Destination Bangladesh : Chittagong Division
Chittagong Division :
Chittagong Division is located at southern part of the country has an area of 33771 sq. km and a population of 23.99. It has 11 districts and 38 municipalities.
Chittagong is the biggest seaport and second largest town in Bangladesh situated near the Bay of Bengal. It is 264 km away east of Dhaka, famous for hill areas, natural beauty and for the seashore.
Chittagong is also known of the town of Aulias (Muslim saints). Its green hills and forests, its broad sandy beaches and its fine cool climate always attract the holiday-markers. Described by the Chinese traveler poet, Huen Tsang (7th century A.D) as "a sleeping beauty emerging from mists and water" and given the title of "Porto Grande" by the 16th century Portuguese seafarers.
Chittagong combines remains true to both the descriptions even today. It combines the busy hum of an active seaport with the shooting quiet of a charming hill town.
The Shahi Jama-e-Masjid and Qadam Mubarak Mosque are two of the most impressive buildings in the city. It is also worth visiting the Ethnological Museum in the Modern City, which has interesting displays on Bangladesh's tribal peoples. There are good views and cooling breezes from Fairy Hill in the British City in the northwestern sector of the city. Chittagong is the country's chief port and is the main site for the establishment of heavy, medium and light industries. Bangladesh's only steel mill and oil refinery are also located in Chittagong.
Main Tourist Spots in Chittagong Division : Inside Chittagong City :
01.War Cemetery. 02. Zia Memorial Museum. 03. Ethnological Museum. 04. Court Building Museum. 05. Shrine's. 06. Fays Lake. 07. Patenga & Fouzdarhat. 08. Port Area.
Outside of Cittagong City :
01.Sitakundu 01. 02. Parki Beach 03. Chandraghona 04. Cox's Bazar 05. Himchori & Inani Beach 06. Moheshkhali Island 07. Sonadia Island 08. St. Martins Island 09. Nijhum Island 10. Aggameda Khyang 11. Ramu 12. Teknaf 13. Comilla 14. BARD 15. Lalmai & Moinamoti 16. Hill tracks >> Rangamati 17. Khagrachari 18. Bandarban.
Ø War Cemetery :
Second World War warrior's graveyards are in this Cemetery. There are 755 graves in this graveyard of the great warriors who died d in world war from1939 to 1945 in Chittagong areas. In this well-preserved cemetery at a quiet and picturesque place within the city lie buried in eternal peace over 700 soldiers from British, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, India, Myanmar, East and West Africa, The Netherlands and Japan who laid down their lives on the Myanmar front during the World War II. Every year a number of tourists come here to visit this Cemetery.
Ø Zia memorial Museum :
Previously it was known as Circuit house where the former President of Bangladesh Zia-ur Rahman and one of the architects of the liberation war was killed by a group of disgruntled army personnel. To the memory of Zia, the Circuit house was declared as Zia Memorial museum. In this museum you can see late president Zia-ur Rahman's daily usage materials.
Ø Ethnological Museum :
This museum located in Agrabad is a treasure house of a variety of tribal culture and heritage of Bangladesh.
Ø Court Building Museum :
Situated on the Fairy Hill, this building commands a panoramic bird's eye view of Chittagong. This had been the scene of intense activity during the independence War in 1971. A museum has been established here.
Ø Shrine of Hazrat Bayezead Bostami :
The shrine of this famous saint is situated in Chittagong. This great priest came to Chittagong in 10th Century to spread the religion of Islam. You can also visit the ancient rare variety of Turtles in the Dighi in the Shrine premises. This shrine attracts a large number of visitors and pilgrims. At its base is a large tank with several hundred tortoises. Tradition has it that these animals are the descendants of the evil spirits (genii) who were cast into this shape because they incurred the wrath of the great saint who visited the place about 1100 years age.
Ø Shrine of Shah Amanat :
The Shrine of Shah Amanat is another place of religious attraction, located in the heart of the town; the shrine is visited by hundreds of people everyday who pay homage to the memory of the saint.
Ø Fays Lake :
This lake is a natural beauty of Chittagong, where you can enjoy boating and also you can spend your leisure time in a serene atmosphere of lake and hills.
This is in Pahartoli, a satellite town of Chittagong.
Ø Patenga and Fouzdarhat Sea Beaches :
Patenga beach is about 22 km. from Chittagong and is approachable by a motorable road. On the way to the beach, one passes the Patenga Airport. Another ideal picnic spot is the Fouzdarhat sea-beach about 16 km. from Chittagong. Patenga sea beach is one of the major attractions of Chittagong for the tourists. Besides the sea beach, you can enjoy boating and river cruise in the River Karnaphuli. You can see the busy seaport activities here.
Ø Port Area :
Located near the river mouth of the river Karnaphuli, the Chittagong port has a recorded history from 9th century. Today, this is the principal seaport of the coun
Outside Chittagong City :
01. Sitakundu 02. Parki Beach 03. Chandraghona 04. Cox's Bazar 05. Himchori & Inani Beach 06. Moheshkhali Island 07. Sonadia Island 08. St. Martins Island 09. Nijhum Island 10. Aggameda Khyang 11. Ramu 12. Teknaf 13. Comilla 14. BARD 15. Lalmai & Moinamoti 16. Hill tracks >> Rangamati 17. Khagrachari 18. Bandarban.
Ø Sitakundu :
The famous Chandranath Temple & Buddhist temples are in Sitakundu, 37 km for from Chittagong city. Famous among the many temples in this place, the Chandranath Temple and the Buddhist Temple has a footprint of Lord Buddha. These places particularly the hilltops are regarded as very sacred by the Buddhists and the Hindus. Siva-chaturdashi festival is held every year in February when thousands of pilgrims assemble for the celebrations, which last about ten days. There is a salt-water spring 5 km. to the north of Sitakunda, known as Labanakhya.
You can enjoy the steer ridings to go to Chandranath's temple by walking. It is situated on the top of the hill from where you can enjoy the beauty of the sea & also the hill areas. Now in sitakunda there's made an eco park.
Ø Parki beach :
Parki beach might be the next tourist attraction of Bangladesh, which is situated in Anwara thana under southern Chittagong region.
The beach lies 16-17 km away from Chittagong city. As the beach is situated at the Karnafuli river channel, visitors can view both the Karnafuli river and the sea together. Tourists enjoy the views of big ships anchored at the outer dock, fishermen catching fish in sea, sunset, various colored crabs at the beach and quiet environment.
Ø Chandraghona :
Forty-eight kilometer from Chittagong, on the Kaptai Road is Chandraghona where one of the biggest paper mills in Asia is located. Close to the paper mill, there is a rayon factory, which produces synthetic fibers from bamboo.
Ø Cox's Bazar :
Cox's Bazar is one of the most attractive tourist spots & the longest sea beach in the world (approx. 120 km long). Miles of golden sands, towering cliffs, surfing waves, rare conch shells, colorful pagodas, Buddhist temples and tribes, delightful seafood--this is Cox's Bazar, the tourist capital of Bangladesh.
The warm shark free waters are good for bathing and swimming & while the sandy beaches offer opportunities for sun-bathing. The beauty of the setting-sun behind the waves of the sea is simply captivating. Locally made cigars and handloom products of the tribal Rakhyne families are good buys.
Every year lots of foreign & local tourist come here to spend their leisure in Cox's Bazaar. Though the season is in winter but Cox's Bazar sea beach is crowded almost through out the year. Especially in winter season, it is hard to get an accommodation in the hotels if booking is not made earlier.
If you are really adventurous and want to enjoy the wildness and madness of the ruff and tuff Sea you can come to Cox's bazar in the month of mid April, Sea continue its wildness till August; and its even more exotic if you come to Cox's Bazar in the time of depression of the Sea.
Ø Himchori and Inani Beach :
There are many attractions for the tourists around Cox's Bazaar. From Cox's Bazaar Sea shore, you can go to these places by jeep and it is really exotic to drive on the seashore. Himchori is famous for waterfall, though in the winter season it dwindles but during the rainy season it's really a fabulous and full waterfall can be enjoyed. Inani beach is famous for the rock and coral boulders; you will find big coral boulders in this beach. You can plan a trip to Inani beach via Himchory for a half day or may be a full day sightseeing. Please take packet lunch with you.
