Exploring Lalakhal During Winter

Lalakhal,Winter, blue river


Lalakhal (also Lala khal) is a very popular tourist spot from Sylhet, Bangladesh. This place is popular for the nearby river having a color of blue. The name of the river is Shari which is originated from the hills from the upstream Indian mountains at east. During the winter the river becomes shallow and the color of the water becomes blue. The water is so crystal clear that you could see under the river clearly during winter. Bangladesh doesn't have too many rivers which are having such lively blue color. That's why lot of tourists use to visit Lalakhal during winter.


Lalakhal,Winter, blue river


Boat journey in river Shari


Doing river cruising in the this beautiful river Shari is a must thing to do during your Lalakhal trip. You could hire a boat from the Shari ghat and explore the blue river during winter. During your boat ride you'd expect to see the daily life activities from the local villagers. Also the scenic beauty of the bank of the river would make you enthralled. The mountains from India (at Eastern side) would give a nice landscape view too. You'd see plenty of local boats in river Shari which are carrying the sands (different kind of sand, kind of stoney).


List of hotels from Sylhet.



Lalakhal,Winter, blue river


Trekking around the river Shari


If you are an adventurous traveller (or with such a group) you could do the trekking through the bank of the river till Lalakhal. It would take much more time but you'd be able to enjoy the beauty more in depth. During your trekking it would be a nice idea to sit or lay under a tree beside the bank and enjoy the beauty of the river. For a mix and match you could do the boat ride while going to Lalakhal and during your return back you could do the trekking. The distance from the Shari ghat to Lalakhal bazar by walking would be around 9 kilometer long. Which usually should take around two hours of walking.


Lalakhal,Winter, blue river
This is a traditional boat you could hire during your Lalakhal tour.



What activities to expect from around


The people around Lalakhal are very hard working. The river Shari brings lot of small pieces of coal from the mountains of India. Local people use to collect those coal using the bucket. They throw the bucket in the water until it goes at the bottom of the river. Then they collect the bucket and filter coal out from the bucket's water. By throwing bucket every time they gather very very tinny amount of coals. Even that amount is not that big at the end of the day. But still that is something out of nothing.


Lalakhal,Winter, blue river
Local people are collecting coal and sand from the river.



Exploring the tea garden


Lalakhal Tea Estate is located after the Lalakhal bazar. Once you are there you could explore the tea garden from there. You might have already explored the tea gardens from Sylhet already. But exploring the tea garden near from Lalakhal won't be any bad idea. You could have a nice walking through the tea gardens from there. Probably half an hour of walking would be enough. Also from the top of the hills you could have a bird's eye view of the river Shari.


Lalakhal,Winter, blue river


How to go to Lalakhal


1) Sylhet is a divisional district from Bangladesh. There are plenty of high quality bus services run between Dhaka and Sylhet. Shohag, Greenline, etc are the best among those as they are having air conditioned buses. There are other bus services runs having non air conditioning which are Hanif, Unique, etc. You could book the tickets of those buses from Fokirapool of Dhaka. It would be an overnight bus journey. In very early in the morning the bus would drop you at Sylhet town.

2) Then you have to go to the Shari ghat. There are several ways you can go there. You could hire a private vehicle for a round trip. Another options would be using the local buses. From Kodomtoli bus stoppage of Sylhet town catch the bus of Jaflong-Jointa and ask them to drop you at Shari ghat. It would cost you approximately 30 Taka per person. Time requires around an hour and half (or more) if you ride on the Birotihin Bus service (best local bus). The distance between the Lalakhal and Sylhet town is approximately 40 kilometers.

* GPS coordinate of the Shari ghat is (25° 5'18.65"N, 92° 7'6.51"E)
* GPS coordinate of the Lalakhal bazar is (25° 6'17.63"N, 92°10'39.84"E)
* GPS coordinate of the Lalakhal Tea Estate is (25° 6'32.75"N, 92°10'46.63"E)


Lalakhal,Winter, blue river
Beautiful blue river is seen from the tea garden.



Where to stay


List of hotels from Sylhet.


The Nazimgarh Garden Resort is the most closest and one of the best accommodation for Lalakhal. They also have their own river cruising option and other activities. If you are planning to visit Lalakhal then I'd recommend you to stay there. If you want somewhere cheaper hotels then you could stay in Sylhet town. Sylhet has plenty of different quality of hotels for the local and foreign travelers. Check here for the list of hotels from Sylhet.


Lalakhal,Winter, blue river
This portion of the river has false sand as it is very shallow here.



About your Lunch:


There are few normal quality local restaurants nearby the Lalakhal. You could have your lunch there. For example we've had Khichuri as lunch. Each pack was around 15 Taka. From the Shari ghat you could have some street food like snacks like Daal puri, Shingara, Peyaju, Samocha, etc. From the groceries shop nearby you could buy the mineral water. If you do not like those foods and are a health conscious person then you could carry your own food with you in a lunchbox.


