Saturday, January 30, 2010

Travel in nijum dip

The name 'Nijhum Dwip' itself contains a romantic connotation about the place; it gives one a sense of silence and natural splendour unsullied by human exploration. Which it really is? The island is situated between Noakhali and Bhola under Hatiya upazila Upazila in Noakhali District. It covers a total area of 16,352 hectares. With proper facilities this Island could be prime tourist spot after St. Martins Island.

At one time it was called Char Osman. It is the southern most island of Bangladesh that confluence of the Meghna estuary on the Bay of Bengal.

A surreal vision grows on traveler eyes when they enjoy sprinkling moment with uncovered nature. It’s really rural reflection of Bangladesh but Natural refreshment. No standard restaurants, road even electricity there. The population in Nijhum Dwip in 2001 was 10,670. At high tide a significant potion of the island becomes covered in water, apart from the cultivated, inhabited areas. Their main occupations are cultivation, fishing and livestock farming. The island produces vegetables in large quantities. People live here together amidst natural calamities. Life in the island is hard and risky but very plain in mind.

There are different species of animal surround of you. Spotted deer, Migratory birds, Monkeys, Estuary reported to harbor the Ganges River Dolphin include Clawless Otter, Fishing Cat, Snakes, Tortoises and Turtles. During winter, thousands of migratory birds visit the islands and around a dozen of which are considered to be globally critically endangered, enhancing its splendour even further.

The forest department of the government of Bangladesh created mangrove forests in Nijhum Dwip and the main attraction in these forests is the herd of about 5000 spotted dear. You must be capture picture of deer. That perhaps makes Nijhum Dwip one of the unique tourist spot in Bangladesh.

The most important type of tree planted in the island is Keora, also known as Kerfa, which has fast growing roots holding the sandy land. The plant also supplies pillars for houses, materials for making boats and agricultural implements, and fuel for domestic use. In 2001, the government of Bangladesh declared Nijhum Dwip forests as National Park. Part of what is now Nijhum Dweep National Park was originally proposed as a Sanctuary for the conservation of a wide variety of waterfowl, including the migratory shorebirds, and a large number of mammals. The area includes a cluster of islands, mainly Ballar Char, Kamlar Char, Char Osman and Char Muri.

Visitor takes remarkable experience of boat journey in the canal which covered the island like net. Visitor invented themselves in silence, their eyes and ears intent on hearing every rustle of the nature. It's a surreal situation, tour boats had to go under thickets hunched over the canal, known and unknown birds chirping all over the island. On both sides of the canal are forests of kewra. The sky seen through the bush looked too blue to be true.

Getting There ...
From Dhaka take a launch from Shadar ghat toTamaruddin of Hatiya Dweep. From there youcan get to Nijhum Dweep by local motor boat. Or you can take a bus or train to Chittagong, from there youneed to go to Hatiya island by motor boat or Sea Truck. From there you can go to Nijhum Dweep by local motorboat. In Hatiya, you will have to go to Jahazmara Bazar by tempo or jeep. From there you can go to Amtali Ghat or Katakhali Ghat by rickshaw. Engine boats are available there to take you to Nijhum dweep. These boats run depending on the wave and tide of sea.

Places to Stay and Eat
Accommodation is very limited for the tourists in this Island. You can take foods from local restaurants but be careful about the quality of foods. If you stay overnight at Hatiya, there are some boarding hotels. Among them, the best is Monir Chairman's boarding. Accommodations are not good at Nijhum Dweep and are few in number. Forest Department and District Parishod have Guest Houses in the island, which need prior permission. Both these places provide food.

Information and Photo courtesy: Banglapedia, The daily Star, google, Flickr and others.

No comments: