Kushtia is a city of about 850,000 people in the Khulna Division of Bangladesh.
Located about 150 km west of Dhaka, Kushtia sits on the Bengal Plain along the Padma River, or to be more precise, the Gorai-Madhumati River that branches off from the Padma. With a mean temperature of about 23°C and 1,467 mm of rainfall annually, it's rather sultry.
Kushtia was founded in the 17th century under the Mughal emporer Shahjahan, but didn't develop much until the British arrived and set up indigo production. By 1860, fomenting unrest against the British resulted in the Indigo Riot across Bangladesh, with its first onset here. After that and the Partition of India in 1947, Kushtia became a central player in the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971, with several battles taking place between the Pakistanis and Mukti Bahini in this locale.
Kushtia is probably best known for being the birthplace or home of noteworthy figures like Indian freedom fighter Bagha Jatin, writer Mir Mosharraf Hossain, poet Rabindranath Tagore, and iconic philosopher Lalon Fakir. The latter two have landmarks associated with them in the city.
There is no commercial air service to Kushtia, as the closest commercial airports are in Rajshahi or Dhaka. Hanif Enterprise [phone: 01911-920666; email: firstname.lastname@example.org (good luck getting English)] offers bus service between Dhaka and Kushtia, about a 5.5 hour journey, with ticket price around BDT 600, depending on the bus type.
Just hail a CNG or auto rickshaw to get you wherever you need to go, or drive. Walking around in the sticky heat might get old fast.
- 1 Lalon Shah's Mazar, Lalon Shah Rd (on E side of town). The Institute set up by Lalon Shah Fakir, a prominent Bengali philosopher and songwriter who emphasized tolerance and social harmony and inspired many, including Allen Ginsburg. The anniversary of his death draws thousands of disciples every year.
- 2 Rabindranath Tagore's Shilaidaha Kuthibari (শিলাইদহ রবীন্দ্র কুঠিবাড়ি), Kumarkhali 7010, Bangladesh (take R713 Kuthbari Rd out of Kushtia to destination), ☏ . 9AM-5PM M-Sa, Closed Su. Country home where the well-known author Rabindranath Tagore (author of Gitanjali) lived and worked during part of his life, like the other one in Sirajganj District. This place is very popular.
- 3 Municipality Museum (পৌর জাদুঘর), at western terminus of NS Road. 10AM-5PM Su-T, Closed F-Sa. A museum showcasing the history and culture and famous people of Kushtia.
- 4 Mir Mosharraf Hossain Memorial Library, Auditorium & Museum (মীর মশাররফ হোসেনের অডিটোরিয়াম ও লাইব্রেরী) (on Dhaka-Kushtia Hwy, just west of the Mir Mosharraf Hossain bridge). 9AM-4PM Sa-T, Closed Friday. A museum that depicts the life of Mir Mosharraf Hossain, the famous Bengali writer best known for his novel Bishad Sindhu.
Relax on the ghat of the Gouia-Madhumati or Pabma Rivers or at Renwick Park alongside the river. This may end up being the most enjoyable activity of all after being around a swarm of tuk tuks all day.
- 1 Renwick Park & Resort, Renwick Badh Rd (~50 steps west of Kushtia Horipur Bridge), ☏ . 7AM-6PM Daily. Sort of a public beach resort along the river where you can hire a boat for a ride or just relax.
- 1 Municipality Bazar (মিউনিসিপালিটি বাজার), NS Road, ☏ . 5AM-11PM daily. Boisterous market with fish, vegetables, supplies.
- 1 Chili's Food Park (চিলি'স ফুড পার্ক), boimela (on opposite side of street from public library), ☏ . Biryani and beef pizza, mmm.
Good choices are very limited in Kushtia, sadly.
- 1 Hotel Noor International (হোটেল নূর ইন্টারন্যাশনাল), Rajdhani Complex, Upazilla More, Hare Krishnapur 7000 (next to intersection of N704 and Upazilla Rd and rifle club), ☏ . Laundry and wifi and a/c. It's in a crumbly-looking building, not inviting-looking at all, but it's about the best Kusthia has to offer. Has a red Hero awning in front. Maybe Desha Tower behind it will be finished by the time you are ready to travel.
- 2 Desha Tower (দিশা টাওয়ার), ☏ . This is like the crystal tower rising out of the rubble. Full dining and amenities.
- 5 Mujibnagar Complex (মুজিবনগর কমপ্লেক্স) (~75 km southwest of Kushtia on R745). 6AM-7PM daily. Those interested in Bangladesh's independence from Pakistan might find this monument where Bangladesh's provisional government, in other words, declaration of independence from Pakistan, was forged in April of 1971. It is a long way from Kushtia.