Friday, December 31, 2010

Jamalpur: Jheenai, a trans-boundary river

Tuesday, 21st December 2010

River Jheenai

Bangladesh is country of rivers, and hundreds of tortuous rivers just meandered through this land. From the very early of the civilization, people used separate the region of their clan based on mountains or rivers. This practice is still sustained among us till now. You will find myriad number of trans boundary rivers which used to separate the district's boundary.

River Jheenai, left side is Jamalpur, right side is Tangail district

Today, I am going to emanate a trans-boundary river, this one is from my native district. This river sometimes used to draw the boundary line between Tangail district, and my native district, Jamalpur. This river is originated from the great "Brahamma Putra" river(some people may refer to Jamuna river, if the get further back). The name of the river is Jheenai(Some people may call it Jhinai). The word Jheenai means "Jhinuk"(Mussel in english) in my native language. It may happen that people used to collect profound numbers of mussels from the river, and hence it carried the name(though i am not sure about this nomenclature.)

River Jheenai, other side is Tangail district

I have never heard about any types of cataclysm that occurred by the river. Such a mild river is just passed through several Upazila from Jamalpur, and then it became trans boundary when flowing between two districts. After that it moves further inside Tangail district, and later it ends where I don't know(may be joined again with Jamuna?).

This river is a boundary for the Dhanbari Thana of Tangail, and Sharishabari thana of Jamalpur. So if you wish to visit the place, you have to reach at the brink of either one from Jamalpur, of Tangail.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Bandarban: Expedition Rumana, Day-4

Thursday, 16th September 2010

Continuation from Day-3 expedition.

We have been trekking and moving forward relentlessly for "this day". Our main objective was to enjoy the beauty of the great Zingsiam Saitar waterfall from Rumana Para. Soon you'll learn how we passed the most exciting day from our expedition.

Once again, like any other days, our morning started very early. May be around 5:30. From the very beginning of the day, it started to become so funny. We had only one toilet, and the architecture of the toilet was/is a genius. Man what an idea.

There is only single toilet around, and we are lots of expediters. Many of us have started their day earlier then us, and rest of us were waiting at queue. When one of us finished the task, he just praised and hailed to the architecture of this toilet. Waiting for my serial to discover what it is actually...

This toilet is nothing but a flat floor inside, and a rectangular hole at the middle. When you poop, everything will drop through that hole, and just bottom of the toilet(4/5 feet downwards) a group of pigs(local people used to call these as "black deer") are waiting for your output(they will consider those as their input). It takes time to get dropped the stool at the bottom, but they take almost no time to consume those. Its funny, but trust me, those pigs are keeping the place away from dirt. You don't need to hire any extra man to clean the shit tank.

Anyway, once again, no breakfast today, only tea and biscuits. And I don't take tea. Initially 4/5 of us showed some interested to take rest, and didn't want to join us today. But later on, only two of us waited at "Rumana Para", and along with them our "Jony Boy" a tribal helping hand, and "John" a lazy tribal boy joined them. Partho was having a problem with his feet and Ruhi was having problem with his boots. Later I came to know, Ruhi invested around 4+ hours to repair his boots. Man, situation can turn a man into anything :-)

Since we will return back to the "Rumana Para" at the end of the day, most of us didn't take any backpack with them. No extra pain at the back, lovely. 11/12 of us started towards the Zingsiam Saitar waterfall. Today's trek was not a traditional one like last few days. This one is too much narrow, very slippy due to last night mild rain, and too much steeped at downwards, more adventurous. Many of us got slipped today, some of them multiple times. I have got few jerked, but didn't felt down. This is such an unknown trek that most of the villagers from around even don't use this one. Only few hunters sometimes used to pass by.

After around half an hour, we have found "Ruma Khal"(Ruma Canal) on our way. Some of us reached there and waiting for us, sitting over the stones over the Canal. But trust me, every single large bolder of stones were blessed with leeches. We didn't even notice that, but when people started to discover the presence of leeches over their body, the situation became funny :-)

Actually we were waiting here for our team captain, he was at the last of the trail. Lets consider a 500 meter rope. When we were trekking, our trail was long something like that rope. If the first member is at the front of the rope, then last member(usually our captain, Mainul) was at the tail. He was making sure that no one is left behind. Since captain was at last, we were waiting for him, and to guide us. Cause the trek goes more further after crossing the canal, and also we can go either side of the canal. Confusing...

Now, if we take the path through the canal, at right side(towards the canal is flowing), it will take us to the first step of the Zingsiam Saitar waterfall after around 20 minutes. But if we want to reach at the bottom, we had to stay with the current trek. People decided to explore from third(bottom) step of the waterfall, and we have started to move further. We will come back here again.

