In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect.
Trees can be contorted, bent in weird ways, and they’re still beautiful.
Bangladesh is famous for her natural beauty to most of the world. One of the best places to witness that beauty is Rangamati, the Lake City of Bangladesh. Why lake city? That’s because this place is located on the bank of the beautiful Kaptai Lake. Even the name “Rangamati” holds a beauty in itself. “Ranga” means Colorful and “Mati” means Soil or Land. So, Rangamati literally means Colorful Land. And to be honest, the colors of this beautiful land will definitely convince you, that the naming is more than perfect.
For a long time Rangamati has been a popular tourist destination for its location, scenic beauty, colorful tribal people, tribal homespun textiles and ivory jewelry. But what I like the most, is the never-ending hills and trees. After living monotonous and mechanized urban life for a long time, this place will certainly feel like heaven. It is said that without visiting Rangamati a tourist will miss a colorful slice of Bangladesh. So, I’ll stop using tons of adjectives and start introducing you to this beautiful city.
Places to be at Rangamati
Kaptai is Bangladesh’s largest artificial lake, created in 1960. It was a result of building the Kaptai Dam on the Karnaphuli River, as part of the Karnaphuli Hydro-electric project. The Kaptai Lake’s average depth is 100 feet (30 m) and maximum depth is 490 feet (150 m). The area of the Lake is approximately 11,000 square kilometers.
It’s very popular with Bangladeshi sightseers, but because of permit restrictions, the number of places foreigners can visit on the lake is constrained. However, that shouldn’t stop you from visiting because, most of the places are open for everyone. You will just love the natural beauty of this lake. It has many tiny islands. Each island has different name such as “Peda Ting-Ting”, “Tuk-Tuk Eco Village”, “Chang-Pang” etc. In “Peda Ting-Ting” you will find cottages for staying and enjoying moonlit night with wonderful lake surroundings. “Tuk-Tuk” is an eco-park with varieties of trees and plants. They also provides lodging in natural wooden made bungalows hanging on hills within forest. They have a restaurant where you can enjoy the natural beauty while taking your meal. It is a great place for boating and cruising.
The Hanging Bridge, a low wooden suspension bridge, not far from the Parjatan Holiday Complex, is another popular boat-trip destination. This 335 feet long bridge across a portion of the Kaptai lake is an icon of Rangamati. It’s just like any other wooden suspension bridge you have been on. But the specialty is the mesmerizing view you can enjoy from the bridge. There are islands and greenery all around and you can enjoy it all from the bridge or from boat.
Once you get to the bridge, the first thing you will see is the boats floating aside. Local villagers sell fresh and juicy fruits like pineapple, banana and coconut from those boat-shops. So you can grab some fresh-picked pineapple and start enjoying the view around, while your mouth gets filled with juicy pulps.
Rajban Bihar Pagoda
Rajban Bihar (Rajbana Vihara) Pagoda is one of the tourist spots in Rangamati and a spiritual place for the Buddhist. It is an internationally known Buddhist Temple, where the spiritualist principal monk of Rajbana Vihara, Shrimath Sadhana Nanda Mohasthabir (Ban Vante) lives. Rajbana Vihara houses a large Buddhist monastery, constructed by Chakma Buddhist monks in 1972.
You can wander the grounds, peek inside the temples (ask first) and see monks making wooden boats by the water’s edge on the eastern side of the island. It looks like a golden temple. Its scenery is wonderful and attracts everybody. Rajban Bihar was built over an area of 13.5 hectors. 50 to 70 monks reside here regularly. Tourist must have to enter that place with bare feet to respect their tradition.
There is a seven storied building which they call “Seven Heaven”, each floor representing a layer of heaven. You need to go inside it without any sort of caps and shoes. I have seen another place like this so far, that was in Singapore. It was the “Seven layers of Hell”. I’ll write about that another day with pictures you will be horrified to see. For now let’s stick to the heaven 🙂
There is also a monument of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at Rangamati City. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was the founding leader of Bangladesh. He served twice as the country’s President. The bench he is standing on has all the historic events, on the way of our liberation, illustrated on it. Spending couple of minutes in front of this monument and reading about all those events, will definitely take you back to those days.
The rich natural resources, diverse flora and fauna makes Rangamati a great Eco-Tourism destination in Bangladesh. A stay here provides a glimpse into the lifestyle of various tribes living there.
The ethnic tribes of Rangamati are the Chakma, Marma, Tonchongya, Tripura, Murong, Bome, Khumi, Kheyang, Chak, Pankhoa, and Lusai. The mix of different races, cultures, religions and customs creates an interesting community at Rangamati. If you are out travelling Bangladesh, you must stop for a day or two at Rangamati and taste it’s beauty.
Let me know your opinions about this article. If you have already been to Rangamati then share your experiences as well 🙂 Happy travelling 🙂