Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Archaeological Attractions of Bangladesh

Archaeological attractions of Bangladesh
01.            Mainamati:

About eight km to the west of Comilla town and 114 km South-east of Dhaka lies the 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 (8th to 12th century). At Salban in the middle of the ridge, excavations laid bare a large Buddhist Vihara (monastery) and imposing central shrine.

It has revealed  valuable information of the rule of the Chandra and Deva dynasties which flourished here from the 8th to 12th century A. D. The whole range of hillocks run for about 18th km. and is studded with more than 50 sites. A site museum housed the archaeological finds which include terracotta plaques, bronze statues and casket, coins, jewellery, utensils, pottery and votive stupas embossed with Buddhist inscription.

02.             Mahasthangarh:
Mahanthan Garh, Bogra

Located at a distance of 18 km north of Bogra town, Mahasthanragh is the oldest archaeological site of Bangladesh on the western bank of river Karatoa. The spectacular site is an imposing landmark in the area having a fortified long enclosure. Beyond the fortified area, other ancient ruins fan out within a semi circle of about 8 km. radius. Several isolated mounds, the local names of which are Govinda Bhita Temple, Khodai Pathar Mound, Mankalir Kunda, Parsuramer Bedi, Jiyat Kunda etc. surround the fortified city. This 3rd century B. C. archaeological site is still held to be of great sanctity by the Hindus. Every year (mid-April) and once in every 12 years (December) thousands of Hindu devotees join the bathing ceremony on the bank of river Karatoa. Several isolated mounds, the local names of which are Govinda Bhita Temple, Khodai Pathar Mound, Mankalir Kunda, Parsuramer Bedi, Jiyat Kunda etc. surround the fortified city. This 3rd century B. C. archaeological site is still held to be of great sanctity by the Hindus. Every year (mid-April) and once in every 12 years (December) thousands of Hindu devotees join the bathing ceremony on the bank of river Karatoa. A visit to the Mahasthangarh site museum will open up for one a wide variety of antiquities, ranging from terracotta objects to gold ornaments and coins recovered from the site. Also noteworthy are the shrine of Shah Sultan Bulkhi Mahisawary and Gokul Medh in the neighbourhood of Mahasthangarh

03.   Paharpur Buddist Vihara:
Paharpur Buddhist Bihara

Paharpur is a small village 5 km west of Jamalganj railway station in the greater Rajshahi district where the remains of the most important and the largest known monastery, south of the Himalayas has been excavated. This 8th century A.D. archaeological find covers approximately an area of 27 acres of land. The entire establishment, occupying a quadrangular court, measuring more than 900 ft. and from 12 ft to 15 ft in height with elaborate gateway complex on the north,  there are 45 cells on the north and 44 in each of other three sides with a total number of 177 rooms. The architecture of the pyramidal cruciform temple is profoundly influenced by those of south-east Asia, especially Myanmar and Java. It had taken its name from a high mound, which like Pahar or hillock. A site museum houses the representative collection of objects recovered from the area. The excavated findings have also been preserved at the Varendra Research Museum at Rajshahi. The antiquities of the museum include terracotta plaque, images of different gods and goddesses, potteries, coins, inscriptions, ornamental bricks and other minor clay objects. It has been declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
At Paharpur some terra-cotta seals bearing the name of the vice chancellor, Sri Somepure, a member of the second ruler of the Pala dynasty, of the oldest university in Asia named as "Somapura Buddha Vihara Viswabidyalaya" (Khatun, 1997). The University used to teach theology, grammar, logic, philosophy, fine arts and visited by famous scholars. The residential university enrolled students free of costs and their clothing and food were also free. About one hundred adjacent villages supplied food and clothing for about 2,000 students living in 177 rooms in a 21 acre fortified complex area. Students from south-east Asian countries like Korea, Mongolia, China
and Tibet came here to receive the superior quality of education provided by this University. The books preserved in the library were made of parchment paper and palm leaves. But the library was looted and ravaged after the fall of the Pala dynasty (M. Khatun, 1997).

04. Chandranath Hindu Temple:

It is approximately 37 km far from Chittagong city. This is famous forChandranath Hindu Temple - one of the oldest temples in the subcontinent.
There is also Buddhist Temple having a footprint of Lord Buddha. These places particularly the hilltops are regarded as very sacred by the hindus and buddhist. Shiva Chaturdashi (14th) festivals is held every year in February when thousands of pilgrims assemble which lasts for ten days. There is also a hot-water spring 5 km to the north of Sitakunda.

05. Sri Chaitanya Temple:

About 500 years old famous temple of Sri Chaitanya Dev is located at Dhaka Dakhin nearly 45 km south-east from Sylhet town. The place is revered for being the ancestral home of the famous Vaishnava saint. Yearly fair is organized on the fullmoon day of the bangla month Falgun. Hundreds and thousand of devotees from home and abroad attend this colorful fair.



06. Sonargaon, Panam City:

Sonargaon is one of the most historical place and oldest capitals of Bangladesh. “The city of Panam” is another name of Sonargaon. Among the ancient monuments still intact, are the tomb of Sultan Ghiasuddin (1399 - 1409 A.D.), the shrines of Panjpirs and Shah Abdul Alla and a beautiful mosque in Goaldi village. A Folk Art and Crafts Museum has also been established in Sonargaon. It situated in Narayongoan district on the Dhaka-Chittagong highway about 29km away from Dhaka. 

Picture has taken from outside of the sonargaon museum.

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        Ruins of Sonargaon, Isa Khan's capital     Front side of Sonargaon museum.

A great Statues of Zainul Abedin, the great artist of Bangladesh
selected Sonargaon to establish Folk Arts and Crafts Museum.

  • Sonargaon's `Lok Shilpa Jadughar', was a part of Isa Khan's capital.
  • The Panam City was the center of the upper-middleclass people of 19th century Sonargaon. It is now in ruins. Mainly Hindu cloth merchants lived here.
  • Musa Khan's Masjid, the Mosque beside the grave of Dr. Muhammad Shahidullah in Shahidullah Hall of the University of Dhaka is a marked work and it is said that the Mosque was made by Isa Khan or son of him, Musa Khan.
  • The Fort of Hajiganj was the main tactical fort of Isa Khan in front of Meghna, Shitalakhya and Brahmaputra. Now at Narayanganj. It is saved by the authority.
  • There is another sister concern of the fort across the river, few miles away.
Due to the many threats to preservation (including flooding and vandalism) that this culturally and historically significant city faces, the World Monuments Fund placed it on its 2008 Watch List of the 100 Most Endangered Sites in this planet.

