Thursday, October 31, 2013

Gopalganj: The Mausoleum of Bongobondhu

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Earlier this morning, today we have visited the SM Sultan Memorial and later came to the Gopalganj district(গোপালগঞ্জ জেলা) through a long journey. It wasn't that much comfortable. We have to used several poor local bus services on our way. Local bus of Narail(নড়াইল) wasn't that much comprehensive, but it was awesome at Gopalganj(গোপালগঞ্জ). The highway was smooth and wide enough, and had lot of spaces, even inside the local bus either. From Gopalganj(গোপালগঞ্জ) we have visited the Court Mosque and later moved for the Tungipara(টুঙ্গিপারা) to visit the Mausoleum of Bongobondhu(বঙ্গবন্ধু).

Its another bright and sunny day and we have just entered inside the premise.

We have reached at Tungipara(টুঙ্গিপারা) after having a 30-35 minutes of bus journey from the town. Being Saturday, and also for the middle of the day, the road was totally vacant, and also the mausoleum. It seemed like we were the only travelers there for that time, later few more added. It was a vast area, but all together only 5/6 visitors were exploring the things.

Its probably the minaret of the mosque, and look at the sky!!

For your information, it doesn't require any ticket to visit the mausoleum. It was a very bright and sunny day. The sky was full with clouds and that time, everything was looking awesome. In fact I was trying to shot only the clouds from the sky using my camera.

The gallery of the open stage.

But after entering inside the mausoleum, it had a rain for 20-30 minutes. So we had to stay under a roof. This time we have explored the display gallery that was having lot of photos of Bongobondhu(বঙ্গবন্ধু) from different occasions and times. It is probably a gallery and library together, I can't remember right now. It has an open stage with an 'audience gallery' beside the library.

Open stage for cultural program may be.

After disappearing the rain, we have moved for the grave of Bongobondhu(বঙ্গবন্ধু). It requires to go through a long path from the gallery to the grave. The grave is covered under a nicely designed structure. I have seen few people were reciting the Holy Qur'an there. Everyone is allowed to enter inside the structure, but not allowed to take any photographs. I don't know why, but there may be some reason.

The rain is just started.

After exploring everything around, we have returned back from there and came outside. There have several fast food shops which basically sell the Chotpoti(চটপটি) and Fuchka(ফুচকা). We just required to have a sit for a while for refresment. Also we had no changes in our hand, all were big monetary notes. So we have decided to have few snacks from there, that would help us to change the currency as well as provide some rest.

View of outside as soon as the rain is disappeared.

It had a vast paddy field beside that area. Mostly were under water as it was rainy season. The sky was full with clouds. The gentle bridge was bonus and awesome. So the taste of the snacks weren't that much important that time. I wanted to prolong our staying further, but couldn't as we had to move for our next destination. In fact it was the Arpara Munsi Bari that we have explored after leaving the place.

Gallery inside the library for visitors.

How to Go:

The mausoleum of Bongobondhu(বঙ্গবন্ধু) is located at the Tungipara Upazela(টুঙ্গিপারা উপজেলা) of Gopalganj district(গোপালগঞ্জ জেলা). To visit this mausoleum, you have to come to the Tungipara(টুঙ্গিপারা) first. Here are the steps to visit this place.

1) Take a bus from the Launch Ghat of Gopalganj(গোপালগঞ্জ) town. Just ride on a bus that will go beside the Tungipara(টুঙ্গিপারা). It will basically drop you at the Patgati of Tungipara(পাটগাতী, টুঙ্গিপারা). Bus fare will be 25 Taka per person. GPS Coordinate of the Patgati(পাটগাতী) is (22°53'40.30"N, 89°53'25.90"E).

2) Take a battery drive vehicle to reach at the Mausoleum from the Patgati(পাটগাতী). It will be 10 Taka per person and will take around 6-10 minutes.

GPS Coordinate of the Mausoleum is (22°54'15.29"N, 89°53'56.11"E).

A lovely interior inside the library.

About Bongobondhu(বঙ্গবন্ধু):

More detail about Bongobondhu(বঙ্গবন্ধু) can be found from the following wikipedia link.

Photo of Young Bongobondhu, I have seen this on wikipedia before.

A road inside the premise.

This attractive monument holds the grave of Bongobondhu inside.

This attractive monument holds the grave of Bongobondhu inside.

This attractive monument holds the grave of Bongobondhu inside.

This attractive monument holds the grave of Bongobondhu inside.

Bongobondhu lived here.

The dome of the mosque, and the clouds.

A magnificent path through the lights and shades.

