[Banshkhali Upazila has immense potential for tourism industry. In this series, I am writing about Banshkhali Sea Beach. The characters are fictional, the events and narratives are real]
Our target is Banshkhali Sea Beach.
No known name has been given yet. The name “Banshkhali beach” seems appropriate.
The Sangu River, which originates from the hills of the Madak region on the Bangladesh-Burma border, flows through Thanchi, Roangchhari, Bandarban Sadar and Satkania in Bandarban, separating the northern part of Bashankhali Thana from Anwara Thana and merging with the Bay of Bengal.
In our proposal, we call this coastal area of Banshkhali Sea Beach (Banshkhali Sea Beach) about 35 km from the south bank of the Sangur to the west surrounded by the Bay of Bengal.
The weather was beautiful. I left at 6 in the morning. There are many points on the beach. The roads are also different.
The road that crosses the Bay of Bengal like a straight line along the banks of the Sangu River at Bashankhali is our route.
It will take about an hour and a half to walk on this road of three to four kilometers.
Sangu to our right, then Anwara Thana. And the settlement on the left. It would be wrong to call this trip a mere trip.
It can be said that one can see a dew drop on the grass at the side of the house.
Surprisingly, the 120 km long beach from Maheshkhali Point to the main area of Cox’s Bazar (where tourists mainly congregate) is on the same line, even though we did not know it!
Among the brothers I am a little talkative type. I was walking between the two of them. Little brother on the right and Sejh brother on the left. I said-
‘What do you think? Does Banshkhali deserve to be a tourist upazila? ‘ (Banshkhali Sea Beach)
Sejbhai- what do you think?
(Looking at younger brother) You said.
Little brother- you hear the ball …
: Possible. Infact, very well possible. But there is a lot of work to be done before that.
Strong dams have to be constructed from the beginning to the end of Banshkhali in the north-south. The sea to our west is absolutely shallow.
Within a short time of the siltation of the dam, a 30 km long beach will emerge to the west of the dam.
Which is the second largest in Bangladesh! There is an eco park and tea garden on it! To the east are vast protected forests.
If the government wants, it can do a lot with big projects in that protected area. (Banshkhali Sea Beach)
Something like a declared sanctuary for animals and birds. The Rangamati bridge is still considered to be the longest as the elongated suspension bridge in our eco-park has not been discussed in the proposals of the parliament or in newspapers.
The same goes for tea gardens. As a single clone T-state in size, we are the largest. Water rates can also be processed. I also had a plan for this …
– ‘What plan?’
‘Little brother, remember you once said that Pansy or small speed boats should be reopened on Echo Park Lake?’
‘You can’t launch that service here by slightly expanding the water price?
Or expand the range from Ishwarbabu’s Hat, Premasia, Gandamara or any one of the points,
Taking the Jalakadar-Sangu-Bay of Bengal as a route, circling the western part of the Jalakadar and returning to the starting point again; How are you? ‘
‘Great as a plan. But now do you think it is possible !? ‘, said Sejh Bhai. (Banshkhali Sea Beach)
Little brother- ‘All right. It is definitely possible if it is declared a tourist upazila. My point is that if the government invests in tourism in Banshkhali, it will get back several times more – it can be said with closed eyes.
If the proposed tunnel through Karnafuli will come to the mouth of Banshkhali, if it is in reality, then there will be no more worries about the communication system of Banshkhali. It will be of special importance as it is a Cox’s Bazar route … ‘
I said, ‘There are many possibilities. Now the administration has to move on with these … ‘
The sun has risen like a hand from the horizon. There was a camera brought from a younger brother in the area.
Little brother is a master of photography. Not just photography, but multi-talented …
‘Listen to a funny story, what did you say’ – I said.
We are walking along the banks of the Sangur towards the Bay of Bengal. While capturing the beautiful scene of Suzymama reflected in the Sangur stream, the younger brother said,
I said, ‘The story of where I am going. Not fiction, but history. Chandainya Hat, Angarkel, Balukhali – have you heard the names? ‘
Sejhbhai- I have heard of Angarkhali. The name of a canal.
