Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, is the largest city in the country and is located in central Bangladesh. Though not a city in the Greater Sundarbans region, we list it as an embarkation city because it is home to the nation's international airport and to many member tour operators that provide journeys to the Sundarbans. 

The capital city is referred to as one of the most densely populated cities in the world, with almost 20 million residents. It is a diverse and bustling city full of color with the country’s industrial, educational, and commercial centers. While most people in Dhaka speak Bengali, some original Dhakaiya people remain, following their own unique culture and traditions that can be found scattered around Old Dhaka. Dhaka is a city of contrasts between rich and poor, past and present, making for a rich cultural experience.

Dhaka has witnessed many dynasties’ rule, traced back to the 1st millennium CE; however, the city rose to fame in the 17th century when it was the capital of the Muslim Mughal dynasty of Bengal province (1608–39 and 1660–1704). The Mughals enhanced the city’s beauty by building forts, palaces, gardens, tombs, and mosques. Some of the oldest built remnants date back to before the Mughal dynasty, such as the Binat Bibi Mosque, built in 1454, which stands today as the oldest brick structure in the city. 

The Port of Dhaka was an important trading hub for the riverine and seaborne trade – earning the city the title the Venice of the East. During British Raj, it became an important administrative and educational center and served as the capital of Eastern Bengal and Assam province after 1905. In 1947, when British rule ended, Dhaka became the administrative capital of East Pakistan and was declared the legislative capital of Pakistan in 1962. In 1971, after the independence of Bangladesh, it became the country’s capital.

Dhaka has many architectural heritages from Mughal Empire to the British Colonial period. Top places to visit in Dhaka; Bangladesh National Parliament, Armenian Church, Lalbag Fort, Ahsan Manzil, Dhakeshwari Temple, Khan Mohammad Mridha Mosque, Bait Ur Rouf Mosque, Star Mosque, Kawran Bazar, and Liberation War Museum.

Dhaka was once the center for the world’s finest Muslin cotton fabric of plain weave produced by local artisans, which was very popular among wealthy families. Although Muslin is no longer produced, many varieties such as Jamdani continue the legacy. You can spend hours wandering the bustling streets of Dhaka, eyeing artisans busy at work, shopping at open markets lining the streets, or taking in the flavors of local delicacies such as chotpoti, fuchka, mashed banana, and more.