Tourists thronged ‘Shimul Bagan’ in Tahirpur upazila to celebrate Pahela Falgun (first day of spring) and Valentine’s Day on Friday.
‘Shimul Bagan’, a garden of Shimul tree (scientific name Bombax ceiba), wore a festive look with the presence of hundreds of tourists in the area.
Joynal Abedin, a tree love, planted about 3,000 Shimul trees on 2,400 acres of land in 2003 beside Jadukata River.
Youths in red and yellow attires celebrated Pahela Falgun, and the Valentine’s Day on the same day as Bangla Academy has revised Bangla Calendar to match it with the Gregorian calendar.
Pahela Falgun usually falls on February 13 but this year it coincided with Valentine’s Day.
The name, Dooars, is sometimes only associated with jungle and wildlife although the greeneries of foothills of the eastern Himalayas in northeast India has a peaceful connection with Bhutan through a shy river named Jaldhaka. A deep dive within the route uncovers a less explored side of touring India.
The Jaldhaka Rivers flows at a tremendous speed along the Bhutan-India border. A lovely route towards the barrage holds memorable spots like Samsing, Jhalong, Suntale Khola and many more. The origin of the trip, Gorumara Jungle Resort, itself is only 13 kms away from Gorumara National Park.
The assistant manager of the resort, Mihir Roy, told UNB that the famed location is mainly visited by film crew.
“Within the next few days, the spot will be used as filming location for an upcoming movie. But the beauty and the serenity of Dooars never loses the charm,” he said.
A jeep took us to Samsing, the first stoppage of the trip, on the second day after arriving at the resort.
The small hamlet, Samsing, had cozy people and a gorgeous view of surrounding tea estates and hills. It is located 3000 ft in the foothills in between Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling districts. It is known for its beautiful landscape with green tea estates, hills and forests that attract a lot of tourists.
It is the home to more than 4,000 people and its climate is noted for fog and cool breezes. Lali Guras and Suntaley Khola are the two key spots that I visited in Samsing.
Lali Guras offers a wide view of the Murti River as it lies near Suntaley Khola and the river viewpoint about 3 kms from Samsing. Flanked by the river and a serene, green landscape, the spot offers the perfect relief to weary city dwellers looking to escape from the drudgery of their daily mundane routines.
Suntaley Khola, part of Samsing at 4 km trekking distance, had a mountaineering stream that passes under the hanging bridge. An interesting fact is that the Suntaley Khola lodge is accessible via that bridge only.
Following the crisscrossing and meandering roads in-line with the Murti River, the jeep took us to Gairibas viewpoint at Jhalong where we first glanced at the lovely Jaldhaka River separating India and Bhutan.
A short stoppage there introduced the landscape of Bhutan Mountains and settlements on both sides of the river.
The Bindu barrage was the final stoppage of the trip and at the heart of Bhutan-India border where three streams of Bhutan named Dudh Khola, Bindu Khola and Jaldhaka connect and reemerge as Jaldhaka after crossing the dam.
The dam is part of a hydroelectricity plant at Bindu. Visitors are not permitted to visit the dam but photographing the dam was allowed. A Bhutia settlement was visible on the other side of the plant.
The Jaldhaka waterway is a mix of said three streams originating from the same glacier in Himalayans. The Jaldhaka streams over Jalpaiguri and Cooch Behar before going to Bangladesh near Mathabhanga through the Cooch Behar region.
In Cooch Behar area, the stream takes the name of Singimari. In its course to Bangladesh, the Jaldhaka River again changes the name to Dharla and streams into Brahmaputra in Kurigram.
The population near the border is scarce but welcoming as a small number of shops selling various foods and souvenirs were operated by the locals. They generally had a positive impression about the peaceful and jolly environment of the Indo-Bhutan border.
The importance of the trip lies in an alternative route of tour-hungry Bangladeshis to visit not only the ever-enchanting forestry of Dooars, but also to get to see the amazing views of spots like Samsing, Jhalong and Bindu all in cooperation with the always welcoming locals.
The easiest route to Dooars and surrounding areas is to enter through Banglabandh land port and visit Siliguri, India. From there, the passage towards the Gorumara National Park has a variety of resorts for holidaymakers and rest is fairly simple through tour packages.
Regular stress of city life tends to suck the energy out of the soul pushing people towards chronic anxiety. Every once in a while, you must plan a vacation on a hill, where the blue sky, unruly hilly rivers, and voluminous natural cascades can revive your soul. Visit Bandarban tourist spots! Located in the southwestern part of the country, and part of the storied Chittagong Hill Tracts, the Bandarban district holds enough magic to do the trick. In this article, we are going to focus on the best places to see and the craziest things to do in Bandarban.
The mirror view of Boga Lake can make you forget the humdrum of city life and pacify your soul preparing you for facing life with greater stamina. Bagakain Lake or Boga Lake is one of the most magnificent lakes in the country. This 15-acre wide natural lake is about 18 km far from Ruma Sadar Upazila under Bandarban. Placed about 3000 feet high above the sea-level, Boga Lake fascinates visitors with blue water, big rocks, surrounding greenery, local tribal communities, etc.
It is believed that Boga Lake was created by an earthquake that occurred 2000 years ago. There are interesting supernatural mythologies related to Boga Lake. The fact that it never dries up adds fuel to those ancient folk tales. Several tribal communities – like Bawm, Khumi, etc. – live around Boga Lake. Winter is the best season for tourists to visit Boga Lake.
Boga Lake Bandarban: Picture Credit Wikimedia Commons.
After reaching Bandarban town, hire a local transport four-wheel Jeep called ‘Chader Gari’ to arrive at Ruma Upazila. From Ruma, you have to make another trip by Chader Gari to reach your destination Boga Lake. If you want to take a bus ride, the fare will cost about 300 BDT per-head.
On the way, you would be required to register some basic information (Name, address, etc.) to the local security authority. Remember that tourists are not allowed to leave Ruma heading towards the Boga Lake after 4 pm.
If you want to leave your footprint on one of the highest peaks of the country, put Tajingdong on your bucket list. Tajingdong Mountain is located at Remakri Pangsha union in Ruma Upazila under Bandarban Hill District. In local tribal dialect “Tajing” means ‘Great’ and the ‘Dong’ means ‘Hill’. So the whole word stands for “Great hill”. Tajingdong is also popular as “Bijoy”.
Adventure tourists love to explore Tajingdon during the winter season. This mountain will amaze you with diverse natural beauties, like hide-and-seek of clouds on the hill-top, dense forests, hills and mountains, wildlife, zigzagging paths over the green hill, natural springs, hilly roadside, and the surrounding inhabitants’ simple lifestyle, tradition, and culture.
Tajingdon Peak, Bandarban: Picture Credit travelmate.com.bd
To conquer Tajingdong Peak, arrive at Bandarban first. Then you have to go to Ruma Upazilla, which is about 50 KM from Bandarban town. While planning your itinerary keep in mind that after 4 pm, the tourists are not allowed to leave the Ruma Upazila to visit Tajingdon. You can reach Ruma by local four-wheeler transport (Chader Gari). From Ruma take a bus or Chader Gari to reach Boga Lake. From Boga Lake, you have to start trekking to reach Tajindong.
It is said that Buddhism is the religion of peace. Bandarban is the pious hub of Theravada Buddhism practiced by tribal communities like Marma or Mogh. Here you will find Buddha Dhatu Jadi, the largest Theravada Buddhist Temple of Bangladesh and the second biggest Buddha sculpture in the country. This Buddhist temple is called ‘kyang’ in the local language. It is also popular as the ‘Bandarban Golden Temple’ to the tourists.
In the temple area, you would find a small pond on the top of a hill. People adore this place as “The Pond of Angels”. Standing in this place, you can enjoy a panoramic view of the surrounding hills and vast natural greenery. Here diverse festivals take place every year.
Buddha Dhatu Jadi: Picture Credit Wikidata
This holy Theravada Buddhist temple stands at the Pulpara area, which is 4 KM away from Balaghat town. ‘Buddha Dhatu Jadi’ is 10 kilometer from Bandarban Hill District. You can reach this place from Bandarban town hiring local transport like auto-rickshaw or manual rickshaw. Bandarban Golden Temple is open for tourists from 5 to 7 PM. The entrance fee is only 10 BDT. Before entering the temple precinct you need to remember that here pilgrims follow a strict dress code like ‘no shorts and no shoes’.