Ø Moheshkhali Island :
It is another attraction for the tourists who go to Cox's Bazaar. An island off the coast of Cox's Bazar. It has an area of 268 square kilometers. Through the center of the island and along the eastern coastline rises, a range of low hills, 300 feet high; but the coast to the west and north is a low-lying treat, fringed by mangrove jungle. In the hills on the coast is built the shrine of Adinath, dedicated to Siva. By its side on the same hill is Buddhist Pagoda. You can go to this Island by local motorboat called trawler or by speedboat. By trawler, it takes an hour and a half and by speedboat, it takes only half an hour to reach this Island. You will find mangrove forests, hilly areas, salt field etc. This island is famous for Buddhist Temple and Pagoda; you can enjoy a full day sight seeing if you intend to visit Sonadia and some other Islands nearby. In the morning you can start for Moheskhali, spend time to watch Moheskhali's tourist places, take lunch there and on return you can visit Sonadia and other nearby Islands where you can sea the live fishing & fishermen lifestyle; By the afternoon you can come back to Cox's Bazaar.
Ø Sonadia Island :
It is about seven kilometer of Cox's Bazar and about nine square kilometer in area. The western side of the island is sandy and different kinds of shells are found on the beach. Off the northern part of the island, there are beds of windowpane oysters. During winter, fisherman set up temporary camps on the island and Dries Sea fishes, which they catch from Sea.
Ø St. Martins Island :
St. Martins Island is the most beautiful Coral Island where you will find live corals. Its only 30 km from Teknaf and you can go there by local motorboat, tourist boats, or sea truck.
This small coral island about 10km (6mi) southwest of the southern tip of the mainland is a tropical cliché, with beaches fringed with coconut palms and bountiful marine life. There's nothing more strenuous to do here than soak up the rays, but it's a clean and peaceful place without even a mosquito to disrupt your serenity.
It's possible to walk around the island in a day because it measures only 8 sq km (3 sq mi), shrinking to about 5 sq km (2 sq mi) during high tide. Most of island's 5500 inhabitants live primarily from fishing, and between October and April fisher people from neighboring areas bring their catch to the island's temporary wholesale market.
In this Island, you will find the beautiful Coral reef and long Coral beach and lots of coconut trees. The local name of the coconut is Narikel and the original name of this Island is Narikel Jinjira is derived from that. Accommodation in St. Martins Island is limited, so it is advisable to book accommodation before you plan to go to this Island. Motel Nijhum is one of the best hotels in St. Martins Island. To book in Motel Nijhum, confirm you reservation from Dhaka. You will hardly get a chance to stay in this hotel if you are a sudden visitor of St. Martins Island. The other good hotels are Prashad Paradise & Sraboni Bilash.
Booking of these hotels are also possible from Dhaka. All these three hotels are situated adjacent to Seashore. From these hotels lobby or veranda, you can enjoy the Sea. There are some other motels and hotels established in St. Martins Island.
Overnight staying in St. Martins Island is really an exotic feeling where you will feel and listen the sound of Sea. If you are lucky enough then you can spend the exotic moonlit night at St. Martins Island. The beauty of Full moon in St. Martins Island cannot be expressed, if you are not there at that time. Cheera-dwip is a part of St. Martins Island but divided during tides. You can go to Cheera-dwip by walking. About two and a half hours walk from St. Martins Island or you can go there also by local motorboat or tourist boat. In that Island you will find the Corals - living and dead all over the Island. A small bush is there which in the only green part of Cheera-dwip, enhancing the beauty of this island. People do not live in this Island, so advisable for the tourists to go there early and come back by afternoon.
Ø Nijhum Island :
This Island could be the next prime tourist spot after St. Martins Island. It's a natural beauty of mangrove forests where you will find Dears of specific species and Monkeys. A huge numbers of migrated birds come in this Island in winter season, enhancing the beauty of this Island. The communication is not excellent but if some one wishes to bear the trouble to go to this Island, he will be enchant to see the beauty of this Island. You can go to this Island either from Dhaka or from Chittagong.
