new photographs

Rose Garden-A Visit to the Historical Palace

A little Walk through the Green (Baldha Garden)-Wari,Dhaka

Note from Shubho Salateen:It was a hot evening in June,18,2009.I took my digial camera and went to wari for visiting the historical Baldha Garden.The Baldha Garden is surrounded by the tall wall.When I entered through the gate,I noticed the guide map of Baldha Garden.It was green everywhere....and I was curious to rare trees...plants

"Lord Grant me Infinite love and light and end my endless Journey"

            A rare tree-Beaucarnea Recurvata(Poni tail palm)
                           Growin plants in a green house
                                              The Sundial

                                              Sankhanidhi pond

Baldah Garden: a botanical garden located at Wari in the old part of the city of Dhaka.
                                                   Location Map
It is one of the oldest botanical gardens established in this part of Bengal by a private individual. The naturalist, philanthropist and poet Narendra Narayan Roy Chaudhury, landlord of the Estate of Baldah, established the garden on his own property in 1909. It is divided into two units. The larger unit is named Cybele after the Greek nature goddess of fertility. It is roughly rectangular, with the northern side slightly cutting a corner, and measures about 136 metres in length and 76 metres in width. The smaller unit, Psyche meaning 'soul', is approximately 100 metres long and 45 metre wide. Chaudhury passionately enriched the garden with rare plant species collected from different parts of the world until his death in 1943, when further expansion of the garden came to a halt. This situation continued until 1962, when the garden was handed over to the government of East Pakistan and the Forestry Department took charge of managing the garden. After the creation of Bangladesh in 1971, the Department of Forestry of the new government began to work with renewed vigour for its improvement, with the result that most of its past glory has now been restored with the addition of two new greenhouses and modernisation of civil amenities inside the garden. The Baldah Garden is now managed as a satellite unit of the National Botanical Garden by the Department of Forestry. 
The collection of the garden is classified into seven categories - orchids, cacti, conservatory plants, aquatic plants, roses, rockery and wall plants, arboretum, and miscellaneous flora. The garden has about 15,000 plants representing 672 species. Many of these are exotic and rare plants; perhaps the richest collection of exotic plants in the country is housed in the Baldah Garden. The flora of the garden represents collections from over 50 different countries. The garden has among its attractions the 'century plant' which is believed to flower only once in a hundred years, and was seen in bloom a few years back. The Adansonia digitata tree which adorns the garden is historical. Central African aborigines used to seal their deads in holes dug into the cavity of the tree in order to mummify the body long before the days of the Pharaohs.

There is a big sundial in the Cybele unit of the garden which shows the time of the day with precision on sunny days and is still a surprise attraction to the visitors, particularly children. To enjoy the floristic beauty of the garden a rest house-cum amphitheatre, called the Joy House, was built in the garden. It has been visited by many celebrities, including the poet Tagore whose poem 'Camelia', a plant introduced from Japan, was actually written while he was staying in the Joy House. The Psyche unit of the garden houses several varieties of the aquatic plant Nymphea pubescens, the national flower of Bangladesh which is called 'shapla' in Bangla, maintained in a section of the garden known as the 'Shapla House'. The rose garden in Cybele is famous throughout the subcontinent for its rich collection of roses. One of the two greenhouses has rich collections of orchids, aroids and conservatory plants. The Baldah Garden, although relatively small in size, is an exciting place for naturalists and tourists to visit. source:Banglapedia


Banglar TajMahal !! Will You love it or hate??

A giant replica of Taj Mahal near the Bangladeshi capital, which cost a whopping USD 58 million, is fast becoming a major tourist draw since its inauguration with thousands of visitors queueing up daily to have a feel of India's famed Monument of Love.

"I built it to pay honour to Emperor Shahjahan and enable the ordinary people including students to have an idea about the heritage as most of them don't have scopes to visit Agra spending huge money," the wealthy builder of te structure in the suburban Sonargaon district, Ahsanullah Moni told to news agencies.

Moni, who bore the entire cost of building the life-size structure, said it took hundreds of workers and designers, many of whom were Indians, some seven years to build the 'Taj Mahal', which was opened for all in exchange of entry fees though "it is not built with a commercial purpose."

The replica, located 30 kms northeast of Dhaka, has been built on over four acres of land while the complex is much bigger in size to accommodate a five-star motel, a huge film studio and amusement park.

"Everyone dreams to see the Taj Mahal but few people of our country can make the trip as it is too expensive to visit there," said Moni, also a film director and hotelier.

Moni said the idea of building the structure first crossed his mind when he visited Agra in 1980, following which he made six more trips there to realise his dream to replicate it.

But the initiative simultaneously drew some criticism with several legal experts and architects saying copying of such landmarks keeping the original sizes was contrary to archaeological laws.

"It's also not morally acceptable to build such life-size structures without permission of the concerned authorities," President of Bangladesh Architects Institute Professor Mobaswar Hossain said.

