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বাংলা
Dhaka Tribune

Monsoon tourism in Bangladesh

Update : 26 Aug 2013, 04:48 PM

In Bangladesh the tropical monsoon climate can bring much hardship but it also blesses the landscape with heavy rainfall each year.

During the rainy season, our minds can wander as we are spell-bound by the magic of rain gathered from many lands passing through cloudy skies. After a long day of heavy rainfall, a sudden rainbow can magically flash across the sky to stimulate the imagination.

Our national poet Kazi Nazrul Islam and the Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore wrote many songs and poems inspired by the beauty of the rainy season in Bangladesh. Many people love to hear Nazrul’s songs during the rainy season. Nazrul portrayed the hidden beauty of the monsoon through songs like “Eshoo hey shojolo shyamo ghono deya, chanchalo shaymolo elo gogone” or “Rum jhum jhum badalo name.”

Many flowers bloom and enhance the beauty of the land. Beautiful white kashful makes for an attractive scene beside the banks of rivers across the country.

Nazrul’s writings reflect the majestic natural beauty brought by the monsoon as the fragrances of Kadam, Hizal, and Juthika spread magic everywhere.

During rainy season, the haors (wetlands) and rivers become like seas and natural beauty flourishes. As streets become muddy, the sound of frogs, insects and other creatures grow across the land.

Truly, the monsoon brings much beauty and many unique blessings. This is the season of fishes, especially Hilsha, the national fish of Bangladesh. Its mouth-watering taste and the smell of different preparations of the fish are popular with all.

It is not uncommon for tourists from many different countries to visit countries with a monsoon climate, but often the rainy season is avoided. Yet, the rainy season can also be of much interest for visitors and this potential should be recognised.

In Bangladesh, we traditionally arrange many festivals, fairs and games in the rainy season. We may offer tourists the chance to experience these and introduce them to new tastes such as our native specialty of Hilsha. Boat races (nouka baich), Kabaddi and indoor games are common during the season and can provide a special form of entertainment.

As Bangladesh is a riverine country, the Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation and private agencies could also do more to arrange and promote boat tours and luxury cruises offering tourists the chance to experience wonderful views of our haors, baors and rivers. Fishing during the rainy season can offer a mesmerising memory for many tourists. Attractive healthy fruits like pineapple, guava, pomegranates, sour berries, and nuncha can be locally sourced for tourists to enjoy. There are also many traditional foods like khichuri with Hilsha fish, chilis, dried fish and vegetables for all to appreciate during rainy season.

In our country, the months from October to February are usually promoted as the season for tourists.

However, every season of Bangladesh can offer different and distinctive features which may attract interested visitors.

Other countries already use the rainy season as a feature to encourage tourists. In this season, many states of India, especially Rajasthan, arrange different festivals and fairs. “Monsoon holiday packages” bring in a growing amount of income from visitors who come to enjoy the beauty of the monsoon climate.

Monsoon tourism can provide a magnificent experience and it should be promoted to create new opportunities for Bangladesh’s tourism and travel industries. Our history and traditions of enjoying life during the rainy season can inspire us to develop this, just as it has inspired our national festivals, folklore and poets.

The rainy season does not only bring out blessings, great hazards may also come with the seasons great blessings. Heavy rainfall creates flood and many people in low lying countryside have to face indescribable sufferings.

Above all, the majestic sound of rain and thunder creates vivid images and memories in the minds of the listeners, different to that of daily life.

Bangladesh forms the world’s largest delta with our magnificent rivers like the Padma, Meghna, and Jamuna. We already host visitors who come outside rainy season to travel across the country by boat and explore its beauty. Bangladesh offers many special experiences for tourists within a compact land area. Our traditions of hospitality and celebrating the monsoon can be used to interest more visitors to enjoy Bangladesh in the rainy season as well.

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