Kushtia is the city of heart. Kushtia district is famous for the Lalon festival, which is not unknown to anyone. Lalon festival is celebrated twice every year: March and October. The duration of the fair is 2-3 days. Lalon devotees attend this reunion from far and wide to see their Guru. Before going, I was a bit nervous because I heard different words from different people, since I was traveling alone, the issue of safety was on my mind. Later I came to know from some local people of Kushtia, that this fair is entirely safe and administratively oriented for girls. Come on! I breathed a sigh of relief. I chose the month of October as the weather is cooler during this time. The end of the intense heat of summer and the beginning of winter. My journey started on 14th March by night train. You can also go by bus if you want. I will share everything about buses, trains, and fares here. Stay tuned.
Where and when is the Lalon Festival?
This fair is usually held in Lalon Monastery. This fair is held twice a year. March and October. Generally, In March 3-5 and October 16-18. But those who will come from outside Kushtia will come with a search.
How to go to Kushtia’s Lalon Festival?
Lalon Festival is located at Cheuria,Kumarkhali upazila in Kushtia district. Kushtia can be reached by either bus or train.
How to go to Kushtia by bus-
Route 1- Buses like Shyamoli Paribahan, Mamun, FK Super Deluxe, SB Super Deluxe, KTC Hanif, etc. go directly to Majampur in Kushtia. You can get these buses from Dhaka Gabtali or Kalyanpur to Kushtia. All non-AC bus fares are 600-700 Tk. It will take 5-6 hours. AC bus fare 1000-1200 Tk. You can easily get an auto/rickshaw from Majampur to go to Lalon Monastery. The fare is Tk 15-20 per person.
Route 2- Go to Kumarkhali via Daulatdia from Gabtali Bus Terminal. Diganta Paribahan, Lalon Paribahan, Zaman Paribahan, and Rabeya Paribahan will reach Kumarkhali in 4-4.5 hours. Rent 400-450 taka per person. From Kumarkhali will go to Kushtia Alauddin Mor by CNG/Auto. Van/auto ply from Alauddin junction to any spot.
Route 3- (if the budget is low) from Gabtali to Paturia local bus fare is 80-100 taka. The ferry/Launch from Paturia has to cross Daulatdia Ghat. Ferry fare- 25 taka. Then go to Kushtia by train or bus from Daulatdia. Trains at 1 pm and 3 pm. Local train fare is Tk 30, Intercity train fare is Tk 85. And you will get a bus from Daulatdia to Padma, Garai, the fare is Tk 150-180.
How to Go to Kushtia by train
Inter-City Benapole Express (Holiday-Wednesday), Chitra Express (Holiday-Monday), and Sundarban Express (Closed Day-Tuesday/Wednesday) travel regularly from Dhaka to Kushtia. In case of traveling by train, you have to get off at Poradaha in Kushtia.
–Benapole Express leaves Dhaka Kamalapur station at 11.15 pm and reaches Pordaha station in Kushtia at 5 am. Again it leaves Poradaha at 3:50 p.m. and reaches Dhaka at 9 p.m.
–Sundarban Express leaves Dhaka Kamalapur at 8.15 am and reaches Poradah at 2 pm. Again it leaves Poradah at 1.35 pm and reaches Dhaka at 9 am.
Dhaka – Khulna – closing day is Wednesday.
Khulna – Dhaka – Closing day is Tuesday.
–Chitra Express leaves Dhaka Kamalapur at 7 PM and reaches Poradah Station at 12:15 PM. Again it left Poradah at 12:24 pm and reached Dhaka Kamalapur at 5:30 pm.
Ticket Price- 360 Taka (decorative chair), Snigdha 690 Taka AC berth 1242 Taka. Buy tickets online.
To travel to Kushtia you need to get down at Poradaha station. From here to Lalon fair van/auto fare is 30-40 taka (per person). It takes about 30 minutes to reach.
Food Hotels in Kushtia?
Kushtia is also famous for its food. After getting off the bus from Mjzampur in the morning, many food hotels will be seen. You can have breakfast at Biswas Hotel, Bismillah Hotel. A little further from Majampur, you can also have breakfast at the Moubon Hotel. The sweets here are very famous.
List of some famous dishes of Kushtia-
-Breakfast- Khichuri from Jahangir Hotel, Porota Sabzi Dal from Biswas Hotel, or Shilpi Hotel in Majampur.
-Luchi, Dal- 6 road junction
-Beef, Kalovuna, khichuri, cup curd – Bismillah Hotel, Mazampur Gate
– Shor tea, toasted bread – Zafar Mama’s Shop, Panti Mor, Lahini Bot tola
– Sora Doi (Yogurt=Doi in Bengali), Ghol- Liaquat Ali Dairy, Bok Mor
-Tea- Aparajita Tea Stall, Government College Grounds.
– You can try some chops, and chicken fries in front of the branch of the bank in Lahini Bot tola, several shops, just go to the opposite bank.
– If you want to have coffee, milkshake, KitKat shake, or Oreo shake, go to the Espresso coffee shop south of Bokchottar (tell someone and they will show you).
-You will see Lalu’s khasi Tikiya (Mutton=khasi in Bengali) below it, you can try it.
-Nanna Biryani at Ektara Junction, NS Road, Katchi Best at Mughal Cuisine.
-Chinese items (fried rice, chicken fry, curry, vegetable, beef curry, soup, etc.)- Karamay Chinese, or John’s Park, the price is a little higher but the food is the best in Kushtia
-Street food is available from 5/5:30 PM onwards from Kataikhana Mor to College Mor throughout the area. Besides, it is all over NS Road.
