A Houseboat Trip to Tangua Haor
In this rainy season, we decided to travel to Tangua Haor to complete our long-term plan: the largest Haor and the third Ramsar site in Bangladesh. Local people also know it as “Noykuri Kandar choykuri beel”. The most interesting thing about the Tangua Haor tour is that you can stay overnight in the houseboat. But there was another thing of interest to me, that is the food of Haor, especially fish. During the monsoon season of Bangladesh, a lot of fish is available in Haor. And you can’t get the taste of this Haor fish anywhere else. Wherever I travel, I am most interested in the region’s traditional food. Anyway, I and 4 other tourmates left for Tangua Haor on 12th July. As it is monsoon season, it’s the best time to visit. If you want to go to Tangua, it is better to book the houseboat of your choice in advance. In our Tangua Haor tour, this time we booked Shwapno- The luxury houseboat of Tangua. Today I will share with you all my experience of Tangua Haor tour – how to go, give you an idea about houseboat costs, and also share with you guys the places I visited in Sunamganj.
When will you go to Tangua Haor?
Haor is full of water during monsoon. June/July to September/October is the best time to visit Haor. The rest of the time you won’t get a trawler/boat but you can go around Tangua by bike. We went in mid-July.
How to go to Tangua Haor –
If you want to go to Tangua in the easiest way, you can go directly to Sunamganj by bus from Dhaka’s Syedabad, Gabtali, Kalyanpur, and Chittagong Road. We went by Al-Mobaraka bus. The ticket price is 600 taka. This is the minimum fare. To get a better service, you can go to Ena, Shyamoli, Hanif, and Mamun buses. Ticket price 700-900 Taka (Non AC). AC bus fare is Tk 900-1200. It takes 6-7 hours to reach. The bus reaches Sunamganj bus stand between 5 am and 6 am. Getting off from the bus stand, hire an auto to Sahib Bari Ghat. The fare is Tk 30-40 per person. This auto takes you to the wharf from where trawlers/boats are waiting for tourists
Another route to Tangua Howar is via Netrakona. However, traveling on this route seems to be a hassle for many, so most of the tourists travel by bus. If you want to go through Netrakona, first come to Dhaka Railway Station. Haor Express, Mahua, Mohanganj Express, etc. regularly travel to Netrakona. You can opt for the night train Haor Express, the fare is Tk 110 per person (S chair). Get off at Mohanganj station. Get down from the station and take an auto to Madhyanagar Ghat. Boats/Trawlers are available in this ghat. Dhaka to Netrokona Train Schedule and Ticket Price.
Shwapno Houseboat Cost details-
Shwapno Boat’s total Cabin:
-Triple Rooms: 4 (with 2 common washrooms)
-Couple Rooms: 4 (with 4 attached washrooms)
Package: 1 night 2 days.
Package cost on Friday, Saturday, and Closed days-
-Couple room + attached bathroom (for 2 people) – 16000 Tk (8000 Tk per person.)
-Triple Room – For 3 people – Rent Tk 6500 per person (no attached washroom)
Sunday – Thursday Package Cost-
-Couple room + attached bathroom (2 people) – 11800 Tk,(5900 Tk per person.)
-Triple Room – For 3 people – Rent Tk 4900 per person (no attached washroom)
Contact for booking:
The Places We Visit-
We got off the bus at Sunamganj bus stand around 6 a.m. Our boat check-in time was 8 a.m. Freshened up and then we took the auto to Sahib Bari Ghat. I saw many boats standing on the wharf. Our boat was being cleaned so we were asked to wait for a while. It seems to have rained a lot during the night. It rains every day in Haor during the monsoon season. After 30 minutes we went to our cabin. A neat little cabin. Sizeable transparent glass window next to it. You can enjoy the window view from the cabin. We were welcomed with welcome drinks (juice). Around 8 o’clock our boat left for Tangua Haor. We are floating on the Haor. At the beginning of the journey, small canals and houses were seen around. After breakfast, we all went to the roof of the boat to have a good look around. It was still raining lightly. Sometimes increasing, sometimes decreasing. The desire to sit on the roof of the boat and get wet in the rain has been fulfilled now. As the rain increased we went to each room. Around 1 am we reached our first excursion spot the watch tower. Boats do not go directly to the watch tower so you have to hire small boats to reach the tower. In this case, our boat cost, and life jacket cost were all included in the package. We went to the watch tower with the boat. Our boat was stopped where the water was low. Now it’s time to take a bath and swim in the water. Everyone put on life jackets. Local residents are floating on boats with tea, biscuits, and cigarettes to sell to tourists. If you want, you can also enjoy tea by drowning in the water of Haor. After taking a bath long time, we boarded the boat to go to the houseboat. We back and saw our lunch was ready.