This time the treks are even narrower, and sometimes there are few marks of land slides. We had to pass through these. Every single steps we were moving further, the count of leeches and sized of leeches were increased magically. I don't know how much time passed, but we have reached at a place where two Jihri(streams) joined together, and created a new one. Its looking like 'Y'. One of the stream is probably named "Dolovia"(not sure, and other one is I forgot, you can inquiry at for more. They know about this).

Once again waited here for right direction. It is possible to take any of the branch of that Y. But later Mainul confirmed to take the right side one(the bottom of Y, and after joining two stream, its flowing at that direction), and it joined with Rumakhal later. Last few hours we were walking though the paths, but this time we have to move over the Jhiri Path, means wetting time. I have used the water instead of bank of the Jhiri most of the times. It was keeping my feet kool. I have got several blisters on my feet.

There are lots of small waterfall through out this Jhiri. It was wonderful once again, walking over the clean crystal jhiri water, murmuring sounds from water and leaves, birds are singing in different tones. Most interesting part is the hide and seek of the sun. Sometimes the forest is so thick, that its hard to see the sun, and you'll feel its almost end of the day. But when you'll discover yourself at the middle of an empty place, you'll find how bright the day is and how much scorching its for your skin.

Finally we have reached at another point, and this time this Jhiri is joined together with another one(coming from right, and this is our great "Ruma Khal" once again). After joining both of these, it kept it's named as Ruma Khal, and which became more mightier.

This time we will not follow the flow of the water. We have to go towards the opposite of the flow of the "Ruma Khal", means chose the right side one. And from here, its not too much far(only 3/4 minutes) to get the view of the third step of the Zingsiam Saitar Waterfall. We have been walking and walking, we were tired, but it dissipated when we got the sweet sound from the waterfall. I don't know how everybody feels about this, but this sound used to make me mad.

This waterfall is huge, and have multiple streams. Right now the amount of water flow is medium, but during full rainy season, its become massive. Some of us were taking rest in front of the waterfall(There was a large log of a tree, and we were sitting over that). Already few of us started to take shower at the waterfall. I have taken some time to explore the beauty and the proximity area, and later on joined with them. My god, too much cold, and some of us feeling this too much for them and quit instantly.

Now, time to leave this place, and move for next step. But some of us(specially Hasnat and Hassan) wanted to reach at the top of this step. And Mainul, the team captain informed that there is no path available to go there(later he confirmed that he lied). If you wish to go there, you have to climb through the rock(through waterfall itself, 90 degree slope), or you have to make a path through the dense forest(an average of 70 degree steep or slope).

I am not a brave man. So I didn't express any opinion, waiting for others, and I'll decided with the majority. Initially 5 of us showed interest about to make a path through the thick forest, and they have already started to moving towards. Not bothering to hear from us. Later one by one joined with them, and so did I. Finally the two of us who were not interested about this(wanted to return back to base), they have also joined with us, and we were happy cause no one is missing the showtime.

Since I started a bit late, it was a problem for me to find the right trail. I only can hear my teammates who are at top, but hardly possible to see any sign of them. Using the marks of chopping(branches, herbs, etc) I was moving towards along with my rest of the teammates.

This is hard to clean the forest and move forward. So finally we have caught them. Now for every five minutes we were only able to move 5-10 feet. If I see at top, I only can see the posterior of him, and If i see at bottom, I only can see the head of him. Everyone of us waiting at their position, some of us holding or hanging by griping the tree, some of us leaned their body over the rock to make a perfect balance. You can only move if and only if your front person makes a move. Cause you have to take his place for a perfect shelter. In between you and him, there is no perfect place to hang up. Its hard to make you understand you the situation by writing here. You can watch that from the attached video.

I want to let "Tushar" a thanks. Its only God knows how much leeches he have plucked from my pants and from my body. He was always at the behind of me, my legs were near his hands, and every times he finds any leech, just plucked that away. He is such a cool company that you would love to have him with your every expeditions.

During the chopping, we have moved towards the wrong direction once. We had to use rope to climb over the rocks. We found small band of rocks were collapsed from top due to footmarks of our teammates, and those rocks just passed over us. I have been hit by those several times, so did my fellow mates from me.

While moving further, I found a natural rope from the older trees, and grabbed that to get some balance. But unfortunately, this was with a dead branch of a tree, and that log sized branch just felt over me. It was around 4-5 feet long, and I don't know how I survived. I didn't even feel any pain, but my mates thought I would felt down to ground within a second. Thanks to all mighty that my luck favored with me. Otherwise that shit can split my head easily into two.

Finally around one to two ours of hard working, we have reached at the top of the third step of the waterfall. We have discovered that our boots were covered with mud, got cut over the skin at several places, bees and mountain ants bitten us mercilessly. We have taken some rest there, and Mainul expressed thank to everyone to completing the hard work. He just showed us a path and said, you can easily used this one to come here with in few minutes. But that case you had to miss this adventure. Everyone of us just laughed, and thanked him for not showing the easiest one :-)

From the top of the third step. Its only few minutes of walking through "Ruma Khal" to reach at the second step of Zingsiam Saitar Waterfall. From Mainul, we came to know that, the "Zingsiam" was name of a Bawm(a tribe name) girl, and she went for fishing at the Top step(first) of the waterfall. She felt from there, and her dead body was found at the bottom of the second step of the waterfall, after two days of her missing. From then the waterfall is known as Zingsiam Saitar Waterfall. Saitar means waterfall in Bawm Language.

