Everything you need to travel Sonargaon, Panam Nagar, Goaldi Mosque, and other important sights in Sonargaon and around

Sonargaon was the old capital of Bengal in the medieval period. It was an important administrative and commercial center of Bengal and a rich maritime center. Sonargaon was the seat of the medieval Muslim rulers and governors of eastern Bengal. Different rulers from the 13th century used Sonargaon as their capital. In a different time, Sonargaon was the place to become the stair to the throne of Bengal for many different rulers.

Sonargaon was used as a mint capital beside Gauda in the medieval period. It was abandoned as the capital of Bengal in 1610 by the Mughal rulers when they shifted the capital of Bengal to Jahangirnagar, which was later named Dhaka. Nowadays, very few traces of the old capital is remaining in Sonargaon. Seeing the quiet little village, no one can even imagine how glorious this place once was on its prime time.

Sonargaon Folk-Arts and Crafts Museum in Bangladesh.

Sardar Bari at Sonargaon

Sonargaon Folk-Arts & Crafts Museum

Month long Folk-arts Fair and Folklore Festival will be organized in the museum this year on 15 January – 13 February, 2019

Sonargaon Folk-Arts and Crafts Museum is the most popular tourist spot in Sonargaon. It is the most popular tourist spot for the locals near Dhaka. There are two museums inside the premises of Sonargaon Folk-Arts and Crafts Museum. The original museum was established by famous painter Joynul Abedin in 1975 on an old house called Bara Sardar Bari built in 1901.

Artifacts related to the heritage of Bengal from 17th century onward are being displayed on this museum. You can see here things people used to use in their everyday life which the city-based new generation are unaware of. Daily-life tools, ornaments, furniture, treasure box, arms, musical instruments, boats, decoration pieces, and many other things related to the heritage of Bengal are the main attraction of this museum. This building is now being beautifully renovated to its original state and closed for display. It will open as soon as the renovation work is finished.

A beautiful mansion at Sonargaon in Bangladesh.

An Old mansion at Sonargaon

A new museum has been built later on the same premises, where mainly the rich culture of fabrics in Sonargaon is being displayed. TSonargaon was very famous for its production of the finest quality hand-made saries among which Moslin was the most famous. This sari was so thin, a whole sari could be folded on a matchbox, customers of which was mainly the royal families around the world. A sample of Moslin and other finest quality series, ornamented Kanthas (Nokshi Kantha), matress made of fabrics and brass, and many other artifacts are being on display in the new museum.

Other interesting artifacts being displayed on the new museum are a life side ornamented houseboat, ornamented wooden door which rich people used on their house, ornamented wooden partition of a house, different wooden decoration piece, and models of different types of boats which once were the medium of main transportation in Bangladesh, it being a country fully based on rivers, which sadly are lost nowadays.

Visiting Sonargaon Museum

Ticket Price of Sonargaon Folk-Arts and Crafts Museum

Ticket price for entering the foundation premises is 30 tk. for locals and 100 tk. for the foreigners. You do not need any separate ticket to enter the museum.

Car parking charges

Adjacent to the museum is the newly renovated car parking area. The area is big enough to park lots of cars and buses. The charges for parking are as follows (no time limit):

  • Bicycle: 10 tk.
  • CNG / Motor Bike: 25 tk.
  • Cars, SUVs, Vans (NOAH/HIACE): 100 tk.
  • Coaster: 200 tk.
  • Bus: 300 tk.

Boat Riding on the Lake

There is arrangement of riding paddle-wheel boats on the lake inside the museum premises. Ticket price for boat riding is 20 tk. per person for 30 minutes.

Fishing on the lake

You can do fishing by a hook on the lake. Price is 1,750 tk. for a whole day. You have to bring your own hook.

Picnic spot hiring

Inside the museum premises, there are several picnic spots which you can hire for picnic. Contact the museum directly for price details and booking.

Shooting of film

For shooting of film inside the museum premises, the charge is 3,450 tk. for a whole day.

Visiting Hours of Sonargaon Museum

Summer Season (April – September)
  • Tuesday – Saturday: 10.00 AM – 06.00 PM
  • Museum Galleries: 10.30 AM – 05.30 PM
  • Fridays 12.30 PM – 02.30 PM: – Museum Galleries Closed for Prayer.
  • Wednesday & Thursday: Closed.
  • Government holidays: Closed.
Winter Season (October – March)
  • Tuesday – Saturday: 09.00 AM – 05.00 PM
  • Museum Galleries: 09.30 AM – 04.30 PM
  • Fridays 12.30 PM – 02.30 PM: – Museum Galleries Closed for Prayer.
  • Wednesday & Thursday: Closed.
  • Government holidays: Closed.
Sonargaon Museum will remain open for visitors during the Eid day. It will be closed only on the previous day of the Eid day.

