Top attractions from Old Dhaka

Dhaka is the capital city of Bangladesh. This city has a history of more than 400 years. In those years the city has changed a lot. It saw the ruling of British, Pakistan, and now we are independent Bangladesh. This Dhaka city has expanded so large that we now call the older part of the Dhaka as Old Dhaka (also as Puran Dhaka), which was the main Dhaka when the city was initially established. Having such a long history this older part of Dhaka offers many things to do and many places to visit. Below I'm going to give you a list of attractions from the Old Dhaka which I've experienced.

Lalbagh Kella, an unfinished fort

lalbagh kella dhaka

Lalbagh kella (means Lalbagh fort) is a remnant of an unfinished fort located at the heart of the Old Dhaka city. This attraction is one of the most visited archaeological site from the Dhaka. Initially the fort was just beside the river Buriganga. But with the time the river has shifted a bit from the fort. Read more about the fort and other information you need from my article Lalbagh Kella. Just an FYI, weekends are usually be crowded compare to the weekdays.

Ahsan Manzil

Ahsan manzil in old Dhaka

Another attraction from the Old Dhaka is the Ahsan Manzil which was the resident of the Nawab families of Dhaka in past. This is located at the edge of the Old Dhaka, beside the Buriganga river. Now this place is a museum and open for public visiting. You would expect to see numerous belongings from the Nawab families are displayed in different galleries. This 150 years old edifice is itself is very beautiful looking for its Mughal style. Read more about the Ahsan Manzil.

Rose garden palace

rose garden palace, dhaka

This was privately owned previously. But recently the Government bought this house. I hope it will be opened for the tourists as an attraction soon. When you are around the Old Dhaka then you should not miss the beauty of this archaic building. Read my experience about the Rose garden palace.

Christian cemetery in Wari

dhaka, christian cemetery, wari, tomb, ruins, east india company

If exploring the old cemetery is in your list then the Christian cemetery in Wari would be an ideal option. This is one of the very few Christian cemeteries from Bangladesh. Few of the graves from the cemetery are more than 300 years old. I found the older graves are much more attractive than the new. Save some time to explore this gem from Old Dhaka.

Ruplal house

ruplal house, rooplal, farashganj, dhaka

In current days most of the old edifices are in dilapidated condition. This Ruplal house is not any exception. Once upon a time this was a luxurious mansion for the rich merchant. I don't know how long this ancient edifice would last. It is better to visit this before it is lost in time. This is located in the Farashganj of Old Dhaka. The famous Buriganga river is just flowing beside the house. During your visit you would expect to see the busy wholesale market activity from nearby. Read more about this Ruplal house.

Tara mosque

Star Mosque, Tara mosque, Tara mosjid

Probably this Tara mosque is the most visited mosque from the Dhaka city despite we are having several other ancient mosques around the city. This mosque attracts numerous foreign visitors everyday for its distinctive architecture and interior/exterior design. Being a small mosque it doesn't take much time to explore. Read more about attractive Tara mosque.

Armenian church

Armenian church, old dhaka

This Armenian church church is very near from the Tara mosque. This church was built by the Armenian community which was approximately 250 years back. This is one of the oldest churches from the Dhaka city. Current days this church is a proof of the past Armenian settlement in this area in past. Read more about Armenian church and plan your visit accordingly. I'd suggest you to put at the top of your things to do.

Shakraine festival in Old Dhaka

Shakrain celebration in Old Dhaka

This is not an attraction or place to visit, but it is festival to observe. The name of the festival is Shakraine (or Sakraine) and the people from the Old Dhaka celebrate it very uniquely and differently than any other part of Bangladesh. If you are in Dhaka around that time then it is a must thing to do in Dhaka. Read my article Shakraine festival in Old Dhaka to know how, when, and where about it in detail.

Gol Talab

gol pukur, dhaka, talaab, nawab

Have you seen any round pond or lake before? Or did you hear anything like this before? In the Old Dhaka we have a round pond named Gol Talab. This place is near from the Ahsan Manzil. After visiting that you could easily walk around this old pond. It should take around 20 minutes maximum to explore this.

Hoseni Dalan

Hoseni Dalan, Dhaka

In Bangladesh we do not have any big Shia community, and too many Shia people. But in the Old Dhaka we have this Hoseni Dalan to commemorate the martyrdom of Al-Hussain, the grandson of holly prophet Muhammad in Islam. The initial building was built in 17th century and had gone through several renovation. People observe and mourn during the day of Ashura.

Bahadur Shah park

bahadur shah park, victoria park, dhaka, lakkhibazar

Lot of people from our region did protest against the British ruling. And lot of people were hanged or executed for that as well. This park is to commemorate the sepoys who were publicly hanged due to mutiny against the British. The incident took place in 1857. Later a monument was established. Read more about this historical place from Old Dhaka.

Northbroke hall

northbrok hall, lalkuthi, dhaka

This is a different kind of attraction from the Old Dhaka. This small edifice is basically is a theater hall. It has a nice mix structure of Mughal and European. This is located beside the river Buriganga. Read my article Northbroke hall to know more about this place.

Khan Mohammad Mridha mosque

Khan Mohammad Mridha mosque,Dhaka

This Mughal period mosque is located very close to the Lalbagh Kella. But for some unknown reason not too many people visit this mosque compare the the fort. It is probably because of the large tree that blocks all the sunshine for the smaller trees. If you visit this ancient mosque that would be hitting two targets with one stone. Read more about Khan Mohammad Mridha mosque.

Horse cart riding

Riding a horse cart in Old Dhaka is a very different and unique thing to do. In past the horse carts played a major role for the transportation. But due to the evolve of the mechanical transportation system those horse carts now becoming a sort of museum property. In the Old Dhaka very few horse carts were available which do the transportation for the local people. They run between the Gulistan and Sadar Ghat. You could take that cart on your way or during coming back from Old Dhaka expedition. When I've used that it was around 20 Taka per person for the ride. Duration of the journey is around 20-40 minutes based on traffic condition.

River Buriganga

Buriganga river, Dhaka

You should visit this river not because of its beauty, but because of the history attached to it. The whole Dhaka city is evolved based on this river. Initially the Old Dhaka was the main Dhaka which was situated just beside this river. As you are exploring the Old Dhaka and most of the attractions are lying beside the river, that's why it would be easier to meet the river. Read my article to know what are the things you could do around Buriganga river.

Exploring Shakhari Bazar

Your Old Dhaka visit won't be completed unless you visit the Shakhari bazar area. The buildings of this area are so congested that hardly any gaps remaining. Also the current condition of the buildings are very poor and feels like at any moment they would be gone. Besides the old buildings the area has several unique shops which you would not find any other part of the Dhaka. You can read more about this from Wikipedia.

Foods from Old Dhaka

You've done most of the things in the Old Dhaka, what else you could do? Time to do some food tasting from the Old Dhaka. They are very renouned for the mouthwatering foods like Haji Biriyani, Nannar Morog Polau, Bakorkhani, etc. During the ramadan the Iftar bazar from Chokbazar is an unique one. There are plenty of restaurants in Old Dhaka where you could have your Old Dhaka style breakfast. They have so many unique foods that you must need to go there several times, cause you can not have them all in a same day.


There are plenty of more things to do and places to visit from Old Dhaka. You could visit the first mosque of Dhaka named Binat Bibi Mosque. There is another old mosque named Kartalab Khan Mosque, you could visit that one too. People from Old Dhaka are really nice and friendly. It would be nice to spend few moments with them (although they seem to be very busy most of the time).

This article has written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog