Heritage Sites

Bangladesh covers 143,998 k.m area in between the Himalayan ranges and the Bay of Bengal. The G.P.S. is Lat, 26 46N and long 92 41 to 88 02 E. The major part of this vast terrain is formed of river – born new alluvial deposits which are flat in contour while the rest represents smaller sporadic belts formed of older alluvium with a little elevation above the general height of the country. However, at different corners of its length a vast number of archaeological sites and monuments, mostly belonging to the medieval period, are lying at random.

To date only 397 sites and monument have declared protected on priority basis under the provisions of the Antiquities Act (XIV of 1968).  There are also two world heritage sites in Bangladesh:

World Cultural Heritage Sites

  1. Historical Mosque city of Bagerhat
  2. Phaharpur Buddhist Vihara, Naogao

For more details on these please click here.

There are many places of historical interest in Bangladesh.

Major Sites

  1. Mahasthangarh –Pundranara,Bogra
  2. Mainamati –Lalmai, Comilla
  3. Bharat Bhayana, Jessor
  4. Harischandra Rajar Prasada Mound,Savar,Dhaka
  5. Lalbagh Fort, Dhaka Metropolitan City
  6. Bhatbhita, Magura
  7. Gaur-Laksmanavati,C’ nowabgonj
  8. Medieval City-Site of Sonargaon,Narayangonj
  9. Barabazar,Jhinaidaha
  10. Sitakot Vihara, Dinajpur
  11. Kantaji Madir, ditto
Excavated Sites (other than major sites)

