Bandarban: The Unique Hills and Tribals City:
Bandarban is a district in South-Eastern Bangladesh, and a part of the Chittagong Division and Chittagong Hill Tracts. Bandarban is regarded as one of the most attractive travel destinations in Bangladesh. Bandarban (meaning the dam of monkeys), or in Marma or Arakanese language as “Rwa-daw Mro” is also known as Arvumi or the Bohmong Circle (of the rest of the three hill districts Rangamati is the Chakma Circle and Khagrachari is the Mong Circle). Bandarban town is the home town of the Bohmong Chief (currently King, or Raja, Aung Shwe Prue Chowdhury) who is the head of the Marma population. It also is the administrative headquarter of Bandarban district, which has turned into one of the most exotic tourist attractions in Bangladesh since the insurgency in Chittagong Hill Tracts has ceased more than a decade back.
One of the three hill districts of Bangladesh and a part of the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bandarban (4,479 km²) is not only the remotest district of the country, but also is the least populated (population 292,900) one. The three highest peak of Bangladesh – Tahjindong (1280 meters, also known as bijoy), Mowdok Mual (1052 m), and Keokradong (1230 m)– are located in Bandarban district, as well as Raikhiang Lake, the highest lake in Bangladesh. Chimbuk peak and Boga Lake are two more highly noted features of the district. The newly reported highest peak of Bangladesh – Saka Haphong (3488 ft) is also here in Thanchi upazila.
In the early days of 15th century, the Arakanese kingdom, where Mrauk U was the capital, expended its territories to the Chittagong area of Bengal. After the victory of Arakan on Burma’s Pegu kingdom in 1599 AD, the Arakanese king Mong Raja Gree appointed a Prince of Pegu as the governor of newly established Bohmong Htaung (Circle) by giving the title of “Bohmong” Raja. That area was mostly populated by the Arakanese descendants and ruled by the Burmese (Myanmar) noble descendants who started to call themselves in Arakanese language as Marma. Marma is an archaic Arakanese pronunciation for Myanmar. As the population of the Bohmong Htaung were of Arakanese descandants, these Myanmar-descendants Bohmong chiefs (Rajas) of the ruling class took the titles in Arakanese and speak a dialect of the Arakanese language.
Bandarban Hill District was once called Bohmong Htaung since the Arakanese rule. Once Bohmong Htaung was ruled by Bohmong Rajas who were the subordinates to the Arakanese kings. Ancestors of the present Bohmong dynasty were the successor of the Pegu King of Burma under Arakan’s rule in Chittagong. In 1614, King Mong Kha Maung, the king of Arakan appointed Maung Saw Pru as Governor of Chittagong who in 1620 repulsed the Portuguese invasion with great valour. As a consequence, Arakanese king, Mong Kha Maung adorned Maung Saw Pru with a title of Bohmong meaning Great General. After the death of Maung Saw Pru two successors retained Bohmong title. During the time of Bohmong Hari Gneo in 1710, Arakanese King Canda Wizaya recaptured Chittagong from the Mughals. Bohmong Hari Gneo helped King Canda Wizaya in recapturing Chittagong and as a mark of gratitude the later conferred on Bohmong Hari Gneo the grand title of Bohmong Gree which means great Commander in Chief.
Tourism in Bandarban:
Bandarban is one of untouched hill tract and tribal cultural based destination in Bangladesh under Chittagong district. By bus eight hours away from Dhaka, two hours from Chittagong and three hours from Cox’s Bazaar. It is also possible to get there by a six hour bus ride from Rangamati.The Buddha Dhatu Jadi, the largest Buddhist temple in Bangladesh, located in Balaghata, 4 km from the town. This place attracts many tourists every year. This Theravada Buddhist temple is made completely in the style of South-East Asia and houses the second largest statue of Buddha in Bangladesh. The waterfall named Shoilo Propat at Milanchari is another place tourists like to visit.
The numerous Buddhist temples, known as kyang in local tongue, and bhihars in the town include the highly notable the Rajvihar (royal vihar) at Jadipara and the Ujanipara Bhihar. Bawm villages around Chimbuk, and Mru villages a little further off, are also lie within a day’s journey from the town. Prantik Lake, Jibannagar and Kyachlong Lake are some more places of interest. Boat ride on the river Sangu is one of the main attraction here for tourists.
Main Tourist Spots in Bandarban, Bangladesh:
Boga Lake is the most beautiful natural lake in Bangladesh. It is also known as Bagakain Lake or Baga Lake. Boga lake is 18 kilometer away from Ruma Sadar Upozilla in Bandarban. The area of this lake is about 15 acres. It is about 3000 feet above sea level. The color of water of this lake is blue and very nice. There are many mythological stories behind the creation of this lake. There are many tourists make their way to Boga lake every year, specially in the winter season. Small tribe community like Bawm, Khumi have localities besides the Boga lake. In the rainy season,it is quite difficult to stroll beside the boga lake. The road from Ruma to Boga lake is still under construction. There waiting lots of pleasure and delight for you at Boga lake. You will definitely be amazed looking at the big rocks lying in and out of the Boga lake. You can have a camp fire beside the lake, that will be unbelievable and mind-blowing memory in your life.
The Buddha Dhatu Jadi is a Theravada Buddhist temple also known as the Bandarban Golden Temple. The Buddha Dhatu Jadi is located at Pulpara 4 kilometer from Balaghata town and 10 kilometer from in the remote Bandarban hill district, in Bangladesh. The Bandarban Golden Temple is the largest Theravada Buddhist Temple with the second largest Buddha statue in Bangladesh.
The Buddhist temple is known in local language as kyang. The Buddha Dhatu Jadi is regarded as one of the holy site for Theravada Buddhism followers and Buddhist pilgrims. This religion is practiced by the Marma or Mogh tribal group of the Chittagong Hill Tracts, a dominant ethnic group in Bandarban. They are of Arakan descent and Buddhists by religion.
The temple is situated in the hill town of Bandarban, which has two of the highest peaks hills, the Tajingdong (4,000 feet or 1,200 meters) and the Keokaradong (4,632 feet or 1,412 meters) covered with dense forests. Sangu river flows through the town. There is a waterfall nearby. The temple is built on top of a (200 feet or 60 meters) high hill. Construction of the temple started in 1995 and was complete in 2000.
The Buddha Dhatu Jadi temple attracts pilgrims and visitors in all over the world. The Buddha Dhatu Jadi is a part of the Buddhist Circuit Tour promoted by the South Asia Sub regional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Tourism Development Project. There is small pond in the temple named “The Pond of Angels” on the top of a hill. Traveler or tourist can see a total glance of Balaghata and its surrounding natural beauties from here. Many festival is arranged here in every year.
Chimbuk hill is the third highest mountain in Bangladesh. Chimbuk is one of the most familiar tourist spot in Bandarban. It is just 26 kilometer away from Bandarban sadar. Chimbuk hill is about 2500 feet high above sea level. The road of this area is zigzag. So if you ride in a jeep it will be charming. While your jeep is moving through the various indigenous villages, their simplicity in human gestures will compel you to think about our predecessors struggles to cope with to maintain existence. They are as simple as nature. However when you are looking down from Chimbuk, it will get you the feelings of floating over the clouds. When it is a shiny day, you can see the shades of clouds over the hills. The huge horizon of zigzag hills seem waves of a see. You will also see the beauty of Chimbuk and Nilgiri.
Keokradong is the second highest mountain of Bangladesh. Keokradong is about 4,035 ft (1,230 meters) high from the sea level. It is situated in 30km away from the Ruma sadar upazilla of Bandarban in Bangladesh. This remote area is full of natural beauty. Here you can see many small and big mountains and hills. This area is covered with dense forests, birds and animals.
Keokradong Mountain is located on the border between Bangladesh and Myanmar. It is the place of surprising beauty. This natural beauty is surely attracts the mind of the adventurous people. In the winter season many adventurous tourist visit this place with great excitement. You will pleased with the dazzling beauty of green hill, cool fountains, zigzag path, hilly road side, hide and seek game of clouds on the top of the hill.
Meghla Parjatan Complex is the most amazing tourist or visited spot for the tourists coming from all over the country. Meghla is in the contiguous area of the Bandarban hill district council on the gateway of Bandarban maintained by district administration. It is 4 km from the town on the road to Keranihat, which features a mini-safari-park, a zoo, boat journey, a hanging bridge and at the bottom of the hills artificial lake has been made. It is a popular place for picnic party. A lot of tourist makes the way to Meghla for celebrating their vacations.
There is another beautiful place to see near Meghla is called Nilachal also maintained by district administration. it is known as tiger hill. The view of Nilachal is so spectacular for snapping.
Nilachal is the nearest tourist spot from Bandarban. It is situated at Tigerpara. It is near about 2000 feet above of sea level and 5 kilometer away from the Bandarban town. From here visitor can see the total glance of Bandarban town and a vast landscape. In the rainy season visitor can be thrilled walking through the clouds. Visitor can watch a golden twilight in the evening and also enjoy an evergreen moonlight in the moonlit night. During the winter season, it is awesome at the foggy morning. On the way to Nilachal, visitor can see some tribe villages with their raw natural expression.
