Sylhet has also a very interesting and rich history. Before the conquest by the Muslims, it was ruled by local chieftains. In 1303, the great Saint Hazrat Shah Jalal came to Sylhet from Delhi with a band of 360 disciples to preach Islam and defeated the then Raja Gour Gobinda, Sylhet thus became a district of saints, shrines and daring but virile people.
|Tea Garden of Sylhet|
The Sylhet valley has a good number of haors which are big natural depressions. During winter these haors are vast stretches of green land, but in the rainy season they turn into a turbulent sea. These haors provide a sanctuary to the millions of migratory birds who fly from across the Himalayas to escape the severe Siberian winters.
Greater Sylhet is virtually one broad valley, fringed by the Khasi and Jaintia hills to the north and the hills of Tripura to the south. Just to the north is Tamabil, the border outpost with Meghalaya of India. There exists a convenient route to make travel to this part of India through Tamabil border and we organise regular tours to Shillong and adjoining areas both for the local and foreign guests. Cherrapunjee, the wettest place on earth is in Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya. Jafflong, with picturesque surrounding, lies just adjacent to Tamabil and the area is also famous for stones and boulders. Every day hundreds of people are found collecting stones and boulders from this area, which are exported to other districts as quality construction materials. The Surma and the Kushiara rivers, which are fed by innumerable hill streams from the north and the south, form the Sylhet valley. There are good numbers of haors, which are big natural depressions. During the winter these haors are vast stretches of green land but in the rainy season they turn into turbulent seas. These haors provide a sanctuary to millions of migratory birds that fly from Siberia across the Himalayas to avoid severe cold there. This region is famous as tea growing area and the majority of the tea estates belong to Srimongol. For miles and miles around, visitors can see the tea gardens spread like green carpets over the plain land or on sloping hills. The region has very high precipitation and its rainforests are habitat of primates and other rare species of wild animals and birds. Added attraction is the high percentage of ethnic people, belonging to the colourful Monipuri, Khasia, Garo and Tripura living in this region. Near Lawacherra Forest in Srimongol, the movie 'Around the World in 80 Days' was shot.
HOW TO GET THERE
Sylhet possesses the third international airport after Dhaka and Chittagong. Regular international flights arrive here from UK and middle-east. There are several domestic flights arriving from Dhaka. Intercity train runs regularly from Dhaka and Chittagong to Sylhet via Srimongal. Very good public a/c coach services are available from Dhaka.
PLACES OF INTEREST
We have made a short list of the places of interest in this region.
Tea Plantation: Tea is the heart of life in the Sylhet division. It produces over 55 million kg of tea annually from more than 150 tea estates spread over 40,000 hectares. You can stroll in the tea estate and wander a short way into the bushes and talk to the tea-pluckers and learn something about the processes that culminate into our morning tea.
The Shrine of Hazrat Shah Jalal: Among the several places of historical interest in Sylhet town is the shrine of Saint Hazrat Shah Jalal. Even today, more than six hundred years after his death, the shrine is visited by innumerable devotees of every caste and creed, who make the journey from far away places. Legend says, the great saint who came from Delhi to preach Islam and defeated the then Hindu Raja (king) Gour Gobinda, transformed the witchcraft followers of the Raja into catfishes which are still alive in the tank adjacent to the shrine Swords, the holy Quran and the robes of the holy saint are still preserved in the shrine.
Hairpur Gas Field and other spots: Twentytwo kilometers from Sylhet town is the Haripur Gas Field and at 35 km. point is the Jaintiapur's Rajbari.
Only 5 km. from Jaintiapur is Jaflong, a scenic spot amidst tea gardens. At about 35 km. north-west of Sylhet town, linked by rail, road and river is Chhatak, the seat of Assam Bengal Cement Factory, Chhatak is famous for orange garden.
|Tamabil - Jaflong|
Tamabil-Jaflong: Situated amidst splendid panorama, Tamabil is a border outpost on Sylhet-Shilong Road about 55 km. away from Sylhet town. Besides enchanting views of the area one can also have a glimpse of the waterfalls across the border from Tamabil. Jaflong is also a scenic spot nearby amidst tea gardens and rate beauty of rolling stones from hills.
Manipuri Dance: An interesting feature of Sylhet region is the aboriginal tribes such as the Tipperas, the Monipuris, Khasis and Garos who still live in their primitive ways in the hills, practising their age-old rites, rituals, customs and traditions. During festivals such as, Rash Leela (Full-moon night in February) and Doljatra, the attractive young girls dressed in colorful robes, dance with the male members of their choice & love. The Monipuris perform their famous dance, based on allegorical love themes of the ancient mythology.
