To experience a unique outline of riverine life, visit Hakaluki Haor, the largest freshwater wetland of Bangladesh. This 44 sq-km swamp has covered Borolekha, Kulaura in the Moulvibazar district. The haor area also spreads through Fenchuganj, Golapganj, and Beanibazar in the Sylhet district. In the winter, Hakaluki Haor becomes the heaven of migratory birds. The same Haor takes the form of the sea in the rainy season. This captivating Haor attracts the local and international tourists round of the year. In this article, we have focused on some interesting features of this vast expanse of water. Let’s know more about Hakaluki Haor
Although no exact evidence has been found for the origin of “Hakaluki”, there are a number of myths surrounding it.
Many years ago, in fear of the army of Omar Manikya who was the king of Tripura, Hangor Singh, the cookie leader of Borolekha, hid in a vast area covered with jungle and mud. So over time, the name of the area became “Hangor Luki”, which gradually evolved into “Hakaluki”.
According to another legend, a king named “Aka” and his kingdom were completely buried due to an earthquake about two thousand years ago. Over time, this submerged lowland became known as “Akaluki” and later changed to “Hakaluki”.
At one time a tribe called “Hengkel” lived in the western part of Borolekha police station. This “Henkeluki” later bears the name Hakaluki.
Another legend tells that once there were two tribes named “Kuki” and “Naga” who lived near Hakaluki Haor. In their tribal language, this mesmerizing Haor is called “Hakaluki”, which refers to ‘hidden treasure’.
The riverine beauty of Hakaluki Haor
This Haor, consists of almost 238 swamps, contains various species of fish and aquatic plants. Among the aquatic plants, there is a considerable amount of Puti in the extinct Makna swamp region, Hingajur, Hawa, etc. During the boat trip over Hakaluki Haor, you can see a few old Hijol and Tomal trees in the water.
In winter, this place turns into a vast green desert, paddy fields and ditches somewhere. During this time about 25 species of ducks and aquatic birds migrated from Siberia in northern Asia. In addition, about 100 species of local birds are visible in the haor zone throughout the year.
In the Haor area, you will find some high grounds wrapped in the carpet of green grass creating amazing views by throwing reflections in the water of the swamp. During the sunrise and sunset, the reflection of the sun on the water of the haor creates a captivating scene.
Surrounding these pastures and swamps of the huge wilderness, the rustic lives and simple livelihood of the local people will disconnect you from the din and bustle of city life. What is more? The chirpings of migratory birds in Hakaluki Haor give a thrill to the tourists.
Best time to visit Hakaluki Haor
You can choose the time between November and mid-February to visit Hakaluki Haor. During this period, with the arrival of birds, the Haor seems to have turned into a paradise on earth. However, if you want to witness the sea-look of Haor, you have to come in the month of June to August.
Travel accessories to take with
Raincoats, life jackets, large backpacks, towels, mud-water shoes, cameras, binoculars, power banks, essential batteries, torches, dry foods, first aid kits, and camping tents should be on your list. If you go in winter, do not forget to take winter jackets.
Dhaka to Hakaluki Haor travel
To arrive at Hakaluki Haor from the capital city Dhaka, you need to reach Kulaura under the Moulvibazar district. You can take any Sylhet-bound bus from Fakirapul, Gabtali, Sayedabad, Mohakhali, and Abdullapur bus terminals in Dhaka. The bus fare from Dhaka to Kulaura will be between BDT 350 to 900 depending on the category.
Reaching Kulaura you can rent an autorickshaw for BDT 100 to 150 or a rickshaw for BDT 80 to 100 to go directly to Haor.
Are you fond of train journeys? You can take a train heading towards Kulaura from Kamalapur or Airport Railway Station in Dhaka. The rent will be BDT 150 to 500 per person depending on the class.
If you want to take the Hakaluki Haor trip through the Kushiyara River, you have to take the Sylhet-bound train and get off at Maizgaon station just before Sylhet. Then, go to Fenchuganj Bazar by autorickshaw from there. You can then reach the nearby boat dock and take a boat after bargaining for the whole day. When you are traveling with a large group (10 to 15 people), take a big trawler which may charge about BDT 3 to 4 thousand per day.
Where to stay during the Hakaluki Haor trip
With the permission of the swamp owner, 2 to 4 people can easily spend the night in the huts of the swamp leaseholders in Haor. But the moments of camping in the swamp area at night will give you a lifetime of joy. Besides, you can spend the night in the town- Borolekha.
How to arrange meals
During the boat trip over Hakaluki Haor, talk to the boatman. You can try to convince the boatmen to cook food for you for some additional money. If you can manage the local laboring people, you can have lunch with them with local cuisine like rice, pulse, fish, etc for a small amount of money. Cow or Buffalo milk is available in Haor at very low prices. It would be wise to travel with light food like biscuits, tea, bread, drinking water, etc while boarding the boat.
Spots nearby Hakaluki Haor to visit
If you travel with enough time, you can visit Madhabkunda Falls, Hail Haor, Gogontila, along with surrounding forests, Lauyachhora Gardens, Satchhori National Park, Tea gardens, Rubber Gardens, etc. You can also visit the famous wildlife sanctuaries Rema-Kalenga, Khasia, and Manipuri culture and lifestyle Panpunji.
Source: United News of Bangladesh