Real Bangladesh

Bangladesh Parliament building

Bangladesh Parliament building

Jatiyo Sangshad Bhaban or National Parliament House is the house of the Parliament of Bangladesh designed by architect Louis Kahn. The complex is one of the largest legislative complexes in the world, comprising 200 acres (800,000 m²).

Jatiyo Sangshad was designed by Louis Kahn. Initially, the government had appointed Muzharul Islam as the center’s architect, but Islam deferred, instead recommending bringing in the world’s top architects for the project. He initially attempted to bring Alvar Aalto and Le Corbusier, who were both unavailable at the time. Islam then enlisted Louis Kahn, his former teacher at Yale.

 The design of the capital complex was developed taking into account the aesthetic heritage of Bengal, particularly including the Ganges delta. Construction began in 1961 as a permanent building for the federal legislature of both West Pakistan and East Pakistan and was completed after the country’s war of independence and several decades – on 28 January 1982. The complex opened the following month on 15 February for the eighth session of the second parliament of Bangladesh and since has been operating as the sole complex for the National Assembly.

 Louis Kahn designed the entire complex which includes lawns, lake and residences for the Members of the Parliament (MPs).The architect’s key design philosophy was to represent Bangladeshi culture and heritage, while at the same time optimizing the use of space. The exterior of the building is striking in its simplicity, with huge walls deeply recessed by porticoes and large openings of regular geometric shapes. The main building, which is at the center of the complex, is divided into three parts – the Main Plaza, South Plaza and Presidential Plaza. An artificial lake surrounds three sides of the main building extending to the Members of Parliament hostel complex. This skillful use of water to portray the riverine beauty of Bangladesh adds to the aesthetic value of the site. — with Moazzom Morshed Jinan.

 The Journey to Freedom Starts Here.

The Journey to Freedom Starts Here.

The Shaheed Minar or the Martyr Monument is a national monument at Dhaka. It was established to commemorate those killed during the Bengali Language Movement demonstrations of 1952.

 On 21 February 1952, dozens of students and political activists were killed when the Pakistani police force opened fire on Bengali protesters who were demanding equal status for their native tongue, Bengali. The massacre occurred near Dhaka Medical College and Ramna Park in Dhaka. A makeshift monument was erected on 23 February by the students of University of Dhaka and other educational institutions, but soon demolished on 26 February by the Pakistani police force. The Language Movement gained momentum, and after a long struggle, Bengali was given equal status with Urdu.

To commemorate the dead, the Shaheed Minar was designed and built by Hamidur Rahman a Bangladeshi sculptor in collaboration with Novera Ahmed. The monument stood until the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971, when it was demolished completely during Operation Searchlight. It was rebuilt after Bangladesh gained independence. — with প্রকৌশলী আহসান উল্লাহ রাসেল and Rownak Azam.

 The Indomitable Spirits.

The Indomitable Spirits.

National Mausoleum or the National Martyrs’ Memorial is the national monument of Bangladesh. It is the symbol in the memory of the velour and the sacrifice of all those who sacrificed their lives in the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971. Plans for the monument were initiated in 1976. Following the site selection, road and land development, a nationwide design competition was held in June, 1978. Following evaluation of the 57 submissions, Syed Mainul Hossain’s design was chosen. The main structure and the artificial lake along with other facilities were completed in 1982. It was inaugurated on 16 December 1982.

The monument is composed of 7 isosceles triangular pyramid shaped structures, with the middle one being the tallest. The highest point of the monument is 150 feet. There is an artificial lake, and several mass graves in front of the main monument. — with প্রকৌশলী আহসান উল্লাহ রাসেল.

 Strength in Rotation

Strength in Rotation.

A very rare find in Bangladesh! The dam is constructed in 2005 over the river Muhuri at Feni. It has got a large dam along with 4 wind turbines. The turbines are V27 (27m) and each can produce 225kW power. Thus the total capacity becomes 900 kW from this project. It is looked after by Bangladesh Power Development Board. — with প্রকৌশলী আহসান উল্লাহ রাসেল and সবাক নির্বাক.

 Didn't Forget, Didn't Forgive.

Didn’t Forget, Didn’t Forgive.

Martyred Intellectuals Memorial is a memorial built in memory of the martyred intellectuals of Bangladesh Liberation War. The memorial, located at Rayerbazar, Mohammadpur in Dhaka. The memorial was designed by architect Farid U Ahmed and Jami Al Shafi. The initial proposal for a memorial at Rayer Bazar was brought forward by Projonmo 71 (organization of the children of the martyrs of Liberation War), who also laid a temporary foundation stone in 1991.

On the night of 14 December 1971, over 200 of East Pakistan’s intellectuals including professors, journalists, doctors, artists, engineers, and writers were rounded up in Dhaka. They were taken blindfolded to torture cells in Mirpur, Mohammadpur, Nakhalpara, Rajarbagh and other locations in different sections of the city by Pakistan Army and their local collaborators, most notably the alleged Islamist militia groups Al-Badr and Al-Shams. They were later executed en masse, most notably at Rayerbazar and Mirpur. The number of intellectuals killed is estimated as follows: educationist 991, journalist 13, physician 49, lawyer 42, others (litterateur, artist and engineer) 16.

In 1993, the Ministry of Housing and Works Department and the Institute of Architects Bangladesh jointly organized a national level architectural competition for the design of the memorial “Badhya Bhumi Smriti Soudha”. Out of 22 entries the jurors selected the design proposal of Architect Farid Uddin Ahmed and Architect Md Jami-al-Shafi.

The main element of the monument is the 17.68m high, 0.91m thick and 115.82m long curved brick wall, representing the original brickfield of Rayer Bazar where the dead bodies were found. The wall itself is broken at the two ends, demonstrating the depth of grief and sorrow. A 6.10m by 6.10m square window at the south-west side of the wall permits visitor’s view to reach the sky behind, that also scale down the immense wall. In front of the curved wall is a still water body from which rises a black granite column, which represents grief. — with প্রকৌশলী আহসান উল্লাহ রাসেল.

Lalbagh Fort

Lalbagh Fort (also Fort Aurangabad).

It is an incomplete 17th century Mughal fort complex that stands proudly before the Buriganga River in the southwestern part of Dhaka. The construction was started in 1678 AD by Mughal Subadar Muhammad Azam Shah who was son of Emperor Aurangzeb and later emperor himself. His successor, Shaista Khan, did not continue the work, though he stayed in Dhaka up to 1688.After Shaista Khan left Dhaka, it lost its popularity. The main cause was that the capital was moved from Dhaka to Murshidabad. After the end of the royal Mughal period, the fort became abandoned. In 1844, the area acquired its name as Lalbagh replacing Aurangabad, and the fort became Lalbagh Fort.

For long the fort was considered to be a combination of three buildings (the mosque, the tomb of Bibi Pari and the Diwan-i-Aam) with two gateways and a portion of the partly damaged fortification wall. The southern fortification wall has a huge bastion in the southwestern corner. On the north of the south fortification wall were the utility buildings, stable, administration block, and its western part accommodated a beautiful roof-garden with arrangements for fountains and a water reservoir. The residential part was located on the east of the west fortification wall, mainly to the south-west of the mosque.The fortification wall on the south had five bastions at regular intervals two stories in height, and the western wall had two bastions; the biggest one is near the main southern gate. The bastions had an underground tunnel.

 The central area of the fort is occupied by three buildings – the Diwan-i-Aam and the hammam on its east, the Mosque on the west and the Tomb of Pari Bibi in between the two – in one line, but not at equal distance. A water channel with fountains at regular intervals connects the three buildings from east to west and north to south. — with প্রকৌশলী আহসান উল্লাহ রাসেল.

 Salimullah Muslim Hall

Salimullah Muslim Hall

The Knowledge Hub that Grew Old.

The name “Salimullah Muslim Hall” is related and passed with the University of Dhaka Act. with an old secretariat building but the new building Salimullah Muslim Hall was inaugurated on 11 August 1931 as a university hall for the students of Dhaka University. It is named after Nawab Sir Khwaja Salimullah Bahadur. Among the residential halls of Dhaka University Salimullah Muslim Hall holds a special status due to its architectural heritage.

On 27 May 1912, the British government constituted the “Nathan Committee” establishing a residential hall based university. TheCalcutta University Commission recommended to establish a Muslim Hall for the Muslim students of Dhaka University so that the Muslim students can maintain their own culture and religion. The report of the Nathan Committee and the recommendation of Calcutta University commission to the government of India prepared the Dhaka University bill. The bill was passed by the Indian Law Assembly. The viceroy and governor general Lord Reading agreed to the bill on 23 March 1920.

Salimullah Muslim Hall, built in August 1929 as a university hall, this two-storied handsome building is laid out around an inner courtyard over which its four wings overlook. Continuous varendahs on the inner facades run in front of rows of residential rooms. The building faces south and has an arched entrance in the centre of the south wing which is flanked on either side by square towers, each crowned with a bulbous dome which is decorated with yellow glazed tiles. The southern frontage of the building also has a continuous verandah and subsidiary porches. Its four corners are provided with square projections which are crowned by triple domes. This hall, although not much different in plan to other university halls, but it has a more dignifier appearance because of its perfect symmetry and fine design. — with প্রকৌশলী আহসান উল্লাহ রাসেল and Rownak Azam.

 The Power

The Power

The Independent Tower and the Museum is situated at the historical grounds of Suhrawardy Udyan at Shahabagh, Dhaka. The monument is the 150 meter long glass tower. The tower is square according to the plan and is 16 feet wide from every side with an area of 64 acres and the museum is an underground with multiple attractions built beneath the tower.

These two establishments commemorate the historical events that took place in the Suhrawardy Udyan, previously known as Ramna Race Course ground on the Liberation War of Bangladesh. The initiative was taken from the government to depict the glorious history of Independence which came amid a lot of sacrifices. The construction began back in 1999 when the design was submitted by Kashef Mahboob Chowdhury and Marina Tabassum. The design came out of a nationwide competition. However, in two phases, the work was finally completed this year and the museum was inaugurated on 26 March 2015.

The museum includes a mural works, multi-media projection theater and amphitheater, a number of walk ways, marble floors, a water body and other ancillary facilities in addition to the monument. The focal point in the experience of the space is the monument: a tower of light made of stacked glass sheets. The area is composed of 67 acres. The main attraction, the glass tower was built on the place where the commander-in-chief of East Pakistan Army Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi signed the papers of his surrender.

The underground museum of the project comprises a total of 144 photographs with historical significance. A large photograph of the historical March 7 speech of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is another attraction of the underground museum. There are a number of terracotta murals on war-heroes and the events of the Liberation War, a 2000 seat auditorium and an open-air theatre. The eternal flame stands beside the tower. Films on war and historical videos are shown in the theatre on important occasions. The water body of the project reflects the whole tower all the day and increases the beauty of the project, especially at night. — with Rownak Azam and প্রকৌশলী আহসান উল্লাহ রাসেল.

Royalty in Bricks !

Royalty in Bricks !

স্থানীয়ভাবে দিঘাপতিয়ার রাজবাড়ি নামে পরিচিত এই ভবন।

Uttara Gano Bhaban also known as The Maharaja’s Palace or Dighapatia Palace is a historic, formerly royal palace in Natore, Bangladesh. It was built by the Raja of Dighapatia but is used as the official residence of the heads of states of Bangladesh in North Bengal. In the north, it serves as an official Presidential Palace. Various historic meetings took place at the palace, during the British Raj, East Pakistan era and finally after the Bangladesh. It is located about 2.40 km away from the Natore town. Raja Dayaram Roy constructed the main structure of the palace along with a few wings; but it was Raja Pramada Nath Roy rebuilt the whole palace complex after the catastrophic earthquake of 1897.

 The Dighapatia Palace was made ‘Dighapatia Governor House’ on 24 July 1967 by Abdul Monem Khan, the Governor of erstwhile East Pakistan. Later, after the country’s independence, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, President of Bangladesh declared the Dighapatia Governor House as Uttara Gonobhaban on 09 February 1972. Before the split of Pakistan and Bangladesh, President Ayub Khan resided at the Palace.

The palace area occupies around 43 acres of land or around 25 bighas, enclosed within a moat and a high perimeter wall. The estate also contains few lakes and greenery. The front gate entrance houses an imposing four-storied pyramidal gateway with a clock tower. It is also contains a series of arched openings on three stories and two circlets flanking the clock on the top storey. — with প্রকৌশলী আহসান উল্লাহ

রাসেল and Rownak Azam.

 Peace is here

Peace is here !

