Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sitara Mosque & A Very Curious Imam in Dhaka Tales

I was fidgeting while partaking lunch at Hotel Al Razique Restaurant until I realized that this particular meal was, in itself, a unique experience. The place didn’t look all that different from a Chinese restaurant, until I noticed that everyone around me were males. To my left, at the corner of the room is a cloister – a separate, more intimate stall with partitions. “That’s where women eat,” Mafuz my guide told me. Women were conveniently segregated from men. The mores and traditions of Islamic Bangladesh are too far removed from my cosmopolitan Manila, to think that some idiots from the rest of “civilized West” still envision the Philippines as an island life where people still live on trees. For one, our maids spell better than the superior beings who hire them! Mafuz nudged me out of my reverie. Right, next stop is Star Mosque.


I paid 380 taka for our meal, comprising of lentil soap, mutton, chicken, and some vegetable dish I couldn’t remember the name of. I asked that I be taken to a money changing shop first. I was taken to a heavily congested area right across the National Mosque (Baitul Mukarram). They were coaxing me to exchange more than what I required, but until the dollars in my wallet becomes theirs, I am the boss. We hailed a rickshaw and after a few haggling, we got our ride. Mafuz conveniently saved me from a lot of wasted effort and time. We ventured into the smoke-filled streets that characterize ugly urbanization, passing through Dhaka’s Zero Point, a special landmark from which map distances are calculated. Unfortunately, this landmark was littered with garish posters! I saw a Post Office servicing mails in the Motijheel area.


I jumped off my rickshaw the minute we got to Sitara Mosque (Star Mosque). The neighborhood was familiar - Armanitola. In fact, this was the same street as the Armenian Church, just 350 meters from where we were. The mosque is a petite unimposing building that didn’t look particularly intimidating unlike Baitul Mukarram. There’s a sprawling yard with square patches of grass-covered ground and a dry, star-shaped fountain made of marble, and a stack of blue tiles delineating the pond’s water-level. I gazed at the main atrium and was entranced by the beautiful domes – five of them - rising proudly above its roof. In Islamic architecture, domes are placed directly above prayer halls.


I was reminded to take my shoes off, leaving them outside the gate. I had doubts about it. This was a chaotic street, anyone could easily pick them and run. It wasn’t that I didn’t trust the people. It was me! I’m just not comfortable walking barely – and years of visiting temples and mosques haven’t acclimate my feet. But since I didn’t have any choice on the matter, I took them off.

The mosque itself has an inlaid star pattern; the walls are a mosaic of broken pieces of china in arabesque design (an elaborate application of geometrically repeating patterns), set over white tiles. Flower and star patterns are also in abundance, as well as a limited arabic calligraphy which is otherwise common in other mosques. It was built in the early 18th century, employing the usual mughal architecture, but it has been extensively renovated some 50 years ago, with finances coming from a Japanese. This resulted into portraits of Mount Fuji on a set of tile design. Where is this? It’s actually easy to find these, if you’re observant.
From the front yard, you directly face the mosque. The entrance is an open lobby where the faithful can already bow and pray. The wall that divides the lobby and the prayer hall inside has 5 arched doorways. This wall is littered with tiles of Mount Fuji (with a lake and a tree at its foreground), probably numbering 18, if my estimates are correct. I’m aware that images and photographs are not allowed in mosques, thus calligraphy and geometric patterns decorate mosques. This would make those Fuji images special. It’s obviously a unique exception to the rule on Mosque architecture and Islamic art, isn’t it? The dried-up would-be fountain outside is part of the “garden” design of mosques – for ablutions (purification rituals).


I timidly made my way inside, unsure if I was going to be shooed away like I usually am in mosques elsewhere. To my surprise, an exceedingly curious imam (prayer leader), with a beehive of goatee hanging below his chin, came up to me and started asking me like I was a job applicant: was I a student, was I married, which country do I come from, what is my educational attainment (they always ask about education and work), do I like Bangladesh. After having passed his amused interrogation, he rolled the carpet for me – so to speak. I was invited inside. Whenever I’d stop to stare at the mihrab (the prayer niche that indicates the direction to Mecca), he would wave his hand to suggest I was free to take as much photos as my heart desired. I was floored by such hospitality. The imam would stand at the other end of the hall, then point to a corner of the small prayer hall. I’d look “enlightened” and terribly interested, just out of gratitude for this privilege.


