In the southeast of Bangladesh, Rangamati is a hill tract area included in Chittagong division. This district is 6116,13 square kilometres in size and declared as the largest district in Bangladesh. 77 kilometres away from the Chittagong city, this hill tract area is located in the west of Kaptai lake. It is considered as administrative headquarter of all the hill tract districts. And Ranagamati is the only district which has direct international border with India and Myanmar.
In this largest district, there are almost people of every religion. Also there are several different ethnic groups living here. Chakma, Bawm, Tripura, Marma, Tanchangya, Santal, Chak, Lusai, Kheyang, Murong, Mro, Khumi, Manipuri, Pangkoang, all these indigenous communities you would see here. Official language is Bangla but local Bengalis are talking in their regional language of Chittagong and indigenous groups have their own different language. They have some unique cultural ceremony of their own but the ‘Bijhu’ of Chakma, is mentionable one. The last two day of Bangla calendar’s Chaitra month and the first day of Baishakh, total three days this ceremony is celebrated. People from different places of the country go there to observe the festival. Natural beauty, different indigenous group and their culture, largest lake and wildlife make this district one of the centre of attraction for tourists. There are crystal clear water in the lake, big hills close to the lake, and cotton like clouds floating on the sky seems like calling tourists to unfold it’s utmost excellence. Nature has not skimped a bit to paint it with all the beauty. There are few more tourism spots for which there are always tourist rush in this spot. Let’s get to know some of them at a glance.
This is an artificial lake, in 1956 when a dam was made here over Karnafuli river, the lake was born. The average depth of the lake is 100 feet and highest depth is around 495 feet. The lake has made the place – Rangamati an attractive place because the main tourism industry here is attributed by the beauty of this lake. The famous hanging bridge known as Jhulonto bridge is over the lake, there are large hills around the lake everywhere. The bluish water and greenery of the hills have created a mesmerising look here. By trawler you can enjoy more on the lake and roam around to see sites. There are kayaking nowadays for tourists, so you can just float there and enjoy the beauty in the middle of the lake while doing kayaking.
Rangamati’s one of the main attraction is this hanging bridge. This is called as “symbol of Rangamati”. The bridge is located in main city’s Tabalchari. If you go there don’t miss the 335 feet long bridge otherwise the trip will be incomplete. In rainy season the bridge goes under the water so it remains closed that time for tourists.
On Kaptai lake surrounding the Karnafuli this dam was created in 1962 which is the largest dam in the country. The only hydropower of Bangladesh was created using this dam . This dam is 670.6 meter long and 54.7 meter in height. Using the stored water of dam, the electricity is being produced here in the hydropower plant. This is a highly protected area which doesn’t allow public to enter. But, taking permission from higher authorities one can enter here.
Nowadays Sajek is the most popular tourist spot. This is the biggest union of Baghaichari sub-district under Rangamati. Located in 1800 feet higher from the sea level, this place is called – Kimgdom of clouds by many. Rows of green hills and bunch of clouds will definitely amaze you. In the blink of the eye, different scenarios will surprise you every moment. Sometimes sunshine, sometimes exactly opposite, raining and sometimes smoky clouds cover the environment. Another attraction is Kanglak hill. You will see people of Lusai community here.
From main city of Rangamati, this fountain is just 25 kilometres away. In summer, there is not much water but in monsoon, water falls from 140 feet height. Only way is to go by boat. The way to fountain by boat is also much pleasant. Tearing the water apart trawler will take you to an wonderland. Besid the fountain there is 2000 feet high Shuvlong hill. Top of the hills, there are watch tower and army camp. From the top of the hill, you can get the whole view of Rangamati and seens like it’s floating on the lake.
Rangamati’s one of the noticeable tourism spot is Rajban Bihar. This is the biggest bihar of buddhists amongst all. In 1977, buddisht monk and leader Sadhnananda Mahasthabir Banvante came here and started living permanently. For him and his disciples this bihar was made. This has been recognized internationally as holy placw for buddhists now. So, you will also know many unknown facts and history behind the bihar if you go to visit once.
Dhup Pani fountain
In Rangamati’s Bilaichari there is one fountain named Dhup Pani. This gained popularity at 2000. It was almost undiscovered and hidden from public till the year 2000. In tanchangya language, dhup means white colour and pani means water, so together it means – white water. This is 150 feet higher from the land. From this height the sound of waterfall can be heard almost from 2 kilometres of distance. Top on the fountain there is a monk who meditate 6 days in week. Locals call him ” Vante “
Every sunday he comes down to eat. He doesn’t like chaos during the meditation and that’s why only sunday was open for tourists. But now as it becomes a tourist spot so other days are open as well for tourists. But the condition is not to make noise near the fountain during your visit. Bilaichari is under hill tract areas so you must carry a copy of national ID card or passport along with yourself while visiting these places.
This fountain is located in Bangalkata area. In length it’s biggest among fountains of Bangladesh. From Bilaichari,the only way to the fountain is water way. Reaching Bangalkata, you need to walk all the way till the Muppochara. Carry one copy of national ID here also.
How to go
From Dhaka or Chittagong, there are several bus service to Rangamati. Depending on the company the bus rent will be different. If you don’t want to go by bus,there is an option to take / hire microbus, car or cab to reach Rangamati.
There are always rush of tourists here in Rangamati, so there are many good hotels and resorts here to serve travelers. In your budget you can choose one. Aronnyok is the resort, managed by Bangladesh Army. It’s totally safe and full of natural beauty. Contact: 01769-312021 Besides this, other good hotels are – Hotel Sufiya, Motel George, Shining Hill , Guest House, Needs Hill View, TukTuk Eco Village. Also there are some good motel and cottage besides hotels. And you can take permission for Govt Bungalow and Rest House to stay over.