Old Sonargoan

Leave Dhaka city and travel about 29km on the Dhaka-Chittagong highway and you’ll find Sonargoan, one of the oldest one time capitals of Bengal.  It was the seat of the Diva Dynasty until the 13th century.  From then, until the advent of the Mughals, Sonargoan was the subsidiary capital of the Sultanate of Bengal.  The Folklore Museum, that I was here to visit, houses artifacts from every cultural trait of the country, and its grounds are truly beautiful.

An impressive entrance to the Museum

An impressive entrance to the Museum

Once inside, the architecture is grandiose and magnificent, although sadly the worse from the ravages of fire, which has obliterated the roof and most of the upper floor. I drifted around, from chamber to chamber to the  gentle sound of haunting tradtional music, piped through discrete speakers to every part of this large and impressive building.

Impressive, but sadly badly damaged by fire
Magnificent, but sadly fire damaged

Many wonderful artifacts held my attention, and the wood carving in particular I found of high standard with amazing attention to detail.  The huge old weathered doors into the museum and some dark wood wall plaques caught my eye as they were absolutely delightful.

Beautifully handcarved door

Beautifully handcarved door

Ganesha, the Hinu God of Success from the Elephant-Diety was considered the destroyer of evils and obstacles. He is also worshipped as the God of education, knowledge, wisdom and wealth.  In fact, Ganesha is one of the five prime Hindu deities, Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva and Durga being the other four.

Ganesha, Hindu God of Success

Ganesha, Hindu God of Success

The grounds were equally inviting, offering many shady walks and pleasant lakes to sit beside to eat a picnic lunch. Although not in anyway commercial, I found an area housing several small stalls selling Jamdani sari, an historic fabric particular to Bengal, of a very fine texture with elaborate and ornate workmanship.  

The beautiful grounds

The beautiful grounds

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6 Comments

  1. 26/05/2009 at 2:53 am

    Great pictures! I like it a lot.

    MB.

  2. 12/07/2009 at 5:04 pm

    [...] Life and Work in Dhaka city visited Sonargaon, one of the oldest one time capitals of Bengal. She writes: The Folklore Museum, that I was here to visit, houses artifacts from every cultural trait of the [...]

  3. 12/07/2009 at 5:35 pm

    [...] Life and Work in Dhaka city visited Sonargaon, one of the oldest one time capitals of Bengal. She writes: The Folklore Museum, that I was here to visit, houses artifacts from every cultural trait of the [...]

  4. Jerome said,

    14/07/2009 at 7:58 am

    Sonargaon portrays some aspects of the Bangali culture. Thanks for giving a coverage on it. Please keep up the good work.

    Next time please try to give photos of various musical instruments of Bangladesh in different parts of the country.

  5. 02/09/2010 at 12:11 am

    Great pictures!

    We’ve lunched a new site http://www.bangladesh-travel-assistance.com to help the expatriates and travelers of Bangladesh. Come share your travel tips and experience with us. We’d love to have you with our family.

    Thank you!

    • Mostafa Kamal said,

      20/05/2012 at 5:21 pm

      I would like to go there. I’m living in nearby Chittagong highway road. Please give me location to go there.


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