How to Go Shimul Bagan-Sunamganj
Shimul Bagan glows like a crimson from far away. An ensemble of red flowers is so eye-catching. This Redcotton (Shimul) Bagan (Garden) built on more than 100 bighas of land started gaining popularity in 2018. Currently, this garden of Sunamganj is very well known and is at the top of the popularity of travelers. Zainul Abedin, a resident, built this shimul Bagan on his land as a hobby. You can easily visit Shimulbagan in one day with your family. There are some other places nearby, you can also visit those places in one day. I will try to give all the detailed information including cost, bike rental and how to go, etc.
Suitable time to go to Shimul Bagan-
This Shimul bagan is open to tourists throughout the year—the Shimul flower blooms in February. However, Shimul flowers do not last long and fall off. You will see flowers between 10-25 February.
How to go to Sunamganj-
By Bus – The easiest way to go from Dhaka to Sunamganj is by bus. Direct bus goes to Sunamganj. Shyamoli, Hanif, unique non AC bus fare 700 Tk. AC bus fare 800-900 taka. Al-Mobarka non AC rent fee 600 taka per person.
If you want to go by train, you can go by two routes-
-Dhaka to Sylhet to Sunamganj
-Dhaka to Netrakona to Madhyanagar
Jayantika Express, Upaban Express, Kalni Express, Mahanagar Express travel from Dhaka to Sylhet. The rest of the trains except Upban run during the day. Fare 380 taka (S chair). From Sylhet station, you have to go to Kumargao bus stand in Sylhet with CNG, the reserve CNG fare is Tk 200-300. 70-80 taka per person without reservation. If you want to go by local bus, go to the main road and get a bus from Kumargao bus stand. Buses for Sunamganj depart from Kumargao bus stand. There are three types of bus services: local, non-stop, and AC. The last non-stop bus leaves at 9 pm and the last AC bus leaves at 7 pm. The local bus fare is 90 taka. Non-stop Tk 120 and AC bus fare Tk 160 per person. It will take 1.5 to 2 hours to go. Also, if you want to go to Sunamganj at any other time, you can reserve micro or CNG from Chowhatta in Sylhet. The rent will be Tk 200-250 per person.
There are three trains from Dhaka to Netrakona. Mahua Commuter, Mohanganj Express, and Haor Express. Haor Express night train and others run on day time. The fare is Tk 165 per person. Get down at Netrakona station and take CNG/Auto to Madhyanagar. Boats/Trawlers are available from this Madhyanagar ghat in the rainy season. And if it is off-season, you have to rent a bike from here and go to all places including Shimulbagan. If you bring your bike, you can park it for Tk 50-100. Dhaka to Netrakona train schedule and fare
Sunamganj Bike Fare- (For Off Season)
In the off-season i.e. except the rainy season, there is no option other than a bike. In that case, the bike can be fixed in several ways.
After reaching Sunamganj by bus, you can rent a bike for the whole day from the bus stand. The fare can be Tk 1200-1500. If you want, you can hire a bike from the bus stand to the ferry ghat and again across the ferry ghat to Tekerghat/Shimul Bagan. But it is better to reserve once to save time and it is a different matter if the budget is low.
From Sylhet, you have to reserve a bike or CNG from Surma Bridge in Sylhet.
You can get a bike to go to Shimulbagan from Netrakona Madhyanagar too. Be sure to fix the price before renting the bike.
During the rainy season or on season, the whole of Sunamganj is covered in water. Instead of CNG bikes, there are boats and trawlers at the ghats. Currently, houseboats are very popular in Tangua Haore. If you book a houseboat, you will be given 1 hour to board the boat at Tucker Ghat. If you get off the boat and walk a little distance, you will see Shimul Bagan. You will also get an auto. Reserve fare 60-80 Taka. 15-20 Taka per person. 6-8 people can go together.
If you come via Netrakona, rent a trawler/boat from Madhyanagar Ghat and come to Tekerghat. Then from here, you can go to Shimulbagan in the same way.
Where to stay and eat in Shimulbagan-
Accommodation and meals are provided on the boat in the on-season. Houseboat booking number and cost details.
And in the off-season, you have to go to the Tahirpur market. There are a few hotels and guest houses to stay in the market like Meghalaya Guest House; Hotel Khandkar; Hotel Niladri etc. There are also several hotels for food.
Currently, the Shimulbagan trip is included in the package of Tangua Haor at houseboats. I also went to this package. But in February (Bangla-Falgun) flowers bloom in Shimul’s Bagan. You can still visit this place at any time. In that case, bikes are available on this route because of the dry season. This was the last spot of our trip. Around 11 o’clock our boat was stopped very close to Shimul Bagan. After a 10-15 minute walk from here, you cross a field to the garden. I bought a ticket for 30 taka per person and entered Shimul Bagan. As far as the eye will see the only rows of shimul trees. In a very beautiful way, the trees are standing in a row. They have been planted with great care. The rain started suddenly. Don’t forget to visit places of interest during the monsoon season, such as Niladri Lake, Lakmachra, Lalaghat, Jadukata River, and Barikka Tila.
Suddenly it started to rain. Also, there was no umbrella with us. We had to walk around the Shimulbagan in wet dress. The enchanting river flows around the garden and the mountains of Meghalaya are clear views from here. The authorities have provided benches at the end of the garden. I saw many people sitting there chatting. Horse rides in the garden are available. Depending on the time, you can visit the garden on horseback for 50-100 Tk. But don’t forget to bargain. After visiting the garden, I returned to our houseboat completely wet.
Precautions and Tips for Shimul Bagan Travel-
1) If you visit Shimulbagan during July-September try to stay in a houseboat.
2) Sunamganj rains intermittently during monsoon so keep your umbrella/raincoat with you.
3) Keep necessary medicines including cold, fever, and gastric.
4) Before renting a bike, take the price.
Nearby places of Shimul Bagan-
– Tangua Haor
– White stone
– Rajai Jharna