This is what I was enjoying while I was having my snacks outside the mausoleum.

The mausoleum of Bongobondhu,
Upazela: Tungipara(টুঙ্গিপারা),
District: Gopalganj(গোপালগঞ্জ),
Country: Bangladesh,
GPS Coordinate (22°54'15.29"N, 89°53'56.11"E).

This article is written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Kishoreganj: Kutub Shahi Mosjid(কুতুব শাহী মসজিদ)

Friday, 06 September 2013

It was our Haor(হাওর) trip at Astagram of Kishoreganj(অষ্টগ্র্রাম, কিশোরগঞ্জ জেলা). Astagram(অষ্টগ্র্রাম) is mainly an Upazela(উপজেলা) of Kishoreganj district(কিশোরগঞ্জ জেলা). This Astagram(অষ্টগ্র্রাম) is looks like an island at the middle of water during rainy season. It has a beautiful mosque that was built during the Mughal(মুঘল) era. The communication of Astagram(অষ্টগ্র্রাম) is not that much good, its totally based on the boat and launches. That's why the name of the mosque is not that much heard by the tourists.

Name of the mosque is Kutub Shahi Mosque(কুতুব শাহী মসজিদ). This is basically a five dome mosque. One larger dome is at the center, and other four domes are near at the corner of the mosque. This is a rectangular shaped mosque and typical smaller one. That's why all the domes atop are jammed together.

Central dome of the Kutub Shah Mosque(কুতুব শাহী মসজিদ) is slightly semi spherical shaped and the other four domes are the shape of oval(half of the oval). Each of the domes are having upside down like flowering ornate at the top.

There is a doubt available between the scholars regarding the building period of the mosque. Some believe its 16th century and some believe its from 17th century. Whatever it is, the mosque was build by a saint named Kutub Shah(কুতুব শাহ), and the name of the mosque is taken after him. His grave is located exactly beside the mosque along with other of his companions(my assumption).

How to Go:

As this mosque is located at the Astagram of Kishoreganj district(অষ্টগ্র্রাম, কিশোরগঞ্জ জেলা), you have to go there to visit this. Please check the How to Go section from the following article

You can take a rickshaw or have a walk to reach the mosque after reaching at the Launch Ghat. GPS Coordinate of the Launch Ghat is (24°16'21.43"N, 91° 6'12.13"E). It will be around 8-10 minutes rickshaw distance, but the rickshaw fare is much higher there. It will be around 30-50 for that small piece of ride.

GPS Coordinate of the Kutub Shahi Mosque(কুতুব শাহী মসজিদ) is (24°16'44.42"N, 91° 6'39.17"E).

Few graves are located at the Southern side of the mosque.

Few graves are located at the Southern side of the mosque.

Kutub Shahi Mosjid(কুতুব শাহী মসজিদ),
Upazila: Astagram(অষ্টগ্র্রাম),
District: Kishoreganj(কিশোরগঞ্জ),
Country Bangladesh,
GPS coordinate (24°16'44.42"N, 91° 6'39.17"E).

This article is written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Jessore: Mirzanogor Hammamkhana(মির্জানগর হাম্মামখানা)

Friday, 21 June 2013

Mirzanogor Hammamkhana(মির্জানগর হাম্মামখানা) is a strange architecture if you do not know much about it. Cause only this edifice is existing now a days, and rest of it's contemporary edifices are vanished. This is basically a bath room. A huge fort like mansion was available near this place. People from that mansion used to take a bath here. But now a days only this building is available and its amid of a village surrounded by trees and fields.

This is known as Hammamkhana(হাম্মামখানা), located at the village Mirzanogor(মির্জানগর) of Trimohini Union(ত্রিমোহিনী ইউনিয়ন) of Keshobpur Upazela(কেশবপুর উপজেলা). Trimohini(ত্রিমোহিনী) is a place where a river created two brunches, one is Kopotakkho river(কপোতাক্ষ নদ), and other one is Boribhodra river(বুড়িভদ্রা নদী). Both of the rivers are moribund in condition now a days. A Fouzdar(ফৌজদার) named Mirza Safsi Khan(মীর্জা সাফসি খান) lived here. Actually he created that fort like mansion along with this Hammamkhana(হাম্মামখানা). The village name Mirzanogor(মির্জানগর) is taken after his name. He was the son of brother-in-law of Shah Suja(শাহ শুজা), a Subedar(সুবেদার) of Bengal.

Each of the domes has a room beneath. Each of the rooms are having bathtubs in different shapes, sizes, and depths.

