Today we discuss the Ratargul forest. We can wind back to the past when we were watching an adventurous English TV series called ‘’Amazon’’ telecasted on Ekushey television in 2002. Remember the time? How a plane crashed and landed ruinously and some of its crew and passengers fell into the maze of Amazon? You can just imagine yourself in that picture. Imagine you are lost somehow in a forest with some food, a boat maybe, and some other equipment. You are seeing wild birds chirping and flying over your head, snakes are sassing from here and there of wild trees, and water flows hitches on your boat often. What will be your condition? You’ll be scared as hell for sure. Most probably, you’re picturing this image as the ‘’Amazon’’ forest of the South- American region.
The answer is probably yes because such kind of scenario is most common in the epic forest Amazon. But, in case you don’t know in our country we also have a forest which can be compared with Amazon. Are you pixilated? Ok. You’ll have the same vibe and perception as Amazon in Bangladesh. The name of the forest is ‘’Ratargul Swamp Forest’’. It is certainly one of the best tourist spots for forest lovers and becoming a popular place among people. Let’s share some parts of its natural sights and a glimpse as your confusion will be erased.
Basic info –
Ratargul forest is called as ‘’Amazon’’ of Bangladesh. It is the one and only ‘’swamp forest’’ of Bangladesh. And another interesting thing, it is one of the 22 swamp forests in the whole world according to Wikipedia. It has a great similarity with ‘’Mangrove forest’’. Ratargul forest is situated in Goainghat of Sylhet district in Bangladesh. The native people calls it as ‘’Sundarbon’’ of Sylhet. Ratargul is almost 26km away from Sylhet main city. The beautiful forest surrounded by lots of wild trees. The plants of the whole forest went under water long seven months. In the withered season, when water levels starts to fall, the forest starting to rise to the fullest.
At the rainy season, the full area of the forest winded by water deluge. That’s why it is also called as ‘’rainy forest’’. Heavy waterfall from India’s Meghalaya comes through the Gowain River in fall wind period and give a shape the forest as a ‘’swamp forest’’. There are some other swamp forests can be compared with Ratargul is like Niger Delta Swamp forest (Nigeria), Myristica swamp (India), Red River fresh water (Vietnam) etc. This beautifully structured forest doubtlessly comparable with the king of forest Amazon. Just like Amazon, our Ratargul is also a forest of palatable water.
According to the information of forest department of Bangladesh, the length of Ratargul forest is almost 3325.61 acre. There are different kinds of fish can be found in this place. It’s the dominion of huge kinds of insects, birds, lizards and various animals. A legion of snakes should be mention specially. Ratargul is the sanctuary place for assorted types of poisonous snakes. At monsoon period, these snakes are taken their shelters among wild trees of the forest.
The entire forest surrounded by animals like squirrels, jackal, monkeys, otter, weasel. They can be found at intermittently. Lots of birds are also flying over the sky of Ratargul. During winter period, hulk size vultures can be found there. Foreign birds take shelters at the side of Ratargul Haor called as ‘’Shimul Haor’’ and ‘’ Bil Haor’’.
Process to visit the Swamp
The first way is from Sylhet to Jaflong then Tamabil road. There are a place called ‘’Sarighat’’ there. From Sarighat direct Goyainghat. Then, you need to hire a troller to reach bit office of Ratargul which can be cost around 900- 1500. After that, all you need to hire a small boat to enter the main area of Ratargul forest.
Another option, hire a CNG auto from Sylhet ambarkhana point. It will take a few hours to reach Motorghat area. On the spot of Motorghat, you need to hire a big boat to tap into the main forest area of Ratargul. This is the easiest possible way to the journey towards Ratargul. You can also come back after visiting the swamp forest just like the same way you came here.
Caution of visiting
As it is forest area and our country is not so familiar with forest so it is no surprise that the food problem can be face at this place. It will be better if you can take food from Guwainghat or Sylhet.
Don’t put your hands on water as it fills with various poisonous snakes.
Don’t throw polybag or other dirts into the river as we have the responsibility to protect our own natural resources.
Ratargul is such an astonishing place with natural beauty. It can calm your sights and minds by its exceptional charming atmosphere. You can feel ‘’live’’ by visiting this astounding place. So, just go and feel the very natural prettiness of it.
The perfect time to visit the place is definitely the rainy season.
Happy Ratarguling!! Best of luck everyone !!