When we have reached the bottom of the second step, found two tribal guys were fishing at the top of the waterfall. Once again shower time, but this time few of us didn't joined at shower. We have some dry food with us, and we have enjoyed those. Everyone were hungry. Its marvelous to enjoy the remote beauty, and have some food. Your eyes and tummy, both got satisfied.

From here we have return back to the top of the Third step once again, and planed to go to the top of the first step of the waterfall. This time the trek was besides the Zum field. and this one is much easier for walk. But we were tired, and the sun was burning, no sheds from the trees, and its continuously moving upwards. I don't know but this time I felt most tired from my whole expedition. I bet this was similar to my other fellows.

At one point, when we were almost near to our base, an opportunity was given to everyone. If anyone is interested, can return back to the base, four from us accepted the offer, and returned back. Rest of us moved forward to the top of the first step of the waterfall. Today morning, we have used this trail, now we are using this one again. We have to reach the place where we have taken our rest and discovered leeches at morning.

Unfortunately, Hasnat, one of the strongest team member felt into water after his feet stuck with a root of a tree. His camera was drenched, and luckily it was turned off. We have suggested him not to switch on until it get dry enough. He felt nervous, and I could easily read what was going inside him.

We have reached at the top of the first step. Our tribal girl actually felt from this step. We had a plan to go to the bottom of this step, and then move at the top of the second step. Due to the tiredness, and the situation of Hasnat didn't encourage us to continue our expedition further. So we have started to return back to the base after concluding our today's expedition.

When we have reached at the base, it was almost afternoon. The mates who were stated at the base, have prepared food for us, and with a hurry we have changed our dresses, and started to take meal for the first time of the day. After the meal we have gathered at the outside yard to share our today's experience. By this time when the sun was about to go down, we have enjoyed how it was going behind the mighty Keokaradong Mountain. From that yard, you can easily see the mountain.

During night, Hasnat tried to open his camera, but couldn't able to On that. Also by this time he has caught a fever, and along with him we went for a early sleep at night. What a day it was. Every single member from the team can remember this day with their grand kids when they will be at a stage like today's drowning sun.

Click here to read Day-5

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Bandarban: Expedition Rumana, Day-3

This is the continuation after Day-2

Wednesday, 15th September 2010

Good morning Darjiling Para. I have made myself ready very quickly, and was waiting for others. It was around 5:30 at morning, when a team of three people from us started for Keokaradong. Few minutes after following them, me and Partho started for Keokaradong. Others will start shortly when everyone will get ready.

Partho had some problem at last day, and he required lots of break on the way. So today he wanted to start a bit early to manage a bit more break on the way. Both of us were moving steadily, we didn't need to do any hurry until the team behind us started pushing.

On the way towards Keokaradong

Being started early at morning, the weather was pleasant. Here and there we were able to find pieces of cloud floating. Luckily found a partial rainbow at the sky too. When we were enjoying the scenic beauty around, suddenly realized that we are near at the peak of the mammoth Keokaradong. Joined with the other three person who started early. It was covered with clouds all around, and hardly possible to see anything. We were waiting there for the other mates, and by that time were enjoying the beauty of sun rising and clouds floating. If you have time you can enjoy a video Cloudy Keokaradong.

Very early morning at Keokaradong, covered with clouds

We had around an hour of break at Keokaradong. During this break, Partho started to collect the plastic materials from around and burned those. Few of us helped him. While collecting those crumbs, some of us got leeches. Kind of warm-up, cause lots those will come today on our way. Also I have found lots of insects like black ant, but a bit larger. Later came to know those are harmless, except can get inside through your ears.

When day got brighter, clouds got disappeared.

Now our next destination is Passing Para. around 10 minutes of downwards from Keokaradong peak. If you call this is a village, then it is at the topmost(3000 ft) village from Bangladesh. This is just built two or three years before, so people don't like to call this as a village. Anyway, you can find clouds easily, cause you can feel those clouds from here. It will pass over you, and suddenly you can find you and the whole village is inside the cloud.

Passing Para, 10 minutes after Keokaradong.

We have to prepare our breakfast, and Passing Para is a very suitable place for doing that. This time we were using the house come shop of Robert Bawm. Once again we bought lots of "Bela Biscuit" for initial breakfast. Today our breakfast menu was noodles. Experts from our team moved to prepare that. Noodles will be cooked with the "Lau Shak"(leaf of a vegetable, don't know the proper English, funny). By this time we started to explore the village.