  1. Halud Vihara, Naogaon
  2. Jagaddala Rajbari, ditta
  3. Godaibari Dhap, Bogra
  4. Khulnar Dhap, ditto
  5. Chorchakravarti Mound, Dinajpur
  6. Arundhap, ditto
  7. Rowailbari, Netrakona
Other Important Protected Monuments and Sites
  • Satgnmbad Mosque and Tomb, Dhaka Metropolitan City
  • Dhanmondi Idgah, ditto
  • Khan Muhammad Mirdha Mosque, ditto
  • Musa Khan Mosque, ditto
  • Haji Khawza Shahbaj Tomb
  • And Mosque, ditto
  • North Brooke Hali, Wiseghat , ditto
  • Rose Garden, ditto
  • Ruplal House, ditto
  • Sutrapur Zamindar House, ditto
  • Vajahari Lodge, ditto
  • Baliati palace, manikgonj
  • Shah Muhmmed Mosque, Mymansingh
  • Shashi Lodrg, ditto
  • Muktagacha Jamindar Bari, ditto
  • Qutub Mosque, Kisorgonj
  • Sadi Mosque, ditto
  • Dvijavangshidas and
  • Chandravati Temple, ditto
  • Aurangzed Mosque,
  • Egarasindur,ditto
  • Atia Mosque, Tangail
  • Kadir Hamdani Mosque, ditto
  • Ghagra Khan Bari Jami
  • Mosque, Sherpur
  • Nayani jamindar Bari, ditto
  • Majlis Awlia Mosque, Faridpur
  • Mathurapur Deul, ditto
  • Rajaram Temple, Madaripur
  • Bakshi Hamid Mosque, Chittagong
  • Fatehabad Inscription, ditto
  • Ulchapur Mosque, Brahmanbaria
  • Arifail Mosque and tomb, ditto
  • Silua Mound and Image, Noakhali
  • Shattarm Majumdar Math, Chandpur
  • Jatra Monir Math, ditto
  • Alipur Shahi Mosque, ditto
  • Bakhtiar Khan Mosque, ditto
  • Uchail Mosque, Habigonj
  • Bhatera Tila Mound,Sylhet
  • Megalithic Monuments, ditto
  • Gaybi Dighi Mosque, ditto
  • Chittoda Mosque,comilla
  • Arjuntala Mosque, ditto
  • Mohammed Ali Chowhury Mosque,Feni
  • Chand Gazi Bhuiyan Mosque, ditto
  • Fort shamsher Gazi,ditto
  • Sarsadi Mosque,ditto
  • Mithapukur Mosque, Rangpur
  • Fulchowki Mosque, ditto
  • Darian Durag Mound, ditto
  • Tajhat Jumindar Bari,ditto
  • Chaprakot Mound,ditto
  • Dharmapaler Gart, Nilphamari
  • Sura Mosque, Dinajpur
  • Nayabad Temple Mound, ditto
  • Baigram Temple Mound, ditto
  • Ghoraghat Fort, ditto
  • Kanjir Hari, ditto
  • Bara Paiker Garh, ditto
  • Ismail Gazir Mazar, ditto
  • Gopalganj Temple. Ditto
  • Kumarpur Mound, ditto
  • Bagha Mosque, ditto
  • Kismat Maria and Bibir Ghar, ditto
  • Hawakhana, ditto
  • Putia Group of Monuments, ditto
  • Deopara Tank and Embankment, ditto
  • Radhakrisna Mandir,ditto
  • Barakatra,ditto
  • Chotakatra,ditto
  • Beraid Jami Mosque, ditto
  • Khelaram Data Temple,
  • Keranigonj,Dhaka
  • Sonakanda Fort, Narayangonj
  • Hajigonj Fort,ditto
  • Bidi Mariyam Complex,ditto
  • Murapara Palace, ditto
  • Sonarang Temple,Munshigonj
  • Idrakpur Fort, ditto
  • Baba Adam Mosque,ditto
  • Mirkadim Bridge,ditto
  • Dhanora Mound,ditto
  • Bihrail Mound,diito
  • Naoda Buruj and its attached
  • low monud,eitto
  • Kusumba moaque, Naogaon
  • Patisar Rabindranath Tagore
  • Kachari Bari, ditto
  • Agradigum Mound, ditto
  • Dubalhati Palace, ditto
  • Badal Pillar, ditto
  • Mahisantosh Mosque, ditto
  • Chatmohar Mosque, Pabna
  • Jorbangla Temple, ditto
  • Jagnnath Temple, ditto
  • Bangla Temple, ditto
  • Dighapatia Palace Natore
  • Rani Bhavani Palace, ditto
  • Tagore Kacharibari, Sirajgonj
  • Shah Daullah Makhdum Mazar and Mosque, ditto
  • Navaratna Temple, ditto
  • Potajia Group of Temple, ditto
  • The Palace of Birat Raja, ditto
  • Birat Rajar Dhibi, Gaibandha
  • Bodesvari Temple, Panchagrah
  • Imambara, ditto
  • Mirzapur Shahi Mosque, ditto
  • Mekurtan Shahi Mosque, Kurigram
  • P.C. Roy Bari, ditto
  • Dhopakhola Mosque, Khulna
  • Quasba Mosque, Barisal
  • Kamalapur Mosque, ditto
  • Sarkar Math, ditto
  • Momin Mosque, Pirojpur
  • Amtali Mosque, Patuakhali
  • Srirampue Group of Monuments, ditto
  • Damdama Pirer Dhibi, Jessore
  • Chanchra Siva Temple, ditto
  • Mirzanagar Hummam, ditto
  • Michael Madhusuban Datta House, ditto
  • Imambara of Haji Muhammad Mohsin, ditto
  • Avayangar Akadasa Siva Mandir, ditto
  • Iswaripur Hammam, Satkhira
  • Prabajpur Shahi Mosque, ditto
  • Jahajghata Hammam,ditto
  • Singdaha Awlia Jami Mosque, Jhinaidaha
  • Diknagar Mound, ditto
  • Silaidaha Rabindra Kuthibari, Kushtia
  • Bidi Chini Mosque, Bagerhat
  • Subekdanga Topghar, Bagerhat
  • Kodla (Audya) Math, ditto
  • Mounds in the Suburb of Mahas Uran, Bogra
  • Kherua Mosque, ditto

Somapura Mahavihara, Paharpur

Situated in village paharpur under Bangladesh Thana of Naogaon district, the site contains the structural ruins of a single unit of Buddhist monastery which being considered as the second largest of its kind on the south of the Himalayas. It is said to have been built by Dharmapala, the second of the Pala kings of Verendra (Barind), during his reigning period (781-82-AD). Facing south, the monastery accommodates a rectangular (280.5 m x 280m) open courtyard with a lofty pyramidal temple to a little west of its central point and a line of monastic cells in each of its four wings. The main entrance on the north is outcropping beyond its perimeter and is open though two pillared halls with a group of cells on both sides. The central temple stands on a cruciform base wherein it contains 63 stone sculptural pieces in a line of niches. Moreover, each cornice of its each stage is decorated with carved bricks depicting lozenge, chain, chess-board pyramidal representation and so on. Below these cornices there are friezes of terracotta plaques depicting several views from the folk life of the 8th -9th century AD. About 2,800 plaques have been recorded so far.

Khalifatabad, Bagerhat

The site occupies at least 9sq. km area on the west of Bagerhat town and has been enlisted in the category of World Cultural Heritage under the title ‘Historic Mosque City of Bagerhat’ The city was founded by a saint-warrior, Khan-e Jajan Uligh Khan by title, in the 15th century AD. At present it is dotted with several mound, mosque, reservoirs and tombs. Of them the most illustrious one is Saitgumbad Masjid, being the biggest older multi-domed mosque of Bangladesh. There has a museum and a rest house in the Saitgumbad compound.

Pundrangara, Mahastngarh

Situated in village Mahasthan of Bogra district, the extensive site represents the wreckage of an ancient city (cir 4th cent. BC to 14th AD) called pundranagara. It is roughly oblong (1.523 km by 1.37) in shape encircled by high rampart with thick wall core at places and is entrenched on all sides save the east where the river karatoya were flowing in ancient time. Inside the fort, however, still lie the remnants of temples, stupas, mosques, tombs and residential complexes at random. Moreover, a good volume of coins, silver coated copper cast coins barring inscription, rouletted ware. NBPW, black slipped ware, black and red ware, beads of semiprecious, terracotta plaques and toys, sculptures, objects of daily use and so on. But by far the most important one is a Brahmi Inscriptional slab datable to the 3rd cent. BC. Around the fort for about 8km excepting the each suburb, there are many older mounds and reservoirs. There is a small site museum and a rest-house near its northeast corner. A mission of French Experts has been working in the site 1993 in order to reveal its whole unknown past as per an agreement with Government of Bangladesh.


It is a hilly terrain with an average height of 15m in the district of Comilla. It stands in a north south alignment with its length extending over 17 km and average breadth 2.5km. at different points of its slope there lie number of older structural ruins pertaining to temple, Stupa and Vihara. Along with these ruins tools made of fossilized wood (could be daily per-historic origin?) both Hindu and Buddhist sculptures, metallic coins, objects daily use, terracotta plaques, carved bricks, ornaments, potteries, metallic utensils, seals and the circa 7th -13th century AD. Scholars are of opinion that lie the ruins of a southeastern Bengali capital, ‘Devaparvata’ by name, in a corner of the hill range.

There was another capital called ‘Jaykarmantavasaka’ in an adjoining corner of the Mainamati- Lalmai Hill Range. There has an archaeological museum and a rest house in salvana village which occupies the mid-most point of Mainamati-Lalmai Hill Range.

Bharat Rajar Deul, Bharat Bhayana

The site is known after the name of its village Bhayana which is in the thane of Kesabpur under Jessor district. The village and its surroundings are dotted with some mounds and sparsely lying architectural pieces. Of them, only one, Bharat Rajar Deul, has yielded the substantial ruins of a brick-built curious structure. It shows starkly plain wall surface save some recording offsets at the base level only. The present height of the roofless structure is about 10m at its highest point which appear to have been much more in its original form. The site has also yielded some busts of princely male figures, potteries of early medieval origin etc. On stylistic ground they may be dated in the circa 5th-6th century AD.

