry, the premonsoon season (April and May), which is very hot and sunny with occasional shower, and the rainy season (June to October), which is warm, cloudy and wet.

Tribal life: The inhabitants of the Hill Tracts are mostly tribal. Life of the tribal people is extremely fascinating. Majority of them are Buddhists and the rest are Hindus, Christians and Animists. Despite the bondage of religion, elements of primitiveness are strongly displayed in their rites, rituals and everyday life. The tribal families are matriarchal. The women-folk are harder worker than the males and they are the main productive force.

Tribal Hut, Chittagong

The tribal people are extremely self-reliant, they grow their own food, their girls weave their own clothes and generally speaking, they live a simple life. Each tribe has its own dialect, distinctive dress and rites and rituals. The common feature is their way of life which still speaks of their main occupation. Some of them take pride in hunting with bows and arrows. Tribal women are very skilful in making beautiful handicrafts. Tribal people are generally peace loving, honest and hospitable. They usually greet a tourist with a smile.

Places of Interest: For visit of foreign tourists to the Hill Districts prior permission from the Government is required which can be arranged through BPC.

Chandraghona: Forty-eight kilometer from Chittagong, on the Kaptai Road is Chandraghona where one of the biggest paper mills in Asia is located. Close to the paper mill there is a rayon factory which produces synthetic fibers from bamboo.

Khagrachari: Khagrachari is the district headquarters of Khagachari Hill District. A drive of 112 km. from Chittagong, by an allweather metalled road through the green forest brings you to Khagrachari, abode of fascinating clam. For the tourists seeking nature here in restful mood, Khagrachari is a ideal spot.

An over view of Khagrachari


Ninetytwo kilometer from Chittagong by metalled road, Bandarban is the district headquarters of the Bandarban Hill District. Bandarban is the home town of the Bohmong Chief who is the head of the Mogh tribe. The Moghs are of Myanmar origin and Buddhists by religion. Jovial and carefree by nature, the Moghs are simple and hospitable people. Bandarban is also the home of the Murangs who are famous for their music and dance. Fat into the interior there are several other tribes of great interest for anyone who cares to make the journey.

Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation, the National Tourism Organization has created a number of facilities for the tourists at Rangamati holiday resorts.

These are: Parjatan Motel: 1st Class -3AC Twin Rooms, 15 Non-AC Twin Rooms; Labiyal Restaurant-32 seating. Phone: 3126

Cottages: Standard 3 cottages, 4 beds each; phones: 3126 Two, 8 beds each, phone: 3126

Other Facilities: Speed Boats, Paddle Boats and Canone Boats for Lake-cruise, AC Auditorium for Cultural Functions & Conferences-200 seating; Picnic Hill, and Tourist information, Phone: 3126

There are a few small hotels and rest houses. For reservation of Parjatan Moteis at Chittagong & Rangamati you may contact Central Reservation, BPC Head Office, Phone: 8119192, 8117855-9 and Fax : 880-2-8117235. E-mail:

3. Cox’s Bazar

Miles of golden sands, towering cliffs, surfing waves, rare conch shells, colorful pagodas, Buddhist temples and tribes, delightful sea-food–this is Cox’s Bazar, the tourist capital of Bangladesh. Having the world’s longest (120 kilometers.) beach sloping gently down to the blue waters of the Bay of Bengal, Cox’s Bazar is one of the most attractive tourist sport in the country.

Located at a distance of 152 km. south of Chittagong, the leading seaport of Bangladesh, Cox’s Bazar is connected both by air and road from Dhaka and Chittagong.

Other attractions for visitors are conch shell market, tribal handicraft, and salt and prawn cultivation.


Besides, the longest sea-beach, Cox’s Bazar and its adjoing areas have a lot of things to see and places deserve visit by the tourists.

The Aggameda Khyang, Cox’s Bazar: Equally elaborate in plan, elevation and decoration is the Aggameda Khyang near the entrance to the Cox’s Bazar town which nestles at the foot of a hill under heavy cover of a stand of large trees. The main sanctuary-cum-monastery is carried on a series of round timber columns, which apart from accommodating the prayer chamber and an assembly hall, also is the repository of a large of small bronze Buddha images-mostly of Burmese origin– and some old manuscripts. Beyond the main khyang to the south there is an elevated wooden pavilion and a smaller brick temple with a timber and corrugated metal root. Apart from bearing an inscription in Burmese over its entrance the temple contains some large stucco and bronze Buddha images.

