Things to Do in Dhaka
Once the official residence of the Nawab family, this stately red structure was built in the mid-to-late 1800s. This stunning palace was damaged and abandoned after a tornado hit in 1888. Khwaja Abdul Gani and his son worked tirelessly to resurrect and reconstruct the structures that were deemed too dangerous to inhabit, which resulted in the birth of what is today, designated as a national museum.
Widely recognized as one of the most significant architectural icons in the nation, the palace is divided into two parts known as the eastern and western sides. Its unique octagonal dome serves as the apex of the palace and is considered to be the structure’s most significant feature. Locals say it was designed to look like the bud of a lotus flower. Travelers will find an incredible collection of photos of the palace’s 23 rooms taken in its hay day on display, as well as family portraits and other Nawab artifacts.
This stately Hindu temple is known as Bangladesh’s National Temple. Built in the 12th century by a king of the Sena Dynasty, its cream and red stupas are icons of the city. According to locals, former King Bijoy Sen’s wife would bathe in the waters of Langolbond, and this temple was built as an homage to the birth of her son.
Travelers will find two distinct architectural styles at Dhakeshwari, since construction (and reconstruction) spanned years. One temple is in ancient style and another, constructed at the start of the century by the East India Company, is set in a more contemporary style. Although much of the structure was damaged during the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971, travelers will still find extraordinary examples of historical and religious architecture here.
Once a place of worship in this historic Armenian community, which was settled in the 17th century, the Armenian Church in Dhaka is now a quiet sanctuary in a nearly empty town where few Armenians remain. Still, the impressive church with its cream and yellow exterior pays homage to a time when this population of people ruled local trade and industry after leaving their homeland in search of political and economic freedom.
Built in 1781, the church is surrounded by more than 300 tombstones of fallen Armenians. In addition to its beautiful, traditional façade, the church was once home to a stunning clock tower and spiral staircase that were later destroyed in an earthquake. Visitors who are lucky enough to tour this religious gem will still find incredible paintings on the interior and a large marble font for baptisms.
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