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Coastal areas of Bangladesh & it’s resources: Immense possibilities for the country & it’s people - Behroz Newaz Khan

           Coastal areas of Bangladesh & it’s resources

I hear from many people saying that Bangladesh is a very poor country because it doesn’t have enough natural resources like oil, coal, natural gas, gold mine, diamond etc. As we don’t have enough or sufficient oil in our country; we have to buy it from the other countries. So, many people regret that we are not counted in the petrodollar earning countries. I say there is nothing to regret about petrodollar, because we have more expensive and valuable things than oil. And one of those valuable things is Shrimp, which is a very popular sea-food throughout the world. If we get to know the hidden authenticity of this we can realize the value of Shrimp. Today international price of 1 litre refined petrol is 1.2 US$ which is nearly 100 taka in Bangladeshi currency. But 1 kg of raw Shrimps cost 800 taka which is nearly 10 US$. So we can easily realize that without being processed only the raw Shrimps are 10 times more expensive than the refined oil. So, why we regret for petrodollar? We should be proud of our shrimp dollar. Because in today’s market every year we can sell nearly 1 lakh 50 thousands metric tons of Shrimp to other countries. And we can earn more than 1.5 billion US$ every year by selling processed Shrimps.

 In the coastal areas like Cox’s Bazar, Teknaf, Kutubdia, Bhola, Patuakhali, Barguna etc we can grow shrimps very easily. Because the weather and condition of water & soil in these places are very suitable for growing Shrimps. So the Govt. along with the private sectors should come forward & take necessary steps to promote prawn culture & earn foreign currency for our country.
Another valuable resource we have is the longest beach of the world, which is situated in Cox’s Bazar. In Cox’s Bazar beach we can take 3 kinds of baths. We can say them 3 S ---- which means Sea bath, Sun bath & Sand bath. The tourists always enjoy having a bath in sea. But in our beach we can provide 3 types of bath including the sand bath which is becoming popular day by day. Another thing is that we can’t take sand bath in every beach because in order to have a proper sand bath the sands should contain the minerals & some necessary elements which are very much available in our beach. So it's a benefit for us because sand bath is very useful for our health as it kills the germs of our body. Sometimes it cures the skin diseases too.
Besides the Govt. can build a particular zone in the beach for the foreigners, where they can enter by paying a good amount of money. The authority can arrange beach-volleyball, parachute jumping, surfing, riding sea bikes & speed boats etc for the foreigners who love ADVENTURE. By taking these kind of steps the Govt. can earn more than 10 million US$ in a year only in the tourism sector. So the Govt. should think about it.

Moreover the minerals like Garnet, Rutile, Zircon, Magnetite, Ilmenite, Thorium etc are in plenty at our beach. These minerals are very valuable in the international market. The Rutile is used for making aircraft body, Zircon is used for making artificial diamonds & the other minerals are also used in various kind of useful purpose.
One more thing is that if we go through the map of south Asia, we will see that Northeast India, Bhutan, Nepal and parts of Southern China & Myanmar are totally landlocked. So Bangladesh is seen as crucial to the economic development of these areas. Our port city is already very busy with the stuff & goods of these several countries. So if we build deep sea port at Sonadia Island. The trade & commerce of Bangladesh will go to an extent level which will bring the prosperity for the country & it’s people. 

So our fate is in our hand, we should make the best use of our resources & go ahead with integrity & perseverance, so that our country can prosper & go out from the circle of  poverty.
Behroz Newaz Khan

Saint Martin & Chera dip- the Island of Paradise

           Saint Martin & Chera dip- the Island of Paradise

St Martin Island, the most beautiful coral island with beaches fringed with coconut palms and laid-back locals. It is possible to walk around Saint Martin in a day as it measures just 8 km. It is situated just 9 km. south of the Cox’sbazar-Tekhnaf peninsula and formed the southernmost part of Bangladesh. It is called Narical Jinjira (“Coconut Island” in Bengali) by the local residence and also known as Daruchini Dip among the Bangladeshis.
It’s a totally clean and quite place and for the travelers it is very much enjoyable for your holidays as no one will disturb you, not even mosquitoes. November to February is the main sightseer season with the best weather you can visit on that time to enjoy fully. Most things are concentrated around the far north of the island, with the center and south being mostly farmland and makeshift huts. There is no electricity in the island though the hotels and lodges run generator in the evening for some hours. Rest of the time from night to till the sunrise you have to stay in dark which makes such romantic feelings among the travelers.

Saint Martin's Island Tourist Attractions:

·       Sunrise in the east side of the island and sun set on the west are the most charming scenario of this island.
·       St. Martin island is very much rich in marine life. However, in the southern part it hosts more species and it consists of some mangrove forest as well.
·       Village life is slow paced; mostly work in late night or early in the morning while midday is reserved for selling coconut and drying the cached fish.
·       The southern point of the Island has a millions of years old Rock formed from Coral. This area is called the Rock Beach and it should be visited by foot which is extended till Dakkhinamatha (the last point of the island in south).
·       As no electricity in night time the nights at Saint Martin Island are calm and quiet with gentle murmurs of the coconut trees. The moonlit night on the island provides peaceful and majestic experience.

Chera Dip:

Chera dip, one of the popular tourist places among the local travelers, is a part of St. Martin Island but divided during tides. One can go there by walking during low tide and it takes only one and a half hour to reach there. In addition of that, one can also go there by the local boats and motorboats as well. Lots of corals all over the island and a small bush consist, which is the only green portion of that island. Moreover this part also enhancing the beauty of Chera Dip. This island is empty as people do not there, so travelers usually go there in the morning and come back at evening.

How to go:

Getting to St. Martin Island is very easy now as the transportation system is improving day by day. Firstly, you can go Cox’sBazar by air, or bus. Lots of bus services are available and the fair is in-between 700-900 Bd tk. Train services available to Chittagong, then you can go from here just 3 hours bus journey to Tekhnaf. Actually, you have to catch a bus to Tekhnaf from anywhere like Cox’sbazar or Chittagong to go for St. Martin. From Tekhnaf ferries run daily early in the morning and take only 3 hours to the Island. Lots of travel agencies are available and they provide the package tours and you can also discuss with them for more information.

Where to stay:

An accommodation in St. Martin is limited so it is advisable to book accommodation before you plan to go to there. Lots of hotels, motels are available but remember that visitors will hardly get a chance to stay there if you are a sudden visitor on St. Martin Island. Overnight stay in St. Martin is really a great experience, feeling and listening to the shore of the sea. Moreover, if you are lucky enough, you can have a moonlit night at this Paradise Island. The beauty of the full moon on this Island cannot be described in words. So, you have to be there and feel and enjoy it.
Usually, most people visit there during November to February as mentioned earlier as the season is the best to travel and enjoy. As the combined participation of Govt. and private initiatives, have developed some attractive tourist facilities so you can visit there to enjoy your holidays. Last but not least, eateries here offer BBQ dinner with fresh marine fish or lobsters.

Mymensing-riverside silence near Dhaka

                                     Mymensing-riverside silence near Dhaka

Would you like to go in a natural green lonely place besides river near Dhaka? Besides, you want to take refreshment from the daily hassle life but don’t have the time to stay there for long time?
Then you should assign your first choice to roam in Mymensingh for a day long program. Mymensing, such a beautiful small city, located besides the old Brahmaputra River, a very old town in the history of Bangladesh, where you will find all the refreshment ingredients in your hand. It is just about 121 Km. far from the capital Dhaka and almost 3 hours bus or train journey. This small town is mainly famous for the renowned Bangladesh Agriculture University and for the natural beauty as well. University campus is so large and such a place of large amount of natural beauties. The one of the biggest campus of BAU and consist of the natural and beautiful scenario. Recently, BAU has inaugurated “The Fish Museum” in the campus where you can visit there. Nevertheless very few towns are located near river in Bangladesh and Mymensingh is one of them.  From the university to main town river is flowing besides the road and you can enjoy the whole journey if you come from the university area. Locally, the most popular attraction of this town is the riverside park which is just besides the Mymensingh circuit house. From there the beautiful scenario watching the other side of that river is just awesome. Even you can spend a whole day by just sitting besides the river through watching the beauties. In addition of that Joynal Abedin Shilpokola Academy is just besides the park and you can visit there and can take a glance in the academy. This is a classic attraction of the tourist and you can take a respect of the famous Joynal Abedin by visiting there. Not only this, you can also visit the Rajbari of Mymensingh and teachers training college as well. You can visit in Anandamohon College, one of the popular and renowned colleges under National University in Bangladesh.
According to the view of local people this city is also famous for the varieties of food among Bangladesh. The tea stall besides the river in park is very popular among the local people for Rong (cucumber and lemon) tea. Chotpoti and Fuska stalls are also renowned and delicious for food in park.  Lots of restaurants are also available for lunch and dinner like Dhanshiri, Sarinda, and Rom 3 etc. Here, the Kacchi Biriyani and Morog polau is the most popular item. Some hotels are also available for stay night but for the purpose of roaming usually people start early in the morning and come back in the night as it is just 3 hours journey. From Mohakhali after every 15 minutes buses are available like Ena, Shoukhin etc. and if you want to go there by train your first choice should be the Tista Express early 7.00 in the morning from Komlapur rail station. Besides other express and mail trains are also available to go for Mymensing. So, why be sited in your house in weekend, just take a holiday and stay the whole day at Mymensingh with more enjoy and excitement.

Lalbagh Fort, Dhaka, Bangladesh

                   Lalbagh Fort, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Is there anyone who belongs to the subcontinent does not know about the Mughal period? I am pretty sure there is not anyone.  Mughal rulers built some significant structures during there period and Lalbagh Fort is one of them. The another name of the Fort is Fort Aurangabad.

It is an incomplete Mughal palace, situated at old Dhaka. The construction of the Fort started by Prince Muhammad Azam in 1678 AD. After Azam Shaista Khan was the next ruler of Bengal but he did not continue the work. The daughter of Shaista Khan named Bibi Pari(Lady Fairy) died in 1684 and she was led in the fort. The design of the Fort was awesome. In that time it was consists of three buildings- the mosque, the tomb of Pari bibi and the Diwan-i-Aam. The total area of the fort is 18 acres. Now there we find several roof gardens and fountains. There are two main gates available for the tourists. The main attraction of the fort is the tomb of Pari bibi. The Diwan-I-Aam isis attached with a Hammam. The big water tank (71.63 m) is situated at the front of Diwan-I-Aam. The Lalbagh Fort is now used as the most popular tourist spot in the busy Dhaka city. The fort is probably open for the tourists during 10 am- 6 pm.  

Kuakata, Barisal, Bangladesh

                  Kuakata,Barisal, Bangladesh

Any sea beach is an attraction to the nature lovers and tourists. In one sea beach can u want to enjoy both sunrise and the sunset? Is it possible or imagination in Bangladesh? Yes, it is possible, if you go to Kuakata sea beach.

Kuakata, locally known as Sagar Kannya (Daughter of the Sea) is a rare scenic beauty spot on the southernmost tip of Bangladesh. The Kuakata beach is 30 km long and 6 km wide as it is situated about 320 Km. far from Dhaka and 70 Km. away from Potuakhali district headquarter. At Kuakata excellent combination of the picturesque natural beauty, sandy beach, blue sky, huge expanse of water of the Bay and evergreen forest in really eye-catching. The name Kuakata have originated from Kua-Well dug on the sea shore by the early Rakhine settlers in quest of collecting drinking water, who landed on Kuakata coast after expelled from Arakan by Moughals. Afterwards, it has become a tradition of digging Kua-Well in the neighborhood of Rakhaine homestead for collection water for drinking purpose and general use. Kuakata is one of the rarest places which have the unique beauty of offering the full view of the rising and setting of crimson sun in the water of the Bay of Bengal in a calm environment.

That perhaps makes Kuakata one of the world's unique beaches which is the most attractive tourist attraction and makes a typical natural beauties. Bathing there is as pleasant as walking there. Kuakata, a totally virgin beach, popularly known as sanctuary migratory winter birds, a series of coconut trees, a feast for the eye. Boats playing in the Bay of Bengal with colorful sails, fishing, towering cliffs, surfing waves include everything touches every tourist’s soul. Not only this fisherman villages is another place where you can go and can watch the lifestyle, tradition of the fisherman. If  you are adventurous you may also go for fishing if u can manage the local fisherman.