From Chittagong first you will to go Hatia Island by Motor boat or Ship and from there you can go to Nijhum Island by local motor boat. From Dhaka you can go Tomzuddion by launch from Sadarghat launch terminal. From there you can go to Nijhum Island by local motorboat. Accommodation is very limited for the tourists in this Island. You can take foods from local restaurants but be careful about the quality of foods. If you can take prior permission for forest department then you can stay in forest rest house in Nijhum Island. Another possibility for accommodation is in District Parishod Guest house. If you take the permission from Thana administration (TNO) of Hatia you can also stay in the District Parishod Guest house. For the adventure seekers Nijhum Island could be one of the greatest experience of journey and it will be a memorable enjoyment to stay and pass some days in this isolated Island.
Ø The Aggameda Khyang, Cox's Bazar :
Equally elaborate in plan, elevation and decoration is the Aggameda Khyang near the entrance to the Cox's Bazar town, which nestles at the foot of a hill under heavy cover of a stand of large trees. The main sanctuary-cum-monastery is carried on a series of round timber columns, which apart from accommodating the prayer chamber and an assembly hall, also is the repository of a large of small bronze Buddha images-mostly of Burmese origin--and some old manuscripts. Beyond the main khyang to the south, there is an elevated wooden pavilion and a smaller brick temple with a timber and corrugated metal root. Apart from bearing an inscription in Burmese over its entrance, the temple contains some large stucco and bronze Buddha images.
Ø Ramu :
This is a typical Buddhist village, about 16 km. from Cox's Bazar, on the main road to Chittagong. There are monasteries, khyangs and pagodas containing images of Buddha in gold, bronze and other metals inlaid with precious stones.
One of the most interesting of these temples is on the bank of the Baghkhali River. It houses not only interesting relics and Burmese handicrafts but also a large bronze statue of Buddha measuring thirteen feet high and rests on a six feet high pedestal. The wood carving of this khyang is very delicate and refined.
The village has a charm of its own. Weavers ply their trade in open workshops and craftsmen make handmade cigars in their pagoda like houses.
Ø Teknaf :
The side of river Naf and the Bay of Bengal situate Teknaf Town, which is the southernmost tip of Bangladesh. It's a real natural beauty of hills, forest & Naf River. Lots of Salt fields are there by the side of River Naf. There are natural waterfalls in Teknaf, which increases the beauty of nature.
You can come to Teknaf from Cox's bazaar by an exotic jeep drive besides the Seashore or you can go there by bus or Microbus by road. By road journey, it is 84 km from Cox's Bazaar.
You can enjoy shopping in the local market called Burmese Market where you will find all the Burmese & tribal hand made materials. Do not forget to see the Well of Ma-Thin - which tells a sad story of love. Myanmar is on the opposite bank of Naf River. Wild animals and birds are available but the most interesting thing is a journey on the river.
Wide sandy beach in the backdrop of high hills with green forests is an enchanting scene never to be forgotten.
Ø Comilla :
Though this city is nearer from Dhaka but it is in Chittagong Division. Distance of Comilla from Dhaka in 95 km where as from Chittagong town its 167 km .The main attractions of Comilla are Bangladesh Academy for Rural Development (BARD), the home of famous Comilla Approach to rural development, Lalmai and Maynamoti hills, Shalban Monastery, Maynamoti museum and Comilla Zoo. Comilla Maheshangon houses one of the richest libraries of old literature and culture.
Ø BARD (Bangladesh Academy for Rural Development) :
This is one of the main attractions in Comilla. This is one of the richest academic institutions for conducting research and action research; execute projects and pilot experimentation and imparting training in the diversified areas of rural development. The famous Comilla Model has been developed for sustained development. Besides academic excellence, the beautiful gardens and planned plantations of various trees are really enjoyable. You can also avail yourself of the facilities to organize seminar symposium and training in this complex .It is undoubtedly one of the good venue in Bangladesh where you can organize seminar, symposiums and workshops. BARD has excellent accommodation facilities for over 250 persons and its cafeteria provides quality foods. For one or two days refreshing you can go to BARD and spend some good time in a very secured and calm place.
Ø Lalmai Moinamoti and Shalbon Bihar :
They are famous historical and archeological places around Comilla. These are a series of hillocks, where the Northern part is called Moinamoti and the Southern part is called Lalmai; and Shalbon Bihar is in the Middle of Lalmai and Moinamoti, which the was established in 8th century by King Buddadev. Salban Vihara, almost in the middle of the Mainarnati-Lalmai hill range consists of 115 cells, built around a spacious courtyard with cruciform temple in the centre facing its only gateway complex to the north resembling that of the Paharpur Monastery.
