Maynamati (Uncovering Buddhist Civilization in Bengal)

Maynamati is situated eight kilometers south west from Comilla city. The legend of King Manik Chandra’s wife, Maynamati is related to this place. The ancient monuments of Maynamati carry the historic prominence of 400 years of south-eastern Bengal for eight to twelve centuries. Many archaeological places are found here. Among them the notable are ‘Shalbon Bihar’, ‘Kutila Mura’, ‘Ranir Banglow’, ‘Ananda Bihar’, ‘Rupban Mura’, ‘Bhoj Bihar’ and ‘Maynamati Dhibi’. Many monuments of the Bengal Buddhists civilization were found here. Apart from the monuments of Buddhist religion many statues of Jain and Hindu gods were also found.

According to historians, the very first historical object of Maynamati was found in 1803. The object was a plate made of copper, engraved with the description the then capital ‘Pattikera’ of Ranavankamalla Harikaladeva. It was dated back in 1220 A.D. and is well decorated with different forts and monasteries of the ancient past. The local people still bears the name their heart as today’s Pattikera Pargana. During 1875, while reconstructing an old road the workers discovered a Buddhist Monastery, which was previously thought to be a small fort made of brick.

The monuments indicate that there was good facility to practice education in that period. There are signs of residential accommodation facilities for teacher and students. The temples had beautiful artistries. Terracotta plates were used on the outer walls and different rooms of the temple for its beautification. The terracotta plates had images of miraculous animals and mythological sceneries. Among these the most attractive images and sceneries are of real creatures like lions, weasel fighting a cobra snake, horse, running elephant, swan in the lotus etc. There were also notable sceneries- warriors with swords in hand, men and women in dancing position etc. Many gold, silver and bronze coins were found in Maynamati. Stone sculptures and terracotta plates of inscriptions have been found.

Mahasthangarh (Earliest evidence of ancient Bengal)

Mahasthangarh is a famous historic site of Bangladesh. This carries evidence of history of Bangladesh since 400 years BC to the next 1500 AD. The ruins of the most ancient and largest city of Bangladesh, Pundranagar situated here. This city was built during the Maurya Dynasty. It is situated in the western banks of Korotoa River, thirteen kilometers away from Bogra city. Mahasthan means a place that has excellent sanctity and garh means fort. Mahasthan was first mentioned in a Sanskrit text of the 13th century entitled Vallalcharita. It is also mentioned in an anonymous text Karatoya mahatmya, circumstantially placed in 12th–13th century. The same text also mentions two more names to mean the same place – Pundrakshetra, land of the Pundras, and Pundranagara, city of the Pundras. Subsequent discoveries have confirmed that the earlier name was Pundranagara or Paundravardhanapura, and that the present name of Mahasthangarh is of later origin. There are important monuments of ancient heritage in this place.

Besides the fortified area, there are around a hundred mounds spread over an area with a radius of 9 km. (See map alongside). The major excavated ones are:     1. Gobhindo Bhita,     2. Khulnar Dhap,        3. Mangalkot,  4. Godaibari Dhap,         5. Totaram Panditer Dhap,      6. Noropotir Dhap (Vashu Bihara),    7. Gokul Medh (Lokhindorer Bashor Ghor),   8. Shkonder Dhap.

The major unexcavated mounds are:  1. Shiladebir Ghat,      2. Chunoru Dighi Dhap,         3. Kaibilki Dhap,        4. Juraintala,        5. Poroshuramer Shobhabati,  6. Balai Dhap, 7. Prochir Dhibi,          8. Kanchir Hari Dhibi,            9. Lohonar Dhap,            10. Khujar Dhap,        11. Doshatina Dhap,   12. Dhoniker Dhap,    13. Mondirir Dorgah,  14. Bishmordana Dhibi,    15. Malinar Dhap,       16. Malpukuria Dhap, 17. Jogir Dhap,            18. Podmobhatir Dhap,            19. Kanai Dhap,          20. Dulu Mojhir Bhita,            21. Podda Debhir Bhita,         22. Rastala Dhap,        23. Shoshitola Dhap,         24. Dhonbandhor Dhap,         25. Chader Dhap,        26. Shindinath Dhap,  27. Shalibahon Rajar Kacharibari Dhipi,         28. Kacher Angina,     29. Mongolnather Dhap,         30. ChhoutoTengra/ Babur Dhap/ Kethar Dhap,  31. Boro Tengra/ Shonyashir Dhap.

Numerous historic monuments have been discovered after digging the soils of Mahasthangarh. A Brahmin inscription was found here. It is the most ancient inscription of the Bengal. The text appears to be a royal order of Magadh, possibly during the rule of Asoka. It dates the antiquity of Mahasthangarh to 3rd century BC. Silver punch marked coins are datable to a period between the 4th century BC and the 1st–2nd century AD. Some uninscribed copper cast coins have been found. Two Gupta period coins have been reported from a nearby village named Vamanpara. A number of coins belonging to the sultans of 14th–15th century and British East India Company have been found. An old shattered fortress is also seen here. At the eastern side of the fortress there flows Korotoa River and at the three sides there are sign of wide ditches. There are still many broken stones inside the fortress. A special kind of stone was found here named “Khodai Pathor”. This stone is 3.35 meters long and 0.91 meters wide. At the south east corner of Mahasthangarh there is a one domed mosque which was built during the Mughal Period. It is known as Mahasthangarh Mosque.

