Thursday, October 30, 2014

Dhaka: Lalbagh Kella (লালবাগ কেল্লা)

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Lalbagh Fort (লালবাগ কেল্লা) is an unfinished fort that is located at the Lalbagh (লালবাগ) of Old Dhaka. The construction was initiated under the direction of Azam Shah (আজম শাহ), the third son of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb (মোঘল সম্রাট আওরঙ্গজেব) during 1678. His construction was thwarted as he was summoned back to Delhi to fight against the Marathi (মারাঠী). Later on Shayesta Khan (শায়েস্তা খাঁ) continued the construction during 1680. But unfortunately his beloved daughter Pori Bibi (পরী বিবি) had died that time and he considered this fort as a bad omen, and thus he never completed this task anymore (after 1684).

The Lalbag fort (লালবাগ কেল্লা) has three main edifices apart from the fort itself. It has a three domes mosque at the western side, and a Hammam Khana (হাম্মাম খানা) at the eastern side. Middle of these two it has a tomb (of Pori Bibi). This tomb was built using rich materials (considering that time) like marble stone, black basalt, etc. At the center chamber of this square shaped complex the beloved daughter of Shayesta Khan (শায়েস্তা খাঁ) was buried.

At the roof of the conference hall.

The mosque is publicly open for the public to practice their daily prayer. And the Hammam Khana (হাম্মাম খানা) is serving as a museum which exhibits the used materials like knifes, dress, guns from that time. Right now the second floor is not open (but it was when I have visited there long time back as a kid).

The mausoleum of Pori Bibi (পরী বিবি).

The fort has three main facades and only one is open these days. These gates are at the northern side of the fort. At southern side it has several high walls which were the part of the main fortification. I believe these were designed to be a part of the high pathway for patrolling. This fort was totally abandoned for a long period. Later it was renovated, but still the only remaining portion of the wall is in very dilapidated condition.

The mausoleum of Pori Bibi (পরী বিবি).

How to Go:

This Lalbag Kella (লালবাগ কেল্লা) is located at the Older part of Dhaka. It is very easy to access. You can ask any rickshaw puller from Gulistan (গুলিস্তান) to drop you there. The GPS coordinate of the fort is (23°43'10.73"N, 90°23'17.28"E).

Hammam Khana (হাম্মাম খানা).

Ticket, Opening and Closing:

This fort remains open Tuesday to Saturday. The ticket price is 5 taka for the kids. And 20 taka for the adults. For the foreigner its 100 taka per person.

A threes dome mosque at the western side of the fort.

The river Burigonga (বুড়িগঙ্গা) is very near from this place. You can have a boat ride from there if you have time in hand. Around the rainy season the Burigonga (বুড়িগঙ্গা) river very enjoyable for the visitors. GPS coordinate of Sowari Ghat (সোয়ারী ঘাট) beside the Burigonga (বুড়িগঙ্গা) river is (23°42'40.46"N, 90°23'40.06"E).

A three domes mosque at the western side of the fort.

Aerial view inside the fort complex.

Main part of the fortification wall now in dilapidated condition.

Main part of the fortification wall now in dilapidated condition.

Knives from that era are in exhibition.

A dressed up soldier that imitate the soldier of that period.

These guns were used by the solder from that period.

An array of old rifles.

Lalbag Kella (লালবাগ কেল্লা),
Dhaka, Bangladesh,
GPS coordinate: 23°43'10.73"N, 90°23'17.28"E

This article is written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Indian Roller (নীলকন্ঠ পাখি) - Coracias benghalensis

Bengali Name : Nilkontho (নীলকন্ঠ), Nilkanto (নীলকান্ত).
Common Name : Indian Roller.
Scientific Name : Coracias benghalensis
Family : Coraciidae

It is a very beautiful and colorful small bird from our country. It's name is Neel Kontho (নীলকন্ঠ), Neel Kanto (নীলকান্ত), etc. Rest of the world commonly knows this bird as Indian Roller as it does twists and turnings in air like aerobatic display. It's scientific name is Coracias benghalensis. The species name benghalensis came after the Bengal which means its pretty much native to our Bengal region. It belongs to the family Coraciidae.

