Bichanakandi, Sylhet: How To Reach, Best Time and Tips.
Bichanakandi, the new tourist destination at the boundary of Sylhet division, is all about waterfalls and collection of stones, pebbles in the crystal-clear river water. At the lap of sky-hugging mountains lies this bouquet of nature’s incredible picturesque beauty.
All the ranges of the Khasi mountain meet at a point here.There you can get the excellent view of a high fall. Alongside this scenic spot drifts, the see through cool water flow of mountain river Piyain. This river, gushing down the mountain, brings tons of boulders with it.
It is in this water you get to see the collection of rocks of various size and color. These stones are collected to be mined. During the monsoon, the area becomes greener than ever. The mountain, forest, and the waterfalls all become alive to declare nature’s generous endowment. Bichanakandi Sylhet is the cradle in a true nature lover’s paradise.
Geographical Description & The Beauty Of Bichanakandi
At the Bangladesh- India border is this place of immaculate beauty. A stone quarry, this village has about 3000 inhabitants that are mostly working in the stone business. Location of the village is in the Rustampur Union of Gowainghat Upozilla of Sylhet District.
Nestled between the Meghalaya hills and the plain land of Sylhet, Gowainghat is a beautiful place. Among one of the developed cities of Southeast Asia, Sylhet city has a distinctly different culture of its own.
Their colloquial language including their Bengali language is mixed with other for example, Arabic, Farsi, Hindi, Urdu languages. A very rich and interesting history belongs to this district.Local overlords used to rule this land before the Muslims conquered it.
During 1303, from Yemen came to a great Saint named Hazrat Shah Jalal along with a company of 360 supporters and overpowered the ruling King at that time. The aboriginals of the different tribe live in harmony in the hilly region of Sylhet division. Visitors can observe their lifestyle governed by long-standing cultures, rituals, traditions and customs.
Bichanakandi Name,S History & Its Culture:
Many layers of Khasia Hills have come to a meeting place at this vista point of Bangladesh-India border. Just beyond this border starts the Meghalaya state of India. Flowing from Meghalaya at the edge of Bangladesh comes the torrent of cool stream soaking the layers of rocks beneath.
It looks like a stony brook running down the hill. Many enjoy the blocking the flow of water over the rocks with their feet. Small children and adults will enjoy playing in the shallow water with stones of various size and color.
It is worth the time spent for an hour or so taking pictures of the beautiful hide and seek game of clouds with mountains above and rock with water below. There is the view of lovely waterfalls, but, alas! You cannot go near them let alone touch the water. It is only for eyes to enjoy because they are in India. You need a visa to go there if you want.
Top Things To Do In Bichanakandi
1. Combined Tour
You can also plan your travel including several adjacent attractions along with Bichanakandi. A rough idea can be it will take three days to complete starting from morning till evening. Your travel will also encompass destinations like Lala Khal, Ratargul, Pangthumai, Jaflong around Sylhet city. It is better to be in a group, per person costing will be approximately BDT 4900 which is equivalent to USD 58.
2. Lala Khal
Another tourist attraction famous for the mountain, tea garden and the flowing water that remains green.
The only freshwater swamp in Bangladesh is a real beauty. It is a completely different world of breathtaking scenery which cannot be completely explained. Words only cannot justify the magnetic pull you will feel the more you plunge inside the wetland.
A small near border village full of soothing eye greenery. From the village, you can get a great view of waterfall gushing down the mountain. Sorry to say this magnificent cascade falls in India before getting all too excited.
Another quarry worth visiting for its location and natural beauty.
6. Tribal Lifestyle
As a number tribes live in the adjacent hilly areas, you can explore their lifestyles to learn about their culture.
7. Dining Bus restaurant
Before ending your journey when you come to Gowainghat CNG station do visit the dining facility called the Dining Bus restaurant. Interesting idea of this restaurant was inspired by a double decker bus. It is certainly worthy to check out this excellent initiative by some young men of Bangladesh.
8. Common activities
There are activities like the stone collection, boat ride beside waterfall viewing in all of these places mentioned above. Next time you visit you may also visit Madhabkunda waterfall, Lawacherra Rainforest, and Hummum falls at Jaflong.
Best Hotel & Resorts List In Bichanakandi
Gowainghat has the nearest hotels. Among which hotel Al-Madinah and Nannu Mia Hotel are worth mentioning. Sylhet city has a collection of good quality hotels in the town. You will find most of them at or near the Mazar Road, Ambarkhana, or in Zindabazar. Hotels and Restaurants. Below you can get a brief list of hotels:
1.Hotel Noorjahan Grand- Waves 1 Daraga gate and cost is around USD 70.
2.Hotel Supreme & Exotica Restaurant- East Mirabazar, Tamabil Road.
3.Rose View Hotel, Shahjalal Uposhor, Sylhet, and the cost is approximately USD 100 per night.
4.Hotel Nirvana Inn- Mirzajangal, Ramerdighir Par, Shop mil 44 and cost 43.80 USD per night
5.Nazimgarh Resorts- Khadimnagar, Sylhet is costly which can come to USD 141- 153
6. Hotel Noor Jahan Grand (USD 51), Hotel Garden’s Inn (USD 41), Hotel Metro International (USD 56), Hotel Holy Gate (USD 36), Hotel Star Pacific (USD 32) are also some nice affordable quality accommodation facilities.
Best Restaurant & Food Item In Bichanakandi
There is not much Dining facility in Bichanakandi. Pakasi and Piyain are the only two restaurants trying to cater to the demand of the tourists. Tourist is advised to bring their packed food from Sylhet town.
There are some restaurants offering delicious food and drinks at Gowainghat which is nearest. Among them, Hotel Al Madinah and Nannu Mia’s Hotel are worth mentioning.
Both local and exotic foods are available in these hotels.
You can find Chinese, Indian, Mughlai and even fast food at these restaurants. Hotels offer excellent breakfast menu as well as exquisite flavorful tea.
If you love sweet betal leaf (Mishti Paan), some hotels near the Mazar area have them. You can also check out the newly set dining on the go facility near Gowainghat CNG station.
How To Reach Bichanakandi & How Much It Costs:
To reach this recent, fresh almost unexplored territory at a distance of 315 kilometers from the capital city, you need to at first come to nature’s paradise, the city of Hazrat Shahjalal or more commonly Sylhet from Dhaka, Capital city of Bangladesh.
Sylhet district, one of the best tourism hub of the country, is well connected from the capital city via air, train, and bus. If you choose Airways, it will take you a half an hour’s fly to land in Sylhet International Airport.
There are some daily flights offered by private as well as Biman Bangladesh Airlines, the official airline of Government of Bangladesh. Air tickets cost from USD 48 to USD 96.Most major districts of Bangladesh has good railway connection with this city.
From Dhaka only there are more than one train services leaving every day at morning, noon and evening for Sylhet railway station. Parabat, Upaban, Jayantika express and Surma mail are the trains operating from Dhaka. You can purchase the train ticket at a price of BDT 350 (USD 4/5).
Green line Paribahan, Hanif Paribahan, S Al Saudia, Shohag, Shyamoli various privately operated bus services are conveniently available from Dhaka city. Most starting as early as 7 a.m. up to 11.30 p.m. You need to go to Malibag railgate, Sayedabad and Razarbag bus stand to get on board of any of these buses to reach Sylhet. Bus fare comes to around BDT 1100-1200 (Equivalent USD 13-15).
When you reach Sylhet, you have to go to Ambarkhana point to leave for the tourist destination which is 25 kilometers north of the city. From Ambarkhana point, you can find the CNG station towards the airport road. At the station, it is best to reserve a CNG up to Hadarpar.
If it is a group of 5 the fare will be BDT 500 (USD 6) but if less in the group per head cost can be bargained up to BDT 80 (less than a US dollar). The road is good till the airport with surrounding greenery.
It looks like the blue sky above has nestled down a blue tent over the green carpet below. The journey beyond the airport road up to Salotikar is not so pleasant as before. There are holes all over the road due to heavy trucks carrying rocks along this path. But after the rocky road ends it takes us to a beautiful destination, and you will enter into the rain-soaked villages of Sylhet.
The villages are so neat and clean as if they shower by the rainfall. Very narrow roads are intertwined across the villages. You will reach Hadarpar soon watching little boys occasionally enjoying football matches in the fields.
The Hadarpar Bazar is of moderate size, and almost everything is available here starting from food, clothes to sandals. It is advisable to eat something and rest for a bit after this bumpy journey. From Hadarpur, visitors can hire a local boat to go to Bisnakandi.
The boatman usually asks for loads of money for a fare because of visitor’s pretty attire, but that can be settled down between BDT 800-1200 (USD 6-13).
There is also another travel route visitors often choose which includes Bichanakandi along with others. First, you can go to Pangthumai and from there hire a boat to reach our lovely spot. This route can take an hour-long experience worth treasuring.
But when traveling from Chhatak, Sunamgang, you need an engine boat to reach there. You can hire one and reach Bichanakandi within few hours. If you get one with a rooftop view, it will cost you BDT 4500 (USD 54) whereas without a roof will be cheaper at BDT 3500 (USD 42) for a round trip.
When Time You Shold Go There ?
Bisnakandi is a quarry like Jaflong. Other than rainy season the area is busy with machines lifting stones from the river. Winter season is not suitable for visiting because of mining booming on, and the area will be occupied with boats carrying stones.
The tourists cannot enjoy this pleasant and attractive place in the midst of mechanization with stone-laden boats, crowds of trucks going on. But during the monsoon, these annoyances are not there. These makes June to September, the rainy season, the perfect time to visit this perfect, beautiful destination of dancing clouds over Highlands and rock-laden waterways underneath.
Tips For Tourists
Bangladesh- India Border is the location of Bichanakandi Zero Point. Highlands are flooded during the rainy season, but that is the right time to experience the beauty of this gorgeous place fully. The area has emerged as a tourist attraction very recently, so it is still to be equipped with suitable facilities.
The well-maintained road leading to this place are not in good shape due to heavy trucks crossing daily with loads of stones to cater to the construction business. Government initiative is of utmost importance to preserve the natural beauty of this land.
It is also the duty of us visitors to keep the area clean so that it does not become mechanized as that of today’s Jaflong.Once you have planned to visit the place, make sure to get the weather information. During summer, it is hot and sandy.
Monsoon is preferably better for experiencing the fun and beauty. Also, do pack on your camera, packed food and pairs of sandals as you will be riding over rocks. The admirable view along with rock bath is beyond comparison for a traveler as well as a nature lover.