Tea Estates, Tropical Forests, Birds, Wildlife, Sanctuaries of Sylhet and Srimangal.
A trip to Sylhet-Srimangal - the northeast region of Bangladesh. Within a short period of time, the region provides a wide range of experiences. Most picturesque green hilly areas are covered by tea plantations, and it is an incredible experience to cycle around the tea plantations, exploring the tea workers' villages. Vibrant tribal culture, adventures in Lawachara and other tropical forest hiking, panoramic waterfalls, a paradise for birdwatchers and animal lovers, and bird sanctuaries. Country boating around the rivers, lakes, and permanent wetlands is a peaceful, quiet, and relaxing thing that anyone would expect on a relaxing holiday.
About Sylhet and Srimangal:
The Sylhet division holds the greatest variety of landscapes to explore. Sylhet and Srimongal lying in the northeastern part of Bangladesh, bordered by the Indian states of Tripura, Assam and Meghalaya. It has the Khashia and Jayanta Hills in the north and the Tora Hills in the southeast. This area produces and exports a large quantity of high-quality tea. With low rolling hills carpeted by tea plantations, scattered patches of tropical forests, lemon & pineapple cultivation & orange groves and massive wetland marshes. The variety of countryside scenery inside Sylhet remains ripe for exploration. The average rainfall in this part is higher than in the rest of Bangladesh, a fact that the British tea planters realized in the 18th century and started to cultivate tea in this part. The area has the best climate in the country: it is temperate and cool with clean, crisp, fresh air in winter and is moderately warm in summer, but has an annual rainfall of 5000mm, the highest in the country.
Other Attractions of Sylhet:
Apart from the tea plantation, there are many more to explore in this part of the country. In Sylhet town, The Holy Shrine of Hazrat Shah Jalal and Hazrat Shah Paran, the 14th-century Sufi saint, is a very important pilgrimage site for Muslims. The messianic Muslim saint is said to be one of the earliest pioneers of Islamic culture in Bangladesh, responsible for mass conversions of Bengalis from Hinduism and Buddhism. This area has a population of Khashia, Pangou, Manipuri and Tripura ethnic communities, all of whom live in villages scattered throughout the hills and practice Hinduism, Buddhism and even Christianity. Tripura, Khashi & Pangou people tend to skip regular contact with the outside world, venturing only occasionally from their settlements. Exceptional “Manipuri” people have integrated into Bangladeshi society as artisans, business people and jewellers.
The holy shrine of Hazrat Shah Jalal:
Locally known as Hazrat Shah Jalal – er – Mazar, located in the northern part of Sylhet city, off the airport road. Lies the region’s holiest place, the Shrine of Hazrat Shah Jalal. The 14th-century Sufi saint is buried here, and this is a major pilgrimage place for Bangladeshi Muslims. Hazrat Shah Jalal’s sword and robes are preserved within the large new mosque but not on display. The tomb is covered with rich brocade, and at night the space around the tomb is illuminated with candles. Tourist’s visit to the Mazar is allowed with appropriate dress, long sleeves, and barefoot; female visitors should cover their head with a scarf. Visitors must be careful not to disturb anyone’s prayer.
Holly Shrine of Hazrat Shah Paran:
About 8 km east of Sylhet city, just off the highway to Jaintiapur is the Shrine of Shah Paran in the tiny village of Shahparan. This is a single-domed mosque that attracts about 2000 pilgrims a day.
The most scenic part of Sylhet division and a major tribal area, Tamabil is the border area with India and is located 55 km north from Sylhet, 5 km from Tamabil is Jaflong. Khashia tribes are found here. Tamabil is the border area with India and is located 55 km north from Sylhet, 5 km from Tamabil is Jaflong – the most scenic part of Sylhet division and a major tribal area. Where many Khashia tribes are found here. Jaflong is situated beside the river Mari in the top of Hill Khashia. The Mari River brings in tons of stone boulders with its tide all the way up from the great Himalayas of India. You can enjoy boating on the river Mari and see how the local tourism is developing.
About 75 km south of Sylhet and 150 km north east of Dhaka; is the tea capital of Bangladesh. This slightly hilly massive area covered by green carpet of tea leaves are one of the most picturesque sight. Occasionally presence of lemon orchards and pineapple plantation and the rubber plantation makes this a perfect place for a visit. Also, the tropical forests, wildlife, bird sanctuaries, water fall, lake all these are the attractions of this area. This is a perfect holiday destination to enjoy peace and quietness and tranquility.
Srimongal is the actual tea centre in Sylhet division. The tea estates here are every bit as interesting to see, even though the terrain is not so steep and the tea itself is of lesser quality. In Sylhet division, tea begins its life as a leaf, from early April until late November; female tea pickers roam the gardens delicately plucking the leaves from the waist- high bushes. Annual production is over 55 million kg of tea from more than 150 tea estates spread over 40,000 hectares of land area.
Natural Gas Resources of Bangladesh:
This area is also very important because of the major resource of natural gas, which is now being used as environmentally friendly automobile fuel besides the industrial, kitchen and other usages of this natural gas.
Madhabkunda – Waterfall:
Madhab-Kunda waterfalls are the largest waterfall in the country, two hours northeast drive from Srimongal or 3 hours southeast drive from Sylhet. The picturesque surrounding hill forests, supporting some wildlife, are well worth visiting. You may see the elephants being used as working animal, hauling huge logs.
There are 11 Khashia and several Monipuri villages in the Srimongal and Sylhet area, scattered among the tea plantations. Khashia villages called “punji” are usually on hilltops surrounded by betel nut tree, the cash crop and Monipuri villages called “para”. You are welcome to experience the traditional Monipuri hand weaving. Worth buying a traditional craft as souvenirs for family and friends.
Lawachara Rain Forest:
Located about 8 km east of Srimongal town, this 1250-hectare national park is a beautiful, semi-evergreen tropical forest locally known as Shyamoli. This forest has the country’s largest population of critically endangered hoolock gibbons – the subcontinents only ape species, as well as a large variety of mammals, birds, orchids and bee-eaters. Lawachara national park is home to 19 mammal species including the delightful slow loris, the capped langur, orange-bellied Himalayan squirrel and barking deer. Some 246 species of birds have been identified, including the red-breasted trogon and the blue bearded bee-eater.
Satchhari National Park:
This 243-hectars park is situated in Hobigonj, 60 km southwest of Srimongol. Bit less popular than Lawachara due to the inconvenient commination infrastructure, but has higher diversity of plants and animals and far less human disturbance. It has seven streams-origin of the name “satchhari”, a population of Fishing Cats, Hoolock Gibbons, Jungle Fowl, Pygmy Woodpeckers, Oriental Pied Hornbills and Phayre’s Langur.
Rema Kalenga Wildlife Sanctuary:
This sanctuary is a part of the Tarap Hill Reserve Forest which is the largest remnant of upland natural forest on the country and lies adjacent to the birder with India. Located near Satchhari National Park with a variety of plants, animals and birds and four different ethnic forest communities.
Haor- The Permanent Wetlands or Marshy of Bangladesh:
The valley is dotted with shallow natural depressions known as ‘Haor’, low-lying marshy areas are permanent wetlands and provide verdant sanctuaries for migratory birds from places as far away as Siberia. Haors and subtropical forests together make this region one of the best in the country for bird-watching between December and March. Most of the haors are mainly found in greater Sylhet and greater Mymensingh regions. Among many, these haors are quite well known and popular: Tanguar Haor, Hakaluki Haor, Hail Haor, Baikka Beel Haor etc.
Haors are unique wetlands ecosystem of national importance, has recently come into international focus and have slowly started to attracting tourists in a smaller scale. End of the monsoon, between August to October is the best time to visit Haors, when they are full with water. Subsequently, the water in the haors starts receding but still provides an awe-inspiring sight. All the haors and beels receives thousands of migratory birds over the whole winter, which is the ideal season for bird-watchers, but then the haors are reduced in size and lose much of their watery grandeur. Haor region are some of the most fascinating rural areas of the country. We believe the increase in tourist traffic as “a potential opportunity for the haor dwellers for improving their livelihoods.
Tanguar Haors – Sunamganj:
Approximately 70 km west of Sylhet, the remote township offers very much unique opportunities to explore Bangladesh’s endangered haors (wetlands), some very special places where thousands of migratory birds make their winter stopovers, especially during mid-winter through to the end of March, and even sometimes till end of April. At this time migrants, winterers and residents all get together for one big bird party. The Sunamgonj wetland area is unspoiled and remains largely unexplored by tourists. Cruising through the shallow and clear water is a special treat for birdwatchers and nature lovers alike. Varieties of rails, raptors, ducks, sand-pipers and others congregate in these haors of Sunamgonj. Tanguar haor of Sunamgonj includes 46 villages within the haor area and about 100 square kilometers of which 2,802.36 ha2 is wetland, main source of livelihood for more than 40,000 people. Tanguar Haor basin was declared a Ramsar site – wetland of international importance. Haor plays very important role in fish production as well as functions as a ‘mother fishery’ for the country.
Places to checkout/ Activities around Sylhet and Srimangal:
- 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
We offer from overnight up to 4-5 days long trip to cover all these places. You are kindly referred to “Our Tours” section to find your right trip. In case none of those covers your subject or fulfill your interest, we shall be happy to customize one especially for you upon request. There are regular train, buses and air services from Dhaka and of course private transport is always available up on your interest.
For Additional Information, Customized Itinerary & Package Please Contact us: