Friday, 23 December 2011
This is our first day at Sylhet(সিলেট) of this tour. I have decided to visit the Bholaganj(ভোলাগঞ্জ) of Sylhet(সিলেট). The place is just beneath the Cherapunjee(চেরাপুন্জী) hills. River Dholai(ধলাই নদী) just entered at Bangladesh through Bholaganj(ভোলাগঞ্জ). People used to harvest stone from there. The river, mountains of India, and the activities of people are very interesting there. So our plan was to observe such things more closely.
This is winter now but Bholagonj(ভোলাগঞ্জ) is most beautiful during rainy season. As I couldn't resist myself to visit Bholagonj(ভোলাগঞ্জ), I have made a plan for that in this season. We have started a bit late at morning and reached at Bholagonj(ভোলাগঞ্জ) after 1:30 of the day.
After arriving at Bholagonj(ভোলাগঞ্জ), you'll be invited by the beautiful river Dholai(ধলাই নদী). Like other rivers of our country, this one is a shallow one too. Anyone can cross the river easily without wetting their cloths.
It was at the middle of the day, was very bright and sunny. People who are living at the bank of the river just came here for their regular bath. Different people and different activities can be seen on that time.
Also the workers around the river were busy with collecting the stones from the river with buckets, carrying the stones with the long boats. They used to run the boat by pushing standing from river or using a bamboo to get a push.
Another group of people were loading the stones from the bank of the river to the truck. Plenty of trucks were whistling around and required extra care to avoid accident. Hundreds of thousands workers were working on there.
It was hard to find any empty space around the bank of the river. Most of the spaces are occupied by the stone quarrying companies. Miles after mile just drilled to collect stone from the earth. According to a report at 1964, Bholagonj(ভোলাগঞ্জ) has stones under the earth for another 50 years. So its only 2 years left before the place goes to null.
After strolling at the bank of the river and the quarries we have decided to go further. But where? we had no idea. There is a cable available for carrying stones. We have decided to visit the starting point of the cable car. We were near to the sunset, but couldn't resist to go there.
You have to pass the Ansar Camp(আনসার ক্যাম্প) to reach at the starting point of the cable car. At first glance, it appeared that the huge machine is not functioning now a days. But local people assured that it still works now a days and used to transport stones to Chhatak(ছাতক) when requires.
We have enjoyed the sunset from that place and after that started returning to the 10 number point of Bholagonj(ভোলাগঞ্জ). From there public transports are available.
How to Go:
1. First come to the Airport Road Bus Stand. Its near to the Ambor Khana(আম্বর খানা). GPS coordinate of the bus stand is (24°54'37.02"N, 91°52'15.05"E).
2. From there ride on the bus of Companygonj(কোম্পানীগঞ্জ). Ask the bus to drop you at Tuker Bazar(টুকের বাজার). It will cost you 50 Taka per person. GPS coordinate of Tuker bazar(টুকের বাজার) is (25° 6'30.29"N, 91°45'28.68"E).
3. From Tuker bazar(টুকের বাজার), you have to use the Tempo service until Dosh number point(দশ নাম্বার পয়েন্ট). It will cost you 20 Taka per person. GPS coordinate of dosh number point is (25° 9'23.67"N, 91°44'54.32"E). This place is just at the Bangladesh-Indian border. You'll find a BDR outpost there.
4. Location of the cable car machine is at (25° 9'56.58"N, 91°45'17.15"E).
5. After sunset, the bus from Tuker Bazar(টুকের বাজার) doesn't come to Sylhet(সিলেট) town. It will drop you at Shalutikor(শালুটিকর বাজার). Bus fare is 25 Taka per person. GPS coordinate of Shalutikor bazaar(শালুটিকর বাজার) is (24°59'31.28"N, 91°50'55.46"E).
6. From shalutikor(শালুটিকর বাজার), you can use CNG auto to come at Sylhet(সিলেট) town. It will cost 25 taka per person. One auto can take 5 passengers.
Other option is using the private vehicles. If you have female on your team, then using public service won't be a good idea.
Where to Stay:
It is recommended to stay at Sylhet(সিলেট) town. You can visit and return back to the town within the same day. There may have few guest houses of government officials. If you have connections, you can use that for staying at night.
Where to Eat:
I have found few fancy hotels and restaurants at Bholagonj(ভোলাগঞ্জ) bazaar. You can use any of those for lunch. I didn't have lunch that day. I don't prefer to spend time behind lunch during day time on a tour. Time is short.