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Guest Blog: Ecotourism at Panigram Provides a New Perspective on Bangladesh

Posted by on September 25th, 2013

Panigram Apprenticeship Experience guest and Dhaka Tribune reporter Sheikh Mohammad Irfan observes the introduction of eco-friendly tourism in Bangladesh, exemplified by Panigram Resort.

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When someone hears the word “Bangladesh,” the first thing that usually comes to mind is Dhaka city, notorious for its congestion, pollution, and impoverished population. But what if all that could change?

Excluding its capital city, Bangladesh is somewhat of an untapped treasure, hidden from global attention and enjoyed only by the locals. From the mystical forests of the Sunderbans to the breathtaking tea gardens of Sylhet to the beaches of Cox’s Bazaar, the natural beauty of the country is mostly admired by Bangladeshis escaping the noise and bustle of the city. Those tourists who do visit mostly stay in commercial hotels and rarely get a fully authentic experience of Bangladeshi culture.

Scenic view along Panigram's vangari village tour route.

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Making It Happen

Posted by on June 21st, 2012

Workers preparing the thatch roof

With construction well on its way, the resort is taking shape. It’s an exciting time to see how the plans and designs on paper are now transformed into physical buildings. The foundations have been poured and structural elements are in place. We’re also experimenting on finishes and materials on prototype buildings to enhance the feel of the resort. It takes time, but it’s a process that we know will achieve amazing results. There are over 200 workers from the local area working to make this resort a retreat in paradise. For more photos, visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/panigram.

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Construction Work Begins!

Posted by on December 23rd, 2011

This is the site of our first bungalow – the “Jackfruit Bungalow” (so named because of its location in our jackfruit grove.) The tree in the middle (not a jackfruit) will unfortunately need to be removed, but we are shifting the bungalow a bit to try to save the nice jackfruit tree at the back. Stay tuned for more construction updates!

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Exploring Bangladeshi Mud Architecture

Posted by on June 29th, 2011

Kar ghor eta? Rahna ghor kothay? Ke ekhane thake?
Whose room is this? Where is the kitchen? Who stays here?

 

A woman outside of her mud home in one of the villages near the Panigram site.

Over the last couple weeks, we three interns explored a village near the Panigram site to learn about the Bangladeshi homestead. Read the rest of this entry »

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Summer Interns Are Here Again!

Posted by on June 13th, 2011

This is the third summer now that I have been fortunate enough to have interns. This year I have two Cornellians and a student from the University of Edinburgh, all architecture students keen to learn about mud buildings.

The interns spent their first night at my house in Dhaka. I immediately put them to work on an arts and crafts project, but jet lag caught up with them and craft time soon turned into nap time.

Jet lag catches up with the interns as craft time turns into nap time...

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