In & around Chittagong Division
Chittagong Division is located at southern part of the country and has an area of 33771 sq. km and population of 5.5 million. It has 11 districts and 38 municipalities. Chittagong city, situated near the Bay of Bengal, is the biggest seaport and second largest city in Bangladesh. Chittagong divison offers a wide range of natural beauty including a lot of hills and mountains, waterfalls, forests. It is famous for the largest beach in the world.
Chittagong is a major tourist attraction in Bangladesh. Its green hills and forests, its broad sandy beaches and its fine cool climate always attract the nature-lovers. Described by the Chinese traveler poet Huen Tsang (7th century AD) as “a sleeping beauty emerging from mists and water” and given the title of “Porto Grande” by the 16th century Portuguese seafarers. Chittagong is filled with dense green forests, endless rolling hills, a moderate climate and breathtaking beaches. Since the 7th century, Chittagong has been mentioned in many documents as a seaport of mystical beauty and magnificent charm. The bustling harbor stands in stark contrast to the tranquility and peaceful surroundings of the city.
Main Tourist Spots in Chittagong Division
World War II Cemetery and Zia Memorial MuseumThe War Cemetery, located on Badshah Mia Road, is a place of historic value and interest. It contains the graves of 755 soldiers of the Allied Force who laid down their lives on the Indo-Burmese front during World War II.
There are a number of museums in Chittagong. The most prominent is the Zia Memorial Museum which housed in the old circuit house building. It was established in 1993 with 12 galleries. Former president of Bangladesh Ziaur Rahman was assassinated there on the 30th May, 1981. This commemorative museum houses the late president's mementos and personal belongings.
The Chittagong Ethnological Museum, located in the bustling commercial street of Agrabad, is the country’s lone ethnological museum. It offers the visitors the chance to acquaint with the lifestyles and heritage of various ethnic groups of the country. This museum was established in 1965.
The museum contains four galleries and a small hall. Three galleries of the museum feature diverse elements of 25 ethnic groups, including Chakma, Marma, Tongsinga, Khumi, Murang, Sautal, Garo, Chak, Monipuri, Palia, Tipra, Hajang, Lusai, Shimuji and Bom while the rest of the galleries display the lifestyles of some racial groups of India, Pakistan, and Australia.The sculptures of the people of different ethnic communities and a piece of broken Berlin Wall draw the visitors especially the children who can get impression of different festivals, livelihoods, and cultures of the communities from the murals set up at the hall room. People between 200 and 300 visits the museum every day in addition to a number of researchers from home and abroad.
Foy's LakeFoy's Lake, a man-made lake, was created in 1924 by the Assam-Bengal Railway, which is located at Pahartali. Foy's Lake is near to Batali Hill, the highest hill of Chittagong metropolitan area. This is an amusement park and its total area is 320 Acres.
The Park consists with a water theme park, resort and an amusement center. This park Offer you theme park rides and boating on the lake, landscaping, restaurants, concerts, scenic walking trails and many other attractions. A small zoo also has been set up in the park. There is another lake also made by Assam-Bengal railway in 1920.
Foy's Lake offers wonderful natural as well as man-made aesthetics and amusements that will charm you and make your time joyful and happy.
Patenga and Faujdarhat Sea Beaches
Patenga beach is about 22 km from Chittagong district. The place is blessed with two of the most significant water resource of the country - the river Karnaphuli and the Bay of Bengal. The beaches here offers one of the country’s most beautiful and significant scenic beauties. Visitors can have a view of the bay sitting on the boulders placed all around the beaches. There is also a sandy beach. Besides the beach you can enjoy boating and river cruise on the Karnaphuli River. Another ideal tourist spot is the Faujdarhat Sea Beach, 16 km. from Chittagong.
Parki beach, situated in Anwara Thana under Southern Chittagong region, is about 17 km from Chittagong city. It is also blesses, like Patenga, with Karnaphuli and the Bay of Bengal. As the beach is situated at the Karnaphuli river channel, visitors can view both the Karnaphuli River and the sea together. Tourists can see the big ships anchored at the outer dock, fishermen catching fish in the sea, sunset, and various colored crabs at the beach and enjoy the quiet and peaceful environment.
Located 37 km from Chittagong city, Shitakundo is famous for the Chandranath Temple and the Buddhist Temple, which is said to have the footprint of Lord Buddha.
Shitakundo attracts tourists for its wonderful natural aesthetics it offers, specially its hilltops and mountainous regions. These regions are also regarded as very sacred both by the Buddhists and Hindus. Siva-chaturdashi festival is held every year in February when thousands of pilgrims assemble for the celebrations that last for ten days. There is a salt-water spring 5 km to the north of Shitakunda, known as Labanakhya.
Cox’s BazarCox’s Bazar is the most significant, most attractive and most romantic tourist spot in the whole country. It is famous for the longest sea beach in the world that is approximately 120 km long. Miles of golden sands, towering cliffs, surfing waves, rare conch shells, colorful pagodas, Buddhist temples and tribes, delightful seafood – all these defines in short the city of Cox’s Bazar, for that it is easily called the tourist capital of Bangladesh.
Image of Cox’s Bazar beach Image of Cox’s Bazar beach The warm shark free waters are good for bathing and swimming & while the sandy beaches offer opportunities for sun-bathing. The beauty of the setting-sun behind the waves of the sea is simply captivating. Locally made cigars and handloom products of the tribal Rakhyne families are good buys.
Every year lots of foreign & local tourist come here to spend their leisure in Cox’s Bazar. Though the main season is in the winter, but Cox’s Bazar sea beach is crowded almost throughout the year. Especially in winter season, it is hard to get an accommodation in the hotels if booking is not made earlier.
The beauty of the sea beach and its surroundings is of world fame. It is so famous around the world that many come from various countries only to visit and enjoy this beach.
Maheshkhali IslandMaheshkhali is a small island (268 square kilometers),located about 6 km northwest of the Cox’s Bazar.
The island offers panoramic scenic beauty and is covered by a range of low hills, stretches through the center of the island and along its eastern coastline. The coasts of the island on the west and north form a low-lying tract that is fringed by the mangrove forests. The main attraction of Maheshkhali is the Adinath temple and ashram dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva. The island is accessible by a 15 minutes speedboat ride from Kastura Ghaat in Cox’s Bazaar.
Sonadia IslandThe origin of the island’s name is from an age-old legend. It is said that a ship loaded with gold sunk there centuries ago during an attack by Portuguese pirates, and an island formed around the ship-wreck. The tiny 4.63 sq. km island, located 7 km from Cox’s Bazaar, is accessible by speedboat from Kastura Ghat. The island is an ideal place for tourists interested in buying dried pomfret fish. Sonadia also acts as a temporary sanctuary for migrating birds such as petrels, geese, curlews, ducks and other water fowl. It was once renowned for pink pearls.
Located about 18 km south of Cox’s Bazar along the sea beach, Himchari is one of the most beautiful places in Chittagong division. It is well known for its natural aesthetics and it is so famous that tourists from all over the country gather here to enjoy. And also, the film units come here to take shots for their films, short films.
Waterfalls in Himchari are some of the most significant features of this area. And the journey to Himchari is unbelievably enjoyable as the road to Himchari runs by the open sea on one side and hills on the other. Here, a lots of Christmas trees, is another important feature that charms its visitors.
Located 35 km south of Cox’s Bazar, this sandy beach is located within Ukhia Thana. This beach is famous for its golden sand and clean shark-free water which is ideal for sea bathing. Most tourists prefer to come down here for relaxing because it is free from the crowd of tourists that is usually seen at the Laboni beach.
It is a Buddhist monastery located at the eastern end of Cox’s Bazar town. It represents the Burmese style architecture. The main sanctuary is built around massive timber columns. The floors are made of teak. Behind Aggameda Khyang is Maha Thin DawGree, a vast spread of Buddhist structures.
