Dhaka has a long way to go before it becomes a conventional tourist destination. Nonetheless, tourism is common in the 400-year-old city. There is a fixed rounded up list of places that people always go to whenever they visit Dhaka. But Dhaka has more to offer than Lalbagh fort, Jatiya Sangsad and the National Museum. There are a ton of places to visit and things to do outside of what the brochure or your tour guides tell you about.
Whether you are visiting Dhaka for the first time, or you’re a local who wants to experience this city like never before, here are the 5 things you must do to complete your Dhaka experience.
1. Embark on a spiritual journey in Hussaini Dalan
The Hussaini Dalan serves as the main Hussainiya in Dhaka. The shrine is a major gathering place for Shia Muslims, followers of the grandson of Prophet Muhammad. It was originally built during the latter half of the Mughal rule (17th Century) and patronized by prince Shah Shuja, son of Emperor Shah Jahan. The structure has an elegant Mughal and British architectural style. Followers of the Shia community come here to say their prayers; the atmosphere is amazingly calm and serene. You can feed the ducks in the adjacent ponds, listen to the sermon and exchange deep philosophical talks with the clerics.
Pro tip: Visit during the Muharram festivals. You can see and even take the part in the vibrant Muharram parades.
2. Visit the historic Ruplal House
The Ruplal house in Farashganj of old Dhaka is a mansion built in the late 19th century by Armenian Landlord Aratun. Ruplal brothers bought it in 1835 and hired Martin and Company of Calcutta for renovations. Ruplal House and Ahsan Manzil, which is nearby, used to be the ornament of Dhaka back in the day. The area was the residential area for the rich merchant class and top-posted British officers. Ruplal house hosted a lot of cultural activity of the time. Gurus of Indian classical music like Ustad Alauddin Khan, Ustad Wali Ullah Khan and Lakshmi Devi regularly hosted shows. Ruplal house was also politically important during the Renaissance period.
Ruplal house was expensive to build on site. The structure features an Indo-Greek architectural style, massive blocs, porticos, tinted glasses, ballrooms and feast halls. There used to be a clock tower on the top which was damaged by an earthquake. The fall of Ruplal House began after the Ruplal family left during the partition in 1947. Now the Ruplal House is jointly owned by several private and commercial owners.
Beauty boarding is a famous hotel, or as its commonly known, a boarding house. It also has a restaurant that serves Bengali food in a traditional homely atmosphere. The building was originally a zamindar house. A local rented the house in 1951 and then turned into a boarding house and restaurant. Located near Banglabazar book market, the spot became popular with the local book traders, literature aficionados, poets, and artists.
In terms of its intellectual importance, Beauty boarding can be compared to the Coffee House in Kolkata.
The boarding was a regular spot for poet Shahid Qadri and Nirmalendu Goon who stayed for five years in the boarding. Poets like Shamsul Haque, Rafiq Azad and Shamsur Rahman used to gather for their evening tea.
Pro tip: Beauty boarding doubles as a great background for your photos if you want to keep some mementos of your visit to the land of Bengal.
4. Go book hopping in Nilkhet
Nilkhet is the second largest book market in the country and a heaven for book lovers. 2500 shops are crammed together. The shops sell local prints and second-hand copies of original books. Bookworms of Dhaka, especially the students, go to Nilkhet for the best deals on books.
Pro tip: Looking for a rare book? Chances are you’ll find an original first edition copy of it, tucked somewhere in the piles of books that are on display. Make sure you bargain hard to get the best deals.
5. Take a boat ride in Buriganga
Buriganga is the major river on which the city of Dhaka stands. On it, is Sadarghat, the largest river port in the country. Hire a boat for an hour from Sadarghat, for only 200 takas per hour. The boatman will take you on a river ride to the other side of Dhaka. On a clear sunny afternoon, see the Dhaka skyline. Ahsan Manzil, the palace of the nawabs of Dhaka, will be visible from the river. Stay to enjoy the sunset. You’ll see hundreds of people commuting and crossing the river on wooden boats.