Kotila Mura situated on a flattened hillock, about 5 km north of Salban Vihara inside the Comilla Cantonment is a picturesque Buddhist establishment. Here three stupas are found side by side representing the Buddhist "Trinity" or three jewels i.e. the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.
Charpatra Mura is an isolated small oblong shrine situated about 2.5 km. north-west of kotila Mura stupas. The only approach to the shrine is from the East through a gateway, which leads to a spacious hall.
If you are in Comilla and already visited Lalmai, Moinamoti then don't miss to go Moinamoti museum - where you will find the historical things found in Lalmai & Moinamoti of 7th & 8th centuries. The Mainamati site Museum has a rich and varied collection of copper plates, gold and silver coins and 86 bronze objects. Over 150 bronze statues have been recovered mostly from the monastic cells, bronze stupas, stone sculptures and hundreds of terracotta plaques each measuring on an average of 9" high and 8" to 12" wide. Mainamati is only 114 km. from Dhaka City and is just a day's trip by road on way to Chittagong.
Ø Chittagong Hill Tracks :
Decidedly untypical of Bangladesh in topography and culture, the Chittagong Hill Tracts have steep jungle hills, Buddhist tribal peoples and relatively low-density population. The tracts are about 60km (37mi) east of Chittagong. The region comprises a mass of hills, ravines and cliffs covered with dense jungle, bamboo, creepers and shrubs, and have four main valleys formed by the Karnapuli, Feni, Shangu and Matamuhur rivers.
Angamati, a lush and verdant rural area belonging to the Chakma tribe, is open to visitors, as is Kaptai Lake. The lake, ringed by thick tropical and semi-evergreen forests, looks like nothing else in Bangladesh. While the lake itself is beautiful, the thatched fishing villages located on the lakeshore are what make a visit really special.
Boats that visit the villages leave from Rangamati. Bring your swimming gear because you can take a plunge anywhere.
Ø The Hills :
The Hill Tract is divided into four valleys surrounded by the Feni, Karnaphuli, Sangu (Sankhu) and Matamuhuri rivers and their tributaries. The ranges or hills of the Hill Tracts rise steeply thus looking far more impressive than what their height would imply and extend in long narrow ridges. The highest peaks on the northern side are Thangnang, Langliang and Khantiang while those on the southern side are Ramu, Taung, Keekradang, Tahjindong (4632 ft, highest in Bangladesh), Mowdok Mual, Rang Tlang and Mowdok Tlang.
Ø Tribal life :
The inhabitants of the Hill Tracts are mostly tribal. Life of the tribal people is extremely fascinating. Majority of them are Buddhists and the rest are Hindus, Christians and Animists. Despite the bondage of religion, elements of primitiveness are strongly displayed in their rites, rituals and everyday life. The tribal families are matriarchal. The women-folk are more hardworking than the males and they are the main productive force.
The tribal people are extremely self-reliant, they grow their own food, their girls weave their own clothes and generally speaking, they live a simple life. Each tribe has its own dialect, distinctive dress and rites and rituals. The common feature is their way of life, which still speaks of their main occupation.
Some of them take pride in hunting with bows and arrows. Tribal women are very skilful in making beautiful handicrafts. Tribal people are generally peace loving, honest and hospitable. They usually greet a tourist with a smile.
Ø The Forests :
The valleys of the Hill Tracts are covered with thick-planted forests. The vegetation in semi-evergreen to tropical evergreen dominated by tall teak trees. The natural vegetation can be seen best in the Rain-khyong valleys of the Bandarban district.
This district provides valuable wood which is used for various purposes, besides supplying wood and bamboo for the Karnaphuli Paper Mills and the Rayon Mills situated at Chandraghona. Here a tourist may be lucky to see how huge logs of wood are being carried to the plain by the tamed elephants.
