Tour de DU
What to see?
The Dhaka University campus is filled with historical points of interests. We will start from Madhur Canteen. One of the most commonly heard names in our country. Essentially, it is a cafeteria; but its significance needs no explanation. Situated right beside the Social Science faculty and DUCSU, it played a vital role in the Language Movements of 1948 and 1952 and many more movements since then.
Standing right across the canteen, you can see the sign that says Dhaka University Central Students' Union or commonly called DUCSU. It is called the second parliament of Bangladesh. You can ponder on its importance while taking a quick tour of Collection Centre at the ground floor of this building. It's open for all.
Stepping out from DUCSU Collection Centre, you will have to walk for a minute to reach the entrance of the Arts faculty. Here, you will encounter Aparajeyo Bangla. Arguably the most well-known sculpture in the campus (maybe even in the country) right beside Raju vaskorjo or Anti-Terrorism Raju Memorial Sculpture to be exact, which is situated right at the heart of TSC roundabout. Raju Memorial Sculpture has become a national symbol of movements these days. Take your time at both of these places.
If you step out on the road and walk for another two minutes, you will reach the Memory Eternal under the shade of a great tree facing the VC building. Built on 26 March, 1995 and renovated in 2015, Memory Eternal displays the names of teachers, students and staffs who were killed in the Liberation War. It's a place that will remind you of the heavy cost of our freedom.
Speaking of sacrifice, do not forget the Shaheed Minar. The history of the language movement is not unknown and as an homage to all languages in the world, one should walk in the premises of Shaheed Minar. The Central Shaheed Minar is right beside Dhaka Medical College Hospital and on your way to the Doyel Chottor, which is another familiar sculpture. Doyel Chottor is facing the Curzon Hall.
Curzon Hall is the building that represents the image of Dhaka University. The Burgundy building is an amazing piece of architectural specimen that blends both British and Mughal style. Sitting on the grass in front of Curzon Hall and staring at the magnificence should definitely be on your bucket list.
You can end your tour by quickly popping in Suhrawardy Udyan. Its historical value needs no introduction, the famous speech of 7th March happened right here, in this very ground. You can also visit the Mausoleum of Three Leaders standing next to Suhrawardy Udyan and on your
What to eat?
The DU campus is humongous. And we are on a day-long trip, so it's natural to get hungry. It's only fair that one gets to try out the special foods and snacks that DU has to offer.
If you are looking for an early morning snack, TSC cafeteria should be your go-to place. TSC cafeteria offers a number of light snacks at a very reasonable price. And you will find lemon tea — albeit in a small cup but take my word for it — you will savour every sip of it. DUCSU cafeteria offers a very similar menu.
Stepping out from TSC, you will notice street hawkers. Focus your attention to finding those who are selling pickles or that sort of spicy food. Usually, they stand with a van full of supplies so they are easy to spot. There's a very special item here. Known as kacha kola bhorta or mixed bhorta. Your mouth will be watering just at the sight. Wait till you take your first morsel. It's an explosive treat of flavours that will paint every tastebud in your mouth.
There will be no shortage of fuchka and chatpati here and there; hawkers are scattered all over the campus. If you are genuinely hungry and need a proper meal of rice, you should resort to one of the Hall Canteens, but since we are discussing memorable food; I urge you to walk around Jagannath Hall and visit the different canteens there in different buildings. So many items and such delicacy will entice you to come back for more. Try their special khichuri for size.
But if you want a real treat, you will have to wait till the evening. Start with the famous luchi-daal at Campus Shadow. Campus shadow is on the other side of the Arts Building. The steaming daal, combined with instantly fried luchi is the perfect snack after your long day at the campus. Fair warning though, its appetizing nature has made it a high demand food and you might have to wait in line. But it's totally worth it. Once you finish your share and soothe yourself with a lemonade that's available at the same shop, you will probably order a second serving.
That's not all. Wanna try something even more savoury? Walk past Madhur Canteen and Social Science and the library, all the way out to Charukala. Here, you will find a campus favourite — chicken fry! Sure, they are not huge chunks like in the restaurants but that's not why we are here. This item too is of high demand and you will get them steaming hot. The taste? You can be the judge of that, but chances are you will be coming back for more.
Don't miss —
With all the historical places and foods to try, you will barely have time to cover everything before it gets dark. But if you can manage, why not enjoy a little bit of adda? There are certain places in the campus that might not have such historical gravity but still worth a visit.
Take Mol Chottor for example. Right behind Campus Shadow, this is a place filled with trees and grass and chirping birds any time of the day. Have a cup of tea and sit on the grass, feel the nature and enjoy the buzz.
Once you walk past Memory Eternal, you will find yourself in Fuller Road. This place is known to be a quiet and soothing place for a walk. Or Social Science Faculty Garden — a place to sit with your friends and have coffee and discuss the effects of capitalism on recent literature.
Walk a bit further from the central library and you will end up in Hakim Chottor. The age-old trees have this place covered in shade that will bring you peace. Alternatively, you can cross the road and have a seat right behind DUS.
The TSC has always been a very animated place and the go-to for a hangout for generations of youth, and it remains ever so vibrant to this day. There's a Greek memorial inside TSC, in a corner of the field where you can just sit down and take it all in while the group next to you might tease their guitar to raise a smooth tune.
After spending the most important years of my youth in this campus, I can vouch that this place is not only brilliant, vibrant and full of passion but it also leaves a permanent mark in the canvas of your mind. Every single person of this country should visit DU at least once, and if you are a student with dreams of arriving here one day — I implore you to come visit as soon as possible.
We'll be here.
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed