Tanguar Haor : Unique itself (part – II)

Tanguar haor exhibits a unique wetland ecosystem. Realizing its importance in national and global environmental perspective some steps have been taken to preserve it.

It has been declared as the Ecologically Critical area in 1999 by the Bangladesh Government. It has been marked as a ramsar site under the Ramsar convention of 2000.But all these protective measures will result into failure if we do not become conscious about restoring it and its wildlife.

Travelling:

Your modes of travel will depend on the time you choose to travel the haor. During dry season many of the wetland dries up. If you go there in summer, first you have to take a boat from Sunamganj town’s Shaheb bari ghat and reach the other side. From there the next destination is Sripur bazaar or Damper bazaar. It will take about 2 hours to reach there by motorcycle or car and may cost about 200 taka. From Damper bazaar boats are available for taking a ride through the Tanguar haor. These boats usually cost in between 300-400 taka.

If you are interested to visit Tanguar haor in the rainy season. It is even easier. You can reach Tanguar Haor directly from town ghat (Shaheb bari ghat) either by engine boat or speed boat. Engine boat takes 5 hours to take you to the haor and costs about 2500 taka. While it only takes 2 hours in speed boat with a higher cost which is about 8000 taka.

Accommodation:

For night stay there is a government rest house, 3kms away from the haor. It is a rest house of the tekerghat lime crushing unit. You need to book your room in advance. No other known accommodation facility is available there.

When should you visit:

You can visit Tanguar haor at any time. But different seasons adorn this haor area with different beauty. In rainy season the whole area turns into a sea.
If you are a fan of boat journeys then monsoon is the time you should visit tanguar haor. In dry season, however, much of the area dries up. The scenic beauty of the place doesn’t decrease at all because of these events instead these changes add another degree of uniqueness to tanguar haor.

Tanguar haor is not only a magnificent place where you can peep into the nature closely but also experience the lifestyle of various animals, birds and fishes. Such an amazing place is hard to find out nowadays in any corner of the world.

Tanguar Haor : Unique itself (part – I)

Tanguar haor is one of the largest wetland areas of Bangladesh. It is bestowed with unique combination of rare animals, birds, plants and herbs.

Tanguar haor is a vast flood land situated at the north-eastern part of Bangladesh and extended over Tahirpur and Dharmapasha upazillas of Sunamganj district. It comprises of 51 wetlands which covers about 7000 acres area, 6912.20 acres to be precise. The marshes of this area are interconnected by narrow channels and during monsoon merge into a vast single water body. It then covers as much as 20,000 acres of land if the reed forests are included.

This haor area is astonishingly charming. The surrounding green forests, different flora and fauna, variety of animals and birds and the vast water bearing wetland stretching beyond the horizon create a dazzling scenario. The nature as if awaits there to overwhelm you with its charms. The khasia hill of Meghalaya province of India in the background of the haor basin adds to the beauty of the land.

Tanguar haor is the home for numerous plants and animals. A number of rare animals, fishes, birds and platns are found here along with the common ones.

It harbors 200 aquatic plants and many aquatic lives. Hijol, koroch, balua, reeds , ban tulsi and some other threatened plant species can be found here. Besides these the haor also has blue lily, helencha, pani fol, shoal, sheetol pati, shotomuli, shornolota and some more rare kinds of wetland plants. Tanguar haor provides shelter to 141 fish species, 208 bird species, 34 reptiles and 11 amphibians.

In winter thousands of migratory birds of about 98 more species fly here to take shelter. Among the birds are many globally endangered birds such as Palaces Eagle, large Grey King stork, vultures, Baikal teal, Slaty wood pecker, Red headed trogon, Pallas’s fish eagle, Mangrove whistler, Mangrove pitta, Masked finfoot ,White winged wood duck and numerous other migratory birds. Local birds pankouri, kalem, boidor, gallinule, and other variety of ducks, river gulls, stork, cranes are also seen here. As the humming sound of all these various birds combine with each other it feels like some heavenly music being played.

