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 Khagrachari 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.
Alotila Cave in Khagrachari 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.
Valeria Luiselli's novel "Lost Children Archive" and Adam Higginbotham's nonfiction "Midnight in Chernobyl" have been awarded the Andrew Carnegie Medal, a $5,000 prize presented by the American Library Association.
The awards for fiction and nonfiction were announced Sunday and honor two of last year's most acclaimed books. "Lost Children Archive," a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle prize, blends fiction and documentation as it probes the fates of refugee children. "Midnight in Chernobyl" recounts the 1986 nuclear power disaster and the Soviet Union government's desperate efforts to conceal it.
"We hope that librarians will find the two Carnegie winners to be powerful and fruitful titles to recommend and discuss," prize committee chair Donna Seaman said in a statement. The awards were announced during the library association's annual mid-winter meeting, held this year in Philadelphia.
Previous Carnegie medal winners include Colson Whitehead's "The Underground Railroad" and Bryan Stevenson's "Just Mercy," adapted into a feature film that is now in theaters.
Both Luiselli and Higginbotham are lifelong fans of libraries. In a recent email to The Associated Press, Luiselli called herself a "radical nerd" and praised the Carnegie prize as "the ultimate radical nerd award." A native of Mexico City, she lived everywhere from Wisconsin to Costa Rica growing up and remembers attending an American elementary school in South Korea, where she would sneak into the high school library to read horror stories.
Now a resident of New York City, the 36-year-old Luiselli says she has "spent more time in libraries — between the stacks, in silent reading rooms, in the rare books & manuscript sections, and hovering behind the lenses of microfilm readers — than is probably healthy.
"But I have a good pair of reading glasses and antihistamines in my bag," she adds.
Higginbotham, 51, also knows well the interiors of the New York Public Library system. While working on "Midnight in Chernobyl: : The Untold Story of the World's Greatest Nuclear Disaster," he was a visiting scholar at the system's main branch in midtown Manhattan, blessed with "a quiet and beautiful place to work, and access to the amazing research collections of libraries in the New York City system and beyond."
Libraries helped inspire the British author's choice of careers and extend his literary knowledge into unexpected worlds. As a teenager, he found a copy of Kurt Vonnegut's "Slaughterhouse-Five" in the library of the Wells Cathedral School, "at the time perhaps the only example of modern American literature in the entire building."
"It was so astonishingly unlike any of the other works on offer that I was certain it had been placed on the shelves only as a result of some administrative error," he told the AP In a recent email. "I read it repeatedly — before someone realized their mistake and removed it — and it helped convince me to put my plans to become an astronaut on hold, and become a writer instead."
The medals are made possible, in part, by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York.
A couple who had been together for nearly 65 years have died on the same day at a St. Louis-area nursing home.
Jack and Harriet Morrison's beds were placed next to each other in their final hours, allowing them to hold hands, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
Eighty-six-year-old Jack died first. Harriett, who was 83, died later on Jan. 11.
"I'm sad. But I know they're at peace and they're back together," said Sue Wagener, a niece raised by the Morrisons. "It truly was a love story for the books."
The couple went on their first date on Halloween of 1955. "They went to a little diner and never separated from that day on," Wagener said. They married about six months later.
They met as Harriett accompanied her father on a trip with the drum and bugle corp he played in. Jack was behind the wheel of a charter bus that drove the group to some of its concerts.
Together, the couple ran and grew V-K Bus Lines while raising Wagener and their two sons.
They were active Moolah Shriners, a fraternal order devoted to philanthropy, and traveled the world next to each other, often on Shrine-related trips, including to Europe and Australia.
"You didn't see Jack unless you saw Harriet," said Wayne Price, a fellow Shriner.
About a year ago, Harriet tripped while walking their dog, breaking her pelvis and hip, Wagener said. She had dementia, and moved into The Woodlands of Arnold nursing home and rehabilitation center.
Meanwhile, Jack was having trouble living at home. Wagener said she talked him into moving into a villa at the Woodlands in May. In September, he also fell, breaking his neck. He then moved into the nursing home, four doors down the hall from his wife.
Even then, they would nap together, one in a wheelchair, the other in bed — their hands intertwined.
"Some days she knew him; other days she didn't," said Wagener.
Wagener said she told Jack on Christmas Eve that Harriet had stopped eating and drinking. He barely ate or drank after that.
About 11 p.m. on Jan. 10, she got a call from a nurse saying Harriet appeared close to death. The nurse asked if staff could move furniture out of Jack's room so the couple could be together.
Wagener said there was nothing she'd love more.
To take a stand against existing status quo of people judging others based on clothes and looks, internationally renowned hair care brand TRESemmé will host a three-day fashion event titled ‘TRESemmé Bangladesh Fashion Week 2020’ in the capital beginning on January 23.
Fashion designers from home and abroad will showcase their works at the event at the International Convention City Bashundhara.