Harischandra Rajar Prasada Mound
Situated on the northeast corner of Savar town (18km north of Dhaka metropolitan city), the mound has yielded the substantial ruins of a smaller Buddhist monastery entirely built of brick. On its close north bronze sculptural pieces belonging to Buddhist pantheon carved bricks, potteries and a silver coin of Pattikera-Harikela origin. It is further to be mentioned here that a number of Imitation Gupta Coins have earlier been reported from the surroundings of Harischandra Rajar Prasada Mound time and again. Moreover, there exist the remains of a mud fort. Kotbari by name, on the northwest of a monastery. It is also to be remembered that remains of a group of votive stupas were also discovered a few years back in a place called Rajasan which is only 150m on the east of the site. Among other promising structural ruins of the neighbouring area mention may also be made of Harischndra Rajar Buruj’ which appears to have been a brick-built stupa. On stylistic ground they are datable to the circa 6th -8th century AD.

Sitar Vanavasa, Sitakot Vihara

Situated in village Fatehpur Maras under Nowabgonj thana of Dinajpur district, the site has yielded the impoverished remains of a brick-built Buddhist monastery. It is medium in size, roughly 65.5m each side, and has yielded a number of movable antiquities, i.e. bronze sculptural pieces of Mahayana origin, iron dagger, terracotta net-sinker, terracotta cone, carved brick, potteries of early medieval origin etc. on ground of style they are datable to the circa 7th- 8th century AD.

It is a medium size mound situated at village Tila of Magura district. Recent excavation (2003-4) has revealed here the impoverished remain of a curious structure entirely built of brick and clay. But it appears to have been much more extended on the east. Among its surface findings, semiprecious stone beads four pieces of potteries bearing rouletted characteristics and some NBPW shreds are worth noted. Hence the antiquity of the site may tentatively be pushed back to at least the 2nd-1st century BC. The ruins appear to be the western half of an eastwest long lost cellular structure.

Laksmanavati , Gour

The site sprawls over roughly 5sq.km area in the Sibgonj thana of C’nowabgonj district and in the bordering areas with Maldaha district of India. It accommodates some sparse medieval monuments and demonstrates the place where the suburd of the first capital of the Sultans of Bengal, Gauda by name, was eatablished in the 13th century AD. However, the capital continued its effluent, excepting some short interludes, till the downfall of the Sultans in 1538 AD. During the reigning period of Humayun, the second of the Mughals, it assumed the title ‘Jannatabad’. To understand the grandeur of the bygone town there one can still visit the Chotasona Mosque (1493-1518 AD), Darasbari Madrasa (1504-AD), Darasbari Mosque (1479 AD), Khanja Dighi Mosque (15thcent. AD), Dhunichak Mosque (15thcent. AD), Shah Suja’s Turkish bath (17thcent. AD) and Shah Niamatullah Walli’s Tomb-Mosque complex (17thcent. AD).

Suvarnagram, Sonarhakagaon
Situated near the eastern peripheral land of Dhaka, at about 24km distance the zero point, the site represents the substantial remains of an early medieval bygone city called Suvarnagrm>Sonasgaon. It now accommodates a mosque called Gowaldi Masjid built in stone-brick masonry (1519 AD), a tomb built entirely of carved stone called Sultan Giasuddin Azam Shan Mazar, a bridge (17th cent AD) a tomg complex and some sparse structutural vestiges. There also a folk museum at one corner of the site. Another attraction of the site is an early modern settlement called ‘Panam Sahar’ it lies on the close vicinity of Sonargaon

Sara Muhammadaba, Barabazar
It lies in Barabazar of kaligonj thana under Jhinaidaha district and historically known as Sahar Muhammadabad (the town of the Muhammedans). It sprawls 8sp.km are with scattered remains of mosques, tombs, reservoirs and mounds. They have been dated in circa 15th century AD.

Kella Aurangabad, Lalbagh Fort

Situated in the southwestern corner of Dhaka metropolitan city, the site may be considered as the symbol of grandeur that Dhaka had during the time of the Mughal hegemony in Bengal as it is embellished with high protective wall, princely gateways, majestic Turkish bath, illustrated mosque, serine tomb, luminous garden and enchanting reservoir, all being built in the, 17th century AD.

Kantaji Mandir

It is a Hindu temple, entirely built of brick, located about 18 km to the north of Dinajpur town. It rises in three diminishing stages and originally showed a navaralna (nine- towered) disposition. Most of the rahnas however, are now lost. The wall surface of the entire temple is lavishly decorated with terracotta plaques depicting Hindu mythological scenery. It was built in 1772 AD by the local land owner aristocrat family.


