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! Located in the south western part of the country, and part of the storied Chittagong Hill Tracts, 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 of 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 the 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 4pm.
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 4pm, 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 of the country. This Buddhist temple is called ‘kyang’ in local language. It is also popular as ‘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 on 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 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 a 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 Remakri waterfall. Nafakhum falls under unruly hilly river Sangu at Remakri in Thanchi Upazila of Bandarban Hill District. In this natural waterfall, 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 splendour 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 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 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 sunrise, sunset, sinuous Sangu River, surrounding greenery, etc.
Near the Nilgiri hill, you can visit a traditional village of ‘Mro’ aborigines. Their simple but colourful 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 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 busiest season for tourism in Bandarban. The charges of hotels and resorts usually increase during this period.
Kobe Bryant and Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho were working together on a children's book, but the author of "The Alchemist" said he deleted the draft after Bryant's death in a helicopter crash.
The 72-year-old novelist told The Associated Press on Monday that the two men started discussing the project in 2016, when Bryant retired after a 20-year NBA career. They began writing a few months ago.
Within hours of hearing of Bryant's death Sunday, Coelho announced that he would delete the draft, rather than finish the book without the 41-year-old five-time NBA champion.
"I deleted the draft because it didn't make any sense to publish without him," Coelho said by phone on Monday from his home in Geneva. "It wouldn't add anything relevant to him or his family.
"That doesn't stop me from writing someday about things I learned from Kobe and how much of a larger-than-life person he was," Coelho said. "But the children's book did not make sense anymore."
Coelho's decision disappointed many of Bryant's fans, who flooded the writer's social media channels asking for the draft not to be erased.
Bryant was a fan of Coelho's and called "The Alchemist" his favorite book. He recommended it to everyone from former teammate Kyrie Irving to Rob Pelinka, his former agent who now runs the Lakers' basketball operations.
Pelinka read a passage from the book before a news conference in July 2018 shortly after the Lakers signed LeBron James, who was photographed reading "The Alchemist" before a shootaround in the 2018 Eastern Conference finals when he played for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Coelho, who has sold tens of millions of books, said the idea behind his collaboration with Bryant was to inspire underprivileged children to overcome adversity through sports.
"Kobe was always very concerned about making a book that was a positive example for children, especially those coming from humble beginnings," Coelho said.
Bryant's 13-year-old daughter Gianna also died in the crash, along with seven others. Bryant has three other daughters.
The book project was very casual. After not communicating for several months, Bryant sent a message to Coelho in August, saying "Let's right that book together." He then texted the correct spelling of "write."
"It went from there. Little by little we were going ahead," Coelho said. He did not reveal how many pages had been written or whether the book already had a title.
Bryant's Granity Studios published middle grade and young adult novels. It also put out the player's autobiography, "The Mamba Mentality: How I Play," released in 2018.
"I saw him enough times to assure he had much more than sports on his mind, it wasn't all about competition," Coelho said. "His tragic death has shown already how he was important to the world, not only to the United States. We will discuss his legacy for many years, much beyond sport."
Nature purifies our soul and rejuvenates our 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 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.
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 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 splendour of 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 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. 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) travelling on 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 the 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 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 the tree-researchers, it is one of the biggest Banyan trees of 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 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 at 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 for 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 at 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 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 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, the 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 spots. 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 in the hilly district.
A group art exhibition showcasing paintings done outdoors under the genre en plein air, also known as plein air painting, the act of painting outdoors was inaugurated Monday at the Mohakhali unit of Gallery Cosmos.
Known as one of the country’s leading institutions dedicated to art, Gallery Cosmos is organizing the 20-day special exhibition titled ‘Trinayan’ with the participation of Outdoor Community artists group.
Brazilian Ambassador to Bangladesh Joao Tabajara de Oliveira Jr. attended the inaugural ceremony as the special guest, alongside renowned art critic Moinuddin Khaled and eminent artist Shahid Kabir.
The inauguration ceremony was presided over by Tehmina Enayet, Director of Gallery Cosmos.
In his opening remarks, the ambassador said, “To me, the essence of Bangladesh is art- as the country is blessed with enriched literature, arts, culture and all of the talented artistes. In this exhibition, I got amazed through all these unique and diverse artworks on various genres by these talented artists- and I thank Tehmina Enayet and Gallery Cosmos for inviting me as well as promoting these types of stimulating arts in this country.”
Eminent art critic Moinuddin Khaled applauded and advised the participating artistes, saying “Think before you ink, because it is very much important to portray the reality that we see in front of us. If an artist wants to portray the real scenario, the artist has to experience that moment. That is exactly what these artists have done in their outdoor ventures that are shown in this exhibition and I really appreciate the effort.”
Thanking the venture of Gallery Cosmos, he said “Art galleries do not want to promote young or less-known artistes, as that can be a business risk, and that is the scenario all over the world. Here in Bangladesh, Gallery Cosmos is continuously supporting and promoting the artistes despite the business risk, which is highly appreciable.”
Artist Shahid Kabir, who is also participating in this art exhibition, said “Artists like SM Sultan, Zainul Abedin were like saints of arts who never compromised expressing their true feelings through their artworks. In order to be a successful artist, one has to avoid shortcuts and remain dedicated. I believe these promising artists will remain dedicated, as well as the Gallery Cosmos to us.”
Explaining the commitment to support the country's artists and their praiseworthy artworks, Tehmina Enayet, the Director of Gallery Cosmos, said “At Gallery Cosmos, over the course of the last decade we have dedicated ourselves to lending a platform to various mediums of art rooted in Bangladesh, as well as those influenced from far-off lands. Through initiatives such as the present exhibition (Trinayan) and many more, it is our aim to break new ground by acting as an incubator for the emergence of various art forms, including plein air painting, in Bangladesh.”
Showcasing 40 artworks in various mediums, works by some 20 artists- Shahid Kabir, Afrozaa Jamil Konka, Azmeer Hossain, Sahid Kazi, Bishwajit Goswami, Sumon Wahed, Juton Chandra Roy, Manik Bonik, Parvej Hasan Rigan, Rumana Raman, Arifa Sultana, Jannatun Nahar Ava, Abu Tamim, Adil Mahamud Hasnat, Mrinal Banik, Md. Rafiqul Islam, Auntora Mehrukh Azad, Jayanta Mondal, Sharifa Akter Liza and Helal Shah – find place in the exhibition.
The exhibition will continue till February 15, 2020, every day from 12 pm to 8 pm at the Dhaka North unit of Gallery Cosmos: House 115, Road 6, New DOHS, Mohakhali .
'Nakshatra Nivey Jai', the first poetry book by Prof Ahaduzzaman Mohammad Ali, was unveiled at Dhaka University (DU) on Monday.
National Professor Anisuzzaman presided over the book launching ceremony held at the Mozaffar Ahmed Chowdhury Auditorium of DU Social Sciences Building.
Former Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor, Vice-chancellor of Rabindra University Prof Biswajit Ghosh, Prof Dr Syed Manzoorul Islam of DU English department, Bangla Academy Director General Habibullah Siraji, and Onno Prokash Director and Publisher Mazharul Islam, among others, addressed the function.
Onno Prokash published the poetry book.
Speaking on the occasion, Prof Ahaduzzaman, former teacher of DU Mass Communication and Journalism department, said he never had any plan to publish a poetry book. “It’s just my hobby to read poems and write, and I’ve written those only for my self-satisfaction.”
Describing the background behind publishing the book, he said he wrote poems and posted those on his Facebook wall. “After going through the poems, my students, colleagues and friends insisted that I publish a book compiling those. Then I decided to go for it,” he said.
Referring to the tragic loss of Ahaduzzaman’s wife in an accident, National Professor Anisuzzaman said it was also reflected in his book. “These poems show he’s very careful in his choice of words and shaping the poems.”
Voicing his hope that Prof Ahaduzzaman will continue his work, Anisuzzaman wanted to know why he has taken too much time in emerging as a poet.
Prof Syed Manzoorul Islam said, “I know Prof Ahaduzzaman for a long time as my university colleague. We’ve lots of memories together. I really appreciate his work and hope it’ll get an enormous response from readers.