DHAKA the capital the capital of Bangladesh is Dhaka with its exciting history and rich culture, known the world over as the city of mosques and muslin; it has attracted travelers from far and nearer throughout in all the ages. It has a history dating back to earliest time. But the exact date of its foundation is not known. However, according to recorded history it was founded in 1608 A.D. as the seat of the imperial Mughal Viceroy of Bengal. Dhaka as the capital of Bangladesh has grown into a busy city of about seven million people with an area of about 815 sq. km. Having a happy blending of old and new architectural trends, Dhaka has been developing fast as a modern city and is throbbing with activities in all spheres of life. It is the centre of industrial commercial, cultural, educational and political activities for Bangladesh. At Tongi, Tejgaon, Demra, Pagla, kanchpur, the industrial establishments turn – out daily necessities. Motijheel is the main commercial area of the city. Dhaka’s major waterfront Sadarghat is on the bank of the river Buriganga and is crowded with all kinds of river craft, batches, country boats, motor launches, paddle-steamers, fishermen’s boats all bustling with activity. Colourful rickshaws (tricycle) on the city streets are common attractions for the visitors. Some of the outstanding tourist attractions of Dhaka are: Mosque: Seven domed Mosque (17th century), Rose Garden (Rajbari), Atia Mosque (Mugal Element), Baitul Mukarram National Mosque, Star Mosque (18th century). Hindu Temples: Dhakashwari Temple (11th Century), Ramkrishna Mission. Churches : Armenian Church (1781). St. Mary’s Cathedral at Ramna, Church of Bangladesh or former St Thomas Cathedral Church (1677) at Tejgaon. Lalbagh Fort : It was built in 1687 A.D., by Prince Mohammad Azam, son of Mughal emperor Aurangazeb. The fort was the scene of bloody battle during the first war of independence (1857) when 260 sepoys stationed here backed by the people revolted against British forces. Outstanding among the monuments of the Lalbagh Fort are the tomb of Pari Bibi (Fairy lady), Lalbagh Mosque, audience hall and Hammam of Nawan Shaista Khan now housing a museum. 1857 Memorial (Bhahudar Shah Park): Built to commemorate the martyrs of the first liberation war (1857 – 59) against British rule. It was here that the revolting sepoys and their civil compatriots were publicly hanged. Ahsan Manzil Museum: On the bank of river Buriganga in Dhaka the pink majestic Ahsan Manzil has been renovated and turned into a museum recently. It is an example of the nations rich cultural heritage. It was the home of the Nawab of Dhaka and a silent spectator to many events. Today’s renovated Ahsan Manzil is a monument of immense historical beauty. It has 31 rooms with a huge dome atop which can be seen from miles around. It now has 23 galleries in 31 rooms displaying portraits, furniture and household articles and utensils used by the Nawab. Curzon Hall: Beautiful architectural building named after Lord Curzon. It now houses the Science Faculty of Dhaka University. Old High Court Building: Originally built as the residence of the British Governor. It illustrates a happy blend of European and Mughal architecture. Dhaka Zoo: Popularly known as Mirpur Zoo. Colourful and attractive collections of different local and foreign species of animals and birds including the majestic Royal Bengal Tiger are available here. National Museum: Centrally located, the museum contains a large number of interesting collections including sculptures and paintings of the Hindu, Buddhist and Muslim periods. Botanical Garden: Built on an area of 205 acres of land at Mirpur and adjacent to Dhaka zoo. One can have a look at the zoo and the botanical garden in one trip. National Park: Situated at Rejendrapur, 40km. north of Dhaka city. This is a vast (1,600 acres), national recreational forest with facilities for picnic & rowing etc. Central Shahid Minar: Symbol of Bangladesh nationalism. This monument was built to commemorate the martyrs of the historic Language Movement of 1952. Hundred and thousands of people with floral wreaths & bouquet gather on 21 February every year to pay respect in a solemn atmosphere. Celebrations begin at zero hour of midnight. Buddhist Monastery: Kamalapur Buddhist Monastry. National Poet’s Graveyard: Revalutionary poet Kazi Nazrul Islam diend on the 26 th August 1978 and was buried here. The graveyard is adjacent to the Dhaka University. Suhrawardy Uddyan (Garden): Popular Park. The oath for independence of Bangladesh was taken here on the 7th March 1971. The place is famous for its lush verdure and gentle breezes. Mausoleum of National Leaders: Location at the south western corner of Suhrawardy Uddyan, it is the eternal resting place of three great national leaders, Shree – Bangla