Language is a very important part of the Bangladeshi national identity. Bangla, official language of the Bangladesh is spoken by the majority of the people. It was the ethno-linguistic identity evoked by the language that forged the call for independence from Pakistan during the Bengali nationalist movement. The Bengali Language Movement was a major political movement that advocated for the recognition of the Bangla as an official language In East Pakistan. In Bangladesh, 21 February is observed as Language Movement Day, a national holiday.
The primary language is Bangla, called Bengali by most nonnatives, an Indo-European language spoken not just by Bangladeshis, but also by people who are culturally Bengali. This includes about 300 million people from Bangladesh, West Bengal, and Bihar, as well as Bengali speakers in other Indian states. The language dates from well before the birth of Christ. Bangali varies by region, and people may not understand the language of a person from another district. However, differences in dialect consist primarily of slight differences in accent or pronunciation and minor grammatical usages.

Language differences mirror social and religious divisions. Bangla is divided into two fairly distinct forms: sadhu basha, learned or formal language, and cholit basha, common language.
To learn basic phrases in Bangla please click here.

The number of individual languages listed for Bangladesh is 40. All are living languages. Of these, 5 are institutional, 11 are developing, 16 are vigorous, and 8 are in trouble. For more information please click here http://www.ethnologue.com/country/BD

Photo Source: Ehtnologue.com

Bangla varies by region, and people may fully comprehend the language of a person from another district. However, differences in dialect consist primarily of slight differences in accent, pronunciation and minor grammatical usages. Sadhu basha is the language of formal essays and poetry, thus the well-educated. Cholit basha is the spoken vernacular; the language of the great majority of Bengalis. Cholit basha is the medium by which the great majority of people communicate in a country. There are also small usages variations between Muslims and Hindus, along with minor vocabulary differences.

While Bangla, is the official language of the country. There are various non-Indic vernaculars as well. Tibeto-Burman languages like Garo, Mizo, Chak, Megham, Mru, Tippera, and Usoi are spoken in the mountainous areas along the Northe, East, and Southern Bangladesh. More information please click here. http://www.ethnologue.com/country/BD/languages

A number of Austroasiatic languages are also spoken in Bangladesh by indigenous communities of inhabiting in north and east. These include: Khasi, Koda, Mundari, Pnar, Santali, War-Jaintia. In addition to these languages two Dravidian languages are also spoken: Kurukh, Sauria Paharia.


Traditions & Rituals

The primary Islamic holidays in Bangladesh include:
Eid- ul- Azha (the tenth day of the Muslim month Zilhaj ), which a goat or cow is sacrificed in honor of Allah; Shab-i-Barat ( the fourteenth or fifteenth day of Shaban ), when Allah recurs an individual ‘s future for the rest of the year, Ranadan ( the month Ramzan), a month-long period of fasting between dawn and dusk; Eid-ul-Fitr ( the first day of the month Shawal, following the end of Ramzan), characterized by alms giving to the poor; andShob-i- Meraz (the twenty-seventh day of Rajad), which commemorates the night when Mohammed ascended to heaven. Islamic holidays are publicly celebrated in afternoon prayers at mosque and outside open areas, where many men assemble and move though their prayers in unison.

Among the most important Hindu celebration Saraswati puja (February), dedicated to the deity Saraswati, who takes the form of a swan. She is the patron of learning, and propitiating her is important for students. Durga Puja (October) pays homage to the female warrior goddess Durga, who has ten arms, carries a sword, and rides a lion. After a nine-day festival, images of Durga and her associates are placed in a procession and set into a river. Kali puja (November) is also called the festival of Lights and honors Kali, a female deity who has the power to give and take away life. Candles are lit in and around homes.

Bangladesh’s deep rooted heritage amply reflected in her architecture, literature, dance, drama, music, and painting. Bangladeshi culture is influenced by three great religions- Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam in successive order, with Islam having the most pervading and lasting impact. Link a colorful tradition of the country is a happy blending of many variants, unique in diversity but in essence greatly symmetrical.