Under most interpretation of Islamic laws, non-Muslims may be allowed into mosques as long as they don’t sleep or eat inside. But Islamic Asia, unfortunately follows the dissenting opinion presented by the Maliki School of Islamic Jurisprudence that prohibits visitors like me. In Bangladesh, however, the attitude towards tourists are very welcoming. Even women are allowed inside – and that is a liberal move! Visiting a country with not a lot of intrusive tourists has its advantages, after all.

It didn’t take me 30 minutes to soak in on the atmosphere of this holy landmark. I made my way out and said my “thank-you” to the gentle imam. Tourists always find it heartening when local strangers extend a piece of kindness. It also makes this world a wee bit brighter.

This is the Eye in the Sky.

Mahfuz checks up on me.

A very curious imam.

Mount Fuji, a tree and a lake.

The main prayer hall.

The mihrab or prayer niche

Gorgeous entrance arch leading to the prayer hall.

In arabesque design full of flowers and stars.

Praying at the lobby, just before going inside the main prayer hall. Christians genuflect; Muslims bow and touch the floor.

Point Zero in Old Dhaka from which maps are calculated. It's also a busy rotund where vehicles take their turn.

Location of Point Zero

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Armenian Church of the Holy Resurrection - An Oasis of Calm in Dhaka Tales

While doing my readings about the Armenian Church of the Holy Resurrection in Dhaka, I realized I didn't know where Armenia is. I needed references to appreciate the church’s origins and history. Armenia, as it turns out, is a landlocked, mountainous and democratized country at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe. In fact, it is surrounded by the following: Turkey, Georgia, the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, Azerbaijan and Iran. How much more interesting can you get? Heck, I have never even heard of Nagorno or Karabakh! On more familiar grounds, my religion (Catholicism) would mention Mount Ararat for easier reference. Mount Ararat, in the book of Genesis, is where Noah’s Ark came to rest after the Great Floods.

With a distinct Biblical past, the predominant religion of Armenia is Christianity and the roots of its church go way back from the 1st century, founded by 2 of Jesus’ disciples: Saints Thaddeus and Bartholomew, who spread the religion in Armenia between 40-60 A.D. The Armenian Church is described as “very conservative, very ritualistic”. I wasn’t even aware that one of my favorite directors, Atom Egoyan (“Chloe”, “Exotica”, “The Sweet Hereafter”, etc.) is Armenian. In Dhaka, Armenians settled in the early part of the 18th century. They were merchants trading jutes, silks and textile. Their presence grew into a neighborhood, Armanitola, where the Armenian Church of the Holy Resurrection now stands.


The area is right in the heart of Old Dhaka, a narrow street congested with vendors and rickshaws. I got off my ride looking at the gated church. Right across the church was a dilapidated building with several vendors selling potatoes and other vegetables. The gate in front of the church was padlocked, but it didn’t take long until someone from the dizzying crowd went out to fetch the church’s caretaker, a quiet gentleman who would be mentioned several times in Lonely Planet and Wikipedia – Mr. Martin, aka Michael Joseph Martin (Mikel Housep Martirossian). He is touted to be the last Armenian in Dhaka.

He unshackled the chain and started running around, fixing the grounds. What greeted me was a cemetery with rectangular mounds spread across a gray lot. To my left was the church, with light yellow arches welcoming you inside the white walled structure. Mr. Martin didn’t say much, but he did tell me that the Archbishop visits once yearly from Australia. Mr. Martin started taking care of the church in the mid-80’s and is known to give private tours without the pressure placed on you to hand him payment. As I have mentioned before, Bangladeshis never harass their visitors with money. In this country, you don’t feel like you have to pay for every move you make. Sadly, this isn’t so in countries all over the Indian subcontinent.


The church was constructed in 1781, listing over 200 deaths between 1833 -1918, over 250 baptisms and over 50 marriages. With a lot of history before me, it was easy to feel humbled by the precious calm inside the church. Mr. Martin turned the lights inside as I offered a silent prayer for my family and my travel. I like these moments. They give me a feeling of calm and a sense of belonging, despite my not being Armenian.