Himchari: It is about 32 km. South of Cox’s Bazar along the beach, a nice place for picnic and shooting. The famous “Broken Hills” and waterfalls here are rare sights.

Inani: It is about 32 km. South of Cox’s Bazar and just on the beach, with the sea to the west and a background of steep hills to the east. Inani casts a magic spell on those who step into that dreamland. It is only half an hour’s drive from Cox’s Bazar and an ideal place for Sea-bathing and picnic.

Maheskhali: An island off the coast of Cox’s Bazar. It has an area of 268 square kilometers. Through the centre of the island and along the eastern coast line rises a range of low hills, 300 feet high; but the coast to the west and north is a lowlying treat, fringed by mangrove jungle. In the hills on the coast is built the shrine of Adinath, dedicated to siva. By its side on the same hill is Buddhist Pagoda.

Ramu: This is a typical Buddhist village, about 16 km. from Cox’s Bazar, on the main road to Chittagong. There are monasteries, khyangs and pagodas containing images of Buddha in gold, bronze and other metals inilaid with precious stones.

One of the most interesting of these temples is on the bank of the Baghkhali River. It houses not only interesting relics and Burmes handicrafts but also a large bronze statue of Buddha measuring thirteen feet high and rests on a six feet high pedestal. The wood carving of this khyang is very delicate and refined.

The village has a charm of its own. Weavers ply their trade in open workshops and craftsmen make handmade cigars in their pagoda like houses.

Sonadia Island: It is about seven kilometer of Cox’s Bazar and about nine square kilometer in area. The western side of the island is sandy and different kinds of shells are found on the beach. Off the northern part of the island, there are beds of window pane oysters. During winter, fisherman set up temporary camps on the island and dries their catches of sea fish.

Teknaf: Southernmost tip of Bangladesh, Teknaf situated on the Naaf river and just at the end of the hilly regions of the district. Mayanmar is on the opposite bank of Naaf River. Wild animals and birds are available but the most interesting thing is a journey on the river. Wide sandy beach in the backdrop of high hills with green forests is an enchanting scene never to be forgotten.

The Cox’s Bazar Holiday Complex of Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation, the National Tourism Organization is an ideal tourist resort having a number of facilities for the visitors

4. Dhaka

Tourist Spots of Dhaka: The capital of Bangladesh is Dhaka with its exciting history and rich culture known the world over as the city of mosques and muslin. It has attracted travellers from far and near through ages. It has history dating back to earliest time. But the exact date of its foundation is not known. However, according to recorded history it was founded in 1608 A.D. as the seat of the imperial Mughal Viceroy of Bengal.

Dhaka as the capital of Bangladesh has grown into a busy city of about seven million people with an area of about 815 sq. km having a happy blending of old and new architectural trends, Dhaka has been developing fast as a modern city and is throbbing with activities in all spheres of life. It is the centre of industrial, commercial, cultural, educational and political activities for Bangladesh. At Tongi Teigaon, Demra, Pagla, Kanchpur the industrial establishments turn-out daily necessities. Motijheel is the main commercial area of the city. Dhaka’s major waterfront Sadarghat is on the bank of the river Buriganga and is crowded with all kinds of rivercraft, yatchs, country boats, motor launches, paddle – steamers, fishermen’s boats all bustling with activity.Colourful rickshaws (tricycle) on the city streets are common attractions for the visitors.Some of the outstanding tourist attractions of Dhaka are:

General Information:

Area : 815.85 Sq. kilometres (approx.)

Population : Seven 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.

Temperature: Max. Min.

summer 36.7°C 21.1°c

Winter 31.7°C 10.5°c

Rainfall : 2540 mm annually.

Humidity: 80 percent (approx.)

Mosque: Seven domed Mosque (17th century), Baitul Mukarram National Mosque, and Star Mosque (18th century)

Hindu Temples: Dhakeshwari Temple (llth Century), Ramkrishna Mission.

Churches: Armenian Church (1781 A.D.) St.Mary’s Cathedral at Ramna, Church of Bangladesh or former Holy Rosary Church (1677 A.D.) at Teigaon.