We reached Tekerghat around 4 pm. Our next destination is Lakmachara, Lalaghat, and Niladri Lake. Get off the boat and fix the bike/auto to go to Lakmachha and Lalaghat. It took about 15 minutes to reach. The rent is 350 Tk. 6/7 people can go in one auto. Lakmachara is basically a stream of spring in Meghalaya, India. A lot of stones are mixed with flows and enter along with the water from the spring across the border. The hills of Meghalaya are very close to here. The Lakmachara bridge is visible from here but there is no chance to see the main fountain. The current of water is very high so be careful if you get into the water. You can also take a bath but there is no changing facility nearby. The next spot of Lakmachara is Lalaghat Jharna (waterfall). This fountain also came from India like Lakmachara. While hiring the bike/auto, definitely mention Lalaghat Jharna. After visiting these two places we came to Niladri Lake. The more I describe the beauty of Niladri Lake, the less it will become. This lake is carefully surrounded by Meghalaya and small hills. During the rainy season, the color of the water is a bit dim, but the surroundings are green. You can explore the entire lake by kayaking or boating. Niladri looked like a piece of heaven from the top of the hills. It is also called Pathar Quarry as once limestone was quarried. Locals tell us that some portions of the lake are counted as India’s area.
At the far end of the lake, there is a road on the right. If you walk along this road, you will see LC Point. India India-Bangladesh border market opens every Wednesday. Many Indian products are available at low prices here. We returned to our houseboat as soon as the sunset. Tonight our boat will stay at this Tekerghat.
The next day at 7 am our boat left Tekerghat to visit the rest of the spots. After traveling for about 1 hour, we reached the destination. As it rained at night, the surroundings looked greener. After getting ready, I saw many bikes waiting outside to be taken to the spots. Be sure to hire the bike before fixing the cost of it. We took 3 bikes for a total of 700 taka. Barikka Tila is a little further along the mountain slope. Meghalaya and the Jadukata River view from Barikka Tila are immensely beautiful. Although the Bangladesh-India border is given, there is no BGB here. The white and black clouds of Meghalaya, the blue water of the river, and the green mountains are like hand-made pictures. The local children here give horse rides for 50-100 Tk. After seeing Barikka Tila, we got back on the bike. After 20-30 minutes we reached the Stone Kingdom. The name of this place is “Sadapathar of Chanpur”. There is also a small spring in this place spread over white-colored rocks. The water of the spring is flowing from Meghalaya to Bangladesh. The place is not very big but I didn’t see any people. It can be said that there is not much traffic of tourists. It will take 10-15 minutes to complete the circuit.
We have to go back the way we came to Sadapathar. The guide left the bike in a small village-like place and took us inside. Passing a house, we see a stream. After walking a little way from the stream, you will see the fountain. Locals call it the “Rajai (Khasiya Raja) waterfall”. Rocky road in between and dense forest on both sides. We continued to walk through dense forests and steep hills The light did not fall at all. It is essentially the flowing form of the original fountain. This spring from Meghalaya located in India has no water at all if it does not rain. As we were not allowed to go further along the trail, we spent some time at the waterfall. But I like this place the most. After seeing all the places, it is time to return to the boat. If you want, you can go to Shimul Bagan from here. But in that case, you have to fix this with the guide before hiring.
I returned to the boat and had breakfast. At that time the boat is running towards Shimul Garden (Red Cotton Tree Garden). We are going to Shimul Garden through another route. We came to Shimul Garden within 10 minutes. The boat was stopped. From here you can reach the garden by walking for 10 minutes. If you want you can take auto. Auto reserve fare is 60-70 taka. The entry fee of Shimul Bagan is Tk 30 per person. Shimul trees are standing in a row across almost an acre of land. The green leaves come back to life in the monsoons. But this green garden blooms with red color in the month of October-November. At Shimul Bagan, small tribal children will come up to you and request you to ride their horses. They give these rides for 50-100 Tk. I hope you will not feel bad about visiting Shimul Bagan on horseback. There are some benches at the far end of the garden, from where the Jadukata River is clearly visible. This place is perfect to spend some time on your own. It started raining quickly, I left Shimul Garden with a different feeling of getting wet in the rain. Our boat left for Sahebbari Ghat before noon.
The boat stopped at the wharf shortly before dusk. While enjoying the sunset, I didn’t notice how the time passed. We had to buy the bus ticket back to Dhaka, so I went out to the counter. It takes 10/15 minutes to go from Saheb Bari Ghat to the bus counter. Rickshaws/Autos are available. I bought a ticket at 10 pm and got on the bus. The bus drops at Fakirapool in Dhaka at 5 a.m. You can board the bus even later to avoid the hassle of arriving early in the morning.