Ramu & Lamapara
Ramu and Lamapara towns are special for their Buddhist Khyangs (temples). Ramu is located 14 km east of Cox’s Bazaar, just off the Chittagong road. Ramu offers a nice beach with beautiful views, specially of the sunset and sunrise views on the beach. And its beach is a little different than the other beaches of Chittagong, so offers a variety to its visitors.
There is also a beautiful monastery containing images of Buddha in bronze, silver and gold, and inlaid with precious and semi-precious stones. Lamapara is a palm shaded village, 5 km from Ramu and accessible only by zigzag village roads. The Burmese Bara Khyang in Lamapara has the country’s largest bronze Buddha statue. The temple has three wooden buildings which house a number of precious Buddhist images in silver and gold set with gems.
TeknafThe bank if river Naf and the Bay of Bengal make up the Teknaf Town, which is the southernmost tip of Bangladesh. It is famous for its natural aesthetics such as mystic hills, forests, Naf river and great natural waterfalls and specially, beaches. Lots of Salt fields are there by the side of river Naf.
You can enjoy shopping in the local market called Burmese Market where you will find all the Burmese & tribal handmade materials. Do not forget to see the Well of Ma-Thin- which tells a sad story of love. Myanmar is on the opposite bank of Naf River. Wild animals and birds are available but the most interesting thing is a journey on the river. Wide sandy beach in the backdrop of high hills with green forests is an enchanting scene never to be forgotten.
St. Martins Island
St. Martins Island is only 30 km from Teknaf and you can go there by local motorboat, tourist boats, or sea truck. It is the most beautiful Coral Island where you will find live corals. It is one of the most attractive spots for the tourists from all over the world as well as Bangladesh.
It is the only coral island of Bangladesh. The local name of the island is NarkelJinjira meaning Coconut Island. It exists only because of its coral base. It also has the country’s only clear water suitable for snorkeling. Accommodation in St. Martins Island is limited, so it is advisable to book accommodation before you plan to go to this Island. Motel Nijhum is one of the best hotels in St. Martins Island. There are some other good hotels and motels in St. Martins Island. Booking of these hotels are possible from Dhaka. All this hotels are situated adjacent to Seashore. You can enjoy the Sea from these hotels lobby or veranda.
The aesthetics of St. Martin is difficult to narrate in words, can only felt by paying a visit to the island. It is a must-watch while you are in Cox’s Bazar district. The living corals, the coconut trees, the living creatures on water of the beach, and the beach itself – all present a wonderful atmosphere that you cannot forget for a long time.
Overnight staying in St. Martins Island is really an exotic feeling where you will feel and listenthe sound of Sea. If you are lucky enough then you can spend the exotic moonlit night at St. Martins Island. The beauty of full moon in St. Martins Island cannot be expressed, if you are not there at that time.
Cheera – DwipCheera- Dwip is a part of St. Martins Island but divided during tides. You can go to Cheera-Dwip by walking, it is about two and a half hours walk from St. Martins Island. You can go there also by local motorboat or tourist boat. In that Island you will find the Corals- living and dead all over the Island. A small bush is there which in the only green part of Cheera-Dwip, enhancing the beauty of this Island. This island is only for sight-seeing, people do not live in this Island, so it is advisable for the tourists to go there early and come back by afternoon.
KuakataKuakata, locally known as SagarKannya or Daughter of the Sea is a scenic beauty-spot in southern Bangladesh.Kuakata is located about 71 km south of the sea-queen district of Patuakhali, facing the Bay of Bengal and 320 km from Dhaka.
Kuakata offers excellent combination of the picturesque natural beauty, sandy beach, blue sky, huge expanse of water of the Bay and evergreen forest is really mind blowing. The beach is about 18 km long and 3 km width elongated east-westward from where both sun-rise and sun-set can be seen. The coconut trees increase the scenic beauty of this seashore. It is one of the most famous tourist spots in the whole country, known for its variety of naturally beautiful features stated above.