Lalbagh Fort: It was built in 1678 A.D. by Prince Mohammad Azam, son of Mughal emperor Aurangazeb. The fort was the scene of bloody battle during the first war of independence (1857) when 260 sepoys stationed here backed by the people revolted against British forces. Outstanding among the monuments of the Lelbagh are the tomb of Pari Bibi (Fairy lady), Lalbagh Mosque, Audience Hall and Hammam of Nawab Shaista Khan now housing a museum.

National Memorial: Located at Savar, 35, km. from Dhaka city. The memorial designed by architect Moinul Hossein, is dedicated to the sacred memory of the millions of unknown martyrs of the 1971 war of liberation.

1857 Memorial: (Bahadur Shah Park) Built to commemorate the martyrs of the first liberation war (1857-59) against British rule. It was here that the revolting sepoys and their civil compatriots mere publicly hanged

Bangabandhu Memorial Museum:The residence of the father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at Dhanmondi Residential Area has been turned into a musuem. It contains rare collection of personal effects and photographs of his lifetime.

Mukti Juddha Museum: Situatad at Segun Bagich an area of the city contains rare photographs of Liberation war and items used by the freedom fighters during the period.

National Museum:Centrally located, the museum contains a large number of interesting collections including sculptures and paintings of the Hindu, Buddhist and Muslim periods.

Science Museum: Located at Agargaon, the museum is a modern learning Centre related to the latest scientific discoveries.

Ahsan Manzil Museum: On the bank of the river Buriganga in Dhaka the pink majestic Ahsan Manzil has been renovated and turned into a museum recently. It is an example of the nation’s r cultural heritage. It was the home of the Nawab of Dhaka and a Silent [spectator to many events. Today’s renovated 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. It now has 23 galleries displaying portraits, furniture and household articles and utensils used by the Nawab.

Mausoleum of National leaders: Located at the south western corner of Suhrawardy Uddyan it is the eternal resting piece of three great national leaders, Sher-e-Bangla A, K. Fazlull Haque, Hossain Shahid Suhrawardy and Khawja Nazimuddin.

Banga Bhaban: Tourists can have a look (outside view only) of Banga Bhaban, the official residence of the president.

Bara Katra: This building of grand scale, now almost in ruins, is one of the most important remains of the Mughal peirod in Dhaka. If is of the type of ‘Katra’ (enclosed quadrangle building) with a gigantic frontage towards the river Buriganga. It was built by Abul Qasim, Dewan of Shah Shuja in 1644 A.D. It served the purpose of a caravanserai.

Chota Katra: Situated about 200 yards east of Bara Katra, Chota Katra was built in 1663 A.D. by Nawab Shaista Khan. This is of similar plan and purpose as the Bara Katra but is smaller in size.

National Art Gallery: Situated in the Shilpakala Academy premises this has a representative collection of folk-art and painting by artists of Bangladesh.

National Assembly Complex: Sangsad Bhaban, the National Assembly Complex in Sher-e-Bangla Nagar designed by the famous architect Luis 1. Kahn has distinctive architectural features.

Suhrawardy Uddyan (Garden): At a stone’s throw distance from Dhaka Sheraton Hotel is the Suhrawardy Uddyan, formerly known as the Race Course, the popular park of the city. It is here that the clarioncall for independence of Bangladesh was given by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on the 7th March 1971 and curiously enough it is again here that the commander of the occupation forces surrendered on the 16th December 1971.

Baldha Garden: Baldha Garden has collection of rare plants and flowers.

Ramna Garden: Ramna Park is a vast stretch of green ground surrounded by a serpentine lake.

Zoological Garden: Called Mirpur Zoo, it is situated at Mirpur 16 km NW of Dhaka, on 230 acres of land.

Botonical Garden: Built over an area of 205 acres of land at Mirpur just east of the Zoo. Objectives of garden are botanical education, research, preservation of plants and some recreation.

National Park : Situated at Rajendrapur, 40 km due north of Dhaka, within Joydevpur Police Station in the magnificent Bhawal region of Dhaka-Trishal-Mymensingh highway, this is a vast (1,600 acres) national recreational forest, ideal for those who love nature.