Other Traditional events:

Baul Mela: Bauls, travelling folk singers, have been walking these parts for centuries. Bauls move from village to village, soul-searching through songs and meditation. Armed with an Ektara and dressed in simple traditional robes Bauls wonders indifferent towards the material world. Yet, near the tomb of Guru Lalon Shah, in Kushtia they gather, once a year, from all over the country to partake in the birthday celebration of the Lalon Shah.

Photo Source: banglamusic.com

Nabanna: Nabanna Utsab is the festival for the new harvest, and is celebrated in Autumn to rejoice the new crop.  Farmers fill their granaries with the newly harvested crops and celebrate the festive spirit with folklore, dance, music, drums. Shri and Jari music fills the air. Nabanna is a festival of food and delicacies such as Payesh, Pitha (rice cake) are prepared.

Wangala Festival of the Garos: This festival is celebrated by the Garo community in Mymensingh District of Bangladesh. The festival is celebrated to honour the Saljong, the Sun-god of fertility.

Bull Fight: The farmers of Bangladesh celebrate the harvest with a number of interesting events, of which bullfighting is very popular. After the rice crop has been harvested, the field is turned into a fighting arena. Bull fighting makes for an interesting spectator sport, and the winning trophy is much coveted.


Bangladesh Beckons, External Publicity Wing Minsitry of Foreign Affairs, Ed. SAida Muna Tasneem, December 2009.
Celebrating Bangladesh, External Publicity Wing Minsitry of Foreign Affairs, Ed. Saida Muna Tasneem, December 2009.
Fairs and Festivals, External Publicity Wing Minsitry of Foreign Affairs, Ed. Kamak Uddai Siddiqui, September 2006.

Cultural Festivals & Events

Pahela Baishak:
Firth day of the Bangla year, Pahela Baishakh is celebrated in a festive manner in both Bangladesh and in West Bengal. In Bangladesh it is a national holiday. Pahela Basiskh falls on April 14. Celebrations of pahela Baishakh started from Akbar’s reign. It was customary to clear up all dues on the last day of Chaitra. On the next day, or the first day of the New Year, landlords would entertain their tenants with sweets. On this occasion, there used to be fairs and other festivities. In due course the occasion become part of domestic and social life, and turned into a day of merriment.

Ekushet February, the National Day and the World Mother Language Day:

The 21 February is observed the country to pay respect and homage to the sacred souls of the martyrs’ of Language movement of 1952. Blood was shed on this day near ‘Dhaka Medical College Hospital’ area to establish Bangla as a state language of the then Pakistan. All subsequent movements including struggle for independence owe their origin to the historic language movement.The Shahid Minar (martyrs monument) is the symbol of sacrifice for Bangla, the mother tongue. The day is closed holiday. Mourning procession begin in Dhaka at midnight with the song Amar vaier rakty rangano ekushay February (21 February, the day stained with my brothers blood). The whole Nation pays homage to the martyrs by placing floral wreaths at feet of Central Shahid Minar.

Independence and the National Day:

March 26 is the day of independence of Bangladesh. It is the biggest state festival. This day is most befittingly observed. Citizens including government leaders and socio-political organizations and freedom fighters place floral wreaths at the National Martyrs Monument at Savar. Bangla Academy, Bangladesh Shillakala Academy and other socio-cultural organizations holds cultural functions. At night the main public building are tastefully illuminated to give the capital city a dazzling look. Similar functions are arranged in other parts of the country.

Victory Day:
The 16th December is the victory day of Bangladesh. On the day people irrespective of race, caste, age throng at the National Martyrs Mausoleum at Savar to pay glowing tributes to the country’s heroes. The day is also marked with mirth and organizing various kind of sports in schools and college.

One of the two main Muslim religious festivals, Eid-ul-Fitr is celebrated in Bangladesh with great enthusiasm and religious fervor. On this day, everyone dress in festive clothes and prepare special food . Relatives and neighbours also share the joys of this festival. The government declares holiday for three days on the occasion. People who live in towns but have their families or parents in villages go to their country homes to meet relatives and celebrate the festival together. Eid fairs are organized at many rural places. These fairs are basically gatherings that promote friendship among people.

