Take a Stroll Through Dhaka’s Ramna Park
Located in the heart of Dhaka, alongside the elegant Dhaka Club, Ramna Park covers an area of nearly seventy acres, featuring a lake, landscaped gardens, pathways and areas for recreation and relaxation. Five gates offer access to the park from different points and locals and tourists alike enjoy the many species of trees, shrubs and flowers, some of which bear fruits and others having medicinal qualities. With a history going back to the early 17th century, Ramna Park has long been a green oasis in the bustling capital city of Bangladesh.
At the time that the city of Dhaka was founded in the early 17th century, during Mughal rule, two attractive residential areas were developed featuring houses, mosques, tombs, temples and gardens – one of which was Ramna Park. Following the fall of the Mughal Empire, the park, and much of the surrounding area, fell into disrepair and became overgrown.
In 1825, as part of the development of the city, Ramna Park was cleared of overgrown plants and bushes, while old tombs and monuments were demolished, with only the Hindu temple Ramna Kali Mandir being spared at the time.* The newly cleared and renovated park was named Ramna Green and the task of developing the gardens began. The Nawabs of Dhaka developed the area to include a racecourse and a zoo, while the Dhaka Club was established by European civil servants.
In 1949 Ramna Park was inaugurated, with the large open spaces by the lake being used as a venue for National Fairs and Exhibitions. When Queen Elizabeth II visited Dhaka in 1960, a raised platform was built for her to address the crowds and a display of fireworks marked the occasion. Remnants of the concrete platform remain near the lake. In 1952 the Bangladesh Public Works Department re-landscaped the park, made the lake larger and added walkways and other features.
*The Ramna Kali Mandir Temple and Maa Anandamoyee Ashram were bulldozed in March 1971 by the Pakistan Army during the Bangladesh Liberation War, with up to 200 Hindus who had taken refuge inside being massacred.