Dhaka To

Bathing in water during the day, Jyotsna at night

Bathing in water during the day, Jyotsna at night

Bathing in water during the day, Jyotsna at night

Bathing in water during the day, Jyotsna at night

This year I wanted to celebrate Victory Day in a different way. I found a description of a tour on Facebook. Victory day holiday camping under the full moon! That too is next to Nafakhum, the famous Niagara Falls of Bangladesh. 

It is organized by a travel group named ‘Vrutt…Travel and Tourism’. I enjoyed reading the description. They have experience of camping like this before. This is how they enjoyed the super moon of Nafakhum last November. But I never had the luck of camping. It was very sad to see friends who scouted in school living in tents. So I decided not to lose that chance again. What is said is what is done. Joined Nafakhum event of the circle with fixed amount. 

As usual the hour of waiting came. On December 15, at 10 pm, our bus started its journey from Dhaka’s Sayedabad to Bandarban. The time passed by shouting. The bus reached Bandarban city early in the morning. At 6 in the morning, I reserved a minibus and left for Thanchi. Some climbed on the roof of the bus. I sat in the driver’s seat, hoping to see the beauty of Bandarban. The driver said that the distance to Thanchi is 79 km. It will take four hours.

Our bus was going through the curved, up and down roads of the mountains. Yes, I was looking at the mountains. Look down and see that it is another thing. Covered with a carpet of white clouds. I went to the canteen in Chimbuk Pahar area to see that cloud. Everyone took a break there. Many people took pictures standing next to the raft of white clouds. 

After reaching Thanchi at 10:30 am, I took the local guide Harun Bhai with me to Thanchi police station to get permission from the police. After the permission, I had breakfast with rice, dal, vegetables and chicken at the hotel. By that time our tour leader Atif Aslam bhai went to BGB camp to complete the remaining formalities. After all the permissions, I left Thanchi Ghat by trawler for Remakri at around 12 noon. One has to slowly climb up the Sangu river towards Remakri in these engine driven boats. Ascending is the reason that the river gradually descends from Remakri towards Thanchi. And because of this, there is a lot of current here. In winter, the water decreases a little, but the current is strong in several sloping places. In the rainy season, how terrible its form can be, Ga shivered to imagine! In some parts of the river, one or two feet, and even four or five feet in some places, has gone down. One cannot imagine that nature can be so beautiful and serene here. River water is bluish green.

Somewhere is white. High mountains on both sides of the river. Each hill wrapped in green is like lying in the lap of clouds. Some mountains are so high that their tops are covered with clouds. That wonderful scene! It feels like entering an ancient paradise. On that hill surrounded by greenery, one can suddenly see the dwellings of one or two tribes, the cultivation land. 

Read ‘tindu’ before Remakri. I heard about this ‘Tindu’ that ‘If Bandarban is the heaven of Bangladesh, then the capital of that heaven is Tindu’! I saw the real form of that word now! Big stones are like boulders along the way. One is called ‘King Stone’, the other is ‘Big Stone’. This place is very revered by the locals. And here, walking down from the boat to cross the tour hazard! Our tour member Sumaiya Nisa Apu sprained her leg while boarding the trawler. He got severe pain in his leg. Seeing his painful condition, the team leader Atif Aslam decided to keep him in Remakri BGB’s cottage. But you are not a slave. He will walk two-three hours with us to Nafakhum! The team leader took responsibility. 

Before that some of us take a bath in the cool water of Remakri. I take a bath comfortably while lying down. At 3:30 pm from Remakri along with guide Harun Bhai, 10 of us walked along the Remakri canal towards Nafakhum. Must reach there before evening. The remaining eight tour members led by Atif Aslam kept coming behind us. As our two sisters (another sister Turin came from Dhaka with leg pain) were walking with leg pain, so they were getting late. High mountains on both sides. Remakri canal in the middle. That scene is very beautiful. I was getting tired at times walking with a heavy bag on my back. But occasionally walking through the cool water of the canal and crossing the canal, the fatigue disappeared in no time. I reached Nafakhum just in the evening. It is a wonderful sight in light and dark.

The water flow of the Remakri Canal came to this Nafakhum and suddenly dropped by about 20-25 feet. A beautiful waterfall has been created by nature. We took off our clothes and freshened up, while our guide brother sat down to prepare the night’s cooking with some assistants. Rice, chicken, potato filling and dal! Team leader Atif Aslam arrived with the rest of the members in the torch light around 7 pm. He arrived and set up the tents with another team leader Simon Islam. Then the camp fire was placed around. Wood sticks were burning inside. I play dinner in that light. Wonderful!  

Then the story began, the story of life. Some sat down to play cards. Some started singing. The moon was slowly rising above the mountains. The fog is attacked by the brightness of that moon light. It is a terribly charming and intoxicating atmosphere. I never thought such a night would come in my life.

I don’t remember when I entered the tent and fell asleep. I woke up in the morning and saw the real beauty of Nafakhum. I have never seen such a natural scene in my life. After eating noodles, I packed my bag-tag and left for Remakri. The mind was very bad. Nafakhum did not want to leave. It seemed that I would stay here, next to this waterfall for the rest of my life. 

How to go: By bus from Dhaka to Bandarban. Non AC bus fare is Tk 620. From Bandarban to Thanchi you can take local bus or jeep reserve. The guide should be taken to Thanchi police station and local BGB camp. Reserve boat (five people) should go to Remakri with permission. Nafakhum is a two-hour walk from Remakri.

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