The beauty of old Dhaka lies in the banks of the Buriganga river which is a channel of the Dhaleshwari river. It is the capital city of Bangladesh. Dhaka is known to be one of the most populated metropolises in South Asia. “The Hidden Goddess”, also known as Dhakeshwari was how the name Dhaka was originated, the same way Athens came from Athena. During the Mughal Dynasty, Dhaka was a centre for flourishing sea trades and attracting foreign visitors. There are countless historic buildings spread among the remains of Old Dhaka. Dhaka took a lot of damage during the war of independence in 1971 and come to the fore as the capital of Bangladesh. Dhaka is now known to be one of the most industrialized areas in the country. Since its establishment as a metropolis, there has been a lot of economic diversity. To this day, traditional goods are still as valuable such as jute, muslin, silk, textiles and many more. As a result, the garment industry rose in the late 20th century. Dhaka is home to many renowned universities like Jahangirnagar University, Dhaka University, and Bangladesh Univesity of Engineering and Technology which were all established in the 1900s. People have always come to Dhaka to pry for opportunities since Dhaka is known to be the land of possibilities for so many people living in Bangladesh. The beauty of Dhaka lies in the chaos that it fosters. Given the hundreds of thousands of people who live there, it is one of the most tumultuous cities in the continent of Asia.
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Origin of Old Dhakaiyas
The Old Dhakaites (পুরান ঢাকাইয়া) are an Indo-Aryan ethnocultural group considered to be Dhaka’s first settlers. They are sometimes just referred to as Dhakaiya. Their history may be traced back to the Mughal Empire when workers flocked to the city. Other places in Bangladesh have significant populations. Due to cultural, linguistic, geographical, and historical factors, the Dhakaiyas have a distinct identity in addition to their Bengali identity. They’ve been described as an affluent yet closed-off group, despite the fact that they’re a minority in their town. Due to cultural, linguistic, geographical, and historical factors, the Dhakaiyas have a distinct identity in addition to their Bengali identity. Following the huge migration of Bengalis from districts throughout Bengal during the first and second partitions during the British colonial period, the Old Dhakaiyas are now a minority in Dhaka. They’ve been described as a rich yet closed-off group, although they’re certainly a minority in their town. New residential districts were constructed as the city grew, providing shelter for the more recent arrivals. Standard Bengali, the standardised register of Bengali, was spoken by the newly educated migrant group. Today, they are also known as Dhakaiyas, with the former referred to as “Old Dhakaiyas”. Due to the obvious linguistic and cultural differences, some members of the Old Dhakaiya population began to view the new migrant group as rivals. This separation was the basis of modern problems in the Old Dhakaiyas’ and post-partition migrant community’s identities.
Old Dhakaiya Cultures
Old Dhakaiya Cultures
Shakrain Festival: When kite fans began flying a range of colourful kites of different sizes from the rooftops of various buildings, it appeared as if a swarm of multi-coloured butterflies had descended upon the skies of Old Dhaka. Shakrain Festival is one of Bangladesh’s oldest annual celebrations. It is a well-known and notable event in Bangladeshi culture. It is a sign of camaraderie and solidarity. The Shakrain Festival is a kite-flying festival held every year in Old Dhaka. It happens at the end of the Bengali calendar’s ninth month, in other words, around January or February.
Eid Fireworks/Fanush: Fanush flying and fireworks are some of the most common ways to embrace the celebration of Eid in Old Dhaka. The event marks the completion of Ramadan, the Muslim fasting month. Several thousand people gather on their rooftops to celebrate the eve of Eid.
Ramadan Food: Chawkbazar in Old Dhaka is where Iftar delicacies are generally sold. It is the capital’s largest market, where Ramadan iftar food items are sold throughout the month. In recent years, Chawkbazar saw a massive incursion of shoppers. Gourmands flocked there to purchase some traditional specialities that are hard to get by in other parts of the city. Some of the objects date back to the Mughal period.
More about Old Dhaka
Old Dhaka is a melting pot of diversity. It is one of the oldest cities in Bangladesh because the existence of civilization dates back to the 7th century. Until the present, the rulers ranged from the Buddhist Kingdom to the Hindu Dynasty followed by the Mughal Empire, The British Period and Pakistan before the war of liberation. As a result of Bangladesh’s independence, Dhaka has divulged the capital city. As of then, old Dhaka has imploded with so many cultures and traditions that has shaped the city in a myriad way. Over time, the modernization and development of the city have enabled it to grow exponentially. Having a gigantic influence over the decades, Old Dhaka continues to be the centre of independence. It is unfortunate to point out the economical gap where the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. The rift is glaringly blatant. On the other hand, the city’s main business district is Motijheel. Sadarghat, Dhaka’s main waterfront, is located on the banks of the Buriganga River in Old Dhaka and is congested with ferries, yachts, paddle steamers, fisherman’s boats, and floating dhabas.
Armenians from Europe in Dhaka since 16th Century.
