Srimangal - The Tea Town Of Bangladesh
Fighting For The Train Tickets!!
We had to plan for a budget trip, and the train seems to be the best option; the ticket price being very cheap. There was a mobile ticketing system, as we are not allowed to do any online transaction in our country. While we were trying for the mobile tickets, the system didn't work. So, we went to the railway station to buy our tickets. If any of you have ever visited Bangladesh, you probably have noticed the messy and crowded transportation system here. The queues were so long that we thought we would perhaps never get through. However, in a few minutes we realized that we were in the wrong queue, and our destination queue was pretty short. So, in just half an hour we managed to get to the ticket counter, and after few confusing moments, the tickets were at our hands.
The green land
At Last The Journey Begins....
The name of our train was 'Joyontika Express'. Although the journey was supposed to begin at 2pm, the roaring of the engine did not start before 3pm. We were still kind of happy that the train had at last started to move. But the journey was not as pleasant as we thought it would be. There were a lot of chaos and mismanagement in the ticketing system. Lot of people were standing here and there, and two girls were sitting on our handstands! There were lots of other misfortunes all through the way, but I had a somewhat enjoyable time because of the camera I had with me. The photographs that i took, and the breathtaking outside view were the only entertainment for me. I can still remember those beautiful places.
The Queer Hotel o_O
We were trying to find out a suitable place for out night's stay even from Dhaka. After searching a few ones, a cheap hotel named " Hotel Plaza Inn" seemed to be most convenient option for us. After our long journey was over at about 9 pm, we were overjoyed to find that the hotel was only few steps away from the railway station. By the time, we reached the hotel, we had been so tired that we simply took our showers and went to bed. None of us had the energy or wish to have our dinner outside. Some of us were thinking about going to the "Durga Puja Pandel" that we saw while going to the hotel. However, we decided to sleep instead in the end. The weirdest part was that we had to register with the police before going in to our rooms. After that, night was calm and peaceful, and all of us were thrilled thinking about the next day.
The Peaceful Morning :)
We woke up quite early in the morning and were quite hungry. We quickly paid the hotel bills and went out in search of some food. It's a very interesting practice in all around Bangladesh, specially in the small tourist towns... that there are some early risers who opens their food stops even at 5 am in the morning. So we could have ourselves filled up by 7 am and by 7:30 am we started our further journey towards "Mathobkundu", the largest natural stream in Bangladesh.
The Ananas Plantation
Mathobkundu - A Beautiful Piece Of Bangladesh
The journey towards "Mathobkundu" was long and fascinating. We went passed beautiful tea gardens "Lawachora Reserve Forest", a few rivers, numerous water bodies, and innumerable villages on our way towards "Mathobkundu" The auto driver was quite entertaining, and helped us to get some medicines for one of our friends with fever. Once at "Mathobkundu", we stepped out of the auto and went to the ticket counter. Then began our journey into the beauty of nature. We saw "Khashia" tribal villages, a temple of Shiva, and many interesting looking trees on our way. After walking for half an hour, we finally were there. It was my love at first sight. The stream was so beautiful and wild that i could not help starring at her incessantly. I was also amazed at a beautiful black butterfly flying near the water body and teasing with my camera lens. The most appealing sight was the stream itself with its ancient looking rock walls, wide water force, and the evergreen forest surrounding it. We had to pack up quickly as our return bus was due in a few hours. On our way back to the bus station, we managed to grab some quick lunch, and then rode back into our auto. The return journey to the "Srimongol" Tea Town was almost as beautiful as the morning trip.
Descended From Heaven...
Good times do not stay for ever. Our journey had to end too. We were at the bus station about an hour before the bus would start. The waiting time could be boring. But the Durja Puja processions crossing us made the waiting a colorful one. We were quite cheered up by the time we started our return journey. Except for the direct sun light on our eyes, most part of our return journey was calm and quiet. We were specially mesmerized by the vast water bodies near "Brahmanbaria" and red, old rail bridge over the river Meghna. The pain of the journey began when we entered Dhaka. We were back to the jungle of cars, trucks, buses and people. At some point, we got so tired that we got off the bus and took a different route back to home. Now when I am extremely busy with my exams, works and the busy life in the city, I sometimes I wish I can flew back to that small hill town, among the green tea gardens and the wilderness!