Curzon Hall: Beautiful architectural building named after Loard Curzon. It now houses the Science Faculty of Dhaka University.

High Court Building: Originally built as the residence of British Governor. It illustrate happy blend of European Mughal architecture.

Dhaka Zoo: Popularly known as Mirpur Zoo. Colourful and attractive collections of different local and foreign species of animals and birds including the majestic Royal Bengal Tiger are available here.

Central Shahid Minar: 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 bouquet gather on 21 February every year to pay respect in a solemn atmosphere. Celebrations begin at zero hour of midnight.

Buddhist monastery: Kamalapur Buddhist Monastery.

National Poet’s Graveyard: Revolutionary poet Kazi Nazrul Islam died on the 29 August 1978 and was buried here. The graveyard is adjacent to the Dhaka University Mosque.

Institute of Arts and Crafts:Situated in the picturesque surroundings of Shahbagh the Institute of Arts and Crafts has a representative collection of folk-art and paintings by artists of Bangladesh.

Sonargaon: About 29 km. from Dhaka. Sonargaon is one of the oldest capitals of Bangal. A Folk Arts and Crafts Museum has been established here.

Other attractions in and around Dhaka include the Institute of Arts and Crafts with its representative collection of folk art and paintings, handicraft shops. Aparajeya Bangla monument, picnic spots at Chandra and Salna, industrial estates of Tongi, Narayanganj, Demara, Tejgaon, cruising by country boat in the nearby river or a visit to a village to see jute cultivation, weaving and pottery making. Last but not the least travel by a horse driven cart or rickshaw along busy Dhaka streets is a rewarding experience.

Picnic Spots: There are good picnic spots in the area around Savar and Mirzapur. Other beauty spots connected by road with Dhaka include Joydevpur, Sripur, Madhupur, Rajendrapur National Park, Chandra and Salna, all of which have rest-houses that can be used by tourists on request to the Forest Department.
Bangaldesh Parjatan Corporation owns two picnic spots with Bunglows at Chandra and Salna which can also be hired by tourists.
Sightseeing Tours: Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation runs conducted sightseeing tours from its Tourist Information Centre at Dhaka Sheraton Hotel. The duration of the Dhaka City sightseeing tours is three hours approximately. The Corporation operates a number of other interesting sightseeing tours around the Dhaka City (Ph: 8119192). For the transit passengers the Corporation also runs special city sightseeing tours from from the Tourist Information Centre, Zia International Airport and Ph: 880-2-8914416.

Clubs: Dhaka Club, Dhaka, formed in 1851 in the name of Ramna Dhaka Club. Accom, Rest. & Bar, Swimming Pool, Indoor Games, Tennis, Squash Ph: 880-2- 8619180-4, 505800-4

Golf Club, Kurmitola, Temporary Membership for tourists available, Golf, Rest. & Bar. Ph: 880-2-605301

Australian Club Rd. 83, Gulshan, Membership to all Australians and New Zeaianders, Swimming, Tennis, Squash, Volleybal, Ph:880-2- 603775

American Club, Gulshan, Membership open to all Americans and their families, Swimming, Tennis, Squash, Volleyball, Basketball, Rest, Ph: 880-2-8821025-27
Swedish Club, Rd. 47, Gulshan, open to all Swedesh and their guests, Swimming, Squash, Tennis, Ph: 880-2-601043.

Netherlands, Recreation Cantre, Road 74, house 33, Gulshan 2, members must be Dutch, Swimming Tennis, Rest, and Ph: 880-2-602039.

5. Dinajpur

The northern most district of the country, offers a number of attractions to the visitors. The Ramsagar (great sea) lake with rest-houses is a good picnic spot having facilities for fishing and rowing in a serene and quiet green countryside atmosphere. Kantanagar temple, the most ornate among the late medieval temples of Bangladesh is situated near Dinajpur town. It was built by Maharaja Pran Nath in 1752 A.D. Every inch of the temple surface is beautifully embellished with exquisite terracotta plaques, representing flora, fauna, geometric motifs, mythological scenes and an astonishing array of contemporary social scenes and favourite past times. The Maharja’s palace with relics of the past centuries and local museum are worth a visit.