In the winter it provides sanctuary to almost 50-200 thousands migratory birds every year. The reason that many migratory birds flock here may be the geographical situation of the haor. The birds seen here sum up to almost half of the total bird species found in the whole Indian subcontinent. Tanguar haor provides great opportunity to watch these large number of bird species closely. This haor is like a little heaven for birdwatchers.

Tanguar haor doesn’t only provide haven for birds it acts a as mother fishery enabling many fishermen to earn their living. As a result it plays vital role in the local as well as national economy. This haor offers one crop in the marshes during winter and serves as a source of livelihood for the inhabitants of the 46 surrounding villages.

Tekerghat : where life revolves around Limestone

Bangladesh is not enriched with mineral resources. However abundance of few minerals in some regions is seen. Tekerghat is one of these regions. This place is a natural reservoir of limestone.

The limestone reserve is situated at the midst of beautiful surroundings. The hills nearby are all covered with different familiar and unfamiliar plants. The lower grounds between the hills comprise haors. Like other haors the water level increases tremendously during rainy season here. In winter the water in this wetland decreases much. When you go on top of the hills here you will be able to experience the glorious scenic beauty of the surrounding.

The natural beauty of this region is although similar to most other places of Sunamganj, has a different tone of beauty. It is mainly because of the people living here. The variety in the lifestyle of Tekerghat’s inhabitants makes this place really an interesting one.

Limestone is one of the very important ingredients of cement production. Its natural abundance in Tekerghat has lead to the establishment of lime acquiring setup here. The process is very engrossing. But more than that the effect of this limestone industry on the local people’s life seem more fascinating. The local people have a different lifestyle that completely revolves around this industry. If you get close to their way of living it will really be an amazing experience for you.

Borochora at Tekerghat is the center of coal import business. Every year coal worth some millions gets inside Bangladesh border legally through the land port from the nearby areas of India. Coal collection process of the tribal people on the other side of the hills of tekerghat is also very interesting. You can go and visit these tribal people crossing the India-Bangladesh border with permission from proper authority.

Travelling :

During rainy season waterway is the most convenient means of travelling to Tekerghat. It has direct link from town’s Shaheb bari ghat. You can either take a speed boat or an engine boat. A speed boat will take only 2 hours time and cost about 7,500-8,000 tk to reach your destination. While engine boats take about 5hours time costing 2,000 to 2,500 tk. In summer you will need both boat and motorcycle or car to go to Tekerghat. Motorcycle rent from Kheya ghat is usually around 300 tk.

Accomodation:

There is not much accommodation facility available near the lime acquiring site. In fact the only known facility is the rest house of the lime crushing unit. This is a government rest house and you need to book your room prior to visiting the place.

Tekerghat Lime crushing unit has affected the life of the local people living in this region. To know their lifestyle more closely you have no other option than to visit the place for yourself. So what are you waiting for the next vacation most probably right?

Splendid Sunamganj: part – III

Read about Sunamganj history and nature by following this link: Splendid Sunamganj: part I

If you are interested in culture, cultural festivals in Sunamganj read Splendid Sunamganj: part II

For other places to visit near Sunamganj also read Splendid Sunamganj: part II

Besides know about Hason Raja Museum at Sunamganj.

Dolura Memorial :

This memorial is standing as a witness of the respect and admiration to the martyrs of liberation war. Many battles during the liberation were fought in Sunmaganj. Dolura memorial bears evidence of these great battles.

At the feet of the hills, along the flowing river this memento is situated. Some of the martyrs of the battles fought here are buried here. In 1973 this was built to reminiscence particularly 48 of the martyrs of this region.

The calmness here will certainly fill up your mind with great purity and enhance your love for your very own country.

