Museum of Independence, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Museum of Independence
Suhrawardy Udyan, Dhaka, Bangladesh
The Museum of Independence (স্বাধীনতা জাদুঘর) is the latest addition to the tourist map of Dhaka, Bangladesh.
It was opened to public on 25 March 2015, on the occasion of the 45th independence day of Bangladesh.
The 67 acre Independence Museum is located at the Suhrawardy Udyan, the place where, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman gave his historic speech declaring the struggle for independence, and where the Pakistani forces surrendered after the War of Liberation.
The Museum of Independence is designed by Bangladeshi architects Kashef Mahboob Chowdhury and Marina Tabassum, who won the national design competition in 1997 and were subsequently commissioned the project.
The Museum of Independence, consists of a huge open space, centred round the Tower of Light. The Tower of Light is a 50 meter high tower composed of stacked glass panels and is illuminated at night.
The museum is located underground and happens to be the first underground museum in whole of Bangladesh.
The complex also consists of a multimedia projection theater, an amphitheater, three water pools and a 155 seater auditorium.
A long terracotta mural runs along the entire length of the complex, depicting the struggle of independence, and quotes from Bengali poets from both Bangladesh and West Bengal, India.
The exhibits are located in an underground museum covering an area of 5669 square meter, consisting of two halls, connected by a narrow passageway.
The entire underground museum is located underneath the Tower of Light and is centred round a fountain, where water falls from the ceiling.
The exhibits consists of 300 historic photographs and 144 glass panels depicting the history of Bangladesh.
Copies of local and foreign newspapers showing the different events of the War of Liberation are displayed in the gallery.
Although known as the Museum of Independence its exhibits are not restricted to the freedom struggle only.
It also exhibits some photographs from the significant archaeological and historical sites and monuments of Bangladesh.
Just North of the the Museum of Independence and located on the Northern end of Suhrawardy Udyan is the Eternal Flame, Sikha Chirantan (শিখা চিরন্তন),
symbolizing the eternity of Bangladesh nationalism.
Sikha Chirantan, the eternal flame burns beneath the national flag of Bangladesh with the the tower of light in its back drop.
The Sikha Chirantan, the eternal flame, was inaugurated on 7 March 2007 by Bangladesh Prime Minister Seikh Hasina.
Ever since its inauguration the eternal flame have been visited by dignitaries all over the world.
The long list includes Yesser Arafat (President of Palestine), Nelson Mandela (President of South Africa) and Suleyman Demirel (President of Turkey).
The Tower of Light is lit up during the night and creates a grand spectacle. I had plans to visit the Independence Museum Complex again, at night to witness the grand spectacle, but lack of time and the notorious traffic jams of Dhaka prevented me from doing so, but I do have plans of returning again!!!
- I visited Dhaka on a invitation of Wikimedia Bangladesh on the occasion of the 10th Anniversary Celebration of Bengali Wikipedia. So a very special thanks to Wikimedia Bangladesh.
- A special thanks to fellow wikipedians Afifa and Ibrahim for guiding us through the streets of Dhaka for the entire day. Also thanks to Tanweer, Nahid, Pratyya and Ranju da who also joined us during the exploration of Dhaka. Biswarup da, a fellow wikipedian from India deserves something more than thanks.