The country of Bangladesh is located in Southeast Asia and is located just east of India. It’s one of the world’s most densely populated countries, and is home to many rivers and forests, making it a lush green country. It’s also home to the Bengal tiger, which is endangered. The country is full of cultural heritage, drawing visitors in. It has a rich history of art, which can be explored at the Art Institute Dhaka. Sports fans should try to catch a game of cricket, one of the country’s most popular sports. We’ve created a list of historical places in Bangladesh to help you plan your trip. So keep on reading and see what Bangladesh has to offer.
1. Somapura Mahavira
Somapura Mahavira is a famous Buddhist vihara, or monastery, and is an important archaeological site in Bangladesh. It dates back to the 8th century AD and has an influence on Buddhist architecture throughout Asia. Many artefacts have been recovered during excavations, including sculpture and pottery. These finds have been stored in a museum near the site. The vihara is located in the northwest of the country and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985. Today, you can visit the site and explore the ruins — you are free to roam around at your own pace.
Address: Naogaon Subdivision of Rajshahi District, Bangladesh
Website: Somapura Mahavira
Opening hours: 8am - 6pm (daily)
2. Kotila Mura
Up next we have another historic Buddhist site. Kotila Mura dates back to the 7th century AD, and consists of three stupas, which represent the Three Jewels is Buddhism: Buddha (order), Dharma (discipline), and Sangha (unity). Archaeological excavations have taken place on the site since the 1950s, uncovering items like sculptures and gold coins. The site sits on a hilly area of Comilla, Bangladesh, and evidence suggests the site was active until the 13th century. So when you’re walking around the ruins, you’re truly walking through a piece of history.
Address: Comilla Adarsho Sadar Upazila, Comilla District, Bangladesh
Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
3. Lalbagh Fort
Lalbagh Fort is located in Dhaka and dates back to the 17th century. It’s an excellent piece of architecture of the Mughal Empire, but there’s one catch: it’s not complete. Construction began for a Mughal prince and later emperor. He was called away, and the Governor of Dhaka then took over. Unfortunately, the Governor’s daughter passed away, and the fort became an example of a bad omen, so it was left incomplete. Today, locals and tourists alike visit the fort. You can explore the mosque and the Governor’s residence.
Address: Lalbagh Rd, Dhaka 1211, Bangladesh
Website: Lalbagh Fort
Opening hours: Tue - Thu: 9am - 5pm; Fri: 9am - 1pm, 2:15 - 5pm; Sat: 9am - 5pm (closed on Sun)
Price: 2 USD
4. Shalban Bihar
Here we have another historic site sitting in the hills of Comilla, Bangladesh. Shalban Bihar was once a Buddhist monastery, with more than 100 cells for monks, and was in use from the 7th to the 12th centuries. Excavations have been taking place, revealing that the site has been rebuilt four times during its use. Today, visitors can explore the ruins, taking in the historic structure as well as the lush green landscape that surrounds it.
Address: Courtbari, Comilla 3503, Bangladesh
Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)
5. The Liberation War Museum
The Liberation War Museum is located in central Dhaka and is focused on sharing information about the Bangladesh Liberation War, which saw Bangladesh gain independence from Pakistan in 1971. The museum opened in 1996 and has amassed a collection of over 21,000 artefacts relating to the war, including weapons, personal belongings, photographs, and videos. Throughout the museum’s four galleries, they tell the story of Bangladesh’s struggle for independence and identity. It’s a great place to brush up on your history of the country.
The Liberation War Museum
Address: Plot F11 A/B, Agargaon, Civic Sector, Dhaka 1207, Bangladesh
Website: The Liberation War Museum
Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 10am - 5pm (closed on Sun)
Price: 1 USD
6. Rabindranath Tagore's Shilaidaha Kuthibari
If you’re a lover of poetry and music, it’s worth stopping by Rabindranath Tagore’s Shilaidaha Kuthibari. Tagore is a treasured writer who won the Nobel Prize in Literature — the first non-European to do so. Tagore stayed at Shilaidaha Kuthibari, a country house, writing during his stay here. Today, this three-storey building is a national monument and popular tourist attraction in Bangladesh. The home now serves as a museum where visitors can view Tagore’s belongings. It sits on beautiful grounds, with lush green grass and a pond.
Rabindranath Tagore's Shilaidaha Kuthibari
Address: Shilaidoha, Kumarkhali 7010, Bangladesh
Opening hours: Mon: 1:30pm - 5pm; Tue - Sat: 9am - 5pm (closed on Sun)
Mahasthangarh is one of Bangladesh’s earliest urban archaeological sites. This site contains the ruins of an ancient city, dating back to at least the 3rd century BC. It was discovered all the way back in the 1800s, with excavations starting in the late 1920s. Researchers have found coins, ceramics, and importantly a limestone slab with inscriptions which helped date the site. Today these finds are housed in the site museum, which is open Thursday to Sunday. The rest of the site is open all day, and visitors are welcome to explore on their own.
Address: Mahasthan, Bogra District, Bangladesh
Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
8. The Armenian Church
The Armenian Church is an architectural monument situated in Dhaka. It’s a testament to the fact that many Armenians called Dhaka home in the 17th and 18th ventures, and was built in 1781. Armenians played an important role in the huge trade in Dhaka, and today one Armenian man maintains the church. Today the Department of Archaeology, Ministry of Cultural Affairs of Bangladesh, works to preserve the church and maintain its cultural significance. The church regularly hosts community events and is open daily for visitors. Step into this beautiful building and enjoy its architecture while also learning more about Bangladesh’s Armenian community.
The Armenian Church
Address: Opposite Mitford Hospital, 218 Mitford Rd, Dhaka 1100, Bangladesh
Website: The Armenian Church
9. Ahsan Manzil
Located along the banks of the Buriganga River in Dhaka sits Ahsan Manzil, a striking pink building. It was the residential palace of the Nawab of Dhaka, who was part of the ruling class. Built in the late 1800s, it holds architectural as well as political importance, but it fell into decline in the 1950s. In the 1990s, the palace started to undergo restoration work. Today, you can explore the inside of the building, where you’ll find a museum dedicated to its history. Walk around the landscaped grounds and take in this opulent palace.
Address: Latif Complex, Islampur Rd, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Website: Ahsan Manzil
Opening hours: Sat - Wed: 10:30am - 5:30pm; Fri: 3pm - 8pm (closed on Thu)
Price: 1 USD
10. Baliati Zamindari
We’ll end our list with another palace: the Baliati Zamindari. This palace is situated in the village of Baliati, and was home to Zamindars, the aristocratic ruling family of the area. The palace dates back to the 18th century, is comprised of seven different blocks, and is surrounded by a moat. Inside, there are 200 rooms, and out back is a pond. The palace has been preserved and is now a protected cultural property. Visiting provides you with historical insight but the lovely surroundings also make for a nice way to enjoy nature on a nice day.
Address: Baliati 1811, Bangladesh
Website: Baliati Zamindari
Opening hours: Mon: 2pm - 5pm; Tue - Sat: 10am - 5pm (closed on Sun)
Explore Bangladesh’s history
For the history buffs out there, there are plenty of historical places in Bangladesh to explore. From architectural treasures to ancient monasteries, there’s a wide variety of cultural heritage to explore. Foodies will also get to enjoy amazing street foods and other cuisines. So start planning your visits, and prepare to learn about the history of Bangladesh.
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