This colorful bird is most beautiful when its on the fly. The wings are having a delicate touch of deep blue and light blue. It's breast is brownish and that distinguish it from European Roller which is almost similar. Indian Roller has a blue crown (or head). Male female birds are not that much distinguishable.

Indian Roller uses to perch on a high branch of a tree. They descend to ground for feeding and mostly are insects like beetles, crickets, grasshoppers, etc. Their breeding time is May-June and they make nest on the holes on tree (made by woodpecker) or buildings. It has a harsh chack sound which is nearly similar to crow.

Otin Bondhopaddhay (অতীন বন্দ্যোপাধ্যায়) wrote a novel in Bengali language named Nilkontho Pakhir Khoje (নীলকন্ঠ পাখির খোঁজে). I didn't read this book ever. From the name of the book I thought (when I was a kid) its a fictional bird and never existed in real.

The Roller is perched on high and preening.

Photos of this article were taken from the Sajek of Rangamati (সাজেক, রাঙামাটি). It was just before the sunset, the light was low and the Roller was slightly far from me and was perching on a tree amid the valley in small hills. It was the month of September 2014.

Photos of this article were taken from Bangladesh (বাংলাদেশ) during the year 2014.

26 September 2014: Rangamati (রাঙামাটি)

This article is written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog

শেষ বিকেলের পাখী, আমি যাযাবর

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Brahmanbaria: A Day Trip to Dhoronti (ধরন্তি)

Tuesday, 07 October 2014

Dhoronti (also spelled as Dharanti (ধরন্তি) or Dharonti (ধরন্তি)) is a beautiful watery place that is a 3 hour drive from the busy Dhaka city. Around the rainy season this place is the perfect time to visit. It is located around the road between Sarail (সরাইল) to Nasirnogor (নাসিরনগর) of Brahmanbaria (ব্রাহ্মণবাড়িয়া) district. Both sides of the road are flooded with water. You can wash your city junk and tiredness from there by having a quick day trip.

It was the day after the Holy Eid-ul-Azha and we have decided to visit Nasirnogor (নাসিরনগর). After exploring the old edifice from the Horipur (হরিপুর) we have explored Dhoronti (ধরন্তি) while returning. This place has two brunches of the famous river Titash (তিতাস). I can be wrong about the river's name though. This place has two small bridges over those river brunches. During the rainy season the river gets inundated and hence it just floods everything around it.

Basically in between the June to November this place gets filled with water and its not possible to do any cultivation here. Most of the people near the watery area usually depends upon the fishing from the Haor (হাওর), and also on cultivation during rainy season. This road wasn't there in past and people had only the boats for the transportation. This road that bisects the Haor (হাওর) now eased the communication between the Sarail (সরাইল) and Nasirnogor (নাসিরনগর). Otherwise it was a terrible experience for the locals during the dry season as they had only their feet to depend on to cover the distance.

During our visit we have found few random fishermen were doing fishing around that place. Most of the time they were with no luck. It wasn't their fault rather it was their predecessor's fault. Those old fools caught the mother fishes mercilessly during the breeding time. Nevertheless the current misfortune generation is also doing the same mistake and hence the diminutive amount of fishes on their pot after the end of the day. I believe some day our future generation will get no fish despite of having vast water and they will curse us (as I did by mentioning our predecessor as old fool just a while ago). Someone should have to be vigilant to stop accepting from this fate.

This place is basically a picnic spot for the party lovers. So during the afternoon it gets too much crowded at the weekends. You'll find few boats beside the road for hourly based renting. Also you can ride on those with other people as a group to lower your cost but to taste the flavor.

A fisherman is trying to catch fish with his fishing net.

This road is several miles long and both side of that area is packed with water. It doesn't have any houses beside the road (no space left). Neither there are trees beside the roads as well. This place is infamous for hijacking when the sun gets down. The local people will forbid you to stay there after the sunset. It doesn't matter the size of your group. They use to come with 10/15 people together to snatch things from you. So better not to wait there for the sunset. We have left this place even around at 4:30pm to avoid any odd situation.

A Lonely Boatman for a while.

How to Go:

This place is easy to access. From Dhaka you have to get down at the Sarail Bissho Road (সরাইল বিশ্ব রোড). From there you can get the CNG driven auto rickshaw that goes to Nasirnogor (নাসিরনগর) frequently. You can just get any of those. It will be around 40 Taka (may be, cause till Nasirnogor (নাসিরনগর) its 60 Taka per person). Also you can hire the CNG as your own.

From the view of water you'll know that you have reached on your target. During the exploration you can have a seat on the bridges for a while. Gps coordinate of one of such bridges is (24° 7'24.21"N, 91° 7'59.10"E). Most common bird from this area is Common Drongo (ফিঙে). Apart from this you should see the kites are flying high over the water for it's prey.

A random fishing net is set amid of the water.


Once again for your safety do not stay there after the sunset. Both the road and the river are risky that time.

This fisherman was with no luck this time.

The bridge over at Dharanti (ধরন্তি) over the river Titash (তিতাস).

Photo of the road that was taken from the vehicle. You can see the road goes straight through the Haor (হাওর).

Still beside the road. A Trawler Ghat (ট্রলার ঘাট) is available beside the road.

Local people highly depends upon this boats for transportation during wet season.

This thing is highly essential for construction. But at the same time it destroys the nature.

Name: Dharonti (ধরন্তি),
Thana: Sarail (সরাইল),
District: BrahmanBaria (ব্রাহ্মণবাড়িয়া)
Country: Bangladesh (বাংলাদেশ)
Gps Coordinate: (24° 7'24.21"N, 91° 7'59.10"E)

This article is written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Blue Jacaranda (নীলকন্ঠ ফুল) - Jacaranda mimosifolia

Bengali Name : Neel Kontho (নীলকন্ঠ), Neel Gulmohor (নীল গুলমোহর).
Common Name : Blue Jacaranda, Neel Gulmohor, etc.
Botanical Name : Jacaranda mimosifolia
Family : Bignoniaceae (jacaranda family)
Photo Taken : Bangladesh, Nepal.

I have seen very few flowers from our country which covers a tree with blue (Jarul (জারুল) is an example). Our today's flower is a similar tree covering blue flower named Blue Jacaranda, a plant that is native to South American region. Botanical name of the plant is Jacaranda mimosifolia and it belongs to the plant family Bignoniaceae. It doesn't have any authentic Bengali name, but several sources have mentioned this flower as Neel Kontho Ful (নীলকন্ঠ ফুল), Neel Gulmohor ful (নীল গুলমোহর ফুল), etc.

Blue jacaranda is a fast growing tree plant having the leafs similar (fern like pinnate leafs) to the Delonix regia plant. Its a semi deciduous plant and it gets covered with numerous blue flowers during the blooming season (usually the April/May). This plant is very suitable to grow in everywhere as it can tolerate the low temperature easily. But unfortunately this is not seen often in our country Bangladesh.

Blue Jacaranda brings flowers abundantly and its not only covers the tree but also covers the ground as well when the flowers get fallen from the trees. Color of the flower is blue, violet or lavender. Small flowers are tubular in shape and having five petals are attached at the edge of the tube. Flower turns into disk shaped woody seedpods after a successful pollination.

Photos of this article were taken from Kathmandu of Nepal during the month of April 2014. There are several roads and avenues at where I have seen this tree is being used as a part of beautification. The view of the footpath that was covered with blue flowers was picturesquely beautiful. Few of the photos were taken from Bangladesh during April 2015. We have few of this plant at Dhanmondi (ধানমণ্ডি) and Gulshan (গুলশান) area.

This article is written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Dhaka: Day trip at Trimohoni (ত্রিমোহনী)

Saturday, 11 October 2014

From the beginning of the day it has been raining continually, not a heavy one though. I have started my today's short journey at 2:30pm at the middle of the day. Through the Madartek (মাদারটেক) I have reached at the Trimohoni (ত্রিমোহনী), a village like place that is very near from our crowed Dhaka.

I had to wait for a while beside the roadside due to the rain's speed. After that I took a short stroll on the bridge over the canal for a while. I was basically inspecting the situation and the surrounding. Slowly I found few small boats were wandering around, and also carrying people as a part of local transportation. But those weren't suitable for excursion as those didn't have any roof like things to give me a shelter from the rain.

Suddenly I found a boat having a roof like thing atop, made from the polythene and the architecture was like a tin shaded house. I have hired the boat for 130 taka/hour basis and started my journey. It was still raining, but very little in amount and you can say negligible. But later the rain varied it's speed to add thrill with my exploration. Even during that period I have experienced a heavy thunderstorm almost near to our boat. It was a buzzy and scary one for us.

I have hired a boat like this small one that was having a polythene roof atop.

This canal basically falls into the nearby river named Balu (বালু নদী, I have a plan to explore that one another day). The water of the canal was slightly dirty and slightly blackish in color. It doesn't have any pungent smell but I could feel something like that. Both bank of the canal were having village like houses and lot of small medium sized trees along with bushes. The atmosphere gave me a feelings that I was very far from my busy Dhaka life despite of being so near to Dhaka.

A fisherman was catching fish.

The canal wasn't a narrower one. It was wide enough to call it a river as well. I have seen lot of fishing traps were scattered around the river (may be the fishermen were inside house due to the rain). Lot of birds, but mostly the Kani Bok (কানি বক), and Gu Shalik (গু শালিক) were seen frequently. They have moved further when our boat was trying to invade their territory.

A pristine view from the surrounding.

As I have a roof over my head, I didn't need to worry about the rains. They were falling on the roof over my head and making a noise that was thrilling (similar to staying inside a village house during rain). The boat was moving slowly, the rains were falling all around me, and the lyrical sound of boat pulling and rain was playing like a background music.

Fishing traps were seen frequently around the canal.

It took around 30/40 minutes to reach the boat near the Balu river (বালু নদী). But the day was already gloomy from the beginning, it was raining, and also the day was almost near to be gone! So I have decided to turn back from that point without exploring the river. The rain was maximum at that point and I was forced to keep my camera inside the bag. Few parts of my body got soaked by the drops from the rain.

A heron (কানি বক) was waiting for it's prey.

The heavy rain was still on when I left the boat. Even it persisted till I have reached at my home. It was a another remarkable day from my traveling. Exploring water through a small boat during a rainy day and returning home using Rickshaw in rain, and sometimes the roads were filled with water.

Another heron (কানি বক) on the tree that was already soaked up.

How to Go:

Trimohoni (ত্রিমোহনী) is very near from the Dhaka. You can reach this place through several routes. I have reached there through Basabo Buddha Mondir (বাসাবো বৌদ্ধ মন্দির), then Madartek (মাদারটেক), and then Trimohoni (ত্রিমোহনী). You can follow this route as well. The road condition is good. From Bashabo (বাসাবো) it was 30 minutes of rickshaw ride.

From Trimohoni (ত্রিমোহনী) I have hired a small boat for 130 Taka per hour. You can probably hire such a boat for 100-150 Taka per hour depending upon your bargaining. Just chose one that you'll feel comfortable.

I have done a round trip excursion between the coordinate from (23°45'36.78"N, 90°27'46.50"E) to (23°45'42.18"N, 90°28'55.45"E). You may prolong your journey by exploring further.

Another soaked up bird. This one mostly uses to sneak around the dirt for it's food.

Best time for visit:

Unfortunately this place is best only around the rainy season. Rain gives the canal a flow to sweep up the dirt and smelly water. Otherwise during a dry season you'll find the water is too much pungent to stay on boat for a longer period. But you can have a try during other season as well and let us know your experience!

Houses around the canal was almost similar to the village houses.

A bamboo made pool over the canal to ease the transportation.

Few part of the tree is still under the water.

This picture will tell you about how hard the raining was that time.

This is an amazing view. You can see the rain drops clearly.

These two vessels are designed to carry a good load of goods, specially the sands.

এই যায়গার পানি এমনিতেই কিছুটা নোংরা থাকে... অযথা আর আপনার চিপসের বা বিস্কুটের প্যাকেট ফেলে একে আর নোংরা করবেন না... ক্ষতি যা করার তা আমরা আগেই করে ফেলেছি...

GPS: 23°45'36.78"N, 90°27'46.50"E
Trimohoni (ত্রিমোহনী),
Dhaka (ঢাকা),
Bangladesh (বাংলাদেশ)

This article is written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog