About Bangladesh

 

1HISTORY:

The history of Bangladesh has been one of extreme. It has thrived in the glow of cultural splendor and suffered under the ravage of wars. Some medieval European geographers located a paradise at the mouth of the GangesRiver that was the deltaic land of Bengal. Bengal is the ancient name of present day Bangladesh. Bengal was the wealthiest part of the Indian Subcontinent until the 16th century.

It is assumed that the Austro – Asiatic race first inhabited this region in prehistoric age. Afterwards came the Dravidians, Aryans and Mongoloids. Archeological excavations show signs of powerful dynasties that ruled the land till the Muslims from the Central Asian region conquered it in the 13th century AD and established their rule. A succession of Muslim monarchies ruled over the area till 1757, when the British conquest took place. In 1947 the British left the Indian Subcontinent and Bengal came to be known as East Bengal and then in 1956 as East Pakistan. In 1971 through an armed struggle Bangladesh emerged as an independent state.

PUNDRANAGARA-MAHASTHANGARH:  BOGRA

Mahasthangarh is so far the oldest and largest archaeological site of Bangladesh, is about 12 km north of Bogra town and is connected by a good metaled road, the extensive site represents the wreckage of an ancient city (4th century  BC  to 14th century AD) called Pundranagara. The city was identified in 1879; the first regular excavation was conducted at the site in 1928-29 by the Archaeological Survey of India under the guidance of KN Diksit. It is roughly oblong (1.523 km by 1.371km) in shape encircled by high rampart with thick brick wall core at places and is entrenched on all sides save the east where the river Karatoya were flowing in ancient time. Inside the fort, however, still lie the remnants of temples, Stupas, Masques, a good volume of movable antiquities have also been salvaged from its ruins. They include silver punch marked coins, silver coated copper cast coins barring inscription, rouletted ware, NBPW, black slipware, blank and red ware, beads of semiprecious stones, terracotta plaques and toys, sculptures, objects of daily use and so on. But by far the most important one is a Brahmi Inscriptional slab datable to the 3rd cent. BC.  Around the fort for about 8 km excepting the east suburb, there are many older mounds and a rest – house near its north east corner. A mission of French Experts has been working in the site since 1993 in order to reveal its whole unknown past as peer an agreement with the Government of Bangladesh.

Latest findings indicate a total of 18 building levels and that the city was inhabited as early as 6th Century BC. Dwellers of the city were mainly traders, who traded to and from faraway countries. Allegedly the city was derelict after a great fire in the 15th Century, and had gone underground in few centuries. GovindaBhita, LaksmindarMedh, BhasuVihar, ViharDhap, Mangalkot and GodaibadiDhap are excavated sites located outside the city but within its vicinity. The site has an adjacent museum that houses findings of the city.

SIXTY DOMED MOSQUE:

Is the prime attraction for the tourists in the southern part of Bangladesh. Build by Khan Jahan Ali in the 15thcentaury, made of unusually thick tapered brick in the Tughlaq style and a hut-shaped roofline that anticipates purely local style. It has 81 domes and sixty stone pillars for which it is called sixty Gumbad mosque – which later has changed into ShaitGambuj (Sixty Domed in Bangali) mosque. The mosque is situated at the Bagerhat town & one of the world heritage sites of three in Bangladesh declared by UNESCO.

 

CULTURE:

The music and dance in Bangladesh can be divided into three distinct categories – classical, folk & modern. Folk music nurtured through the ages by village poets, rich in devotional mysticism and love lore, are known in different names in different regions of the country. The most popular forms are Bhatiali, Baul, Marfati, Murshidi and Bhawaiya. Classical forms of the greater Indian Subcontinent have strong influence on Bangladeshi dance. The folk, tribal and Middle – Eastern traits can also be seen. Modern dance and music is loved by all, especially by the young people. There are a good number of music bands that perform regular shows in big cities. Among the tribal dances particularly popular are Monipuri, Jhoom, Bamnoo and Santal.

1

Situated 20km west of Rajshahi it is an Upazila in Rajshahi district. PuthiaJamindari created by the Mughals in the early 17thcentury is one of the oldest estates of Bengal. The 1895 two storied PuthiaRajbari is one of the most attractive structures in the area. Among others the five spire Govinda temple, Trio Bangla temple, and the Shiva temple of South Indian Style are interesting.

SHAHID MINAR:  (Language Martyrs Memorial):

International Mother Language Day is an observance held annually on 21 February worldwide to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. It was first announced by UNESCO on 17 November 1999. Its observance was also formally recognized by the United Nations General Assembly in its resolution establishing 2008 as the International Year of Languages. International Mother Language Day originated as the international recognition of Language Movement Day, which has been commemorated in Bangladesh (formerly East Pakistan) since 21st February 1952, when a number of students including the students of the University of Dhaka were killed by the Pakistani police in Dhaka during Bengali Language Movement protests.

The Sundarbans in Bengali it means a beautiful forest. It is a cluster of Islands-the single largest mangrove forest of the world and popularly known as the home of the RoyalBengal Tiger. This wonderful forest is located at the estuary of the great Ganges spanning over more than 1065000 hectors of land on the south-west part of Bangladesh and the south-eastern portion of the state of West Bengal, India. Bangladesh possesses about 62% which covers an area about 620,000 hectors of land or (6036 sq. km) of the total forest area.

The whole of the Sundarbans forest has been declared as Reserved forest having 3 Wild life sanctuaries: “Sundarbans East”, “Sundarbans West” and “Sundarbans South” with  the total sanctuary areas which stand 139,698 hectares This unique forest has been listed by the UNESCO as the world heritage site since 1997.

The charming feature of this saline land and water is the perennial forests of luxuriant growth under the fostering care of nature. Thousands of meandering streams, creeks, canals, rivers and wide estuaries have not only enhanced the natural beauty of the forest but also opened a magnificent opportunity for cruising, boating, sailing and fishing. Its rivers are abundantly infested with sharks, Irrawaddy dolphin, porpoises, and estuarine crocodiles and ideal habitat for shrimps, lobster, pomfret, salmon and other sea fishes. The continental shelf is extended 200 miles from the beach of Sundarbans. Here lies the famous swatch of no ground which itself is a mystery. There are more than 424 rare species of wild animals like Royal Bengal tiger (464), Spotted Deer (95000), Wild Boar (40000), Barking Deer (10000). Rhesus Monkeys (70000), Estuarine crocodiles (500-600) and Irrawaddy dolphin (6000) largest population in the world. The other important wild life are Bengal Monitor Lizard, common toad and tree frog, King cobra, Rock python, Black Krait, River Terrapin, Russel Viper, False Vampire and different type of  Turtles and Sea snakes.

The wonderful mangrove vegetation supports more than 325 species birds of both migratory and local. Out of which rare species are Masked finfoot, Adjutant Stork, White bellied Sea Eagle, Mangrove Pitta, Western Curlew, Large Minivet, Purple Sunbird, Red Jungle Fowl, Oyster catcher, different type of shore birds, Parakeet, colorful Wood Packer, 8 types of King Fisher out of which /brown wing King Fisher and Ruddy King Fisher s are the common.

Sundarbans forest is not only holding the largest population of Royal Bengal Tiger but also is famous for wild honey. There are hundreds of thousand bee hives can be found during the early monsoon and collecting of these high quality honey by the professional may be termed as the most exciting and dangerous adventure since the honey collectors are to involve face to face encounter with the man eating tiger in the forest. Today Royal Bengal Tiger is considered as the most ferocious and cunning and possessing man eating habit by genetic heritance.

SOMAPURA MAHAVIHARA AT PAHARPUR: NAOGAON

 

Paharpur, an important archaeological site in Bangladesh, situated in village Paharpur under Badalgachi Thana of Naogaon district, the site contains the structural ruins of a single unit of Buddhist monastery which is being considered as the single largest of its kind on the south of the Himalayas. The site was first noticed by Buchanon Hamilton in course of his survey in Eastern India between 1807 and 1812. But regular and systematic excavation was jointly started here in 1923 by Archaeological Survey of India, Varendra Research Museum of Rajshahi and CalcuttaUniversity. Excavation unearthed a Buddhist monastery that was built during the period from 780 AD to 830 AD by Dharma Pala, the second king of Pala Dynasty. The site comprises of a nearly rectangular surrounding wall with minor structures like refectory hall, kitchen, well, small Stupas etc. and a central Stupa, the monastery accommodates  a rectangular (280.5m+280m) open courtyard with a lofty pyramidal temple to a little west of its central point and a line of monastic cells in each of its four wings. The main entrance on the north is outcropping beyond its perimeter and is open through two pillared halls with a group of cells on both sides. The central temple stands on a cruciform bade where in it contains 63 stone sculptural pieces in a line of niches. Moreover, each cornice of its each stage is decorated with carbed bricks depicting Lozenge, dentils, chain, chess-board, pyramidal representation and so on. Below these cornices there are friezes of terracotta Plawuer depicting several views from the folk life of the 8th -9th century AD. About 2800 plaques have been recorded so far. The stupa has a cruciform foundation for a hollow chamber supported by four identical wings in four directions. The site has an adjacent museum that houses findings in the surrounding.