6. Kaptai

A pleasant and picturesque drive of 64 km. from Chittagong brings you to a huge expanse of emerald and blue water ringed with tropical forest. It is the famous man-made Kaptai lake (680 sq. km) formed by damming the Karnaphuli river.

Only 3 km. from Kaptai along Chittagong Road, lays the ancient Chit Morong Buddhist temple having beautiful Buddhist Statues. Other places of interest in the Hill Tract districts include Chandraghona, Khagrachari and Bandarban all in picturesque surroundings.

7. Kuakata

Kuakata, locally known as Sagar Kannya (Daughter of the Sea) is a rare scenic beauty spot on the southernmost tip of Bangladesh. Kuakata in Latachapli union under Kalapara Police Station of Patuakhali district is about 30 km in length and 6 km in breadth. It is 70 km from Patuakhali district headquarters and 320 km from Dhaka. At Kuakata excellent combination of the picturesque natural beauty, sandy beach, blue sky, huge expanse of water of the Bay and evergreen forest in really eye-catching.

The name Kuakata have originated from Kua-Well dug on the sea shore by the early Rakhine settlers in quest of collecting drinking water, who landed on Kuakata coast after explled from Arakan by Moughals. Afterwards, it has become a tradition of digging Kua-Well in the neighbourhood of Rakhaine homestead for collection water for drinking purpose and general use.

Tourist Attractions:

Kuakata is one of the rarest places which has the unique beauty of offering the full view of the rising and setting of crimson sun in the water of the Bay of Bengal in a calm environment. That perhaps makes kuakata one of the world’s unique beaches. The long and wide beach at Kuakata has a typical natural setting. This sandy beach has gentle slopes into the Bay of Bengal and bathing there is as pleasant as is walking or diving. Kuakata is truly a virgin beach-a sanctuary for migratory winter birds, a series of coconut trees, sandy beach of blue Bay, a feast for the eye. Forest, boats plying in the Bay of Bengal with colourful sails, fishing, towering cliffs, surfing waves everything here touches every visitor’s heart. The unique customs and costumes of the ‘Rakhyne’ tribal families and Buddhist Temple of about hundred years old indicate the ancient tradition and cultural heritage, which are objects of great pleasure Kuakata is the place of pilgrimage of the Hindus and Buddhist communities. Innumerable devotees arrive here at the festival of ‘Rush Purnima’ and ‘Maghi Purnima’. On these two days they take holy bath and traditional fairs are held here. All these additional offers to panoramic beauty make the beach more attractive to the visitors. One should visit Kuakata and discover the lovely grace of Bangladesh.

Means Of Communication:

There exists road communication between Dhaka and Patuakhali district headquarters which are ccessible by road, water or airtransport upto Barisal. Then one may travel by road or water to Kuakata or Patuakhali.

BRTC has introduced direct bus service from Dhaka to Kuakata via Barisal. Besides that, Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation, National Tourism Organization may organize guided package tours from Dhaka to Kuakata on demand. For rates and booking you may contact: Manager (Tours), Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation, 233, Airport Road, Tejgaon, and Dhaka-1215. Phone: 8117855-9, Fax:

Other facilities:

A pond of crystal clean sweet water beside the motel attracts the tourists. For advance reservation and further details one may contact: Central Reservation, Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation. Head Office, 233, Airport Road, Tejgaon, Dhaka. Phone: 880-2- 8119192, 880-2-8117855-9, Fax: 880-2-8117235. E-mail:

Beach sites: Kuakata sea beach is a nature of beauty. It is about 18 km long & 3.5 km wide. The tourist, who came here, can see the Sunrise & Sunset from the same place. It’s a great opportunity & in the world this type of opportunity is only in Japan. The sea beach is surrounded by green trees & beside the beach, there are many wooden trees garden & forest, like The Foyej Miyar Coconut Garden, Lembur Chor, Jhauban, Gangamotir Chor etc. These gardens & forests are the most attracting part for the tourist. There are no quicksands in the beach. So the tourists can frequently run, take bath, swim, & pick up cockle from the beach. But there is no signal light to alert, no enough sitting place on the beach, no life jacket, no coast guard & life saving men to ensure security for the tourist.

