Destination Guide  : Bangladesh : Sylhet

About Biman

Fourth Largest City in Bangladesh

Sylhet is known in Bengal as the "City of Saints". It is home to the mausoleums and mosques of Shah Jalal and Shah Paran, Bengal’s most revered Sufi saints. Every year, the city receives hundreds and thousands of pilgrims to the Dargahs of Shah Jalal and Shah Paran, earning a reputation as the "spiritual capital of Bangladesh".Sylhet is also famed for its natural setting, amidst rainforests, waterfalls, hills and river valleys. The Sylhet Valley is formed by a beautiful, winding pair of rivers named the Surma and the Kushiara both of which are fed by innumerable hill streams from the north and the south. The valley has good number of haors which are big natural depressions. During winter, these haors are vast stretches of green land, but in the rainy season they turn into turbulent seas.These haors provide a sanctuary to the millions of migratory birds who fly from Siberia across the Himalayas to avoid the severe cold there.

Sylhet had developed a distinct Bengali cultural identity. This includes the distinct Sylheti Bengali dialect and Sylheti cuisine, as well as Sylheti mystic culture, which celebrates religion and pluralism in Bengal. Rabindranath Tagore, the great Bengali poet and first Asian Nobel laureate, took tremendous inspiration from these traditions, particularly from the poetry and songs of Hason Raja.

An interesting feature of Sylhet region is the aboriginal tribes such as the Tipperas, the Monipuris, Khasis and Garos who still live in their primitive ways in the hills, practising their age-old rites, rituals, customs and traditions. During festivals such as, Rash Leela (Full-moon night in February) and Doljatra, the attractive young girls dressed in colorful robes, dance with the male members of their choice & love. The Monipuris perform their famous dance, based on allegorical love themes of the ancient mythology.

Eat and Drink

Located in the heart of Bangladesh’s tea country, Sylhet is a hub of the tea industry. Many Sylhetis have emigrated abroad over the years, and the city receives some of the highest annual remittance inflows in Bangladesh, particularly from the British Bangladeshi community.