Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sylhet: River Cruise and Lala Khal

Sunday, 25th July 2010

I was at my second day during Sylhet. I was doing dilly-dally about whether visit the Jaflong, or the Lalakhal. Or, return back to Dhaka. But finally I have decided to visit the Lalakhal. This place is most beautiful during winter. But the rainy season will give you a different beauty. Specially the lush green from the bank of the river.

Lala khal is a remote place from the modern locality. You have no option but hire a boat run by ordinary engines. To reach the lala khal, you have several options, but I have chosen the place "Shari Ghat".

Got a bus from the Upashahar Bus Terminal. This bus will take you Jointa and Jaflong. But you don't need to go that much far. Before Jainta, there is a stoppage named "Sharighat". It will cost you 34 taka and around 40 minutes to reach.

From shari ghat, you have to hire the boat. You can hire the entire boat, or share the boat with people. Choice is yours. I have talked with the boat man, and he demanded 600 taka for the round trip. But you know, I didn't agree with him. I have got on the board with the local people. There were around 12 people at the boat.

The river name is Shari. This is originated from the mountains of Assam, India, like many other rivers of Bangladesh. At the very beginning of the journey, i mean from the boat stoppage, the water color is sweet green. My mind was flying about wondering the beauty that is waiting ahead.

The boat used to run very slowly, and I came to know it will take around 45 minutes to reach the Lala Khal. There are lots of water vehicles runs over the river Shari. Most of them are caring the sands, small stones, which are queried from the border part of the Bangladesh/India.

During the path of my journey, I have observed the mountains from the Meghalaya. Those are lovely to see from the middle of the river. Sometimes the clouds are flying over the mountains. From the far side, the mountains are looking blackish green.

It was around 1:30 at day, and its the bath time for the villagers. I have found lots of men and women were taking bath at the beautiful river of the water. By the way, the more I was heading towards the Lala Khal, the more the water color becoming more clear and deep.

There are some places where the water from the "Haor" of our country joined with the river water. The water of the Haor is really muddy, and you can easily distinguished the difference between the two water color. I wonder what made the water of the river so green.

The banks of the river is not that much high. But well enough to get the beauty of mountains. Also there are several places beside the river where it seems like a play ground, and local kids used to play there. I found some boys were playing football over the green field.

There are very small amount of fishermen I have seen during my voyage. I wonder why the local people are not fishermen as the river is noticeably vast and may contain plenty of fishes. May the people found other types of work more interesting or much easier than fishing.

After around 45 minutes of journey, I have finally reached the Lalakhal Ghat. It took only 20 taka for the boat ride. Now the main enjoyment started for me. When everyone got down from the boat, I just hired the boat for 150 taka per hour after an extreme bargain. You know, it was only boat at the "ghat", otherwise I might do more bargain.

I have asked the boatman to ride my boat to the place where Bangladesh is one side, and the India at the other side. He just obeyed my order, and started moving. It was a lovely experience cause you are now through a trans-passing river. Half from Bangladesh, and Half from India.

There is a place called "Bagh Chhori", its the last border of Bangladesh. At that point, the whole river portion is under the India, so it was not possible to cross the river with the boat. But after that point again the river started to share both countries. But I didn't dare to go after that point.

Turned back my boat, and started to return the Lala Khal ghat. The water of the river at that point is a bit sandy. Being rainy season, the water is really deep from river, while during winter, the river is around 2 feet depth an average.

If you are hungry, you can have your lunch from Lalakhal Ghat. The hotels are very small, but they used to provide "Akhni" a local Sylheti dish for the tourist. I didn't have time in fact, otherwise I like that dish. Just bought few bottles of water, and soft drinks for the rest of the journey.

When I was about to get on the boat, the rain just started mildly. It was awesome, you know the rain, and you are doing a river cruise, with a small boat, and you are alone like a King at the boat with the boatman. The rain sustained for around 10 minutes, and after that once again the sunny sky.

So far, I have found the water color from the river are green, blue, and muddy(regular color). Some places have clean water, some are a bit dull due to the leafs from the trees. Some places have colorless water. I loved this variation throughout my journey.

Another interesting thing was when a large goods caring water vehicles was passing by the boat. Those used to create a prominent size of waves over the river, and it made my boat used to jump up and down for that. It was a nice feeling. You know I know swimming very well, so I don't fear the river or water. Make sure you have the life jacket when you are doing like that.

It was a reserved boat during the return trip. But the people from the river bank didn't know that. They used to raise their hand, so that the boatman can pick them. But they were disappointing this time. You can only move using boat, and whatever the hurry, you have to incur time for reaching from one place to another.

There are several Tea garden, and some Orange garden over the place. I didn't show any interest to visit those. I didn't visit any Orange garden before, but I only want to visit it during winter season, not at rainy. And for the tea garden, I have seen many during past.

It was kind of painful when I had to get down from the boat after concluding my expedition. The place is really enchanting and I can bet you, the feelings will be same for you too. Its not far from the Sylhet, and not too many tourist used to visit this place, so you can take the chance to visit during any weekend. Good luck.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Moulovibazar: Madhabkunda waterfall during rainy season

Saturday, 24th July 2010

Once again, keeping the promise. Back to the Madhabkunda waterfall once again, and its rainy season. Last time I was there during spring, and it was hardly any water from the fall. My experience during rainy is here

I have started my journey from Sylhet town, and took a bus "Birotihin" from Upashar Bas Terminal. You have to ask for the bus of "Borolekha". For your information, the bus used to leave the terminal at the start of every hour. So make sure you are on time. Also there is no bus from 11 to 3 at afternoon. The bus journey is around 2 hours.

From Borolekha Bazar, you have to take CNG Auto Rickshaw, it will cost around 150-170 taka if you do some bargain. It will take around 45 minutes to reach at the Madhabkunda Echo Park gate. You have to buy a ticket for 10 taka, and then need to walk for 15 minutes to find the sign of the waterfall. There is a watch tower in front of the fall. It will be wise if you get at the top of the tower to enjoy the full beauty of the waterfall.

The amount of water during rainy season is massive. It seems like a bolt from the Norse God Thor is falling at the bottom of the fall. Also if you are lucky, and its raining, then you will find multiple of water streams are dropping from the top of the waterfall.

During the rainy season, you are not allowed to get at the bottom of the fall. First reason is, the force of the water will simple kill you. Second reason is the stones are falling with water sometimes. Police and other security people are always patrolling the waterfall so that you don't make any nonsense.

Also, if you have any wish to get at the top of the Madhabkunda waterfall during rainy, just forget that. Firstly its almost impossible. Secondly police will catch you for breaking rules. So careful my friend.

I have uploaded several videos related with Madhabkunda Waterfall. If you are interested, then browse my profile, and search for "Madhabkunda Waterfall". Here is one of the video I have embedded for you.

So... get your bags ready, and run for the waterfall before the rainy is over. Trust me, the sound of the waterfall is really amazing. You can hear the sound from a long distance.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Moulovivazar: Porikunda Waterfall during rainy Season

Saturday, 24th July 2010

During my "Waterfall expedition" from Bangladesh throughout the rainy season, I was at Madhabkunda of Moulovibazar. Most of the people from my country used to visit the waterfalls during the dry season, and they found these are not that much interesting places for visiting.

Today I'm talking about the "Porikunda Waterfall". I'm pretty sure that you didn't heard the name. Also, you might be the one who already have visited the Madhabkunda waterfalls, but still you don't know there is another waterfall inside the "Madhabkunda Echo Park".

Porikunda falls is just before the Madhabkunda falls. But its a bit inside from the main path towards the Madhabkunda falls. Thats why you missed this one. Also another reason, during dry season, this falls used to keep dormant. Its only alive during rainy.

If you find its difficult to locate the Porikunda falls, just ask anyone who are working inside the echo park. They will show you the path. You have to walk through the slippy path over the stream of the waterfalls. Also you can't skip to get your dresses are wet. Finally be careful, cause any momment you can get slipped, and get yourself hurt.

From my perspective, this waterfall is more beautiful from the main one, the Madhabkunda falls. I think its for the silent(except drops of water). People don't used to come there(cause they don't know). No chaos from the other tourists(which is availabe near the Madhabkunda falls).

Porikunda falls is much taller, and the amount of water is not that much great, but it used to spead its water over the stones when falling down. And that just gave an outstanding beauty to the waterfalls.

You might have known that you are not allowed to get under the Madhabkunda waterfalls, but you can get under of it. Also, its almost no crowed here. So don't miss you chance to visit the waterfall Porikunda. And once again, remember, its only available during rainy season.

If you want to go there, you have to come at "BoroLekha" of Moulovibazar district. From there you can easily come to the waterfall using directions from road. Most of the people used to visit the place using microbus, or private car. But if you are traveling like me, then take a CNG Auto Rickshaw for 150-170 taka for the lift at Madhabkunda Echo Park.

I have uploaded several videos related with Porikunda Waterfalls. If you are interested to watch some videos please browse the link and search there using "Porikunda Waterfalls". I have embedded a video here, there are another 6 videos available at my youtube account.