Do want to enjoy both thrill and life-threatening suspense while bathing in the mighty springs of a wild hilly fountain? If yes, then dare to explore Nafakhum, the most wonderful and equally powerful waterfall in Bandarban.
Nafakhum is also called the Remakri waterfall. Nafakhum falls under the unruly hilly river Sangu at Remakri in Thanchi Upazila of Bandarban Hill District. In this natural waterfall, a heavy flow of water pours down with great power, sound, and volume declaring pride and grandeur. Not to mention, Nafakhum is one of the most voluminous natural cascades in Bangladesh.
The serpentine Sangu River creates a stunning combination with the blue sky and surrounding hills. The breathtaking beauty of the big rocks over Sangu will make your trip unforgettable. This place is popular as ‘Boro pathor’.
Nafakhum Waterfall: Picture Credit Flickr.com (Abid Tonoy)
To enjoy the splendor of Nafakum, you have to reach Bandarban Hill district first. Then, you can get on a bus heading for Thanchi Upazila, which is 79 KM away from Bandarban. The journey may take around 4 to 5 hours. You would be required to enter your basic information details at the Remakri Army Camp. At Remakri it is mandatory for the tourists to hire a tour guide selected by the Tour Guide Committee. The tour guide will accompany you throughout your journey. Usually, a tour guide charges 500 to 600 BDT per day.
At this point, you need to hire an engine boat to reach Remakri. For an up and down journey, the boat fare ranges from 4000 to 5000 BDT depending on boat size and capacity. It usually takes about four hours to reach Remakri from Thanchi.
If you want to touch the moving clouds while standing over a hill-top, visit Nilgiri, which is another favorite of tourists in Bandarban. Standing 3500 feet above sea level, Nilgiri is located in Thanchi thana in Bandarban Hill District.
The beauty of Nilgiri varies with the change of seasons. During winter this place becomes foggy. Tourists love to enjoy a campfire in such weather. While in monsoon this place gets nearly covered by the fleeting clouds. Besides these, from Nilgiri, you can enjoy the spectacular view of the sunrise, sunset, sinuous Sangu River, surrounding greenery, etc.
Near the Nilgiri hill, you can visit a traditional village of ‘Mro’ aborigines. Their simple but colorful lifestyle can make you rediscover the meaning of life from a new perspective.
Nil Giri, Thanchi: Picture Credit yourtravel-info.blogspot.com
Nilgiri is located about 46 kilometers away from Bandarban. You can hire a private vehicle from Bandarban Sadar to reach Nilgiri. On the way, you have to register your information (Name, contact details, etc.) to the Army check post. Alternatively, you can ride on a Thunchi-bound bus or local transport to arrive at Nilgiri.
During the monsoon season, the weather of Bandarban feels warm with good chances for rain. Tourists hardly visit Bandarban in these months. If you are looking for deals and offers at resorts and hotels, take the chance. However, during the rainy season the Hill Tracts region including Bandarban Hill District runs the risk of landslides, which can hinder the local transportation system for days.
Due to the nice weather with very small chances of rainfall, Winter is the best as well as the busiest season for tourism in Bandarban. The charges of hotels and resorts usually increase during this period.
Nature purifies the soul and rejuvenates the body. If you want to enjoy spectacular views of the sun rising or setting from the hill or spend some solitary hours in the woods in front of a sparkling waterfall or want to experience the aborigine culture from up close, Khagrachhari (Khagrachari) is the place for you. From port city Chittagong, Khagrachhari, one of the three constituent districts of the Chittagong Hill Tracts, is about 112 km away. Khagrachhari is also known as Chengmi, or Mong Circle, or Phalang Htaung. Crisscrossed by three sinuous rivers (Chengi, Maini and Feni), the undulating landscape of this hilly region offers up some unique charms. Read this article to know about the best Khagrachhari tourist spots.
If you want to bathe in a natural cascade of Khagrachari, don’t miss the Richhang Waterfall. It may not be a big waterfall, but it turns into a lively spring during monsoon. On rainy days, the water pours down from the hill-top in a fierce mode generating both wonder and thrill. Located in a tropical forest, Richhang waterfall cherishes the souls of the viewers with its heavenly shower.
