The magic of bones is very addictive, once you get this addiction of touching the sky, you will want to climb the mountain again and again. The southern region of Bangladesh is a mountain forest wonderland. For those who love trekking, Bandarban-Khagrachari-Rangamati region is the ideal destination in the country. The mountains surrounded by green dense forests, mountain springs, rivers, streams, jhums all have a different charm and beauty that cannot be ignored. Among the various places in this region, one of the targets that is always in the eye of mountain lovers is Keokradong in Bandarban.
Keokradong is one of the two highest mountains in Bangladesh. Just as conquering it is an addiction, the scenic beauty of its journey is another fascinating story. On the way to the hill you will find bog lakes, some villages decorated by locals, small springs and waterfalls, helipads and much more. Today I will tell you all the necessary information about this hill journey.
The mysterious beauty of Bagalek
On the way to Keokradong you will find Bogakain Lake or Bagalek. It is the highest altitude natural fresh water lake in Bangladesh, situated at the foot of Keokradong in Bagamukh district of Bamder village. As the beauty of this very old natural lake is charming, so many thrilling fictions have been written about it. According to the local Bampara story, there was a village named Khumi at the place of this lake. Villagers were punished for killing a god and then devouring the body, and the village Khumi was destroyed and a deep lake was created in its place. The local people believe that both the blessings/curses of the gods still exist in the depths of the lake. Locals cultivate fish in it and Bagamukpara is built around it. Both the beauty and mystery of the lake can be enjoyed from the cottages built for tourists around the lake.
A starry night in the hills near Bagalek
After leaving Dhaka with a group of 14 people by bus, not everyone had breakfast after reaching Bandarban in the morning. Then I left for Ruma market in Chander’s car. From Ruma Bazar to Bagalek’s dinner market. Then I went to Bagale to enjoy Chander’s car once more. Remember, safety is an important issue in mountainous areas. Therefore, the necessary documents must always be carried and cooperatively participated in providing information at every check post.
After checking in Bagale we went straight to our cottage. From that hilltop cottage, the view of the green hills shrouded in blue cloud mist is like a dream. On the other side is the mysterious form of the lake. All in all, that scene of the sunset is still in my mind. A few of us went for a walk in the neighborhood of Bamder, wrapped in a sheet. The hardworking life of the people there, hospitality, all the strange qualities impressed us. I bought a handloom thami and a winter sheet from the shop of a talented hillbilly girl. Then sit in the shop next door for molasses tea, biscuits and mountain fruits. There is something magical about the nature and lifestyle that will fascinate any tourist.
As the evening fell, the stars blossomed in the darkness across the entire sky. We all sat on the balcony of the hilltop cottage and sang mountain songs and watched the fair of stars across the sky. The cooking and barbeque food festival is done with the things we bought from Ruma Bazaar. Hot food and the smell of green plants and flowers in the winter night! All in all, every moment was unforgettable.
Start the journey on the way to Keokradong
At the end of the night at the cottage on the banks of Bagalek, we got ready with the dream of conquering Keokradong. Breakfast was at Bagamukpara in the morning. Then together we took a group photo before the start of the journey, the memory of which remains in the mobile gallery with great care. Friends all understood the need of the journey and took some chocolates, snacks and water. The journey to conquer the highest mountain has begun. Although there is a lot of energy in the body at the beginning of the journey, after a while many people get a little suffocated. But the more I went up and passed the villages, the more I was mesmerized by the beauty of the surroundings. I was gradually realizing that this is not a human world, it is like a piece of heaven on earth!
The valleys on both sides, the mountains surrounded by green, the blue sky on both sides and the cotton-like clouds, the sweet sunshine of the winter sun, the mountain flowers of various colors, the birds, I was speechless at the appearance of my country. We ate fruit, tea and other food at small shops in the hills several times. The sweet taste of mountain fruits is different from the fruits of other regions.
The beauty of Jharna and the neighborhood of Darjeeling
The shrimp fountain will fall in the middle of the Keokradong climb. We spent some time there not being able to handle the temptation to drink the cold sweet water of Jhiri. Then I left again with water. High and low roads, steep dry soil slopes, ravines, forests, small villages, what is there! Why would anyone want to go back there? While climbing, the beauty of some places was so charming that we couldn’t find any way but to sit down and take in all the beauty! Suddenly I see many wild flowers in one place. It seemed as if a sea flower was dancing and singing. As I touched the flower bush, hundreds of colorful butterflies flew together. That scene was one to never forget.
Then we went to Darjeeling neighborhood. After having lunch there and resting for a while, we left again to complete the journey to Keokradong. I went to the heli pad before sunset. Saw another amazing sunset. It’s time for sunrise!
Concert night at the top of Keokradong
After watching the sunset we got our cottage on the highest hill or crown of the hill king. Sitting on the balcony, we have many stories about the beauty of our journey! After resting, we went to the next high peak after having dinner. It seemed as if I could see the whole country from the top. Not only can’t see the hustle and bustle of the city, cars, traffic jams and can’t hear the sound of traffic. As far as the eye can see the blanket of mist over the green and hear the song of peace and beauty. We all flew lanterns from the top of the hill and looked around to see the lanterns shining like stars, drifting far away. I slept on the top of the hill until late at night and sang the songs of nature, life, country and feelings. I have never seen such a vast sky before, its vastness seems to have no end.
Keokradong in the morning
The early morning sun peeked over the hill. We sat in the verandah of the cottage and watched in awe and sang ‘A ke aparupa rupe maa tome, Herinu Palli Janani!’
If I still think about it, if I close my eyes, I can smell the mountain, I can see its form, its glory! I will never forget this experience. Of course, I want to tell everyone about taking time to visit even in the midst of busyness. But since everyone is going there as a guest, show respect to the locals and help preserve the beauty of nature. Do not litter anywhere. Today, however, this is where the story ends, maybe I will appear again with a mountain story.