No one would have thought a decade ago that Hatirjheel Lake would be such a key location in Dhaka someday. However, a meticulously planned development initiative has turned it into a tremendous success. It not only alleviated people’s woes by helping them avoid traffic jam in Dhaka but also provided a great place to hang out. Even though it started out as an expressway to cut down travel time, it is much more than that today. There are places to eat, spend time with family, wind down, and even to take in a bit of culture. These places make Hatirjheel a very popular place to visit in Dhaka. Moreover, Hatirjheel Lake presents the perfect backdrop for spending a great afternoon.
Only a few things have the power to attract a large number of people to a specific location and food is one of the more prominent things. No recreational spot is truly complete without some good places to eat. Hatirjheel is no exception. Numerous restaurants and food stalls have sprung up recently in the area. So people can sate their appetites in these places after spending the afternoon in an activity or hanging out with loved ones. Some of the places here are quickly garnering a reputation for their quality food. Lakeside restaurants, particularly, are gaining fame for both their tremendous view and cuisine. It has become a very popular place to visit for those who want to enjoy a meal alongside natural beauty.
Fountain & Amphitheater
On the north-west bank of Hatirjheel Lake stands a structure that is sure to catch the eye of any passerby; the three galleries that form the Hatirjheel Amphitheater. It was inaugurated on the 13th April of 2017 and was designed to hold up to 2,000 people at once. The open-air venue is to be the culture and entertainment center of Hatirjheel; meant for plays, cultural programs, and special events. However, people visiting Hatirjheel can enjoy the Musical Fountains performance every day. It is a spectacle of rhythm, color, light, and water capable of mesmerizing viewers. People sitting on the stands of the amphitheater have an amazing view of the show. It is a popular place to visit in the evening. The show begins at 8 pm during the winter and 9 pm during the summer. A large crowd gathers each day, to enjoy the performance.
Most people are familiar with Hatirjheel Water Taxi. Many are unaware that the Hatirjheel project also hosts another form of water vehicle; paddle boats. The paddle boat service is purely for recreational purpose though. And unlike their larger counterparts, these small boats are capable of carrying only two or four people at a time. They are perfect for family outings. A thirty or sixty-minute boat ride can cost around 150 BDT to 300 BDT, depending on the craft. Afternoons are usually the most popular time for this activity; when the sun shines less intensely. Visitors can enjoy breathtaking views and the natural breeze from Hatirjheel Lake at their own pace. These paddle boats can be found alongside the same terminals as water taxis; the FDC water taxi terminal being an exception. A quick ride over the Hatirjheel Lake is the perfect way to spend an afternoon.
Back in the old days, parks were the most popular place to visit in Dhaka. People still have a soft spot for them today. They are instrumental in providing people with an opportunity to immerse oneself in nature. As such, a few marvelous parks were included in the development of the Hatirjheel Project. These patches of nature are filled with magnificent flowers, trees, and benches for people to surround themselves with their beauty. The entire Hatirjheel Lake area is filled with several miniature parks. The biggest one is located near Gulshan Police Plaza; a quick walk from Niketan. People with an apartment in Niketan have the benefit of visiting this park anytime they want. Many people also take some time to wind down and relax in the park after their busy day at work.
Even though Hatirjheel plays host to several recreational spots today, development isn’t finished yet. Many more projects that are sure to enhance the popularity of the area are in the pipeline. The various structures and buildings are under the project ‘Dhaka Opera House Complex.’ And as the name suggests, the project includes opening Bangladesh’s first opera house. The complex will also house a lot of centers, including, a performance theater, museums & galleries, a waterfront plaza, a concert hall, a cineplex, and even a planetarium. There is also a plan to create international congress, convention & conference halls. Aside from these, no doubt several other improvements to the Hatirjheel Lake are in conversation.
Hatirjheel, as a whole, has been a great blessing for the citizens of Dhaka. It is as effective a recreational spot as it is meant to avoid traffic. And with so many upcoming additions to the Hatirjheel area, it will continue to be a popular place to visit for a long time.