Wari-Bateshwar is the site of an ancient fort city dating back to 450 BC [1] 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.
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.


The archaeological site 'Mahasthan' means a great place. Located at a distance of 18 km. north of Bogra town, Mahasthangarh is the oldest archaeological site of Bangladesh which is situated on the western bank of the Karatoa. The spectacular site is an imposing landmark in the region having a fortified area and its ancient ruins spread 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, Parasuramer Bedi, Jiyat Kunda etc. surround the fortified city. This 3rd century B. C. archaeological site is still held by the Hindus to be of great sanctity. Every year in mid-April and every 12th year in December thousands of Hindu devotees gather here for a bathing ceremony in the river Karatoa.

A visit to the site museum at Mahasthangarh will open up a wide variety of antiquities, ranging from terracotta objects to gold ornaments and coins dug up from the site. Also noteworthy are the shrine of Shah Sultan Bulkhi Mahisawar and Gokul Medh in the neighbourhood of Mahasthangarh.

While visiting Mahasthangarh, the visitors may enjoy the Parjatan (Tourism) hospitality at their Bogra Motel.

By far the most spectacular Buddhist monuments, discovered in regular excavation is the gigantic temple and monastery at Paharpur in the Noagoan district. Architecturally and historically Paharpur Vihara is a treasured heritage of the world. It has been identified from a set of inscribed clay seals, as the reputed Somapura Vihara, of the great Pala emperor Dharmapala. It is the single largest Vihara south of the Himalayas. This immense quadrangular monastery with 177 monastic cells enclosing the courtyard, its elaborate northern gateway and numerous votive stupas, minor chapels and extensive ancillary buildings within the 22 acre courtyard, is dominated by a lofty pyramidal temple in the centre. A site museum houses the representative collections of objects recovered from the area. The excavated finds have also been preserved at the Varendra Research Museum at Rajshahi.

Mainamati once known as 'Samatata' denotes a land lying almost even with the sea-level. An isolated eleven-mile long spur of dimpled low hill range known as the Mainamati- Lalmai range runs through the middle of Comilla district from north to south.

Excavation on this range has revealed over 50 ancient sites dotting the hills, mostly containing various types of Buddhist remains of the 8th to 12th centuries A. D. Excavations at a number of sites, locally known as Salban Vihara, Kutila Mura, Ananda Rajar Badi, Chaarpatra Mura, Mainamati Ranir Badi from 1955 till todate, besides exposing many Buddhist monasteries temples and stupas, have also yielded a rich collection of stones and bronze sculptures of various gods and goddesses, coins, reliquaries, royal copper plate grants, terracotta plaques, jewellery, pots and pans and other miscellaneous objects of daily use which eloquently speak of the glorious cultural attainments of the period.

Salban Vihara is an extensive centre of Buddhist culture of 7th to 12th century. The attractions include Buddhist Vihara (monastery) with imposing central shrine, Kotila Mura, another Buddhist establishment 5 km. north of Salban Vihara. Chaarpatra Mura an isolated shrine about 2.5 km north-west of Kotila Mura and Bangladesh Academy for Rural Development, known for its pioneering role in co-operative movement in the country.
Mainamati is only 114 km. from Dhaka city and is just two hours drive on way to Chittagong.


Among the many surviving monuments of the Khan Jahan style and undo-ubtedly the most magnificent and the largest brick mosque in Bangladesh, is the Shait Gombudge mosque which means'60-domed Mosque'.

During the mid-15th century, a Muslim colony was founded near the sea coast- what is now known as the Bagerhat district by a saint named Ulugh Khan Jahan. He was the earliest torch bearer of Islam to the south. He laid the nucleus of an affluent city during the reign of Sultan Nasiruddin Mahmud Shah (1442-1452) at Bagerhat which was then known as Khalifatabad.

Khan Jahan adorned his city with numerous mosques, tanks, roads, and other public buildings, the spectacular ruins of which are focused around the most imposing and multi-domed mosque. The stately fabric of the monument, serene and imposing stands on the eastern bank of an unusually vast sweet water tank clustered around by the heavy foliage of a low lying country-side, characteristic of a sea-coast landscape.

While visiting Shait Gombudge Mosque, the visitors may stay at Hotel Posher at Mongla. By road Bagerhat is 368 km. south-west of Dhaka. The nearest air field is at Jessore which is about 30 minutes flight from Dhaka.


This temple near Dinajpur town was built in 1752 by Maharaja Pran Nath of Dinajpur. The temple, a 50' square three-storeyed edifice, rests on a slightly curved raised plinth of sandstone blocks, believed to have been quarried from the ruins of the ancient city of Bangarh near Gangarampur in West Bengal from where the now stolen Radha-Krishna idols are said to have been brought. It was originally a nava-ratna temple, crowned with four richly ornamental corner towers on two storeys and a central one over the third storey. Unfortunately these ornate towers collapsed during an earthquake at the end of the 19th century.

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 Maharaja's palace with relics of the past centuries and local museum are worth a visit.

The capital city Dhaka predominantly was a city of the Mughals. In hundred years of their vigorous rule successive Governors and princely Viceroys who ruled the province, adorned it with many noble monuments in the shape of magnificent palaces, mosques, tombs, fortifications and Katras often surrounded with beautifully laid out gardens and pavillions. Among these, a few have survived the ravages of time, aggressive tropical climate of the land and vandal hands of man.

But the finest specimen of this period is the Aurangabad Fort, commonly known as Lalbagh Fort, which indeed represents the unfulfilled dream of a Mughal Prince. It occupies the south-western part of the old city, overlooking the Buriganga on whose northern bank it stands as a silent sentinel of the old city. Rectangular in plan, it encloses an area of 1082' by 800' and in addition to corners and a subsidiary small unpretentious gateway on north, it also contains within its fortified. perimeter a number of splendid monuments, surrounded by attractive garden. These are, a small 3-domed mosque, the mausoleum of Bibi Pari, the reputed daughter of Nawab Shaista Khan and the Hammam and Audience Hall of the Governor. The main purpose of this fort, was to provide a defensive enclosure of the palatial edifices of the interior and as such was a type of palace-fortress rather than a seize-fort.

About 26 km. from Dhaka, Sonargaon is the earliest known capital of Bengal. It was the seat of Deva Dynasty until the 13th century. From then onward till the advent of the Mughals, Sonargaon was the subsidiary capital of the Sultanate of Bengal. 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 at Goaldi village.


Situated on the bank of the river Buriganga near Wiseghat, this stately monument was originally built in 1872 by Nawab Abdul Ghani, as a palace on the site of an old French Factory and it was named after his son Nawab Ahsanullah Bahadur. It was heavily damaged by the devastating tornado of 1888 but was later reconstructed completely with substantial alterations to its original appearance. This two storeyed grand palace with a broad picturesque river front stands on a high podium, of which the central part is crowned by a lofty dome. An imposing flight of steps from the river-side leads directly to the prominently projecting ground triple-arched portal of the second storey. Today's renovated Ahsan Manzil turned into a museum is a monument of immense historical value. Ahsan Manzil is just a short drive from downtown Dhaka

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