Sometimes the colors of nature touch the human mind. For instance, the vast blue sky can give absolute joy. The crystal clear water of a lake can pacify souls. Green hills can cause emotional outbursts. The illusory beauty of Niladri Lake, the shelter of an abandoned limestone mine, presents a fascinating combination of blue sky, crystal clear water, and green hills. Let's have the details about this Quarry-Limestone Lake, also known as Kashmir of Bengal. Historical background of Niladri Lake The lake is known as 'Niladri' mainly to the tourist community because of the eye-catching beauty of the blue clear water. But its real name is Shaheed Siraj Lake. Freedom fighter Sirajul Islam was martyred in the 1971 war of independence. The hero sacrificed his life to liberate Sachna Bazar and Jamalganj Thana area of Sunamganj from the Pakistani Army. After independence, Shaheed Siraj was conferred the title of Bir Bikram by the Bangladesh Government. Read:Trekking to Ham Ham Waterfall, Moulvibazar: On the Way to Pass the Impassable During the liberation war of Bangladesh, several martyred freedom fighters were buried in the Borochhora sub-sector under Sector-5. Sirajul Islam was one of those brave hearts. The lake was named ‘Shaheed Siraj Lake’ in his memory. The graves of some freedom fighters including Sirajul Islam have also been preserved near the lake. Here a memorial is built in the memory of martyred freedom fighter Siraj Sangsad. The natural beauty of Niladri Lake Captivating Niladri Lake is like a drop of tear from the sky. This lake is located at Tekerghat village in Tahirpur Upazila under Sunamganj district. With scattered stones at the feet, the hills of Meghalaya stand beside this lake of dense blue water. The melody of the wind with the leaves of the tree comes from the nearby green hills. Small hillocks can be seen in the middle of Niladri Lake. There is a seating area made of cement next to the lake. The view of the mountains and water can also be enjoyed from there. Floating in a small boat over the lake, the tourists can mingle their souls with the heavenly blue water. This magnificent face of nature can make people forget any earthly weariness instantly. Read:Mohamaya Lake, Mirsarai, Chattogram: The Best Place for Kayaking in Bangladesh In this area, the border of Bangladesh is separated from India by the lower part of the Meghalaya hill ranges. There are barbed-wire fences on the skyscraper hills. Those who are fond of hills can visit Niladri lake to view the angelic beauty of the Indian Meghalaya hill while staying in Bangladesh. Considering the uniqueness of Niladri lake, tourists adore this place as ‘Kashmir’ of Bangladesh. The lake was once a supply of limestone, the raw material of the limestone factory, which is no longer there. Next to Niladri Lake, there is an old rusty railway engine-bogie, with which limestones were used to be transported. Photographers hardly miss the chance to capture the views of the lake and the surrounding mountains through their lens. Read:Most Scenic Public Parks in Dhaka City to Get Fresh Air When to visit Niladri Lake Since the natural beauty of the nearby Tanguar Haor area blooms in the rainy season, the monsoon is the best time to visit Niladri Lake. During the monsoon, nature looks more enchanting while playing the hide-and-seek game of sun, cloud, and rain. What’s more, a lot of migratory birds visit the lake during winter. Therefore, bird lovers may plan their trips during the winter. How to reach Niladri Lake from Dhaka via the Sunamganj route? Sunamganj can be reached directly by bus from Sayedabad or Mohakhali bus stand in Dhaka. The cost per person is around BDT 550 and the journey takes about six hours. Rental motorcycles are available to reach Tekerghat in the new bridge area of Sunamganj city. The reserved Motorcycle costs range from BDT 300 to 400. On the way, the travelers have to pay BDT 5 per person and BDT 10 per motorcycle for crossing the Jadukata river. The motorbike fare from Sunamganj to Laurer Garh will be around BDT 200. Tekerghat can be reached by motorcycle from Barikka Tila passing the banks of the Jadukata river for the fare of BDT 120. Read:Visit Boga Lake, Bandarban: Natural pool from fairy tales or sleeping volcano