National Martyrs’ Memorial (Jatiyo Smriti Soudho)

The National Martyrs’ Memorial at Nabinagar, Savar, about 35 km north-west of the capital is a symbol of the nation’s respect for the martyrs of the war of liberation. It is build with concrete. It stands 150 feet tall. It is an achievement the dimensions of which can be measured, but it stands for an achievement, which is immeasurable. It stands upright for the millions of martyrs who laid down their lives so that we may stand upright, in honor and dignity, amongst the nations of the world. The most prominently visible is the 150 feet tower. It stands on a base measuring 130 feet wide. There is actually a series of 7 towers that rise by stages to a height of 150 feet. The foundation was laid on the first anniversary of the Victory Day. There is actually a plan to build a huge complex in several phases. The entire complex will cover an area of 126 acres.

Plans for the monument were initiated in 1976. Following the site selection, road and land development, a nation-wide design competition was held in June, 1978. Following evaluation of the 57 submissions, Syed Mainul Hossain’s design was chosen. The main structure and the artificial lake and other facilities were completed in 1982. It was inaugurated at 16 December, 1982. The plan of this complex includes a mosque, a library and a museum. The relics of the liberation war will be kept in the museum. They will ever remind our countrymen and all who would come to visit the museum of the valiant struggle and supreme sacrifices of a freedom loving people.

The present structure can be described like this: the monument is composed of 7 isosceles triangular pyramid shaped structures, with the middle one being the tallest. The highest point of the monument is 150 feet. There is an artificial lake, and several mass graves in front of the main monument. There is a Green house, PWD site office, VVIP and VIP waiting room inside the area. Some other structures like Toilets, Visitors Shed, Electrical Sub Station, Flower and Souvenir Shop, Police Barrack, Museum and Laser show is under construction.

The most moving site of the complex is the several graves of the martyred freedom fighters; close to the tower. Standing in front of the graves we have to bow down our heads in respect.

Dhaka Zoo

Dhaka Zoo, with an area of 186-acre (75 ha), is the largest zoo in Bangladesh, supervised by the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock, which is situated in Mirpur, about 16 km away from the centre of the city. The zoo firstly started its journey in the early 1950s, when it was situated at the east part of present Ramna Park in Dhaka with few monkeys, snakes, birds, deer, a cheetah and an elephant. Later a board for managing the zoo was created in 1961 and the zoo was moved to its present location Mirpur, acquiring more native and non-native animals from Bangladesh and foreign countries during ‘60’s. Also, a master plan was approved with a view to establish a zoological garden at Mirpur in 1960. It was finally opened for public on June 23rd of 1974 after all necessary construction and procurement of animals from home and abroad.

Dhaka zoo is currently home to 2,150 animals of 191 species. The zoo exhibits 64 species of mammals, the aviaries at the zoo house more than 1543 birds representing 91 species, also there are 15 species of reptiles including 73 snakes and crocodiles and 28 species of fish. Every year, about 4 million visitors come to the Zoo in Dhaka. Calm and green environment of the Zoo attracts people to become relieved from the bustle and monotony of urban life.

 

Time Schedule of Dhaka Zoo:

  • Summer season (April to October): 9.00 AM- 6.00 PM.
  • Winter season (November to March): 8.00 AM-5.00 PM.
  • Every Sunday zoo is closed except government holiday.

 

Entrance fees:

  • Main gate entrance fee for above two years, Tk. 10 BDT.
  • Children ages of 0 to 2 years are free and students from school, college and University are free (Conditions apply).

 

Elephant and Horse Riding Time table and Fees:

Season Morning Evening Fees
April-September 11.00 AM-01.00 PM 3.00 PM-5.00 PM Elephant = Tk. 10

Horse = Tk. 5

October-March 10.00 AM-12.00 PM 2.00 PM-4.00 PM

 

 

Fees of film shooting in the Dhaka Zoo are as following:

Subject Fees
1. Film shooting Tk. 200 per hour or fraction of an hour but at a time not less than Tk. 1500
2. Animals shooting elephant, horse, camel, ass,   and other type of four footed pet animals.  Tk. 100 per hour or fraction of hour per animal   but at a time not less than Tk. 1000
3. Ferocious animals shooting. In cage Lion, Tiger,   Bear, and other type of ferocious animals. Tk. 100  per hour or fraction of hour per animal but at a time not less than Tk. 1000
4. Cage bird shooting Tk. 100  per hour or fraction of hour per cage but at a time not less Tk. 1000
5. Snake shooting Tk. 100  per hour or fraction of hour per snake but at a time not less than 1000

 

Other Fees:

  • Fishing (by wheel): One man with another one helping, can fish using three wheels at a time, from 6.00 AM to 7.00 PM at the cost of Tk.1000.
  • Picnic spot hiring: There are two picnic spots- for “Utsab” 2000 per day and for “Niribily” 1000 per day.
  • Presently spotted deer are sold at a cost of Tk.15000 per animals after getting permission from CCF (Chief Conservator of Forest).