Sunday, 13 September 2009

National Martys Monument in Savar

On the way to Dhamrai, we stopped to visit the National Martyrs Monument at Savar. It is a towering, concrete pyramid-like structure built to honour those who died in the fight for Bangladesh independence in 1971. More than 3 million Bangladeshis gave their life and today the monumnet is a place of reverence for them especially since there are mass graves for the unnamed victims located there.

It has a very neat and trim garden - an unusual sight in Bangladesh. Only the canal crimson water lilies were blooming.

Back to Dhamrai - Again.

For the third time, I think, I went on a visit to Dhamrai, a small Hindu village outside Dhaka where they make brass objects using the traditional lost wax method.
Here the earthen cast is being removed from one of the objects.

The other good thing when we saw when wandering around the village was the women in their brightly coloured saris moving the rice around and walking on the rice to help dry it. Oh SO photogenic.

Then on top of that there was a Hindu Temple as well with the opportunity to see traditional village life.
Here is the rickshaw repair shop.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Comilla - the cemetery

The other reason to visit Comilla is visit the Maynamati War Cemetery. It is a calm, moving well-kept oasis in the mayhem of Bangladesh, not that it is surprising when you know it is maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

The cemetery exists as a result of the Allied Forces being based in the region in an effort to stop the Japanese invading India via Burma during WW II. With more than 700 graves in the cemetery, it is interesting that there are 24 Japanese buried here, 10 Australians plus numerous other nationalities including Indian, Britsh, Canadian, South African, West African and Nigerian. The hill in the middle of the cemetery is dominated by the Cross of Sacrifice.

The Cross of Sacrifice

Plants abound in the cemetery

Comilla - the ruins

There are only really two reasons to visit Comilla. The first is the Mainimati Ruins - the remains of a huge Buddhist temple complex. Between the 6th and 13th centuries, this area was important centre of Buddhist culture. First stop was at the Mainimati Museum made short because of the approaching closure. There were many brass Buddhist statues and also some Hindu gods in black stone. What I liked best were the terracotta plaques that had a range of illustrations on them such as various animals. Adjoining the museum are the ruins of Salban Vihara, which is huge. Walls and steps of the complex and some temples remain. The other ruins nearby are all in the cantonment so require special permission to enter.

Admiring the view

Excavation or restoration????


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