On the Sunday of November 16, 2008, His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, paid a one-day visit to the Armenian Church of the Holy Resurrection, during his pontifical visit to India where bigger Armenian communities reside in Kolkata and Madras.

No mass is being celebrated here these days, unless Armenian priests and bishops come for a visit. There aren't even reminders that sometime during the liberation of the country in the 70’s, the place was heavily pilfered; graves were desecrated; silver ornaments and the organ were stolen. The church has become an oasis in Dhaka’s mind-numbing chaos. The locals still call it “Armani Church”, which is amusing. The street name: Armenian Street. Quite easy, if you’ve chipped off a slice of your cerebellum.

I stood after my prayers and handed Mr. Martin a donation. He wouldn’t have minded if I gave him just a smile, but I was grateful to him for accommodating my presence. I would have regretted missing a visit, like my regrets with Lalbagh.

This is the Eye in the Sky.

This grave stone inscription reads: "A fond wife's tribute to her deeply mourned and best of husbands. Catchick Avietick Thones. September 1877. Age: 56 years."

At once calm and eerie.

Armenian Church of the Holy Resurrection. This photo only courtesy of wikipedia's Mak and his students Arafat and Hossein.

Up next: Star Mosque


If you wanna see Yerevan, Armenia's capital, in pictures, here's my friend's travel blog on Armenia, looking majestic - like those old glorious places. I particularly loved the surreal sculptures scattered all over the place: click here.

Armenian Street in Armanitola, a few blocks from the Armenian Church.

Dhaka's Chowk Bazaar, circa 1908, the commercial center. This photo only courtesy of Ershad Ahman's

Khor Virap Monastery against the imposing beauty of Mount Ararat. This photo only courtesy of wikipedia's Andrew Behesnilian.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Ahsan Manzil - The Pink Palace's Rich History in Dhaka Tales

Ahsan Manzil's picturesque beauty and grace.

In the years before Bangladesh attained its sovereignty, back in the days of zamindars (landowners) and nawabs (muslim prince), the most significant events in Dhaka were held and celebrated at the Ahsan Manzil – or the Pink Palace, among foreigners. In fact, even Lord Curzon, the most influential British viceroy to India (responsible for the restoration of the Taj Mahal from its state of disrepair), stayed at the palace during his visits in East Bengal. With its tantalizing Neo-mughal architecture and its idyllic location beside the Buriganga, Ahsan Manzil is a delightful place to be. I wanted to immerse in its rich historical past. And it didn’t fail me.
After rowing down Buriganga River, my guide Mahfuz took me back to Sadarghat. We waded through a sea of rickshaw as the roads turned narrower than I thought possible. We walked through a bazaar selling pots and kettles, slippers, bike tires, second hand electric fans, packets of cha (tea), slabs that looked like miniature tombstones, and even kites. This couldn’t be the famed Shankharia Bazaar (aka Hindu Street), and it wasn’t. We walked along Ahsanmullah Road, a part of a cloister called Kumartoli, until we reached an imposing building whose walls were pink, with vestiges of posters carelessly stripped off what were once majestic walls. Vandalism, without a doubt, is a rhymeless defacement of beauty; the scourge of a civilized society.
There was a hole on the wall, gaping over an arch of crisscrossing bars. It was the ticket booth selling 2 taka entrance tickets. Two taka? How much is that worth? Heck, it isn’t even $0.015 cents. Not even a fourth of a jawbreaker or a gummy candy. PhP1.25 won’t even buy me a piece of Mentos. Whatever apprehensions I surmised from its vandalized walls and dirt-cheap entrance immediately transformed into a sense of excitement the minute I stepped inside the palace grounds. The palace has an entrance with a drive way at the south side, facing the river. I was welcomed into a sprawling garden embellishing one of the most alluring sights I was to witness in Dhaka – a grandiose pink building that inspires visions of old Europe, seemingly misplaced in a city like Dhaka.
I was led to this magnificent smaller building at the immediate corner of the entrance to deposit my backpack. All this marvel is just a cloakroom? I sighed and left my belongings inside. I was a bit disappointed that I wouldn’t be able to document the interiors of the palace, now a museum. But photos outside Ahsan Manzil were allowed, so that provided a bit of relief.

The ticket booth at the south side before your entrance to the palace. This is Ahsanullah Road, a narrow alley facing shanties and shops just beside Buriganga River.