Mirinja tourist spot (Parjatan complex) is situated at Lama upazilla of Bandarban district in Bangladesh. It is wonderful tourist spot in Lama. It is about 1500 feet high from sea level. In good weather, you can view Maheskhali Island, Bay of Bengal, Matamuhuri River and Lama upazilla at a glance. Parjatan Corporation developed an attractive tourist spot in that area. There is an observation tower in this spot.
Nafakhum is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Bangladesh and an excellent place to travel. Every traveler should have a tour plan to visit this beautiful tourism spot of Bandarban at least once and then they will feel to visit that travel spot again and again.Location and Map of Nafakum, Bandarban-Nafakhum is situated on the wild hilly Sangu River at a remote area called Remakri of Thanchi upazilla under Bandarban Hill District in Bangladesh. Nafakhum is also known as Remakri waterfall. It is among the largest waterfalls in Bangladesh by volume of water falling.
Nilgiri or Nil Giri is one of the tallest peaks and beautiful tourist spot in Bangladesh. It is about 3500 feet high and situated at Thanci Thana. It is about 46 km south of Bandarban on the Bandarban-Chimbuk-Thanchi road. Beside this spot you can see Mro villages. Their colorful culture and living style are surely an unexplored experience for the visitors. In rainy season here creates a spectacular scenery, the whole spot is covered with the blanket of clouds. You can enjoy a cloudy experience. Winter is waiting for you with it’s foggy gesture on the height. It is a nice place for campfire in that season. Most attractive time is the dawn. It is better if you chose to stay during 7-18 dates of a lunar month to enjoy the moonlit night. You can also enjoy the serpentine course of Sangu River. This is the most spectacular tourist spot in Bandarban and managed by Army brigade of Bandarban.
Rijuk Waterfall (Rijuk Jhorna) is located at Ruma upazilla of Bandarban. The water is continuously falls into the river Sangu from about 300 feet high hill with beautiful sound throughout the year and this water is shiny like pearl particles in the space creating a unique beauty of nature. This lake is surrounded by many kinds of plant and underwood. You can go there any time but during the rainy season you will see the most attractive glance of this fall. This awesome place will make you the most naturalistic and very close to your heart. Rijuk waterfall is located at Ruma upazilla of Bandarban in Bangladesh. It is 66 kilometer southeast from Bandarban town.
Sangu River is the complete part of the natural beauty of Bandarban. It follows a northerly circuitous course in the hill tracts up to Bandarban. It enters the district from the east and flows west across the district and finally falls into the bay of Bengal at the end of a course of 270 km. This river is flowing through the hills thousands of years. It is an important route to communicate with Ruma and Thanci Upozilla. It has huge financial interests for the population of Bandarban. This river is widely used for transportation, agricultural and other necessary products for the people of remote community. In the winter season the current of the river almost becomes stagnant but in the rainy season the current becomes aggressive. Visitor must be attract with the beautification scattered on the both sides of it. You can find here hills, forests, falls with a river together. All the way you will be thrilled only and it is simply amazing.
The waterfall named Shoilo Propat or Shoylo Propat at Milanchari, 4 km from the town on the road to Thanchi, is also excellent site maintained by Bangladesh Parjatan, the national tourism promotion corporation. The Parjatan Motel is not a small thing at all. It has a huge three-storey building on a high place. The room rent here a little high compared to other places The site maintained by the District Administration is Meghla, 4 km from the town on the road to Keranihat, which features a mini-safari-park, a zoo, and a hanging bridge. The District Administration has also developed the Nilachal tourist site near Meghla, in Tigerpara.
Shoilo Propat is one of the most famous and visited natural fall in Bangladesh. During the rainy season the flow of this fall becomes vigorous. The water of this fall is so cool and transparent Near the Shoilo Propat there has grown up two or three village for the availability of water. It is a good source for drinking water and household use for the local community.
There is a small market near the Shoilo Propat for trade local peoples handicrafts, handloom products and food. Visitor can closely see the struggling lifestyle of this region community.
Upabon Parjatan is another beautiful tourist spot in Bandarban at Naikhongchari. It is wonderful gift of nature. Here is an amazing lake surrounded by forest.
A lot of birds are singing here and you will surely be amazed looking at the big rocks and surrounding natural scene. There is a hanging bridge over the lake and it is longer than the Meghla hanging bridge. The view of Upobon is so spectacular for snapping. Upabon Parjatan complex is located at Nikhongchari Upazilla of Bandarban district in Bangladesh. Upabon Parjatan complex is just 2 Kilometer away from Nikhongchori Upazilla sadar.
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