– If you want to eat sweets, Maubon is good, the price here is a little higher. But famous for sweets.
-An uncle makes pudi, shingara, and potato chops at Haribasar Mor. Puri is also in the narrow lane in front of the Gandhi Hotel in Big Bazar, which is also good.
-Fuchka, Chotopti- Famous Khokon Bhai’s Fuchka, You can also eat Fuchka in Bangabandhu Market.
Kulfi Malai – You can find it everywhere but it is best in certain places. You can eat from Haripur Bridge, Kumarkhali New Bridge, Kuthibari-Shilaidaha. Kulfi Malai price is 50-60 Tk.
Hotels in Kushtia?
There are some hotels. The nightly rent of these hotels starts from 300/500 Tk. During the off-season i.e. Lalan Mela, the rates of hotels increase comparatively.
Names and numbers of some hotels are given below-
1) Hotel Al Hayat, Majampur Bus Stand, Kushtia
Contact – 01731-687553, 01312-665556
2) Hotel Sunmoon, Majampur Gate, Kushtia
3) Hotel Taiyiba International, Majampur Bus Stand, Kushtia
4) Desha TARC, Kushtia
Contact – 01720-510330
Lalon Akhra(monastery) was on the last spot in the planning of Kushtia travel. The fair is so popular that I met many saints, devotees, and travelers on the train. They said that they were also going to this fair. I heard that the Lalon festival gets crowded after the evening. We took an auto from Alauddin Mor and dropped off at Lalon Akhra junction. A saint was also with me in the auto. I walked 10 minutes from the intersection to the arena. You can also go by auto/van if you want. Before entered the entrance, I felt a light crowd. On the occasion of the fair, many saints have come from far away by renting buses and micros. The parking space is next to it. The main gate and inside of the monastery have been lightened. A quote has been written above the entrance “Manush Bhojle Shonar Manush”. I pushed through a good crowd and entered. If you walk along the straight road, you can see Lalon’s shrine. Lalon devotees dressed in white clothes at the fair had been waiting to see Lalon. Many people were standing around the shrine. The white shrine is very small but clean and tidy. At the end is a small room where Lalon’s tomb is. Outside the Lalon’s tomb, I saw a few more tombs belonging to other monks. Taking pictures inside the shrine is prohibited, but you can take pictures from outside. Pushing the crowd, I walked around the shrine and took a look. Outside the main shrine, there are two buildings. An auditorium and another is an academic building. The entire lower part of the auditorium building is sheltered by Lalon devotees. He took refuge wherever he found a place. A concert is held in the auditorium. Tourists are enjoying those songs in a crowd. I walked around and went to the academic building. The ground floor of the building houses used as the Lalon Museum. I entered in exchange for a 10 taka ticket. Furniture and musical instruments used by Lalon and other saints are displayed here along with various pictures drawn on the walls.
Lalon Museum Ticket Price and Schedule-
The ticket price is Tk 10 per person. The ticket counter is next to the museum on the ground floor of the academic building.
Lalon Museum is open daily from 8 am to 8 pm. However, during the Lalon festival, it is open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Many devotees are lighting candles and praying, donating in donation boxes to fulfill their heart’s desire. I saw many shops on the opposite side of the monastery. Clay items, wooden items, jute-made bags, musical instruments, children’s toys, home decoration furniture, jewelry, what is not here? There are also some food shops. If you go a little further inside, you can see the Weed(Gaja in Bengali) Market. Gaza leaves are openly sold here. It is known as” Siddhi” to Lalon devotees. They consider it as the purification of body and soul. Siddhi is very sacred to them. Also, replica ornaments are found here. Devotees build small tents all over the place and sell leaves to customers. Police guarding is also going strong. At the end is a pond. All those staying here bathe in this pond. A banyan tree beside the pond. Devotees chant lalon by lighting candles around the tree. Cultural events were held next to the fair. Small children are simultaneously singing lalon Sangeet (song) with elders. After enjoying the music for some time, I left that place. Now I have to go to Majampur first. I walked a long way because there was a lot of traffic on the road and then I got in an auto. Auto fare is 20 taka per person. I had completed my dinner after reaching Majampur. There are Biswas, and Bismillah Hotel with bus stand. Don’t forget to eat banana cup curd from Bismillah Hotel. If you want to back by bus, there are many bus counters here. And if you want to return by train like me, you have to go to Poradaha station from Mazampur. Auto/Rickshaws ply throughout the night. Auto fare is Tk 30 per person. And the rickshaw fare is 80-100 taka. It took about 20-30 minutes to reach Poradaha. The train was at 1:45 pm, so I had to wait at the station for a long time. Although there were fewer passengers at Poradaha station, the security was enough good. Be careful though.
Cautions for Lalon Festival-
1) It is considered safe to stay overnight at the Lalon festival but be careful. If there is any problem you face, you can inform the police or authorities.
2) Those suffering from Asthma / Shortness of breath should not stay for long.
3) Devotees build memorials in different parts of the fair, touching or sitting on those places is prohibited.
4) The fair is completely open to everyone. That Anyone can go. Many tourists come from outside the country.
5) Lalon Mazar is quite a clean and holy place so avoid littering.
Tips for Lalon Festivals-
1) The train leaves Poradaha station at 1:45 PM. If you want to return by train, you must book the ticket in advance because the ticket counter at Poradaha station is closed at night.
2) You can wait at the station. The place seemed safe enough. But be careful.
3) Solo travelers can also travel here.
4) Parking is available for bikes/buses/micros. However, parking charges apply.
5) If you want to reduce the cost, you can choose the train as a mode of transportation