Problems and Prospects of Bichanakandi

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::Rakiba Sultana::

Magical beauty is blending with the river, colorful stones, mountains and sky. Layers of mountains lay one after other those are slowly changing their colors from darker shades of green to lighter shades of blue. Nature has more shades of color to offer than the pastel-color box of your childhood. Are you amazed? We are not telling you the story of the fairy tale. Yes, we are talking about the beauty of “Bichnakandi.”

A stream is coming from a waterfall located in India comes down rushing through the mountains and it kisses the Goain river gently, at a narrow stretch which is adorned with stones of different sizes and shapes. This gorgeous meeting point has become known as “Bichnakandi.”

Bichnakandi is situated at Bangladesh-India border in Sylhet. It’s a landscape beauty among gardens and hills. Bichnakandi is a village situated in Rustompur union under Guainghatupazila. This is where many layers of the Khasi Mountain meet at a single point from both sides. Flowing from above is a high fall. Adding to its charm are dark clouds hugging the mountain in the rainy season. And flowing underneath towards Bholagonj is a branch of the Piyain. Along the stream flowing from high up in the mountain come huge boulders that are deposited and minded in Bichnakandi.

Winter is not a suitable time to visit Bichnakandi due to mechanized mining and stone-laden boats and Lorries. The absence of such nuisance makes the rainy season the perfect time to visit the beautiful Bichnakandi that coalesces the charms of high mountains, sinuous rivers, graceful falls and dancing clouds. June to August is suitable time to visit. It is better to take a guide if you come from abroad.

There is more than one way to go to Bichnakandi. At first, tourists need to head to Sylhet from Dhaka. Tourists can use the Sylhet-Guainghat road via the airport and take a left turn to reach Hadarpar from where a local boat may be hired to arrive at Bichnakandi. Visitors can go to Hadarpar by CNG-run auto-rickshaw which are available for hire at Amberkhana point in Sylhet city.

First things, Bichnakandi is not yet prepared for plenty of tourists, at least as far as convenience is concerned. Various problem touristsface visiting Bichnakandi. Problems of transportation, accommodations,food &beverages and safety&security are mainly concerned. The road that leads to Bichnakandi is full of potholes here and there and uneven pavements are sure to make visitors journey –what to call it – no “quite comfortable.” Sure, that does not pose any threat to seasoned travelers; but for arranging a family trip it’s a great concern. No “chhai” s or canopies on the boat; so don’t forget to take your umbrellas to save yourself either from the scorching heat or the torrential rains. No hotel and good food around so you should go with cooked food or dry food. No good toilet around. Drink less water, especially for women. BGB camp is nearby, but there is no tourist police around. Beauty is getting destroyed. The place is being used by the local stone crashers to take the stones from the sight. The beauty is compromised now days also lots of smoke and dust on the way from those trucks collecting rocks. Even the local authority is silent in this issue. Anyway, maybe we are going to lose our beauty. LGD authority should come forward to meet the problem of transportations. Some cottages and restaurants may be built to solve the problem of accommodations, food& beverage and authority should belong to BGB. Tourist police may be recruited to increase the safety and security of the tourist. Formation and implementation of laws regarding stone collection should be taken to stop that.  And the last and highly concerned matter is thatthe problem belongs to tourists. Tourists havestarted littering the place and smoking too.

As we explore these natural jewels of our country, we have to make sure we don’t dump plastic bags of chips or biscuits or water bottles into the waters of the surrounding places. By practicing to be a green tourist we can also make a better world to live. Tourism board needs to take proper steps before the damage is done. These are very small things, apparently, but we have instances in our country where these small misdeeds have brought about the downfall of many a one beautiful place. We have to make sure we don’t destroy any more. Happy travelling!!! Solo or in a group, young couples or old, this place is going to stay bright in your memories forever.

-Writer is student of Dept. of Tourism & Hospitality Management,  University of Dhaka