Sights in and around Bogra

Bogra Travel Blog

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Mahastangarh

We'd got two main places we wanted to see near Bogra: the archaeological sites at Paharpur and Mahastangarh. Fate would conspire against us, however. If there's one thing we should have learnt, it's not to try to run to a tight schedule in the Indian subcontinent.

We headed to Mahastangarh on day 1. It's a short bus ride from Bogra, and we got up there easily enough. The hardest thing seemed to be to get a rickshaw to the bus station; in spite of the fact that there are thousands of them around, they don't always seem to know where they're going!

Mahastangarh is the remains of an old citadel, which consists now of the remains of the perimeter wall and a small museum. It was a nice day out, and we enjoyed wandering around.

Zoe at Mahastangarh
We got a rickshaw to take us from the bus stop up to the site, and to wait for us. Once in the site we got latched onto by some students who took it upon themselves to show us around, and then at the end asked us for money. We could kind of see it coming. We sat for a while and listened to some locals playing music out on the grass, which was a really enjoyable experience because it felt like we were seeing the country for real. The museum on the site had a few interesting artefacts from the site. There was a small shop outside the main gate where I bought a small wooden vase as a souvenir; I wanted to have a souvenir from Bangladesh, but we hadn't seen much to choose from.

When the rickshaw driver had taken us back to the main road, where we could get the bus from, we got into a bit of an argument about what a reasonable fare would be.

Musicians at Mahastangarh
We should have agreed beforehand, but for some reason hadn't done so on this occasion. However, we were pleasantly surprised when passers by interceded on our behalf. He was trying to claim that we'd been with him all day, rather than the couple of hours it had actually been. We agreed a price in the end, which was only a little higher than what we'd expected it to be.

Our second day in Bogra was spent seeing the sights of Bogra itself. We spent a while wandering around trying to find the remains of some building or other in the north part of town, with no success. After that we visited the rajbari (large private house) in the centre of town, which has been filled with a motley collection of whatever antique furniture they could get hold of, and has a small amusement park in the garden complete with concrete animals.

Rajbari interior
It's a bit of a strange tourist attraction, and a bit underwhelming.

For the third day we'd saved up the highlight of our time in Bogra: a trip to Paharpur, which was supposed to be a much more impressive archaeological site than Mahastangarh. However, as luck would have it, the day we'd chosen turned out also to have been chosen for a "hartal": one of the frequent strikes that occur in Bangladesh. This meant that there were no buses running in the direction we wanted to go, and we were stuck. With only a couple of days left until our flight out of Dhaka we were forced to give up on going, and return to Dhaka the following day. The bus company office in Bogra was doing a good impression of being closed, presumably because of the strike, but we discovered that it was really open and managed to buy a ticket for a bus the following day.

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Mahastangarh
Mahastangarh
Zoe at Mahastangarh
Zoe at Mahastangarh
Musicians at Mahastangarh
Musicians at Mahastangarh
Rajbari interior
Rajbari interior
Rajbari gardens
Rajbari gardens
Bogra
photo by: hyo