 As the local peoples are more supportive, so you can easily adopt with them. This will give you such pleasure that you will never find from anywhere and you can also buy the famous Hilsha fish. Besides the unique customs and costumes of the 'Rakhyne' tribal families and Buddhist Temple which is about hundred years old indicate the ancient tradition and cultural heritage, where it makes Kuakata is the place of pilgrimage of the Hindus and Buddhist communities. During the "Rash Purnima" and "Maghi Purnima" Hindu and Buddhist devotees arrive here for a celebration and usually local fairs are also arranged by the local people.
There exists road communication between capital Dhaka and Potuakhali .Direct bus services are also available from Dhaka to Kuakata via Barisal. One can also go by water to kuakata as well. Everyday launches starts from sadarghat launch terminal to Patuakhali at the evening. Next mornings launches reach Patuakhali, then bus, car are easier vehicle to come Kuakata. Lots of luxurious hotels, motels are available and cheaper here for staying at night and don’t forget to eat the delicious Hilsha fish, the special attraction of Kuakata.

Wari-Bateshwar, Narsingdi, Bangladesh

                    Wari-Bateshwar, Narsingdi,Bangladesh

Wari-Bateshwar is the newly established Archaeological site of Bangladesh. It is situated in Wari and Bateshwar villages, Belabo Upazila, Nasingdi district. The Pathan family mainly plays a significant rule to discover and increases the awareness about the site among the mass people. Hanif Pathan, a local school teacher discovers the site in 1933. Then he and his son Habibullah  Pathan have build a museum where they stored the collection of knobbed ware, rouletted ware, flakes, stones, various type of glasses and coins found from the site. They wrote several books and journals about the importance of this very important Archaeological site. The site gives the details information about the establishing the cultural, political and economy of the whole south Asia. The Department of Archaeology in Jahangirnagar University provides us the details information about the importance of the  site. They has been investigating the site since 1989 and started digging the site in 2000. However, more research needed to know various stuffs related to this Archaeological site. Now the question how can you explore the site? It is quite easy to visit Wari-Bateshwar from the capital Dhaka. There are a lot of bus services available from Mohakhali or Saydabad bus stand by which you can reach marjal bus station, Narsingdi and it will take not more than 2.30-3.00 hours. Then you will find some autos for going Belabo or directly to Wari-Bateshwar. The total costing of the whole tour will be 500-1000 taka only. 

Mainamati and Shalban Bihara, Comilla, Bangladesh

                     Mainamati and Shalban Bihara

Comilla is a boisterous and a market town 90km southeast of capital Dhaka. Here Mainamati, an ancient seat of Buddhism in south Asia, is about 8 Km. to the west of Comilla town. Everywhere you go there will be an object of intense and friendly curiosity. It is a base for those visiting the fascinating and extensive Buddhist ruins of Mainamati. It is called the home of one of the most important Buddhist archaeological sites in the region. There are a number of Buddhist sites in this region, dating approximately from 7th to 12th centuries.
 Mainamati is named for the Chandra queen of the same name, mother of the Govindachandra.Large number of Buddhist ancient sculptures have been discovered from its neighboring areas other nearest archaeological sites of Ananda Vihara, Bhoj Rajar Bari, Kotila Mura, Charpatra Mura etc. is important and tourist attracted sites. Large full size Buddhist images were discovered from these places through archaeological excavates.
 The centre piece of the Buddhist sites at Mainamati is the Shalban Bihara almost in the middle of the Mainamati-Lalmai hill range insists of 115 cells, built around a spacious courtyard with a cruciform temple in the centre, facing its only gateway complex to the north, resembling that of the Shompur Bihara. It is clearly a Vihara, or an educational centre with residential facilities.

Kutila Mura is situated on a flattened hillock, about 5 km north way of Salban Vihara inside the Comilla Cantonment is a picturesque Buddhist establishment. Here, there are three stupas 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 which leads to a spacious hall. A number of shrines can be found here as well.
The natural green atmosphere and beauties are available around the whole Buddhist Bihara.  So why you are wasting your time by sitting in room, it’s just 2 hours journey from Dhaka to Comilla. One can easily go in the morning and could return at night.  There are luxurious bus and train services are available for Comilla where lots of others tourist places are also available near about the city, you can see altogether. For Bangladesh Railway Mohanagar Provati, Godhuli, Upokul Express and other mail trains is available to go to Comilla. Many remarkable restaurants are available for lunch or dinner in Comilla town and besides the famous “Roshomalai” on desert as well. Interested tourists may avail package tours with smart guides by Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation to visit this historic seat of Buddhist civilization.

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,