The Urban Study Group in Dhaka are on
a crusade to save the beautiful heritage buildings of Puran Dhaka. I meet with the founder, Taimur Islam, to learn more about the cause.
Dhaka – crowded, colourful and cacophonous, the metropolis is a melting pot of culture, heritage and religions. Any tour company worth their salt will offer whirlwind tours of vibrant Old Dhaka which can trace its roots back to the pre-Mughal era. These 5 companies, however, offer tourists unique and intimate experiences of the city, showcasing sights and sounds that they wouldn’t have otherwise been privy to.
I explore a range of locally produced gastronomic delights, perfect as gifts, and bound to put Bangladesh on the foodie traveller’s map.
The Urban Study Group comprises concerned architects and local volunteers on a crusade to protect the heritage and cultural fabric of Puran Dhaka, calling to preserve over 2,500 historic buildings.
Dublar Char (Dubla’s Island) is a remote fishing island perched on the very edge of the Sunderbans, at the mouth of the Ganges delta where several mighty rivers empty into the Bay of Bengal. The island, though difficult to reach, is a renowned fishing hub and famous for hosting the annual Rash Mela (Rash Festival), attracting thousands of Hindu pilgrims to its shores.
February in Bangladesh – the month that resonates with the blood-tinged crusade for the recognition of Bengali as a state language; the month that dedicates itself to the celebration of Bengali language and literature. With the Ekushey Boi Mela (book fair) in full swing to commemorate the language movement of 1952, it is a time to reflect on the literati whose poems and prose have opened a world of wonder to generations of Bengalis, rendering many of us lifelong fans, seeking out every opportunity to learn more about the literary greats. In reading my favourite Bengali writers, I’ve come across several destinations patronised by them. Some of them may be in rather unlikely places, but they are definitely worth visiting.
In my quest to create the perfect walking tour for my friends, I came across a number of tailor made guided tours. Here’s a handy list for when you’re in a quandary like me and need to show a tourist around.
Finalist, World Nomads Passport & Plate Food Scholarship 2015 – for the best travel story that transports readers to a new place through food.
COVER STORY: A feature on Sandhani International Eye Bank and cornea donation in Bangladesh.
Excerpts from the cover story, ICE Today, October 2005. I interview Nobel Laureate Prof. Yunus, and Bangladesh’s leading author and scientist, Prof. Zafar Iqbal.