Do you imagine yourself floating on a boat over a vast water body under the blue sky? Visit Chalan Beel to make your dream come true. Chalan Beel is an enormous inland water body that flows through several districts of Bangladesh. In different seasons Chalan Beel appears in unique splendor. During the monsoon season, this wetland turns into full to the brim stretching out to the horizon. While in autumn, the area of Chalan Beel is used for the cultivation of paddy. The mesmerizing green hue of this land turns into majestic golden fields during the harvest season of paddy. On the other hand, Chalan Beel gets dry out in the winter season leaving only a few patches of water in its central areas. Read this article to know how to visit Chalan Beel, what to see and when to visit.
It is a mystery why this vast wetland is called ‘Beel’ which refers to ‘marsh’. It is said that Chalan Beel had no existence about 2000 years ago. In fact, this area was a part of the Bay of Bengal. Over time, the sea moved to the south in a natural way. According to a British Gazetteer, the Bay of Bengal shifted over centuries, and Chalan Beel keeps the trace of the sea as a living memory.
Chalan Beel refers to the wide-ranging lowland region located in the lower Atrai basin. This wetland area spreads across several districts of Bangladesh including Chatmohar, Bhangura, and Faridpur Upazilas at Pabna District, Singra, and Gurudaspur Upazilas at Natore District, and Ullahpara, Raiganj, and Tarash Upazilas at Sirajganj District. This enormous wetland is conformed of a series of beels that are linked to one another through different channels that shape into a uniform vast water body during the monsoon season. Chalan Beel is formed by about 16 rivers, 39 smaller beels, 22 canals and countless ponds. This ‘Beel’ or marsh is hardly static. Perhaps this is why people call it ‘chalan’ or ‘moving’ beel.
During the monsoon season, the Chalan been forms into an expansive water body that gets flourished by aquatic vegetation. People used to call Chalan Beel as ‘the haven of fish’. Back in time, huge amount of fish used to be caught from this beel and transported to the West Bengal region by train in order to please the aristocrats. Still today the local livelihood depends on this beel. The Chalan Beel is a natural abode of various kinds of fish including pabda, koi, rui, chanda, katla, boal, shing, chital, puti, magur, shoal, gojar, bain, tengra, tatkini, taki, bheda, etc.
In the old days, the Mughal and Pathan emperors used to visit Chalan Beel on their luxury boats for leisure tours. Those days are gone, and the time has moved forward. But still today, hordes of tourists visit Chalan Beel from all over the country and abroad to experience the awesome massiveness of this water body. Writers take inspiration from the cherubic nature. Tourists arrange picnics with freshly caught fish from Chalan Beel.
During a boat journey on Chalan Beel, you can enjoy the unforgettable natural beauty of majestic waves and the ripple of water. The vastness of this wetland would make you stop thinking about the stress and tensions of life and let you mingle with nature wholeheartedly.
Besides getting enthralled by the magnificence of crashing waves, there are many other things to experience at Chalan Beel. While the boat is passing beside the mainland, you can see the appealing lavishness of vast paddy fields. You would also enjoy the beauty of the rustic lifestyle of the general people of Bangladesh.
In this area, there are some popular places to visit, including Chatmohar Shahi Masjid, Rashik Mandir, Banwarinagar zamindar estate Faridpur, Jagannath temple, Radhagobinda temple, Shiv Mandir, Kunjaban Dighi, Mathura Dighi, Makarson Dighi, Ulipur Dighi, etc. What is more? You can learn more about this place from the Chalan Beel museum located at Gurudaspur in Natore district.
It would be daring to visit Chalan Beel during the monsoon season, as the macabre waves can capsize your boat at any time. Though the varying charms of Chalan Beel surprise people around the year, autumn is the best time to experience the glory of this marshy wetland. A tour to Chalan Beel in autumn would give you the opportunity to enjoy the azure sky scattered by clouds.
The gently flowing air would soothe your mind and body. The chirping of birds and sweet fragrance of unknown wildflowers would steal your mind. The scenarios like village women carrying water, fishermen catching fishes, village children playing around, etc would keep you captivated throughout the journey.
As Chalan Beel flows through a number of districts of Bangladesh, you can visit Chalan Beel in several ways. An easy way to reach this place is reaching Natore district that is about 196.2Km distant from Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh. You can reach the Natore district from Dhaka by bus, train, or private transport. This place has also good communication with the other districts of Bangladesh. After arriving at Natore, you can hire local transport like CNG, Auto Rickshaw, etc to visit Chalan Beel. When you reach the destination Chalan Beel, take a boat ride over Chalan Beel.
