Sonargaon – The Ancient Capital of Bengal
Sonargaon was the capital of the ancient kingdom ruled by Isa Khan of Bengal. Bengal is now divided into West Bengal, which is a state in India and Eastern Bengal, which is the nation of Bangladesh. Today, old Sonargaon is home to some of the oldest buildings in Bangladesh.
Old Sonargaon can be found near Narayanganj and Dhaka, cities in Bangladesh, and is considered one of the first and oldest capitals of Bengal. Sonargaon was known as “The City of Panam” and was a focal part of the renowned Deva Dynasty until the thirteenth century. Mainly middle or upper class people inhabited Sonargaon during that time period.
After the thirteenth century Sonargaon was made a secondary capital to the main capital of the Sultanate of Bengal. This subsidiary position that Sonargaon had now taken, lasted until the arrival of the Mughals. The Mughal Empire originated in India and was first founded in 1526 by Babur, a Turco-Persian leader. The imperial Mughal viceroys ruled Bengal, and thus Sonargaon, for nearly a century before Bangladesh was founded in 1608.
Today, many people still visit the historic city of Sonargaon. They are attracted by its immense beauty and by the ruins of buildings and relics that date back to the era of Bengal. The Goaldia Mosque is situated in the Goaldi village and is a wonderful example of an ancient Sonargaon building. The Folklore Museum is another attraction, which is visited by many. The Folklore Museum of Sonargaon houses a variety of artifacts from all over Bangladesh, representing the many cultural groups that exist in this country.
For those interested in historical and archaeological relics, which have been unearthed from Sonargaon, the Jainal Abedin Museum is a good place to visit. You can still see the intact shrines of Shah Abdul Alia and Panjpirs, and the Tomb of Sultan Ghias ud Din. If you travel just out of Sonargaon, into the countryside, you will see an example of a Moghul Palace and an old museum. These two buildings are located on beautiful grounds with lots of birds, trees and plants, a pond and a number of sheltered walks.
Old Sonargaon is a wonderful city to visit, with so much to offer visitors if history and culture is what they enjoy.