Contact no of Sonargaon Museum

For any inquiry regarding Sonargaon Folk-Arts and Crafts Museum, You can call their official IVR based help desk no 09604 000 777 or land-phone no 02-7656331.

How to go Sonargaon

Go to Gulistan bus stand at Dhaka, take a bus to Moghrapara. Bus service called ‘Meghla’ goes to Mograpara. From Mograpara, take a Rickshaw to Sonargaon Museum. Bus service to Sonargaon also available from Chasara at Narayanganj.

Abandoned merchant city Panam Nagar at Sonargaon in Bangladesh, built in colonial period.

Abandoned city Panam Nagar

Panam Nagar

Panam Nagar is an abandoned city of the Hindu merchants, just within 10 minutes walking distance from Sonargaon Folk-Arts and Crafts Museum. It is the most attractive tourist spot in Sonargaon. Panam Nagar was founded at Sonargaon in the early 19th century during British rule in the sub-continent, as a trading center of cotton fabrics. Hindu merchants built their houses on this city – 52 houses on a single street. The building style of these houses was influenced by European style with the mixture of traditional Bengal style.

When the British left the sub-incontinent dividing it based on religion, Sonargaon fell in the Muslim majority then Pakistan part. During that time there were several religious riots in this area, when these merchants fled to India with their family, leaving their houses to the caretakers with an intention to come back which never happened because of circumstances. Thus this wealthy city was fully abandoned. These caretakers later claimed these houses as their own with forged papers, from whom Bangladesh govt. later acquired the whole city. Panam Nagar is now protected under the archaeological department of Bangladesh.

An old house at Panam Nagar in Sonargaon, the old capital of Bengal.

© An Old House at Panam Nagar in Sonargaon. Photo Credit: Simon Roozendaal

Panam Nagar is the only abandoned city of it’s kind in the whole world. 52 Abandoned houses on the same street look like a ghost city. There were two types of buildings in Panam Nagar. One was for pure residence. The other was entertainment houses, which was used for pure entertainment where the party used to took place every night with unlimited drinks, dance, and singing by Baijis. These houses had a gallery in the middle. The house owner and his friends used to watch the performance of the Baijis from the gallery. Panam Nagar is a great place to spend a whole afternoon with the family in the outskirt of Dhaka.

Check out Panam Nagar: A fully abandoned city of the Hindu merchants in Bangladesh for more details on Panam Nagar with lots of photos.

Visiting Panam Nagar

Ticket price of Panam Nagar

Panam Nagar was always open without any boundary and no ticket was previously required. However, the archeological department has recently taken initiative to make the boundary wall surrounding the city to better protect it, and the ticket is now required to enter Panam Nagar. Ticket price for locals is 15 TK and foreigners 100 TK.

Visiting hours of Panam Nagar

  • Tuesday – Saturday: Open from 9.00 am – 5.00 pm.
  • Sunday: Closed.
  • Monday: Opens after 02.00 pm.
  • Government holidays: Closed.
Panam Nagar will remain closed for visitors during Eid day and the previous day of Eid. It will remain open as usual from the next day of Eid day.

How to go Panam Nagar

Walk for 10 minutes or take a rickshaw from the gate of Sonargaon Museum to reach Panam Nagar.

Goaldi Mosque at Sonargaon in Bangladesh, built in 1519.

Medieval period Goaldi Mosque at Sonargaon

Goaldi Mosque

Goaldi Mosque is a beautiful medieval period mosque in Sonargaon, located just 01 km north-west of Panam Nagar. This is the only structure remaining in Sonargaon from the medieval period when it was the prime time of Sonargaon. Built in 1519 by Mulla Hizabar Akbar Khan during the reign of Alauddin Husain Shah at a village called Goaldi, this mosque was fully collapsed including its single dome hidden behind the bushes. The archaeological department of Bangladesh later carefully restored the mosque. Goaldi Mosque is now standing as its own state again. This is a must visiting sight in Sonargaon.

How to visit Goaldi Mosque

Ticket price of Goaldi Mosque

No ticket is required to visit Goaldi Mosque.

Visiting hours of Goaldi Mosque

Goaldi Mosque is always open for the visitors. If you find the gate locked, you’ll find the caretaker nearby to open it for you.

How to go Goaldi Mosque

Take a rickshaw or auto-rickshaw from the Museum or Panam Nagar to reach Sonargaon, and return on the same transport.

Have you ever visited Sonargaon? How fascinating have you found it? Have I missed something here? Share your thoughts and experience with us in comments.

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