Bandarban Hill District, the most attractive traveling place of Bangladesh, is the least populated area in densely populated Bangladesh. This place is the focal point of the unique beauty of the two countries- Bangladesh and Myanmar. This hill girl, Bandarban, stands with all the beauties of nature where the clouds come and go over the mountains. The clouds have formed an alliance with the mountains. Bandarban is the only tourist destination in Bangladesh which is famous for its natural diversity. If you want, you can go to Bandarban just to enjoy or with tracking target.
A Brief Idea about Bandarban
Bandarban is surrounded by Cox’s Bazar, Chittagong, Rangamati and Khagrachari. On the other side of Bandarban is the border of Myanmar’s Chin province and Arakan province. This hill girl, belonging to the Chittagong Division of Bangladesh, stands at a grand natural ceremony of 4469 square kilometers, only 75 kilometers away from Chittagong. You will find every place of Bandarban as enjoyable and spectacular.
Topmost Tourist Attractions of Bandarban
Whether it is the mountains or the sea, it is difficult for travelers to decide which of these two natural beauties is more popular. However, it is difficult to find a tourist who has not been touched by the romance of the mountain beauty. Among the mountainous beauties of Bangladesh, the queen of the hills is Chimbuk hill.
Chimbuk, the third largest mountain in the country, is well-known abroad due to the natural beauty of Chimbuk, known as Darjeeling in Bengal. At a distance of 26 km from Bandarban district town, this hill is about 2500 feet above sea level. The mountain scenery on both sides of the road to Chimbuk and the Sangu River trip make it interesting and aesthetic.
It is the most exciting time to wander through the highest road of Bangladesh in the middle of the mountains. It will feel like you are floating in a cloud raft in another world. The view of sunset and sunrise from this hill is most captivating.
The most spectacular ascent to the top of the hill arranged in a planned manner. As soon as you got up the peak of the hill, you will found stairs went down to the south to the huge new courtyard. Standing from this view point in autumn, you can see the sea of huge clouds and the cool breeze reminds you of peace even in the scorching heat of summer.
The meandering mountains across the horizon feel like the waves of the sea. Standing at a height of about twenty-five hundred feet, the surrounding districts of Cox’s Bazar and various parts of Chittagong can be seen. Seeing the clouds floating on the side of the hill in the rainy season, it seems that Chimbuk is floating in the heaven of clouds.
You will be amazed and amazed by the simple life of the tribals as they pass through the village by jeep on the hilly road. These indigenous people of the village are as simple and common as nature. They live by building their houses as high as scaffolding. The road passes through the northern part of Chimbuk and Nilgiri along the east corner. On the north side, there are several levels of beautiful view points that make it easy to observe the surroundings.
Another specialty of Chimbuk Hill is that, just below the road side there are a lot of mountain fruits all around the year which include papaya, banana, sugarcane, coconut, orange, plum etc.
Tourists love to eat these fruits as all the fruits are fresh. Some Burmese and indigenous products are also available here.
‘Buddha Dhatu Jadi Kang’ is one of the tourist spots of Bandarban, a land of natural beauty. This ‘Jadi’ is well known as Bandarban Golden Temple. This temple, a place of pilgrimage for the Buddhist community, is one of the most attractive spots for domestic and foreign tourists.
Although it is known as the Golden Temple, it is not made of gold. It has been named the Golden Temple mainly because of its golden color. This Hinayana Buddhist temple, the largest in Bangladesh, has the second largest Buddha statue in the country.
This beautiful temple is located in the Balaghata area of Bandarban city. This temple offers a beautiful view of the Balaghata suburb of Bandarban and its surroundings. The temple is located 4 km from Balaghat and 10 km from Bandarban Sadar.
Golden Temple is built in 2000 in an East Asian style, the temple is known to locals as Qiang. There is a lake called Devata Pukur on this hill, the lake is three hundred and fifty feet high but there is water in all seasons. The local Buddhists think it is a pond of gods so there is always water here.