Armenian Church: The Armenian Church of the Holy Resurrection in Old Dhaka is one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions. This calm little church in Old Dhaka, built in the late 18th century, bears witness to Dhaka’s substantial Armenian community. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Armenians played a key part in Bengal trade and commerce. Despite the fact that they are no longer active, the small church they constructed in Dhaka still stands. They were settled in Hughli, Chinsura, Saidabad, Murshidabad, Kasimbazar, and other Bengal business centres, including Dhaka.
Landmarks in Old Dhaka
Dhakeshwari Temple: Dhakeshwari Temple is the main Hindu temple in Dhaka and Bangladesh’s national temple. It is located on Dhakeshwari Road in Old Dhaka. The Hindu religion holds this temple in high regard. It is one of the well-known Shakti Peethas in the Indian Subcontinent, where the goddess Sati’s crown diamond is said to have fallen. The goddess of Dhaka is known as Dhakeshwari. It is a centre for Dhaka’s Hindu community’s socio-cultural and religious activities. In Dhaka, all Hindu celebrations begin here. Devotees are always dressed brightly and in a happy mood when they visit. Anyone visiting Bangladesh should pay a visit to the Dhakeshwari Temple.
Lalbagh Fort: Lalbagh Fort is a 17th-century Mughal fort that was started by a Mughal prince who was the governor of Dhaka at the time. Because of a family tragedy, the building was not completed by the next governor in charge when he left. Despite this, the fort’s huge size and interior architecture attract a large number of local tourists every day. It is the most known and renowned fort and a magnificent art signature of the Mughal Empire in Bangladesh and is located in the Lalbagh neighbourhood of Old Dhaka, hence its name. Fort Aurangabad is another name for it. It is located on the Buriganga River’s bank in lush red soil.
Pink Palace: Located on the bank of the river Buriganga in Old Dhaka, Ahsan Manzil (or the Pink Palace) was the home of Dhaka’s most powerful family, the feudal landowners under British administration in the Indian Subcontinent. The Nawab family bought a modest plot of land in the early 1800s and erected this magnificent palace on it over the next few decades as their wealth grew. With the end of British rule, the palace began to deteriorate. The property was later purchased by the Bangladeshi government, which renovated it and established it as a museum. For everyone visiting Bangladesh, Ahsan Manzil is a must-see sight.
Sadarghat River Port: The river Buriganga is home to Old Dhaka’s live and bustling river port and waterfront. It is one of Dhaka’s most vibrant areas. The Sadarghat Launch Terminal is one of the world’s largest river ports. According to terminal management, people utilize the terminal daily for departure and arrival. Visiting this location is a riot; you may see things that you will never see anywhere else on the globe. The River Buriganga is the lifeblood of Old Dhaka, despite being filthy and muddy. It’s exciting to see the enormous river ferries, which are overcrowded with people and local food, as well as the loading and unloading activity at the riverfront’s decrepit warehouses. Small wooden boats pack their trade-in between triple-decked ferries docked along the jetty’s side. As boats depart and arrive from the countryside, the scream of sirens sounds like an air raid.
Star Mosque: The Star Mosque is a few meters away from the Armenian Church in Armanitola, Old Dhaka. It is one of Old Dhaka’s most well-known tourist attractions. Mosaics adorn both the inside and outside of the mosque. The outside wall between the doors is covered in glazed tiles with a Mount Fuji theme, and the upper half of the facade is adorned with a crescent-and-star design. On the white marble domes, hundreds of blue stars have been carved. The motif of stars dominates the embellishments throughout the mosque, earning it the name Star Mosque (Tara Masjid in Bengali).
In a Nutshell with Conclusion.
- Bahadur Shah Park is a 19th-century park that serves as a community exercise area.
- Dhaka City’s river terminal is Sadarghat.
- Shakhari Bazar is a historically Hindu area noted for the makers of Shakharis (conch musical instruments). The Shakhari also use the shells to manufacture bracelets.
- The Northbrook Hall Auditorium, which was opened in 1881, is a venue for art exhibitions.
- Old Dhaka is known for its Morog (Chicken) Pulao, which differs from typical biriyani in that it contains both turmeric and malai (milk cream).
- Bulbul Academy of Fine Arts, located in Old Dhaka, is a historic art school.
- The former Dhaka Central Jail has been converted into a museum. In 1788, the jail was established as a criminal ward. It housed nearly 8,000 inmates when it closed in 2016.
- Poush (পৌষ), Bangladesh’s first winter month comes with a lot of different cuisines.
- Bongshal Pond is a communal pool and gathering place in Tanti Bazaar.
- The night before Eid, Chaand Raat, is commemorated with fireworks.
- Shia Muslims have Taazia processions at Hossaaini and Barha Katra at the festival of Muharram.
In conclusion, Dhaka is both the capital and the largest city of Bangladesh, with tall buildings towering above the surrounding houses. The city is rich in history and culture, and it is known around the world as “the City of Mosques and Muslin.” No trip to Bangladesh is complete unless it includes a stop in Dhaka. Today, the damage from the war of liberation is almost negligible, and instead of seeing chaos and rubble, you are more likely to notice beautiful old and new architecture, as well as a major waterfront filled with a variety of different boats of all shapes and colours. The city is never short of things to do. People are friendly and welcoming. Dhaka is an excellent place to explore.