The fascination of the ten-armed goddess
As part of a study trip through South Asia, a flying visit to Bangladesh is a must. The capital Dhaka is a fascinating metropolis with almost 6.8 million inhabitants. It is located in the center of the world’s largest growing region for jute.
The oldest Hindu temple
The lively city, in which, in addition to taxis and cyclists, countless rickshaw drivers still characterize the streets, is teeming with sights. Palaces, museums, monuments and mosques fascinate visitors. One of the most impressive structures is the Dhakeshwari Temple. It is also the most famous and oldest Hindu temple in Dhaka. It is dedicated to the ten-armed goddess Dhakeshwari. The name Dhaka probably goes back to this goddess.
Legends surround the temple
The sacred building in the center of the metropolis probably dates from the 11th century. It was built by the then ruler Ballal Sen of the Sena Dynasty. Legend has it that his mother, the wife of King Bijoy Sen, swore that if she gave birth to a healthy child, her child would build a temple. Both came true. Her son built a temple that has many stories to tell and is one of Dhaka’s most important sights. In another story, Ballal Sen is said to have dreamed of a deity hidden in the jungle. He freed the deity and had a temple built and named it Dhakeshwari.
An incarnation of the goddess Durga
There are still some legends about this temple and no one can say which of them really corresponds to the truth. However, the fact is that the Dhakeshwari temple is an important station in Dhaka and the names Dhakeshwari and Dhaka are closely linked. And in the Hindu religion, Dhakeshwari is considered the leading deity of Dhaka. For them, Dhakeshwari is an incarnation of the goddess Durga. If you enter through the monumental Nahabatkhana Gate, you will see four identical Shiva temples in a row. In the main temple is the seat of the goddess Durga. The air is filled with the mantras of the priests and the distinctive sound of the temple bell.
National Parliament Dhaka
The building of the National Parliament of Bangladesh is located in the capital Dhaka and is one of the largest parliament buildings in the world.
The Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban (House of the National Assembly) was designed by Louis I. Kahn, an American. Its futuristic character, which is characterized by a mixture of prehistoric and modern architecture, makes it a worthwhile destination, especially for study trips.
20 years of construction for an architectural masterpiece
In 1962, the architect Kahn was commissioned to build the parliament building and its outdoor facilities. His first drafts date from 1963 and were put into practice from 1965 when the foundations were laid. The civil war over the declaration of independence from Bangladesh, the redesign of the roof originally planned as a pyramid and the death of the architect in 1974 meant that the construction time was an impressive 20 years. It was not until 1982 that the assembly hall in the center could be used by parliament for the first time.
Symbol of a new democracy
The uniqueness of the parliament building in Dhaka was primarily intended to symbolize Bangladesh’s optimistic mood towards a young democratic republic. The complex, consisting of the main house and individual bodies, is characterized by a new and at the same time original architecture. Straight lines and geometric shapes emphasize the clarity of the concept. The accentuation of light and shadow through round and triangular openings in the masonry give the building its futuristic character.
Since water is of great importance in the Bengali tradition, the structure was built on an artificial lake. In order to underline its impressive effect, spacious parks, stairs and squares surround the building, clearly separating it from the rest of the city.
Except for the main house, which is only accessible to members of parliament, all of the surrounding geometric buildings can be visited. The lake and the parks have also become popular leisure facilities for locals and tourists. When traveling to Dhaka, a visit to this unique architectural gem should definitely be planned.