I had already spent a few days in Dhaka, Bangladesh’s capital, and was thinking about a trip to the town of Srimangal. I planned to do it by train. I was definitely surprised by the central train station in the city called Kamalapur (Kamalapur Railway Station) – a modern, stylish building, very different from everything around. I had enough time to walk around and take some pictures.
Kamalapur Railway Station in Dhaka is the largest and most major transport terminal in the country. It is also one of the most modern buildings in the city, designed by American architect Robert Boughey, born in Pennsylvania, USA.
In addition to Kamalapur Station (1961-64), he was the chief architect of several other remarkable buildings in Dhaka – the National Museum of Bangladesh, the College of Notre Dame, St. Joseph’s High School and many others. He has also worked in Thailand and other Asian countries.
To understand the significance of Kamalapur Railway Station, we need to go back a bit to the history of rail transport in Bangladesh. The first railway line in East Bengal, connecting Kolkata and Kushtia, was put into operation in 1862. It was officially referred to as the ‘East Bengal Railway’ and gave a significant impetus to the development of the whole region of East Bengal. The provinces east of the Padma River, including large urban centres such as Dhaka, Chittagong, and Sylhet, have long been deprived of rail transport’s benefits and convenience. The reason for the delayed construction was the powerful river system of the Padma River, which caused several logistical problems. After the Kamalapur Railway Station opening and the subsequently developed rail links with the cities mentioned above, the entire region’s development opportunities sharply increased.
47 local, 40 postal / express and 30 intercity trains pass through Kamalapur Railway Station. For example, by train, you can reach Jamalpur, Rajshahi, Khulna, Chittagong, Sylhet, Rangpur, Dinajpur, etc.
The construction of the Kamalapur Railway Station is considered one of the successes of the then government. Personally, the President of Pakistan Muhammad Ayub Khan attended the opening ceremony, demonstrating his interest and concern for the development of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh)! There were even commemorative stamps from this event.
Unfortunately, like other large public buildings in Dhaka, Kamalapur Station is also used by homeless people.
The railway station is situated on the northeast side of Motijheel in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The easiest way would be using a rickshaw. Note that men riding rickshaws do not speak any English, so it would be a good idea to write down the name of the station on a piece of paper Another option would be to arrange a taxi from your hotel.
We usually have one or two small groups (max 7/8 participants) per year traveling to Bangladesh, including to this place. If you are interested in joining a group setting out from Europe, please drop a line. We will provide more information, like dates, a program, and other details.
Bangladesh has a tropical-subtropical climate. Avoid the worst of monsoon season by traveling between late November and early March, when temperatures are pleasantly warm and the thunderstorms are swapped for sunshine.
Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport is the largest and most prominent international airport in Bangladesh. It is located in Kurmitola 17 kilometers from the city center, in the northern part of the capital city Dhaka.
This place would be part of an itinerary/program in Bangladesh. Travel in Bangladesh could be combined with India, but I’d advise using all your time for the country itself. Bangladesh itself is a fascinating place, so use all your time in the country.
Bangladesh has introduced Visa On Arrival service, but you’d need to check whether it is available for your country.
You can also use the VisaHQ world service. They will provide full assistance in applying and obtaining the needed visa. Check directly the requirements for the Bangladeshi visa here.
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