Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Chittagong: Khoiyachhora Waterfall (খৈয়াছড়া ঝরনা)

Friday, 05 July 2013

This Khoiyachhora Waterfall (খৈয়াছড়া ঝরনা) exploration was a connecting tour with my unfinished Feni (ফেনী) tour. So half of the day we have passed around the Feni (ফেনী) town, and then later moved forward here at Mirsarai (মীরসরাই). You can read about those beautiful places from Feni (ফেনী) if you have time in hand.

We have reached at Baroiyar Hat (বারৈয়ার হাট) through the Korer Hat (করের হাট) by changing the public transport twice. From Barioyar Hat (বারৈয়ার হাট) I have purchased four ripe pineapples (to enjoy near at the waterfall). After that we have hired a CNG driven auto rickshaw that will drop us near at the Railway line after the Boro Takia Bazar (বড় তাকিয়া বাজার). It was exactly 210 taka cost in total. We have booked our return ticket on the way when the vehicle was passing through the Mirsarai (মীরসরাই) bazaar. So the tension for returning home had gone far way by that.

After leaving the vehicle (possibly around 3:00 pm of the day) it was all depending upon our feet. We have replenished our empty bottles from a nearby tube well and then started our trekking through the country-like meandering typical Bangladeshi path where the paddy fields were playing with the gentle breezes, invisible kissing and touching, touching and kissing. The scene was itself beautiful, the green paddy fields, blue sky, small hills at one side like a boundary, and the scattered village houses.

After just few several hundreds steps, my expensive 'Made by Bay' sandal decided not to continue with me. The sole of my sandal just got detached from my sandal. It was very unpleasant feeling that something had happened at the beginning of a good thing! I saw a farmer was preparing his fence with the thin wires. I have requested him to give me few from there. With those I have strapped the sole with my sandal and started the trekking. I was feeling uncomfortable but I kept going.

The water stream (ঝিরি) was a very narrow one and hardly had any depth on it (around 12 inches on average). I was very disappointed by this as it was around the rainy season in Bangladesh. Sometimes we were trekking through the water stream (ঝিরি পথ), and sometimes we were moving through the lands. The water level was increasing as we were progressing. Sometimes there were basin like things under the mini waterfalls and which were very deep. Also the path was full with risk. So we have avoided such scenario by bypassing through the land.

At one stage, we have lost our path and strayed from the main course. This sort of things happen when the GPS doesn't work. I was aware that no matter what happens our route will be around the water stream by any chance. But on that particular area, we saw from the top that the water stream was turning towards right and we were moving towards left. It was totally opposite direction. So we had to get down from that small hill. That was a muddy walkway as the cows use to go up and down through that.

That was the only time when we have lost our trek. After that we were moving slowly and always tried to be with the water. This helped us a lot. The path towards the waterfall was really beautiful. It was not that much wide like the stream of Bandarban (বান্দরবান). But it was full with mystery for it's sudden height change, which makes the place a mini waterfall. Every mini waterfalls around that stream was born with a deep teal colored basin (or I must say it created that after the birth).

Through the mystery and the beauty, we have reached near at the last/bottom step of the waterfall (usually the waterfall itself). There were nobody around the waterfall. Because it was around 4:00 to 5:00 pm of the day. Waterfalls are always amazing, and it is more beautiful when there are no crowed around. After enjoying the beauty of the waterfall for a while, we have started to capture our moments with the waterfall. After that we have started to climb beside the waterfall to reach at the top of it (or at least as far we could).

You'll see field like this if you are there in around the rainy season.

At the lest side of the waterfall it has a steep path through the trees that leads to the upper portion of that falls. During climbing the steep portion we have met with another group who were coming down from there. We didn't expect anyone around there and neither did they. They were experienced about this waterfall and later we have collected information about few other waterfalls around there which we have visited at next day.

Top of the waterfall was more beautiful compare to the bottom. It had another three steps like a cascade and flourishing with waters. It had a large basin at the bottom of it and I wanted to have a shower over there. But the time was short for us and also my other mates were not interested to join with me. So I didn't show any further interest on that. From this point we have returned back to the down again. Though it had around another four steps at the top, but we had to discard that for lack of time. And also we weren't sure about how to reach further.

A lonely tree at the middle of a paddy field.

After reaching at the bottom of the Khoiyachhora Waterfall (খৈয়াছড়া ঝরনা) we have had fun altogether with the cold water from the waterfall. It is always a fun for me to have a shower under a waterfall. I have done this type of thing a lot but still I never get tired of it. Amid of our fun doing we have sliced the pineapples and enjoyed with the visitors from other group, and also they have shared their meal with us which they have cooked beside the waterfall.

We could have prolonged our staying over there. But the daylight was phlegmatic to allow us to do so. So we have started to return back to home. The returning was also nice. The sun was gone (it uses to go early in the hills and woods). Previously it was a mysterious ambient due to the playing of lights and the trees. But this time it was the mystery of darkness and the creeping sound of different species around us. Simply amazing.

A narrow stream. This is generated from the flow of the waterfall.

How to Go:

Khoiyachhora Waterfall (খৈয়াছড়া ঝরনা) is very easy to access specially if you are from Chittagong town, but not that much difficult either if you are from Dhaka. First come to Boro Takia Bazar of Mirsarai (বড় তাকিয়া বাজার, মীরসরাই). You can do this by leaving the Dhaka-Chittagong bus on highway. Your dropping zone will be (22°45'39.54"N, 91°34'55.56"E) which is before the Boro Takia Bazar (বড় তাকিয়া বাজার).

From there you can start trekking for 15 minutes through the concrete road and it will lead you toward a rail crossing. The GPS coordinate of that place is (22°45'55.98"N, 91°35'33.05"E). After the rail crossing the typical Bangladeshi country road will lead you towards the bottom of the hills (at the water stream of the waterfall).

Until reaching the water stream you can ask for help from the local villagers. Even you can hire anyone from them to enlighten you further. After reaching the water stream, just follow the trail around that, and stay beside the stream and it will automatically lead you towards the waterfall itself. The GPS coordinate of the bottom steps of the Khoiyachhora Waterfall (খৈয়াছড়া ঝরনা) is (22°46'9.44"N, 91°36'41.77"E).

Depending upon your walking speed it will be around 1 to 2 hours of trekking for single trip. It will require same amount of time when you'll come back from there. So prepare yourself by doing exercise if you are not familiar with regular walking.

We are just crossing it not trekking through it.

Where to stay:

It is very difficult to find a quality hotel near around the waterfall. You can stay at the low facilitated hotel from Mirsarai (মীরসরাই) or from Baroiyar Hat (বারৈয়ার হাট). And of course you can stay at Chittagong town too, but that's slightly far from there specially when you have a plan for exploring other waterfalls from Mirsarai (মীরসরাই) at next day.

Towards the waterfall through the shallow stream.


Though it doesn't require any food for such a short trip. But still if you think you may need something to eat during the travel break, then keep some dry food with you. Amid of the woods you'll not find any shop or stall to buy your things.

Lot of mysterious things were waiting for us just ahead of this turn!

This type of paths are always slippery. It needs to be circumspect.

A mini waterfall, but the area beneath this is possibly deep.

This type of paths are hard to cross. That's why we had to bypass this.

Beautiful view of a basin under a mini waterfall.

Khoiyachhora Waterfall (খৈয়াছড়া ঝরনা).

Khoiyachhora Waterfall (খৈয়াছড়া ঝরনা).

Khoiyachhora Waterfall (খৈয়াছড়া ঝরনা).

Khoiyachhora Waterfall (খৈয়াছড়া ঝরনা) from the top.

This waterfall has plenty of more steps, here are another three.

Closer look towards the steps of the Khoiyachhora Waterfall (খৈয়াছড়া ঝরনা).

Other steps of Khoiyachhora Waterfall (খৈয়াছড়া ঝরনা).

You can go to top through this water stream.

Last look towards the steps before returning back.

Returning back and the beautiful green field was beside us.

The sun was about to say goodbye for the day!

কেউ যদি এইখানে বেড়াইতে যাই, তাইলে যেন আমরা কিছু ফালাইয়া না রাইখা আসি... আমরা যে এইখানে গেছিলাম, এইটার কোনো নিশানাই ঐখানে রাইখা আসা যাবে না... মনে রাখবেন উপরের দিকে থুথু ফেললে নিজের গায়েই লাগে... জায়গাটা ময়লা আবর্জনা ফেলে নষ্ট করলে কিন্তু আমাদের দেশের একটা সুন্দর জায়গাই নষ্ট হবে, যা আমাদেরই ক্ষতি...!

Khoiyachhora Jhorna (খৈয়াছড়া ঝরনা),
Boro Takia Bazar (বড় তাকিয়া বাজার),
Mirsarai (মীরসরাই),
Chittagong (চট্টগ্রাম),
Bangladesh (বাংলাদেশ)

This article is written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog http://icwow.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Nepal: Let the sun go down again and again

Wednesday 23 April 2014 - Monday 19 May 2014

There are lot of things happening around us again and again. Sunset is one of those and I never get tired of watching the sun gets down again and again. At my busy life in Dhaka (ঢাকা) I rarely get a chance to see the sunset. Its almost impossible to enjoy this thing for the mammoth buildings around us.

But it was a different story when I use to visit the Nepal. From the roof of our apartment the western side is all most totally viewable, except the tail of the Nagarjun (नागार्जुन) hill located in Nagarjun (नागार्जुन) Reserve Forest. The sun use to go behind that hill every day and I used to enjoy the beauty all most every day even after my busyness. Most of the day the red sun was fully or partially visible. Few other days were unlucky as the sun was totally covered by the clouds, or by the fogs which are formed from the clouds.

I have stayed at the Indreni (इन्द्रेणी) Apartment at Kathmandu (काठमाडौँ). All most 95% of the families living there are foreigners in Nepal. From the roof of that building I have enjoyed my daily sunset at Nepal. The GPS coordinate of the apartment is (27°43'15.72"N, 85°19'59.52"E). And the GPS coordinate of the tail of Nagarjun (नागार्जुन) hill is (27°44'6.48"N, 85°18'1.22"E).

I have posted the photos of sunset with this article. These photos are taken in between a one month of period. You'll see the deviation of sun's position from left to right in terms of the fixed hill.

This article is written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog http://icwow.blogspot.com/

Monday, August 25, 2014

Nepal: Swayambhunath Stupa (aka The Monkey Temple)

Friday, 09 May 2014

It was 4:00 PM of the day when I have decided to visit the Swayambhunath Stupa (स्वयम्भूनाथ स्तुप). To save the Taxi fare I started walking from the Thamel (ठमेल) to reach the Swayambhunath Stupa (स्वयम्भूनाथ स्तुप). It was a long, dull walking under the hot sun of Spring in Nepal (नेपाल). I had to walk unnecessarily a long way as my GPS wasn't working for a several minutes. But there was a very short-cut route available from Thamel (ठमेल) and I have missed that.

My tiring walking ended at the bottom stair of the eastern gate of the temple. Initially I didn't know that the stairs were so long and steep. But still I was climbing slowly. I was taking rest (as I grew older? and do not have much stamina?) frequently and enjoying the bargaining of local vendor and the white-skin foreign tourists. One of them was trying to sell a handkerchief for 5000 rupees and the clever tourists just called him a crazy vendor.

After few initial steps, three 12 feet tall statues of Buddha are placed in an array. I was observing those statues and also was taking photo using my cell phone. I was disguised amongst the local people and none of the irritating vendors paid any attention towards me. Lucy me!

It took a while (actually more than expected time) to reach at the top of those stairs. Lot of tourists along with local visitors were occupying the top. I was standing a side at the top from where the whole Kathmandu valley was open in front of me. After taking a break on there I started to explore the temple premise.

It has few small temples around it. Few more statues of Buddha were around the other sides. It also had few roof top restaurants and the souvenir shops around. I was hungry (starving the whole day) and wanted to have my meal from one of those. But unfortunately I didn't find any tourists over there. So I have controlled my mind from going there.

There were a small pond named World Peace Pond located at the western side of the temple. It has a brass made statue of standing Buddha (on Lotus flower) at the middle of it. It has a bucket in front of it and the people were trying to throw the coins of one and two rupee on that bucket. Local people were selling the coins beside that place. I enjoyed others who were throwing coins, but I didn't throw any.

