Lawachara National Park
Forest cover in Bangladesh has been fast disappearing over the last thirty years. Today the forests in sanctuaries and national parks, collectively known as Protected Areas are the best place to see green Bangladesh. Lawachara rain forest is one of the major national park/sanctuary/reserve in Bangladesh. In 1997 Bangladesh government declared it A National Park. This forest is built by the British, the time of their rule in Indian Subcontinent.
Eight km east from Srimongal town under Kamalganj upazila of Moulavibazar zilla, the 1,250 hectares national park Lawachara is the most beautiful tropical forest. The park is named after a small narrow tributary, named ‘Lawachara’. Its previous name was ‘West Bhanugan’.
Biological diversity in the Lawachara National Park consists of 460 species, of which 167 species are plants, 4 amphibian species, 6 reptile species, 246 bird species and 20 mammal species.
Hoolock gibbons [only 49 individual’s gibbons are alive here] is one seriously endangered higher primate in Bangladesh. And also Slow Loris, Pig-tailed Macaque, Rhesus Macaque, Assamese Macaque, Capped Langur, Phayre’s Leaf-monkey, Jackal, Wild Dog, Sloth Bear or Himalayan Black Bear, Yellow-throated Marten, Tiger, Fishing Cat, Leopard Cat, Wild Pig, Sambar, Barking Deer, Indian Giant, wile bore and even King Cobra settle their presence. Local elders speak of leopards roaming the jungle, but those have long been extinct. Birds of different species are found here.
Khasia, Monipuri, tripura are the main inhabitants of this forest. they have rich cultural and religious heritage. It’s also tourist attraction. They make their villages high on hilltop in deep forest and so far from town. It is like “A Piece of Paradise”. Certainly it will please you.Pineapple cultivation – Sweetest and best quality pineapples grown here in Bangladesh. Pineapple is really a greatest offer of summer but now it is cultivated round the year. So, you can enjoy the juicy summer fruit in any time coming to its real field.
Trailing is considered as an important tool for nature watch that helps awareness building and other conservation efforts. There are three forest trails as- Short Trail (half an hour walk), Medium Trail (one hour walk) and Long Trail (Three hour walk). You will quickly find yourself deep in an idyllic world where the trials and tribulations of everyday life seem to melt away. Travelers spend many exotic moments with plant, species and bird. It’s placed him to a dreamy land. The macaque monkeys and the hoolock gibbons can be seen swinging from tree to tree in the early morning. The animals take cover during the heat of the day, but their haunting calls can be heard echoing through the forest range. Adventure begins in the territory of wild chicken, squirrel, and python.
Caution: There is concern regarding environmental degradation. Empty coke bottles and abandoned poly bags in the forest are an ugly reminder of the polluting footprint of man.
Best Time to Visit: 01-Nov to 31-March.
How to go: Lawachara is a two hour drive from Sylhet. Getting Lawachara NP from Dhaka, daily bus services [AC-400, non AC-200] are available from Dhaka to Srimongal every hour from sayedabad and take about 3.5 hour. Car drive takes 3.5 hours from Dhaka on highway N2, turn right at Mirpur junction towards Srimongal. From Srimongal anybody hire transport to go to the park, which is only km from city center. Daily Train services are available from kamalapur railway station. You stopped train at Srimongal / Mirpur junction.
Accommodation: Accommodation facilities are abundant in Srimongal. Facilities include entry-level Tea Town Guest House, mid level Sandya Hotel and high-end Tea Resort. Lodging is also available at BTRI Rest House. Here you will find suitable accommodation. The mini bungalows of the Tea Research Institute are available for around Tk 3000 per day, but you may have to book in advance. Srimongal is surrounded by terraced tea estates set among rolling hills. The aroma of raw tea fills the air near the large tea processing plants. If you are interested in the process of blending tea, take a walk around the factories.