Where is Bangladesh On the Map?

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Although Bangladesh doesn’t make it to the list of a lot of travelers, it has got many reasons to pull you there. I know there isn’t a lot of information about Bangladesh on the Internet. Lots of people don't even know where is Bangladesh! But to be sure that it isn’t one of the reasons for skipping Bangladesh, I am here to help.

From experiencing the raw natural beauty in rural Bangladesh to going through the chaos of Dhaka, there is a lot to do in Bangladesh. Oh, don’t get paranoid, I assure you that you will come out unharmed. 

Check out my Postcards from Bangladesh!

OK, from rowing a boat to surfing the waves, there are plenty of adventures waiting to be explored. And not to forget the Bangladesh tiger and the spicy Bangladeshi food.

Would you now like to know where is Bangladesh? The answer is coming right away!

Where is Bangladesh?

Where is Bangladesh on the map? It is right between India and Southeast Asia.
Where is Bangladesh on the map? It is right between India and Southeast Asia.

Prone to frequent floods, thanks to its network of about 700 rivers, Bangladesh is a small delta country in South Asia. It shares its boundaries with India and a small part with Myanmar too. And to its south is the Bay of Bengal.

Talking about rivers, Meghna is the longest river in Bangladesh. Ganga (Padma) and Brahmaputra (Jamuna) are the other main rivers. And they all contribute to its evergreen forest areas, swamps and the world’s largest mangrove forest, Sundarbans.

Earlier a part of India, and Pakistan afterward, Bangladesh is a somewhat new country. It gained independence only about 50 years ago, in 1971. But it is the 8th most populated country in the world. The tourism here though is still in its infancy.

But the culture of Bangladesh and its people are warm and welcoming. Foreigners are a center of attraction in many places, but people mean no harm. They are always friendly and ready to help. That would be all about where is Bangladesh, the geography of Bangladesh and its people, for now.

“Life is meant for great adventures and close friends.”
– Author Unknown

So, if you are one of those who loves to make a lot of friends, come and explore Bangladesh.

Places to visit in Bangladesh

What are the best places to visit in Bangladesh?
What are the best places to visit in Bangladesh?

Now that you know where is Bangladesh, I think it would be just perfect to learn about a few places that you should visit during your stay!

Also, make sure to check out the list of 15 places you shouldn't miss in Bangladesh!

1) Dhaka

The view from a rooftop restaurant in Dhaka.

The capital and also, the most populated city of Bangladesh, Dhaka is home to many historical and religious monuments. Apart from Lalbagh Fort and the Pink Palace – Ahsan Manzil, Dhaka also has churches, temples, and mosques.

There is the 12th-century Dhakeshwari Temple which has a religious significance among the Hindus. Then you can find here, the Armenian Church (built in the 1780s), Khan Mohammad Mridha’s Mosque (since 1706) and the Star Mosque (built in the early 18th century) among others.

Even the Parliament House (Songsod Bhobon) is one of the key tourist attractions. And, so is the Sadarghat River Front. Contrary to the chaos of Dhaka, the river is calm, and it offers an excellent opportunity to watch the life of Dhaka from a distance.

Well, you now know where is Bangladesh capital and what to see there. So, let’s move to another city. Oh, by the way, Dhaka also has the Liberation War Museum. It’s in memory of the Liberation War of 1971, which got Bangladesh its Independence from Pakistan.

2) Paharpur

Sompur Mahavihara is one of the main reasons to visit this place!

There isn’t anything fascinating about this little town in north-western Bangladesh… except for the fact that in Paharpur, there are ruins of an 8th-century Buddhist temple and monastery. The place called Sompur Mahavihara is one of the Heritage Sites listed by UNESCO.

In the old days, the monks used to come here for education, and it’s one of the key attractions of Bangladesh. And today, you can still see, what could have been, the meditation rooms back then.

3) Sonargaon

The long-abandoned town of Panam Nagar.

Sonargaon was the old administrative as well as the business capital of Bengal for years before the rulers shifted to Dhaka. Seeing this small town today, you won’t be able to imagine its glorious days. But there is the Sonargaon museum, which has various arts and crafts, furniture, tools and other things related to its heritage.

A few minutes of walk from Sonargaon is Panam Nagar, a city of Hindu merchants. They though abandoned it a long ago and went to India. But the buildings remain.

4) Cox’s Bazar

Bangladesh has some of the longest sea beaches in the world located in Cox's Bazar.

Cox’s Bazar is known to have one of the longest sea beaches in the world. This 120 km long beach is popular among the locals and thus, can be very crowded at times. However, there are plenty of eateries there if you’re looking to taste some Bangladesh street food.

You can avoid the crowd by booking a resort with private beach areas, though.

5) Barisal

A floating market in Barisal.

Two hundred kilometers south of Dhaka, lies the town and the district headquarter Barisal, an area, most of which runs on water… river, to be precise. Lying in the Ganges delta, the area is covered with paddy fields and fish farms. The main attraction though is the floating markets selling local vegetables, fruits, and seafood.

6) Saint Martin

Saint Martin Island is a lovely place to recharge your batteries while staying in Bangladesh.

Moving in and around Bangladesh could be tiresome and 2-3 days in Saint Martin would give you some time to revive. It’s a beautiful coral island, and even the locals come here for a day out to relax. You can enjoy plenty of seafood, coconut, rice, and sun. One of the best places to visit in Bangladesh!

7) Sylhet

Museum of Rajas is a must-visit if you want to learn more about the culture of this region!

Sylhet is one of the natural attractions of Bangladesh. Apart from being one of the important cities in Bangladesh, the main attraction is the slope covered with tea plantations. Dense green forests and natural lakes mark the area. And while you are here, do pay a visit to the Museum of Rajas. It’s a small museum containing the belongings of the local folk musician Hasan Raja.

8) Sundarbans

Sundarbans is the largest mangrove forest in the world.

And the list of places to visit in Bangladesh can never be complete without mentioning the forest of Sundarbans. It’s the world’s largest mangrove forest and the home of Royal Bengal tigers. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the boat safari would be an experience of a lifetime.

Among the other Sundarban forest animals are crocodiles, primates and cobras. And you can also spot fishers using trained otters for fishing.

Things to do in Bangladesh

There are many interesting things to do in Bangladesh.

There are quite a few interesting places to visit in Bangladesh, aren't there? But, what should you do in these places? Here are some tips for you!

1) Trekking in Chittagong

The area around Chittagong offers many trekking opportunities!

The area around the Chittagong City offers many scenic treks around the hills. Within the Chittagong Hill Tracts area are the places like Rangamati and Bandarban which provide splendid views of the greenery around.

In Bandarban, for example, there are the three highest peaks of Bangladesh – Tahjindong, Maudok Mual, and Keokradong. With permission from the authority, you can trek deep through the jungles, which also gives you the privilege to see many hidden waterfalls on the route. Nearby is the artificial, but large, Kaptai Lake.

Rangamati is situated at the bank of the lake and offers a few spots like Chakma Royal Palace and the Tribal Museum. You can access all the tourist spots there through a boat cruise in the lake. FYI, fourteen tribes live together in those forests.

2) A trip to a tribal village

If you're willing to learn more about the local culture of Bangladesh, make sure to visit a tribal village.

Many tour operators can help you with a trip to one of the tribal communities in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. There, you can spend a day or more in a traditional setting. You can interact with the tribal people, get to know their lifestyle, and also be a part of their daily activities.

One of the must-do activities in Bangladesh if you’re interested in knowing their culture.

3) Boat cruise to Sundarbans

Getting to Sundarbans via the river cruise.

Do you know where is Bangladesh’s lifeline? It’s in its river system. The river system of Bangladesh comprises of about 700 rivers and the river cruise on the special paddle steamer, Rocket, is one of the activities you shouldn’t miss in Bangladesh.

The Rocket is a 100-year old steamer with cozy wooden cabins. Apart from comfortable beds, this cruise from Dhaka also has local Bangladesh food on-board. Western options are available too. After a 20 hours boat-ride, you reach Khulna, the entry point to the Sundarbans National Park.

4) Dhaka Nightlife

Dhaka doesn't offer your traditional nightlife!

Dhaka does have a nightlife but may not be what you are used to. There are clubs, but many don’t serve alcohol. The club nearby may not even be used to music and partying all night. Premium hotels and restaurants might be of some help if you’re looking to enjoy the nightlife in Dhaka.

Dhaka, however, has plenty of cafés open till night if you are looking to have some coffee after a tiring day.

Bangladeshi Cuisine

The food of Bangladesh is very similar to Indian food, with some key differences.
The food of Bangladesh is very similar to Indian food, with some key differences.

A saying goes that it’s fish and rice that makes a Bengali, and Bangladesh is mostly about fish. Although pretty similar to the Indian side of Bengal, there are some variations in cooking styles and the ingredients used. And they can be pretty spicy for a foreign tongue. However, you won’t have a problem if you’re already adapted to Indian food.

Typical breakfast in Bangladesh.

Breakfast usually consists of paratha (fried flatbread) or luchi (deep-fried flatbread, but smaller in size). Sabzi (vegetable) is served alongside these. You can also get boiled egg or omelette with it, upon request.

The staple food of Bangladesh.

Although you get curry vegetables or fried vegetables, fish, dal (lentils) and rice is the staple food. You will find a variety of fishes here and also many different fish recipes – in gravy as well as fried. Just in case, you are looking for some recommendation, the smoked freshwater ilish (a type of fish) is a local favorite. Bangladeshis also have beef, goat, lamb, and chicken on their plates. Pork though is a no-no.

Biryani is popular food in Bangladesh.

Biryani (rice cooked with spices and meat/chicken) is also a favorite dish in Bangladesh. And if you get to go to some restaurant serving traditional Bangladeshi cuisine, do taste the bhorta too. It’s mashed vegetables. Most of the times, it’s only potato, but there are variations.

Roshogulla is the mostp opular dessert in Bangladesh.

Then, there are Bangladeshi desserts. Most popular desserts in Bangladesh are the roshogulla (cottage cheese balls dipped in sugar syrup) and mishti doi (sweet yogurt). Both are must try sweet dishes. Many also like to drink the cool, sweet lassi (a drink made of yogurt) during the day.

Street food stalls in Old Dhaka.

As for drinks, alcohol is difficult to find, but cha (tea) is available everywhere, mostly served with milk. Talking about street food, you will get many street food stalls in Old Dhaka during the evening, when people are out for a stroll. Fuchka and chaat are popular as street food in Bangladesh.

Chaat is one fine Bangladeshi snack!

Fuchka is a hollow puri filled with spicy water, chutney, and mashed vegetables. Chaat is made up of chickpeas with a little gravy topped with puffed rice, tomatoes, onions and namkeens. There also is singara/samosa (a deep fried crispy snack filled with mashed vegetables).

Read more: 16 Best Foods in Bangladesh

Apart from food stalls, Dhaka street food restaurants also sell snacks like seekh kabab (barbequed meat) and grilled chicken along with a salad.

How to reach Bangladesh?

Getting to Bangladesh is best by plane. There are some other options though.
Getting to Bangladesh is best by plane. There are some other options though.

Well, I guess you have got a good idea about where is Bangladesh and what all you can expect when you visit Bangladesh. So, time to find out how to go to Bangladesh.

Bangladesh is connected well with the nearby countries by regular flights. Direct flights are also available from a few countries in the Middle East and Europe to Dhaka.

Dhaka is also linked by rail and road from Kolkata, in India. You would need a pre-approved visa though. Visa on Arrival facility, by the way, is available for some countries. And when you’re in, you can move around the country by road. Traveling to southern Bangladesh, however, involves crossing rivers by ferries at many places.

Check out Adrian's road trip through Bangladesh!

OK, that would be all for now. Bangladesh is a developing country and tourism industry hasn’t yet taken off. The infrastructure is poor, and you may face considerable delays while traveling by road. Major cities are connected by air which can save some time and the discomfort faced during road travel.

Slow down, meet new people, experience Bangladesh, and let Bangladesh take some time off your busy schedule. Go with the flow. Where is Bangladesh, surprises await!

“Bangladesh is not a rich country, but we have a big heart.”
– Sheikh Hasina, the PM of Bangladesh

Come before all the tourists visit the place where is Bangladesh!

Abhijeet Kumar a freelance content writer for aSabbatical.com
We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.