There are some rules to follow to enter the temple. Tourists other than Buddhists have to enter the temple in exchange for tickets. Tickets cost 20 rupees per person. However, general visitors are not allowed to enter the main part of the temple where the jadi is located. Adherents of different religions are not allowed to enter after 6 pm. Moreover, shorts, lungi and shoes are not allowed in the temple premises.
Meghla Tourist Center
The Meghla Tourist Center is located on the Bandarban-Keranihat road, the gateway to Bandarban town. Location of this tourist area is 5 km before entering the district town. From here you can see the green nature, the clear water of the lake and the breathtaking view of Bandarban playing with the waves on the top of the hill.
Clouds have formed around an artificial lake surrounded by several high and low hills. People who are thirsty for diversity come to the clouds again and again to satisfy their spiritual hunger. There are two suspension bridges over the lake with various recreational facilities such as safari park, children’s park, zoo, open stage, tea garden, cable car and paddle boat. There is also a spectacular landscape of Bandarban, a hill station.
The entrance fee is BDT 20 per person and BDT 150-200 for car parking.
Another wonderful tourist spot near Meghla Tourist Center is Nilachal which is located at an altitude of 2000 feet above sea level. Located at Tigerpara, 5 km from Bandarban city, this tourist spot is decorated with extraordinary natural beauties. Another name for Nilachal is Tiger Hill. From Nilachal, Bandarban can be seen through the eyes of a bird, which is as beautiful as the picture. Rain, autumn or late autumn— clouds can be touched in three seasons.
Apart from enjoying the beauty of the sunset from Nilachal, you can also enjoy the evergreen light at night as you wish. In winter mornings, Nilachal is covered with fog. As the day progresses, the golden sun reveals a wonderful scene. There are various arrangements for tourists on the hills. Next to the ticket house are a few more restrooms starting from ‘Jhulanta Neela’ to the bottom, notably ‘Niharika’ and ‘Valentine’ points. Arranged on the slopes of the hill, these points are completely different from one another.
However, the beauty of the mountains can be enjoyed better from the original Nilachal. There are several observation centers at the very top of the Nilachal tourist center. These centers have been built around the top of the main hill of Nilachal in a beautiful installation style. Visitors are allowed to stay until sunset. An additional attraction in Nilachal is the resort here called Nilachal Scape Resort.
Prantik Lake is located at Haludia, 16 km from the daughter of nature, Bandarban city. This lake is called Prantik Lake as it is located at the far end of Bandarban district. There is a huge lake across 25 acres. In the middle of the lake, the Prantik Tourist Center has covered an area of 7 acres surrounded by hills. For educational tours and picnics, there is an open stage made of clay. This beautiful lake area is surrounded by various species of trees and plants.
In this quiet environment free from noise, there is only the chirping of various birds. You will find different species of bird habitats in the hills beside the lake. The whole area buzzing with the chirping of birds will definitely melt your heart. The blue water of the lake and the green forest on the shore seem to create the illusion of divine light. The cool shade of the trees and the fresh air give the soul extraordinary peace. Visitors will have to pay a ticket price of BDT20 to see these amazing views.
It is about 60 km from Bandarban town and about 18 km from Ruma Upazila Sadar. Boga Lake, near Kiokradang, is a naturally formed lake in the mountains about 3,000 feet above sea level.
This lake is located close to Keokradong’s lap. Boga Lake stands on a 15-acre hilltop with blue water and unearthly beauty. The depth of this completely enclosed lake varies from place to place. There is no source of water in the vicinity of this lake, which is about 200 feet deep.
However, 153 meters below Boga lake there is a source of a small waterfall known as Bagachhara. For 2/3 months of the year, the blue water of the lake suddenly becomes cloudy. The small tribal Bam and Khumi communities of the Chittagong Hill Tracts live near the lake.
Keokradong stands just beside the Boga Lake. You can start climbing the hill in early morning. Be aware, there are lots leeches in rainy season, so bring salt or tobacco. You can climb at night as well. It will be super fun and less tiring for you. Trekking will take about 4 hours to climb up. It may differ due to weather conditions. If you trek at night and spent the night at the rest house on top of the mountain, you will be a witness of the amazing beauty of morning in Keokradong.
Shoilo Propat is one of the most beautiful natural falls in Bangladesh. This lovely natural fall is situated at Milanchari which is about 8km away from Bandarban town on the Bandarban Ruma road. This fall is a good source for drinking water and household use for the local people. The water of this fall is purified naturally and so scenic to enjoy its beauty in the Rainy Season. You can enjoy bathing and playing with water which will definitely make your tour memorable. You will find a small market near the Shoilo Propat for trading local handicrafts, handloom products and ethnic foods.
Apart from these beautiful tourist attractions, there are some other amazing places you can visit in Bandarban. Tajingdong, the highest mountain in Bangladesh, is located in Bandarban district.
Milnachhari falls 3 km south-east of Bandarban town on the way to Shailprapat or Chimbuk. Standing on the side of the road at the highest altitude of the hill is the unobstructed green game at the eastern end. The Sangu River descends from the top of the highest mountain in the east and flows past the town of Bandarban and merges into the Bay of Bengal. It is a great sight to see the river Sangu flowing on the hillside on the east side of Bandarban city.
How to Go?
From Dhaka you have to go to Bandarban city first and several buses leave directly from different places of Dhaka for Bandarban every day. There are facilities to travel by AC or non-AC bus. Notable buses are Shyamli, Hanif, Unique, S Alam, Dolphin etc.
Bandarban can also be reached from Chittagong. There are direct buses to Bandarban from Bahaddarhat bus terminal. From the Bahaddarhat terminal in Chittagong, two non-AC buses named Purabi and Purbani leave for Bandarban after 30 minutes.
After reaching Bandarban town, you can reach Chimbuk from Ruma bus station by Jeep, Land Cruiser, Land Rover, Pajero etc. If you want to go by bus in a group, you have to hire a bus traveling on Bandarban-Thanchi route. These buses are special buses which are able to travel on inaccessible mountain roads. However, traveling by bus is risky. It should be kept in mind that no bus runs on the Chimbuk-Thanchi route after 4 pm. So, you have to come back to Bandarban by 4 o’clock.
As Nilachal is located only 5 km away from Bandarban city, you can reach Nilachal by jeep or auto rickshaw from the bus stand. In this case the rent has to be discussed.
Nilachal tourist center can be easily reached by CNG and local buses. If there is a group of 4-5 people, it would be better to bring CNG reserve.
The Pantik lake can be easily reached by CNG from Bandarban district headquarters.Otherwise, you can take any bus from Dhaka or Chittagong to Bandarban and get off at Sualak Haludia and come here by CNG.
Where to Stay in Bandarban?
There are several good quality hotels to stay in Bandarban. There are both luxurious and mediocre options available for the travellers. These hotels will offer you well decorated accommodations, good security, excellent room service and hot and cold water facilities and so forth. You can choose yours according to your budget and liking.
Where to Eat?
Every hotel has its own restaurant in Bandarban. So you can get food service from the hotel you are staying. Apart from this, you will find some traditional restaurants from where you can enjoy their signature dishes. Those dishes are nothing but mouth-watering you must say after tasting. Bamboo chicken, bamboo biriyani and even bamboo tea are some popular ethnic dishes of Bandarban. You can also taste traditional curry of jungle-chicken which is very popular in Bandarban. Lots of sea-fish is also available in those restaurants. Traditional Bangladeshi items are also available in their menu.
There is a little number of halal restaurants for Muslim tourists also. You can get pork here, but don’t except beef here in Bandarbans. Luxurious hotels will offer you both Chinese and Indian cuisine in their restaurants along with traditional food items.
Some Important Information about Bandarban
- Avoid any types of activities that might disrupt the peace and tranquility of the environment as well as the peaceful life of the tribal people.
- Don’t forget to carry salt or tobacco to protect yourself from leeches.
- For trekking you must need trekking boot. So don’t forget to carry these boots with you.
- As there are some reports of some malaria cases, it’s wise to carry mosquito resistant lotions.
So, this is all about a short brief of Bandarban. Hope this will helpful to make your tour more delightful.