A.K. Fazlul Haque, Hossain Shahid Suhrawardy and Khawja Nazimmuddin. Banga Bhaban: The official residence of the President, located in the city. One can have a outside view. Baldha Garden: It has a rare collection of botanical plants and flowers. Ramna Green: A vast stretch of green garden surrounded by a serpentine lake near the Sheraton Hotel. National Assembly: Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban (Parliament House) at Shere e Bengla Nagar, designed by the famous architect Louis, Kahn, has distinctive architectural features. It may be called an architectural wonder of this region. Science Museum: Located at Agargaon, the Museum is a modern learning centre related to the latest scientific discoveries. National Memorial: Located at Savar, 35 km. from Dhaka city. The memorial designed by architect Moinul Hossain, sacred memory of the millions of unknown martyrs of the 1971 war of liberation. Sonargaon: About 29 km. from Dhaka. Sonargaon is one of the oldest capital of Bengal. A Folk Art and Crafts Museum has been established here. Other attractions in and around Dhaka include the institute of Arts and Crafts with its representative collection of folk art and paintings, handicraft shops, Aparajeya Bangla monument, picnic spots at Chandra and Salna, industrial estates of Tongi, Narayanganj Demra, Tejgaon: cruising by country boat in the nearby river or a visit to a village to see jute cultivation, weaving and pottery making. Last but not least travel by a horse driven cart or rickshaw along busy Dhaka streets is a rewarding experience. Sight seeing tours: TRAVEL BANGLADESH (TRAVELBD) offers conducted sight – seeing tours form its tourist information centre TRAVEL BANGLADESH (TRAVELBD). River cursing: Day long attractive river cursing is organized in Dhaka by TRAVEL BANGLADESH (TRAVELBD) during tourist season. For bookings one may contact the Tourist information centers in Dhaka or Manager .
village to see jute cultivation, weaving and pottery making. Last but not least travel by a horse driven cart or rickshaw along busy Dhaka streets is a rewarding experience. Sight seeing tours: TRAVEL BANGLADESH (TRAVELBD) offers conducted sight – seeing tours form its tourist information centre TRAVEL BANGLADESH (TRAVELBD). River cursing: Day long attractive river cursing is organized in Dhaka by TRAVEL BANGLADESH (TRAVELBD) during tourist season. For bookings one may contact the Tourist information centers in Dhaka or Manager (Tours) TRAVELBD Head Office Web site URL: www.travelbd.com .
Bangladesh is a melting pot of races. She, therefore, has a mixed culture. Her deep-rooted heritage is amply reflected in her architecture, literature, dance, drama, music and painting. Three great religions- Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam influence Bangladeshi culture in successive order, with Islam having the most pervading and lasting impact. Like a colorful montage, the cultural tradition of the country is a happy blending of many variants, unique in diversity but in essence greatly symmetrical. Bangladesh has a rich tradition of Art. Speciniens of ancient terracotta and pottery show remarkable artistry. Modern painting was pioneered by artists like Zainul Ahedin, Qamrul Hasan. Anwarul Haque, Shafiuddin Ahnied, Shafiqul Amin, Rashid Chowdhury and S.M. Sultan. Zainul Ahedin earned worldwide fame by his stunning sketches of the Bengal Famine in 1943.Other famous artists of Bangladesh are Abdur Razzak, Qayyum Chowdhury, Murtaza Baseer, Aminul Islam, Debdas Chakraborty, Kazi Abdul Baset, Syed Jahangir, and Mohammad Kibria. The earliest available specimen of Bengali literature is about a thousand years old. During the mediaeval period. Bengali Literature developed considerably with the patronage of Muslim rulers. Chandi Das, Daulat Kazi and Alaol are some of the famous poets of the period. The era of modern Bengali Literature began in the late nineteenth century Rabindranath Tagore, the Nobel Laureate is a vital part of Bangalee culture. Kazi Nazrul Islam, Michael Madhusudan Datta. Sarat Chandra Chattopadhaya, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhaya, Mir Mosharraf Hossain and Kazi Ahdul Wadud are the pioneers of modern Bengali Literature.
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My affinity for the game of cricket developed in my initial youth when one fine morning I began hopping and yelling with the seniors celebrating the event of Pakistan’s first ever win against England in a Test match at Lords. My journey as a cricketer started from that point forward. In our time, we played a considerable measure of cricket at schools and our neighborhood cricket club ground. In any case, the cricket used to be played in the winter months then and we could scarcely play cricket more than a couple of months every year.