There are two rivers; named Payra & Bishkhali are west of the beach & a river named Agunmukha is East of the beach. They all are concentrated in the Bay of Bengal. This entire river made a channel about half kilometer outside from the beach. This half-kilometer is about 3-4 feet deep & the channel is about 14-15 feet deep. This channel is about half kilometer & after the channel the height of the water is again 3-4 feet, it is about 2-3 kilometer. Now days, the beach is consequently breaking down by the flow of water through the channel. So, if the government could not take necessary steps to save this beach recently then our country may lose a valuable tourist spot.

Rakhain Polly: It is not sure at which time people started to live in Kuakata. But everybody believes that Rakhain community was the oldest inhabitants here. Once upon a time Rakhains were the majority here but now they became the minority. But they have maintained their history, culture, with in this Rakhain Polly. If you go there you can watch their life style & daily work very closely.

Generally Rakhain’s life style & cultural activities are different than ours. They are “Buddhist” in religion & “Buddha Purnima” is their main religion festival around the year. Their every home has an own embodiment. Most of women are engaged in making handicraft. They made Lunge, Scarf, and Shawl etc. They have an own market in Kuakata, named “Rakhain Mohila Market”. They bring materials from Burma & Cox-bazar. Men are engaged in agriculture. Most of them are not educated. Often people of other culture interrupt their life style & religion. So most of them are contracted in mind because they think they are small in number in our country.

Sima Buddha Temple: It is situated near the sea beach. The temple is made of wood & tin. It cannot be accurately said at which time it was built. But it can be surely said that it is very o;ld. In the temple there is statue of Buddha made by eight metal situated on a three foot high stand. It is second embodiment in south Asia.

Coconut Grove & Jhaubon: The coconut grove was built on 200 acre areas around sea beach in 1960’s decade. But for the continuous & unprotect able breaking of beach a part of the grove has already lost. At the east side of the grove there is a beautiful Jhaubon (on 15 hector) made by the forest department. At the sunlight of evening & at the moonlight the coconut grove & jhaubon look very beautiful. At the daytime, the continuous whizzing sound of Jhaubon hears very nice to visitors.


Fatrar Chor: At the west side of the beach there is a small Island named Fatrar Chor (99705.07), a mangrove forest. People started to call it the “Second Sundorbon”. Keuya, Gauya, Goran golpata etc type of mangrove trees are seen there. There are also many birds & animals like monkeys, pigs etc.

Gongamotir Chor: Another attractive place for the tourists is Gongamotir Chor, which is 10 km east of Kuakata’s main land. Though it is less known to visitors for poor communication, the most attractive place here is the “Gongamotir Lake”. There are many trees like Keuya, Gauya, Saila etc many animals like wild pig, monkeys etc.

Lembur Chor: Five kilometer east of Kuakata beach there is an attractive place named Lembur Chor. There is a forest of Keuya, Korai, Gauya, Saila etc of 1000 acor.

Rasmela: The word “Rus” mainly came from the word “Ros”. This festival was started depending on collecting “ros” in winter; later the festival name became “Rasmela”. It is one of the main religious programs of “Monipuri”. At the time of “Rasmela” festival many visitors came here to enjoy it.


Shutki Polly: Shutki Polly is 4 km west of Kuakata. Fishermen catch many kinds of sea fish from sea during the year but mainly the fishes which are caught in winter season, are be sunned in process. This “Shutki Fish” is supplied in many places of our country, mainly in Dhaka. The people who like to eat “Shutki” but have not seen the process of drying fish; this can be a place for them to get experience.

8. Khulna

Gateway to the Sundarban abode of the Royal Bengal Tigers Khulnais an industrial town and Divisional Headquarter. The Mongla Seaport is close by. Some of the biggest Jute mills in the country are located here. Khulna is connected with Dhaka by road and boat and by air via Jessore. Accommodation and eating facilities are available.

Mongla: There are rest-house for the visitors to stay and enjoy the unspoiled nature with all its charm and majesty. Spending some time inside the forest can be a rare threat for the lovers of nature.

9. Shahjadpur Kuthibari

It carries the memory of the Nobel laurate poet Rabindranath Tagore who made frequent visits to this place and used to stay in connection with the administration of his jamindari and enriched Bengali literature through his writings during that time. It is located at a distance of about 20 km. from Kushtia town.

About 75 km. from Pabna town, it is also a historical place connected with the frequent visits of poet Rabindranath Tagore.