Richhang Waterfall in Khagrachhari district: Picture Credit Wikimedia Commons
If you are heading towards Khagrachhari town by bus, get off at ‘Richhang bus stop’. This place appears on the Chittagong–Khagrachhari highway about 10 km before the Khagrachari town. Alternatively, you can arrive at Khagrachhari town and then get to the Richhang bus stop by any local transport, like bus, Chander Gari, or CNG. Richhang Waterfall is about 2.1 km far from this point.
Here you will find a signboard indicating the way towards Richhang Waterfall. The path from the highway to the waterfall is surrounded by green hills. You have to climb through hills to view the splendor of the Richhang waterfall. However, be careful while climbing the hills as the rainwater makes the hills slippery and hard to climb.
If you fancy excavating natural caverns to discover the secrets of Mother Earth, then don’t miss Alutila Hill Cave during your Khagrachhari tour. This cave is also popular as ‘Alutila mysterious cave’. This cave is located at the Matiranga sub-district (Upazila) under Khagrachhari Hill District. This cave has been naturally formed under Arbari or Alutila hill (potato hill) which is about 1000 meters high. This natural tropical forest is surrounding this hilly area depicting mind-blowing lush greenery.
What’s special about Alutila Cave? This cave looks like a subway, where cool water flows through the surface. While passing through this 100-meter long cave, you will feel a pin drop silence in a melancholic atmosphere. You can even hear the echoes of your own footsteps.
Alutila Cave in Khagrachhari district: Picture Credit Flickr (Mohammad Asif Parvez)
First, arrive at Khagrachhari Town. Alutila Cave is located about 8 km distance from Khagrachhari Town. You can reach Alutila cave from Khagrachari town by local bus, private jeep, or auto rickshaw.
Exploring a holy place is certainly a heavenly experience. Located at Nunchhori under Khagrachari Hill District, this holy place stands about 500 meters or 1600 feet (approximate) high above the ground level. Tripura Tribe inherits a myth about this sacred pond. The myth says that the water of this holy pond will neither dry out nor get polluted. This is why the Nunchhori Debota Pond is called Goddess Pond or Lake of God or Matai Pukhiri.
Nunchhori Debota Pond: Picture Credit The Asian Age
First, reach Khagrachhari town. The local transports (Chader Gari) traveling on the Rangamati-Khagrachhari route usually go up to Maichchari Army Camp. From this place, Nunchhari Tripura Village is about 4 KM away. You have to walk the rest 4 to 5 km path by foot, to reach the Nunchhori Debota Pond at the hilltop. If you go there by car, you can reach up to Nunchhari Tripura village and the rest of the way is only accessible by foot. But it is worth it.
The clean air and lush green environment of Khagrachhari make the mind spiritual. To augment this holly vibe, you can visit ‘Panichari Shantipur Aranya Kutir’. Here you can see the biggest Gautam Buddha statue in Bangladesh. This place is also famous as ‘Panichari Brihot Buddha Sculpture’. This Khagrachari tourist spot is adored by tourists of any religious belief.
Panichari Shantipur Aranya Kutir: Picture Credit rezwanul.blogspot.com
Panichari Shanti Kutir is 25 kilometers away from Khagrachari town. You can get there by bus. The fair ranges around 35 BDT. This journey will be comfortable for elderly persons as the road is nearly flat on this path.
Trees connect us with nature. If you are a nature-lover then you will feel blessed visiting a centuries-old Banyan tree at Khagrachari. Under the Matiranga sub-district (Upazila), a 400-year-old Banyan tree is standing as a living witness of the bygone times.
The main tree itself features an enormous size. You will also see several small trees connected with the mother tree. Actually, those small trees have generated from the root of the mother tree. According to tree-researchers, it is one of the biggest Banyan trees in the country. This Banyan tree is locally popular as ‘Porjoton Bot Gach’ or ‘Alutila Bot Gach’. This place soothes the souls of local people as well as the tourists with fresh cool air.
Alutila Bot Gach Matiranga Khagrachhari: Picture Cretive discover-bangladesh.weebly.com
First, reach the Khagrachhari bus terminal. Then take a bus heading for Chittagong or Feni. Get off the bus at Matiranga Bazar. The bus fare is about 20 BDT. From this place, you can hire a motorbike for a round-trip to your destination Banyan tree, and return back at Matiranga Bazar. The motorbike fare usually ranges from 80 to 100 BDT.
Your Khagrachhari trip might remain unfulfilled if you miss enjoying the sunrise and sunset from the hill-top. Visit Sajek valley to have this unforgettable experience. If you are crazy about adventure, enjoy trailing from Ruilui village to Konglak tribal village. Reaching Konglak village you will put your footstep on the top-surface of Mount Shipu, which is the highest Peak of Mountain ranges at Sajek. You can enjoy the magnificent harmony of green hills and blue sky with the home roasted coffee or locally produced fresh Tangerine.
From the peak of Shipu, you can view the surrounding mountain ranges in a 360-degree panorama. The simplistic lifestyle of tribal people at Konglak village will detach you from the complexities of urban life. What is more? There are two army helipads placed on two different mountain peaks in Sajek valley. From one helipad you can enjoy the rising of the sun; while the other one gives you the opportunity to enjoy the sunset.
Sajek Valley Khagrachhari Bangladesh: Picture Credit busy.org
Sajek is a union under the Baghaichari sub-district (Upazila) under Rangamati Hill District. However, the fact is you can’t get there directly from Rangamati. To reach Sajek you have to go through Khagrachhari Hill District. Therefore, tourists always tend to visit Sajek during their Khagrachhari tour.
After reaching Khagrachhari town you can hire a local transport called Chader Gari to arrive at Dighinala. From Dighinala you have to get another ride on Chader gari to reach your destination Sajek valley. However, you can reach Sajek directly from Khagrachhari by reserved Chader Gari or car or personal transport.
Generally, winter is the best time to visit the Khagrachari tourist locations. But during the monsoon, the waterfalls are revived and the green hills get lusher. However, during the rainy season landslides occur in the hill tract zone. Such mishaps hamper the local transportation system of Khagrachhari for days. Therefore, it is advised to check the weather forecast before planning a trip to the hilly district.
Bandarban’s famed ‘Swarna Mandir’ (golden temple) Buddha Dhatu Jadi, one of the largest Theravada Buddhist temples in Bangladesh, draws a large number of visitors throughout the year.
Located on top of a hill nine kilometers off Bandarban town near Balaghata, the temple gives a grand view of the area.
The temple was founded by U Pannya Jota Mahathero in 1995 to provide a prayer spot for the local Marma community. In 2004, the construction was finished, making it one of the largest Hinayana Buddhist temples in South Asia.
Buddha Dhatu Jadi is a shrine of Buddha’s relic (Dhatu) which is considered sacred and worshipped by the Buddhist community. The temple also holds the second largest Buddha statue of the country – an exemplary piece of woodwork done by craftsmen from Myanmar.
With a small entry fee visitors can enjoy the amazing architecture and sight. The temple has motifs and murals in golden texture everywhere including the gates and around the railings of the premise while the topside of the dome is gilded.
Outside the main temple, 12 standing Buddha statues made in different styles have added to the overall aesthetic of the temple. Each statue depicts different ‘Mudra’ to symbolise teachings of Buddhism.
Sitting 1,600 feet above the sea level, this temple is visited frequently by members of the Buddhist community from home and abroad.
Visitors are prohibited from entering the temple after 6pm except for offering prayers
From late January to early February, a fair is arranged at the temple premises. On the night of full moon, the temple is illuminated with thousands of clay lamps as part of Buddhist rituals.
It sees a great number of tourists now compared to early years.
But the growing number of tourists is becoming a matter of concern for the temple as many of them show little to no respect for the sacred site, locals said.
“Some tourists cross the line by disrespecting the relics and statues, forgetting that this is a sacred site,” one of the locals said.
In 2016, the temple was closed for nine months from February to November. According to the administration, they were forced to do it because of the tourists’ misconduct that hurt the sacredness of the shrine.
The situation improved a bit after the security around it was tightened but it reverted to its former state in recent months.
Jobayer Ahmed Shakil, a student of Dhaka University who was visiting the temple, said the grievance of the locals is understandable. He said people should be more careful about not hurting religious sentiments while visiting sacred sites such as the Golden Temple.
“Fortunately, people disrespecting the site are outnumbered by tourists who appreciate it,” a local said.
Read: Bandarban Tourist Spots.