I turned into a fervent audience of radio commentaries and editorials on cricket in the mid-50s. My father who worked in the Public Relations Department brought a big wooden radio set for our family. “Telefunken’ was the name of the radio set and it was a Japanese product. A wet battery was used to power the radio. Nevertheless, it was a significant decent set with such a variety of bands containing both medium and short waves channels. So I was a blessed child who had a chance to listen to the radio editorials of the cricket matches played anyplace on the planet.
Really those were great days for enjoying cricket by listening to the commentaries on radio. Perhaps we the cricket lovers had the power to visualize the game by using our ears and the mind’s eyes. Listening to Radio Australia meant waking up at 2.30 in the morning. We would venture to listen to the commentary from the very first ball. Gradually the radio signals began to fade as the day progressed and we would frantically search for an alternative frequency, cursing our fate. Apart from listening to the ball-by-ball commentary, we would also love to hear the anecdotes, resumes, the jokes and repertories delivered by those great commentators during rain-interrupted matches.
The great radio commentators are steeped in painting a picture or setting a scene and use far more descriptive words than their TV counterparts.
I became familiar with the voices and names of famous cricket commentators step by step. The BBC had a battery of great commentators like Brian Johnston, John Arlott, Henry Blofeld, Chris Martin-Jenkins, Trevor Bailey, Fred Truman.
For Radio Australia there were veterans like Alan McGilvray, Lindsay Hassett, Keith Stackpole, Bill Lawry, Richie Benaud and so on. I also loved the commentaries of two Pakistani cricket commentators like Omar Qureshi and Jamshed Marker in the early sixties. Tony Cozier was also a great commentator from the West Indies.
All India Radio (AIR) which started its live cricket broadcast in 1940 had a host of gifted cricket commentators like Berry Sarbadhikari, Pearson Surita, Dev Raj Puri, Dickey Rutnagar and then Vijay Merchant and Farokh Engineer. Some Hindi commentators like Ravi Chaturvedi, Joga Rao, Sushil Doshi etc. took the game of cricket to the hinterlands, though many of the Hindi commentators had no cricketing background. Nevertheless AIR played an instrumental role in taking the game to the urban elites through English commentaries, Hindi to every home of the sub-continent and regional language to the kitchens.
All these commentators would share their knowledge and experience to the cricket fans in those early days of cricket broadcasting. They were all as popular as the cricketers of those days. It was cricket-education to all those who listened to them. I must acknowledge that I learned about the field position, names of various cricketing shots and bowling strategies just by listening to the commentators.
In the 50s and 60s, I would look forward to a match to be played at the Eden Garden, Kolkata because then I would be able to listen to cricket commentaries in my own mother tongue, Bangla. The Bengali cricket lovers were virtually hooked to Akashvani Kolkata to listen to the doyen of Bengali sports commentary of Ajay Bose, who enchanted the millions of radio listeners for decades with his golden voice and rich diction,
I can vividly recall the mellow sunny mornings in December or January with a Test match being played in the dew covered green grassy turf of Eden Gardens and listening to the live Bangla commentary over the radio. The captivating voices of the cricket commentators gave me a flight of imagination which made me feel as though I had been sitting in the gallery of the Eden Gardens and watching the cricket live. The Bangla commentators were idols in my childhood but unfortunately, I missed them as I grew old. Even now I browse the websites to get information about those voice legends but hardly find anything worth mentioning. Kamal Bhattacharya, Puspen Sarkar, and Premangshu Chatterjee were the brilliant trios who brought cricket into the sanctuary of our homes with their lively description in a lucid language and informal tone. Kamal Bhattacharya was the senior-most maestro among the three Bangla Cricket commentators. He was affectionately called ‘kamal – da’ by every cricket lover of Bengal.
Still, a septuagenarian of this part of the world might hear those clipped dictions of Kamal Da ringing in his ears “Alto kore duti fielder er majhkhane ball thele diye jayga bodol kore nilen batsman ra” – Nudging the ball between the two fielders the two batsmen amble across for a single. So those were the unforgettable occasions. None can surpass the eloquence, matter-of-fact style, wits and humor, factual comments of the commentators like Henry Blofeld, Christopher Martin-Jenkins, and Kamal Bhattacharya. Radio reigns supreme, doesn’t it?
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