Peace is here! If you have a little hut along with a small pond like this in your premises, what else you need to gain peace. This villager family does not know that how many families will be craving for such a life like them. — with প্রকৌশলী আহসান উল্লাহ রাসেল.

 Love and Peace

Love and Peace.

It is Bangladesh ! This well maintained and well planned project is located inside Dhaka Cantonment (beside Mirpur Flyover). The amazing heart shaped water body refreshes the minds of the residents of this area even from their balcony. The lake is facilitated with small boats and a wonderful restaurant. — with প্রকৌশলী আহসান উল্লাহ রাসেল and Rownak Azam.

Celebrating Life

Celebrating Life.

Pohela Boishakh is the first day of the Bengali calendar, celebrated on 14 April in the Bangladesh. The Bengali calendar is tied to the Indian solar calendar, based on the Surya Siddhanta.

Boats and ships

Boats and ships in the delta

Respect

Respect.

 The Mausoleum of three leaders is a significant architectural monument located at Shahbag, Dhaka. The monument hosts the graves of three pre-liberation Bengali politicians in the 20th century- A.K. Fazlul Huq (1873–1962), Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy (1892–1963) and Khwaja Nazimuddin (1894–1964). All three men served as the Prime Minister of Bengal in British India.The Mausoleum was designed by architect S.A. K. Masud Ahmed was established in the year 1963. The style of architecture of the monuments is an interpretation of Islamic Arcs.

 The Mausoleum of three leaders consists of a hyperbolic paraboloid structure that is erected over the three graves of the three political leaders. The three leaders had died in separate dates but were all buried in the same area as all three of them had contributed significantly to East Pakistan and were all involved politically. A.K. Fazlul Huq was a very well known politician who was famous for his leadership qualities. One of his most important contributions was being involved with the Bengali Language Movement. Fazlul Huq along with Huseyn Suhrawardy had engaged in many political acts such as forming the United Front in the 1954 elections, with which they had gained victory by winning the most seats. Huseyn Suhrawardy and Fazlul Huq had also worked together to control the government of East Pakistan. Suhrawardy was known to be the founder of the Bangladesh Awami League. He was also known to contribute significantly to the growth and development of East Pakistan. Suhrawardy became the Prime Minister of Pakistan in 1956 but was forced to resign in 1957. He was completely banned from politics by Ayub Khan (President of Pakistan). Khawaja Nazimuddin was the Prime Minister of Pakistan from 1951 to 1953. Suhrawardy had served as the Minister of Labor and also the Minister of Civil Supplies under Khawaja Nazimuddin. At that time, Pakistan was considered to be moving in a forward direction in terms of turning into a republic but it soon failed as Nazimuddin had died shortly after in the year 1963. — with প্রকৌশলী আহসান উল্লাহ রাসেল and Rownak Azam.

 Royalty in Bricks

Royalty in Bricks.!

Ahsan Manzil was the official presidential palace and seat of the Dhaka Nawab Family. This magnificent building is situated at Kumartoli along the banks of the Buriganga River at Dhaka. The construction of this palace was started in 1859 and was completed in 1872.It was constructed in the Indo-Saracen Revival architecture. It has been designated as a national museum.

The building structure was established on a raised platform of 1 meter, the two-storied palace measures 125.4m by 28.75m. The height of the ground floor is 5 meters and the height of the first floor is 5.8 meters. The thickness of the walls of the palace is about 0.78 meters. There are porticos of 5 meters height on the northern and southern sides of the palace. There was once a fountain in the garden in front of the stairs which does not exist today. All along the north and the south side of the building run spacious verandahs with an open terrace projected in the middle.

The palace Ahsan Manzil is divided into two parts: the eastern side and the western side. The eastern building with the dome is called the Rangmahal and the western side with the living rooms is called Andarmahal. The high octagonal dome is placed on the central round room. There is a large drawing room, card room, library, state room and two other guest rooms are located on the east side of the palace. The ballroom, the Hindustani room and few residential rooms are situated on the western side. A beautiful vaulted artificial ceiling, made of wood, decorates the drawing room and the Jalsaghar. A splendid dining hall and few smaller rooms are placed on the west part. The floors of the dining and Darbar Halls are decorated with white, green and yellow colored ceramic tiles. Along with those rooms a Darbar Hall or assembly hall and a chest room is also place there. — with প্রকৌশলী আহসান উল্লাহ রাসেল.

Mosaic in Green

Mosaic in Green

“Mosaic in green.” The caption is a borrowed one. Did not find anything better. If you are lucky to see Bangladesh from above (especially in rainy season) you would find the whole Bangladesh is a mosaic in green. You will be amazed seeing the art of paddy fields all around the country which are made unintentionally. — with প্রকৌশলী আহসান উল্লাহ রাসেল.

The Heritage

The Heritage

Sadarghat River Front, on the river Buriganga, is one of the most dynamic places in Dhaka. Here, the Sadarghat Launch Terminal is one of the largest river ports in the world. About 200 large and small passenger launches depart and arrive at the terminal every day. According to the officials at the terminal, 30,000 people, in average, use the terminal for departure and arrival every day. Visiting this place is a pandemonium; you may see what you can never experience in this world.

 The River Buriganga, though smelly and muddy, is the lifeblood of Old Dhaka. It’s fascinating to watch the large river ferries, over laden with people and local produce, and the loading and unloading activities to ramshackle warehouses on the riverfront. Triple-decked ferries are docked along the side of the jetty while small wooden boats pile their trade in between. The shrill of sirens sound like an air raid as boats depart and arrive from the countryside.

A constant stream of humanity flows up gangplanks and on to ferries moored tightly together along rusting pontoons. Ship’s bells and klaxons, the cries of porters, vendors and beggars, the muezzins announcing evening prayer – it is a cauldron of noise. It’s seems chaotic, but its one step in a well-organized supply chain across the country, dating back many centuries.

 It’s really interesting to see the huge ferries. There’s a small charge to enter the dock, but most boats will let you aboard for nothing. A trip on a ferry or the Rocket Steamer (paddle steamer) departing Dhaka to Mongla via Khulna is without doubt the best thing u could do in this city.

Busy, noisy, and muddy Sadarghat may apparently seem not friendly for tourists but not seeing it is like not tasting a real Dhaka at all. It is the heart of Old Dhaka and is like essence of it. Stays busy all day long, full of any kind of bouts and people. That is so authentic – just a true face of Dhaka’s everyday life. You may love it or hate it but it will not remain you indifferent and you will never forget it. Great place for those Nikon moments! — with প্রকৌশলী আহসান উল্লাহ রাসেল.

In Our Hearts

In Our Hearts…

Shaheed Buddhijibi Koborsthan or Martyr Intellectuals’ Graveyard is the place where the remains of intellectuals who were murdered by Pakistan Army and their collaborators in 1971.

During the Liberation War of Bangladesh the retreating Pakistan army, certain of their defeat, chalked out a heinous plan to eliminate the Bengali intelligentsia.

Killing of Intellectuals was one of the most brutal and savage carnages in the history of Bangladesh. It was a planned killing of the Bengali intellectuals- educationists, journalists, litterateurs, physicians, scientists, lawyers, artists, philosophers and political thinkers – executed by a group of collaborators under the directive and guidance of the Pakistani military rulers during the war of liberation in 1971. The blue print of crippling the intelligentsia is said to have been chalked out by Major General Rao Farman Ali, the military adviser to the governor of East Pakistan. The armed cadres of Al-Badr, a para-military force, are alleged to have executed the brutal killing having been provided with arms and support by the Pakistan army.

The killing of the intellectuals virtually began with the Army crackdown in Dhaka on the night of 25 March, and continued till the surrender of the Pak Army on 16 December 1971. The act of killing was initiated in Dhaka and gradually spread over the whole of East Pakistan especially in the district and sub divisional towns. The brutality and killing took a serious turn especially in Dhaka during the days preceding the surrender of the Pak army, particularly on 14 December, the day now commemorated as Shaheed Buddhijibi Dibosh (Martyred Intellectuals Day).

The victims were physically tortured, brutally killed mostly by indiscriminate bayonet charges. The main spots of execution in Dhaka city were the marshy land at Rayerbazar near Mohammadpur and another at Mirpur, where a huge number of dead bodies were found scattered in the ditches, plains and inside the heaps of bricks. The dead bodies, eyes covered and hands tied, were found wounded and swelled all over their bodies and bullet shots on the chest, head or back. — with প্রকৌশলী আহসান উল্লাহ রাসেল.