Riding a boat in Burganga is a chance to spend time in the calm waters, away from the bustling city while getting intimate with the lifestyle of the locals.
The best part of Dhaka is its people. What the city may lack in traditional grandeur and glamour, is made up for by the kind-hearted, lovely and forever curious people of this magical city. Open up to Dhaka, and it will open up to you with its four hundred years’ worth of culture, history, and tradition.
On the 31st of October Halloween was celebrated throughout the world. Even until 10 years ago, it was something we only got to see in movies, cartoons or TV shows. The costumes, stories of trick or treating and everything in between fascinated us. Our generation fed on things like ‘The Addams Family’, ‘Hocus Pocus’, ‘Halloween Town’ and much more. It didn’t come as much of a surprise when we grew up people started embracing and celebrating the culture.
What is Halloween anyway?
This tradition has somehow managed to influence us although it has pagan origins. The tradition goes back to a two thousand years old ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. People wore costumes to avert ghosts and spirits. After the Romans took over, most of the Celtic regions and some of their traditions got mixed in with this old tradition. Later American people started following their own version of the rituals. Gradually, other cultures around the world mixed, matched and adapted versions of Halloween into their merrymaking. In the same way, Halloween is now celebrated in Bangladesh.
What does Dhaka have to offer
There are tons of things to do in the city of Dhaka. If you are into movies, Cineplex presents the latest horror movies. You can reminisce your childhood by dressing up as your favorite characters. Attend cosplay competitions. Go to the various private Halloween parties that are held throughout the city. Even five years ago these events weren’t as prevalent into our mainstream city culture in such a scale. Almost every well-known hotel has different arrangements for Halloween.
A recurring event is the Haunted House at Four Seasons. They trap participants into a resort for a horrifying experience. This year the Haunted House will be spooking their guests till the 3rd of November. Some say its like living through a horror movie. Also, hotels like Pan Pacific Sonargaon, Regency, and Six Season all hosted special events such as Halloween Party 2018, Halloween carnival, Halloween Haul 2018, Halloween Expo etc. In these people participated in cosplays, watched magic shows, storytelling and much more.
Let your inner Morticia Addams come out. Once a year revisit or enact the inner child, bring back your best Scooby Doo, X-File, Pikachu and all. Dhaka’s Halloween craze is something that we millennial and young adult have been craving for a significant while. So we wish you an eerie, spooky, hair-raising, spell-binding Halloween and may you have a bag full of candy, bones, bats and amazing memories.
Co-working spaces are now an option considered by many entrepreneurs and businesses. For many, it is a great way to cut costs and avoid the hassle of renting a full office. Buying furniture, decorating, hiring support staff can become expensive for a startup. Many startups just need a desk and some wifi for their operations; small teams need affordable spaces with a meeting room.
Some freelancers, designers or members of remote teams want to leave the isolation of home offices, but avoid the distraction of cafes. Shared offices also give the opportunity for many to network, to share resources and contacts.
How to decide on a space?
Location: Take into account the reality of Dhaka traffic, and consider the location when picking a co-working space. Proximity to home can save you many productive hours wasted on the road.
Cost: Cost is a huge factor, compare different packages before deciding. Packages include space for daily, weekly, hourly, monthly use. Most co-working spaces in Dhaka offer Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, emergency backup power, an in-house multimedia system, office equipment, and kitchen facilities. The spaces significantly vary in price which affects the quality of each of these facilities.
Does your business need a place to meet for weekly meetings? Will a desk in an open office be sufficient, or do you need to make a lot of phone calls, so a more private room is a priority?
Decide which features are important to you and are essential for your work–do you need a projector, a studio or a training area? Make sure you choose spaces accordingly. When you decide on a package that is best suited for you, make sure you understand what exactly is included in it.
Work Environment: Another essential part of work-life is the environment. In your first visit, check for the behaviour of the staff and of others who will share the space. You want to decide on a place where you can work comfortably and effectively. If your budget allows, look for places that are spacious, clean and well lit for maximum ease and therefore, maximum productivity.
Both men and women in the age range of 15 to 35 years old. More women than men are dengue patients. View this chart on Tableau.
How are these cases distributed across Dhaka?
There are a greater number of cases reported in Moghbazar, Rampura, Jatrabari , Malibag than other areas in Dhaka city.
The Aedes aegypti mosquito is the primary vector of dengue. The virus is transmitted to humans through the bites of infected female mosquitoes. The dengue mosquito can breed in just a teaspoon of standing or stagnant water. The Aedes aegypti mosquito lives in urban habitats and breeds mostly in man-made containers. Common breeding areas are discarded tires, barrels, plastic drums and jerry cans. Unlike other mosquitoes Ae. aegypti is a day-time feeder; its peak biting periods are early in the morning and in the evening before dusk.
“Cities like Dhaka, where development is taking place in an unplanned manner, the grounds are ripe for mosquitoes to breed and procreate.”
Bangladeshi urban planner Dr Sarwar Jahan told Al Jazeera.
Cases reported earlier in the year, more recorded cases in 2009 than any year in the last 10 years
Reported cases of Dengue over the years. View chart on Tableau.
Dengue reporting related deaths over the years in Bangladesh. View chart on Tableau.
Usually, the first cases of dengue are reported in late May or June and go away by late August or early September. However, this year, the number of reported cases begin in January and drastically increased in 2019.
The present Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) were established in 1976. The institute conducts research on epidemiological and communicable diseases and runs disease control programs mainly in the form of parasitic and entomological containment of vector-borne diseases through the application of epidemiological principles. For example, in recent years, they have conducted tuberculosis prevalence survey, a national serosurvey of dengue exposure in Bangladesh and estimated the incidence of maternal deaths from HEV in Bangladesh. Other activities include surveillance, outbreak investigation and training and workshops on related issues.
In August of 1947, the Bengali nation found itself divided into two countries. But geopolitical borders can only separate people, not their cultures and souls. West Bengal and Bangladesh are two bodies with one soul, with their hearts beating within the people who contain a bit of both entities. The culture differences might be overwhelming to some, but to many, the similarities is where the harmony is strengthened. The capital of West Bengal, Kolkata is specifically loved by many Bangladeshis because of still containing the residue of original Bengali traditions and inspirations gracefully enough, while becoming a modern cosmopolitan city.
A tale of two cities
Kolkata is not just a city to many, it is also an emotion for being the heart of emergence of the historic personalities, events and art that have shaped the dimensions of our collective culture. It will forever remain precious since it has still preserved it all with simplicity, sincerity and joy.
Dhaka is different. It might not be as aesthetically pleasing but it has had the fortune of being the home of Nawabs. This 400-year-old city still preserves the faint scent of its lost glory days in the narrow alleys of Old Dhaka. Being someone who appreciates food and fraternity, my love for Dhaka is eternal since you will find it in loads here. The versatility of cuisines and food habits here beats some of Kolkata’s for me. Old Dhaka is undeniably the heart of likeable chaos and urban heritage. This is how it steals my breath, even after being overwhelmingly crowdy.
I have been blessed with the fortune of having a residence in Kolkata, unlike many. Being a wanderer in nature, Kolkata as a city has always actively taken part in shaping my emotions, feelings, values and cultures. The city has a particular aesthetic that no other city could beat for me till now. This is a city for the people with a hearty appetite and curious eyes. Kolkata gave me so much more than a place to stay. It gave me comfort, peace, diversity and joy. So much, that I became addicted to its roads flooding with sodium lights, yellow ambassadors with loud Bollywood songs from the 80s, earthen tea cups that have their own flavour and so much more! The air of this city has a distinct smell, the smell that will excite anybody who is familiar with the diversity it offers.
Dhaka pampers you with unpredictability and availability. It gave me a home to grow up in and understand myself better. Nothing in Dhaka is too far but it consumes time like no other. Even then, it will still give you hope. From the delicacies to the nightlife, everything here is a trade. The trade of time, energy and sometimes, life.