07. Lalbagh Fort:

Lalbagh Fort (also known as "Fort Aurangabad") is an incomplete Mughal palace fortress at the Buriganga River in the southwestern part of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Construction was commenced in 1678 by Prince Muhammad Azam during his 15-month long vice-royalty of Bengal, but before the work could complete, he was recalled by Aurangzeb. His successor, Shaista Khan, did not complete the work, though he stayed in Dhaka up to 1688. His daughter bibi pari (Lady Fairy) died here in 1684 and this led him to consider the fort to be ominous.

 220px-Lalbagh-crosji    z12
Lalbagh fort and the Tomb of Pari Bibi
The fort was long considered to be a combination of three buildings: the mosque;the tomb of Bibi Pari; and the Diwan-i-Aam, comprising two gateways and a portion of the partly damaged fortification wall.
Recent excavations carried out by the Department of Archaeology of Bangladesh, however, have revealed the existence of other structures, and it is now possible to have a more or less complete picture of the fort.
In the present fort area of 18 acres (73,000 m²), excavations have revealed the remains of either 26 or 27 structures, with elaborate arrangements for water supply, sewerage, roof gardens, and fountains. Renovation work by the Archaeology Department has now put Lalbagh Fort in a much-improved shape, and it has now become an interesting spot for tourists and visitors.
1814 painting by Charles D'Oyly showing the South wall, beside the Buriganga River. Now, the river flows at least a mile to the south.

Of the three surviving gateways, the southern one is the most imposing. Seen from the front, it is a three-storeyed structure with a front-on, bordered with slender minarets. From inside, it gives the impression of a two-storeyed structure. The gateway on the northeast is a much smaller and simpler structure. Structural evidence indicates that the fort extended to the eastern side, beyond the present Shaista Khan Road. The third gate, now in the centre of the northern boundary wall, was left incomplete. The present one is a recent construction.

08. Southern fortification wall:
The southern fortification wall, running westward from the South Gateway, stretches up to the huge bastion in the southwestern corner of the fort. It runs northward for a distance, and is then lost. The boundary wall on the eastern side, connecting the southern and northern gateways, is a modern wall, and it is now assumed that the fort originally embraced areas further east, beyond the present Shaista Khan Road.
On the northern side of the southern fortification are placed utility buildings, such as the stable, the administrative block, and its western part accommodates a beautiful roof-garden, with arrangements for fountains and a water reservoir. The residential part is located on the eastern side of the western fortification, mainly to the south-west of the mosque, where the remains of a sewerage line have been found. The southern fortification is a twin wall: the outer one is about 6.10 m high and 1.37 m thick; and the inner one is 13.7 m high with same thickness.
The two are solid up to a height of 6.10 m, and there are regular openings in the upper part of the inner wall. The original fortification wall on the south has five bastions at regular intervals, and the western wall has two. Among the seven bastions, the biggest one is near the main southern gate at the back of the stable, which occupies the area to the west of the gateway. The bastion has an underground tunnel. Among the five bastions of the southern fortification, the central one is single-storeyed, while the rest are double-storeyed structures. The central one contains an underground room with verandahs on three sides, and it can be approached either from the riverside or from its roof. The double-storeyed bastion at the southwestern corner of the fort is possibly a Hawakhana, with a water reservoir on its roof.
Two lines of terracotta pipes have been found that connect all the establishments of the fort with the reservoir. An extra-strong terracotta pipe line, made with double pipes (one inside the other), has been uncovered in the area between the Hammam and the tomb of Bibi Pari.
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       Rooftop garden
The area westwards from the stable, parallel to the southern fortification, once had a beautiful roof garden with fountain, rose, flower beds (marked with star designs), and a water reservoir. The buildings underneath contains the administrative blocks, and the residential part on the western side.

The central area of the fort is occupied by three buildings:the Diwan-i-Aam and the Hammam on its east;the mosque on the west; and the tomb of Bibi Pari in between the two (in one line, but not at equal distance). The mosque is a three-domed mosque, with a water tank in front (on the eastern side) for ablution.
Exhibit at the museum inside Lalbagh Fort
A water channel, with fountains at regular interval, connects the three buildings from east to west, and two similar channels run from south to north:
one through the middle of the ground, in between the Diwan-i-Aam and the tomb, forming a square tank, with fountains at the intersection with the east-west channel; and the other, from the water reservoir, passing through the bottom of the tomb.
The water channels and the fountains, a very common feature of Mughal architecture, create an atmosphere, not unlike those of the north Indian Mughal forts. A big square water tank (71.63 m each side), placed in front of and to the east of the Diwan-i-Aam, between the southern and northern gateways, adds to the beauty of the building.

The double-storeyed Diwan-i-Aam, attached with a single-storeyed Hammam on its west, is an imposing building. The Hammam complex includes an open platform, a small kitchen, an oven, water storage area, a masonry brick bath-tub, a toilet, a dressing room and an extra room. The Hammam portion has an underground room for boiling water, and a passage for sweepers. A long partition wall runs north-south along the western facade of the Hammam, dividing the whole fort area into two divisions.

Tomb of Bibi Pari
The tomb of Bibi Pari, located in the center, is the most impressive of the surviving buildings of the fort. Eight rooms surround a central square room that contains the mortal remains of Bibi Pari. The central room is covered by a false octagonal-shaped dome, wrapped by a bronze plate.
The entire inner wall of the central room is covered with white marble, while the four rooms at the sides had stone skirting up to a height of one metre. The walls in the rooms at the four corners are skirted with beautifully-glazed floral tiles. The tiles have recently been restored; two of the original tiles have been retained. The room at the south eastern corner contains a small grave, popularly known to be of that of Shamsad Begum, possibly a relative of Bibi Pari.
The archaeological excavations have also revealed strata of the Sultanate, as well as of the pre-Muslim periods, from where terracotta heads and plaques have been found. Thus, it is now justified to say that though the Mughals founded Dhaka, it was definitely inhabited long before the Muslims came to Bengal.


09. Sonakanda Fort:

Sonakanda Fort a Mughal river-fort located on the eastern bank of the shitalakshya at Bandar, almost opposite hajiganj fort in Narayanganj district. A group of river forts, erected by the Mughals, guarded the water routes to Dhaka and other places of strategic importance and the Sonakanda Fort is one of them.

The fort, under the protection of the Department of Archaeology and Museums, has been restored and repaired several times. The defensive walls and the massive artillery platform are still in existence. It is quadrangular in plan, measuring 86.56m57.0m and surrounded by a 1.06m thick brick-wall, 3.05m in height, with inner and intermediate bastions. The wall is built solid at the bottom. There is a circular artillery platform with a staircase on the west side, which leads up to the raised artillery platform to be entered by a five-foil arched gateway. The artillery platform, meant for a big calibre cannon aiming at the attackers coming up the river, is a new feature of the Mughal river forts in Bengal.

The platform has two circles of which the inner is 15.70m and the outer is 19.35m in diameter respectively. It is 6.09m in height and surrounded by walls. The corner bastions on both sides of the western wing are wider than those of the eastern wing, which are 4.26m, while the two on the western wing are 6.85m in diameter.

The fort has two main parts; one is a fortified rampart wall of enormous dimension, which has numerous wide and narrow loopholes. And the other part, the most important one, is a raised outwork on the western face. Excepting the artillery platform, there is no trace of any permanent structure within the fortification walls. All round, the walls are crowned by machicolated merlons, which are on average one metre high.


The fort is provided with a single entrance gate on the north. The arched gateway is placed within a rectangular frame and both the sides are decorated with several plastered panels. The lofty arch of the entrance gateway is of the four-centred variety. There are four corner bastions. Unlike the bastions of the forts at Hajiganj and Idrakpur the bastions of this fort are octagonal in plan.

The fort is not dated by any inscription. Though the construction of this fort is attributed to mir jumla, there is no evidence for this. On stylistic similarities with other Mughal river-forts in and around Dhaka it is datable to the mid-17th century.

10. Ahsan Manjil:
Brief History: It was the residential palace of the nawabs of DHAKA. It was called the Rang Mahal of Sheikh Enayetullah, a landlord of Jamalpur. French bought it from his son Matiullah, and made it their trading centre. Khwaja ALIMULLAH made it his residence after purchasing it from the French. Nawab Abdul Gani made the beautiful palace in 1872 and named it after his son Khaja Ahsanullah.
The construction of the palace started in 1859 and finished in 1872. Andar Mahal and Rang Mahal is the two sections of the Ahsan Manjil. In 1888, a terrible tornado severely damaged Ahsan
manzil, mainly the Andar Mahal was completely damaged. Ahsan Manjil was again damaged in 1897 by a devastating earthquake. In 1991, it was reconstructed and was turned into a museum.

ahsan     ahsanmanjil88
Description: It is on a raised platform of 1 metre. The two-storied palace measures 125.4m by 28.75m. There are doorways on the ground floor, both on the southern and northern sides of the palace. A stairway has come down from the southern entrance, expanding up to the bank of the river through the front garden. The south and north verandas of both the floors are on semicircular arches. The verandas and rooms made up of marble. It is divided into two sections- one is called "Rang Mahal" and another one is "Andar Mahal" on the western side. It has 31 rooms with 23 galleries displaying portraits, furniture and household belongings of the Nawabs.

11. Kantaji Temple:
Kantaji Temple is a late medieval Hindu temple in Dinajpur, Bangladesh. Built by Maharaja Pran Nath, its construction started in 1722 C.E. and ended in 1752 C.E. [1], during the reign of his son Maharaja Ramnath. It boasts one of the greatest examples on Terracotta architecture in Bangladesh and once had nine spires, but all were destroyed in an earthquake that took place in 1897 . The temple was built in a nava-ratna (nine-spired) style before the destruction caused by the earthquake of 1897.
The 52 feet square temple is centered in an oblong court (240'120) covered by a shed with a roof of corrugated tin. Its main fabric pivots around a nuclear square cell (10'-3), reaching a height of about 50' above its 3'-3 high slab of stone, thought to have been mined from the ancient ruins of Bannagar near Gangarampur in Dinajpur. Three more square outer shells in graded heights have been added to it, to variegate the plan as well as to strengthen the central sanctuary on top of the massive tower.
120px-Kantaji_Temple_Dinajpur_Bangladesh_(29)     90px-Kantaji_Temple_Dinajpur_Bangladesh_(21)     90px-Kantaji_Temple_Dinajpur_Bangladesh_(26)
The curved cornice from the ground floor, which sharply drops at the corners, rises in the middle to a height of 25-0�� from the plinth, while the first floor cornice rises to 15 and the second floor to 6-6��. Small square cells are situated at the four corners of the ground and first floors. They serve the purpose of supporting the weight of the octagonal corner towers above. On the ground floor. Three multi-cusped arched entrances on each side are present, which are separated by two ornate brick pillars. The number of arched doorways in the ground floor in its four shells is 21; on the first floor it is 27. The second floor, reduced in size, has only three entrance doors and three windows. A narrow staircase, only 2-3�� wide, is built into the western second corridor. It winds up through the dark passage to the first two stories.

