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Compared to the rest of northern Bangladesh, Sylhet is an island of wealth and prosperity. Shopping malls abound, and the streets are lined with air-conditioned restaurants, marble-clad hotels and gleaming new mosques. Although Sylhet is the tea capital of Bangladesh, set amidst a rolling patchwork of tea estates, most of the money for the city's remarkable development comes from Bangladeshis living overseas. Thousands of "Indian restaurants" around the world are actually run by Sylhet Bangaldeshis, and the remittances sent home have made Sylhet one of the most prosperous cities in the country. Unsurprisingly, this is a great place to sample ...

Compared to the rest of northern Bangladesh, Sylhet is an island of wealth and prosperity. Shopping malls abound, and the streets are lined with air-conditioned restaurants, marble-clad hotels and gleaming new mosques. Although Sylhet is the tea capital of Bangladesh, set amidst a rolling patchwork of tea estates, most of the money for the city's remarkable development comes from Bangladeshis living overseas. Thousands of "Indian restaurants" around the world are actually run by Sylhet Bangaldeshis, and the remittances sent home have made Sylhet one of the most prosperous cities in the country. Unsurprisingly, this is a great place to sample Bengali curries. Sylhet is also notable for its Islamic shrines — the Hazrat Shah Jalal Dargah is the final resting place of the Sufi saint who brought Islam to Bangaldesh, making this a major pilgrimage destination for local Muslims. For overlanders, Sylhet offers a fascinating back-route to India, passing through Khasi tribal regions to the Indian state of Meghalaya.

Joe Bindloss
About the Expert

Joe Bindloss has written more than 30 guidebooks for Lonely Planet, Time Out and other publishers, with a focus on Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent and island nations.

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Joe Bindloss for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    October to March, avoiding the rain-drenched summer monsoon.