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Towards the north to find winter

  • Published at 09:07 pm February 18th, 2019
Photos: Courtesy

People say winter in the north is awful. Let’s face it!

To witness the awfulness of the winter, we started our journey towards the north on a cold Thursday night of January. Drutojan Express was our train, it would take us to Panchagarh, one of the northern cities of Bangladesh.

A train journey at night has its attractions. It crosses over many stations. Each station has its own story. The atmosphere of each station is different from the others, the people are different, and the culture and local languages are different. Some stations are empty, some are full of people. Some stations are busy and some are lazy. You have just a few minutes to observe each station. Every station has something to tell you.

The names of the trains in Bangladesh are mostly in Bangla and they are so beautiful. Let’s take some examples: Dhumketu, Shonar Bangla, Mahanagar, Teesta, Neelshagar, Drutojan, Upobon, Turna, etc.

We started our journey from Dhaka’s Kamalapur railway station at 8pm a few weeks ago. After a long 13 and half hours’ journey, we reached Panchagarh railway station, the next day around 9.30 am.

It was a welcoming Friday at the station. As it was a weekly holiday, people started leaving the station as soon as they could  home was calling for them. Our train, Drutojan Express, stayed alone at the station.

We were eight in our group, our destination was Rowshanpur, which is about 45 kilometres from Panchagarh city. What is so special about Rowshanpur? The Kazi & Kazi Tea Estate is there, which is special because it is a tea garden on plain land. We have many tea gardens in Sylhet, Srimangal and Moulovibazar districts, but a tea garden on plain land is rare in our country.

First of all, we had breakfast and then started our journey for Rowshanpur. We took an auto, which would take around one and a half hours to reach our destination, but we took several breaks to see other places.

We passed Tetulia Bazar and then stopped at Tetulia Dak Bungalow to see the border with India. Interestingly, the border is divided by just a river, the Mohananda. It separates the two nations, which long ago, was one country. Panchagarh has three borders with India which total to around 288 kilometres. It has a border with India’s Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri, Cooch Behar and Purnea districts.

After passing some time on the bank of the Mohananda River, we started to move towards our destination. In the afternoon, we finally reached the Kazi & Kazi Tea Estate.

The tea garden area is restricted. So, you need to get permission first. If you know someone inside, they will make all the arrangements. On Friday afternoon, it was crowded, as people from different places visit the estate.

The tea estate is on a vast land, and it is beautiful. You can find the peace and calmness that is very rare in Dhaka. Lots of greenery in sight will refresh your mind. Inside the tea garden, there is also a resort where people can stay, but you have to get prior permission. If possible, please stay the night at the resort, the calmness of the place will surely fill your mind.

We spent about two hours in the tea estate, walking through the garden, resort and other places. It was just a day tour, so we had to start our journey back to Panchagarh city to catch the train at 9pm. The Ekota- Drutojan Express leaves the station sharp at nine. So, we returned to the station and the train started its journey for Dhaka.

If you want a one-day tour, Panchagarh can be the best option. You can also visit Moharajar Dighi, which is 15km from Panchagarh city. You can easily travel at night by train and roam around the whole day, then return back on the night train. Panchagarh city is also very clean and beautiful. You can also take a tour of the city.

If you have days in hand, you can also visit Dinajpur, which is about two hours by train from Panchagarh. There, you can visit Kantajiu Temple and Ramsagar Dighi. You can easily cover these places in two days. There are good hotels in Panchagarh and Dinajpur cities for you to stay.

And yes, of course, the winter, for which we had headed north. Though Dhaka city is not experiencing winter properly, the north has a completely different scenario. The temperature there was 12 to 14 degrees Celsius.

In the morning, the temperature is normal, but after evening, it decreases continuously. In the late night, the temperature falls to 10 degrees.

So, please pack your warm clothes first if you are heading to the north this winter season.