The long awaited bridge over the Padma River is finally open for all. It has made travelling to all the districts in Southern Bangladesh much easier and less time-consuming than before.
It is believed that the bridge will also boost tourism, as many people from the capital can now easily travel to many districts. They will no longer have to wait for hours at the ferry and can even arrange day trips to nearby places.
Let us check out a few beautiful travel destinations the Padma Bridge has connected us to:
Khulna is a small, neat city where the traffic congestion is usually created by rickshaws! If you visit Khulna, you should not miss out on visiting The Sundarbans and the Mongla Port.
The mangrove forest is a Unesco world heritage site and home to the majestic Bengal Tiger. There is not much to see in Mongla other than the port but in Khulna City, there is a Genocide Museum that is interesting and of course, the Rupsha Bridge.
If you want good quality imported goods, there are a few shops in the Khulna New Market. If you like fresh, delicious mishti and doi, do not forget to visit Ghosh Dairy near Coronation School. The chui jhal beef or mutton dishes at Abbas hotel are also quite famous.
Hotels: In both Mongla and Khulna, there are Parjatan Corporation motels. There are several budget hotels as well. If you want a more expensive stay, you can also book rooms at Tiger Garden or City Inn in Khulna city.
Bagerhat town is now just four hours away from Dhaka. Historically, it is one of the most important places in Bangladesh, not only for the world famous 60 Dome Mosque – a world heritage site – but also for several hundred-year-old mosques such as the Bibi Begni Mosque, Singair Mosque and Chunakhola Mosque, and several old ponds. Another place to visit is the Khan Jahan Ali shrine.
Also there you can walk on the oldest road of Bangladesh, called the Old Khan Jahan Ali Road, which was built around 670 years ago. It is older than the Grand Trunk Road built by Sher Shah during the Mughal era.
Hotels: There are several good hotels in the city centre.
Jashore is now only a five hours drive from Dhaka. Jashore City is one of the most cultured and historically famous cities in the country.
The city in itself is a wonderful place to explore and you can also visit nearby Sagordari, the birthplace of legendary poet Michael Madhusudan Dutta. It is situated near the scenic river Kapotakkho. You can also visit Keshavpur, which is famous for grey Langurs.
Like Khulna, Jashore is also a quaint little city with many famous old shops selling the finest mishtis and doi.
Hotels: Zabeer International Hotel, Divine Centre Limited, Hotel City Plaza.
Kuakata was not very easy to get to from Dhaka as tourists had to cross five ferries and it was a day-long ordeal. But now, it may take a little more than seven hours by car and you will not have to cross a single ferry.
Kuakata beach is quite different from Cox's Bazar and the beach is more muddy than sandy. However, this beach has a completely different appeal of its own. The wind seems cooler and the water denser and saltier.
During evenings, many small food carts on the beach sell deep fried fish, shrimps etc, which you could try. Do not forget to taste the green coconut water which is absolutely delicious.
Hotels: Kuakata Grand Hotel, Graver Inn International, Ocean View Hotel.
You can visit Tungipara in Gopalganj – the birthplace of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and where he is buried beside his parents.
There is a beautifully designed mausoleum where you can pay tribute to him and also learn about his life. The area is surrounded by natural beauty, green villages and wetlands. During monsoon the wetlands swell with water, creating a breathtaking view.
Hotel: Hotel Madhumoti by Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation.