Sonargaon, the City of Panam (Panam Nagar)
Sonargaon is an amazing little place to visit. It was the capital of Isa Khan's kingdom in Bengal. It is located near the current-day city of Narayanganj, 29 kilometers south west of Dhaka. Narayanganj is not much worth the visit, but the old town of Sonargaon is a must. It can be a good day out of the Dhaka city and enjoy some of the best preserved remains of the kingdom.
Old Sonargaon is considered to be one the first and oldest capitals of Bengal. It was known as “The City of Panam” and was a focal part of the renowned Deva Dynasty until the thirteenth century. In the city mainly middle and upper class people lived.
So, what is left of old Sonargaon? A good place to start your exploration is the Jainal Abedin Museum. There have been many archeological find in the area which can be seen here. But the buildings are the things that impressed me most.
For example there is the The Goaldi Mosque which is situated in the Goaldi village and is a beautiful example of an ancient Sonargaon building.
The Panam Nagar is another spectacular proof of architectural beauty. Nevertheless, it's a beautiful sight. The architectural style of the buildings is English Renaissance or the British Raj style, used throughout the cities of India in the 19th century.
What is left is basically a street, a real ghost town as some people in Dhaka told me
The villagers were protected by two moats on the north and south. Originally there were three bridges with gates secured at night for protection.
Panam Nagar was a center of trade and industry, especially during the British reign as for cloth trading.
Many of the original inhabitants of the Panam Nagar left in 1947 after the independence of India and east and west Pakistan. In the 1960's the few families who stayed finally left too hence some people Dhaka call it a ghost town.
Today about there are again some 250 people living, some are staff of the Folk Arts museum and the local school. Others are shopkeepers and vendors.
Other places I visited in Bangladesh:
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The centuries old Lalbagh Fort is a must see in Dhaka. It's an oasis of peace inside the hectic city. The buildings are beautiful preserved and worth an afternoon visit.
Capital of Bangladesh, Dhaka is a huge metropolis. There's plenty to explore. From the Lalbagh Fort to Sonargaon, eatery and getting there away info, check it out: