Blog Dhaka

A Rickshaw Ride to Ahsan Manzil

January 7, 2019

I was brought up in Dhaka city and have been to many places for personal reasons. Like meeting friends, attending schools, university, shopping, or things that demand city life! Unfortunately, I haven’t traveled to Dhaka from a traveler’s perspective before I started writing my blog. So, I tried to explore a bit to let travelers know about the city from my perspective.

Urs, Mohammad, and I reached Dhaka from Sylhet by train. The next day they both had a flight to different countries at different times. Mohammad left early in the morning for the airport and we both went to the main road to get him a CNG to go to the airport.

Dhaka is a small city with lots of people and traffic! A city of busy people who work hard to survive. So, from any place, the distance is not very long but for the traffic, vehicles charge a lot. Better you bargain and fix the amount between 350 to 400 taka from anywhere inside Dhaka to the airport. Mohammad left and we started walking towards the Mirpur 10 circle. I live in Mirpur and that was a working day! Taking a bus could be a bad idea during that time. So keeping that in our mind, Urs and I have taken a rickshaw from Mirpur circle 10 to the Shamoli bus stand that costs 100 takas. The reason behind taking a rickshaw was to avoid traffic, reach early to the places and come back home by 5 PM. Urs had his flight at 10 PM and we both can’t afford to miss that in any way.

We reached Shamoli bridge within 25-minute because the rickshaw puller took short cut to the destination. We crossed the bridge and take another rickshaw to Dhanmondi 27 that costs 60 takas. Though Urs is not a book lover I wanted him to see Bengal Boi, a hub of creative people, writers, and publishers. Also, I badly needed to use the washroom, so we stopped there for 10 minutes and then walked towards Meena Bazar.Those who already know Urs, can understand that he needs to drink a lot of Cocacola and for that, we went to Meena Bazar. After getting his coke we crossed the road and take another rickshaw to New Market that cost 60 takas again. On our way to the new market, we found a lot of people, traffic, street shops that have given him a general impression of Dhaka city.

Though Dhaka is not a big city but the areas are very different from each other. Especially because of the economical class division, university area, industrial area that makes a huge difference. Here you can find many things to see but don’t need a lot of time. You just need to have a plan to explore. Then I believe three days would be enough!

We got down in the New Market, crossed the bridge, walked towards Neelkhet, and took another rickshaw to Shaheed Minar, a national monument inside Dhaka University. The distance was not that long and the university area looks perfect for a foreigner. We reached the place and paid 30 takas to the rickshaw puller. The place has some historical value related to the language movement in 1952. He researched before he arrived in Bangladesh, so it was easy for me to explain. Later we walked for a while and went to the Curzon Hall, The Curzon Hall is a British Raj-era building and home of the Faculty of Sciences at the University of Dhaka.

From the Curzon Hall, we took a rickshaw and went to the National Museum which opens after 10 AM. Since we were early, we went to the public library area and sat on the wall, and discussed the small things that made us laugh at each other. We talked about curious people who can’t stop staring at us and laughed! However, we entered the Museum and Urs had to pay 500 because he was a foreigner. I paid only 20 takas. Remember, if you belong to SAARC enlisted countries then you have to pay 300 BDT. We entered, explored, and giggled a lot because he couldn’t find anything interesting apart from some silly things. He seemed disappointed but before we entered, I warned him about the museum! So, people if you are a museum person, I would like to suggest you avoid and google for the information.

Usually, the first thing that attracts travelers in Old Dhaka because of its originality. You can feel the Dhakaiya tradition once you will visit that place. Dhaka University is close to old Dhaka and rickshaw rides are less tiring to the desired destinations. We took a rickshaw (cost 80 takas) after exploring National Museum to Ahsan Manzil that was around 30 minutes road trip. The palace looks pleasant from the outside because it’s pink! Ahsan Manzil was the official residential palace and seat of the Nawab of Dhaka. Again, Urs had to pay 500 and I paid 20 takas for the tickets. The funny part is, he couldn’t find that place interesting either. It was also a museum with a lack of information and resources to see. But we left after 15 minutes and crossed the vegetable market to go to the Buriganga River. The river water was dirty and black but we took a 45 hours boat trip to see a different view of the city. When you will reach the ghat you can find a lot of boatman waiting for the travelers. You just have to bargain and finalize 600 for an hour trip. Since we were running out of time, we fixed 500 for 45 minutes. The day was sunny and we ended up early because of the smell and dirt around.

Later took a rickshaw to the Azimpur that cost 100 takas, walk for a while, and take another rickshaw from New Market to Jhigatola Bus Stand. We both were hungry and wanted to have Burger King! By that time, we realized that it was already 3:0 PM and we should start to the home after finishing French fries and burger. We took the same route by rickshaw and at one point, he seemed a bit tired of traveling but the decision was wise. We reached home around 4:30 PM and Urs left my home for the airport by 8:30 PM. Yes, he didn’t miss his flight!

We had plenty more to cover but The Swiss Guy had to leave. You know, time with Mohammad and Urs was like flown away! We didn’t realize that we three spent almost 4 days together! Saying goodbye to Urs and Mohammad on the same day was very hard! But we promised that we will see each other again with a Trio Rambo Trip!

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