Jahangirnagar in Winter: A Must Have Half Day Trip
If you are planning to make a short one or half day trip near Dhaka, then you are welcome to visit Jahangirnagar University, located at 30 kilometers north of the capital. This beautiful campus is full of life & nature and it opens up all its tranquility especially in winter. Lakes, trees, cheapest Bengali food, culture, water lilies and birds – it sure is enough to bring you back to life from the dusty city-routine. JU is very welcoming to “tourists” on weekends!
How to Go to Jahangirnagar University
The quickest way would be to drive your own vehicle. There are plenty of public transports available too from almost all parts of Dhaka. Depending on from where you are commuting, it will take from 1 hour to 1.8 hours for you to reach JU.
If you are coming from Uttara, you can hop on Anondo Super (local) from Abdullahpur Sluice Gate. Some trips will take you directly to the university campus and some will take you to Savar Bazar (5kms south of JU). Make sure you ask before getting on. Fare will be 20-30 tk. If you want a more comfortable ride, you may get on an intercity bus (going to Tangail from Mohakhali or Baipail from Bhoirob) from Abdullahpur which will take you to Baipail (8 kms north of JU) and you can get on any local bus from there which will take you to JU campus. It will cost a total of 35-45tk and save you some back-pain!
If you are coming from Motijhil, BRTC bus is your only direct option. The bus goes via Motijhil, Shahabag, Farmgate, Asadgate, Gabtoli, Savar and goes past JU to Nobinogor. The fare is 50tk from Motijhil to Jahangirnagar. From New Market or Dhanmondi area your hope will be to catch a seat on a Shuvojatra or Gulistan-Dhamrai bus. Fare will be around 30Tk.
From Gulshan or Mohakhali, Boishakhi is the only bus and this is by far the best bus service connecting JU to the capital. Fare is 45Tk from Mohakhali, 55Tk from Gulshan and 65Tk from Badda.
And you can always manage your way to Gabtoli Bus Terminal and find a bus to Savar/Jahangirnagar, if you dont mind changing buses!
Where to Park Your Car
Driving your own car inside of JU is not recommended at all. On one had, you will miss the “fun” of a riksha ride and the cool breeze. And on the other hand, the narrow roads will become very busy with pedestrians and it will be hard for you to drive. Also, when you honk the horn or drive at a high speed it disturbs thousands of migratory birds who make JU their home in winter. There are many parking areas in Jahangirnagar which you can use and are very safe. I have marked the spots on the map below in red (click on the image to enlarge and save):
Getting Around JU Campus
Jahangirnagar has a circular road which goes by almost all the faculties, lakes, monuments and food stalls. The best way to explore Jahangirnagar University Campus is by Riksha. It will take you around 30-40tk and the Riksha will give you a nice tour of the campus. Make sure you have your winter clothes on, as this is going to be a very chilly ride. If you don’t mind walking, you can walk around the campus too. You can cover the whole 5-6kms in around 60 to 85 minutes.
The worst thing you can do is explore JU in your car or motor-cycle. It will be best if you park your car in a suitable area (I have mentioned the parking areas) and spend time on foot or Riksha.
Places to See
If you have an eye for natural beauty, you will enjoy a simple walk down the road through JU. The road between Kabir Sharoni to Chourasta (marked as “No Horn Zone”) should be most beautiful as you will be greeted with thousands of Migratory Birds and red water lilies. The Shahid Minar is a place where you can enjoy a hangout with your friends and family and enjoy some tea. There are two other monuments nearby which can be worth seeing.
Where to Eat
Food is very cheap and as-hygienic-as-they-can-be in Jahangirnagar University. If you are looking for a quick snack you can go to Tarzan Point or Pitha Chattar near Transport. Tarzan Point is popular for it’s Chotpoti and Fuchka. And Pitha Chattar is filled with many local pitha shops. If you are looking for ice cream or packaged snacks, head over to Prantik Gate or Dairy Farm Gate (main gate). The only fast food shop (Fry Town) is located at Prantik Gate.
If you are craving for a desi meal, Bot Tola is your best bet. There are around 40 shops where you can have your lunch or dinner at a very low cost. It may cost around 30-100Tk for a full meal and the quality is great and “homemade”. On weekends polau, tehari, khuchiri etc are available there too.
If you are looking to have a picnic in JU, please have a look at the map where I have pointed out the places where you can enjoy a nice picnic with your family. But make sure you use the dustbins and clean up after yourselves. No one likes a dirty campus.
Extending Your Trip
Still have time left in your day? Head over to Jatio Smriti Shoudho which is just 3kms north of Jahangirnagar University.
Some Very Important Tips
- It’s going to be very cold in the afternoon. So you are advised to bring sufficient winter gear.
- While in JU please don’t use the horn like you use it in Dhaka city. It disturbs the birds a lot.
- Please don’t litter. There are plenty of dustbins all around JU. Please use those and help to keep the place clean.
- Please don’t pick flowers from the gardens.
- “Leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but memories”