Bangladesh is blessed with natural beauty as well as with numerous other tourist attractions to soothe the eyes of domestic and international tourists. She has beautiful beaches along with the longest beach in the world. Bangladesh’s tourist attractions include archaeological sites, historical mosques and monuments, resorts, beaches, picnic spots, forests and tribal people and wildlife of various species. Bangladesh offers ample opportunities to tourists for angling, water skiing, river cruising, hiking, rowing, yachting, sea bathing as well as bringing one in close touch with pristine nature.
Lonely Planet ranked Bangladesh as the best value destination for the year 2011.The country possesses some unique archaeological sites, cultural heritage and eco-tourism products like the world’s largest mangrove forest with Royal Bengal Tiger and spotted deer – the Sundarbans in the south-western part, the world’s longest (120 km) unbroken sea beach in Cox’s Bazar, the oldest archaeological site in the Southern Himalayas – Paharpur in Naogaon and the world’s largest terracotta temple – Kantaji Temple in Dinajpur. Besides, there are spectacular monuments and mausoleums of the language movement and the liberation war of the country here and there. Country’s largest and most ancient archaeological site is Mahasthangarh in Bogra. In the north-eastern part, Sylhet division, there is a green carpet of tea plants on small hillocks. Migratory birds in winter, particularly in the haor areas, are also very attractive in this area.
Thus tourism spots are almost proportionately distributed all over the country. However, despite having much potentials, tourism in Bangladesh is a slowly developing foreign currency earner.
Some Tourist Destinations in Bangladesh
Cox’s Bazaar: Cox’s Bazaar is termed as the tourist capital of Bangladesh. Miles of golden sands, towering cliffs, surfing waves, rare conch shells, colorful pagodas, Buddhist temples and tribes and delightful sea-food are the charms of Cox’s Bazar. Having the world’s longest beach sloping gently down to the blue waters of the Bay of Bengal, Cox’s Bazar is one of the most attractive tourist spots in the country. It is located at a distance of 154 km. south of Chittagong. Cox’s Bazar is connected both by air and road from Dhaka and Chittagong.
Besides, the longest sea-beach, Cox’s Bazaar and its adjoining areas have a lot of things to see and places deserve visit by the tourists. There are a few very old wooden Buddhist temples at Ramu, a few kilometers from Cox’s Bazar. A drive to Teknaf, the southernmost tip of the mainland, is a memorable journey. A day trip to either Moheshkhali or Sonadia, the deltaic islands nestled among the gentle waves of the Bay of Bengal, will also be really interesting.
Shundarbans: The Sundarbans, the largest mangrove forest of the world, is a cluster of islands. The total area of the Sundarbans reserved forest, including the West Bengal portion, comprises of 10,000 sq. km., of which Bangladesh portion is 6017 sq.km., inclusive of new emerging islands. ‘Subdarbans’ offer splendid wildlife habitat supporting 333 species of plant, 400 spices of fishes and 425 species of wildlife among of which 49 species mammals, 315 bird species, 53 reptiles and 8 amphibians. The larger terrestrial mammals are Royal Bengal Tiger, spotted deer, Rhesus and Indian smooth otter. The giant salt-water crocodiles, Rock Python, Monitor Lizards and King Cobra are the prominent species of reptile group.
Considering the great value of Sundarbans it has become the part of world heritage, as declared by UNESCO. So the journey to this wonderful jungle will be very much rewarding to know the unknown. This unsurpassed jungle is only accessible by boat. The most attractive wildlife sanctuary and eco-tourism spots of Sundarbans are Katka, Kachikhali, Tiger Point, Egg Island, Dubla Beach, Hiron Point, Tinkona, Mandarbaria, Kalirchair, Pushpakathi.
Bandarban: The Bandarban hill district is 92 km. distant from Chittagong and is situated in the southwest flank of Myanmar hill range. This is the most attractive place to visit and to get a touch of tribal life, luminous valley covered with dense forest, enchanting spring and falls, panoramic lake and ideal for hill tracking. Here you will see the Moorang tribal villages, traditional markets and Buddhist Temple. In an eco tourist lodge you will enjoy an overwhelming scenic surroundings and natural set-up during your stay in the cottage. Visit Shaila Prepat and Chimbook Hill. Trekking to the hilltop (3800 feet high pick) has got a spectacular natural attraction, specially to witness the sunrise and sunset will give you a sensational experience.
Paharpur: Paharpur is a picturesque village of Jamalganj in Noagoan district. The biggest Buddhist monastery in the south of Himalayas having gigantic pyramidal temple is here. The Paharpur Museum has got the rich collection of a terracotta plaque, images of different gods & goddesses including the Buddhist status, relics, copper plates and other objects. Architecturally and historically Paharpur Vihara is a treasured heritage of the world.
Mohasthangarh: Mohasthangarh is invariably an ancient fortified city acclaimed to be the oldest settlement and the most prominent archaeological site of Bangladesh. The oldest layer dates back to 300 B.C. The ancient Pundranagar, the capital of Emperor Chandragupta, the founder of Moyura dynasty was located here. The rich archaeological museum of Mohasthangarh have got rare collection of antiquities, terracotta objects with many other relics recovered from the site.
Information for Sri Lankan Tourists
Bangladesh High Commission follows a liberal policy of visa for Sri Lankan nationals. In view of similarity of culture and appearance, Sri Lankan tourists are very much welcome among the common people of Bangladesh. The Buddhist heritage sites and mild winter of Bangladesh are particularly attractive for Sri Lankan tourists.
Tourism in Bangladesh is particularly easy for Sri Lankans in view of commonalities of cultural and administrative systems, emanating from Commonwealth legacy, particularly the language of English. Relatives of Sri Lankan expatriates and students living in Bangladesh find it particularly interesting to visit Bangladesh.
The operation of direct flights between Dhaka and Colombo by Mihin Lanka Airlines is of great convenience to passengers. The presence of resident Sri Lankan High Commission in Dhaka or Honorary Consulate of Sri Lanka in Chittagong is also reassuring to the tourists as an institution to turn to in case of any need.