Can you imagine a market floating over water? It is not mandatory to travel abroad to have the thrilling experience of visiting a floating market. In Bangladesh, there is a traditional floating market in Barishal. The floating guava market is located at Bhimruli, about 15 km distant from the southernmost district town of Jhalokati in Bangladesh. This floating market sits at the confluence of three canals. The market is dominated by the largest guava orchards in Asia bordering Jhalokati, Barishal, and Pirojpur. For their livelihood, about 20,000 families in 26 villages under Jhalokati, Barishal, and Pirojpur districts depend on this guava orchard spread on 31,000 acres of land. Let’s get to know more about this outlandish market.
The specialty of floating Guava market
The market runs from dawn to dusk every day of the week across the small canal. You will be amazed to see hundreds of boats loaded with guavas. Fruit growers load the boat with fruit and look for buyers. There are innumerable guava orchards in all the villages around Vimruli. Farmers collect guavas from these orchards and bring them directly to this market by boat.
You will find a small bridge over the canal at the northern end of the floating market. From this point, the whole market can be seen very well.
Interestingly, the design and size of all the boats that carry Guava in this market are almost the same. It seems like the same craftsman has made all the boats.
The houses, schools, bridges, and roads adjacent to the canal will give you the feeling of a piece of Thailand or Venice in Italy in the heart of Bengal. And a downpour will make the surroundings more enchanting.
The best time to visit the floating Guava market
The busiest time in Bhimruli market is from 12 pm to 3 pm. At this time, you will witness the epic scene of the number of boats on the canal that usually exceed several hundred. Although the floating market sits all year round, it comes to life in the guava season. Though the guava seasons are the month of July and August, sometimes the market runs until September. August is the best time to visit the floating guava market. The crowd at the guava market gets lighter after 11 am, so you better be present at the market before 11 am.
When the guava season is over, the season starts for hog plum whose yield is also quite abundant here.
How to reach Barishal's floating Guava market from Dhaka City
You can opt for a roadway or waterway to reach Barishal from Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. But traveling by water is the most comfortable and convenient option.
The launch route starts from Sadarghat in Dhaka. Every day several launches travel on the way to Barishal and reach between 4 and 5 in the morning. Deck fare is BDT 200 per person, where single cabin fare is BDT 900 (non AC) and double cabin fare is BDT 1800 (non AC).
From Barishal launch ghat, come to the crossroads via an auto or rickshaw and then take a bus to Swarupkathi launch ghat which will cost BDT 50.
You can rent a trawler from Swarupkathi launch ghat and visit Atghor, Kuriana, and Bhimruli markets after crossing the Shwandhya river. If you bargain well, it will charge BDT 1000 to 1500.
In an alternative way, you can arrive at Kuriana Bazaar by renting an auto from Swarupkathi Launch Ghat for BDT 20. Then rent a boat or trawler for BDT 200 to 300 to visit the markets and canals around Kuriana. However, if you go to Bhimruli, the rent will be more.