It is truly a virgin beach - a sanctuary for migratory winter birds, a series of coconut trees, sandy beach of blue-Bay, a feast for the eye. Forest, boats plying in the Bay of Bengal with colorful sails, fishing, towering cliffs, surfing waves everything here touches every visitor’s heart. The unique customs and costumes of the ‘Rakhyne’ tribal families and Buddhist Temple of about hundred years old indicate the ancient tradition and cultural heritage, which are objects of great pleasure. Kuakata is the place of pilgrimage of the Hindus and Buddhist communities. Innumerable devotees arrive here at the festival of ‘Rush Purnima’ and MaghiPurnima’.
The main tourist season is in winter but all over the year tourists visit this place. In Kuakata you can visit the life style of tribe Rakhains, who are very friendly to the tourists and visitors. If you are adventurous you may also go for fishing on the fishing boat if you can manage the local fishermen. That will give you pleasure and experience, which you won’t be able to gather from anywhere else. In the fishermen village you will find the fishermen coming back from the fishing and you can purchase some fresh Hilsha fish from them, and by the side of village there are some local restaurants from where you can get the Hilshas cooked and ready for eating. You will remember the wonderful taste of the fresh Hilshas of kuakata for a long time. From Kuakata you can visit to a part of the great Sundarban forest, which is called Gangamoti Reserve Forest. Don’t forget to visit Fatra’sChor another tourist place nearby Kuakata.
Travel Information-How to Get There:
There exists road communication between Dhaka and Patuakhali district. Accessible by road, water or an air transport up to Barisal. Then one may travel by road or water to Kuakata or Patuakhali. From Dhaka you can go to Patuakhali by bus & from there by microbus to Kuakata. It is advisable to go Patuakhali by launch, which is an overnight journey, and you can enjoy the unique beauty of Bangladesh Rivers at nighttime during this journey. Instead of Patuakhali you can go to Khepupara by launch, which is also an overnight journey and Khepupara you can go to Kuakata by microbus. A direct BRCT bus service is also available from Dhaka to Kuakatathat leaves from Sayedabad Bus Terminal at night takes 12 hours to reach Kuakata. But it might be a hectic bus journey as a number of ferries are there on the way to Kuakata by road. BRTC has introduced direct bus servicefrom Dhaka to Kuakata via Barisal.
Where to stay:
There are some hotels and motels in Kuakata where you can stay, but Holiday Homes is the best place to stay in Kuakata. It is a motel of Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation and its better if you confirm your booking from Dhaka in advance.
From Chittagong a 77 km road amidst green fields and winding hills will take you to Rangamati. It is also connected by waterway from Kaptai. Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation (BPC) built the Hanging Bridge over the Kaptai Lake which affords a convenient vantage point for taking in the beauty of the lake. This bridge is made during 1984 or around that time.It's a popular tourist spot and a must go destination.
If you don’t visit Rangamati you will not discover a big portion of natural beauties of Bangladesh. This is the only place to visit throughout the year. Rangamati expresses her full beauty in rainy season. Trees becoming greener, waterfalls are in full tide, the river Karnaphuli in her full wave in this season. If you already visited Rangamati in winter, we advise to go there again in monsoon; you will feel the difference of nature yourself.
Parjatan holiday complex is the best place to stay in Rangamati. There are other hotels in Rangamati where you can stay. Boating is prime attraction in Rangamati. You can go to Kaptai and also by Karnaphuli River you can go deep inside the hill areas where on the way you will find lots of natural waterfalls. If you wish you can take shower in the waterfall or you can swim in the river. By boat you can visit the tribal villages, KingChakma’s (tribal) Palace that is called ChakmaRajbari, Rajbonbihar pagoda, Tribal museum etc. you can also enjoy the tribal handmade crafts if you go for shopping in the local market.
Built in early sixties Kaptai Dam and the lake are the main attractions of Kaptai. If you are not visiting Kaptai separately then, don’t forget to go for a boating up to Kaptai on the Kaptai Lake while you go to Rangamati tour.
