North Bengal Visit


Timeline: July 11 – July 13

It was my first trip to Joypurhat, a North Bengal district 380 km from Dhaka. It was infact my first trip to North Bengal as well, the vast region on the other side of Jamuna river.

Since there isn’t any AC bus service available on this route, I had to travel by Hanif Paribahan. I listened to my crazy collection of trance music through out the journey, so I didn’t get too bored. More over, crossing the 4.8 km Jamuna bridge (which is 110 kilometers northwest of Dhaka) was exciting. To date, it’s the longest brigde in South Asia, and 11th longest in the world.

It took 8 long hours to reach Joypurhat. My destination was further 15 kilometers from the town, a village in Pachbibi upa-zila. Pachbibi is completely an under developed rural area, with rikshaw vans as the only means of transport. It was quite surprsing for me see only a handful of real rickshaws around. The Indian border and Hili land port was near to where I stayed, I was informed that a lot of villages are involved with smuggling.

There’s a good number of indigenous population in the area, making it a heaven for a lot of local and international NGOs. A Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) mission school is also in the area, and I was told by my guide that they receives a huge funding from USA. I was told that they have their own backup generators, water supply system, air-conditioned rooms, computers lab with 50+ PCs and so on. I wanted to visit them, but couldn’t manage the time to do so.

An interesting point to mention before I end. If you go to a tea stall in Joypurhat, then this is how they’ll serve your tea: they’ll fill two-third of the cup with milk, and then one-third with tea! Should we call it it tea with milk, or milk with tea, that remains the question.

New Home of Ubuntu-BD


Ubuntu 6.06 (Dapper Drake) was released today, making it the perfect day to announce the new home of Ubuntu Bangladesh.

I’ve been working on-and-off on the site for the last few days, tried MediaWiki, MoinMoin and TikiWiki, but finally decided to go for PHP-Nuke, which is not a wiki but a CMS. The site is happily running from an US server, hosted by our sponsor Dualnic. Check it out!

Sonargoan Visit


Whenever someone mentions Sonargoan, it’s very likely that he’s referring to Pan Pacific Sonargoan, the luxury 5-star hotel in Dhaka. What most people don’t know is about 25 km away from Dhaka lies the former capital of Bengal, the great historical city of Sonargoan. It’s not their fault either — other than Shipakarja Jainul Adedin, no one, no goverment ever took any initiative to protect and promote the great heritage of this this city. Pathetic, but true.

On the entrance to Sonargoan Rajbari is the famous sculpture of bull wagon by Jainul Abedin, which symolises toil and struggle. Jainul Abedin has always been one my favourite artist and I took a chance to get a pic of mine infront of the sculpture:

In front of the Bulls, the symbol of Struggle

Just a few steps ahead to the left is the 2-storied palace, or the Rajbari, which is now being used as a museum:

Sonargoan Rajbari

The palace has over 100 small rooms, and it’s completely like a maze inside. All the rooms are of same size and design, and now they are home to different cultural and architectural masterpieces collected from different parts of Bangladesh. I was told by my guide that this palace was used by few rulers, including the Hindu Jamidars who ruled during the British regime. It’s open for visitors from 10:00 to 17:00 everyday, except for Thursday.

Brief history of Sonargoan, as told by Dr. Abu Sayeed:

Sonargaon, which literally means “golden village” in Bengali, was the capital of the Banga province or Eastern Bengal, which was one of the three political units of this territory during the Delhi Imperial rule. In 1338 Fakhr-al-Din-Mubarak seized the provincial government of Sonargaon and declared himself independent from Delhi and was the first independent Sultan of Bengal.

In 1352, he was overthrown by the Sultan of Gaur Ilyas Shah, and from this time Sonargaon formed a part of the independent kingdom of united Bengal until the advent of the Moguls (1575).

In the reign of Akbar, it was the chief city of Isa Khan, who maintained his independence for several years. After Isa Khan’s death it became a part of the Great Mogul Empire. The decline of Sonargaon started with the establishment of the Mogul capital in Dhaka in 1608, and with the conquest of the kingdom of Isa Khan by the forces of Islam Khan in 1611 it became one of the Sarkers of the Bengal Subah, losing its former prestige forever.

The history of Sonargaon for the next two hundred years until the establishment of the commercial belt of the East India Company in Panam is still unknown to us. The colonial city of Panam came into being in the nineteenth century and continued to flourish till the end of the Second World War.

Jessore Visit


Timeline: March 27 – March 29

On ferry, while crossing Padma river

Stuffs that happened this time:

– Mr. Faruque was me
– We took Jack’s car (he’s in Australia now)
– Akram was fired due to his poor performance at work

Comilla Visit


I visited both our Comilla Internet Learning Centers today — Yusuf Multi Purpose High School and Chowara Girls High School.

Details later.

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