Little brother- where I fell is an ancient city. Now lost. Archaeological can be any city.
I said- that’s right, the name of a canal. There was also an ancient locality by this name.
However, let me ask another question. Does anyone know how the island is formed?
Little brother- I know about Coral Island. There may be more. Details not known. Why this topic again suddenly? What are you talking about history?
I- I’m talking. I’m sorting it out. I have been thinking about this for a long time.
Well, do you know anything about what looks like an island to the west of our homestead?
What does it mean to wake up suddenly in the middle of the sea?
Little brother- don’t think so. Should know. Interesting. (Banshkhali Sea Beach)
I- I was not talking about the formation of the island? We read about it out of curiosity about the island to the west.
There are several ways an island can wake up in the middle of the ocean.
The islands are formed in six ways – continental, tidal, barrier, oceanic, coral and artificial.
Continental’s idea is that the earth was once a connected land. Then, as a result of the continuous vibration of the earth, it gradually becomes detached.
Some of these lands are called islands. The tidal is the ebb tide, and the oceanic is the island that rises due to rising sea levels.
Sejbhai: One minute, one minute! How will the island be formed if the sea level rises?
I: The island is not actually formed in this case, but is visible in the form of an island.
As the sea level rises, many low-lying areas are submerged. Oceanic islands are relatively elevated lands that are not submerged.
Anyway, you know about coral and artificial. Our main concern is Barrier Island.
If for some reason a relatively high place is formed at the bottom of the sea in front along the coastal land, continuous waves of hundreds of thousands of years begin to accumulate sediment there.
Due to the relatively high position, the sea sand is obstructed and the nest is blocked. (Banshkhali Sea Beach)
In this way new islands were formed. Coral islands also fall into the category of Broad Sense Barriers.
Sejh brother: It’s very funny! Well, tell me, what does this have to do with our destination?
Told you to tell us a story about the beach.
Me: Didn’t I say three names in the beginning?
“Angarkel, Chandainya Hat, Balukhali?” These are the names of some historical places – some of the localities lost in the Bay of Bengal.
Abdul Karim Sir mentioned in his narration that,
The place of Angarkel, locally known as Angarkhali, will be a place west of Khankhanabad, which is now submerged in the sea as a result of erosion.
It is known in the diaries of the Portuguese settlers who settled in the area.
Do you know what I think, if Abdul Karim Sir’s hypothesis is true,
Then the growing island to the west of our Khankhanabad is being built on the ruins of that Angkarkel.
Little brother: That’s great! Where do you know these?
Me: There is a light description in Abdul Karim Sir’s book.
He mentions some sources – a lot is known from there. Moreover, I have read lightly about oceanography.
Does anyone know about the arrival and settlement of Portuguese in our region?
Although not very knowledgeable research, some interesting information about it is known from the descriptions of historians.
Little brother: Let’s see …
It’s already 6 o’clock. Half of the road is not finished yet.
Although I had a plan to reach in an hour and a half, I realized that it was not possible to reach anything on foot in two and a half to three hours.
In our area, 8 o’clock in the morning in autumn means scorching fresh sun. As soon as I started talking, I started walking quickly.
“In the middle of the sixteenth century,” I said, “after the fall of the Karrani Sultans, the Chittagong region came under the rule of Arakan.” The Portuguese settled in the Chittagong region during this period.
Abdul Karim Sir in his narration says that the Portuguese first anchored in Chittagong port in 1517.
After the conquest of Bengal by Sher Shah, their dominance was severely disrupted, but later, with the blessings of the Arkan king, they settled and plundered Chittagong with great pomp.
“I read a story about the robbery of the Portuguese in this area,” he said.
He used to go to different areas along the river and loot wealth, or even take beautiful women.
As a result of these injustices, they fell victim to the wrath of the Mughal emperor and were expelled.
“Have you heard of Father Sebastian Manrick?” I asked.
Little brother- “Portuguese priest? The name says so. ”
“Exactly. The gentleman came to Chittagong with a vow to preach Christianity. He did not say another thing before going to the discussion.
After the conquest of Constantinople by the Ottoman Turks in 1453, Europe’s trade relations with the Eastern world were severed.
In order to survive, they are forced to find new horizons in business.
The fall of Constantinople soon proved to be a blessing for Europe.
European sailors scattered around. The Colonial era began in Europe with the help of geographical discovery.
They had some special techniques to build a colony in a new place.
They first settled through innocuous and attractive activities such as business or evangelism. Gradually, if their position became stronger, they would emerge as a political force.
The Portuguese sailors Vasco-da-Gama, Alvarez Cabral and others came to India and tried to gradually dominate in the same way.
History says that the Portuguese were the first to be allowed to stay and trade in the Calicut area. Later, they themselves incited the locals against the Portuguese and caused riots.
To avenge that riot, he came with a huge fleet and took root. ”
“In Europe, on the other hand,” Martin Luther began, revolting against the Catholic Church in protest of some of the worst injustices of the Church.
His reform movement received a response throughout Europe. The Protestant Church gained considerable popularity as an alternative to the Catholic Church.
While the Catholic Church continued to dominate Spain, Portugal and France, Protestant Reformation spread rapidly to other states.
As a result, Catholic leaders provided extensive patronage in the propagation of their religion in new colonies around the world in order to maintain their majority.
So there were always some religious priests with English Force. One such priest was Father Sebastian Manrick. ”
I stopped. I couldn’t. It’s scorching sun, about two hours of walking on it already.
I should have brought water, I understood. There are no trees around to rest in the shade. It will take more than an hour or more to reach the destination.
I said, “His book” Travels of Frey Sebastian Manrique 1629-1843 “is the most powerful document of the activities of the Portuguese in the Chittagong region.
In 1829 he came to Chittagong from Hughli. They had a trading factory and a church in the Deyang area on the south bank of the Karnafuli river.
This was the main center of their activities. When some allegations were raised against the Portuguese in the Arakan Rajya Sabha, the king took disciplinary action against them.
He first traveled to Arakan to prove his innocence to the Portuguese.
As the sea was dangerous, he went by river as far as possible to Ramu, according to his description.
His river was our water canal. Do you know the history of naming water prices? ”
Sejhbhai said, “It must have been named after the Mughal faujdar Zulqdar Khan.
He renovated the canal in the 1830s under Mughal patronage.
I have heard that in earlier times this canal, which your priest called Moshay river, used to dominate the communication system of Chittagong region. ”
“Anyway, he successfully proved his innocence by going to the Arakanese court.
He also passed a decree on ‘Permission for Portuguese clergy to preach and convert’.
Angarkhali (the details of this place are given in the first episode) were already inhabited by the Portuguese.
Many Portuguese fishermen have been living in different parts of India for more than a hundred years.
Portuguese pirates also recruited people from different parts of the country and forced them to convert to Christianity.
When Father Manrick brought the edict, the Christians living in Angarkhali at that time were poor.
They married local non-Christians (Hindus or Muslims in the fishing community) and lived with them. They worked as lathiyals under the local chiefs.
Although there were churches, they were isolated from the church due to the situation. Because their wives were not Christians, they could not live in the church without the consent of the family.
Gradual annihilation through cultural assimilation. Somewhat like the Spanish Moriscos, aren’t they? ” I stopped.
The younger brother protested enthusiastically, “What do you say! Where is Morisco and where are they! The Moriscos have been expelled.
Name-identity has been confiscated, untouched. And they are mere victims of the situation.
Seeing no food, he entered someone’s house and gradually adapted to the culture of the house. No one forced them to do anything here! Were they forced? ”
“Culture forced them, not the people, I guess” – Sejbhai replied.
I went back to the story. I said-
“Father brought a decree from Arakan and set about uniting the Christians of Angarkhali.
When he offered to stay in their church, they refused.
They report their problems; Their wives will not accept it, leaving their wives will make it impossible to make a living, etc.
The father assures them that he will arrange for the house to be built with the family in the church, and will be responsible for feeding them for at least one month.
He gave clear instructions that either their wives would convert to Christianity and stay with them, or they would leave their wives.
