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Karin Moorhouse – Travel Writer. Splendid Storyteller

 

At Deshghuri.com we pride ourselves on tailoring itineraries to suit individual needs. So when Karin Moorhouse and her husband, Wei Cheng challenged us to focus on the main archaeological and historical sites of Bangladesh, our team responded enthusiastically. Theirs was not a usual request, but it was with a sense of pride that we proposed ideas that enabled us to reveal the rich spectrum of historical sites across Bangladesh and push the boundaries on an ordinary itinerary.

Karin and Wei have lived and worked in five continents, and for more than 30 years they have traveled extensively around the globe. Wei is a surgeon-scientist who loves to paint, while Karin is a business consultant who loves to write. Together they share a passion for culture, history and travel. They visited Bangladesh just before the world shutdown for the Covid-19 pandemic, but on their return, they shared their stories.

It is therefore a privilege to share these directly with you. The stories not only weave a personal narrative about the places they visited but are informative and well researched, giving us new insights and perspectives on beautiful Bangladesh.

Their knowledge and passion inspired us all and we are forever thankful to Karin Moorhouse and Wei Cheng for sharing this extraordinary contribution with us, and hope you enjoy them too.

আলপনা – Alpona Village Art – 文化村

আলপনা – Alpona Village Art – 文化村

“Which way to Tikoil, the folk-art village?” asked Mani, our guide about a place where even he had never ventured. An old farmer in the paddy fields waved us on, so we drove on for miles more along serpentine lanes. I wasn’t really sure what to expect of the village as it wasn’t in the plan. A few craft shops full of things we didn’t want or need? I was wrong of course, for I could see nothing when we pulled up near some adobe mud houses; northern …

কেরানীগঞ্জ – Dockyards of Dhaka – 达卡船坞

কেরানীগঞ্জ – Dockyards of Dhaka – 达卡船坞

There is something both deeply disturbing and perversely fascinating about a visit to the dockyards in Dhaka. For starters, the shipyards are located on the banks of the Buriganga – the country’s most polluted river – and the stench that emanates from the oily gloop isn’t pretty. We crossed the busy waterway on a small wooden sampan, and it took the strength and skill of the ferryman to row us to Keraniganj, on the other side…

কান্তজীউ মন্দির – A Temple to Love – 克利须那

কান্তজীউ মন্দির – A Temple to Love – 克利须那

Of all the beautiful temples we visited in Bangladesh, Kantaji Temple at Dinajpur was a standout. Clad in lace-like pottery ornamentation, Kantaji is without doubt one of the finest examples of terracotta architecture in Bengal. In essence, it’s a temple of love, dedicated to the Hindu god, Lord Krishna and his supreme Goddess, Radha. Today, the temple is still popular with followers of the divine couple and Radha-Krishna pilgrims, who stay in simple accommodation in the temple grounds. By coincidence, on the day we visited it was Holi, the Hindu “festival of love” or “festival of colours” that signifies good over evil and the arrival of spring, so we watched pilgrims perform rituals of devotion in the temple surrounds …

Bewitching Puthia – 普提亚

Bewitching Puthia – 普提亚

There is a scene in the 1968 movie adaptation of “Around the World in Eighty Days” that is seared in my childhood memory. It is the scene set in colonial India, where Phileas Fogg (David Niven) and their elephant-borne party help the young widow, Aouda (Shirley MacLaine) escape a ritual act of suttee. Terrified as I was in that movie-moment, contemplating the immolation of the widow on her husband’s funeral pyre, I also distinctively recall the intense…

A Roadside Picnic –路邊野餐

A Roadside Picnic –路邊野餐

When traveling in rural Bangladesh, it is not always easy find somewhere to eat…or at least not somewhere that appealed to my foodie sensibilities. Fresh fruit from a roadside vendor was often the more attractive option.
One day, en route from Gaur to Paharpur, we stopped in a dusty town to buy fruit and cucumbers for lunch. We then pulled over, further down the road in a sleepy village near the water pump to eat our fruit. Ever conscious of hygiene …

গৌড় – The Lost City of Gaur – 失落的古德城

গৌড় – The Lost City of Gaur – 失落的古德城

I had never heard of Gaur before our hastily planned trip to Bangladesh, but knew instinctively it was a place we wanted to visit. For Gaur was once one of world’s most populous cities and the prominent capital of Bengal for centuries. Then it all but disappeared! Today, the ancient city ruins are dotted across a wide expanse of rice paddies and mango tree orchards in a landscape so rustic, it’s hard to imagine what this great metropolis …

পদ্মা নদী – A Stroll by the Padma – 恒河

পদ্মা নদী – A Stroll by the Padma – 恒河

Downstream from India, the main distributory of the mighty Ganges changes its name as it flows into the delta towards the Bay of Bengal. Here, Hindu’s most sacred river has always been known as the Padma – Sanskrit for “lotus flower.” At the city of Rajshahi, the Padma also defines the north-west border of Bangladesh, and we were in town to visit friends.
I had this idea that I wanted to dip my feet in the Padma, but had imagined taking …

সোমপুর মহাবিহার – Splendid Paharpur – 帕哈尔普尔

সোমপুর মহাবিহার – Splendid Paharpur – 帕哈尔普尔

সোমপুর মহাবিহার – Splendid Paharpur – 帕哈尔普尔
Ask any Chinese about “Journey to the West 西游记,” and they all know this literary classic written in the Ming Dynasty by Wu Cheng’en 吴承恩. It’s also the inspiration behind the legend (now modern-day movie,) “The Monkey King.” But the real story dates back to 629-645AD, when the pious Tang Dynasty monk, Xuanzang 玄奘, traveled the Silk Road to India. In a quest to learn more about Buddhism …

বাংলাদেশ – Beautiful Bangladesh – 孟加拉国

বাংলাদেশ – Beautiful Bangladesh – 孟加拉国

Last week, Wei and I returned from two amazing weeks in Bangladesh (including a few days in Kolkata). At the long-standing invite of friends, we chose Bangladesh, cognisant that we knew so little about the world’s 8th most populous nation. Yet this beautiful country “wowed” us with some of the most authentic travel experiences ever, as it attracts fewer than 100,000 visitors a year (and most of those aren’t even tourists)…