Dhaka is formerly known as Dacca is the capital and largest city of Bangladesh, as well as the world’s largest Bengali-speaking city. It is the eighth largest and sixth most densely populated city in the world with a population of 8.9 million residents as of 2011, and a population of over 21.7 million residents in the Greater Dhaka Area. According to a Demographia survey, Dhaka has the most densely populated built-up urban area in the world, and is popularly described as such in the news media.Dhaka is one of the major cities of South Asia and a major global Muslim-majority city. As part of the Bengal delta, the city is bounded by the Buriganga River, Turag River, Dhaleshwari River and Shitalakshya River.
The area of Dhaka has been inhabited since the first millennium. An early modern city developed from the 17th century as a provincial capital and commercial centre of the Mughal Empire. Dhaka was the capital of a proto-industrialised Mughal Bengal for 75 years (1608–39 and 1660–1704). It was the hub of the muslin trade in Bengal and one of the most prosperous cities in the world. The Mughal city was named Jahangirnagar (City of Jahangir) in honour of the erstwhile ruling emperor Jahangir. It hosted the seat of the Mughal Subahdar, Naib Nazims, Dhaka Nawabs, and Dewans. The pre-colonial city’s glory peaked in the 17th and 18th centuries when it was home to merchants from across Eurasia. The Port of Dhaka was a major trading post for both riverine and seaborne trade. The Mughals decorated the city with well-laid gardens, tombs, mosques, palaces and forts. The city was once called the Venice of the East. Under British rule, the city saw the introduction of electricity, railways, cinemas, Western-style universities and colleges and a modern water supply. It became an important administrative and educational centre in the British Raj, as the capital of Eastern Bengal and Assam province after 1905.In 1947, after the end of British rule, the city became the administrative capital of East Pakistan. It was declared the legislative capital of Pakistan in 1962. In 1971, after the Liberation War, it became the capital of independent Bangladesh.
A beta-global city,Dhaka is the center of political, economic and culture life in Bangladesh. It is the seat of the Government of Bangladesh, many Bangladeshi companies and leading Bangladeshi educational, scientific, research and cultural organizations. Since its establishment as a modern capital city; the population, area and social and economic diversity of Dhaka have grown tremendously. The city is now one of the most densely industrialized regions in the country. The city accounts for 35% of Bangladesh’s economy. The Dhaka Stock Exchange has over 750 listed companies. Dhaka hosts over 50 diplomatic missions as well as the headquarters of BIMSTEC and CIRDAP. The city’s culture is known for its rickshaws, cuisine, art festivals and religious diversity. The old city is home to around 2000 buildings from the Mughal and British periods.
Places of interest in Dhaka city.
The historic city of Dhaka is the capital of Bangladesh and lies on the banks of the Buriganga River in the central area of Bangladesh. The old town of Dhaka, south of the city centre, is the site of most of the tourist attractions, including the Lalbagh Fort, the Stat Mosque, and the Ahsan Manzil Palace Museum.
The old European quarter lies just north of Dhaka’s old town, which houses the presidential place and the National Museum, Dhaka’s commercial and diplomatic regions are north-east of this zone. Dhaka Zoo and the Botanical Gardens are a short taxi ride into the suburbs.
Once famed for its Muslin, Dhaka is now renowned for pink pearls and a rich tradition of handicrafts. Shoppers can find lower prices of gold and silver products, and the Dhaka shopping areas of New market and Elephant road and Dhanmondi are good for shopping.
The Botanical garden is a park at Mirpur in Dhaka.It contains various species of plants. It is also a major tourist spot.
Lalbagh Fort (also Fort Aurangabad) is an incomplete 17th-century Mughal fort complex that stands before the Buriganga River in the southwestern part of Dhaka, Bangladesh. The construction was started in 1678 AD by Mughal Subahdar Muhammad Azam Shah, who was a son of Emperor Aurangzeb and later emperor himself. His successor, Shaista Khan, did not continue the work, though he stayed in Dhaka up to 1688.
The fort was never completed, and unoccupied for a long period of time. Much of the complex was built over and now sits across from modern buildings.
The Nawab of Dhaka was the title of the head of largest Muslim zamindar in British Bengal and Assam, based in present-day Dhaka, Bangladesh.The title of nawab, similar to the British peerage, was conferred upon the head of the family by Queen Victoria as a recognition of the first Nawab’s loyalty and contribution to the social welfare activities.
Although the Nawabs of Dhaka were not sovereigns, they played an essential role in the politics of South Asia—and the relations with external entities. The family was proprietary of the Dhaka Nawab estate, seated at Ahsan Manzil palace. “Nawab of Dhaka” was the title of the head of family and estate from 1843. Khwaja Alimullah was the first holder of the title, and Khwaja Abdul Ghani was the first Nawab of Dhaka when the title was made hereditary by Queen Victoria.
Considerable infighting within the Nawab’s family gradually led to the decline of the estate. In 1952, the East Pakistan Estates Acquisition Act formally abolished the estate. Khwaja Habibullah Khan Bahadur was the last Nawab of Dhaka to hold the office. Successive land reform in Pakistan and Bangladesh brought an end to the remaining landholdings of the Nawab family.
The Dhakeshwari (Durga) temple was built in the 12th century by Ballal Sen, a king of the Sena dynasty, and it is said that the city Dhaka was named after the Goddess. The current architectural style of the temple cannot be dated to that period because of the numerous repairs, renovations, and rebuilding which have taken place over time. It is considered an essential part of Dhaka’s cultural heritage. Many researchers believe that the temple is also one of the Shakti Peethas, where the jewel from the crown of the Goddess Sati had fallen. Although there is not enough historical context to establish this as a fact, researchers have been directed to this site while trying to locate the particular Shakti Peetha. For ages, the temple has been held in great importance. The original 800-year-old murti was taken to Kumartuli, Kolkata, West Bengal, India. During the partition of India, she was brought to Kolkata from Dhaka with millions of refugees. By 1950, the businessman Debendranath Chaudhary built the temple of Goddess in Kumortuli area and established some of the Goddess’ property for her daily services. The idol is 1.5 feet tall, has ten arms, mounted on her lion in the form of Katyani Mahishasurmardini ‘Durga‘. On her two sides are Laxmi, Saraswati, Kartik and Ganesh. A Tiwari family from Azamgarh was appointed by the royal family for daily worship of the deity. In 1946, the descendants of that family came to Calcutta and were re-appointed, where they still serve the Goddess continuously.
It is widely believed that the Queen, wife of King Bijoy Sen went to Langolbond for bathing. On her way back she gave birth to a son, known to historians as Ballal Sen. After ascending to the throne, Ballal Sen built this temple to glorify his birthplace. Legends say that Ballal Sen once dreamt of the deity covered under the jungle. Ballal Sen uncovered the deity from there and built a temple, named for Dhakeswari. Whatever the legends describe, Hindus consider Dhakeswari to be the presiding deity of Dhaka, which is an incarnation or form of Goddess Durga the Adi Shakti. The idol of Durga is called Dhakeswari.
4. Bangladesh National Zoo
Bangladesh National Zoo,is a zoo located in the Mirpur section of Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh. The zoo contains many native and non-native animals and wild life, and hosts about three million visitors each year. The name of zoo has been changed from 5 February 2015 from Dhaka Zoo to Bangladesh National Zoo.
Established in 1974, the 186-acre (75 ha) Dhaka Zoo is the largest zoo in Bangladesh, and is operated by the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock. The zoo attracts around 10,000 visitors every day with the number increasing during the weekends and holidays. The zoo is also known for its poor conditions for animals and the corruption of its officials.
The yearly budget of Dhaka Zoo is Tk 37.5 million, out of which Tk 25 million is spent on feeding the animals.
The Bangladesh National Museum is the national museum of Bangladesh. The museum is well organized and displays have been housed chronologically in several departments like department of ethnography and decorative art, department of history and classical art, department of natural history, and department of contemporary and world civilization. The museum also has a rich conservation laboratory. Nalini Kanta Bhattasali served as the first curator of the museum during 1914–1947.
The National Martyrs’ Memorial is the national monument of Bangladesh, set up in the memory of those who died in the Bangladesh War of Independence of 1971, which brought independence and separated Bangladesh from Pakistan. The monument is located in Savar, about 35 km north-west of the capital, Dhaka.It was designed by Syed Mainul Hossain and built by Concord Group.
Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban or National Parliament House,is the house of the Parliament of Bangladesh, located at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka. Designed while the country was still part of Pakistan by architect Louis Kahn, the complex is one of the largest legislative complexes in the world, comprising 200 .
Sonargaon is one of the old capitals of the historic region of Bengal and was an administrative center of eastern Bengal. It was also a river port. It’s hinterland was the center of the muslin trade in Bengal, with a large population of weavers and artisans. According to ancient Greek and Roman accounts, an emporium was located in this hinterland, which archaeologists have identified with the Wari-Bateshwar ruins. The area was a base for the Vanga, Samatata, Sena, and Deva dynasties.