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  • Overview

    With more than 21 million inhabitants, Dhaka is certainly a megacity. Also known as the City of Mosques and the Rickshaw Capital of the World, Bangladesh's capital is as frenetic as it is welcoming.

    The Buddhist kingdom of Kamarupa, the Hindu Sena Dynasty, and the Islamic Mughal Empire all ruled for periods until the British colonised the area. Bangladesh declared its independence from Pakistan in 1971.

    Since then, Dhaka has developed into a modern city and a centre for culture, industry, commerce, and politics in South Asia. However, a visit to Old Dhaka will give visitors a glimpse of a more traditional way of life. Roadside bazaars and crowded docks are a striking counterpoint to the gleaming shopping malls and expensive restaurants of neighbourhoods such as Gulshan and Banani.

    Dhaka's colourful history means it has a wealth of churches, mosques, temples, and monasteries. The Baitul Mukarram Mosque, the Kamalapur Buddhist Monastery, and the Saat Masjid are among the city's must-see places.

    The Liberation War Museum, the National Museum, the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum, and the Charukola Institute of Arts and Crafts are also worth visiting. Other enjoyable activities include a cruise on the Sadarghat River Front, or a picnic in the lush Baldha Garden.

    Dhaka is noisy, crowded and friendly. Adventurous travellers will love its energy.

    Phrase Book

    English Pronounciation
    Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport
    Location: Five miles (8km) north of downtown Dhaka
    Time: Local time is GMT/UCT + 6
    Getting to the city: An airport shuttle bus runs regularly to Dhaka. Taxis and tuk-tuks are also available.
    Car Rental: A host of Bangladeshi car rental companies are available.
    Facilities: Currency exchange counters, post office, duty-free shopping, ATMs, small restaurants, and car-hire kiosks are available.
    Parking Long and short-term parking is available.

    Companies flying to Dhaka