It is all about an island hill covered by water and half sunk trees in a big haor which we, the members of the Tourist Club of MC College, Sylhet (established in 1986), visited once to observe the natural beauties. It presented us an image which can be described as "an Island with hill covered by water".
We saw the island in the Bay of Bengal and the islands like Chera Dwip. The pleasure one can enjoy in those places can be seen here in Sylhet. Stones, sea shores and sea inhabitants may not be found in this place but the greenery that will attract the visitors in such a way that they will not allow their eyes to get closed. Before entering the water-sunk hill the waves will make you flying on the boats like kiss-curl.
The water lily and variety of flowers and trees half sinking in the water will attract any visitor. Moreover, the known and unknown group of birds and ducks will really glamour you. When you will cross the Big Haor the nonstop waves may make you afraid thinking whether you can reach the destination or make a comeback.
If there is rain at that time it will be a super addition. Instead of the modern facilities there is the reflection of nature without any electricity, restaurant or any hotels but the mass people of the area are very much cooperative as well as amicable. They are very cordial too.
After reaching Haripur Bazar from Sylhet town the visitor(s) will need to take boat for around 4km eastward or reaching Rajagonj Bazar from the Sylhet town it will need a journey by boat for around 6/7 kms westward and after crossing the Big Haor it is the Kathalbari Swam Hill. That means the total distance from Sylhet town to the spot is around 30 kms plus-minus.
Before the observation of the MC College Tourists Club members, there were some other visitors who also marked the place as an exceptional spot of attraction. Among them there are Rajagonj Literature & Cultural Forum, Kanaighat Students Association & Cadets Blood Donation Group etc.
For the tour lovers across the country there is no other place like this one- an Island hill covered by the water. Around 7/8 months of the year the place maintains such an attractive shape to visit where birds, natural beauties and water-related inhabitants allure the tourists a lot. The place was titled 'Sylheter Chera Dwip' by The Sylhet Express News and some others emphasized it as a most attractive tourist spot after 'Mayabon' and 'Ratargul' for its acceptance to the newcomers. If proper investment can be arranged at the spot, it would be the most inclining place like 'Chera Dwip' or Saint Martin's Island.
The place is named after the vast amount of jackfruit trees as 'House of Jackfruits'- in Bengali it is called 'Kathalbari' and as it is surrounded by the huge water body which is called 'Kathalbari Haor Dwip'.
It would be more illustrious if a huge investment could be arranged for creating tour-related facilities there for systematically attracting the tourists. It was expected by the tour hungry people that the place can attract people from all walks of life like Cox's Bazar and St Martin. Viewing the sunrise and the sunset would be the other attraction of the place like Kuakata if hotels or motels are established here.
As the government is very much cordial for developing the tourism sectors, so, the authorities concerned can think over the spot before its natural beauties are spoiled by some obvious social or environmental reasons. Rich men also can think to invest here as the process in private initiative can work quicker than the government's one.
A plan for decorating the 'Kathalbari Haor Dwip' area for the tourists can enrich our tourism-centric economy. Infrastructural development along with proper management and security measures will attract more tourists- local and global.
A post-graduate student of Economics, Abdur Rahim is a Cadet and French language learner at DU.
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