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     Volume 2 Issue 3 | January 28, 2007|


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On the Lap of hills

Joy Imran

Hills of Rangamati
2007 started with several wonderful incidents in my life. First of all the year started with Eid-ul-Azha, one of the most important festivals for Muslims. Eid is a special occasion for me, since it helps me get lots of gifts as well allows me to meet my relatives at least once in the year! However, now that I have grown up Eid has become a responsibility rather than fun. So day-by-day Eid vacations become more and more common and usual. But this year I had a wonderful vacation, which started my New Year with lots of amazing memories and fun.

I had an offer to go for a trip to Rangamati with some of my friends. I was a little busy in the beginning of this Year, so when the proposal came to me I ignored it at first. Later on I agreed to go with them. It was a really wonderful trip. I would have missed a lot if I had turned down the offer. It was 6 January. Me, Adeeb, Jaber, Ishtiak and Shakir started our journey for Rangamati on the bus named “Saudia” at 8:50. The bus stopped several times on the way to provide refreshment to the passengers. After a long journey, we at last reached our destination. Rangamati, the lower eastern part of Bangladesh, is awesome. It lies on the laps of hills and the bus moved through many curves and twisted roads. It sometimes scared the passengers, but if anyone looked at the natural beauty out through the window, it satisfied both the eye and the mind.

Curved Beauty of Karnaphuli river

We planned on going to Lt. Col. Ektedar uncle's camp (BDR camp) in Choto Horina, which is far away from Rangamati. Therefore, we halted in Rangamati on that day in an army rest house. The next day, we roamed around Rangamati. We saw Buddhist temples, a building that they called “Shorgo”, the many incarnations of Gautam Buddha, the Chakma king's house, the hanging bridge and a museum where the tribal culture is stored. It was indeed a wonderful museum where the visitor can get ideas about the tribal lifestyle and culture. It attracted me a lot. Major Gazali uncle accompanied us with his car and troops. Even though there was a blockade that day all over the country, we had no problem with the help of him and his companions.

Then we came back to our rest house in the afternoon and after a short break, we started for Choto Horina with a BDR speedboat. On the way, the speedboat moved through the middle of hills. The landscapes we saw all around were marvelous. We were just speechless looking at the hills.

My trip partners
They were standing with their proud edge and green plants were lying on their laps. We took some photos of this impressive beauty.

At last we reached Choto Horina. It was a BDR camp on the hill near Karnaphuli River. The calm river enhanced the beauty of the camp. On 8 January, we were wandering around the camp. The most attractive part was the helipad above the hill.

We climbed a small hill and it was quite difficult. I was thinking how hikers could be so active and strong enough to climb The Great Everest! We also visited a Kiang ghor, which is built atop the hill and were surprised at their warm hospitality. It was actually built in 1951 and has been remade with a new infrastructure. Among the tribals, the chakma are living in Rangamati with the majority of their members. They are poor but very active. I heard that during winter, they work hard and cultivate on hills. This is called “jumchash” in their language. During the rainy monsoon, they stay in their house on the hill. They do not come down during this season unless they absolutely have to. The source of their water is fountains which comedown from the hills during this season.

On 10 January, we had a chance to go to Karnaphuli Paper Mill and Kaptai Hydro power station. We gained a lot of knowledge about how paper is made from a tiny piece of wood. We saw the process of making white papers from bamboo. The machineries inside the mill were old but they were good enough and the staff inside the mill was very helpful. They were trying to make us understand the process of making papers. Then we moved to Kaptai Hydro power station. As all three of us were students of engineering, it was a valuable trip for us. One of the employees made us understand how voltage is created and transferred to national grid for consumers. We learned about the water force, the generator that rotates 136 times per minute and about parts of the generators such as blades, shafts etc. Nevertheless, one thing that really disheartened us was that some generators were out of order. If the government would pay proper attention to this sector, we would not need to suffer from load shedding. Another issue is that we have to add modern technology at the earliest to get more benefits from this power station.

On 11 January, we had to pack up our luggage as our trip came to an end. Even though it was cold enough, we did not bother about the shivering cold of Rangamati. Journey with friends is special wherever you go. In addition, if the place is amazing and everything is so cool then it becomes unforgettable. We took several photos, but in our minds we have innumerable photos of the natural beauty of Rangamati.

Being a citizen of Bangladesh, we should behold this beauty at least once in our lives. So be prepared for the hilly zones of Bangladesh. First I would like to thank the Almighty for making my motherland so gorgeous, and my friend Adeeb for arranging a fantastic trip for us. My special gratitude goes to all the members of the camp who helped us a lot. I also thank Zabu, Ishti and Shakir, who went with me and were a part of the wonderful moments of life. At last, I should thank my parents who let me be a part of this momentous journey.


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