The Jadukata is one of the 54 transboundary rivers flowing between India and Bangladesh. Originating from the Meghalaya Hills of India, it flows into Bangladesh through Sunamganj's Tahirpur and into Bishwamvarpur upazilas. Known for its scenic beauty, the Jadukata is a reservoir of natural resources. Mountains stand still near the river and the sky seems to lean on the mountains. Barik tila sits on top of the river. A Supreme Court decision in June designated two balumahal (sand quarries) in Jadukata. Jadukata-1 is flowing beside Barik tila. Shimul Bagan, the garden of cotton trees, is on the other side, and this is where another sand quarry called Jadukata-2 has been designated. Read:Bus plunges into canal in Sunamganj, one dead, 5 injured The ruling of the Supreme Court finally allowed for sand to be lifted from the river again, after being barred for years over environmental concerns. The area from which sand can be legally mined has been very strictly demarcated. Additionally, it was stipulated that no heavy-duty machinery could be used in the extraction of sand. Since June 12, workers have been lifting sand from the river again, but now by hand in an environment-friendly way as no one is allowed to extract sand with mining explosives. The precious natural resource in the river is the unlimited sand. Locals say that the world's best sand is found here, and certainly the sand from Sylhet’s hilly rivers enjoys a very good reputation in the construction industry. Like any fast-developing country witnessing construction booms, sand is in high demand in Bangladesh. The living standards of the workers in the Haor area developed around the Jadukata. Almost all working people lost their jobs because of non-settlement of leases due to legal complications and lawsuits in the high court. Visiting the area today, the area is buzzing again with workers around the two designated quarries. Thousands of workers are lifting sand in small boats. The sand is being sold on to big traders for cash. About 50,000 workers have returned to their old jobs. Each worker is earning Tk 1,500 per day. Shukur Ali, a labourer from Miyarchar, said, "I was in a lot of trouble because of the pandemic as the river remained closed. I wanted to run away from home. But in the end I didn't have to go anywhere as the river opened. I can earn Tk 1,500 by lifting sand from the river." Read:Illegal sand mining goes on unabated in Kurigram He also said his family is spending their days happily now. "I used to spend half a day starving as the river was closed. I am happy now with my family after opening the river," said Alamgir of Ghagtia village. Every worker UNB spoke to expressed the same. It means the environmentalists’ concerns may be legitimate, but the court verdict has provided a final settlement that all parties must accept.
A transboundary river shared by India and Bangladesh, Jadukata is known for its natural beauty. Gushing out of the Khasi hills in the Indian state of Meghalaya, the river flows through Sunamganj’s Tahirpur upazila -- an area that largely caters to Bangladesh's increasing demand for construction sand and stones. But rampant illegal sand and stone mining poses a grave threat to the river's existence. Read Illegal sand mining goes on unabated in Kurigram Moreover, abundant lenience of authorities, residents allege, encourages the local mafia to steal the illegally mined sand and stones often seized by police. Neither the local administration nor the police pay attention to it. Local people too just do not bother to object to these illegal activities. Read Jamuna loses battle to illegal sand mining in Sirajganj "The unauthorised mining activities not only lead to revenue loss to the government but also cause damage to the environment. This has going on for years," a local resident told UNB. On March 24, a task force comprising officials from the local administration, police, BGB and RAB seized large quantities of illegally mined sand and stones from various local traders. Read Also: Sand lifting puts homesteads, farmland under erosion threat in N’ganj
Flash floods triggered by onrush of water from the upstream and heavy rains have inundated low-lying areas in different upazilas in Sunamganj district. Besides, 250 villages have been flooded in Kurigram district, rendering over 75,000 people marooned as the Brahmaputra and the Dharla Rivers are flowing above the danger level. In Sunamganj, The Surma and the Jadukata rivers are flowing above the danger level on Saturday. The Surma River was flowing 46cm above the danger level at 9am while Jadukata River was flowing 57cm above the danger level.