Mirzanogor Hammamkhana(মির্জানগর হাম্মামখানা) has three dome at the top. Each of the domes are having a room under those. Spherical shaped domes are having a hole at the middle of those. It is probably to have the sunlight to pass through it to aid the lighting system. Rooms are much darker inside as only one window is available each at the first two rooms, and those are very small in size. The rooms are having several bathtubs and each of those are having in different shapes, sizes, and heights.

Eastern side of the Hammamkhana(হাম্মামখানা) has a water well inside a round shaped structure. The servants used to pull water from this well and poured the tubs which are at the roof. The water from those tubs used to get heat from the sunlight. Later the water used to send at the bathtubs inside the room through a pipe made from burnt bricks.

Entrance to the Mirzanogor Hammamkhana(মির্জানগর হাম্মামখানা).

This is the first room. The bathtubs from this room are having less depth.

It was after the 05:00 pm at afternoon when we have reached at Mirzanogor Hammamkhana(মির্জানগর হাম্মামখানা). Also the place was surrounded by lot of trees. So it was slight darker at outside, and inside was much more darker. Most of the photos of this article were taken using night mode settings of camera.

We came here immediately after visiting the Shekhpura Mosque. After visiting this place, we have moved for the Khajura Baor which was very near from this place.

Inside the second room. These doors lead towrds the third room.

How to Go:

Mirzanogor Hammamkhana(মির্জানগর হাম্মামখানা) is located at the village Mirzanogor(মির্জানগর) of Trimohini union(ত্রিমোহিনী ইউনিয়ন) of Keshobpur Upazela(কেশবপুর উপজেলা). Basically this place is few minutes before the Trimohini Baazar(ত্রিমোহিনী বাজার). GPS coordinate of the Trimohini Bazaar(ত্রিমোহিনী বাজার) is (22°54'22.76"N, 89° 8'18.79"E). Anyway, you can come here using several routes and options.

1) Jessore(যশোর) - Monirampur(মনিরামপুর) - Keshabpur(কেশবপুর) - Trimohini(ত্রিমোহিনী).

2) Jessore(যশোর) - Monirampur(মনিরামপুর) - Rajganj(রাজগঞ্জ) - Trimohini(ত্রিমোহিনী).

From Trimohini(ত্রিমোহিনী), you can take a van or motorbike to reach at this place. Or you can have a walk if you want. GPS coordinate of the Mirzanogor Hammamkhana(মির্জানগর হাম্মামখানা) is (22°53'52.24"N, 89° 8'49.01"E).

Inside the second room.

Looking outside from the second room, through teh door of the second and the first room.

A hole on the room, middle of the dome. It helps to come the light inside the room.

Inside the pool like bathtub from the third room.

Third room has two bathtubs. One is smaller but having more depth, and the other one is bigger, but less depth.

Closer took towards the bathtub. It has lot of trashes inside.

Light is coming through the hole from the top.

Again, looking back. Left side door leads to the bigger bathtubs, and the right side door leads towards the smaller bathtubs.

This compartment holds a water well.

View of the water well.

View of Mirzanogor Hammamkhana(মির্জানগর হাম্মামখানা) from the back side..

Mirzanogor Hammamkhana(মির্জানগর হাম্মামখানা),
Village: Mirjanogor(মির্জানগর),
Union: Trimohini(ত্রিমোহিনী),
Upazela: Keshabpur(কেশবপুর),
District: Jessore(যশোর),
Country: Bangladesh
GPS Coordinate (22°53'52.24"N, 89° 8'49.01"E)

This article is written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Kishoreganj: A massive Haor from Astagram(অষ্টগ্রাম হাওড়)

Friday, 06 September 2013

It has been a long time since I made the last tour. After keeping the busyness aside, I have planned for another tour, and this time it was at the Ostogram of Kishoreganj district(অষ্টগ্র্রাম, কিশোরগঞ্জ জেলা). It was the later part of the rainy season, so decided to explore the Haor(হাওড়) from the Ostogram(অষ্টগ্র্রাম). For your information, six of the Upazela(উপজেলা) of Kishoreganj(কিশোরগঞ্জ) hold a massive Haor(হাওড়) all together. This Haor(হাওড়) is further extended with the Haor(হাওড়) from Netrakona(নেত্রকোনা), Hobiganj(হবিগঞ্জ), and Sunamganj(সুনামগঞ্জ) district. During the rainy season you can easily move from one Haor(হাওড়) to another without interruption.

For this particular tour, our only plan was to visit the Haor(হাওড়) from Ostogram(অষ্টগ্র্রাম), Mithamoin(মিঠামইন), and Itna(ইটনা). Initially my plan was for two days, but unfortunately we had to return back within the same day as the boatman was afraid to move forward during the night. His fear was the unwanted robbers as well as the shallow water at where the boat can get stuck with land(specially the island between the paddy fields).

We have fixed a boat for 4000 Taka. He was hired to visit Ostogram(অষ্টগ্র্রাম), then Mithamoin(মিঠামইন), and the Itna Upazela(ইটনা উপজেলা) of Kishoreganj district(কিশোরগঞ্জ জেলা). My cousin lives there, so I could have stayed there easily. It was around 12:00 at the noon when we have hired the boat, and I was expecting around 8/9 hours to reach at the final destination. Which means 8:00 at night. The boat was hired from the Kuliarchor of Kishoreganj district(কুলিয়ারচর, কিশোরগঞ্জ জেলা).

The village inside the Haor(হাওর) looks like an island similar to this photo.

Though we ran out by time and returned back directly from Ostogram(অষ্টগ্র্রাম). I mean through the same route. So I have paid the boatman an amount of 2000 Taka for this, and additional 200 taka as the man was slightly older and personally I liked his smile. I just bought that smile for another 200 Taka, in total I have paid 2200 Taka for the round trip from Ostogram(অষ্টগ্র্রাম).

It was a massive water world around us since the boat has departed from the launch Ghat. It was only water all around, and few island like villages amid of the water. Initially there were few fishing boats were available around, but slowly their count was diminishing. Only the island like villages around us and nothing else. It was a monotonous view, but I was enjoying the gentle breeze that was hitting on my face after kissing the surface of the water. I am a traveler and I always find out every bit of my traveling interesting.

Life in a Haor(হাওর) is not that much easy. It is always surrounded by the water during rainy season. Its a big problem for them and they are in a predicament with this massive water. It gives them a facility to travel easily using a boat. So during the rainy season they can travel from one place to another very easily. Even local people from there use to arrange the marriage ceremony during this particular time for the better communication.

A boat amid of Haor(হাওর) caring goods.

But they can not do any cultivation during this rainy period. They only depend on the fishing and no other works. All the cultivating activities are done during the dry season(locally known as late autumn), and its only once in a year. They use to cultivate for one season and use to run their family with that little amount of grains throughout the year. But during this dry season, their main transportation is walking. No other option is available. So they are confused to decide about which season is better for them. A common proverb from the Haor(হাওর) region is:

বর্ষায় নাউ, হেমন্তে পাউ...

It is very hard to find an ample amount of empty spaces from the villages(or should I say islands?) of Haor(হাওর). Everything is tightly packed and very much congested. The lavatory, kitchen, house, and all the other stuffs are in the same place. Even the domestic animals are also living so closely with them. It looks beautiful from far, specially when you are sitting on a boat and traveling. But practically its too much dirty all around and they are accustomed to this.

The sewerage water from the lavatory is dropping at the water beside their house. They are having a bath on the same water beside the sewerage dropping zone. Even they are also cleaning their dishes and taking water for cooking from the same place. They can use the tube well water, but they somehow like the water from Haor(হাওর) as it is iron and arsenic free. You can enjoy their daily life works and household works from the boat easily.

After reaching at the Astagram(অষ্টগ্র্রাম), we have visited the Kutub Shah Mosque(কুতুব শাহ মসজিদ) from there and bought few snacks to enjoy on the boat. We have stayed at the Astagram(অষ্টগ্র্রাম) for an hour or more and then returned back to Kuliarchor(কুলিয়ারচর) using the same path. A launch service uses to run between Astagram(অষ্টগ্র্রাম) and Kuliarchor(কুলিয়ারচর). Its probably in every hour or in every two hours(I forgot this). Anyone can take the service from those small ships as well.

I have enjoyed this tour a lot. It was a different kind of tour. Not that much hectic. It was kind of a relaxing tour and I needed this break after having a long working days. Apart from this I have learned more about the people and their life from a close proximity. It has enhanced my experience and will help me to go further.

Look at this. Its huge and seems endless.

What is Haor(হাওর):

Local people pronounces the word Ha(হ) as Sa(স). Along with other native language cataclysm they use to pronounce the word Shagor(সাগর) as Haor(হাওর). For your information the word Shagor(সাগর) means Ocean in Bengali. So literally, people from this particular area think this water body as a massive ocean and thus they call this as Haor(হাওর). This particular poem will help you to understand the perception of a poet about the Haor(হাওর).