Ahsan Manzil boasts of a colorful history. During the era of the mughals, a Barisal zamindar, Sheik Enayetullah started construction of a palace for recreation and called it Rang Mahal who passed it on to his son. A French trader purchased the grounds and transformed it into a trading outpost. In 1830, a muslim prince Nawab Khwaja Alimullah bought it from the French and converted it into a residence. The nawabs hail from an ancestry of Kashmiri traders of gold dust and skins.
But it wasn’t until 29 years later when the succeeding Nawab Abdul Ghani started an ambitious construction. He commissioned a European firm (Martin and Company) for this. In 1859, with the nawab’s wealth multiplying exponentially (they amassed wealth that allowed them to own more than half of Dhaka’s public lands), construction began and took 13 years. He named this after his son, Nawab Khwaja Ahsanullah – thus Rang Mahal became Ahsan Manzil! The structure to its side retained its name, Andar Mahal.
The palace wasn’t spared from the natural calamities that frequently face Bangladesh – a tornado in 1888, and an earthquake in 1897, both causing severe damage. But the nawabs were devoted to their abode. They overhauled and repaired, and added the marvelous octagonal dome similar to St. Paul’s Cathedral and St. Peter’s Basilica.
Ahsanullah bore a son, Salimullah Bahadur. When Ahsanullah suddenly died in 1901, he didn’t leave a will. This resulted, as per Islamic law, in the division of the whole Nawab estate into 9 parts, for which Salimullah inherited a paltry single share, thus resulting into the gradual decline of the palace. It became financially impossible to maintain the estate. Rooms were rented out for revenues without much consideration for its upkeep, until it fell into despondency and disrepair.
It wasn’t until the mid-80’s when the Bangladeshi government recognized the historical importance of Ahsan Manzil – a reminder of Dhaka’s last royalty. They acquired the palace and began massive repair, commissioning Shah Alam Zahiruddin’s architectural firm, and completed in 1992. They placed it under the care of the National Museum, now governing its maintenance and operation.

Reference to nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore is an interesting anecdotal piece. Tagore has the distinct honor of being the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. At the onset of war in the 40’s, an English instructor named Alex Aronson, who’s a German Jew, was placed in a concentration camp by the British authorities in sympathy of Germany’s racial cleaning. Tagore wrote the influential nawab – twice! – imploring for the release of Mr. Aronson. He wrote: “His need here (in a school Tagore founded) is very great as he is especially in charge of the examinees.” The nawabs are patrons of education that Salimuddin even founded Dhaka Medical School. Aronson was eventually released. But this made me wince at the thought that the British authorities became accomplice to the lunacy of Hitler. Even in the far reaches of the Orient, thousands of miles away from the Reich, the Jews were not spared from such historical atrocity. The thought made me shiver.

Ahsan Manzil recovered its old glory. From the eyes of a thrilled spectator, I couldn’t be more impressed with its grandiose columns of Ionic and Corinthian capitals, but moreso of its colorful past. The palace is a 2-story abode, 125.4 meters (411 feet) by 28.75 meters (94.3 feet), with a spacious stairway that comes down from the southern portico, extending onto the bank of the river through the front garden. Marbles cover the veranda as well as all its 23 rooms - drawing room, library, card room, 14 square rooms, the spacious Jalsaghar (a music room, perhaps), Hindustani room, dining rooms, darbar hall, famous square room (used to store the nawab’s valuables). The dome has a height of 27.13 meters (about 89 ft) from the ground. The design is referred to as Indo-Saracenic Revival, also called Indo-Gothic or Mughal-Gothic, an architectural style movement by British architects in the late 19th century in British India.
Opening hours differ on the season of visit, but it is close on Thursdays. April to September: open from Saturday to Wednesday from 10:30 to 5:30. October to March: open from Saturday to Wednesday from 9:30 to 4.30, closed on Thursdays, Fridays follow half-day schedules from 4-7PM. The supposed limited hours is due to shortage of manpower, which wouldn’t be a problem if they make Ahsan Manzil income-generating. I never thought I’d say this, but a 2 taka entrance fee is too ridiculously generous, even for scrimping tourists.

