a unique and pristine swamp forest in Bangladesh
Ratargul Swamp Forest
The Ratargul Swamp Forest, located in the northeast corner of Bangladesh, is a unique and pristine wetland forest that holds the distinction of being the only sweet water swamp forest in the country. Ratargul Swamp Forest is submerged under water for a significant portion of the year, unlike most of the world's forests, which are located on dry land.
Ratargul is a freshwater wetland forest that is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna and offers breathtaking views of submerged trees and clear water. This forest is located in Gowain River, approximately 26 kilometers from Sylhet, at the foothills of India’s Jaintia Hills, and is fed by the waters of the Goain River. The forest has a depth of 10 to 15 meters and an area of about 3325 acres (3.25 square kilometers). Only the treetops and aerial roots of Ratargul were visible after almost half a year (5-6 Months) submerged in water. The water level fluctuates according to rainfall and river movement. The unique ecosystem of Ratargul Swamp Forest is maintained by the seasonal flooding of the Goain River, which supplies water and nutrients to the forest’s flora and animals.
The unique ecosystem of Ratargul Swamp Forest is maintained by the seasonal inundation of the Goain River, which supplies water and nutrients to the forest’s flora and fauna.
There are more than 70 species of flora and 200 species of fauna in this forest, resulting in a high level of biodiversity. The koroch (Pongamia pinnata), hijal (Barringtonia acutangula), murta (Schumannianthus dichotoma), kadam (Neolamarckia cadamba), and Rata are notable flora of Ratargul Forest. Monkeys, snakes, otters, turtles, frogs, fish, and numerous species of birds are among the fauna that can be seen in the forest. Ratargul is also a home to several endangered species, such as the masked finfoot and the Pallas’s fish eagle.
Vibrant and colorful birdlife is the most attractive feature of Ratargul Swamp Forest. Over 73 species of birds, including the Red Junglefowl, White-crested Laughingthrush and the Lesser Whistling Duck, have been identified in this forest. The forest is also an essential breeding ground for quite a variety of migratory bird species.
Visitors can explore the Ratargul Swamp Forest by boat, gliding through the calm waters and looking at the unique plants and animals that live there. Nature enthusiasts and birdwatchers also frequent the forest.
Despite its many unique characteristics and ecological significance, Ratargul Swamp Forest is a relatively undiscovered destination. However, efforts are ongoing to promote ecotourism in the region and raise awareness about the forest’s conservation requirements.
It is a place where you can get away from the chaos of the city and reconnect with yourself.
If you intend to visit Ratargul Swamp Forest, here are some recommendations to enhance your experience:
– The ideal time to visit Ratargul Swamp Forest is from July to October, when the forest is completely submerged and the views are at their peak.
– The entrance fee to Ratargul Swamp Forest is fifty taka per person and one hundred taka per boat.
– The Ratargul Swamp Forest is accessible daily between 8 AM and 5 PM.
– You should wear comfortable, water-resistant apparel and footwear.
– You must bring your own snacks and beverages, as there are no stores or restaurants in the forest. Respect the environment by not polluting and harming plants and animals.
– You should follow your guide’s or boatman’s instructions for your safety.
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Activities around Ratargul Swamp Forest area
- Cycling around the tea estates
- Visiting the villages of Khashia, and Monipuri Tribal community
- Hiking through the Lawachara Rain Forest
- Hiking to the Ham Ham Waterfall
- Madhabpur Lake
- Hail Haor, Baikka Bil Haor (Migratory birds Sanctuary)
- Madhabkunda Waterfall
- Mausoleums of Shah Jalal and Shah Paran
- Cruise on Lala Khal
- Ratargul Swamp Forest
- Remakalenga Reserve forest
- Jaflong Mari River
- Stone collecting and crushing industry
- Tanguar Haor