Khagrachari, a district in south-eastern Bangladesh, is a part of the Chittagong Division and the Chittagong Hill Tracts. Khagrachari presents the wild beauty of Bangladesh. It is gifted with lots hills, mountains which form the wild nature of its beauty. But it also offers a wide range of waterfalls that give the smooth nature. Here you can visit the tribal lifestyle of Chakmas in Khagrachari. You can also visit Alutila hill. Approximately 100 meters long, a very dark cave is the mysterious beauty of Alutila hill.
BandarbanBandarban is another hilly beauty of Chittagong division and is one of the most attractive spots for the tourists. Lots of hills and hilly areas, waterfalls, River Sangu, Lakes and the tribal culture are the main attraction of Bandarban.
You can go to Bandarban from Chittagong by road. Chimbuk Hill is one of the major attractions of Bandarban. You can enjoy the journey to Chimbuk Hill through jig jag hilly roads. It’s the third highest mountain in Bangladesh of approx. 3000 ft. height. A beautiful rest house is there on the top of Chimbuk Hill.
If you are lucky, you can feel the clouds touching your whole body. If you take the prior permission from Roads and Highway Department you can spent a night in the rest house on the top of Chimbuk Hill. If you stay there a night, you will remember your stay for your whole life because of the calmness of nature, sometimes hearing the wild animals squalling.
Ruma is another hill town on the same rout of Chimbuk. If you wish to visit Ruma, then first go to Ruma, spend some time there and then come back to Chimbuk Hill.
You can enjoy the Shailapropat a waterfall in Bandarban. It’s a major tourist attraction here, and it offers waterfall surrounded by hills & forest. You are advised to be careful while you go to Shailapropat – the rocky path way is very slippery, if you are not cautious there is a chance to sleep & make an accident there.
Jadi Temple or Golden Temple is a large Buddhist temple, which is situated on a hill top in Balaghata, a few kilometers out of Bandarban town. It is one of the most impressive structures in the country and is worth visiting. You are not allowed to enter the temple in shorts or with shoes on. There is also a pond on the hilltop called the “Debota Pukur” meaning pond of the God.
Another tourist spot in Bandarban is Meghla. It is a little different from the other spots that make it unique. Here enjoy boat or speedboat riding. If you are lucky you may see the wild animals in the forest. There are small shades in this spot to protect you from rains in the season of monsoon and from the hit of the sun in hot summer days. A beautiful hanging wooden bridge enhances the beauty of this spot. On one side there are some constructions and facilities for the tourists like tower, restaurant while on the other side is wild life, natural forest and hills. Here you can enjoy riding a cable car which is very enjoyable and adventurous to the brave guys. In the town you can visit the house where the king of tribe Chakma lives and from there you can visit the archeological museum of Bandarban. The museum authority has set up various tribal houses in the museum, which will give you a brief idea of the kinds of tribal houses, their design and architectural structures.
Lalmai, Moinamoti and Shalbon BiharLalmai, Moinamoti and Shalbon Bihar are famous historical and archeological places around Comilla. These are a series of hillocks, where the Northern part is called Moinamoti and the Southern part is called Lalmai; and Shalbon Bihar is in the Middle of Lalmai and Moinamoti, which the was established in 8th century by King Buddadev. SalbanVihara, almost in the middle of the Mainarnati-Lalmai hill range consists of 115 cells, built around a spacious courtyard with cruciform temple in the center facing its only gateway complex to the north resembling that of the Paharpur Monastery.
Kotila Mura, situated on a flattened hillock, about 5 km north of SalbanVihara inside the Comilla Cantonment, is a picturesque Buddhist establishment. Here three stupas are 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 through a gateway, which leads to a spacious hall.
If you are in Comilla don’t miss to go Moinamoti Museum – where you will find the historical things found in Lalmai & Moinamoti of 7th & 8th centuries. 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, bronze stupas, stone sculptures and hundreds of terracotta plaques each measuring on an average of 9″ high and 8″ to 12″ wide. Mainamati is only 114 km from Dhaka City and is just a day’s trip by road on way to Chittagong.
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