The majestic-looking guardhouse located beside the south entrance, facing the Buriganga River. This is where you must deposit your backpacks, etc. much like a cloakroom. Notice the white ornaments at the side porches, made of shells, as well as the round emblem at the arch.

The nawabs of Dhaka - Bangladesh's last royalty.

The nawab and his large family pose for posterity during the glory days of Ahsan Manzil.

I didn’t want to leave the Pink Palace abruptly, but I realized I had places to go. The palace is clearly one of Dhaka’s priceless gems, though most of the capital’s local population seem oblivious to its charm. It bears stories that inspire sprawling motion pictures epics and fairy tales. That night, I laid down my bed and dreamt of a Technicolor past; of psychedelic carpets that do not fly; of riding Bengal Tigers. It was a pool of incoherent images that didn’t quite fit together. I wore a moustache that curled at the tips, and grew a bush on my chest. I must have traded spices in another life. When, for some reason, Kolkatan warriors started chasing after me, I fell into a bottomless pit and woke up breathless. Dang! I hate border crossings. Something I had to endure soon thereafter.
This is the Eye in the Sky.

Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore met Albert Einstein during the former's European tour, where he also met Mussolini. What a pair!

Check out our previous posts on Bangladesh:

Official website of the Dhaka Nawab Family -

Friday, September 17, 2010

Buriganga River Ride and A Trip to Sadarghat - Dhaka Tales

My boat man who stared at me all throughout my ride.

It would be my first day in Dhaka after having flown in from KL a few hours earlier. Freshly showered, I hardly felt the lassitude of having slept 3 hours, my adrenaline pumping up my energy reserve. Breakfast was unsatisfactory. My tongue needed getting used to eating parata. I washed it off with Sprite which my waiter at the New Alamin Restaurant was eyeing suspiciously. Who would drink carbonated soda before 8, he must have thought. I handed money when I heard someone was expecting me at the lobby. I was at the 2nd floor and they succeeded in tracking down my whereabouts.

Mafuz, my tour guide, arrived before 9. I was curious with this stranger. Would I be able to trust him? I took my forward stride when I saw him stand up from his chair. “Hello,” I greeted. He wore a long sleeved shirt, and a firm grip of a hand shake. I winced at how under dressed I felt, though as backpackers go, I look pretty decent on a cotton shirt, jeans and doc martens. Still, my guide looked like he was going to attend a conference in a couple of minutes.

I’ve never corresponded with Mafuz prior to this meeting. He was recommended from the Thorn Tree travel forum by another Bangladeshi named Mahmud, who replies to most queries regarding his country. I shall need Mahfuz's services for the next couple of days. And though I prefer finding my way alone around new places, I knew I wouldn’t see much if I were arrogant enough to accept the help of someone who knew his way around. Getting lost, especially in a city as intense and congested as Dhaka, will take time; something that I didn’t have much of. Mahfuz will navigate for me. What I like about him is his air of arrogance, not towards me, but when he is dealing with people. He shielded me from the obvious curiosity around me. He dealt with the rickshaw wallahs, ordering food at restaurants, and for once, I was peacefully observing.

Our first stop: Sadarghat!

On a rickshaw in Motijheel.

Most Dhaka tours should in fact start with either Sadarghat or Lalbagh, right at the heart of Old Dhaka! Sadarghat is this riverine community that plays host to the Sadarghat Launch Terminal (aka Sadarghat Port) a large ghat (wharf) at Dhaka's approach to the Buriganga River. Originally, it was built as a place for landing of boats, launches and even ships coming to Dhaka from other places. But large vessels can no longer use it because of shoaling up (shallowing) of the river bed and an overall downsizing of the navigational capacity of the inland waterways. An average of 30,000 people use the terminal for departure and arrival every day, each paying taka for entrance. About 200 large and small passenger launches depart and arrive at the terminal every day. I barely noticed where my entrance payment was done.

From Motijheel, I was grateful that Mafuz chose the rickshaw to take me to Sadarghat, but it was the most sensible. Sadarghat’s narrow alleys would hardly accommodate a taxi, and I personally wanted to experience riding the rickshaw. For some reason, it took us awhile to get our ride to Sadarghat. We gracefully slid past the congested recesses of Old Dhaka, through streets filled with election-related banners. When the roads finally shrunk further, the surroundings turned into shanties, and even more rickshaws. People were transfixed with my gorgeous face (har har).