12. Bagha Mosque:
Bagha Mosque, Rajshahi is a religious monument which has become one of the important tourist attractions in Rajshahi. The Bagha Mosque, Rajshahi is a brick-built monument which is located at a distance of 25 miles from the city. Built in 1523, the construction of the mosque was initiated by Nashrat Shah, former Sultan of Bengal.
The Bagha Mosque compound originally spread across an area of 48.77 square meters. Tourists can enter the compound of the mosque via arched gateways which are located at the southern and the northern part of the compound. The gateways comprise of an oblong turret structure which offers a unique style and reflect on the architectural style of the period when it was originally built.
The mosque is basically an oblong structure that measures about 23.16 meters by 12.80 meters. The exterior angles of the Bagha Mosque in Rajshahi are accentuated by the presence of octagonal towers which are divided into various sections by moulded bands. The cornice of the Bagha Mosque reflects on the Bengalis style of architecture that might have been prevalent during the time of its construction. Apart from it, the mosque also features five arched openings and three mihrabs which beautify the mosque structure.
The interior of the Bagha Mosque is mainly divided into two main aisles that are longitudinal in nature along with five bays of four stone pillars. The doorway arches of the mosque offers a two-storied appearance from the outside. The mosque suffered immense damage in the 1897 earthquake but mush has been repaired by the Department of Archaeology, Bangladesh.
The most noteworthy aspect of the Bagha Mosque, Rajshahi is its exquisite terracotta ornamentation, much of which has disappeared. The few remaining are mainly in the interior section which has been enriched by the presence of the rectangular panels.
While touring the site of the terracotta mosque, the tourists can also explore the surrounding locations which feature other notable attractions like the shrine of Aulian Hazrat Danishmand and his disciples. Nature lovers frequenting the mosque site can also venture down to the nearby pond which attracts a large number of migratory birds, making it a great birdwatching destination.

13. Kushumba Mosque:
Kushumba Mosque, Rajshahi is a religious place among many other mosques in the city. The place of worship is used by the Muslims as well as the Hindus. The entire building of the mosque is built mainly from brick. Built during the Suri rule, the famous mosque is one of the historical sites and tourist attractions in Rajshahi. Kushumba Mosque, Rajshahi is attractively situated on the banks of Atrai River.
The ancient mosque was built during the Afghan rule in Bengal under the reign of Ghiyasuddin Bahadur Shah. The mosque features a rectangular shape with six domes, two aisles and three entrances. Bricks and stones have been used for the entire construction of the exterior walls. The style of architecture in Muslim period is different from the Buddhist and Hindu architecture and this mosque resembles the contemporary kind of architecture. Rajshahi Kushumba Mosque is one of the last important monuments in the Sultanate period.

Kushumba Mosque in Rajshahi is situated at the village of Kushumba after which the monument had been named. The mosque features a brick building, carved cornice and the octagonal corner towers. The columns, platform and floors are made of stone. The stone carvings inside the mosque are decorated and engraved with religious images. The edges of the platform are designed with grape vine decorations and is supported with spandrels of the arches.
Sightseeing in the city should include the Kushumba Mosque. The archaeologists and history researchers will definitely like the site for its impressive structure and style of architecture.

14. Tomb of Haji Khawaja Shahbaz:
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The solitary splendour-mosque and tomb of Haji Khawaja Shahbaz
Haji Khwaja Shahbaz, known as the Malik-ul-tujjur or Merchant-Prince is said to have lived in Tongi when he came to this country. At the time when he built this mosque, Bengal was experiencing an era of Muslim grandeur and influence and Dhaka enjoyed the status of a provincial Mughal capital. Shaista Khan as the Subedar inaugurated the most memorable phase of Dhaka's history. Waves of luxury and prosperity embraced Dhaka. 

15. Tajhat palace:
Tajhat palace still attracts visitors from home and abroad because of its amassing architectural skill. The 100-year-old extraordinarily designed palace makes visitors ponder over the urbanisation of old Rangpur and craftsmanship of the past. Mahiganj the then main town of Rangpur of which Tajhat was a part. This town was urbanised with the Tajhat viceroy as the centre.

The founder of Tajhat-dynasty Manna Lal Roy was a big cap merchant. He came from Punjab in India in early 18th century. He became rich with the sales of caps. Fortune smiled on him during the famine of 1770-1790. He lent money to many viceroys in the region,had other viceroys in Rangpur and its adjoining areas under his control and became an influential zaminder in the 19th century.



After 1972 Tajhat palace was an asset of the Archaeology Department. But it was handed over to the ministry of law in 1984. The ministry shifted the then Rangpur high court to the palace. After the fall of the Jatiya Party in 1990, the new government decided to withdraw the high court from Rangpur in 1991. On vacation of the Rangpur High Court the palace was came under the purview of the Ministry of Law till 1995. In 1995 the Tajhat palace was handed over to the ministry of culture. 

16. Rangpur Carmichael College:
Rangpur Carmichael College, a traditional and prestigious educational institution setup during the British regime in undivided Bengal is still playing a challenging role in the education sector.


The institute has already gone through 88 long years educating millions of students since its inception in 1916. In 1955 the students and teachers of the Bengali department of Carmichael College formed a literature union under the name "Samajderer Ashore". The activities of said organisation continued for next five years. Founder president was poet Mohammed Sultan, a close friend of Kazi Nazrul Islam. 

17. Chandanpura Mosque


Abdul Hamid Master a zaminder at Chandanpura during the later part of 18th century. He built a big earthen mosque on a large piece of land, which changed through the passage of time in 1950 into concrete, yet holding together the original architectural design.
Abu Syed Dobash, one of Hamid Master's successors, started the change in 1947 and it took three years to complete the work, which cost him approximately Tk 4 lakh, which was considered huge during that period.

18. Peelkhana:
Peelkhana, or the Royal Elephants Shelter, was at the northwest periphery of Mughal Dhaka, along with a small cavalry garrison too. The elephants paraded as they walked along Elephant Road up to Begunbari Khal to bathe. True to tradition, the Mughal Eidghah was just on the outskirts of the city on the riverbank, further to the east than its present courses, and now silted away because of the expansion of late-Mughal and colonial settlements in Hazaribagh-Rayerbazaar belt that contains many small late-Mughal and Colonial structures.

A few kilometres to the north of Peelkhana was the Sarai Jafarbad-Katasur area, possibly a caravan route along the river. A small urban settlement in this area is evident from its geographic and strategic location, origin of the name(s) of the locality, and the remnants of few Mughal period structures, particularly two mosques, one of which was demolished recently, and two tombs, one of which was converted to a mosque.

19. Seven Domed Mosque:

A small rural community with agricultural land in between may have existed, which area in course of time became like a jungle due to disuse, dereliction and abandonment mainly during the British period. This has now become one of the planned and most expensive residential enclaves of Dhaka - - Dhanmondi. One


major peripheral road of the district to its west -- the Satmasjid Road, bearing the name of the most famous of these edifices- the Satgambuz Masjid (Seven Domed Mosque).

19. Tomb of Dara Begum:
The Tomb of Dara Begum, built on the east bank of a huge pond nearly three acres in size in what is now Lalmatia Block F, is variously known as Shahi Masjid or Bibir Majid to the locals. This, converted and extended in a huge multi-storied mosque with sales/display centre at semi-basement level, is part of the Jamia Islamia Madrashah complex, and the pond is used for pisci-culture as a source of income. Traditionally the tomb is ascribed either to a daughter of Shaista Khan or to the wife of a Subahdar before him. Based on the stronger and more sober style, it looks like belonging to some high ranking lady who died before Khan's time.
The best example of pre-Mughal single dome kiosk mosque in Dhaka, though built in much later time of 1680, was the Allahkuri mosque in Mohammedpur. This simple style has been very popular throughout the Islamic world at all ages because of its simplicity. However, unlike the Sultanate or earlier Mughal

examples, the mosque was distinguished by the semi-octagonal mihrab niche, plastered walls, horizontal parapet, corner towers rising above the parapet and ending in solid kiosks with small cupolas, the dome being placed on octagonal drum crowned by lotus with kalasha finial. The building called for attention as it had four axially projected frontons with bordering ornamental turrets, an idea borrowed from axial iwan-type gateways of the Persian influenced upper Indian standard Mughal mosques, e.g. Delhi Jami Masjid or Lahore Badshahi Masjid. Unfortunately this historic and architectural heritage structure was demolished recently to pave way for a supermarket.

19. Seven Domed Mosque:

A small rural community with agricultural land in between may have existed, which area in course of time became like a jungle due to disuse, dereliction and abandonment mainly during the British

period. This has now become one of the planned and most expensive residential enclaves of Dhaka

Dhanmondi. One major peripheral road of the district to its west -- the Satmasjid Road, bearing the name of the most famous of these edifices- the Satgambuz Masjid (Seven Domed Mosque).

19. Tomb of Dara Begum:
The Tomb of Dara Begum, built on the east bank of a huge pond nearly three acres in size in what is now Lalmatia Block F, is variously known as Shahi Masjid or Bibir Majid to the locals. This, converted and extended in a huge multi-storied mosque with sales/display centre at semi-basement level, is part of the Jamia Islamia Madrashah complex, and the pond is used for pisci-culture as a source of income. Traditionally the tomb is ascribed either to a daughter of Shaista Khan or to the wife of a Subahdar before him. Based on the stronger and more sober style, it looks like belonging to some high ranking lady who died before Khan's time.
The best example of pre-Mughal single dome kiosk mosque in Dhaka, though built in much later time of 1680, was the Allahkuri mosque in Mohammedpur. This simple style has been very popular throughout the Islamic world at all ages because of its simplicity. However, unlike the Sultanate or

earlier Mughal  examples, the mosque was distinguished by the semi-octagonal mihrab niche, plastered walls, horizontal parapet, corner towers rising above the parapet and ending in solid kiosks with small cupolas, the dome being placed on octagonal drum crowned by lotus with kalasha finial. The building called for attention as it had four axially projected frontons with bordering ornamental turrets, an idea borrowed from axial iwan-type gateways of the Persian influenced upper Indian standard Mughal mosques, e.g. Delhi Jami Masjid or Lahore Badshahi Masjid. Unfortunately this historic and architectural heritage structure was demolished recently to pave way for a supermarket.

20. Bibi Begni's Mosque:
Located to the west of Shait Gumbad Mosque across the Ghora dighi is the Bibi Begni’s Mosque, measuring 14.6m square. This single domed mosque shows resemblance with Singar Mosque in general appearance except that it is larger and massively built. The building has three entrances on the east and one each on south and north sides. The central doorway is larger. The corner turrets are relieved with bands of mouldings at regular intervals.
The western wall is projected westward in its middle which is flanded by two engaged small unusual round towers ornated with horizontal bands and terracottas.

The multi-cusped mihrabs are embellished with terracotta floral motifs and bordered with terracotta floral motifs and bordered with rectangular mouldings. In the center of each mihrab chain-and-bell motif is prominent. The spandrels of each mihrab are decorated with rosettes on either side. Intertwined geometric motifs and blind merlons run in parallel rows over the spandrels. The building has eight engaged round pilasters-two in each wall. The curved cornice runs through the corner turrets.

21. Kodla Math:
The elegant spired math is located ten km. north-west corner of Bagerhat town situated in the village Ayodhya. Infact it is a memorial structure. In couse of time the Kodla Math popularly known as Ayodhya math. The math measuring about 18.29m high from the surrounding ground level, having 2.76m. thick walls. It has three entrances on the east, west and south. Brickworks and ornemental decoration is the main attraction of the math. A fragmentary Bengali inscription found of the math records that the math was erected by a Brahman and was dedicated to Taraka Brahmn Propably in the early 17th century.

It was old legendary saying that the math was built by Raja protapaditya of Jessore as a memory to his corut pandit Abilamba. It was declared as the Protected Monument in 1923 A.D.

22. Nine-Domed Mosque:
The mosque is located on the western embankment of the Thakur Dighi and to the southwest of the mausoleum of Khan Jahan. The square mosque (15.1m) is roofed over with nine hemispherical domes rest on four free- standing stone columns.
It has three pointed arched openings on the north, south and east sides bordered within tall rectangular frames. Above the arches there are horizontal rows of moldings.

The western wall is relieved with three semicircular mihrabs of which the central one is larger and is projected to the west. The multi-cusped mihrabs are decorated with terracotta floral, scroll and foliage patterns within rectangular panels. Center of each mihrab is decorated with chain and bell motif. Apexes of the arches have diaper designs and large rosettes at the spandrels. Rest three walls are relieved with only two niches in each.
The corner turrets are round and are faceted by eight bands of mouldings. The exterior walls are relieved with vertical panels. The curved cornice is very prominent.

23. Sitakot Vihara
Situated in village Fatehpur Maras under Nowabgonj thana of Dinajpur District, the site has yielded the impoverished remains of a brick-built Buddhist monastery. It is medium in size, roughly 65.5m each side, and has yielded a number of movable antiquities, i.e. bronze sculptural pieces of Mahayana origin, iron dagger, terracotta net-sinker, terracotta cone, carved brick, potteries of early medieval origin etc.. On ground of style they are datable to the circa 7th-8th century AD.
To reach at the site one can start his journey from Dinajpur zero point by any kind of motorized vehicle comfortably.

24. Bharat Bhayana:
The site is known after the name of its village Bharat Bhayana which is in the thana of Kesabpur under Jessore district. The village and its surroundings are dotted with some and sparsely lying architectural pieces. Of them, only one, Bharat Rajar Deul, has yielded the substantial ruins of a brick-built curious structure.

 It was planned on a cruciform base and endowed with several bind cells above. It shows starkly plain wall surface save some receding offsets at the base level only. The present height of the roof-less structure is about 10m at its highest point that appears to have been much more in its original form. The site has also yielded some busts of princely male figures, potteries of early medieval origin etc. On stylistic ground they may be dated in circa 5th-6th century AD.
One can start his journey for Bharat Bhyana from either Khulna Bus Stoppage or Jessore Airport by any kind of motorized vehicle.

25. Gorar Mosque:
Gorar Mosque, Barabazar, { After Restoration }
It is a single domed square mosque with its entrances on the east. It is entirely built of bricks and datable to the 15th century AD.

26. Father in law’s house of Rabindranath Tagore:
Father in law house of the world famous Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore is situated in the village Daxindihi, upazila Fultala in Khulna. The house is located from 1.5km east of Fultala busstand at Jessore-Khulna highway. The surviving two storied south facing building was created by the poet’s brother in law Mr. Nagendranath Roy Chowdhury.

The house externally measures 15.55m x 7.88m with 0.60m.  thick walls. In front of the porch of the verandah carried on three semi-circular arched opening on the south. The airy balcony of the upper floor supported on a series of columns topped by semi-Corinthian capital, adhesive with a series of three fixed louvered shutter and the lower portion is fixed with ornamental casting railing. The front facade of the ante chamber also decorated with parabolic arch, set within three symmetrical pointed arched window. Top of the peak arch also pointed each two window wheel. The parapet wall of the building is tastefully decorated in plaster work. The architectural charater of the building influenced by early English style. The house was declared as the protected monument in 2006 A.D. by the Department of Archaeology.

27. Baliati Prasad:
Baliati Prasad is a palatial complex situated 35km to the northwest of Dhaka city and can be approached by light motorized vehicle from any traffic point of Dhaka. It accommodates a group of five residential buildings enclosed within a walled compound.
The face of the compound is on the east and can be entered through four lion-gates. The buildings are built of brick, lime and brick-dust. The general delineation of the buildings speaks of the neo-Indo-European architecture as they are provided with beautiful Corinthian pillar, colored glass ventilation, tile paved floor, marble table, portraits and many other objects of antiquarian interest. The builders of the establishments were the members of a local elite family who lived in the beginning of the last century.
It can be reached from Dhaka by any kind of motorized vehicle following first the road leading to Aricha and then to Saturia via Kalampur transaction. 

28. Baba Adam’s Mosque:

The mosque is locally known after a famous saint Baba Adam whose simple grave is close by, but nothing historical is known about him, except the popular tale of his fight with Ballal Sen. However, according to the inscription hung over a wall, this six domed mosque was built by the great Malik Kafur during the reign of Sultan Jalaluddin Fatah Shah in or around 1483 A.D.
A visit to the mosque can easily be made from Munshigonj town following a motorable road any time around the year.

29. Idrakpur Fort:
This small fortress is situated on the bank of the dried up Ichamoti river at Idrakpur in Munshigonj town. It was built by Mir Jumla, the viceroy of Bengal in 1660 A.D. The special feature of the fort is a huge solid circular platform or drum, with a diameter of 32.91m. The huge platform evidently was used to mount cannon and also as a watch tower.
One can start his journey for the monument from Lalbagh Fort by any kind of motorized vehicle.

30. Muktagacha Place:
It is an extensive palatial complex sprawling over at least 20 hectors of land. The whole area is full of many ponds, temples, palaces and out buildings. Of them only a part is now being protected by the Deptt. of Archaeology. The protected area is an east facing enclosed precinct studded with gateway, garden, reservoirs, residential complexes, temples and several other ancillary buildings. The architecture of all the buildings simulate Indo-European neo-classic ethic. They were built by different members of the Muktagacha zamindar family in different time. Some are still being used 

for different purposes. The protected part is called ‘Char Ana’ locally. It may hardly be dated in the early 20th century A.D.

31. Jorbangla Temple:
It resembles two curved Bangali huts joined together from which this highly ornate brick temple derives its name of Jorbangla.


Traditionally it was built by one Braja Krori, a ‘Tahsilder under Naweb of Bengal in the 18th century A.D. It stands on a single platform. The constitutents of the temple is an anti-chamber and sanctuary. The frontage of the sanctuary is provided with three ornamental arched entrances. Its entrance facade is enriched with terracotta plaques depicting seenes from the Hindu Epice.

32. Kachichira Mosque:
It is a single domed mosque of exceptional beauty is located in the village Kachichira of Patuakhali Sadar Upazila District Patuakhali. The mosque is situated about 10km north-west of Patuakhali Sadar. The square is shaped of the mosque internally measures 4.2m by 4.16m with 0.76m thick walls. This mosque is essentially an elegant version of srirampur mosque located in the same district, even so the quantity of decoration might be compared with the similarly design

by the same mosque. The mosque is buttressed with four octagonal corner towers each of which topped by a miniature. The domed have been placed on a octagonal high drum. The front wall of the mosque is embellished with stucco paneling design. The central entrance is flanked by a pair of slender turrets which rises up to the Parapet. There is a elliptical arched doorway on the eastern front wall. No inscription is fond here, stylistically the mosque belong to 17th century A.D. It was declared as the protected monument in 1989 A.D. by the department of Archaeology.

33. Putia Palace:
Puthia is about 28km east of Rajshahi town and is connected to the Rajshahi-Natore highway by a 200m stretch of feeder road towards the south. This derelict but imposing palace faces the ‘Dol-Mancha’ temple across a large meadow to the north. presenting a projection on each of its eastern and western ends. Its central part, which is about 15m wide, has an imposing portal in front. The building has two other smaller projections on either end and a further inset at the rear. A 3m wide verandah runs along the front of the block and provides access to some large halls behind.


The balcony roof is supported on three graceful semi-Corinthian round and fluted columns which reach up to the upper storey. The central part of the building is relieved with a triangular pediment and the parapet is tastefully decorated with floral plasterwork. A broad wooden staircase, which is built into the eastern end of the verandah, provides access to the upper storey. Each projecting end of the edifice is relieved with four semi-Corinthian columns. A bilingual inscription fixed over the portal records its construction in 1895 by Rani Hemanta Kumari Devi.
There are to be seen a few more out-buildings in its premise, all being built in the same period.
To reach at the site one can start his journey from Rajshahi town by any kind of motorized vehicle comfortably.

34. Atiya Mosque:

Constructed in 1609 A.D. by Sayyed Khan Pani, son of Bayazid Khan Pani, the mosque (21m x 12.19m )consists of a single domed square prayer chamber fronted by a verandah covered over by 3 domes. Its cornice is deeply curved and wall surface is relieved with terracotta ornamental panels showing a blending of Mughal and pre-Mughal architectural traits.

It can be approached from the zero point of Tangail town, along the Dhaka-Jamuna Setu, by any means of motorized vehicle.

35. Choto Sona Mosque:
It is a remarkably fine architectural specimen of the Sultante Period. Built by Wali Muhammad son of Ali during the reign of Sultan Hossain Shah (1493-1519). It has fifteen gilded domes including three chauchala domes in the middle row. Chief attractions of the Mosque are its intricate stone carvings and decoration.
Harish Chandra Raja’s Mound

Situated on the northeast corner of Savar town (18km north of Dhaka metropolitan city), the mound has yielded the substantial ruins of a smaller Buddhist monastery entirely built of brick. In its close north there still exist the ruins of a medium size votive stupa. The site has also exposed some bronze sculptural pieces belonging to Buddhist pantheon, carved bricks, potteries and a silver coin of Pattikera-Harikela origin. It is further to be mentioned here that a number of Imitation Gupta Gold Coins have earlier been reported from the surroundings of Harischandra Rajar Prasada Mound time and again. Moreover, there exist the remains of a mud fort, Kotbari by name, on the northwest of the monastery. It is also to be remembered that remains of a group of votive stupas were also discovered a few years back in a place called Rajasan which is only 150m on the east of the site. Of the promising structural ruins of the neighboring area mention may also be made of ‘Harischandra Rajar Buruj’ that appears to have been a brick-built stupa. On stylistic ground they are datable to circa 6th-8th century AD.
The approach to archaeological heritage in Bangladesh addresses the dilemmas faced by many nations: finite resources to devote to cultural heritage, pressure on the land that makes it difficult to set aside large sections for archaeological protection, and environmental difficulties, some of which may be exacerbated by steps taken to alleviate other problems. The theoretical and methodological approaches to archaeology in Bangladesh must be reconciled with the real-world factors of population growth and the resultant damage to many archaeological sites. However, given that Bangladesh is the world's most densely populated country, the relatively large quantity of archaeological remains is nothing short of astonishing. The Government Directorate of Archaeology is to be commended for its attention to the country's archaeological heritage, despite meagre budgets and increasing numbers of visitors. Their management of archaeological resources for the benefit of Bangladeshis, both as sources of national identity as well as zones for recreation and leisure, provides a model for other nations whose archaeological sites are under threat from rapid urbanization and land reclamation.

36. Rose Garden Mansion:
This formerly Zaminder mansion, known as the ‘Rose Garden’ is not a garden of roses but in reality it is a pleasure lodge, built in the late 19th century. The building which remains a private property to date, has been renovated and painted by its recent owners keeping the original character fully maintained.
The building has wonderful Corinthian columns and has on its ground floor eight apartments including a central hall whilst the upper floor has a further five apartments including a large dance hall in the middle. In the front yard, there was a fountain, the structure of which still remains. There are several classical marble statues in the garden. Though the rose garden that has given the mansion its name does not exist anymore, the extensive lawn with a small pond in the middle that was overgrown with wild grass, thickets and clumps of weed have been cleared and is in the stage of recovery.

Visitors are allowed to visit the place as an afternoon refreshment spot. The owners said that they wish to maintain the building and they have no plans till now to use them as their residential quarters and nor to make it a profit-based tourist spot. This tall, massive building is in good condition and stands proudly reaching the skyline.

37. Dinajpur Rajbari:

During the 18th and 19th centuries, the aristocratic feudal lords of the land were known as zamindars. They often held courtesy titles of rajas and maharajas. These rajas or maharajas expressed their power and glamour in many ways and the architectural forms and structures built by them were one such expression. Often these ornamented, picturesque palaces translated the combined architectural language of European Renaissance, Mughal and Bengali styles.


Latest Excavation
The upcoming archaeological wonder of Bangladesh

Wari-Bateshwar-1400 years old Buddhist City

Wari-Bateshwar is the site of an ancient fort city dating back to 450 BC situated in the north-eastern part of Bangladesh. This 2500 years old site is a significant archaeological discovery. It challenges the earlier notions about the existence of early urban civilisation in Bangladesh.
200px-Wari-Boteshwar_Excavation_053   200px-Archeologists_taking_measurement_for_a_new_dig_0102
                Soil layer covering a road system at Boteshwar excavation site.

