Far from the madding crowd, would be the perfect phrase to describe our, city dwellers’, innermost desire when we plan for any trip. Imagine a day away from all the hustle and bustle of Dhaka life in the midst of nature, all of us crave such a place.
Nikli Haor or Mithamoin-Astogram Road, Kishoreganj is one such place where Al Hasib Fahim from the Islamic University of Technology toured with friends. The writer heard his experience in a conversation and is enthusiastic to share it with the readers.
As they boarded the Nikli-bound ‘Egaro Sindhu Provati’ train that sped towards their destination, they were wondering about how they might spend the day chattering enthusiastically. Little did they know they were about to witness the enthralling specimen of the natural beauty of the haor and its eye-pleasing surroundings.
The train will drop you off at the Gochhiata station after travelling for over three hours. Then take an autorickshaw and enter the vicinity of the haor, exuberant freshness will engulf you.
Fahim and his friends had breakfast in a nearby local hotel as they planned, before embarking on a boat journey through the tranquil expanse of Niklihaor. Renting a local boat, the gang started off on a scenic journey through the large freshwater land of Nikli.
Breathing in the cool breeze, they sailed to the womb of nature where silence prevailed. Due to the monsoon, the entire waterbody seemed even more ethereal.
They floated through placid water enjoying the silence and tranquillity, occasionally wondering whether they have entered a land beyond the imagination of people, a land untouched and unpolluted. As it was monsoon, Manpura char was submerged, otherwise, they could have enjoyed a mystical view of half-submerged chars and dunes.
On the Mithamian-Astogram Road, Kishoreganj
After journeying through the mesmerizing place for quite some time, the group arrived at another heavenly destination, Chatiar Char. The place is also known as the magical water forest. Here, the level of water was less shallow which made some of the group members attempt to take a dip in the water. Warning - do rent life jackets if you plan to bathe.
Preceding the refreshing boat journey further excitement and adventure awaited them as they went ahead. From Chatiar Char they headed off to the famous Mithamain-Astogram road, also known as the ‘All-Weather Road.’
This road has become increasingly popular since its opening. The road stretches along 29.73km through the midst of a vast haor area surrounding it. It also covers three Upazilas - Itna, Mithamain and Astogram.
Upon reaching this spot, you are bound to be awed by the vastness and the picturesque view the road had to offer. Mounting a rented pickup van, Fahim and his friends sped through the long road with a boundless expanse of water around them.
Their spirits soared high as they travelled along and the cool breeze ruffled their hair. Adrenaline rushed through their veins and excitement knew no bounds as they enjoyed their ride on the make-shift ‘chandergari.’ It dropped them off from where they had left and they again went to the boat.
The setting sun with its rays on the placid water. Photo: Al Hasib Fahim
The boat took them back to the vicinity of people and dropped them off somewhere near Kotiadi bus station. From the bus station, the gang boarded a Dhaka-bound bus in the evening and returned to the ever familiar, crowded Dhaka to the comfort of their home.
But they did not return alone just like they had left. Along with them, they carried memories worth remembering for a lifetime. An experience to such a mystical world which would fuel their body and mind for future endeavours. A place with such raw beauty within the proximity of Dhaka is indeed a relief for all the city dwellers suffering from wanderlust.