Do want to know another easy path to arrive at Chalan Beel? Take a bus ride to reach Kachhikata in Sirajganj. This place is easily reachable from any other place in the country. From the Kachhikata area, you can hire a boat and go around Chala Beel. Besides these, you can visit Chala Beel via Chatmohor in Pabna district or Bhangura in Faridpur district.
Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his family started living jn what is now Bangabandhu Bhaban in Dhanmondi Bottrish Number (denoting Rd #32) since October 1, 1961. After the atrocious carnage of August 15, 1975, this house was captured by military authority until 10th June 1981.
Later, the two remaining daughters of Bangabandhu (Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana) regained their family residence and inaugurated this house as "Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Memorial Museum" on August 14, 1994.
The rooms of this house were mostly looted by the killers. The reminiscent furniture and accessories used by Bangabandhu and his family members can introduce you to their ordinary lifestyle. And the post-violence photographs will remind you of the violent killing mission that occurred on 15 August 1975. Let’s know some details about this museum.
A long corridor connects the office room to the sitting room on the ground floor. The main staircase of this home is joined to the corridor with a front-facing door. Walking down the stairs, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman used to reach the office room and sitting room via the corridor. Now the eastern and western walls of this corridor are displaying the portraits of the deceased family members of Bangabandhu along with some other guests who were brutally assassinated in this home on August 15, 1975.
Interestingly, this room was used as a salon. Sitting in this room, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman used to make important decisions after meeting central leaders of the party, professionals, famous leaders, and ordinary people. This salon became remarkable as the breeding ground of significant political activities, including the 1962 anti-education movement, the historic 6-point movement of 1966, the mass upsurge of 1969, the successful elections of 1970, and the non-cooperation movement of 1971.
Since the 7th March 1971, the Bangalee nation was guided by the Father of the Nation Sheikh Mujibur Rahman from this room. With a cyclostyle machine installed in this room, Bangabandhu used to send messages to the people of Bangladesh, chief party leaders, and various newspapers.
In this library, Bangabandhu used to keep books of famous writers and novelists. This library has a telephone set on the south side close to the door. Standing on that place, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman announced the freedom of the Bengali nation. This declaration was transmitted through wireless, telephone, and telegrams throughout Bangladesh.
When this home was suddenly attacked by the violent killers, this library was also trembled by the bullets. Still today the bullet-pierced books of this library are holding the gory signs of the brutality that happened on the dreadful night of 25 March 1971.
The office room (ground floor) is first seen at the entrance of the Bangabandhu Bhaban. This room was also called the reception hall. On the 15th of August 1975, the assailants shot Bangabandhu's elder son Sheikh Kamal near the office room. Then he stumbled down and came inside the office room. Later the attackers shot him again and killed on the floor of this office room. This room is closed now. This office room has an attached bathroom. Here Bangabandhu’s younger brother Sheikh Abu Naser was killed. The wall of the office room still holds the assassinators’ bullets.
This room is located on the north-east side of the ground floor. Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana used to live in this room, when Bangabandhu’s family started living in the home (1 October 1961). Bangabandhu’s youngest son, Sheikh Russel was born in this room at 1.30 pm on October 18, 1964. After the construction of the 1st floor of this building, other relatives used to stay in this room. Bangabandhu-daughters (Sheikh Hasina, Sheikh Rehana) and other relatives visit this room to pray for the departed souls.
This room is located in the northeast of this home. The eldest daughter of Bangabandhu and current Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina started living in this room since 1966, after completion of the construction work of the first floor of this building. On 15 August 1975, the assassins also shattered this room with bullets. This room is locked now and not yet opened for the visitors.
In this bedroom, Bangabandhu and Begum Mujib used to live with their youngest son, 10-year old Sheikh Russel. On 15 August 1975, the brutal murderers killed several family members in this room, including Sultana Kamal Khuku (wife of the eldest son Sheikh Kamal), Sheikh Jamal (middle son), Parvin Jamal Rozi (Sheikh Jamal's wife), Sheikh Russell (the youngest son) and Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib.
Even today, the walls and furniture – such as dressing table, desk table, reading table, betel vase, etc – of this bedroom display the blood-spots and the bullet marks thrown by the assassins. In this room, a letter has been preserved which was sent to the address of Bangamata.
Locating on the first floor, this room consists of a dining space along with a family sitting room. Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the other family members used to eat food on the dining table placed near the entrance of this room. Here Bangamata used to serve food to Bangabandhu, and other members as well as guests.
The regular dining accessories – such as Jugs, glasses, plates, teacups, spoons, knives, etc – used by Bangabandhu and family members are still lying in this food table. In this room, some other objects are kept for display including Begum Mujib's hand-made pickle jar, Sheikh Russell's favorites two cycles, coke bottle, a tin containing some raw rice, etc.
In the family meeting room, the Father of the nation used to sit, watch TV and talk with the family members. A dark-skinned television (from old Citizen Brand) is still standing on the southeast corner. In this room, the marks of bullets are still visible as a witness of the merciless assassination on 15 August 1975.
This room was used as a small warehouse in addition to storing the cooking equipment. Begum Mujib seldom used this room for heating food, preparing light breakfast, or serving Tea. The storeroom was connected with the main staircase and the drawing-room. This room is not open to visitors.
Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was brutally killed on the main staircase of this house. When the killers attacked the house through recklessly firing, Bangabandhu went down the stairs to confront the intruders. On the stairs, Bangabandhu met the killers, while they were entering the interior portion of the house for killing Bangabandhu and his family. The braveheart Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib fearlessly asked the attackers “what do you want? Where do you want to take me?”
Sheikh Kamal, the eldest son of Bangabandhu, used to stay in this room. He sometimes practiced music sitting here. The assassins killed Sheikh Kamal in the office room. And Kamal’s newlywed wife Sultana Kamal Khuki was murdered with the other members of the family in the bedroom of Bangabandhu. Violence is still seen on the accessories like glasses, plates, and spoons kept beside the table next to the bed.
In this room, the dressing table and cosmetic materials of Khuki are kept for display. Sheikh Kamal's setar, keyboard, soundbox, song recorder, sport-medals, certificate, shield, etc are also kept for visitor’s display. There is a bullet sign on the window of this room.
In this room, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman used to speak with chief leaders and held meetings with dignitaries and foreign guests. A showcase placed in this room displays some gift items like Bangladesh maps, national symbols, small boats, Shapala, Hilsa fish, etc given by different political parties, organizations as well as general people. Though the entrance of this room is not yet open for the visitors, the interior is visible through the windows.
Here Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman used to study alone. As the room was calm, the children of the house used to study in this room during their examinations. Sometimes, Bangabandhu used this room for official purposes. This room preserves a pen of the Father of the Nation, some books written by native and foreign writers, two telephone sets, hand-written manuscripts of Sheikh Kamal, and some toys of Sheikh Russell. This room is not yet open for the visitors, but they can view the inner space through the windows.
In 2011, a library and research center was inaugurated on the fifth floor of the extended building. Enriched with more than 10000 books and Archival Materials, this library and research center can serve a reference for research initiatives on Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The books of this library have been classified according to the Dewey Decimal Classification system. Visitors of the museum can study in this place from 10 am to 5 pm.
The museum is located on the former residence of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his family. The place is situated in the Dhanmondi 32 (old) or 11 (new) area, 12 no Road in Dhaka City, the capital of Bangladesh. This museum is simply referred to as ‘Dhanmondi 32’.
The Bangabandhu Memorial Museum is currently run by the state. Visitors are not allowed to carry food, cameras, phones, and bags inside the museum. The museum is closed on Wednesday every week. For the rest six days, this place is open for visitors from 10 am to 6 pm.
During the pandemic situation, it may not be possible for everyone to visit this museum physically. Do not worry! You can visit Bangabandhu Memorial Musem virtually. Click on the link below to take a virtual tour throughout this museum.
As China is slowly recovering from the coronavirus pandemic and taking steps to restart its economy, the Chinese authorities on Monday urged the safe and orderly opening of tourist sites ahead of the upcoming five-day holiday in May.
Authorities across China should guarantee healthy travels during the holiday while trying to boost tourist consumption. Efforts should be made to control passenger flows, avoid gathering of crowds, implement reservation systems and raise public awareness of epidemic prevention and control.
Here are 3 tips to visit a tourist site safely – making an appointment before going out; ensuring personal protection while travelling; and checking temperature before entering a scenic spot.
Nature purifies our soul by releasing stress. It is said that we should visit a new place every year. However, it may not be possible to plan a luxury tour when you work six days a week. If you want to experience the divine beauty of pinkish hills, blue water ponds, and a sinuous river but can hardly afford more than a day, visit Durgapur. This heavenly place is located in the North region of Bangladesh. Falling near the border area of India, Durgapur holds the reminiscent touch of the Meghalaya hills. Though not promoted like other tourist spots of Bangladesh, Birishiri, Durgapur is one of the most beautiful places in Bangladesh.
Durgapur Upazila falls under the Netrokona district in Bangladesh. Durgapur is enriched with versatile topography. This remote area of Bangladesh attracts the outdoor enthusiast from within and outside the country for its mesmerizing natural beauty. The most popular tourist spots of Durgapur includes Shomeshwari River, China Clay Hill, China Clay Lake, Ranikhong Church, Hajong Mata Roshimoni Monument, Cultural Academy (Palace of Maharaja Susang), Tribal community of Hazong people, Garo village, Dasha Busha Temple, Ramkrisna Temple, Bijoypur Border, Orange Forest, Kongsha River, Gajarie Forest, etc. Stay with us to know some fascinating details about these places.
Shomesshori River, Susang Durgapur, Netrokona, Bangladesh
Stepping on the soil of Durgapur, the enchanting beauty of the Shomeshwari River will steal your mind. Not to mention, it is one of the most stunning rivers of Bangladesh. Originating from Garo Hill, under the Garo-Khasi range at Meghalaya in India, this hilly river entered the country through the Bijoypur border, Netrokona. You have to cross the Shomeshwari River by boat to explore different places in Durgapur. With the change of seasons, this magical river Shomeshwari brings changes in this landscape. Monsoon rains make this river unruly but blossom its beauty in full. The photogenic beauty of this undulating river at the backdrop of the Meghalaya hills will remain in your mind forever. However, during the winter the water dries up almost!
Ceramic Hill area is another unforgettable natural treasure of Durgapur. In several places, you will find hills built with China Clay soil. Ceramic Hills at Birishiri Union in Durgapur Upazila has acquired a significant reputation among travelers around the world. These clay hillocks are also available around the Limestone Lake at Kulagora union. These hills are also known as China Matir Pahar or China Clay Hills. What makes these hills stand out from general hills is their amazing pinkish colored soil. The secret behind this exclusive appearance is the special chemical composition of the soil. Since 1960, Ceramic companies had been excavating at Birishiri to collect the ingredients for ceramic objects and crockeries. You can hike these Ceramic hills to add some thrills to your trip. What is more? During the rainy season, blue water is stored in the valleys of these hills making the whole environment blissfully romantic.
Limestone Lake Birishiri Netrokona - Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Want to spend some tranquil moments beside a picturesque blue water pond at the backdrop of pinking hills? You will find such a paradise called 'Limestone Lake' at the Kulagora union in Durgapur Upazila of Netrokona District. The heart-touching scenic beauty of this divine blue water will pacify your soul taking you far away from the humdrum of hectic city life. This Limestone Lake is also known as Neel pukur, China Matir Lake, China Clay Lake, etc. The mystery behind its exclusive blue water is the presence of chemical compounds especially Copper Sulphate in the soil. However, being mesmerized by the beauty of this pond, don’t try to jump in the water. This Limestone Lake is fairly deep, so any attempt for swimming can cost your life.
While planning your itinerary at Durgapur, don’t miss the BGB camp located adjacent to the Bangladesh-India border at Bijoypur Netrokona. From this place, you can enjoy the mind-blowing cloud-hugging green mountains of Meghalaya in India. Not to mention, here you can enjoy the thrill of visiting a foreign land without a passport or visa. As the BGB Camp is standing beside the Shomesshori River, you can take a boat trip to view the surrounding place.
Hills of Netrokona - Image Credit Wikipedia
During your journey towards Bijoypur BDR Camp, you will find the Hajong Roshimoni Monument which was built as a remembrance of the courageous sacrifice of Hajong Roshimoni. Looking back to history during British empires the Zamindar used to own all lands of this area. The poor farmers were permitted to cultivate the lands but were forced to pay their yield which made them economically handicapped. In 1938 the ethnic farmers of Netrokona and Mymensingh created a collective movement called Tonk Andolon under the leadership of Roshimoni. In 1946, Roshimoni Hajong was mercilessly killed by the dictator. Though looking simple, this monument inspires the people and the tourists to stand against oppression.
Hajong Roshimoni Monument - Picture Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Near BGB camp you can visit Orange hill, which is another tourist attraction of Durgapur. Moreover, in the vicinity of BGB Camp, you can spend some time at Ranikhong Church. This holy place was built from 1910 to 1915. Standing over a small hillock, this historical church attracts both the pious minds and the tourists.
In Durgapur, you can observe the lifestyle of two ethnic groups – Hajong and Garo. To know more about the culture and history of these ethnic groups, you can visit the Tribal Cultural Academy – former palace of Maharaja (King) Susang – at Birishiri in Durgapur.
Starting the journey from Dhaka, you can reach Durgapur by bus, train, or private transport. From the Mohakhali bus stand of Dhaka, you can take a bus heading towards Birishiri. The journey will take around 7 hours. The last few hours can be very tough, as the road is quite bumpy near Birishiri. However, the train journey is comparatively more comfortable than the bus ride. Reaching Kamalapur Railway Station, catch the train on the Dhaka – Jharia route. This journey by train usually takes around 10 to 11 hours. Dropping at Jharia station, you can hire local transport to reach your desired tourist spots. Usually, it takes one day to visit all places in Durgapur.
Read: Bandarban Tourist Spots.
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.