The site is about 75km from Dhaka situated near the Wari and Bateshwar villages in the Belabo Upazila of Narsingdi District. It was discovered in the early 1930s by a local school teacher, Hanif Pathan. However, formal excavation started only recently in 2000. The current scientific study is being carried out by a team from the Archaeology Department of Jahangirnagar University led by Professor Sufi Mostafizur Rahman.
Prof. Rahman believes that Wari-Bateshwar is the rich, well planned, ancient emporium (a commercial city) "Sounagora" mentioned by Greek geographer, astronomer, mathematician Ptolemy in his book Geographia [2]. The other emporia mentioned in Ptolemy's work include Arikamedu of India, Mantai of Sri Lanka, Kion Thom of Thailand. All of these were the most ancient civilisations in their respective regions, each was a river port, and all of them produced monochrome glass beads. The artifacts found at Wari-Bateshwar bear similarity with those found in the other emporia sites.
According to researchers, the discovery of Rouletted Ware, Knobbed Ware, stone beads, sandwiched glass beads, gold-foil glass beads, Indo-Pacific monochrome glass beads and importantly its geographical location indicates to Southeast Asiatic and Roman contacts
Excavation also unearthed the presence of pit-dwelling. The discovery of a pit-dwelling is the first of its kind in Bangladesh. People used to live in these small ditches. The pit-dwelling is a Copper Age or Chalcolithic artifact. Similar pit-dwellings have been found in India and Pakistan which are believed to be 4000 years old. The unearthing of a 180-meter long, six-meter wide and 21-35cm thick road with a by-lane points to very early urbanisation in this area. Before the discovery of this, the widely held view was that urbanisation occurred later than what Wari-Bateshwar ruins indicate.
                Suggests find of pre-Mauryan silver coins in the area
The discovery of silver punch-marked coins of the pre-Mauryan period dating back to 600 BC to 400 BC in Wari-Bateshwar reveals that the place was a Mahajanapada, one of the earliest kingdoms or states in the Indian subcontinent. The silver coins and artefacts unearthed and collected so far and geographical positioning of the place both are apparently leading archaeologists to an astonishing discovery.

Wari-Bateshwar could be a part of Gangaridae, which was described as a rich place of trade in the estuary of the river Ganges in Greek and Latin literature and was also mentioned by Ptolemy, Virgil, Strabo, Deodorus, Kartius and Plutarch, archaeologists claim.

The punch-marked coins are of two series –Janapada, a coin series used during pre-Mauryan period dating back to 600 BC to 400 BC when 16 Mahajanapadas were flourished in the Indian subcontinent, and Imperial, another series used during Mauryan period dating back to 400 BC to 200 BC. "The coins unearthed in Wari-Bateshwar were of imperial and Janapada series. On the basis of the silver punch-marked coins it can be said that it was a Mahajanapada," said Prof Sufi Mustafizur Rahman. "This means it was the earliest state in Bangladesh and in the Indian subcontinent as well," the archaeologist added.
"Geographical importance and findings of Wari-Bateshwar interestingly match the description and identity given in Greek and Latin literature about Gangaridae and indicates that Wari-Bateshwar was a part of it," he added.

Prof Dilip Kumar Chakrabarti, noted Indian archaeologist and faculty member of Cambridge University, in an essay published on the Archaeological Heritage by Asiatic Society said: "If Wari-Bateshwar is considered as a main and fortified city, it can be considered that it was the capital or main centre of an ancient Janapada." "But the main problem is to determine the name of the Janapada," he added.

A study on 150 coins, unearthed and collected from Wari-Bateshwar and its adjoining areas, by the excavation group led by Prof Sufi Mustafizur Rahman of the Department of Archaeology at Jahangirnagar University (JU) found existence of both Janapada and imperial series coins. This indicates the earliest money-based economy contemporary to the subcontinent and the world as well.
Back in 1942, following discovery of some coins on the bank of the Arialkha, a place seven kilometres south off Wari-Bateshwar, Nalini Kanto Bhattyashali, founder curator of Bangladesh National Museum, said those were of Mauryan and pre-Mauryan period and shown the early nature of the settlement.
It was thought earlier that use of coins was not existed in Bangla before 300 BC. Earlier, silver punch-marked coins of only Imperial series were found in Mahasthangarh.
The discovery of coins provides substantial and significant information about a well-established urban civilisation as part of the second urbanisation on the context of Indian subcontinent.
The existence of coins found in Wari-Bateshwar also suggests trade, banking system and administration besides bearing sociocultural and sociopolitical condition prevalent at that time, archaeologists explain.

Study also reveals that punch-mark found on the faces of the silver-coins of Wari-Bateshwar is distinctive in symbols, shapes and forms that reveal that the Mahajanapada was a distinctive one in addition to the 16 Mahajanapadas so far unearthed in the subcontinent by archaeologists and described in Jain and Buddhist literature. Earlier, another Janapada was found in Pundranagarh in Bangladesh.

Archaeologists who say Wari-Bateshwar might be a part of Gangaridae explain that the wide range of areas through which the Ganges downstream flowed is known as the Ganges delta.
Though Wari-Bateshwar is nearer to the old Brahmaputra river the area is geographically known as the Ganges delta in a wider sense, they add.
The discovery of Rouletted Ware (RW), Knobbed Ware, sandwich glass bids and other artefacts indicates that the place had relations and trade with the Mediterranean and Southeast Asian countries, the archaeologists describe. Moreover, according to the statement of Ptolemy all the estuaries in the river Ganges are in the states owned by people called Gangaridae.

Archaeologists, however, say till now it couldn't be confirmed specifically which place in the subcontinent was Gangaridae. It is widely believed that south part of the West Bengal was occupied by Gangaridae. They also add that radiocarbon date of the charcoal samples tested by the Netherlands' Centrum Voor Isotopen Onderzoek has confirmed that there were habitation and industry in the area in 500 BC.
Prof BN Mukherjee of Calcutta University earlier in the book Banga, Bangla and Bharat said the present West Bengal and North 24 Parganas, Hugly, Haora and Medinipur, some parts of Bardhaman and till the mouth of the Padma (the adjoining point of the Padma, Brahmaputra and Meghna) in present Bangladesh was on the border of the ancient country named Ganga or Banga. He said the seaside areas of Bangladesh were occupied by Gangaridae.

The coins of Wari-Bateshwar weigh from 1.7gm to 1.9gm. The symbols found punched on the faces of the coins include boat, sun and fish. The silver coins are found usually in round and square shapes.

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