Paharpur, a special place in Bangladesh with a lot of history. Paharpur is in the northwest part of the country, and it’s known for the Paharpur Vihara, which was an important Buddhist place a long time ago. In this blog, we’ll explore Paharpur and learn about its history, culture, and the beautiful area around it. Whether you love history or you’re just a curious traveler, Paharpur has something for everyone.
Places to visit:
Paharpur Vihara: The star attraction of Paharpur, the Vihara, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It dates back to the 8th century and is one of the largest Buddhist monastic complexes in the world. Explore the ruins, admire the terracotta and artwork, and feel the serenity of this historical site.
Sompur Mahavihara: A short distance from Paharpur Vihara, Sompur Mahavihara is a smaller but equally fascinating Buddhist monastery. It’s an ideal place for a peaceful stroll and meditation.
Naogaon District Museum: Located in Naogaon town, the district museum houses a collection of artifacts and relics from the region’s history, including those from Paharpur.
Mahasthan Garh: While in the area, don’t miss the chance to explore Mahasthan Garh, an ancient archaeological site known for its impressive fortifications and relics that date back to the 3rd century BC.
Before embarking on your journey to Paharpur, make sure to check the visa requirements for Bangladesh. Most tourists will need a tourist visa to enter the country. You can apply for a visa through the Bangladeshi embassy or consulate in your home country. Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your planned departure date.
Costs & Fees:
Air Ticket Fees:
The air ticket fees to Bangladesh can vary greatly depending on your departure location, the time of year, and the airline you choose. On average, a round-trip ticket from major international cities to Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, can cost between $600 to $1,200. From Dhaka, you can take a domestic flight to the nearest airport, Shah Makhdum Airport, which is approximately a three-hour drive from Paharpur.
Once you arrive in Dhaka, you’ll need to budget for travel to Paharpur. Public transportation in Bangladesh is relatively affordable. A bus ride from Dhaka to Naogaon, the nearest major town to Paharpur, may cost around $10 to $15. Alternatively, you can hire a private car for a more comfortable journey at a higher cost.
Accommodation options in Paharpur itself are limited. Most tourists choose to stay in nearby towns like Naogaon, Bogura, or Rajshahi. Budget travelers can find guesthouses for around $10 to $20 per night, while mid-range hotels may cost between $30 to $50 per night. Luxury accommodations are available at higher rates.
- Entry Fees: Paharpur Vihara and other historical sites may have entry fees. Plan for approximately $5 to $10 for entry.
- Transportation: Local transportation, such as rickshaws and tuk-tuks, can be an inexpensive way to get around Paharpur and nearby towns.
- Guided Tours: Hiring a local guide for a more in-depth experience can cost around $20 to $30.
- Meals and Souvenirs: Budget for about $10 to $15 per day for meals, and set aside some funds for souvenirs to remember your trip by.
Food & Lifestyle
Rice and Fish Staples: Rice and fish are the fundamental staples in Bangladeshi cuisine. Rice is consumed in various forms, and the country’s numerous rivers and water bodies provide a constant supply of fresh fish.
Biryani: Bangladeshi Biryani is a fragrant and flavorful rice dish made with meat (usually chicken, beef, or mutton) or vegetables.
Hilsha Fish: Hilsha fish is a local delicacy and holds a special place in Bangladeshi cuisine. People often prepare it in a variety of ways, such as making Hilsha curry or steaming Hilsha (known as Hilsha bhapa), and highly prize it for its unique taste.
Mithai: Mithai refers to a wide range of sweet treats in Bangladeshi cuisine. These sweets come in various forms and are often made with ingredients like milk, sugar, and ghee. Rasgulla and Sandesh are popular examples.
The lifestyle in Paharpur is deeply rooted in its rich history and culture. People are warm and welcoming, and you’ll often find them engaged in traditional crafts and agricultural activities. The pace of life is slower, providing a refreshing break from the hustle and bustle of city living. Respect local customs and traditions, and you’ll be rewarded with a deeper understanding of the region’s heritage.
Before you embark on your journey to Paharpur, here are some essentials to keep in mind:
- Travel Insurance: Ensure you have comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical emergencies and trip cancellations.
- Local Currency: The Bangladeshi Taka (BDT) is the local currency. It’s advisable to carry some cash and a credit card for convenience.
- Weather-Appropriate Clothing: Paharpur experiences tropical monsoon weather. Pack lightweight, breathable clothing, and don’t forget an umbrella or raincoat.
- Travel Adapter: Bangladesh uses Type C, D, and G power sockets, so be sure to bring the appropriate adapter.
While you’re in the region, consider exploring other attractions such as the Sundarbans Mangrove Forest, the Royal Palace in Rajshahi, or the tea gardens in Sylhet, Bangladesh offers diverse landscapes and cultural experiences, and each region has its unique charm.
A visit to Paharpur is a journey through time and a testament to the rich history of South Asia. This hidden gem, with its ancient ruins and peaceful surroundings, offers a unique and authentic travel experience. From the intricate terracotta artwork to the warm hospitality of the locals, Paharpur is a destination that will leave you with lasting memories and a deeper appreciation for Bangladesh’s historical heritage. So, pack your bags, prepare for an adventure, and let Paharpur’s treasures unfold before your eyes.