Handicrafts: Sylhet is well-known for its wide variety of exquiste handicrafts. Well-known Sylhet cane products such as chair, table, tea trays, flower vases, bags and the exquisitely designed fine Sital Pati (a kind of mattress having natural cooling effect) are colorful souvenirs.
For accommodation at Sylhet town, some reasonably good hotels are available. Rest-house accommodation at Srimangal and other places are also available for tourists.
Temple of Sri Chaitannya Dev: About 500 years old famous temple of Sri Chaitanya Dev is located at Dhaka Dakhin about 45 km south-east from Sylhet town. The place is revered from being the ancestral home of the famous Vaishnava saint. Yearly fair is organised on the fullmoon day of the Bangla month Falgun. Hundreds and thousands of devotees from home and abroad attend this colorful fair.
Shahi Edgah: Three kilometers to the north-east of the circuit house, the Shahi Eidgah was built on a hill by the Mughal Emperor Aurangazeb in the 17th century. It looks like a grade fort but is actually meant for Eid congreation-the two biggest Muslim festivals
Gour Gobinda Fort: The Murarichand Government College is situated in a beautiful surrounding on a hillttop. To the north-west of the college lie the remains of King Gour Govinda's Fort.
Jaintiapur: Situated 43 km. to the north of Sylhet town, on the Sylhet- Shillong road, Jaintiapur was the capital of an ancient kingdom which included the khasi and Jaintia Hills and plains of Jainta. Interesting ruins of this forgotten period lie scattered throughout Jaintiapur. A drive to Jaintiapur is an interesting and worthwhile experience
Srimongol: Srimongal is famous for the largest tea gardens of world covered by lush green carpet. One can have a look into the spectacular tea processing at Tea Research Institute. Bangladesh produces and exports a large quantity of high quality tea every year. Most of the tea estates are in Sremongol. It is called "The land of two leaves and a bud". It is also called camellia, green carpet or Tea Mountain. There are a lot of tea estates including the largest one in the world. The terraced tea garden, pineapple, rubber and lemon plantations from a beautiful landscape. It is known as the tea capital in Bangladesh. Just offer entering into the tea estates the nice smells and green beauty will lead you many kilometers away.
Lawacherra Rain Forest: Lawacherra Rain Forest is one of the important & well-reserved forests in Bangladesh. Here visitor may see gibbons swimming through the trees and birds like bee-eater owls parrot. It is a good habitant of Deer, leopard, wild chicken, squirrel, and python. Don't miss it especially if you are bird watcher. The terrain is hilly and vegetation is fairly thick. Only one rare Chloroform tree of Asia is here and a prime attraction of travel
Khasia & Manipuri is two important ethnic-tribe live here. Manipuri is famous for its rich culture especially for dancing, singing. They are also famous for their traditional weaving. You can buy their handicrafts exquisitely woven woolen. Shawls, Sharee, Napkin, bed-cover and some should a bags. It is known as colorful community. Kasia tribe is famous for their betel leaf cultivation. 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 in numerable rows of Pineapple cultivation covering largest area is very amazing and fascinating. Largest quantity of pineapple grown here of Bangladesh. It is also sweetest and best quality. Pineapple is really a greatest offer of summer but now it is cultivated all the year round. So, you can enjoy the juicy summer fruit in any time coming to its real field. Just after entering into pineapple plantation. It can be highlight for you in Sremongol.
Madhabkunda: Madhabkunda surrounded by lush tea estates and full of waters lilies is a unique one. Magurchara ruined gas & Oil reserved field, which was blasted while digging 3 years ago and was burning an 500-feet height for more than 3 months. A lot of burnt trees now carrying the symbols of digester. Ever where a lot of rubber & lemon plantation form a beautiful landscape. And you can have a visit to Madhobkundo water fall .
Sylhet is the land of Shrine’s, natural Hills, forests, beautiful tree plantations and lots of Haors. It is an old city with full of natural beauties. A large number of tourists come every year to visit Sylhet. The main attraction of Sylhet city is the Shrine of Hajrat Shahjalal(R) and Hajrat Shah Poran (R). Shrine of Hajrat Shahjalal (R) is on the top of a hillock (tilla) in Sylhet city. Thousands of visitors are coming everyday in this Shrine. Shrine of Hajrat Shah Paran (R) is eight km far from Sylhet town on the Sylhet-Jaflongroad where also thousands of visitors visits this Shrine everyday. Road journey to Sylhet is an wonderful experience through roads running ups and down the hills and green lush tea gardens of nature at its best.Sylhet Travel Tips is essential for a good know-how of the country.