Kolkata or Dhaka, why not both?
While Kolkata wows me with art and ethereal beauty, Dhaka prepares me for the worst. It is like Yin and Yang, balancing each other in harmony. Kolkata was originally inspired by the British. Their credit? They built it. Kolkata’s credit? It preserved and carried it, even today, like it’s their own. The historic buildings, churches, temples, mosques, offices.. everything gives you the feeling of being in the right place, no matter how many times you’ve visited the place already. The best thing about Kolkata carrying its cultures so devotedly even today is the candidness behind everything in this city. Nothing feels forced, nothing feels odd. Even the shady alleys will offer something to your thoughts.
Being a frequent visitor of Kolkata since the age of 4, I realized there’s more of Kolkata in me than Dhaka, as I am now labelled an adult by society.
The cultural similarity we share has been sowed within me by Kolkata and was nourished here in Dhaka. Every time I visit Kolkata, I learn something new, even if it isn’t directly associated with anything cultural.
A tale of two art forms
Dhaka has its own way of expressing itself. It will express its ‘sorrows’ through the sweat stains of a tired Rikshawala on a humid day, ‘happiness’ through the smile on the face of a mother when her child returns home, ‘fear’ with the speeding buses and trucks on busy streets, ‘anger’ with every innocent life lost, ‘hope’ with every warning a girl receives from random strangers when her orna is tangled to the wheels of a rickshaw and ‘joy’ with every cricket match Bangladesh team manages to win. We have our own graceful way of doing things here.
Kolkata is a living art. From Howrah to New Market, the extended roads with shadowy alleys, sodium lights and oversized billboards, the faint smell of incense coming from a distance and the classic yellow ambassadors lining up one after another in traffic, everything will please your eyes. Kolkata isn’t entirely modern but it doesn’t want to be it either. It is almost like a modern cosmopolitan woman draped in a saree, unpretentiously appreciating the combination. This effortlessly beautiful city has always been therapeutic for me, whenever I felt dilemmatic, whenever I needed a breath of fresh air. The discipline of this city despite the chaotic charisma as it may seem to many, is praiseworthy as well.
Being in a love-hate relationship with Dhaka has enabled me to appreciate the best of both cities.
Dhaka will always capture a bigger part of my heart and a broader part of my understandings of culture. The city may not be as artistic and aesthetically pleasing, but it will make you appreciate the little things in your life. Dhaka lets you set priorities and act on it everyday. Dhaka will disappoint you, but some days it won’t and you’ll fall in love with it. The heart of Dhaka is not what it contains but the people who make this city liveable. Culturally, Dhaka has given me the concepts of assertiveness, relationships and the importance of being there for each other. Dhaka will destroy you first and then build you up better. Compared to Kolkata, Dhaka gives you hopes with conditions. Dhaka gives you freedom with restrictions. But Kolkata?
Divided by a border, united by culture
Kolkata lets you live, in all the ways you want to. As Dhaka keeps me grounded, Kolkata gives me the wings to fly. The combination of two didn’t only help me appreciate the beauty of the Bengal, but also it gave me a strong sense of security and cultural awareness.
If these words didn’t make enough sense to you as someone who’s yet to breathe the air of Kolkata, why don’t you pack your bags and board the next flight to make sense out of it? And if by any chance, you’re reading this from Kolkata, it’s never too late to visit this cousin city at least once.
Travelling has many benefits- it teaches you about other cultures, it helps declutter your mind, and it also gives you a clear idea about who you are.
In 2017, about 1.32 billion people travelled worldwide, and more and more people are taking an interest in it. However, for Bangladeshis, the formalities surrounding an international trip can often be daunting. For us getting a visa is fairly difficult. But does it mean your dream of travelling the world will remain a dream?
Many countries offer visa-free entry/ on arrival visas for Bangladeshis. So sometimes, all you need to do is pack a bag and get on a plane. And here are 5 countries that will gladly welcome you.
Cambodia is blessed with a vibrant culture and natural beauty. It is home to Angkor Wat, the largest religious monument ever built. The massive structure will take your breath away, but that is not all Cambodia has to offer. It has untouched beaches, historical sights, and ancient temples that will take you back in time. The visa process is very easy, and you can get an on-arrival visa at all the major airports like Phenom Penh and Siem Reap. All you need is passport-size photographs and a filled out form. And like a cherry on the top, Cambodia is not super expensive. So what are you waiting for? Hop on a plane!
Fiji (Visa-Free entry)
Despite being a breathtaking country with a warm, rich local culture, Fiji is often not on the radar of Bangladeshi travellers. It does not make sense- because Fiji offers visa-free entry for tourists, where you can stay up to 4 months! Fiji has over 300 islands and over 500 islets, making it the perfect destination for beach lovers. It also has a very interesting culture, delicious food and intriguing history. Did you know that cannibalism was widespread throughout the islands? Neither did we!
Kenya (On Arrival Visa)
Yes, we know that Kenya is not at the top of your bucket list. But it should be. Kenya is a leading safari destination in East Africa. It has a number of wildlife conservatories that you can visit, and they all boast the beauty of wildlife. Fun fact: The biggest five animals- rhinos, leopards, lions, buffalo, and elephants can all be found in Kenya. For travelling Bangladeshis, Kenya offers an on arrival visa. So pack your bag, and feast your eyes on how diverse the world is.
Madagascar (On Arrival Visa)
The name might remind you of the movie Madagascar, but real-life Madagascar is far more enthralling. There are only 17 countries in the world that are considered to be megadiverse, and Madagascar is one of them. This place is undoubtedly a haven for wildlife enthusiasts. You will get to see numerous types of lemurs, birds and chameleons. And no, there’s no lion or giraffes or hippos. From 500-year-old burial sites to labyrinths of limestones, Madagascar has a few well-known world heritage sites. But forget about all that. Visit Madagascar because it’s beautiful.
Bahamas (Visa-Free Entry)
Does the idea of swimming with sharks intrigue you? If yes, then travelling to the Bahamas will be a great experience for you. With 700 islands and 2500 cays, the Bahamas will completely change your perspective of the underwater world. These subtropical beaches attract over five million tourists every year, and we see the appeal. They offer visa-free entry for Bangladeshis, so this might be the perfect place for you to explore!
Did we miss any of your favourite places? Don’t forget to let us know!
Platelets are the smallest of our blood cells, seen only under a microscope, circulate within our blood and bind together at the site of a damaged blood vessel. On receiving the signal from damaged sites, the platelets rush to the site, bind together and clamp the damaged vessel, thereby controlling the damage. You can call them, “On-site repairing engineers”. So, maintaining a normal count of these tiny blood cells is very important.
A normal platelet count ranges from 150,000 to 450,000 platelets per microliter of blood.
However, for certain conditions and diseases, such as dengue, something in the blood prevents the formation of platelets. This can be understood from a low platelet count from a routine blood test called a complete blood count (CBC). Once this happens, consulting a doctor and getting further tested is the first step. Once the patient is diagnosed with what is causing the low platelet count, there are certain foods that aid recovery:
Papaya can be consumed in both solid and juice form and it helpe elevate platelet counts.
Lemon & Orange Juice
Eat other Vitamin C rich foods to promote antibodies. It is vital to boost immunity. Make a smoothie with a combination of these fruits, add in honey, turmeric, ginger which are advisable for regular consumption.
This fruit is good to add to the diet. It is another source of vitamins and readily available in summer seasons.
This fruit is also packed with essential nutrients and counters the fatigue that comes with a low platelet count.
Vegetables like spinach are rich in vitamins, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids. These nutrients help in boosting the immune system and a better immune system helps recover faster. However, the vegetables should not be consumed in an oily or spicy manner. Preferred method of preparations is to boil it sufficiently, absolutely avoiding any raw vegetables.
This is a recommended diet to aid recovery, it is not meant as an alternative to medicine and formal healthcare. Do not self diagnose.
Low platelet count is a common symptom of a strain of dengue.
If you are a university student in Bangladesh, Business Competitions are not new terms to you. There’s a chance you know about most of them, there’s a higher chance you might have participated in a few of them. Why you should take part in one, is a discussion for another time. But for now, here’s everything you need to know about the most prestigious competitions in Bangladesh and how you need to prepare for them.
1.Battle of Minds by BAT
Battle of Minds, organised by British American Tobacco is one of the most prestigious and most rewarding business competitions in the country. Every year BAT holds Battle of Minds where university students who are in their final years get to participate for the highest glory. You face off the bests of the bests in the field and upon winning, you get a head start towards a rewarding career path.
Rounds: 4 (Online Exam-Focus Group Discussion-Business Pitch-Case Solving)
Team Members: 4
Awards: A Crest and a headstart in the recruitment process.
2. Bizmaestros by Unilever
Similar to BOM, Bizmaestros is arranged every year by another one of the corporate giants, Unilever. It has challenges and rewards similar to BOM and the competitions themselves are often competitors to each other. However, winning Bizmaestros also lands you a trip abroad to Unilever Future Leaders League, where you compete against international teams.
Awards: Certification along with a trip to Unilever Future Leaders League.
3. Telenor Youth Summit
The last one in the trio of Corporate giant competitions is the Telenor Youth Summit. Unlike previous ones, TYS accepts individual submissions. And as you can guess, the challenge is tougher, obviously. Subsequently, the reward is also higher. A trip to Norway sounds magical, doesn’t it?
Brandwitz is one of the most prominent students run business competitions in the country on University level. Organised by IBACC (IBA Communications Club), every year, Brandwitz sees the best minds of the country battling each other for a prize money of BDT 2,50,000. But the money is a minor factor here. You’ll be benefited most from the experience, the certification and the networking that you make.
Creadive is another of the students run business competitions in the country organised by BUP BCC. The competition offers a unique approach to its rounds where it engages participants in direct ATL and BTL campaigns, requiring them to actually take part in fieldwork. The experience is certainly one of a kind.
What if we tell you that there is a video streaming platform with a subscription of only BDT 499 per year? Yes, Hoichoi is here with a library of over 500 Bengali movies, exclusive original shows and shorts, and they are adding new content every month!
They also have over 1,000+ Bengali songs from the most popular albums for the music buffs out there. Their collection doesn’t end here. Hoichoi is releasing films and documentaries soon.
Easy payment methods
All of this, for only BDT 499 a year! And to make the payment process easier and accessible to everyone, they have all sorts of transaction options. Including the major cards and even bKash.
Hoichoi is a Bengali on-demand video streaming service based in West Bengal. A concern of SVF films of Kolkata, Hoichoi boasts an impressive collection of West Bengal based films and TV series’ as well as a decent but growing number of Bangladeshi based content.
From Satyajit to Srijit, it offers all types of films. Starting from classics these days’ modern films and all the genres in between. Hoichoi offers videos in every quality options generally available: 240p, 360p, 480p, 720p and 1080p.
The same with music! You get to listen to popular Bangla songs of the past two decades on Hoichoi. No more struggle of downloading songs separately, let them take care of that. And just when we thought it can’t get any better than this, the music streaming is completely free on Hoichoi mobile app!
Is it worth it?
Chances are, you, the reader, are a member of the young generation, who worships Netflix and Amazon Prime. Hoichoi might not sound very “worth it” to you even after all this.
But you can consider getting the subscription for your parents who are old-school, who probably might not understand the hype of Netflix, but will definitely love this site. For the love of Satyajit and Uttam Kumar at least. Let them also get on the hype train of online streaming!
Hoichoi is a place for all Bengali culture lovers. Doesn’t matter if you are divided by boundaries, every source of Bengali entertainment can be in your grasp through this site. You now can enjoy non-stop Bengali entertainment online, anytime and anywhere!