Bangladesh Tourism

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Park/Sanctuaries : Baldha Garden : Unique creation of the late Narendra Narayan Roy, the landlord of Baldha. It was established in 1904. Located in the Wari area of Dhaka City (opposite the Christian Cemetery), the garden with its rich collection of indigenous and exotic plants is one of the most exciting attractions for naturalists and tourists. Divided into 2 units : `Psyche' meaning the soul and `Cybele' meaning, the mother goddess of nature, the garden houses about 1500 plants and trees. Many of them are rare plants procured from about 50 different countries of the world. Papyrus, Amazon Lily, Victoria Regia, Camellas (Camellia japonica), Ashoke tree, Baobab (Adansonia digitala), Century flower plant (Fuleraea gigantea), Canyehor and Sugar palm of Philippines are some of the rare collections. A lovely lily pond inside the `Psyche' and a sundial are worth visiting.

National Botanical Garden : Located at Mirpur, near the Dhaka Zoo. Spread over an area of 205 acres of land ; it has a collection of nearly 10,900 species of local and foreign plants. Outstanding attractions are 100 varieties of roses in the rose corner, 100 varieties of bamboos in the bamboo grove, varieties of sandalwood and an old banyan tree, a quiet place out of the main city where one can meet nature.
Dhaka Zoological Gardens : Popularly known as Mirpur Zoo and located at a distance of about 16 km from the Dhaka City centre. Established on 2309 acres of land. It has nearly 1400 animals and birds belonging to 124 species, the latest addition being the Kangaroo and Tapir. Busy enclosures are those of lions, Royal Bengal Tiger, panthers, deers, monkeys, chimpanzees, pythons, crocodiles, elephants, colourful birds and other animals. A zoological museum with stuffed animals and birds is rich in collection. Angling and picnic facilities are available inside the Zoo besides kiosks and restaurants.

National Park : Situated at Bhawal, 40 km north of Dhaka city and off the Dhaka-Trishal-Mymensingh highway. An ideal spot for visitors, artists, photographers and tourists. A vast (16,000 acres) national recreational forest, its main flora is Garjan (Assam sal) and fauna includes small tigers, leopards, small bears, monkeys, porcupines, foxes, pythons, lizards and many local birds.
A 100 metre long meandering man-made lake offer angling and rowing facilities, while the flower gardens are an added attraction. Walking or just lazing under the shade of trees is pleasant.

Museums : National Museum : Established as Dhaka Museum in 1913. It has been renamed as the National Museum and was shifted to its new building at Shahbag in 1983. It is a four storied building and has forty galleries under four department, namely, (1) Natural History, (2) History and Classical Art, (3) Ethnography and Decorative Art and (4) Contemporary Art and World Civilization.
The Museum contains a large number of interesting collections including sculptures and paintings of the Buddhist and Muslim periods. It also has rich collection of old coins, metal images, books on art, ivory and silver filigree works, textiles including the world famous muslin fabric, embroidered quilt (Nakshi Kantha), arms and ammunitions of the bygone warriors, varieties of fine handicrafts and models of village and town life, contemporary paintings and sculptures. Above all, the valuable articles of the heroic War of Independence of Bangladesh are also there.
Folk Art Museum :The Folk Art Museum was established in 1975 to fulfil the dream of the celebrated painter Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin. The Museum has a very rich collection of folk objects of different materials and forms of aesthetic and utilitarian values. These undoubtedly reflect the sentiments, impulse, temperament, moods, idiosyncrasy, skill and expertize of the artists and artisans. It is a national institution which represents the traditional art heritage of Bangladesh, exhibiting objects of exceptional design and skill.

Ethnological Museum : The ethnological museum at Chittagong stands as a milestone in our national progress. It is a place where ample facilities have been provided to carry out ethnological research. This museum is recognized as one of the best specialized museums in South-East Asia. It houses objects of 12 different tribes of Bangladesh and also of many tribes of Australia, India and Pakistan.

Varendra Museum : Situated at Rajshahi, this museum has a rich collection of objects from Mohenjodaro and also of 16th to 19th century A.D. This is devoted to the study of ancient history and culture. Its rich collections contain interesting objects of past Hindu, Buddhist and Muslim culture. It is located at the heart of Rajshahi town and maintained by Rajshahi University. It was formally opened in 1910.

Tribal Museum : The only Tribal Cultural Museum in the Hill Tracts region was established at Rangamati town in 1978 and is run by the Tribal Cultural Institute. It preserves valuable objects and articles of different tribes depicting their socio-economic, cultural and historical tradition. These include typical tribal dresses, ornaments, arms and ammunitions, coins, statues made of wood, bronze and other metals, musical instruments, ivory products, handicrafts, paintings depicting tribal life etc.
The best tourist season is during the pleasant dry months from October to March. Business and tourism can be combined even during the other two seasons the more humid spring time and the monsoons of summer. Infrastructural facilities for tourism is being rapidly developed and incentives being provided to attract private investment. Conducted sight seeing tours with guides are arranged in Dhaka and Chittagong by the Parjatan (Tourism) Corporation. The government has created more favourable atmosphere for tourist visit in the country. Modern amenities are fast coming up due to the thrust currently being given to the development of tourism in the country.

Increase in Tourists Arrivals : Tourists' arrivals in Bangladesh are steadily increasing, thanks to the continuing campaign by the Parjatan Corporation. In 1993 arrival of a total of 126,785 tourists was registered which is an increase of 14.8% over the corresponding figure of the previous year. Publicity and marketing programmes have been geared up to attract more tourists. These include campaigns in foreign media and participation in International Tourist Fairs. A poster of the Parjatan Corporation received international award in 1994. Apart from this, a vigorous drive has been launched through publication of fact-sheets, booklets, posters, circulation of advertisement in national and foreign media and participation in tourist fairs both at the regional and international levels to bolster the country's image. Tourists' Months are now observed to bring to focus features and spots of attractions to prospective tourists.

Master Plan for Development of Tourism : In collaboration with the World Tourists Organization a Tourism Master Plan (1990-2000) has been drawn up for the overall development of tourism industry in Bangladesh. Under the ten-year long plan an amount of Tk. 6400 millions is stipulated to be spent, of which Tk. 2010 million will be in public sector and Tk. 4390 million in private sector. The plan attaches priority to the development of Cox's Bazar, Sundarbans, Sylhet and places of historical and architectural interests in the northern region. As already stated an integrated tourism policy has been adopted which provides for increased private sector involvement with a view to developing Tourism as an industry.


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