Eid-ul Azha:
Also know as Eid-al-kurban or Eid-al-Nahr, it is one of the two main Muslim religious festivals. In Bangladesh it is popularly known as Kurbanir Eid. Eid-ul-Azha is an Arbic word meaning festival of sacrifice. Like all other Muslims of the world, Muslim of Bangladesh celebrates Eid-ul Azha in an appropriate manner with religious fervor and enthusiasm. People sacrifice animals as per the religion’s decree after finishing their Eid prayer.

Durga Puja:

The most important religious festival of Bengali Hindus, the Durga puja celebrates the return of goddess to her natal home. There are two pujas associated with Durga: Basanti puja in spring (basanta), and Sharadiya puja in autumn (sharat). Basanti Puja is performed in the first fortnight of Chaitar (March-April and saradiya puja in the first fortnight of Aswin or Kartik (October-November). Nowadays Basanti puja is rarely performed and Durge puja has become synonymous with saradiya puja. On the occasion of Durage puja, the goddess is invoked on the sasthi, sixth day, of Aswin or Kartik. Puja is offered on the shsthi, astami, navami or mahanavami (the seventh, eighth and ninth days). The image of the goddess is immersed in water on the dishami (tenth day)

Christmas Day:
Chistmas Day, popularly called “Bara Din (Big Day)

Cultural Identities

The most important symbol of national identity is the Bangla language. The flag is a dark green rectangle with a red circle just left of center. Green symbolizes the trees and fields of the countryside: red represents the rising sun and the blood spilled in the 1971 war for liberation. The national anthem was taken from a poem by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore and links a love of the natural realm and land with the national identity. To listen to the National Anthem please click herehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVjbVPFeo2o

Since independence in 1971, the national identity has evolved. Islamic religious identity has become an increasingly important element in the national dialogue. Many Islamic holy days are nationally celebrated, and Islam pervades public space and the media.

Bangladeshi national identity is rooted in a Bengali culture that transcends international borders and includes the area of Bangladesh itself West Bengal, India. Symbolically, Bangladeshi identity is centered on the 1971 struggle for independence from Pakistan. During that struggle, the key elements of Bangladeshi identity coalesced around the importance of the Bengali mother tongue and the distinctiveness of a culture or way of life connected to the floodplains of the region. Since that time, national identity has become increasingly linked to Islamic symbols as opposed to the Hindu Bengali, a fact that serves to reinforce the difference between Hindu West Bengal and Islamic Bangladesh. Being Bangladesh in some sense means feeling connected to the natural land- water systems of the Ganges, Brahmaputra, and other rivers that drain into the Bay of Bengal. There is an envisioning of nature and the annual cycle as intensely beautiful, as deep green paddy turns golden, dark clouds heavy with monsoon rains gradually clear and flooded fields dry. Even urban families retain a sense of connectedness to this rural system. The great poets of the region, Rabindranath Tagore and Kazi Nurul Islam have enshrined the Bengali sense of the beauty and power of the region’s nature.

The most significant social divide is between Muslims and Hindus. In 1947 millions of Hindus moved west into West Bengal, while millions of Muslims moved east into the newly created East Pakistan. Violence occurred as the columns of people moved past each other. Today, in most sections of the country, Hindu and Muslims live peacefully in adjacent areas and connected by their economic roles and structures. Both groups view themselves as members of the same culture.

From 1976 to 1998 there was sustained cultural conflict over the control of the southeastern Chittagong Hill Tracts. That area is home to a number of tribal groups that resisted the movement of Bangladeshi Muslims into their territory. In 1998, a peace accord granted those groups a degree of autonomy and self- governance. These tribal groups still do not identify themselves with national culture.

Religious Beliefs
The symbols and sound of Islam, such as the call to prayer, punctuate daily life. Bangladesh conceptualizes themselves and others fundamentally through their religious. For example, the nationality of foreigners is considered secondary to their religious identity.