Narayantara Chritstian missionary :

Narayantara Christian Missionary was established with the goal to preach Christian religion among the local tribal people. They also emphasized on spreading the light of education and developing the living standard of these people. With all these objectives in view this missionary was built near Dolura , in a quiet place away from the hustling and busting of the city life. The missionary building possesses beautiful modern architectural features and includes rest house facility. It is completely surrounded by the nature, trees and forests. It is a comforting place to go if you are looking for a break from the monotony of city life.The tranquilizing ambience prevailing all around refreshes the tired mind.

Lafarge Cement Company :

It is one of the mentionable industries available in the region. As the name suggests only the related professionals may seem interested to get inside and see around this entire company area.

But the beautiful environment and magnificent natural scenery inside the company boundary can captivate even a totally uninterested about cement person’s attention.

Remnants of Raja Bijoy Singh’s palace :

It is another interesting place of Sunamganj. Raja Bijoy Singh was once ruler of this land during the 16th century. Now with his reign long gone, ruins of his palace still stand here in Tahirpur. It is a nice place for a short site seeing specially if you are into archeology.

Laurer Garh :

It is simply fascinating for its natural features. It is a border area with hills fitting in different layers, trees with different shades of green and of course a river passing by them. It is an ideal picnic spot for families, friends or tourists.

Although the Laur kingdom was once established here, nothing of that time is left to explore here anymore. For reaching such a beautiful place you can adopt a beautiful and exciting mode of transport: the water way during rainy season. In this way you can also get a magnificent view of the place from the river. It will be easy to hire a speed boat or an engine boat for the ride from Shaheb bari ghat.

Bariker Tila :

Sunamganj is blessed with green lands, hills, rivers, in simple words immense natural beauty. Bariker Tila is such a place where you will discover this beauty. It is adjacent to Tekerghat of Tahirpur. Small hills covered with green trees are the main attraction of this area Lavish greenness throughout the whole area creates a unique experience.

Sukhair kalibari temple :

Sunamganj has many temples. Among them this one is mentionable. The name Sukhair comes from the Nankar rebellion Sukhair of this region. He was one of the very famous freedom fighter during the British reign.

All these elements of Sunamganj indeed make it the Splendid Sunamganj. You should never miss the chance of visiting such a beautiful place.

Splendid Sunamganj : part – II

As we already know about Sunamganj‘s history, nature and famous persons born there, lets have a look at its

  • Culture
  • Cultural Festivals
  • Places to visit near Sunamganj and Some details about those places

If you had not read about Sunamganj’s history and nature already, please read Splendid Sunamganj – part I first.

Culture :

Sunamganj is enriched with cultural trends. It has been a land of folk music, poetry, poets and various traditions.

Festivals of different religions are regularly celebrated here as an integral part of cultural activities.

Gazi’s song, Muharram’s song, morshiya, kawali , dhol mela, pona tirtho, theatre, Kabi gan, jari, sari, vatiyali etc have established their individual identities in Sunamganj’s culture.

Cultural Festivals :

Along with the main religious and national festivals Sunamganj celebrates many other festivals which with time became inseparable parts of its culture.

Dhol Mela:

Dhol mela is a fair organized every year at a village named Dhol. It usually starts from the first Wednesday of bangle month Falgun. This fair successfully portraits the folk tradition of the country. People from different corners of the country come to visit this fair for its uniqueness and enormous extent. Photo Credit: Shams Shamim

Pona Tirtho :

It is another festival celebrated in this area. It is mainly a Hindu religious festival. It is held on the banks of jadukata river of Tahirpur thana. Every year a baruni fair is arranded beside this river bank during the last bengali month chaitra. This fair is locally known as baruni mela. Thousands of Hindu peple gather each year for this occasion. Many Muslim also visit this fair.