Fashion Design Council of Bangladesh (FDCB) is the event partner while Le Méridien Dhaka the hospitality partner.
Nafees Anwar, Beauty and Personal Care Director of Unilever Bangladesh, made the announcement at a press conference at hotel Le Méridien Dhaka on Thursday.
The fashion event, which will end on January 25, will be called Runway of Life to promote against the judgmental mindset of people. In line with that, a digital campaign has been activated by Unilever with the hashtag -- #doitforyou.
Nafees Anwar said Unilever has changed the model on how to get involved in the fashion industry last year through the ‘TRESemmé Bangladesh Fashion Week 2019’.
“We had an event which came out pretty good at the end and we’re trying to continue it this year...every single brand under Unilever has a purpose. Every single product that Unilever produces has the same quality and I’d expect that like the way you’re supporting the local fashion industry, you’ll support the products that are produced locally,” he said.
Maheen Khan, President of FDCB, said their organisation is engaged in promotion of sustainable designs.
“We support clusters of artisans and produce ethical products. For the past six years, we held many international events to brand and promote our homegrown design industry,” she said.
She also spoke about FDCB’s approach for the benefit of Bangladeshi fashion industry.
“We’ve essentially built awareness, started campaigns for safe and conscious work ethics that promotes local creative work. Our aim and goal is always to preserve the DNA of Bangladeshi design heritage,” said Maheen Khan.
She mentioned that fashion designers from cities like Colombo, Kathmandu, Thimphu, Udaypur, Ahmedabad and Kolkata alongside talented Bangladeshi counterparts will be displaying their works in the ‘TRESemmé Bangladesh Fashion Week 2020’.
“Twenty-one Bangladeshi designers will play a key role with their participation weighing to brand our unique design industry that is evolving, growing into something way more purposeful and significant,” said FDCB President.
Apart from 21 local designers, nine foreign ones will be showcasing their collection at the three-day event. Some of the notable names are Anuj Sharma, Riddhi Jain, Alka Sharma, Soumitra Mandal and Asif Shaikh of India, Ajay Gurung of Nepal, Sonali Dharmawardena of Sri Lanka, Chandrika Tamang of Bhutan, Maheen Khan, Chandan Dewan, Kuhu, Lipi Khandaker, Emdad Hoque, Shaibal Saha and Farah Anjum Bari of Bangladesh.
The winners of the Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge (YEC), a social initiative by Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center (BYLC) to encourage and promote the promising entrepreneurs, have been announced at a ceremony in the city.
The YEC, an initiative under BYLC’s entrepreneurship development wing in association with DFID and Manusher Jonno Foundation, is part of the organization’s efforts to nurture the passion of aspiring entrepreneurs with unique revenue-generating business ideas by connecting them to the right tools and networks.
Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun was the chief guest at the award-giving ceremony held at a city hotel on Tuesday.
Acting High Commissioner of the UK to Bangladesh Kanbar Hossein-Bor and Executive Director of Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF) Shaheen Anam joined the ceremony as special guests.
Speaking as the chief guest at the event, Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun said, “BYLC Ventures is a timely initiative, and this YEC endeavor to select, invest in, and cultivate the next generation of Bangladesh’s entrepreneurs has the potential to add great value to the economy and make the ground that Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman dreamed of.”
The five winning teams each received seed funding of Tk 8 lakh with an option of further Tk 15 lakh in additional investment, based on their performances. Moreover, the five teams will have access to a co-working space, mentoring, and a rigorous accelerator curriculum for six months from BYLC.
The five winning teams are Eco Wraps, a production and packaging company of cellulose-based biodegradable biopolymer bags; Tinkers, a producer of educational and interactive learning materials and toys; Agri Mushroom and Multi-farming, an agri-tech company; Selvice, an online marketing platform for event logistics; and Digigrow, a cloud-based multi-channel platform for farmers, independent investors, and partnered retailers.
In his opening remarks, Ejaj Ahmad, founder and president of BYLC, said, “BYLC has been investing in promising young leaders for the past ten years. This YEC venture is our latest initiative to invest in Bangladesh’s most promising young founders and help them grow their business.”
Kanbar Hossein-Bor, acting High Commissioner of the UK to Bangladesh, commended BYLC for contributing to creating a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem in Bangladesh. “Funding is not the only thing that young entrepreneurs need in today’s world to thrive in the current business climate. Under this campaign, the winning teams will learn tangible business and leadership skills that will help them build their ventures,” he said.
Speaking as a special guest at the event, Shaheen Anam, Executive Director of Manusher Jonno Foundation, said, “Bangladeshi youth cannot depend only on jobs. In this age of rapid technological advancement and automation, it is critical for youth to pursue self-employment opportunities through entrepreneurial initiatives.”
Over 500 business ideas were submitted in the initial phase of the challenge. The selection process included a residential bootcamp with 200 top founders, further vetting of top 30 teams, and presentation of 16 finalists in front of an investment committee comprising of BYLC management, industry experts, entrepreneurs, and investors.