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Panam Nagar is an outstanding archaeological site in Bangladesh

Panam Nagar or Panam City

Former important trading and political centre

Panam Nagar or Panam City

Panam Nagar or ancient Painam City, is a deserted city located 40 kilometres east of Dhaka in Sonargaon. This city is a very significant cultural heritage site in Bengal, as it was part of the old capital and the only remaining intact city of ancient Bengal. But there are no proper documents or historical records that explain what each building was used for. Most of the buildings are fragile and in a vulnerable condition now. Bangladesh's climate has made the buildings suffer from heavy rainfall, flood as the buildings are mostly made of bricks and wood.

Panam Nagar was born by Hindu cloth traders who built their homes using a mix of Indo-European styles that showed the social and economic status and way of life of merchants and the elite class during the British colonial era. Originally, Panam Street had 90 buildings, a mixture of single- and three-story buildings. The site contains 49 buildings on both sides of a road established in the late 19th century by rich local Hindu traders (Sahas and Poddars). Panam City is now a protected Heritage site under the department of archaeology of Bangladesh.

This ancient city was visited and described by various historic travellers, including Ma Huan, Ibn Battuta, Ralph Fitch and Niccolò de’ Conti, as a thriving centre of trade and commerce.

The picturesque stucco-decorated array of ruined houses of Panam Nagar has nothing to do with the very few surviving pre-Mughal and Mughal monuments scattered around this area. Yet, the superb architecture of Panam is regularly visited by many tourists on the wrongly assumpted are ruins of the ancient capital city of Sonargaon.

About a kilometer long tiny Panam township is confined within a moat and is approached through an old camel-back culvert. About 49 charming one to three-storeyed buildings are overlooked on either side of the east-west street. This eerie city is standing amidst Bangladesh’s low-lying green crop terrain and are many hidden multi-storeyed dwellings and tall-spired temples beyond the enclosed area.

The Panam Nagar started to come into an abundance through large-scale political and religious violence, and riots have periodically arisen between 1947 to 1971. The actual Hindu owners fled to India or elsewhere in several phases, leaving their properties behind. The first phase happened during the Bengal partition by the British in 1947, the second and significant one in 1965 during India and Pakistan war. Finally, the last few remaining communities have left during the Bangladesh liberation war in 1971. Since then, the silent city’s monuments suffered from illegal occupation several times by local poor Hindu, Muslim families and so on. The Department of Archaeology took final control of the whole area and locked down all building in 2015.

Panam Nagar Visiting Hours


Summer: April to September

Winter: October to March

During Ramadan


10:00 AM to 12:30 PM and 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM, and 2 PM to 5 PM

2.00 PM- 4.00 PM


10:00 AM to 6:00 PM 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

10:00 AM to 4:00 PM


The museum remains closed on Sunday and any other public holidays.


2:00 PM to 6:00 PM 1:30 PM to 5:00 PM

10:00 AM to 4:00 PM


10:00 AM to 6:00 PM 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

10:00 AM to 4:00 PM


10:00 AM to 6:00 PM 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

10:00 AM to 4:00 PM


10:00 AM to 6:00 PM 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Ramadan visiting hours may vary depending on which season Ramadan falls in.

Panam City Entrance Fees


Ticket Price

Students (Bangladeshi) up to the secondary level

5.00 taka


15.00 Taka

Visitors from SAARC member countries

100.00 Taka

And any other foreign nationalities

200.00 Taka

No entry fee is required for disabled persons and children under three years.

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) has eight member countries (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka).

All the heritage buildings of Panam Nagan are side by side along the straight street, right from the ticket counter. Visitors should not enter the buildings labelled “risky, under restoration, or with a number” simply to observe and photograph them from the street or outside. All the buildings in Panam City are very old and fragile; visitors must be cautious of themselves as well as the buildings. Any photographer planning to fly a drone around Panam Nagar must obtain permission from the Department of Archaeology and bring the necessary paperwork to the Panam Nagar administration.

Panam City has been included in the World Monuments Watch List of 100 Most Endangered Sites by a New York-based World Monument Fund in 2006.

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