Are you bored by the hustle and bustle of regular city life? Spending a day on the weekend is a great way to escape the stress of busy life for a few hours. By visiting some historic places, you can experience the grandeur that recalls our ancestors who ruled this region several hundred years ago; while other historical places can remind you of the sacrificial and proud history of our liberation war. Stay with us to learn more about the best historical places in Dhaka to plan a day on your next weekend with your family with kids.
The best historical places in Dhaka
Dhaka Central Shahid Minar
Today we can freely express our thoughts, feelings and ideas in Bengali; but getting that right was not easy. We are the only nation in the world that has had to shed blood to protect the honor of our mother tongue. In 1952, the patriotic people of this country protested against the then authoritarian rulers of West Pakistan who forcefully declared that Urdu would be the national language of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). Several brilliant students from Dhaka Medical School and a few people in general lost their precious lives in this event which has been called the “Bengali Language Movement”. The Central Shahid Minar (Martyrs Monument) was erected as a national monument to commemorate the martyrs of the linguistic movement.
Read the main historical monuments of Dhaka reminiscent of the 1971 liberation war
In recognition of the Bengali language movement, the United Nations (UN) declared February 21 International Mother Language Day. In the early hours of February 21, thousands of people barefoot every year at the Central Shahid Minar to pay homage to the martyrs with wreaths and a bouquet of flowers. The solemnity would remind you of how courageous souls fearlessly opposed the rulers of the time and gained the right to speak in Bengali.
However, you can visit the Dhaka Central Shahid Minar any day to pay homage to our brave language soldiers. The Central Shahid Minar is located near the Dhaka University Hospital.
Read about the best historical places in Dhaka city to visit on weekends
Memorial of the martyred intellectuals Rayer Bazar
Just hours before Bangladesh’s independence, the new country lost its most scholarly sons and daughters in an evil plot to make the country without a guardian. The slaughterhouse is locally known as Rayer Bazar ‘Bodhyo Bhumi’ (slaughterhouse). In addition, many other scholars were killed in different parts of the country during the Bangladesh Liberation War.
The list of martyred intellectuals includes Munier Chowdhury (literator, playwright and professor at Dhaka University), Shahidullah Kaisar (journalist), Altaf Mahmud (lyricist and musician), Selina Parvin (reporter), Mufazzal Haider Chaudhury (literator, professor at DU), Anwar Pasha (literator, professor at DU), Alim Chowdhury (ophthalmologist), Govinda Chandra Dev (philosopher, professor at DU), Hobibur Rahman (professor of mathematics, Rajshahi University), Mir Abdul Quaiyum (professor of psychology, UK ), Dhirendranath Datta (politician), and many others.
The Memorial to the Intellectual Martyrs was built in memory of all the intellectual martyrs who lost their lives between March 25 and December 16, 1971, in Bangladesh. This national monument was designed by Farid U Ahmed and Jami Al Shafi.
The memorial is built at Rayerbazar, Mohammadpur Thana in Dhaka. If you visit this place, you might feel both the brutality of the rulers of the day and the overwhelming courage of those last intellectuals who loved their homeland more than their own lives.
Do you have a passion for Mughal architecture? Plan a day at Lalbagh Fort, also known as Fort Aurangabad. Although it is an incomplete construction, this place brings us back to the grandeur of the Mughal rule in this region. Lalbagh Fort is located in Lalbagh region in old Dhaka.
The late Mughal emperor Aurangzeb dreamed of building the fort of Lalbagh. Construction began in 1678 by Mughal Subahdar Muhammad Azam Shah. He was the son of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb and the Successor Emperor himself. His descendant, Mughal Subahdar Shaista Khan continued the work for some time. But, Shaista Khan left the work unfinished after the accidental death of his own daughter, Bibi Pari. The construction of the fort was never completed and remained unoccupied for a long time. Although parts of the Lalbagh complex have been reconstructed, this 17th century Mughal architecture still connects us to the rich history of Bengal.
The fort area is combined with three buildings, including the mosque, the tomb of Bibi Pari and the Diwan-i-Aam. In this area of the fort you will find a beautiful water channel where wonderful artificial water fountains have been placed at regular intervals. The canal connects the three buildings from east to west and from north to south. Lalbagh’s aesthetic can take you back to the golden age of the Mughal kingdom.
Also read Bangabandhu Memorial Museum: Witness to History and Tragedy.