Places to visit near Sunamganj :

  1. Mazar of Syed Umed Harun Bogdadi (R)
  2. Tanguar Haor
  3. Bariker Tila
  4. Hason Raja Museum
  5. Laurer Garh
  6. Town Jam-e-Mosque
  7. Pagla Mosque
  8. Sukhair  kalibari temple
  9. Remnants of Raja Bijoy Singh’s palace
  10. Dolura Memorial
  11. Narayantara Chritstian missionaries
  12. Teker ghat lime crushing project
  13. Dohalia Jamidar (landlord) House
  14. Gourarang Jamidar (landlord) House
  15. Lafarge Cement Company

Description of some of these places :

  1. Mazar of Hazrat Syed Umed Harun Bogdadi (R)  : The mazar of Hazrat Syed Umed Harun Bogdadi (R) is located in a village named Mohammadpur. It is more commonly known as Mohammadpur Mokam to the local people. The great saint is thought to have breathed his last at around 1230 bangla year. If you go there a calm-beautiful and holy impression will overwhelm you.
  2. Gourarang Jamidar Bari : On the east bank of river Surma is the Gourarang village. A palace was built here by Nidhiram, ancestor of the jamidar family. This palace is more commonly known as the jamidar bari. As a testimony of the lavish life lead by the then jamidars, the palace premises include a theatre for entertainment of the family, a huge pond with paved wharf, dark pit etc. All of these are built with a mixture of traditional yet modern architectural concepts. This place now serves as a picnic spot besides being a place of archeological importance.
  3. Dohalia Jamidar Bari : Raja Subid Narayan’s successor Basudev was first to come Dohalia and start living here. Later another successor of the clan Mahesswar extricated illegally occupied lands from the Khasia raja and established his dominance over the area. Later on this family was directly involved with many other wars and political incidents which took place there. The house used by this Jamidar family has now become an interesting historical place. The age old wooden two storied house, a century old mosque and other belongings of the family will definitely drive you back to a distant past while you take a tour here.
  4. Town jam-e-mosque : It is located near the judge court house of Sunamganj. That is why it is more often called the court mosque. It has been repaired and redecorated for quite a few times in its service life. The white domes are decorated with blue stars of smaller sizes. The interior of the mosque is also designed beautifully. All together the decoration is much soothing and creates a unique holy atmosphere all around it.
  5. Pagla Mosque : It is in Pagla union. To be more accurate the mosque is located in the vicinity of the local bazaar of the union. It is a two-storied building with impressive adornment. The domes have wonderful motif of various colored stars on them. These domes make the mosque identifiable from even a distant point. The colored outer wall adds an extra touch to the ornamentation of the mosque.

Splendid Sunamganj : part- I

Sunamganj is one of the four districts of Sylhet division. It is located in the north-eastern part of Bangladesh, 70km west to Sylhet town. It lies on the lap of the  Khasia and jaintia hills. It is surrounded by many of the other districts. On south are Habiganj and Kishoreganj districts, on east is sylhet district, on west are Netrokona and greater mymensingh and on the north are the hills. Among other geographic features of the region are the two rivers Surma and Kushiyara and numerous haors.

History

The name Sunamganj is believed to have originated from the name of a brave Mughal soldier Sunamdi. Sunamdi is the regional form of Sunam Uddin. He was rewarded with some lands in this region by the then Mughal emperor for his bravery in one of the battles. Later Sunamdi donated this land to establish a market. In recognition to his generosity it was named after him as Sunamganj.

However, the history of Sunamganj is far too old. It is thought that most of the parts of Sunamganj was once submerged under kalidoho sea. With time it was revealed from under water. Besides many geographical changes Sunamganj has also experienced a great deal of historical events.

Sunamganj has been the birthplace of many a renowned mystic poets and devotees of art and culture. Hason Raja, Radharaman, Durbin Shah, Shah Abdul Karim , Gias Uddin Ahmed, Mohsin Reza Chowdhury, Moniruzzaman Monir, Nirmolendu Chowdhury, Abdul Hai, Brahmanendu Das, Lalanirendu De, Bipin Paul, Khirod Sharma, Toroni Kanto De, Sadir Uddin Ahmed, Shah Abu Taher and many more legends of the country comes from this region. Besides them Sunamganj has also given the country with many war heroes who fought for freedom. Among them Nankar rebellion Sukhair is notable.

