National Martyrs' Memorial
Admire this spectacular monument and pay tribute to the bravery and sacrifice of fallen soldiers at this memorial 35km from Dhaka. National Martyrs Memorial (known locally as Jatiyo Sriti Shoudho) is the national monument of Bangladesh and commemorates the valor of all those who gave their lives in the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971, the war that brought Bangladesh independence from Pakistan. The memorial, designed by architect Moinul Hossain and finished in 1982, uses Brutalist design to great effect in an area of natural beauty.
A symbol of Bengali nationalism, the monument is set in 108 acres of scenic land that lies about 22 miles outside the city of Dhaka. A national competition was held for the design of the project in June 1978. From the 57 competitors, architect Syed Moinul Hossain's proposal was selected. The main monument, reaching 150 feet at its highest point, is composed of seven isosceles triangular shapes, each varying in size in its height and base. The highest one has the smallest base while the broadest base has the lowest height. This unique arrangement has created a structure that seems to change when viewed from different angles. The Brutalist monument is created from concrete, while all the other surrounding structures and pavements are made from red brick. This variation of building materials adds color and gravity to the memorial. Several mass-graves and a reflection pool are placed in front of the monument, making a peaceful and powerful monument that seems to stretch on for eternity.
Visiting the monument
Enter the complex through the main gate and you'll be able to see the monument from afar, but to reach it you'll need to traverse through various ups and downs of pavements and cross the artificial lake via a bridge. This journey represents the struggle for independence that Bangladesh experienced and is a time for quiet contemplation. Take the time to explore the landscaped gardens surrounding it and enjoy walks in the acres of surroundings. There's a restaurant on site which provides scenic views should you wish to stop for food or drink. There are two main ways to get to the monument. One is via the Nabinagar Bypass from the Uttara zone (the northern side of Dhaka). Another one is via Gabtoli-Aminbazar, which is commonly known as Dhaka-Aricha highway. A number of buses reach the National Martyrs Memorial from various bus stops in Dhaka. Opening hours run from 9 am until 5 pm every day.