Old Buddhist monastery in Raharpur
Photo by: France Voon, Creative Commons

Bogra is a small town found in north-western Bangladesh. It is considered the center for transportation in this area because it connects most part of northern Bangladesh to the rest of the country. Not many people are aware of the tourism potential of this town, but unknown to them; it is bustling with history and a colorful culture.

Most of the places you can visit in this town exude the rich history of this region. The earliest archeological site in Bangladesh, known as Mahasthangarh, can be found here. It was also the site of the first capital of the country. The ruins of the capital as well as remnants of the wall and a few artifacts remain, making it most suitable for archeological digs and studies. About two kilometers south, you can find the Gokul Medh, an excavated mound which seems to imitate the concept of steps.

Tourists also enjoy visiting the Nawab Palace, which also houses the Nawab Bari museum. There you can find pieces of artifacts dating back to the centuries when it was used as a Neelkuthi during the British occupation. There is also a Jaina temple in Saatmathha, Bogra. It serves to showcase a collection of artifacts to signify the importance of the religion of Jainism in Bengal.

About 60 kilometers away from Bogra you may find the Paharpur, where the remains of the largest and the only Buddhist monastery south of the Himalayas may be found. This has also been declared as one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites and artifacts like coins, potteries, parchments and writing were found. There is also a Paharpur Museum that house these found artifacts. The Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation provides travel packages for those interested to visit this historical site.

You can also try visiting the ancient city of Arulia, located just 3 miles outside of Bogra. This is another historic destination that includes artifacts and pieces evidencing the parts of history that signified the area. You can also visit the Shahjahanpur, located less than five miles south of Bogra. This is an ancient city founded by Shuja the ruler of Bengal during the 1660s.

Of course part of the trip is the experience one gets from mingling with the locals. You must really get to know the people here and try the famous yoghurt of Bogra known as “dai” which is exceptionally rich and sweet. The main form of transportation in the city is rickshaws since the streets are narrow and often crowded.

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