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.
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.
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.
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.
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.