Along the border of the Garo hills
Ijumped out of house arrest in one weekend on the spur of the moment. Regular partner Sujan Bhai joined as a tour companion at Mohakhali bus station. It’s like a lottery. I fixed the destination by ten to twenty times and bought the bus ticket to Lengura. The objective is to enjoy the natural beauty of Kalmakanda and explore as far as possible along the Meghalaya border.
I reached Lengura at seven in the morning along the road after crossing Netrakona Sadar. The condition of the road shows how favorable this area is for the development of the tourism industry. However, this area rich in biodiversity of mountains, hills, rivers and small ethnic groups can be one of the focal points of tourist interest.
I got down from the bus and breathed in the fresh morning air. Even though we don’t have any specific travel plans, the Ganeshwari river that flows down the hills of Meghalaya. That was our primary destination. I asked some local people and started walking. As soon as I went some distance in search of the river, the sky broke and rain fell. I went to an empty mosque on the side of the road and took shelter. In the meantime, when the rain got stronger, I was enjoying it. After an hour, when the sky calmed down, I started walking again. I sat in a tea shop in the market and drank tea. Walking along the banks of the river, I went to the tomb of seven martyrs near the border with the great enthusiasm of the youth. The graves of seven freedom fighters martyred in the great liberation war are here in the gap of thick trees. From this shrine is basically the border of India and from where the hilly area begins.
On the way back after visiting the Martyr’s Memorial, I came looking for Momin’s Hill. Although the big hills here are within the borders of India, there are several hills on the Bangladesh border from where a 360 degree view of the entire area is available. Similarly, a mound is the mound of Momin. This dune can be an excellent camping site. Although there are some infrastructural developments in the dune area including umbrellas, benches, it is now largely destroyed due to neglect. A full view of Ganeshwari river is available from here.
Ganeshwari is a strangely beautiful river coming down from the Garo Hills called Chengmang in Meghalaya state of India. At the end of the river, the mountains of Meghalaya state are covered with thick black clouds. And small hills on the other side. Diverse settlements of tribal communities such as Garo, Hajong, Hadi, Koch etc. border the hills. Ganeshwari crosses different routes from its origin and joins the Kangsa river at Janjail near the eastern part of Netrakona town. During the winter, the clear water can be seen with the glittering sand at the bottom, but during the monsoons, the water is quite cloudy.
When I finished looking around, I came down on the other side of the hill. I got the motorcycle after waiting for some time down the road. The advantage of this region is that there are motorbikes on hire available everywhere to get around. I immediately came to Durgapur on a motorcycle. We ate from Durgapur market at once. I reached the bank of Someshwari river through Birishiri Minority Cultural Academy. Sand extraction is going on in rows next to the ghat. Someshwari is said to be one of the most beautiful rivers in Bangladesh. Like Jadukata river in Sunamganj, blue water can be seen in dry season. Due to the rainy season, there is a lot of water in the river.
Motorcyclists and auto drivers surrounded him as he crossed the river by boat from the ghat. When visiting this area, usually everyone makes an auto reservation.
Visiting the sights here, we will proceed along the border road to Mymensingh’s Haluaghat. That’s how I bargained with the bike driver and fixed it at 700 taka.
First I arrived at the famous porcelain hill area of Durgapur. Nilpani reservoir can be seen from the china clay hill. Due to the rainy season, the water is muddy instead of blue. Still, being deserted, it was quite enjoyable to walk around. From there I visited Vijaypur border and church area and came to a tea shop near Someshwari. The special interest of the bike driver was to have tea at a shop. I saw many boats busy fishing in the river. Later I came to know that they are not mainly busy with fishing, but with taking coal from the river. During this season, the local people extract the floating coal as the water current is high. If the amount is good, it can be very profitable. A huge pile of coal is next to the tea shop. After the tea phase, our running phase started.
After crossing Dhobaura from Vijaypur, the name of Kalsindu was seen on the signboard. The name is so familiar that it instantly reminds me of the famous teenage footballers of Kalsindur. Don’t remember why. Much like a fairy tale is their success story. The bike driver was taken to the front of the government school where girls become footballers. Just wondering how such a football team emerged from such a remote area. The huge school ground is next to the market and the newly built Prime Minister’s gift college building is next to it. The bike driver said that although the communication system is underdeveloped, the electricity facility has reached here quickly and it is only subject to the demand of these girls.
Our bike started running for miles after miles. The whole night’s sleep seemed to be suppressed. Finally stopped at a market on the way and drank tea to get rid of sleep. Sweets were also eaten. After a long journey, I finally reached Haluaghat.
Although the plan was to go down from Haluaghat to Panihata in Sherpur along the border road. But due to lack of time that plan had to be dropped. I decided to return to Dhaka from here. But before that, I definitely found the traditional sponge sweet shop of Haluaghat. I reached the bus station in the late afternoon. Headed back with some wonderful memories of a wonderful day.