From this village, the "Jadupai Waterfall" is around 1.5 hours downwards(2.5 hours upwards while returning). Last night a group stayed here at Passing Para, and their destination is that waterfall. They wanted to make a documentary, and along with them they had a cameraman from NTV(a satellite channel from Bangladesh). But unfortunately, that cameraman left them from Ruma Bazar(cause shown sick, but I believe he was afraid to come such a far way). So they had to do it with their regular camera, and they were a bit upset for that.

By this time our breakfast prepared. Its one plate of noodles for two person. Me and Partho shared a plate, and interestingly he had a spoon at his bag, and think again, we were having noodles with spoon at a village like that! I didn't have such a noodles before, but it was tasty. I want to let you know, we had too many experts with us who are well enough for cooking. I think I was lucky being with them, and they were unlucky cause I'm a good for nothing for this purpose.

After the breakfast, once again started to packing, and need to move forward. This time next 45 minutes will be the toughest path for today. Its heavily steep path, and tons of leeches around the path. People call this "Hati Jok", but later when I saw that, confirmed as "China Jok", a kind of leach that have two mouths. I was happy to see that, cause that was the largest leech from that area, and I had experience with that before. So what to fear?

Slippy path, and almost 70 angle downwards. It was hard to plant my feet over those. I can bet rest of us having the same problem. There are some places where you can see a turn, and beside that its nothing. So your one second of carelessness can put an end for your life. Partho has serious phobia about height. He required a hand for the whole trek this time. Frankly, some places were so tough that my heart was beating inside my chest like a drum. But I had a dry! smile on my face to show that I'm not afraid. There was a point, where I couldn't grip with my shoes, otherwise the trek was smooth for me.

I have enjoyed the crackling sound throughout the trek. Different kinds of insects were making different different sounds. The trees around were too long, and too dense. Its hard to reach the sunlight at the bottom of those trees. And you know such kind of places are a heaven for leeches. I have seen lots of leeches were moving over the grasses and green leafs, and I was cautious about stepping over the grass.

We have found a wooden bridge at the bottom of the hill. Its over a jhiri, and we have taken water from there. Our next destination is "Sunsong Para"(some people called it as Shusong para). Its not that much far from here. So started once again. But suddenly rain started dropping, and started to dropping heavily. I have placed my camera inside the polythene bag. Our cloths were already inside the polythene bag, and that was placed inside our bags.

Just had a rain, path got muddy

Still walking instead of rain. Nothing to do, no place to get a shelter. Some of us was enjoying the rain. Some of us thanked to the god for rain, cause we didn't want to miss rain from this expedition, specially during trekking at day. It was a bit hard to walk on such a situation. I got tons of mud under my boots. It was taking much energy. When the water was dropping over my mouth, I was sucking those with my tongue. Since the rain started, the leeches are on a mood of Christmas day. They started to come out too.

Some place from the road was having too much mud. Some place has around 1 ft depth of mud. I was careful about not to put my feet over those, but did once, ugggh stinky, cause you can see the shits of pigs and cows around. I hate those anyway.

We took a break at a shop of Sunsong Para. Once again, biscuit with water. Some of us had banana from there. But I missed that due to inadequate supply. Everyone was started to removing their shoes and checking for leeches. And everyone got attacked by leeches more or less. Some of us from the team never seen leech before. Their expression was horrible, and screaming like hell. One of them picked the leech from his body, and threw at me! That really annoyed me, and I have shouted him until others cooled me. Luckily I didn't get any leech at my feet this time(but 10 minutes later found that blood was dripping from by legs! awweee)

After having a short break, 5 minutes of walking will take us to the Sunsong Para army camp. I was surprised by the way of reception of those armies. They have welcomed us with lemon juice and biscuit. There were no limit for the juice, I got three glasses, and still they wanted me to have more! There were too many biscuits and we have confirmed them that it will be more than enough for us. But they were reluctant to return back those biscuits. They offered us to take those with use if we couldn't finish it here. But interesting, we have finished those with in a flash!

Those army used to come here using helicopter, and their foods used to come here using helicopter too. Once in a month I guess. They were happy to see Bengali people around them. After letting thank to those army brothers, we have started for the Rumana Para, our final shelter, a trek for 40 minutes. By this time the sun is up once again, and started getting hot. After reaching at Rumana Para, we were removing our dirty! cloths and placed them under the sun for getting dry a bit. Hassa Bhai from our team found a guava garden, and got lots of for us. Those were ripen and tasty.

Now its time for shower. It was an offer for us, interesting people can go to explore the source of Ruma Khal, only few of us grabbed that offer, and started for the source. Its near to that Rumana Para. The source of the ruma khal is created from two Jhiri(water stream), one is Salova Jhiri, and other one is Pankhoa Jhiri. Since we have time on hand, and there is nothing to do today, I wanted to explore the Salova Jhiri, and requested the team captain to take us further through Salova.