মাটির উপরে জলের বসতি, জলের উপর ঢেউ...
ঢেউয়ের সাথে পবনের পিরিতি, নগরে জানেনা কেউ...

How to Go:

There are several ways you can enjoy the Haor(হাওর) from Kishoreganj district(কিশোরগঞ্জ জেলা). In fact you'll find lot of other places to enjoy the immensity of the Haor(হাওর). For example Nikli(নিকলী), Mithamoin(মিঠামইন), Itna(ইটনা) are the other places at where you'll find the same thing. But if you are planning to enjoy the Haor(হাওর) from Ostogram(অষ্টগ্র্রাম), then here are the steps.

It is obvious that you have to hire a boat for this particular tour. Also you can ride on the local public launches as a passenger, but I'll not recommend that for you. That's a passenger ship, you won't enjoy it as lot of curious eyes will always focus you and record your activities inside their memory. So better hire a boat, and it can be found at Kuliarchor(কুলিয়ারচর), Bajitpur(বাজিতপুর), or even at Bhoirob bazaar(ভৈরব বাজার). Just decide from where you want to hire it and how far you want to go. GPS coordinate of the Kuliarchor(কুলিয়ারচর) is (24° 9'5.03"N, 90°56'2.62"E).

I have already mentioned about the pricing. I have paid total 2200 taka for the round trip from Kuliarchor(কুলিয়ারচর) and Ostogram(অষ্টগ্র্রাম). In your case it can be similar, but keep in mind that it can be around 2500-3000 Taka based on the boat's availability as well as your ostentatious 'city boy' behavior. It takes around 2 hours and 15 minutes to reach at Astagram(অষ্টগ্র্রাম). During returning it took less than 2 hours. Probably 110 minutes as it was returning with the flow of the water. GPS Coordinate of the Astagram(অষ্টগ্র্রাম) is (24°16'35.39"N, 91° 7'17.99"Ed).

There is an ancient mosque available at Astagram(অষ্টগ্র্রাম) which is named as Kutub Shah Mosque(কুতুব শাহ মসজিদ). You must have to visit the mosque as you have gone to close to the mosque.

A public transport boat to ease the communication of local people.

Fishing is going on.

A pristine view of the Haor(হাওর) with village.

Villages of Haor(হাওর) are usually congested like this photograph. Its very hard to find an empty inches from there.

A closer look towards a typical Haor(হাওর) village.

Another closer look towards the village.

A shelter for hurricane or tornado.

A falcon is waiting sharply for it's prey.

A sailed boat amid of Haor(হাওর).

A dredging machine, name is Nana Nati Dredger-4(নানা নাতি ড্রেজার-৪).

This kind of view is very common. Its comes again and again, again and again.

Interestingly the water of this portion is muddy. I suspect its the converging point of multiple rivers.

People from the boat were curious about us. What exactly we were doing there!

A Lonely Tree like the Lonely Traveler.

This type of boats were vastly seen once upon a time in Bangladesh, but now its kind of a rare view.

People use this water for most of their needs starting from cooking/cleaning of dishes to bath and for regular household works.

A beautiful sky, we have vied with this cloud for while.

Again another common village. We thought its Astagram(অষ্টগ্র্রাম), but it wasn't.

One of the beautiful views from the day. The whole day was gloomy, but didn't rain.

A mosque at Astagram(অষ্টগ্র্রাম).

This is the famous Kutub Shah Mosque(কুতুব শাহ মসজিদ) from Astagram(অষ্টগ্র্রাম).

Another day from our life is about to take a bye and we were returning from where we have started.

A beautiful sailing boat. I have an inclination towards this kind of sailing boats. These are picturesquely beautiful.

People are busy even at the end of the day.

More boatmen and more natural Bangladeshi view.

This is how a Haor(হাওর) looks like when the sun is down, or about to down.

A fisherman is busy with placing his fishing net.

Local people. Not sure whether its a public boat or not. Cause most of the people from this Haor own a boat for communication. Its mandatory for them to own a family boat.

My travel mate clicked this silence. We were almost near to the end of our journey. They day is almost finished. This old man is standing near at the end of his life. I don't know what was he thinking while sitting there like this one. But for surely it was another day gone from his life like any other days. Similarly it was another traveling day from my traveling life. He doesn't know what will happen tomorrow, I don't know where I'll go next time. He'll die someday, I'll do too. One day new people will replace both of us. And on, and on, and, on...

Haor at Astagram(অষ্টগ্রাম হাওড়),
Upazela: Astagram(অষ্টগ্রাম),
District: Kishoreganj,
Country: Bangladesh

This article is written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog