Tanguar Haor(টাঙ্গুয়ার হাওর) is possibly the second largest Haor(হাওর) from Bangladesh(বাংলাদেশ). This is declared as the motherland for fishes of Bangladesh(বাংলাদেশ). Lot of Beel(বিল) and swamp area all together are called as Tanguar Haor(টাঙ্গুয়ার হাওর). Local people say this as Tangua Haor(টাঙ্গুয়া হাওর).
Plenty of rivers and canals passed through this massive haor. Most of those rivers were originated from the Indian hills. If you go there during winter then you have to go through the Baulai river(বাউলাই নদী).
Basically I went there to watch the migratory birds(অতিথী পাখি) from the haor. Lot of such birds used to come from Siberia during winter. Unfortunately my timing wasn't good. It was almost at the end of winter. I should have go there a month earlier or two.
After crossing the Baulai river(বাউলাই নদী), we had to pass two massive Beel to reach near to the birds. Most of the birds were Pankouri(পানকৌড়ি), Kalim(কলিম), White and brown egrets(সাদা বক ও কানী বক), Bali Hash(বালি হাস), and lot of unknown birds.
The water of the Haor is totally clear which will allow you to see everything under water. Lot of dense marshes are available under the water. Through those bushes plenty of fishes are passing extremely quickly. I felt like I am watching an aquarium from the boat. As the fishes are tremendously quick, it is hard to identify those.
There is no locality available around the Haor. Only few small boats from the fishermen and others who used to live based on the Haor. You'll only hear the creeping sounds from the birds, nothing else.
We have hired an engine boat which was ok, but mistake was not to hire a small boat along with the engine boat. Due the the sound of the engine, the birds were flying away. By any means, we weren't able to reach at the most closing position to the birds.
Another mistake was not carrying a binocular with me and not having a DSLR camera(I don't have any). It is useless to shot at Tanguar Haor(টাঙ্গুয়ার হাওর) using point to point digital camera. So if you are planning to go there at next winter, make sure you have those with you.
I love to swim at water. But I didn't dare to swim at Haor at winter. Cause the water level is low right now, and lot of underwater bushes are available. And under those bushes, you'll find plenty of muddy patches. These kind of conditions are risky, and not pleasant for swimming. The crystal water of the Haor was luring me, and I had to control myself unwillingly.
There is a temporary Ansar camp(আনসার ক্যাম্প) at the middle of the Haor. Also there is an organization available which is controlling the fishing at the Haor. Possibly it is morning 9 to afternoon 3 is the period of catching fish from Haor. After that, no fishing.
How to Go:
This is for the trip during winter. Rainy season will be different.
1. Using a bus from Dhaka you can easily come at Sunamganj Town(সুনামগঞ্জ টাউন). Best services are Mamun(মামুন), Shamoli(শ্যামলী), etc. Bus fare is 500 Taka. It will take around 6-7 hours during night journey.
2. From the Shaheb Bari Ghat(সাহেব বাড়ী ঘাট, 25° 4'17.65"N, 91°23'31.54"E), cross the river and come to Monipuri Ghat(মনিপুরি ঘাট, 25° 5'12.04"N, 91°23'22.09"E). It is 10 taka per person, and around 15 minutes of boat journey.
3. From the Monipuri Ghat(মনিপুরি ঘাট), hire motor bike to come at Tahirpur Bazar(তাহেরপুর বাজার). Each one will cost around 250-300 taka. Two person can ride on bike after the driver. GPS of the Tahirpur(তাহেরপুর) is (25° 5'54.73"N, 91°10'35.72"E). It will take around 40-50 minutes. Alternately you can use the Tempo if you taking female travelers with you.
4. Using a bike from the town, come to Solman Ghat(সলমান ঘাট), GPS is (25° 5'16.82"N, 91° 6'55.94"E). It will be 50-60 taka per bike and a 30 minutes ride.
5. Hire a boat from the Solman Ghat(সলমান ঘাট). A small engine boat will cost around 800 to 1000 taka per day. From the Ghat, it will take around two hours to reach at the middle of the Haor.
Where to Stay:
You can stay at the Tahirpur Upozila Guest House(তাহেরপুর উপজেলা গেস্ট হাউস, 25° 5'50.88"N, 91°10'36.05"E) or Tahirpur Dak Banglo(তাহেরপুর ডাক বাংলো, 25° 5'56.60"N, 91°10'39.91"E) during the trip. This is the nearest possible accommodation from the Haor. We have hired two rooms from the Upozila Guest House(উপজেলা গেস্ট হাউস), each of the room were 100 taka per night. Contact number of the Dak Banglo(ডাক বাংলো) is 01724968161.
** Along with the engine boat, hire a small boat or two. Tie the boat behind the engine boat. You can use that to observe the birds more closely. At the middle of the Haor, you may find difficulties to hire such boats.
** There are lot of shako(সাকো) will be on your path, to cross by feet, it will be 2 taka per person. To cross using your hired bike, it will be 10 taka per bike. So during hiring bike, make sure about who will pay the bill.
I'll visit the Tanguar Haor again. At next winter to see the different beauties. And at next winter with a DSLR camera.
If you want to make a barbi-Q at night, check how we did that at night.