This is the source of Ruma Khal, left is Salova Jhiri, and right one is Pankhoa Jhiri.

That jhiri was awesome, teal water around, most of those are crystal like water. Not too many people used to explore this jhiri, except the hunters. The water level is around 1-2 feet an average. But for a rain, the height of the canal can raise exponentially, and can kill anyone if s/he is not aware about rapid height increasing. There are lots of mini waterfalls around the path of this jhiri. the base of those waterfall has around 10 feet of depth. So if anyone doesn't know swim, can get drown easily.

Our team captain talked about a nice place ahead, and we will trek till that place, and after enjoying that one, we'll return back. The place is actually a bit darker, cause both sides have tall bank, and over that bank trees are covering the jhiri from sunlight. Also there is a small waterfall, if you want to move further, you have to pass over that waterfall. The water around that place is around 6/7 ft deep. If you want to go further, you have to swim over that.

Over Salova Jhiri

Now we started to return back, and wanted to have our shower at "Rumana Para Waterfall". After shower, when returning back, found leeches over my feet once again. These are small in size. When we reached at the village, found the sun is under the cloud, and will be a rain in any moment. Those who didn't went for shower, their cloths were dried by that time. But I have just washed my cloths, and how would I dry those??

Today's dinner menu was chicken curry and rice. I think today I have had 14/15 green chilies with my dinner. Those were small and hot, too hot. But I think being hungry, i didn't realize that. Chicken was collected from village people. 440 taka for more than two kg chicken so far I remember. Each of us had only three piece from chicken curry.

During night, we had the best facility for sleeping so far. No blanket or pillow sharing tonight. Each one will have a pillow and a blanket. Wow unbelievable. But you know, once again I didn't have a sound sleep. Hassan Bhai was beside me, and at night when he moved over my hand, i was feeling like Jerry mouse, couldn't get out my hand from under his giant body, horrible. At the middle of night, I was siting at bed several times.

Click here to read Day-4

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Bandarban: Chingri Jhiri Waterfall After Boga Lake

Friday, 17th September 2010

Chingri Jhiri, A waterfall, located just around half an hour of straightforward walking distance from Boga Lake. You'll find lots of people who used to visit Boga lake, and miss this place(I was one of them). Also, everyday lots of "traveler pedestrian" used to pass this place while they are in an ecstasy of vanquishing the Keokaradong peak, and miss this place. While returning after conquering the Keokaradong, they are so tired to enjoy the beauty of this waterfall, so missed again.

Two days before, we were in a hurry to reach the next destination before sunset, and didn't have enough time to get near to the waterfall. But, when returning, it was at the middle of the day, and this time I didn't miss this opportunity. Some of my teammates didn't show any interest about this one, and moved for Boga Lake to get some rest. Me, and few enthusiastic people left behind to enjoy this bewitching beauty.

This waterfall is a bit deeper from the main path. And from path its not visible. Also the sound of the waterfall is not that much clear from here. If you want to go there, you have to pass some large rock boulders and needs to do some toil. These are somehow few other reasons that made this place clandestine, according to my thoughts.

Its not that much tough path to get near the bottom of the waterfall, even at rainy season. But initially I was tried to reach the bottom without soaking my boots. But that was hard for me, and finally my boots get wet once again like last 4 days. I took time to reach at the bottom, cause I was snapping the beauty from my every steps. Its a normal sized waterfall liker others from Bangladesh. The amount of water is not that much great today, but when the water is falling, it just spread over the wall, and made this wider.

By the way, I'm not sure whether its called "Chinri" or "Chingri", cause both sounds same from tribal people, when they speak.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Bandarban: Expedition Rumana, Day-2

Continuation from Day-1

Tuesday, 14th September 2010

I didn't have a sound sleep last night. But the amount of sleep I got is handy enough considering the situation. I think it was around 5:00 at morning, and I was feeling something moving near my head. Just lifted my head a bit, and found a large frog just sitting beside my head. I got surprised that it was not moving, possible it was with me at whole night. But you know, its kind of odd to keep such a company when you know it's existence. So I just grabbed my unwanted friend and dumped under through the chasm of my bed.

Everybody was tired yesterday due to incessant journey, and last night we were anxious about waking up at early morning. But you know, it was a tribal shop(extension of tea stall), the owner came at early morning, and started to open up the windows(kind of fence at the middle of wall), and we had nothing to do but wake up. It was 5:30 when everybody of us wake up at morning.

Now its time to freshen up. I didn't find any lavatory around the place. So along with my other mates, I had to find a safe place inside the jungle. When you are at open air, you have to complete this kind of tasks before the sun lights are on. Otherwise you may encounter an embarrassing situation.

I have dressed up quickly to ensure that I'm not the one for whom the whole team having a late. There is no breakfast today. We bought some biscuit(Bela Biscuit) from the shop. My teammates were enjoying the biscuit with the red tea. I don't like tea, so I was having my biscuits with water.

It was a team for 14 people, but today two of us leaved for Dhaka from Boga Mukh Para. Rest of us started for Boga lake, and it was around 6 to 6:30 at morning. It had a mild rain last night, and we were lucky, cause the path would be worse if any heavy rain. At the same time we were unlucky, cause we missed the maximum beauty.

Today's path was a bit harder than last day. We had to cross some narrow passages, walked over the rocks several times. At some places some of our members needed some help to move forward. Around few hours later we have reached at the first waterfall, Patang Jhiri. We got a long break here for relaxing and enjoying the beauty. You can read more about the place from other article. We had some biscuits here to recharge the energy. Each of the member from the team was cautious about dropping any plastic packets around. None of us wanted to impure the place by those.

Towards Boga lake

After this long break, we had to move for Boga Lake. The Jhiri over the rocks was too much difficult for my standard. I was too much careful during planting each of my steps. Also this time the trek was moving upwards too. Slippy road required an extra care, and the upwards hiking required an extra energy. But still, one of our mate got slipped over the hard rock, and his head directly stroke over the rock. But we were lucky to escape that with almost no cost.

There was a small hill at our path, and for the first time we had to climb such a large one today. Every single member from our team needed a break when we reached at the top. There were several places where the landslides found due to rain. We have crossed those carefully. Some of us needed a hand to pass those places. Partho was one of them, he has some kind of height fobia.

Boga lake, clouds are at far side

When we have reached at boga lake, it was around 12, I think. It was raining slightly. At the far side, We have found some clouds were flying over the houses. Before entering the boga lake para, we had a team meeting for 'staying at boga lake'. Our initial plan was to stay at Boga Lake at second day. But its after Eid, and numerous number of tourists came here, and most of those people are here without any house right now due to heavy rush.

So we decided not to stay here. But we can have our lunch here easily. We have ordered our lunch here, and by that time I have jumped inside the boga lake along with few mates. You know I like water, and like to swim, so for the second time today, I was inside the water. I think we were only 4 who enjoyed the bath at boga lake. Others were resting, and taking care of their injured part of the body, specially feet.

When the lunch was prepared, our eyes were shining like anything. I was so hungry, and was eating blindly. It was a same situation for the others. But the most expert trekker from our team warned us for not taking heavy lunch. Cause our next destination was "Darjiling Para", and it will be continuously upwards journey. So if you had too much lunch, it will be difficult for you. Think again, I was hungry, but I couldn't have too much.

After lunch, we have got more rest. Cause most of our team members were taking care for their feet. Some got cramps, me and some others got blister at feet due to friction with boots. Honestly, I was having problem of walking with those large bladders(blisters) at my thumbs. Still had to put on those boots over my feet once again, and ready for next waling.

During our trekking, we have enjoyed this kind of beauty at every seconds.

I think it was around 3:00 when we were about to leave the Boga lake. First hour from boga lake was easy. But rest of the path was continuously upwards, and it demanded the last drop of energy from my body. When I was moving upwards, my muscles from leg used to rigid, and begged for a rest from me. I'm not habituated for doing these. Some of us were having problem for breathing, cause we were moving faster.

Most of the team members were ahead of me(I was snapping, and that made me slower). I was walking alone most of the paths, it was a straight forward one. Rajib and Partho was having problem with walking. Also Midul was injured and I was walking with him. He was a good company for the rest of the walking today.

Boga Lake from far

Just before the sunset, we have reached at the Darjiling Para, where the others were waiting for us. We joined with them, and waiting for rest of the members to reach here. By this time we had tons of biscuit and water from the nearby shop. When rest of the members joined, it was almost dark.

We had to manage a house from "Karbari" of "Darjiling Para", but it was too small to hold all of us, nothing to do. Before sleeping, my mates prepared a dinner. Today it was plain rice with "steamed papaya". Not that much tasty, but everyone was hungry.

Darjiling Para is a village where you can find the clouds around. For this reason, during night, it will give you a feeling of winter. The wind was chilling. Even at night you can see the clouds when those are passing by you.

For tonight, I have decided myself to sleep over the bench. It was 4 feet long I think, but somehow I have managed myself to sleep over there.

Click here to read Day-3

Monday, September 27, 2010

Bandarban: Keokaradong, a three thousander from Bangladesh

Wednesday, 15th September 2010

On the way of Keokaradong

Bangladesh is not renowned for the tallest mountains if we compare this with rest of the world. There are very few mountain peaks which are having more than 3000 feet of height. Keokaradong is one of those, and now a days its a popular destination for "easy path" mountain lovers.

Our Bangladesh government claimed the height of keokaradong is around 4000 feet wrongfully and still now they didn't changed that. Even the district commissioner's website of Bandarban has the wrong information. Common people are reading those wrong information, and trust those like anything. If you have a GPS device, you can measure that yourself, it will be around 3170 feet with little tolerances.

Last night I was at Darjiling para, and moved for Keokaradong at the early morning. When I was at the peak, it was covered with thick cloud, and hardly possible to see anything through. The weather was chilling and loved to pass some time around there. I would love to stay for much longer there, but I had a long destination ahead, need some long walk. So leaved the place, and moved for next village ahead.

I have captured the some clips when I have arrived at early morning. Also I had to return back through the same path two days later, and captured few more that time. Compiled the clips from both days, and uploaded to Youtube. Take your time to enjoy the video. Thank you.

Bandarban: Our Boga Lake at September

I have visited this place before, and each time and season this greatest lake from Bangladesh will give you different a excitement. This lake is situated around 1200 feet of altitude from sea level. But Bangladesh government announced this as 3000 feet at their all official documents. Which made other people to believe this wrong information.

During my six days of expedition, I have to visit this place twice this time. One when I was towards the destination, and again when I was returning home. I have enjoyed the rain here. Enjoyed the sun going down, enjoyed how the beauty is when the sun is about to rise.

I have captured some video clips during my stay. I have arranged a video after merging all of those. Hope you'll like the video.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Patang Jhiri Waterfall, Bandarban

Tuesday, 14th September 2010

If you are a trekker from Bangladesh, then you are already familiar with the "Jiri Poth". Its a walking path where you have to walk through the water streams which are coming from the top of the hill. The water level is very low here. Most of the cases an average of 1 feet or less. But some places from the "Jhiri" are having very deep water level.

During my 6 days trekking at Bandarban, our team was trekking towards Boga Lake using "Jhiri Path". Around 1.5 hours before the Boga Lake, you'll find a place having a small water fall. But the surround environment, and the architecture of the waterfall made this extraordinary. This is called "Patang Jhiri Waterfall".

There are several areas under the waterfall where the water gathers, and made those a natural bathtub. The main one, where the water dropping directly, having no depth found so far. Many people tried, but couldn't find the depth. The teal colored crystal water from the basin is really something. It will be hard for you to leave the place.

We have taken around an hour of break at that place. After capturing the pictures and videos, I have thrown my body for a natural cold massage from the water stream. Along with me, my teammates enjoyed the bath, and the break at that place.

At dry season, its very difficult to reach at the top of the waterfall from where its coming. And its rainy season, its almost impossible. Few from my team have climbed to the top during dry season, and stayed there for a night. There is another small waterfall exist at the top, according to them. Tourists are so far, not even the local people used to climb at top over the rocks.

Rumanapara Waterfall, Bandarban

Wednesday, 15th September 2010

Rumana Para, a tribal village is located at the source of "Ruma Khal". You'll find plenty of very small(3-5 feet tall) waterfalls around. Most nearest is a twin waterfall. It has no name. Since its near to the Rumana Para, lets call it Rumanapara Waterfall. If you are blessed with few days of staying at Rumana Para, then you can easily have a bath there. Local village people use this waterfall area for their washing and bath.

There is a small water basin beneath falls. I had my bath there, and swam at that tiny water pot. It was lovely to sunk myself inside that cold water. To get near the waterfall, you have to get down around 30-40 feet from the main walking road. Its a narrow path, and if its rainy season, it will be a bit hard to get down.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Bandarban: Expedition Rumana, Day-1

Monday, 13th September 2010

Dhaka to Bandarban

Last night around 11:30, a band of 12 adventurous people(other two joined from Chittagong and Bandarban town, total 14), including me, leaved Dhaka by Dolphin bus service for Bandarban. We'll do lots of trekking and exploring at remote areas from Bandarban Hill Tracks. All of the members from the team were unknown to me until yesterday, not now. This expedition was arranged by "Dway Expeditors". It will be a 6 days of trekking, and our final destination is "Rumana Para". Keokaradong will be on our path at forth coming days.

Today is day one. We have reached at Bandarban town by around 6:30. Its too early to reach the town. Our next destination is "Koikkhong Jhiri", the first bus for that place will start at around 9. So from the bus stand we have started a short walk(a warm up too) for the "Chander Gari" bus stand. Its only 10 minutes of walking distance.

Bandarban To Ruma Bazar

Since this is just after Eid, here we have found numerous number of tourists, and most of them are eagerly waiting for Bogalake. We have entered inside a small shop for breakfast. Still around 1.5 hours left to start the first bus or "chander gari". Some of the tourist paid highly to the land cruiser drivers for the lift. They were not interested to waste a second here.

But we had no options. We have bought 14 tickets, each of costing 70 taka. Get inside the bus, though its plenty of time left before starting. Also other tourists are getting inside. Since the bus is fully loaded, people started chaos, they want the bus to start early. Finally we won. It started at 8:30. Small bus, and very congested, it was hard for me to sit inside. I was wondering how could I pass 2.5 hours here.

I have traveled through this road before. Wonderful, but today, it was a bit risky. A mild rain just occurred at last night, lots of places from the road are damaged a bit. When the bus was crossing over a muddy road, it was giving a feel that it will felt down from road. The wheels of the bus stuck over mud several times. Lots of people was at the top of the bus, and they were scared as well as me. Once or twice the bus swerved dangerously.

Around 11:30 we have reached at the "Koikkhon Jhiri" bazar. Now we have to ride engine boat to reach at Ruma Bazar. Once again, plenty of people are waiting at the doc of river Shangu. When the first boat reached here from Ruma, we couldn't get inside due to heavy rush from people. So, we waited for next one, and it will come around 1 hour later. By this time we had some "Shingara" and "Peyaji".

Bank of river Shangu

When the next boat arrived, people ride on board, and all of them were standing at queue, so that first came people served first. Morning was a bit gloomy, but now its terribly bright and hot. I was at the top of the board. Enjoying the beauty of nature and the heat from sun. Around 2:00 the boat reached at Ruma Bazar.

Most of the team members were hungry. So entered a restaurant for lunch. I had some prawn curry and others had chicken. It wasn't tasty, but we have to do lots of hard work in front, so no choice. I was wearing Jeans, and changed my dresses. I had a track suit inside my back, and put on that for more comfort during walk.

Ruma bazar to Boga Mukh Para

Ruma Canal(Ruma Khal)

Around 4:00 we have started for "Boga Mukh Para", where we'll stay for our night. We were using the "Jhiri Path" for our trekking. Initially we had to cross the "Ruma Khal" several times, cause the road meandered through the Ruma canal. Since last night had a mild rain, the water level from the canal is a bit high today. 2-2.5 ft on average.

Our team crossing the Ruma khal, We did this several times today

When we were at half way for Boga mukh para, the sun gone down. Some of us were using torch, but I was reluctant to use that. I wanted to adjust my eyes with the darkness. Around 8:00, we have reached at Boga Mukh para. There are two villages at here, one is "Marma Para" and another is "Tripura Para", not sure which one is this. May be its a "Bawm Para".

Dumped my bags inside the house, put off my boots to relief my feet, and removed my dresses, and put on a "gamchha", and jumped inside the "Ruma khal" for a night time shower. I have removed my last cloth from my body, and enjoyed a shower with a naked body under the darkness. It was amazing.

View of ruma khal from the house, where we stayed our night

At night, few of us prepared "khichuri" for dinner, with Eggs. After dinner, its time to sleep. The house is actually a tea stall. So its hard to sleep for too many people. I had managed myself to sleep at 1 ft wide space, and used my bag as pillow. Just beside the house, Ruma Khal is flowing, the whole night it was making sweet sound, like a waterfall. I was in heaven though was having problem for sleep.

Next one will be available at "Part-2".

Friday, September 10, 2010

Places of Interest, district Rangamati

Rangamati is one of the most beautiful district from Bangladesh. This the largest district according to the area. Also this district is based on a lake that was made around 1960. If you see the map of the district, you'll find most of the portion of it water, means the lake.

The main ethnicity of the district is "Chakma". Also some Bengali and other tribal people used to live there. If you visit this district, you can buy some local products from here, for example the hand made products for household works, cloths made from local hand-loom.

Popular locations for visit:

If you are planning to visit the Rangamati district, you can check the "places of interest", or "must see", or "tourist spot" items from the link Also if you visited any other places from Rangamati, that is not listed at my link, that case you can add that here as comment.

Where to Stay:

There are several quality hotels from the district. "Parjatan Motel" is the best. But to get a room from there, you have to contact them around 4/5 days of your arrival. Also there is other hotels "Sufia", "Green Castle" available. You can pick any of those. I have stayed at "Hotel Sufia". I was in a Non AC room to save my bucks, and it cost 450 taka per night. Below is the detail contact information.

Cell: 01553409149
Phone: 0351-62145, 0351-61174
Hotel Sufia, Fishery Ghat, Kathaltoli, Rangamati

How to reach:

There are several ways to reach at Rangamati. The best available bus service is Hanif, Unique, Soudia, etc. The cost is around 340 taka per person. It will take around 7-8 hours to reach at the town from Dhaka. There is no AC bus service for Rangamati(except Shamoly, only one AC bus per day).

Also you can Use the bus for Dhaka-Chittagong, and from Chittagong you can take bus for Rangamati. But I'll suggest you the direct Dhaka-Rangamati bus. This will be much easier.

Natural Beauties from Rangamati

Once again another weekend, and this time my destination was Rangamati. 7th and 8th August of 2010, Saturday and Sunday, I have enjoyed totally at Rangamati. This district is blessed with beauty. Also the lake that was made during 1960 added an extra value.

You can not think the district without the lake. Almost 80% of the district is the lake. Also for your information, this is the largest district according to the area. Majority of the people are Chakma, but you can find lots of Bengali people, and other tribal people here.

There are lots of things to see from the district. I have added some photos from the district. Hope you'll like these.