Sunday, June 23, 2024

A Journey Through the Historic Lanes of Old Dhaka


Old Dhaka, also known as Puran Dhaka, is a historic city that serves as the capital of Bangladesh. Founded in 1608 and named after the Mughal emperor Jahangir, Old Dhaka is a city that never sleeps, always bustling with activity.

Culture of Old Dhaka

Old Dhaka is renowned for its rich culture, which is a blend of traditions and festivities. The city is predominantly Muslim, but it also has a significant number of Hindus, as well as Christians and Buddhists. Its inhabitants, known as Dhakaiya, converse in Dhakaiya Kutti, a dialect of Bengali, and Dhakaiya Urdu, a dialect of Urdu.

The city is famous for its variety of festivals celebrated with enthusiasm by all religious communities. These include Muslim festivals like Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-ul-Adha, and Ashura, Hindu festivals like Durga Puja, Kali Puja, and Saraswati Puja, and other festivals like Shakrain, Pohela Falgun, and Halkhata.

Old Dhaka is also known for its art festivals and its secular character, which is reflected in its varied cultural activities. The city’s people congregate at the Shaheed Minar and the Jatiyo Smriti Soudho to remember the national heroes of the Bengali Language Movement and the Bangladesh Liberation War.

Cuisine of Old Dhaka

Old Dhaka is famous for its diverse and flavorful cuisine. The city’s food culture is a feast for the senses, with a variety of dishes that are deeply rooted in its history and tradition.

One of the most iconic dishes of Old Dhaka is Bakarkhani, a crispy, flaky, crumbly bread that is a staple of a typical Old Dhaka-style breakfast2. It can be enjoyed on its own or dipped in a piping hot tea. Varieties of Bakarkhani include Paneer Bakarkhani (cheese-stuffed), coconut-stuffed Bakarkhani, and Mishti Bakarkhani (a sweeter version).

Another popular drink is Maatha, a creamy yet sweet drink made with a quirky combination of lemon and yogurt. It’s often served with freshly made Chhana (mildly sweetened Cottage Cheese).

Nihari is a velvety red dish topped with a generous amount of fried onions, chopped coriander, and garlic. The melt-in-the-mouth Nallis (bone marrows) add to the magic and elevate the whole taste a notch higher.

Old Dhaka is also famous for its Kacchi Biriyanis, a public favorite. The alleys of Old Dhaka are always brimming with royal flavors 24/7.


Old Dhaka is a city that offers a unique blend of culture and cuisine. Whether you’re exploring the city’s historic sites, participating in its vibrant festivals, or indulging in its delicious food, a visit to Old Dhaka is sure to be a memorable experience. So, if you’re on a quest for a cultural and culinary paradise, Old Dhaka is the place to be!

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