Ø The Lakes :
Famous Kaptai Lake, the largest "man-made" lake, spreading over 680 sq. km. of crystal-clean water flanked by hills and evergreen forests lies in the Rangamati Hill District. The lake was formed when the Karnaphuli river dam (153 feet high, 1800 feet long crest) was built for the purpose of hydroelectric power project at Kaptai. The old Rangamati town was submerged under lake water and a new town had to be built later. The lake is full of fish and provides facilities for cruising, swimming and skiing. There are also facilities for angling and short trip by Sampan, local name for country boats.
Ø Hill Districts :
The Hill Tracts is divided into three districts, namely Rangamati, Khagrachari and Bandarban.
N.B. For visit of foreign tourists to the Hill Districts prior permission from the Government is required which can be arranged through Tour Operators & BPC.
Ø Rangamati :
If you don't visit Rangamati you will not discover a big portion of natural beauties of Bangladesh. From Chittagong a 77 km. road amidst green fields and winding hills will take you to Rangamati. It is also connected by waterway from Kaptai.
This is the only place to visit through out the year. Rangamati expresses her full beauty in rainy season. Trees becoming greener, waterfalls are in full tide, the river Karnaphuli in her full wave in this season. If you already visited Rangamati in winter, we advice to go there again in monsoon; you will feel the difference of nature yourself.
Parjatan holiday complex is the best place to stay in Rangamati. There are other hotels in Rangamati where you can stay. Boating is the prime attraction in Rangamati. You can go to Kaptai and also by Karnaphuli River you can go deep in side the hill areas where on the way you will find lots of natural waterfalls. If you wish you can take shower in the waterfall or you can swim in the river. By boat you can visit the tribal villages, King Chakma's (tribal) Palace that is called Chakma Rajbari, Rajbonbihar pagoda, Tribal museum etc. You can also enjoy the tribal handmaid crafts if you go for shopping in the local market.
Ø Kaptai Lake :
Built in early sixties Kaptai Dam and the lake are the main attractions of Kaptai. If you are not visiting Kaptai separately then, don't forget to go for a boating up to Kaptai on the Kaptai Lake while you go to Rangamati tour.
Ø Khagrachari :
Khagrachhari is the natural wild beauty of Bangladesh. Here you can visit the tribal lifestyle of Chakmas' in Khagrachari. You can also visit Alutila hill. Approximately 100 meters long a very dark Cave is the mysterious beauty of Alutila hill.
Ø Bandarban :
Lots of hills and hilly areas, waterfalls, River Sangu, Lakes and the tribal culture are the main attraction of Bandarban .
You can go to Bandarban from Chittagong by road. Chimbuk hill is one of the major attractions of Bandarban. You can enjoy the journey to Chimbuk Hill by jig jag hilly roads. It's the third highest mountain in Bangladesh of approx. 3000 ft height. Reach Chimbuk by jeep or microbus from Rangamati. A beautiful Rest house is there on the top of Chimbuk hill.
If you are lucky then you can feel the clouds touching your whole body. If you take the prior permission from Roads and Highway Department you can spent a night in the rest house on the top of Chimbuk hill. If you stay there a night, you will remember your stay for your whole life with the calmness of nature hearing sometimes the wild animals squalling.
Ruma is another hill town on the same rout of Chimbuk. If you wish to visit Ruma, then 01st go to Ruma spend some time there and then come back to Chimbuk Hill.
You can enjoy the Shailapropat a waterfall in Bandarban. Its also a tourist attraction of waterfall surrounded by hills & forest; be carefully while you go to Shailapropat - the rocky path way is very slippery, if you are not cautious there is a good chance to sleep & make an accident there.
Another tourist spot in Bandarban is Meghla - it's a beautiful spot where you can enjoy boat or speedboat riding on the lake Meghla. If you are lucky you may see the wild animals in the forest. There are small shades in this spot to protect you from rains in the season of monsoon and from the hit of the Sun in hot summer days. A beautiful hanging wooden bridge enhances the beauty of this spot. In one side there are some constructions and facilities for the tourists like tower, restaurant while on the other side is wild life, natural forest and hills. In the town you can visit the house where the king of tribe Chakma lives and from there you can visit the archeological museum of Bandarban. In this museum you will find the archeological history of the tribal life and the tribes of hill areas of Bandarban. The museum authority has set up various tribal houses in the museum, which will give you a brief idea of kinds of tribal houses, their design and architectural structures.