Sonargoan Travel Guide

Sonargoan Travel Guide


Sonargaon is one of the best touristic places for a day tour with all in one package including Bengali culture, countryside, archaeology and full of adventure. This place is very popular in the history of Bengal as it has been the capital of eastern Bengal for a longer period of time. However, in the 17th century, the cards flipped and Dhaka became the capital owing to the decision of then Muslim rulers.

In times of adversity, Sonargaon is left with few scattered villages, mosques and mounds of earth which are still unidentified, and you will get to see them on the west side of the highway around a village named Mograpara. These days, the most attractive things that you will find here are Panam Nagar, Sadar Bari, Goaldi Mosque and Folk-art museum. 

Bengal was ruled by the Muslim governor Isa Khan and Sonargaon used to be the capital in that time. But, eventually, after the division the West Bengal has become the state of India and Eastside, a part of Bangladesh, beholding the ancient architectural history of our culture, Sonargaon. In its time, it was the most vital point for administrative and other commercial sectors, but, those glorious days now only remain in the page of history. 


Sonargaon folk art and craft museum

Folk and Art Museum, Songargoan
Folk and Art Museum, Songargoan - Photo Source: Sayed

You will definitely get the chance to come across the society where there is the presence of ancient craftsmanship and long suit historical center for the visitors and vacationers intending to explore Sonargaon. Both  Sonargaon Folk Art , Craft Museum remains open from dawn to dusk (9 AM to 5 PM).

Wednesday and Thursday, this gallery is shut for the end of the week. This is prosperous with a few remarkable gathering those you'll never discover at some other spots. The primary historical center structure is put at the "Sardar Bari".  A Hindu Zamindar of Sonargaon in 1901 planned this "Sardar Bari".

Likewise,  other Zamindar places of that period, this one also looks like Indian houses, however, the state of the house has resembled the European Palaces. In addition to the extravagant enrichment and the explained painting on the mortar of the structure are truly attractive. 


Exhibition galleries

Inside the exhibition gallery building, Art and folk museum, Sonargaon

Inside the exhibition gallery building, Art and folk museum, Sonargaon - Photo Source: Sayed

Renowned Bangladeshi painter Joynul Abedin developed Lok Shilpa Jadughar (Folk Art and Craft Museum) of Sonargaon on March 12, 1975, which was actually improvised on that ancient building, Bara Sardar Bari.  It's an immense territory and will set aside your bunches of effort to adjust the zone.

You'll discover a workmanship display of "Zainul Abedin" inside the exhibition hall territory. There are two Exhibition Galleries inside the gallery. Them two comprise of some status demonstrating the neighborhood life of Bangladeshi individuals, for instance cultivating, the lady working and so on. Likewise, you'll locate the small scale rendition of the few vessels from my nation, which are presently days evaporated in the wake of rivaling the mechanical vehicles.

Besides, the daily life-hacks, treasure box, arms, boats, furniture, ornaments, decoration pieces, and other relevant heritages of Bengal which leads to the major attraction of it. Though the work of it’s a renovation to its original diagram is still an ongoing process, but, sooner the opening of this museum will be publicly announced.


Ornamented Nokshi Kantha

Art and fold Museum, Sonargaon
Art and folk Museum, Sonargaon - Photo Credit: Abu Sayed

Another tourist attraction will be the display of the rich culture of fabrics in Sonargaon. You will find a new museum in the same area where the art of Bengal is shown in their hand-made sari, Nokshi Kantha which is actually an ornamented Kantha, mattress, and other artistic inventions.

Among them, the most fascinating sight is the Moslin, a hand-made sari. The specialty of this sari was that it was too thin, and the whole sari can easily fit in a matchbox. Also, the ornamented houseboat, wooden doors that were designed for rich people, different types of wooden decoration pieces and models of the boat will not be out of your site, as they all represent our nation which used them as the medium of main transportation.



PanamNagar, the most attractive and most visited tourist spot in Sonargaon. It was mainly a city of Hindu Merchants, however, it has been ruined in times and henceforth, declared as an abandoned city.

This city’s architectural design was a combination of European style and traditional Bengal style. Initially, it was founded during the time of the British empire in the 19th century. Later on, the Hindu merchants had taken it in full and built 52 houses there. It is very close to Sonargaon Folk-Arts and Crafts Museum that it will take only ten minutes on foot.    


