The country Bangladesh, which is home to the world’s longest sea beach, isn’t limited to its natural tourist spots only. Just like how this country has a fascinating history of freedom, it has several historical places.
Bangladesh is often underrated as a tourist spot due to a lack of people’s knowledge about the country’s tourist attractions. Let me introduce you to the 15 best historical places in Bangladesh so that you can understand the historical significance of the country.
The Best 15 Historical Places in Bangladesh
1. Panam City
The archaeological ruins of the historical city, Panam City is located in Sonargaon of Narayangonj district, Bangladesh. This ancient city consists of several historical buildings covering an area of 20 square kilometres approximately.
Panam City was the capital during the fifteenth century. At that time, it was an important trading and political centre. Even though most of the buildings are now in ruins, the combination of Sultanate, Mughal, and British Colonial architectures make this city one of the most visited historical places in Bangladesh.
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Mahasthangar is a place of extraordinary sanctity. It is one of the oldest urban archaeological sites in Bangladesh. This ancient settlement is located in the north of Bogura.
Excavations of Mahasthangar have led to the discovery of inscriptional limestone slabs, silver coins, a Buddha stone sculpture of the 5th century, terracotta plaques, etc. Most of these discoveries are displayed on the site museum.
3. Kotila Mura
Kotila Mura is one of the famous Buddhist historical places in Bangladesh. It is situated in the Cumilla region. The site comprises three stupas that were in use, most probably during the 7th to 13 centuries.
The three stupas signify the Buddhist Trinity: morality, discipline and knowledge. From excavations that began in the 1950s, many items were found, which are now held in the Mainamati Museum.
4. Ahsan Manzil
Ahsan Manzil, also known as the Pink Palace, is one of the most visited historical places in Bangladesh. The beautiful residential palace is located near the bank of the Buriganga River, in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Ahsan Manzil was built from 1859 to 1872 by the landlord Sheikh Enayet Ullah. He had named the palace Rangmahal. Later on, he was killed in a conspiracy.
On 7 April 1888, a devastating tornado hit Dhaka causing great damage to Ahsan Manzil. Nawab Bahadur Sir Khwaja Ahsanullah took the decision to rebuild the palace. The palace was rebuilt in the most beautiful way possible.
But the glory of Ahsan Manzil was ended with the death of Khwaja Ahsanullah in 1901. Many years after his death, Dhaka National Museum acquired the property and turned it into a museum after a massive restoration programme.
5. Shalban Vihara
Shalban Vihara is another famous historical place in Bangladesh located in the Comilla region. The monastery consists of 550-foot sides with 115 monastic cells, a central shrine and a number of subsidiary shrines.
From excavations of the place, many archaeological artefacts dating between the 7th and 12th centuries were discovered. At present, most of them are preserved in the Moinamoti Museum.
6. Lalbagh Fort
Lalbagh Fort is an ancient incomplete 17th-century fort that stands near the Buriganga river. Mughal Subahdar Muhammad Azam Shah started the construction of this fort in 1678 AD, but the construction wasn’t continued by his successor, Shaista Khan. Thus, the fort was never completed.
The incomplete fort consists of three buildings- the Diwan-i-Aam, the tomb of Pari Bibi and the mosque. Many myths and legends are popular regarding the fort. There are many underground passages in the fort which are now sealed.
7. Somapura Mahavihara
Somapura Mahavihara, located in Paharpur, is one of the most ancient historical places in Bangladesh. It got recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985. The architecture of this place consists of a central Buddhist stupa surrounded by 177 cells.
The purpose of the central temple is still unknown. But the rooms were perhaps used by the monks. From excavations of the Somapura Mahavihara, a large number of terracotta plaques, stone sculptures, inscriptions, coins, ceramics etc., have been discovered.
8. The Armenian Church
The Armenian Church, located in the Armanitola area of old Dhaka, is an architectural monument of great historical significance. This church is a testimony to the existence of the Armenian community in Bangladesh during the 17th and 18th centuries.
It is a two-storied church of 750 feet in length. The church consists of 4 arched doors and 27 arched windows. There is a railings enclosed pulpit, a sitting area separated by a wooden fence, and a middle section with two folding doors on the main floor. A beautiful spiral staircase leads to the second floor of the church.
9. Shilaidaha Kuthibari
The famous Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore wrote a lot of poems and short stories while residing in Shilaidaha Kuthibari, the country house made by his grandfather Dwarkanath Tagore. This famous historical place is located in Kumarkhali Upazila of Khushtia District.
Shilaidaha Kuthibari is a pyramid-shaped three-storied building with a terrace. The building stands at the centre of the 11 acres compound. Rabindranath wrote most of his masterpieces and translated many of his creations into English while living here.
Now, Shilaidaha Kuthibari has been reformed as a museum named ‘Tagore Memorial Museum’ that displays many objects used by Tagore. A five-day-long festival is also held here during Tagore’s birth anniversary.
10. Baliati Zamindar Bari
Baliati Zamindar Bari is a palace area located in the Baliati village in Saturia Upazila in Manikganj District. There are 7 palaces within an area of 5.88 acres enclosed by a moat and a perimeter wall. There are around 200 rooms in the palace, and a pond is located at the back of the palace.
Since 1987, the palaces have been administered by the Bangladesh archaeological department. The palace is now a protected cultural property and a popular historical place in Bangladesh.
11. Star Mosque
Star Mosque, situated in the Armanitola area, Dhaka, is a beautiful mosque decorated with ornate designs and motifs of blue stars. Mirza Golam Pir built it in the first half of the 19th century.
The architecture of the mosque is of Mughal style. The mosque consists of an exclusive chinitikri mosaic. Japanese and English china clay tiles were used in decorating the mosque. Such beautiful architecture is the main reason behind the popularity of this mosque.
12. Puthia Rajbari
Built-in 1895 for Rani Hemanta Kumari, Puthia Rajbari is a place of great historical significance. It is situated near the Rajshahi Natore highway. Sadly, the palace is in a poor state of repair at present.
The palace is located at the south end of 4.31 acres of land. It is divided into four main parts- office court, temple court, inner quarters, and residence of Maharani Hemanti Kumari. Due to a lack of strong commitment on the part of the archaeology department, most of the antique terracotta pieces and other artefacts of the palace were either decayed or stolen.
13. The Liberation War Museum
Do you know that Bangladesh has a great history behind the freedom of the country? If you don’t, then on your visit to Bangladesh you must check out The Liberation War Museum, an extraordinary historical place in Bangladesh.
The Liberation War Museum, located at Agargaon in Dhaka, commemorates the Bangladesh Liberation War. The museum was established in 1996 and over the years it has collected around 21,000 artefacts. Even though this museum isn’t ancient like other historical places on this list, it still holds immense significance for portraying the history of Bangladesh.
14. Sixty Dome Mosque
Sixty Dome Mosque is one of the many mosques situated in Mosque City of Bagerhat. It is the largest mosque in the country from the sultanate period. This mosque is said to be one of the most impressive Muslim monuments in the whole of South Asia.
In the middle of the 15th century, a saint-General named Khan Jahan Ali adorned Bagerhat with more than a dozen mosques. The most imposing and largest multi-domed mosque among them is the Shat Gombuj Masjid or Sixty Dome Mosque.
There are 77 domes over the main hall of the mosque and exactly 60 stone pillars. Most probably the mosque has been named Shat Gombuj Masjid based on the number of pillars. There are many differences of opinion regarding the origin of the name of the mosque.
15. Gour Govinda Fort
Gour Govinda Fort, located in the hilly region of Sylhet district is the last one on our list of the best historical places in Bangladesh. It was built by king Gour Govinda. As the fort was destroyed by Sufi Saint Hazrat Shahjalal who came to preach Islam in Sylhet, you will still find the remnants of the fort that will take you thousands of years back.
Bangladesh, just like every other country, is home to a significant number of historical places. I could only name 15 historical places in Bangladesh here. However, I am sure that there are many other historical places in Bangladesh that are yet to be discovered. If you ever visit any of these historical places in Bangladesh, don’t forget to share your experience with me.