There were only two main roads, one running from west to east and the other, south to north, meeting almost at right angles near Sadarghat. A labyrinth of lanes branched off from here into the mahallas (city sectors). I knew that the stalls to my right directly led to the Buriganga River. Pure delight seized me.

Thousands of election-related banners adorn Old Dhaka's labyrinthine alleys.

Upon reaching the river, I jumped off my rickshaw and hopped into my boat, and for the next 2 hours, I was to be afloat this whole riverine community that’s as congested as the land beside it. The sun was bearing down its heat, but the flurry of activity tantalized me. Boats carrying people, market produce, and to my surprise, even big boulders of rocks for construction. Bricks were being hauled off at the river side. After having settled and calmed down, I sat and just watched my surreal surroundings. I am so far away from Manila, and it’s moments like these that imbue such travels with a sense of poetic or existential flavor. Within an hour, I was already skimming through my Lonely Planet when, in my reverie, a British tourist on another boat, shouted at me, “Hey, Lonely Planet guy!” When I realized I was his point of contention, I lazily waved my hand, and nodded. I would, later in the day, see him again in a less affable mood.

Boat carrying bricks, and a single person hauling it off (see below).


Buriganga River, which literally means “old Ganges”, is the main river flowing in Dhaka, and long distance boats called Rockets will travel 27 to 30 hours all the way to Khulna (Bangladesh’s 3rd largest city, located 333 kilometers southwest of Dhaka). Unfortunately, Bangladeshi boats aren’t the safest means of transportation as sinking ships occurs every so often. Buriganga has an average depth of 25 feet (7.6 meters), and a maximum depth of 58 feet (18 meters). It has been estimated that 80% of the city’s waste is untreated, including tanneries (animal skins and hides are tanned). Unfortunately, Buriganga is its main outlet of sewage and chemical waste.

Boat and ferry accidents due to poor safety standards and overloading are common in Bangladesh, which is criss-crossed by a network of 230 rivers. The most recent was the accident at the Daira River in Kishoreganj district, north of the capital. Just a month prior to this, another boat sank in the Tentulia River near Nazirpur in South Bangladesh. The reason: overcrowding. In Bangladesh, these accidents seem like a vicious cycle.

How does a Rocket look like: click here -


Neglect has made Buriganga River as the 6th most polluted river in the world, placing Citarum River in West Java (Indonesia) at the top spot, followed closely by Mississippi River (USA). Closer to home, Marilao River made the list at the 7th spot, while Pasig River gleefully placed 8th. Isn’t it such a joy?

From my boat, I saw the Pink Palace (Ahsan Manzil) when my boat turned to the opposite direction. There were different sizes of boats all over the congested water way. At a different area, a ship yard was in the process of constructing huge ships which felt wrong. Wouldn’t these constructions further pollute the river? As my ride completes an hour, I started to fidget. Mahfuz noticed so he told me we can actually visit one of the launches docked. These are bigger ships much like the Rocket, with accommodation services for overnight trips.

Pink Palace or Ahsan Manzil

As I got off my boat and stepped into the empty commercial ships, I marveled at the space available inside. After all, these are sleeper ships. Mahfuz lead the way, barging into mostly empty rooms. We saw some people and Mahfuz actually acted like he owned the ship, which was funny. I told you he had an air of arrogance, though he was never rude or condescending. He was just a bubble of self confidence, which makes a good tour guide.

I gazed at one of the rooms and sensed an inspiration of claustrophobia, something I hardly encounter except when crawling inside some of Vietnam’s Cu Chi Tunnels. The few inhabitants that we saw were accommodating. It was relaxing to know I didn’t have to pay for this special tour inside a commercial ship! Didn’t you know? The best things in life are free.

This is the Eye in the Sky.

A commercial ship: taking a special tour inside.

Overnight accommodation inside the ship.

A rare photo of a solitary ship at the Buriganga River.

Fast Facts:

Entrance fee at Sadarghat: 4 taka

Boat ride: 90 taka an hour

Attention from the locals: free and overwhelming

Pleasure: orgasmic

Check out:

Overview on Bangladesh:

Arriving at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport and Hotel Pacific:

Ahsan Manzil or the Pink Palace -