Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Ratargul Swamp Forest, Sylhet

Ratargul Swamp Forest, Sylhet
Ratargul Swamp Forest, Sylhet
Ratargul Swamp Forest (রাতারগুল  জলাভুমির বন) is the only swamp forest located in Bangladesh. It's a freshwater swamp forest located in Gowainghat, Sylhet. It's also called the Sundarbans of Sylhet. Its total area is 3, 325.61 acre including 504 acre declared as the animal sanctuary. You will see lot's of trees called Koroch tree (করচ গাছ ) everywhere. During my official tour to Sylhet, on Friday 11th August I went to visit Ratargul. This evergreen forest is situated by the Goain River and linked with the canal named Chengir Khal. It's a rainy season, an ideal time to to visit Ratargul because this time the forest goes under 20-30 feet water, rest of the year the water level is about 10 feet deep.

We reached to the location by car. Due to rain and lack of maintenance the road is heavily damage. It's wise to take auto-rickshaw instead of car. We lost our way but at the end with the help of locals we reached the spot. Years back this place is not that crowded but now it's a busy place full of visitors. The boatman asked for 1300, after bargaining we hired a boat by 800 tk. We started our boat journey from Goain river ghat towards Chengir Khal. It was raining there is no sound but water drops. The boatman went through the swamp forest and took us to the watch tower. From watchtower you can see the whole surrounding area, only water and trees. Most of the trees grow here are Koroch tree (scientific name is Pongamia Pinnata). If you go there don't miss the watchtower.
This swamp forest is important because it's one of the few freshwater swamp forest in the world. The forest is naturally conserved under the Department of Forestry, Govt. of Bangladesh. Ratargul Swamp Forest is really amazing, specially in rainy season.

How to go

Best practice is hire a car or auto-rickshaw from Sylhet for whole day. If you want to go locally there are several ways. One of them is get in a car to Sylhet-Jaflong road get off at Sarighat (সারিঘাট). From there by auto-rickshaw to Gowainghat Bazaar (গোয়াইনঘাট বাজার). The wharf (নৌঘাট) will be next to the market. You have to reserve a boat to get to and from Ratargul from here. But remember, you can't go to the Ratargul forest by this boat. You have to enter the forest by small boat (ডিঙি নৌকায়). Only to visit the forest the small boat will take 800-1000 tk depending on the season.
Ratargul Swamp Forest
Ratargul Swamp Forest from watchtower

Freshwater Swamp Forest
Freshwater Swamp Forest

Ratargul Swamp Forest
Inside Ratargul Swamp Forest

Ratargul Swamp Forest
Ratargul Swamp Forest

Millettia Pinnata / Koroch tree (করচ গাছ )


Inside view of Ratargul Swamp Forest




Ratargul Swamp Forest from watchtower
Ratargul Swamp Forest from watchtower

Boat waiting for the tourist in Gowain River
Boat waiting for the tourist in Gowain River

Fisherman catching fish in the Gowain River


Catching fish in Ratargul
Fisherman catching fish in Ratargul

Ratargul Swamp Forest from Watchtower (360° view)



cultivating paddy
Local Farmers cultivating paddy, Gowainghat

Gowainghat
Green all around me, Gowainghat, Sylhet

Stone collectors
Paddy field
Goain River
Ducks on the Goain River
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Goain River
Catching fish on Goain River.
Gowain River
Ducks on the Goain River
Visitors in Ratargul
Visitors in Ratargul
Visitors in Ratargul
Tourist in Ratargul
Visitors in Ratargul
Tourist in Ratargul Swamp Forest
Chengir Khal
Chengir Khal
Chengir Khal
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Rain is common in the swamp forest
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Me on the watchtower.
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Our boat waiting for us near watchtower
Gowain River
Ratargul Swamp Forest
Ratargul Swamp Forest
Ratargul Swamp Forest
Ratargul Swamp Forest
Koroch tree
Ratargul Swamp Forest
Koroch tree
Ratargul Swamp Forest
Ratargul Swamp Forest
Ratargul Swamp Forest
Ratargul Swamp Forest
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Chengir Khal
Chengir Khal
Goain River
Tourist on the way to Ratargul
Local Children






Ratargul Swamp Forest


Ratargul Swamp Forest
Amazing Ratargul





Koroch tree in the Gowain River
Koroch tree in the Gowain River


Koroch tree (করচ গাছ )


Paddy field

Video of Ratargul Swamp Forest



Google map of Ratargul

 

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