I have left the place at around 6:40 pm after observing the premise. I exit the temple through the gate of the Southern side. I didn't buy any ticket as I have entered through the eastern side, and also I do not like an outsider. Also, I wasn't carrying any bag, camera or anything that can make others to feel I am a tourist.

About Swayambhunath Stupa (स्वयम्भूनाथ स्तुप):

Swayambhunath (स्वयम्भूनाथ) temple (mainly known as Swayambhunath Stupa) also known as The Monkey Temple is located at the Western side of the Kathmandu (काठमाडौँ) valley of Nepal (नेपाल). It is located at the top of a small hill and it is a very sacred place for the Buddhist devotees. According to the mythology, a Lotus flower converted into a Stupa (स्तुप) atop of the hill by itself. That's why it is known as Swayambhunath Stupa (means self created in Nepali language).

The temple is also known as Monkey Temple because the holy monkeys were living there. Those monkeys were actually transformed from the lice of Manjushree's (मञ्जुश्री) hair (he who raised the mountain on that the temple is standing). While visiting the temple, you must have to be beware from the monkeys before they snatch or steal things from you.

Swayambhunath Stupa (स्वयम्भूनाथ स्तुप) has two main entrances, one is at the eastern side that has 365 high steps which leads you to the top of the temple. Another one is at the southern side (most people reach there by car) with a ticket counter. If you are young and enthusiastic then you must enter the temple by climbing the steps. This is tiring, but you'll enjoy it at the end.

This temple is sacred for both Buddhist and the Hindu religion. The powerful Hindu king of 17th century named Pratap Malla (प्रताप मल्ल) along with other Monarchs used pay their homage to this temple. The king Pratap Malla (प्रताप मल्ल) built those stairs at the eastern side of the temple.

From the inscription it is found that the Swayambhunath Stupa (स्वयम्भूनाथ स्तुप) was built during the 5th century. But lot of people use to believe that it is even before that. They believe it is standing since 1st century. During this period the temple was renovated only 15 times (unbelievable in 1500 years). Even the last one was during 2010 which was first after 1921. That time the dome was re-glided with 20 kg of gold.

At the top, beside the Stupa (स्तुप) you'll find lot of souvenir shops, roof top restaurant, hotels, etc. The souvenirs are crazily costly. So before buying anything from there, make sure what you are exactly doing.

How to Go:

Shombhunath Temple (स्वयम्भूनाथ स्तुप) is very easy to access as its inside the valley of Kathmandu (काठमाडौँ) in Nepal (नेपाल). You'll just need to ask a Taxi driver to drop you there. From the tourist area Thamel (ठमेल) it will be around 120 to 200 Nepali rupees taxi fare. Alternately, you can have a walk as well. Its not too far from Thamel (ठमेल). A 15/20 minutes of short walking will lead you towards the temple. GPS coordinate of the temple is (27°42'53.42"N, 85°17'25.48"E).

Best time to visit the Stupa (स्तुप) is before 9:00 am at morning when you'll find only the pilgrims instead of the chaotic tourists.

The 365 stairs begin from here.

A beautiful statue of Buddha beside the stair.

Believe me, I was tired even at this stage!

Still long way to go. This is probably the best view of the stairs.

The view of the Kathmandu (काठमाडौँ) valley from the top of the Swayambhunath (स्वयम्भूनाथ).

I do not know what this things. They can rotate around the center and people use to push them so that it can circle on it's center.

A Brass made statue of an animal. May be a Lion!

A small temple is beside the Stupa (स्तुप).

The Swayambhunath Stupa (स्वयम्भूनाथ स्तुप).

Few small shrines.

A Statue of Dipankar Buddha from 7th century. It is made on a shingle stone.

This small temple resides at the western side of the temple.

View of the western side of the temple.

Statue of standing Buddha on Lotus at the World Peace Pond.

Watch closely the nose under the eyes. It is basically the digit one in Nepali script.

Another Shrine. Not sure how it is functioning.

Are these the statue of the Holy monks?

What does it look like?

View of the Swayambhunath Stupa(स्वयम्भूनाथ स्तुप) from the down at southern side.

Swayambhunath Stupa(स्वयम्भूनाथ स्तुप),
Kathmandu (काठमाडौँ),
Nepal (नेपाल)

This article is written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog http://icwow.blogspot.com/