Travelling:

From Sylhet there are regular buses to Sunamganj bus station at Amberkhana . This costs about Tk 50-75 and takes 2 hours time on an average. There might be some local bus services from Dhaka to Sunamganj. If you are interested to take up a train from Dhaka then you’ll have to go Sylhet by train and then make the rest of the journey with a rent a car or local bus to reach Sunamganj.

Accommodation:

For accommodation a few hotels are available here. Besides a few governmental and non-governmental rest houses are available.

  • Hotel Nur
  • Hotel Palace
  • Hotel  Nurani
  • Hotel Sarpinia
  • Hotel Mizan

Along with these hotels there are a government circuit house, zilla parishod rest house and some other rest houses.

Nature

Sunamganj is a land of natural beauty. Hills, rivers, haors, beels, trees, wildlife everything here make this place magnificent. Even lifestyle of the members of hill-tribes makes this land more interesting. The cultural diversity of the local people is mentionable in this case. Many languages and different practices are seen over the whole region. Some of these trends are due to the influence of the nearby districts habiganj, sylhet and a bit far from these two Comilla. All these add a different dimension to the natural glory of the region, making it more attractive.

Due to the presence of a huge number of wetlands Sunamganj has become one of the favorite spot for birdwatchers.

Many people, unaware of Sunamganj’s treasure, may not consider it as a tourist attraction. But you should visit to find out the unbound beauty this place offers.

Hason Raja Museum: A tribute to the great mystic poet

Sunamganj has been bestowed with numerous poets and literates. The abundant beauty of the nature may be considered as the source of inspiration to these hundreds of mystic poets and artists. Hason Raja was one of them. He not only made his region Sunamganj but also his whole country famous through his thoughtful writing skill. His memories are carefully preserved at the Hason Raja Mueseum.

Hason Raja (1854 -1921) is one of the most well-known mystic poets of Bangladesh. He was a successor of Raja jamidar family. He became the owner of vast property at a young age but proved his capability through the extension of own territory. He was very popular because of his giving nature. In the beginning of his reign he indulged himself in enjoyment and lived an uncontrolled lavish life. Afterwards he realized the deeper meaning of life and the darker side of the lavish life he was leading. Then he devoted himself in writing poetry and songs besides ruling his property and soldiers. His writings reflect his thoughtfulness about emotions related to nonmaterial things of life. Being impressed, Rabindranath Tagore praised his writing skills.

To preserve this great poet’s memories the Hason Raja Mueseum was established. It is another place to see when you are visiting Sunamganj. It is situated at a place called Taghoria along the bank of Surma river. It used to be the ancestral house of Hason Raja. Later the museum was established here. All of Hason Raja’s writings are kept in this museum. Many objects like : sword, pagri(turban), plate, clothes, books and handwritten manuscript of songs and poems are exhibited here.

Hason Raja’s sons earned some of their father’s qualities. They also explored in different branches of literature and art. Thus along with many of Hason Raja’s belongings you can also find some exhibits of Hason Raja’s sons and other Rajas of the clan.

Hason Raja was buried in his family graveyard known as Gazir Dorga. It is also visited by a lot of people visiting Sunamganj.

Hasan Raja Musuem Photo Credit and More informaiton in Bangla.

Travelling :

It is easy to go to Hason Raja’s museum. You can either go by car or local richshaw. If you take a car from Traffic point of the town it will only take about 5minutes to reach the museum.

Accommodation :

As the museum is not far from the Sunamganj town, you can arrange for your accommodation in the town and visit the museum from there. This is suggested because there is no known accommodation facility adjacent to the museum unless you have a relative residing there.

The contribution of Hason Raja in our country’s literature cannot be repaid. This museum is a symbol of the respect and appreciation the people have for him and his writings.