Let’s go to Nijhum Island in Chittagong

Let’s go to Nijhum Island

Our southern region is an immense collection of life and nature. From unique lifestyles to nature’s play of forms, what’s not to like in the southern terrain that lies across the Bay of Bengal. Nijhum Island belongs to Hatia Upazila of Noakhali District.

Recently I visited Charfashan, Manpura and Nijhum island of Noakhali in the island district of Bhola on the shores of the Bay of Bengal in the Meghna estuary. In the first and second episodes, respectively, there was Charfashion and Manpura Island travel experience, today’s episode is the introduction to the unique beautiful Nijhum Island tour.

After traveling to Manpura, I stepped towards Nijhum Island. From Hazirhat in Manpura, I went to a ghat near Manpura Beach on a motorcycle for 200 taka. Our trawler to Nijhum island will leave from there. The trawlers were already fixed.

The light of the sun shining in the evening is shining on the small waves of the sea, the humid breeze is blowing across the forest beside the beach. Meanwhile, our trawler started traveling along the beach. As our trawler moved forward in the blue water, the deserted beach, Keora forest, like a distant village became a blur.

The more we leave Manpura behind, the closer we get to Nijhum Island. Nearby green forests and high land told us that we have reached the desired Nijhum Island. Our trawler started moving further through the canal. Along the way we met trawlers who had just passed childhood, or some far-fetched boy who had just entered adolescence. Green keora fruit brought by them in trawlers. They welcomed us to their home, Nijhum Island, with eager smiles and gifts.

And after some distance we saw the forest department bungalow, watch tower, Namarbazar ghat. Our trawler stopped at Namarbazar Ghat. Our hotel is right next to the ghat. I got off the trawler and walked towards the hotel. We can’t wait to step into new territory.

After relaxing at the hotel for a while, I went out to take a bath in the huge pond next to the forest department bungalow. We went down to take a bath and had a small swimming competition. A surprise was waiting for us when we got up after showering. A deer is resting comfortably on the bank of the pond! Although the deer is usually shy, it did not show any emotion in our presence. We stroked its head and back and petted it, which the deer thoroughly enjoyed.

Several trawlers return to the sea with fish at this ghat every day. I stayed at Hotel Nijhum Dipantar. The owner of the beautiful Chimcham hotel is himself a fish connoisseur and a member of the Union Parishad. A trawler caught a freshly caught fish from his farm, the endangered Shapala fish, locally known as house fish. It should be noted that the fishing and feeding of Shaplapata is discouraged as it is endangered.

In the afternoon I went out to see Nijhum Island National Park. Deer was seen while walking in the forest in the park. It is a joy to see deer so closely in the forest. The mangroves and the creek running through it felt like being inside the Sundarbans. I also visited several places including Bandartila Ghat. I heard from the fishermen the stories of their fishing in the deep sea, their happiness and sorrow.

Nijhum Island Beach is walking distance from Namarbazar Ghat, just a few minutes walk. As it was late night we didn’t want to miss the beauty of the night on the beach. Walking on the glittering sand of the moonlit beach, it seemed as if all the beauty of the world was captured here. I went back to the ghat with immense fascination and planned to eat hilsa at the hotel and watch the sunrise on the beach and went to a peaceful sleep.

We watched the sunrise on the beach early in the morning. The morning light is emerging on Nijhum island. It’s time for us to pack our bags. No matter how beautiful Nijhum Island is, it will be ours to return with its magic. Our Dhaka-bound launch Farhan-4 will depart from Hatia launch ghat at 12 noon. Complete all work and reach the wharf before time.

From Namarbazar Ghat, I rented a motorcycle for Tk 100 and went to the speedboat ghat first. I went across the channel by speedboat at a rent of Tk 80 per person and then I reached the launch ghat by renting a motorcycle at Tk 300. This launch will drop us at Sadarghat launch terminal at 5 am.

how to go

Like us, you can go to Nijhum island by trawler or by hand through Manpura. From Sadarghat, single cabin fare will be 1000 taka, family cabin fare 3-4 thousand taka, deck fare 200-300 taka. Speedboat from Hatia Ghat for 250-300 Taka by motorcycle, 80 Taka by speedboat across the channel to Namarbazar Ghat by motorcycle for 100 Taka.

where to stay

There are several hotels at Namarbazar Ghat including Hotel Nijhum Dwipantar. Accommodation in Nijhum Island is good.

what you eat

Here you can eat different types of sea fish. Buffalo milk raw curd is also famous here.

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Khejur Gur