Rangamati, a small town located amongst the green hills, lakes and rivers of the Chittagong Hill Tracts. This is what makes it a prime Bangladesh hill destination. It is known as the Lake City of Bangladesh as this place is located on the bank of the beautiful Kaptai Lake. It is the administrative headquarter of the Rangamati Hill District, the largest district of Bangladesh and located some 77 kilometers away from Chittagong. For long time Rangamati has been a prime Bangladesh tourist destination for its location, scenic beauty, colorful tribal people, tribal homespun textiles and ivory jewelry.
The rich natural resources, diverse flora and fauna makes Rangamati a Bangladesh Eco-Tourism destination. The road leading to Rangamati circles and winds through hilly terrains covered with lush green forests and creates a memorable experience for years to come. A stay here provides a glimpse into the lifestyle of various tribes living there. The ethnic tribes of Rangamati are the Chakma, Marma, Tonchongya, Tripura, Murong, Bome, Khumi, Kheyang, Chak, Pankhoa, and Lusai. The mix of different races, cultures, religions and customs creates an interesting community at Rangamati. It is said that without visiting Rangamati a tourist will miss a colourful slice of Bangladesh.
Visit Rangamati during October to February as the temperature remains cool and usually there is no rainfall, however, the beauty of Rangamati unleashes during the monsoon as the forest becomes greener, bursts with life and the rivers and waterfalls becomes replenished.
Rangamati Tourist Attractions:
Kaptai Lake: This large man made lake of Bangladesh spanning over an area of approximately 11000km2, was created as a reservoir when the Kaptai dam was built during the 1960s. The lake was created by flooding valleys and plain lands between numerous hills. This created a picturesque view as forested hills and plateaus rise from beneath the water. The government run tourism corporation and private operators offer Kaptai Lake Cruise Tours, which is worth of it. Other scenic spots are also accessible through the waterways.
Shuvolong Falls: Shuvolong a place in Borokol sub district, located about 25 kilometers (11 kilometers – as the crow flies) away from Rangamati. There are few waterfalls in Shuvolong area with the largest one falling from as high as 300 feet. In the past several years, this place has turned into a tourist destination due to beautiful waterfalls and the nearby market. Shuvolong is easily accessible by speed boat or motor boats from Rangamati.
The museum is located near the entry point to the city. Established in 1978, it is run by the Tribal Cultural Institute. Traditional ornaments. costumes, potteries, musical instruments, armaments, paintings and photographs, old manuscripts, statues and ancient coins of various tribes are on display here. It is open Saturday to Thursday excluding public holidays.
Hanging Bridge: This 335 feet long bridge across a portion of the Kaptai lake is an icon of Rangamati.
Kaptai National Park: This forest reserve is located in the Karnafuly and Kaptai range. According to the government statistics some 50,000 people visits the national park every year as it provides some walking trails among the lush green forest. The animal species of Kaptai National park are deer, elephants, monkeys, fishing cats and birds. The Kaptai Forest Rest house, Kaptai Mukh Forest Rest House and several picnic spots are located here.
Rajban Bihar Pagoda: An internationally known Buddhist Temple, where the spiritualist principal monk of Rajban Vihara, Shrimath Sadhana Nanda Mohasthabir(Ban Vante) lives.
Peda Ting Ting: A small island on the Kaptai Lake, few kilometers away from Rangamati. It is mostly known for its serenity. There are a few tourist accommodation facilities here and a tiny restaurant run by the locals. It offers foods ranging from traditional to indigenous delicacies.
Chakma Royal Palace: This is the palace of the present Chakma King. However, it is open to public for a visit.
DC Bungalow Area: The District Commissioner’s Bungalow is located adjacent to the lake. There is a small light house and a shelter accessible to the public. This spot provides a nice view of the lake.
Others: The local market is also a tourist attraction as it offers handicrafts, textiles and ornaments made by the tribal people.