Kuthibari, Kushita

10. Mainamati

About eight km. to the west of Comilla town which is situated 144 km. south east of Dhaka lays a range of low hills known as Mainamati-Lalmai ridge, an extensive centre of Buddhist culture. On the slopes of these hills lie scattered a treasure of information about the early Buddhist civilization (7th-12th Century A.D.) At Salban in the middle of the ridge, excavations bare a Large Buddhist Vihara (monastery) and imposing Central Sharine. It has revealed valuable information about the rule of the Chandra and Deva dynasties which flourished here from the 7th to 12th century. The whole range of hillocks run for about 18 km. and is studded with more than 50 sites. A site museum houses the archaeological findings which include terracotta plaques, bronze statues and casket, coins, jewellery, utensils, pottery and votive stupas embossed with Buddhist inscriptions. Museum is open Sunday-Friday and closed on Saturday. Bangladesh Academy for Rural Development (BARD) Established nearby in 1959 is known for its pioneering role in co-operative movement.

Ruins of Buddhist Monastery at Mainati, Comilla

11. Rangamati

From Chittagong a 77 km road amidst green fields and winding hills will take you to Rangamati, the head quarter of Rangamati Hill District which is a wonderful repository of scenic splendours with flora and fauna of varied descriptions. The township is located on the western bank of the Kaptai Lake. Rangamati is a favourite holiday resort because of its beautiful landscape, scenic beauty, lake, colourful tribes (Chakma, Marma etc)., its flora and fauna, tribal museum, hanging bridge, homespun textile products, ivory jewellery and the tribal men and women who fashion them. For tourists the attractions of Rangamati are numerous, tribal life, fishing, speed boat cruising, water skiing, hiking, bathing or merely enjoying nature as it is. Some of the Offers: Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation provides suitable hotel and cottage accommodation, catering, speed boat, paddle boat and other facilities at Rangamati.

12. Rajshahi

Rajshahi has seen the most glorious period of Bengal’s Paul dyunasty. It is famous for pure silk, mango and lichi. Attractive silk products are cheaper. A visit to Varendra Research Museum at the heart of the city of rich archaeological finds would be most rewarding. There are also a number of ancient mosques, shrines and temples in and around Rajshahi. Connected with Dhaka by road, rail, river and air, Rajshahi is located on the bank of the Padma river. Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation offers comfortable accommodation and restaurant facilities at Rajshahi.

Rajshahi University, Rajshahi

13. Sylhet

Nestled in the picturesque Surma Valley amidst scenic tea plantations and lush green tropical forests, greater Sylhet is a prime attraction for all tourists visiting Bangladesh. Laying between the Khasia and the Jaintia hills on the north, and the Tripura hills on the south, Sylhet breaks the monotony of the flatness of this land by a multitude of terraced tea gardens, rolling countryside and the exotic flora and fauna. Here the thick tropical forests abound with many species of wildlife, spread their aroma around the typical hearth and homes of the Mainpuri Tribal maidens famous for their dance. The Sylhet valley is formed by a beautiful, winding pair of rivers named the Surma and the Kushiara both of which are fed by innumerable hill streams from the north and the south. The valley has good number of haors which are big natural depressions. During winter these haors are vast stretches of green land, but in the rainy season they turn into turbulent seas. These haors provide a sanctuary to the millions of migratory birds who fly from Siberia across the Himalayas to avoid the severe cold there. Sylhet has also a very interesting and rich hilstory, before the conquest by the Muslims; it was ruled by local chieftains. In 1303, the great Saint Hazrat Shah Jalal came to Sylhet from Delhi with a band of 360 disciples to preach islam and defeated the then Raja Gour Gobinda. Sylhet thus became a district of saints, shrines and daring but virile people. Its rich potentialities became easily attractive and the 18th century Englishmen made their fortune in tea plantation. About 80 km. from Sylhet town connected by road and rail, Srimangal, which is known as the tea capital of Bangladesh, is the actual tea centre of the area. For miles and miles around, the visitor can see the tea gardens spread like a green carpet over the plain land or on the sloping hills. A visit to the tea plantation in Sylhet is a memorable experience. Sylhet, the tea granary of Bangladesh, not only has over 150 tea gardens but also proudly possesses three largest tea gardens in the world both in area and production.

The Shrine of Hazrat Shah Jalal: Among the several places of historical interest in Sylhet town is the shrine of Saint Hazrat Shah Jalal. Even today, more than six hundred years after his death, the shrine is visited by innumerable devotees of every caste and creed, who make the journey from faraway places. Legend says, the great saint who came from Delhi to preach Islam and defeated the then Hindu Raja (king) Gour Gobinda, transformed the witchcraft followers of the Raja into catfishes which are still alive in the tank adjacent to the shrine Swords, the holy Quran and the robes of the holy saint are still preserved in the shrine.

Hairpur Gas Field and other spots: Twentytwo kilometers from Sylhet town are the Haripur Gas Field and at 35 km. point is the Jaintiapur’s Rajbari.

Only 5 km. from Jaintiapur is Jaflong, a scenic spot amidst tea gardens. At about 35 km. north-west of Sylhet town, linked by rail, road and river is Chhatak, the seat of Assam Bengal Cement Factory, Chhatak is famous for orange garden.

Madhabkunda: About 3 km. from Dakhinbagh Railway Station there is the famous waterfall of Madhabkunda which attracts large number of tourists every year.

Tamabil-Jaflong: Situated amidst splendid panorama, Tamabil is a border outpost on Sylhet-Shilong Road about 55 km. away from Sylhet town. Besides enchanting views of the area one can also have a glimpse of the waterfalls across the border from Tamabil. Jaflong is also a scenic spot nearby amidst tea gardens and rate beauty of rolling stones from hills.

Manipuri Dance: An interesting feature of Sylhet region is the aboriginal tribes such as the Tipperas, the Monipuris, Khasis and Garos who still live in their primitive ways in the hills, practising their age-old rites, rituals, customs and traditions. During festivals such as, Rash Leela (Full-moon night in February) and Doljatra, the attractive young girls dressed in colorful robes, dance with the male members of their choice & love. The Monipuris perform their famous dance, based on allegorical love themes of the ancient mythology.

Handicrafts: Sylhet is well-known for its wide variety of exquiste handicrafts. Well-known Sylhet cane products such as chair, table, tea trays, flower vases, bags and the exquisitely designed fine Sital Pati (a kind of mattress having natural cooling effect) are colorful souvenirs.

For accommodation at Sylhet town, some reasonably good hotels are available. Rest-house accommodation at Srimangal and other places are also available for tourists.

Parjatan Facilities: Bangladesh Parjatan corporation operates a first class motel (Phone : 0821-712426) and restaurant located in the picturesque sorroumdings near the Sylhet Airport besides the Duty Free shop at the airport(Pnone : 0821-713206) and transport service. Picnic spot, restaurant, parking facilities have been established near Madhabkunda waterfall area.

Guided Tours: Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation-National Tourism Organization arranges guided package tours for groups of 10 and about from Dhaka to Sylhet.

Srimongal:Srimongal is famous for the largest tea gardens of world covered by lush green carpet. One can have a look into the spectacular tea processing at Tea Research Institute.

Temple of Sri Chaitannya Dev: About 500 years old famous temple of Sri Chaitanya Dev is located at Dhaka Dakhin about 45 km south-east from Sylhet town. The place is revered from being the ancestral home of the famous Vaishnava saint. Yearly fair is organised on the fullmoon day of the Bangla month Falgun. Hundreds and thousands of devotees from home and abroad attend this colorful fair.

Shahi Edgah: Three kilometers to the north-east of the circuit house, the Shahi Eidgah was built on a hill by the Mughal Emperor Aurangazeb in the 17th century. It looks like a grade fort but is actually meant for Eid congreation-the two biggest Muslim festivals.

Gour Gobinda Fort: The Murarichand Government College is situated in a beautiful surrounding on a hillttop. To the north-west of the college lie the remains of King Gour Govinda’s Fort.

Jaintiapur: Situated 43 km. to the north of Sylhet town, on the Sylhet- Shillong road, Jaintiapur was the capital of an ancient kingdom which included the khasi and Jaintia Hills and plains of Jainta. Interesting ruins of this forgotten period lie scattered throughout Jaintiapur. A drive to Jaintiapur is an interesting and worthwhile experience.

14. Sundarban