Lalakhal,Winter, blue river
Very colorful water from the river.



Few warnings during your Lalakhal trip


* There could be false sands in the river around the place of Lalakha Tea Estate. Ask your boatman or local people before putting your foot in river. Obviously we don't want to fall in accident during our traveling.

* The Indian border is very close from Lalakhal. So be careful about this. We don't want anyone crossing the border and fall in a trouble during the traveling. Once again ask your boatman or any local if you are unsure about the border.


Lalakhal,Winter, blue river
Local people are carrying sand through the river.



This is how we've explored Lalakhal


We have started our tour by using the local bus around 9:30am in morning, and reached at the Shari ghat before 11:00am in morning. During rainy season I have found few boats which were transporting local people to the Lalakhal bazar. But during winter no such services were available. So only hope was to hire the boats which were anchored at the river bank only for the tourists. They were asking 1400 Taka for each boat for the whole day. After doing a long bargain we have managed the manager of the Shari ghat to provide us a boat for 1000 Taka as we were a very small group. It is always lovely to do a river cruising over the Shari river. Every inches of your boat journey would take you towards more blue. After passing one and half hour through the heavenly blue water our boat has reached at the Lalakhal Tea Estate.


There is a place named Baghchhora at where the river falls into the Indian territory. After that point you could only see the river from far. At the other side of the river we could easily see the Khashi village and a BSF outpost. River water at that point was very clear and it was only around a feet in depth. Unfortunately there are lot of false sands are hidden under the water. Anyone could easily get trapped there. Last month two travelers just lost their life accidentally. So be careful about this when you are traveling around Lalakhal.


Lalakhal,Winter, blue river
We are cruising the river Shari with our boat.



After exploring the river we have returned the boat and started for the Shari ghat. It was noon and we were hungry. I already knew that the Lalakhal bazar had few small local restaurants which used to sell foods. So I went there and bought Khichuri as our lunch pack. Each of the packet was for 15 Taka. We've anchored the boat at the middle of the river and did the lunch.


After the lunch I've decided to have a bath in the river water. The river water was very cold but I couldn't restrain myself from jumping inside the cold water as the water was very blue and you could see the bottom of the river. When I was standing in the water I could able to see my feet. I was standing of my waist hight in water.


Lalakhal,Winter, blue river
Another sand carrier boat.



Lalakhal during rainy season


During rainy season the Lalakhal would be a different place. Cause the river won't be so bluish like winter. The river would be full with water but loses its color. That's why winter is the best time to visit Lalakhal. So better try to visit the place during winter or spring (before the rain hits).


Lalakhal,Winter, blue river
This would be a common scene during your Lalakhal trip.



Lalakhal,Winter, blue river
We have given a pause and had a short strolling at the bank of the river.



Lalakhal,Winter, blue river
A closer look to the color of the river water.



Lalakhal,Winter, blue river
The local people who live near the river have their own boat for transportation.



Lalakhal,Winter, blue river
Not always but rarely the the bank of the river is found stoney or hard soiled.



Lalakhal,Winter, blue river
Sometime you have to pass throw the narrow portion of the river like this.



Lalakhal,Winter, blue river
From this portion you would expect to see the hills from India.



Lalakhal,Winter, blue river
Hills from India are seen from the bank of the river.



Lalakhal,Winter, blue river
Another boat carrying the sand through the river.



Lalakhal,Winter, blue river
Local people are collecting the coal from the river.



Lalakhal,Winter, blue river
Other side of the river is India.



Lalakhal,Winter, blue river
View of the blue river from the Lalakhal Tea Estate garden.



Lalakhal,Winter, blue river
A scenic landscape during the Lalakhal trip.



Lalakhal,Winter, blue river
More local people are working around the river.



Lalakhal,Winter, blue river
I think it was near the Lalakhal bazar.



Lalakhal,Winter, blue river
Our boat was cruising slowly.



Lalakhal,Winter, blue river
Sometimes we were closer to the bank as it was very colorful there.



Lalakhal,Winter, blue river
View of the river from the tea gardens.



Lalakhal,Winter, blue river
A high speedy boat just passed us and left the trail in water.



Lalakhal,Winter, blue river
View from the tea garden nearby.



Lalakhal,Winter, blue river
Another group were there with their boat.



Lalakhal,Winter, blue river
Nice scenic beauty around the bank of the river.



Lalakhal (or Lala khal),
Jaintapur,
District: Sylhet,
Country: Bangladesh,
GPS Coordinate (25° 6'17.63"N, 92°10'39.84"E).



This article has written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog https://icwow.blogspot.com/



Saturday, 24 December 2011


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