Historical lost city

Panam Nagar, Sonargaon
Panam Nagar, Sonargaon - Photo Credit: Mostafizur Rahman Jewel

Most tragic incidents had occurred during the division of the sub-continent. Panam Nagar used to be the residence of the Hindu community, but, after the dividing, Sonargaon was taken under the supervision of Muslims.

At that period of time, several religious riots were ongoing, and the merchants escaped to India leaving all behind in the hands of their caretaker. But they never made it come back again, and henceforth, all properties went to the Government. This city is now taken care of by the archaeological department of Bangladesh.


Types of building found in the Panam City

Panam Nagar, Sonargaon
Panam Nagar, Sonargaon - Photo Source: Sayed

You will be amazed to know that this place is considered as an exceptional example of all other abandoned cities around the globe. The horrifying streets with empty buildings standing in a row with a number of 52 will definitely bring you cold feet. Two types of structure will be found, one for the residence and another for amusement.

The building for entertainment was lit in that era with unlimited of any amusement one can find. The singing by Baijis was the ultimate entertainment by the nights. If you want to spend your afternoon in Dhaka, this is a must-see touristic place for you all. 


Goaldi mosque

Goaldi Mosque, Sonargaon
Goaldi Mosque, Sonargaon - Photo Credit: Abu Sayed

From 1296 to 1608, Sonargaon was the rich capital of the Muslim rulers of East Bengal. The city is located roughly 27km east from Dhaka. The Goaldi Mosque is situated in a village name Goaldi near the city of Sonargaon.

Panam Nagar, a city of the wealthy Hindu merchants is just half a mile away from Goaldi. This mosque is one of the very few structures of the old capital from the sultanate period. 

During the reign of Sultan Hussain Shah in 1519, the mosque was built by Hizabar Akbar Khan who was probably a high official under Sultan Hussain Shah. The mosque was built just outside the city of Sonargaon, which shows that it was an important place at the time.

Sultan Hussain Shah probably had an office or residence of a high officer at Goaldi as he set for a long camp there when he started his campaign against Tripura and Assam, right on the other side of Meghna river.


A pre-Mughal structure

Goaldi Mosque, Sonargaon
Goaldi Mosque, Sonargaon - Photo Credit: Abu Sayed

This little mosque is the oldest pre- Mughal mosque in the area and was in complete ruin when the department of archeology declared it as a heritage site. The mosque was covered with bushes and was carefully restored in 1975.

The mosque has a single dome at the top and is more elegant and designed compared to the earlier sultanate mosque in bagherhat. the mosque has three arched entrances in the east and one on north and south which are now bricked up. The four corners with squinch arches support the dome on pendentives.

Goaldi Mosque, Sonargaon
Goaldi Mosque, Sonargaon - Photo Credit: Abu Sayed

With 16 sq feet, the beautiful little mosque has delicately carved mihrabs. The center mihrabs of the three are beautifully carved in black stone with floral and arabesque relief and the two on both sides are decorated with fine terracotta artwork. Rectangular frames are used to decorate the spandrels of the multi-cusped arches of the mihrab. 

After you reach the Folk Art Museum, take the road west from the second gate of the museum, after half a mile you will reach Goaldi Bazar More and take a right. Or you can directly go to the mosque if you take a rickshaw or auto-rickshaw.


Check out Our Full Day Tour To Sonargoan to visit the old capital of Bengal. 


Visiting hours of Sonargaon folk-arts museum

Summer Schedule (April – September) 

Tuesday-Saturday:10.00 am-06.00 pm

Museum Galleries:10.30 am–05.30 pm 

Only on Fridays 12.30 PM - 02.30 PM Museum Galleries Closed for Prayer but the rest of the places are open. 

Wednesday & Thursday: Closed. 

On any government holidays: Closed.

Winter schedule (October - March) 

Tuesday-Saturday:09.00 am–05.00 pm

Museum Galleries:09.30 am–04.30 pm 

Only on Fridays 12.30 PM - 02.30 PM Museum Galleries Closed for Prayer but the rest of the places are open. 

Wednesday & Thursday: Closed. 

On any government holidays: Closed.

*** Sonargaon Museum will remain open for visitors during the Eid day. It will be closed only on the previous day of the Eid day. 

*** For any inquiry regarding Sonargaon Folk-Arts and Crafts Museum, You can call at 09604 000 777 or land-phone number 02-7656331.


Our Day Tours

Full-Day Tour At Sonargoan (Old Capital)

National Parliament Building Tour

Full-Day Photography Tour

Tour To Old Dhaka and Sonargoan

Brass and pottery tour

Excursion to ManikGanj Baliati palace

Full-Day River Cruise