Altadighi(আলতাদীঘি) is a name of a large pond and also a less heard travel destination from our country Bangladesh. This is situated exactly near at the India-Bangladesh border at the North Bengal. There is a Shalbon(শালবন) exists beside this water tank that comprises of various trees including Shal(শাল) and Gojari(গজারী). We have visited this place after exploring the Jogoddol Bihar(জগদ্দল বিহার).
Our van driver was initially reluctant to provide us further service when we have finished our exploration at the Jogoddol Bihar(জগদ্দল বিহার). It was around 2:30 of afternoon and his only focus was only on the lunch. But somehow I have convinced him to stay with us until the end of the day. This portion of our country is having a very poor transportation service. Its hard to get any kind of vehicles over there. So at any cost I had to keep him with us!
It took around an hour or more to reach at the Altadighi(আলতাদীঘি) from the Jogoddol Bihar(জগদ্দল বিহার). They van was moving slowly as the road was muddy at some places. Also we had to walk on the road when it was hard for a van to push with passengers. But the aesthetic beauty of the road and it's surrounding was bewildering. It was the month of harvesting and the fields beside the road was always covered with golden colored of ripen or nearly ripen crops. Since we were sitting idly on the van, we have enjoyed this beauty thoroughly.
After reaching at the Altadighi(আলতাদিঘী), we have had a rest near a tea stall beside the pond. We have enjoyed an unique dish that is made from the Til(তিল) and puffed rice(মুড়ি). It was a mouthwatering and amazingly tasty dish. I was not that we were too much hungry, it was really a tasty dish. Our van driver also enjoyed this, basically he took this as his lunch. During his lunch, we have enjoyed the Dighi(দিঘী) for a while.
Basically this Dighi(দিঘী) is not that much large one, but it has a significance. Very few portion of the Dighi(দিঘী) resides inside the India. And lot of Bangladeshi tourists use to cross the border unknowingly while exploring the area. And thus they creates hassle for the local armed forces. So you should have to be careful when you go there. We were always careful and always aware about this issue. We didn't like to face any hazards during our travel!
After the short refreshment, we have decided to explore the forest which is known as Shalbon(শালবন). This forest is rich with lot of native plants which grows naturally. I don't know most of the plant's names except only few like Shal(শাল), Gojari(গজারী), etc. Along with this natural trees, I have found plenty of planted trees which was monitored by the forest department of Bangladesh. This forest is also profound with lot of native and uncommon birds which are hardly seen now a days. Unfortunately I don't know most of their names.
Most of the plants from the forest is deciduous, but they are deciduous during any season. This is the beauty of the Shalbon(শালবন). You'll find numerous leafs are trashing around under the trees. And whenever you walk over those you'll heard the lyrical murmuring sound from the leafs. We have had a short exploration around the forest.
It was around 4:30 at afternoon when we have returned back from the Altadighi(আলতা দিঘী). It was another 45 minutes of Van ride until it dropped us at the Dhamoirhat(ধামইরহাট) Bazaar.
How to Go:
First of all you have to come at the Dhamoirhat(ধামইরহাট) Upazela of Naogaon(নওগাঁ) District. You can come here from Joypurhat(জয়্পুরহাট), or from the Naogaon(নওগাঁ) district. Choice is yours. You'll find plenty of local bus services around to go there.
From Dhamoirhat(ধামইরহাট) bazaar, just hire a van for 70-100 Taka that will drop you at the Alta Dighi(আলতা দীঘি). It will be a ride of 45 minutes. I'll suggest you to keep the van with you for round trip. Otherwise you may find with no vehicle at the middle of nowhere.
GPS coordinate of the Altadighi(আলতাদীঘি) is (25°10'51.44"N, 88°51'57.93"E).
About the Altadighi(আলতাদীঘি):
During the ruling period of Raja Biswanath Jogdol(রাজা বিশ্বনাথ জগদল) during 1400th century this place was having a serious scarcity of the water. To ease the water crisis the king decide to dug a pond for his peasants. To decide about the length of the pond, the kind requested his queen to walk until her foot bleeds. Thus the his queen started walking and he already passed a long distance. The high officials of the king's thought that the King might not be able to dug such a large water tank. So they have thrown Alta(a red color that our girls used to decorate their feet that time) on her feet and started shouting that her feet started bleeding. So she stopped at there. Local people believe this tale is the main reason to call this dighi(দীঘি) as Altadighi(আলতাদীঘি).
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...!
Alta Dighi & Shalbon(আলতা দিঘী ও শালবন),
Naogaon District(নওগাঁ জেলা),
This article is written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog http://icwow.blogspot.com/