Sonargaon, or Golden City, was the eastern capital of Bengal at various times in history. It slipped into decline when Muslim rulers decided to move their capital to Dhaka in the 17th century, and is now little more than a couple of villages with a scattering of ruins. It makes an excellent day drip from Dhaka, though, combining countryside, culture, archaeology and adventure in one easily accessible bundle.
Very little remains of the original city – a couple of mosques and some indistinguishable mounds of earth, most of which are found around the small village of Mograpara to the west of the main highway. What most people now visit for is Painam Nagar, a charmingly decaying street of dilapidated mansions built by wealthy Hindu merchants just over a century ago, and Sadarbari, a beautifully restored rajbari (Raj-era palace) with a gorgeous pondside setting and an interesting folk-art museum.