Islam is a part of everyday life in all parts of the country, and nearly every village has at least a small mosque and an imam (cleric). Prayer is supposed to be performed five times daily, but only the committed uphold that standard. Friday afternoon prayer is often the only time that mosques become crowded.
Throughout the country there is a belief in spirits that inhabit natural spaces such as trees, hollows, and riverbanks. These beliefs are derided by Islamic religious authorities.

Hinduism encompasses an array of deities, including Krishna, Ram, Durga, Kali, and Ganesh. Bangladeshi Hindus pay particular attention to the female goddess Durga, and rituals devoted to her are among the most widely celebrated.

Religious Practitioners
The imam is associated with a mosque and is an important person in both rural and urban society, leading of followers. The imam’s power is based on his knowledge of the Koran and memorization of phrases in Arabic. Relatively few imams understand Arabic in the spoken or written form. An imam’s power is based on his ability to persuade groups of men to act in conjunction with Islamic rules. In many villages the imam is believed to have access to the supernatural, with the ability to write charms that protect individuals from evil spirits, imbue liquids with holy healing properties, or ward off reverse of bad luck.

Brahman priests perform rituals for the Hindu community during major festivals when offerings are made but also in daily acts of worship. They are respected, but does not have the codified hierarchical structure of Islam. Thus, a Brahman priest may not have a position of leadership outside his religious duties.

Classes and Castes
The Muslim class system is similar to a caste structure. The Ashraf is a small upper-class of old-money descendants of early Muslim officials and merchants whose roots are in Afghanistan, Turkey, and Iran. Some Ashraf families trace their lineage to the prophet Mohammed. The rest of the population is conceived of as the indigenous majority artaf. This distinction mirrors the Hindu separation between the Brahman and those in lower castes. While both Muslim and Hindu categories are recognized by educated people, the vast majority of citizens envision class in a more localized, rural context.

In rural areas, class is linked to the amount of land owned, occupation, and education. A landowner with more than five acres is at the top of the socioeconomic scale and small subsistence farmers are in the middle. At the bottom of the scale are the landless rural households that account for about 30 percent of the rural population. Landowning status reflects socioeconomic class position in rural areas, although occupation and education also play a role.

Hindu castes also play a role in the rural economy. Hindu groups are involved in the hereditary occupations that fill the economic niches that support a farming based economy. Small numbers of higher caste groups have remained in the country, and some of those people are large landowners, businessmen, and service providers.

In urban areas the great majority of people are laborers. There is a middle class of small businessmen and midlevel office workers, and above this is an emerging entrepreneurial group and upper- level service workers.

Division of Labor by Gender
Women traditionally are in charge of household affairs and are not encouraged to move outside the immediate neighborhood unaccompanied. Thus, most women’s economic and social lives revolve around the home, children and family. Islamic practice reserves prayer inside the mosque for males only; women practice religion within the home. Bangladesh has had two female prime ministers since 1991, both elected with widespread popular support, but women are not generally publicly active in politics.

Men are expected to be the heads of their households and to work outside the home. Men often do the majority of the shopping, since that requires interaction in crowed market. Men spend lot of time socializing with other men outside the home.

The Relative Status of Women and Men
The society is patriarchal in nearly every area of the life, although some women have achieved significant position of the political power at national level. For ordinary women, education is stressed less than it is for men, and authority is reserved for the woman’s father, older brother, and husband.


Traditional marriage ceremony of Bangladesh
Marriage is almost always an arranged affair and takes place when the parents, particularly the father, decide that a child should be marriage. Men marry typically around age twenty: five or older, and women marry between ages fifteen and twenty; thus the husband is usually at least ten years older than a wife. Muslim allows polygynous marriage, but its occurrence is rare and is dependent on a man’s ability to support multiple households.

A parent who decides that a child is ready to marry may contact agencies, go-between, relatives, and friends to find an appropriate mate. Of immediate concern are the status and characteristics of the potential in-law’s family. Generally an equal match is sought in terms of family economic status, educational background, and piousness. A father may allow his child to choose among five or six potential mates, providing the child with the relevant data on each candidate.

If is customary for the child to rule out clearly unacceptable candidates, leaving a slate of candidates from which the father choose. An arrangement between two families may be sealed with an agreement on a dowry and the types of gifts to be made to the groom.