But Moni rejected the allegations saying despite being huge the 'Banglar Taj Mahal' was not exactly the same size of the original while he used different materials, including stones for the replica considering their weather suitability.

He said he imported marble and granite from Italy, diamonds from Belgium and used 160 kilogrammes of bronze for the structure built with the help of modern technology.

"Otherwise it would have taken 20 years and 22,000 workers to complete it as the original structure had required," Moni said. Mughal Emperor Shahjahan built the Taj Mahal in Agra in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaj Mahal, who died during childbirth in 17th century.

The Spirit of Bangla New Year-1416 ( L'Esprit de la Nouvelle Année Bangla-1416)

Enjoying the festival from father's shoulder

Buying Ektara( a handmade muscial intrument) is a passion for our heritage

Hanging Ektaras in a temporary shop at sharwardi park

I am glad my friend,you took my photo...god bless you!

A gathering at Charukola

Birds seller seen at sharwardi park on pahela baishak

Introduction :Pahela Baishakh first day of the Bangla year. Pahela Baishakh is celebrated in a festive manner in both Bangladesh and West Bengal. In Bangladesh Pahela Baishakh is a national holiday. Pahela Baisakh falls on April 14 or 15.

History of Bangla New Year:Under the Mughals, agricultural taxes were collected according to the Hijri calendar. However, as the Hijri calendar is a lunar calendar, the agricultural year does not coincide with the fiscal. As a result, farmers were hard-pressed to pay taxes out of season. In order to streamline tax collection, the Mughal Emperor akbar ordered a reform of the calendar. Accordingly, Fatehullah Shirazi, a renowned scholar and astronomer, formulated the Bangla year on the basis of the lunar Hijri and Bangla solar calendars. The new Fasli San (agricultural year) was introduced on 10/11 March 1584, but was dated from Akbar's ascension to the throne in 1556. The new year subsequently became known as bangabda or Bengali year.

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 became part of domestic and social life, and turned into a day of merriment.

The main event of the day was to open a halkhata or new book of accounts. This was wholly a financial affair. In villages, towns and cities, traders and businessmen closed their old account books and opened new ones. They used to invite their customers to share sweets and renew their business relationship with them. This tradition is still practised, especially by jewellers.

New year's festivities are closely linked with rural life in Bengal. Usually on the day everything is scrubbed and cleaned. People bathe early in the morning and dress in fine clothes and then go to visit relatives, friends and neighbours. Special foods are prepared to entertain guests. Baishakhi fairs are arranged in many parts of the country. Various agricultural products, traditional handicrafts, toys, cosmetics as well as various kinds of food and sweets. are sold at these fairs. The fairs also provide entertainment, with singers and dancers staging jatra, pala gan, kavigan, jarigan, gambhira gan, gazir gan and alkap gan. They present folk songs as well as baul, marfati, murshidi and bhatiali songs. Narrative plays like laily-majnu, yusuf-zulekha and Radha-Krishna are staged. Among other attractions of these fairs are puppet shows and merry-go-rounds.

Many old festivals connected with new year's day have disappeared, while new festivals have been added. With the abolition of the zamindari system, the punya connected with the closing of land revenue accounts has disappeared. Kite flying in dhaka and bull racing in munshiganj used to be very colourful events. Other popular village games and sports were horse races, bullfights, cockfights, flying pigeons, boat racing. Some festivals, however, continue to be observed, for example, bali or wrestling in Chittagong and gambhira in Rajshahi.

Observance of Pahela Baishakh has become popular in the cities. Early in the morning people gather under a big tree or on the bank of a lake to witness the sunrise. Artistes present songs to welcome the new year. People from all walks of life wear traditional Bengali dresses: young women wear white sarees with red borders and adorn themselves with bangles, flowers, and tips. Men wear white pyjamas or dhoti and kurta. Many townspeople, start the day with the traditional breakfast of panta bhat (cooked rice soaked with water), green chillies, onion, and fried hilsa fish.

The most colourful new year's day festival takes place in Dhaka. Large numbers of people gather early in the morning under the banyan tree at Ramna Park where chhayanat artistes open the day with Tagore's famous song, Eso he Baishakh eso eso (Come O Baishakh, come), welcoming Baishakh. A similar ceremony welcoming the new year is also held at the Institute of Fine Arts, university of dhaka. Students and teachers of the institute take out a colourful procession and parade round the campus. Social and cultural organisations celebrate the day with cultural programmes. Newspapers bring out special supplements. There are also special programmes on radio and television.

The historical importance of Pahela Baishakh in the Bangladesh context may be dated from the observance of the day by Chhayanat in 1965. In an attempt to suppress Bengali culture, the Pakistan Government had banned tagore songs. Protesting this move, Chhayanat opened their Pahela Baishakh celebrations at Ramna Park with Tagore's song welcoming the month. The day continued to be celebrated in East Pakistan as a symbol of Bengali culture. After 1972 it became a national festival, a symbol of the Bangladesh nationalist movement and an integral part of the people's cultural heritage. [Sambaru Chandra Mohanta] source:Banglapedia