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Dhaka Division

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© Lonely Planet Publications
70

DHAKA DIVISION

Dhaka Division
Rub your eyes and blink. You are finally free of the last of the crazy Dhaka traffic jams and
in front of you stretches a rural wonderland. This large district, comprising of some 25,000
villages and hardly any towns, is the most densely populated area of Bangladesh and epitomises the diversity of this surprising country.
While there are dappled forests, great rivers and hilly panoramas, much of the region is
given over to radiant rice paddies, filling your vision with more hues of green than you ever
knew existed. It’s this farming soul, where life revolves around the gentle clip-clop of an ox
and cart and the slow rotation of the seasons, that is, for the adventurous tourist, the appeal of this little visited region. It’s the sort of place where brief encounters turn into solid
friendships and a person can fall in love with a much maligned nation. This is the reason
you came to Bangladesh, so dive right in.

HIGHLIGHTS
„ Pace the streets of a city of gold in regal

Sonargaon (opposite)
„ Dance with cobras, get lovey-dovey with

pythons and be spellbound by the magical
residents of Ghuradia (p73)

Madhupur
National
Park
Muktagacha

„ Munch on Monad, search for 99 elephants

disguised as policemen and slither your
hips like a pole dancer in Muktagacha
(p77)
„ Monkey around spotting the spotted deer

in the patchy forests of Madhupur
National Park (p77)

Ghuradia

DHAKA

Sonargaon

lonelyplanet.com

D HA K A D I V I S I O N • • S o n a r g a o n

SONARGAON

71

Independence, only Goaldi Mosque, a preMughal bridge and a single rajbari (landowner’s palace) called Sadarbari (now housing a
folk-art museum) have been restored.

A great day trip from Dhaka (about 23km)
is an excursion to Sonargaon (sometimes
known as Old Sonargaon), the country’s first
capital. Combining countryside, culture, archaeology, adventure and friendship in one
tidy bundle, the village is an ideal way to
experience all the best of Bangladesh in one
easy step.
Except for some mosques, a bridge, a few
tombs and stupas (Buddhist monuments),
and some indistinguishable mounds (most
of which are found around the small modern
village of Mograpara), nothing much remains
of the original city of Sonargaon. For most
people, enchanting Painam Nagar (p72) is
the real jewel.
Unfortunately the government’s archaeological department has done precious little
to preserve the buildings of Sonargaon and,
on the rare days that work is undertake...
DHAKA DIVISION
Rub your eyes and blink. You are finally free of the last of the crazy Dhaka traffic jams and
in front of you stretches a rural wonderland. This large district, comprising of some 25,000
villages and hardly any towns, is the most densely populated area of Bangladesh and epito-
mises the diversity of this surprising country.
While there are dappled forests, great rivers and hilly panoramas, much of the region is
given over to radiant rice paddies, filling your vision with more hues of green than you ever
knew existed. It’s this farming soul, where life revolves around the gentle clip-clop of an ox
and cart and the slow rotation of the seasons, that is, for the adventurous tourist, the ap-
peal of this little visited region. It’s the sort of place where brief encounters turn into solid
friendships and a person can fall in love with a much maligned nation. This is the reason
you came to Bangladesh, so dive right in.
Dhaka Division
© Lonely Planet Publications
HIGHLIGHTS
Pace the streets of a city of gold in regal
Sonargaon ( opposite )
Dance with cobras, get lovey-dovey with
pythons and be spellbound by the magical
residents of Ghuradia ( p73 )
Munch on Monad, search for 99 elephants
disguised as policemen and slither your
hips like a pole dancer in Muktagacha
( p77 )
Monkey around spotting the spotted deer
in the patchy forests of Madhupur
National Park ( p77 )
Muktagacha
Ghuradia
DHAKA
Sonargaon
Park
National
Madhupur
70
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