Cox's Bazar : Miles of golden sands, towering cliffs, surfing waves, rare conch shells, colourful pagodas, Buddhist temples and tribes, delightful sea-food-this is Cox's Bazar, the tourist capital of Bangladesh. Having the world's longest unbroken (120 km) beach sloping gently down to the blue waters of the Bay of Bengal against the picturesque background of a chain of hills covered with deep-green forests, Cox's Bazar is one of the most attractive tourist spots in the country. The beach is good for bathing, sun-bathing and swimming. The breath-taking beauty of sun-set behind the waves of the sea is captivating. Attractive local cigars and handloom products of the Rakhain tribal families are good buys. Their unique customs and costumes attract visitors.
Located at a distance of 152 km south of Chittagong, Cox's Bazar is connected both by air and road from Dhaka and Chittagong.
Visits to the fascinating picnic spot at Himchhari, Teknaf, the southern most tip of Bangladesh, the Buddhist temple at Ramu and the nearby islands of Sonadia, St Martin and Moheskhali are the memorable experiences of a lifetime. The Sonadia is being developed as an exclusive beach resort.
The Cox's Bazar Holiday Complex of the Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation is an ideal tourist resort providing comfortable accommodation, catering, sight-seeing and other facilities for the visitors. There is a 9-hole golf course also for the guests.
Hill Tracts Districts: The hill tracts districts with their perennial forest, thrilling drives through hills and dales, the emerald-blue waters of Kaptai lake, colourful tribal life and culture, attractive handicrafts and artisans beckon to a world of panoramic beauty that nature and man have so lavishly unfolded. The Greater Hill Tracts is divided into 3 districts, namely Rangamati, Khagrachhari and Bandarban-each unique in its attractions.
Rangamati : From Chittagong a 77 km road amidst green fields and winding hills will take to Rangamati, the headquarters 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, are other attractions. For the tourists the attractions of Rangamati are numerous-tribal life; fishing, speed-boat cruising, water-skiing, hiking, bathing or merely enjoying nature as it is.
Kaptai : A pleasant and picturesque drive of 64 km from Chittagong brings 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, lies the ancient Chit Morong Buddhist temple having beautiful Buddhist statues. Other places of interest in the Hill Tract districts include Chandraghona, Khagrachhari and Bandarban all in picturesque surroundings.
Sylhet : Next to the Hill Tracts, Sylhet is the most hilly district in Bangladesh. Nestled in the picturesque Surma valley amidst scenic tea plantations and lush green tropical forests, it is a prime attraction for all tourists. Its tea gardens, eye-catching orange groves and pineapple plantations and hills covered with tropical forests form a beautiful landscape. The Sylhet valley has a good number of haors which are big natural wetlands.
These haors provide sanctuary to the millions of migratory birds who fly from Siberia across the Himalayas to avoid the severe cold there.
Srimangal in Sylhet, known as the tea capital of Bangladesh, is the main tea centre of the area. For miles and miles around, the visitor can see the tea gardens spread like 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 the 3 largest tea gardens in the world both in area and production. Sylhet is also known as the land of the famous Muslim saint Hazrat Shah Jalal, the great torchbearer of Islam to this region. The shrine of this great saint is located in Sylhet town.
Colourful Monipuri, Khasia and Garo tribes live in Sylhet. Monipuri tribal maidens are famous for their dance. Sylhet is also well-known for its wide variety of exquisite handicrafts of cane and bamboo. Sylhet is linked with Dhaka by rail, road and air.
Tamabil-Jaflong : Situated amidst a splendid panorama, Tamabil is a border out-post on the Sylhet-Shillong 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 a nearby scenic spot amidst tea gardens and the rare beauty of rolling stones from hills. Other places of tourist attraction in Sylhet include Moulvibazar, Jaintiapur, Madhabkunda and Haripur gas field.
Sundarbans : Located near Khulna, about 320 km west of Dhaka and spread over an area of about 6000 sq km of deltaic swamps along the coastal belt of Khulna is the biggest mangrove forest, the Sundarbans (beautiful forest) - the home of the Royal Bengal Tiger. Its dense rain forests are criss-crossed by a network of rivers and creeks. One finds here tides flowing in 2 directions in the same creek and often tigers swimming across a river or huge crocodiles basking in the sun. Other wildlife in this region are cheetahs, spotted deers, monkeys, pythons, wild bears and hyanas.
The forest is accessible by river from Khulna and Mongla. There are rest-houses for the visitors to stay and enjoy unspoiled nature with all its treat for the lovers of nature.
Kuakata : A rare scenic beauty spot on the southern most tip of Bangladesh in the district of Patuakhali. It has a wide sandy beach from where one can get the unique opportunity of seeing both the sunrise and sunset. It is located at a distance of 70 km from the district headquarters of Patuakhali.
Mainamati : About 8 km to the west of Comilla town which is situated 114 km southeast of Dhaka lies a range of low hills known as the 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 (seventh-twelfth century A.D.).
At Salban in the middle of the ridge, excavations laid bare a large Buddhist Vihara (monastery) and an imposing central shrine. It has revealed valuable information about the rule of the Chandra and Deva dynasties which flourished here from the seventh to twelfth 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 finds which include terracotta plaques, bronze statues and caskets, coins, jewellery, utensils, pottery and votive stupas embossed with Buddhist inscriptions.
The Bangladesh Academy for Rural Development established in 1959 is known for its pioneerin role in coorative movement is situated near Comilla town.
Mahasthangarh : Located at a distance of 18 km north of Bogra town, Mahasthangarh is the oldest archaeological site of Bangladesh on the western bank of the 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 semicircle of about 8 km radius. Several isolated mounds, the local names of which are Govinda Bhita Temple, Khodal Pathar Mound, Mankalir Kunda, Parasuramer Bedi, Jiyat Kunda etc. surround the fortified city.
This third 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 thousands of Hindu devotees join the bathing ceremony on the bank of the river Karatoa. A visit to the ', Mahasthangarh site museum will lay open before 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 Buli Mahisawary and Gokul Mer in the neighbourhood of Mahasthangarh.
Rajshahi : Rajshahi has seen the most glorious periods of Bengal's Pala dynasty. It is famous for pure silk and fruits like mangoes and lichis. Attractive silk products are cheaper. The Varendra Research Museum at the heart of the city contains rich archaeological finds. There are also a number of ancient mosques and temples in and around Rajshahi.
Natore : About 49 km from Rajshahi by road is Natore, an old seat of Maharajas with a beautiful palace, now serving as the Uttara Ganabhaban (President's Official residence in the northern region). It was the residence of the Dighapatiya Raja. It is situated amid well-kept grounds, surrounded by a fine moat. The buildings are modern. They include a well equipped guest house, an imposing gateway and a fine garden decorated with statues of white marble.
Paharpur : Paharpur is a small village 5 km west of Jamalganj 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 seventh century archaeological find"'covers approximately an area of 27 acres of land. The entire establishment, occupying a quadrangular court, measures more than 900 ft. and is from 12 ft. to 15 ft. in height. With an elaborate gateway complex on the north, there are 45 cells on the north and 44 in each of the other 3 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 looked like a Pahar or hillock. A site museum built recently houses a 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 plaques, images of different gods and goddesses, potteries, coin inscriptions, ornamental bricks and other minor clay objects.
Dinajpur : 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. Kantanagar temple, the most ornate among the late mediaeval 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 pastimes. The Maharja's palace with relics of the past centuries and the local museum are worth a visit.
Mymensingh : From the foot of the Garo Hills in the north down to the plains of Dhaka in the south lies greater Mymensingh. Along the northern frontier of the district there are many aboriginal tribes such as Garos, Hajongs and Kochis who are ethnically quite distinct
from the people around them. Mymensingh has earned a notable position in Bangla literature as the birthplace of rich folk tales and folk songs. On the road from Dhaka to Mymensingh there is a national park and game sanctuary at Madhupur about 160 km from Dhaka. There are a number of reserve forests in the area, with rest-house and picnic spot. The famous painter Zainul Abedin's Art Gallery in Mymensingh town is worth visiting. Above all Trishal at a distance not far from Mymensingh, carries the boyhood memories of the national poet Kazi Nazrul Islam.
Shilaidah Kuthibari : Carries memories of the Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore who made frequent visits to this place and used to stay in connection with the administration of his estate and enriched Bangla literature through his writings during that time. It is located at a distance of about 209 km from Kushtia town.
Shahjadpur Kuthibari : About 75 km from Patina town, it is also a historical place connected with the frequent visits of the poet Rabindranath Tagore.
Sagardari : Birth place of noted Bengalee poet Michael Madhusudhan Datta who first introduced the sonnet in Bangla poetry and is located at a distance of about 90 km from Jessore town.
Meherpur Memorial : Located at a distance of about 7 km from the town of Meherpur. The first provisional revolutionary government of Bangladesh was declared here on 14 April during the War of Independence in 1971. A monument has been built to commemorate this occasion.
All you need to know to travel Bangladesh:
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