Everyone obeys Father. Father Manrick delivered everything according to his promise in a short time. Angarkhali Church became active again.
Isolated Christians are reunited as Christians, and locals are re-baptized. ”
I finally breathed a sigh of relief! Oops, the heat is unbearable! The younger brother came from a shop with three cold drinks dipped in water (as an alternative to the fridge).
In front of the beautiful view. The narrow road paved with bricks suddenly disappeared into the sea! The evils of breakdown.
With enough water and some food items, I went to the beach and sat a little south of the shop.
In front of us, it means the Bay of Bengal in the west, and the estuary of Sangur with the Bay of Bengal in the north.
A 35 km long dam west of Banshkhali floats in my eyes, like a straight line, or curved like a bow! Beautiful beach in front, infinite sea.
From where we are sitting, looking at an angle of about 45 degrees to the north-west, we can see the vast fleet of ships anchored in the deep sea, unable to enter the port of Chittagong due to lack of navigability.
In front of us is the hypothetical island of the first episode.
Seems too close; As if you can swim very easily. Sangur estuary on the right; The turbulent river, which originates from a mountain spring in the Madak region of Myanmar, merges with the Bay of Bengal here. Anwara Thana on the other side of the river.
To our left is the western border of Banshkhali which is about 32 km wide, which is also the eastern border of Bangladesh in the Bay of Bengal.
“Ish! If only I could buy the island! ”
“No, no. What’s the matter! ”, Younger brother.
“Give me money, I’ll take it.”
Along with the photoshoot, there was a lot of talk.
Towards Khankanabad beach via Road [embankment], meaning to go south side, it is dangerously broken.
The side of the dam associated with the sea has merged into the sea from ninety to ninety-nine percent in places. As long as you are alive, you have to move forward with great care.
“It’s such a beautiful place to go, but the taste is no longer available!”, Said Sejh Bhai with a sigh.
No one new to the area should understand the meaning of this sigh.
We understand. During the rainy season [two months, sometimes exceeding four to five months now], the sea overflows on the four dates of the full moon and the new moon and lasts for a few days.
During this time the ‘welfare’ of our fragile embankment is submerged in the flood waters of village after village in this area every year; Salt water again!
At least ten thousand houses here have to be renewed fee-yearly.
Many families have already found different ways; About ten to twelve kilometers east, they bought relatively cheap land in the hills on the Banshkhali-Satkania border and started living there.
But not everyone can afford to build a new house in a new place; To be honest, most do not.
These struggling people are constantly paying the price for the indifference, immorality and dishonesty of the local politicians and administrators.
Mile after mile of cropland is now deserted due to the effects of salt water.
At one time Sejh Bhai had a very nice idea about the extremely poor people in the area who were victims of the situation; Beneficial business. Sewing machines will be bought for women with light training.
Then a local garment industry will be built on the basis of the contract.
[For example] In a month’s time, ten clothes will have to be sewn, his debt will be settled. Outside of that he will act like him.
Thus, if a machine is bought for one hundred people, then one thousand pieces of cloth per month. If given to one thousand people, ten thousand pieces of cloth per month. If more …?
We took some pictures standing-lying-sitting in different poses. No time at hand.
Our plan is to return home through Khankhanabad point. Where we stand, Premasia Point, is the northernmost point of the proposed 32 km Banshkhali beach.
The next point is called Khankhanabad, about two and a half to three kilometers south of here.
This road has to be crossed by the sea; Broken, in some cases completely eroded walk along the embankment. Inaccessible. I started walking with great enthusiasm.
If the dam was in place, how pleasant and romantic this journey would have been! Sigh … (Banshkhali Sea Beach)
“Have you noticed one thing? Why do we call Premasia and Khankhanabad different points? ”, We started talking.
The younger brother understood my hint.
“You are right. The dam is like a straight line from Khankhanabad to Premasiya.
If the dam had been permanent, if I had not repeatedly broken and interrupted, these two points would have come together in the form of a single beach. About five to six kilometers long, right? ”
Sejbhai, “Kadmarsul point can also be added to the same formula.”
Little brother, “Of course!”
“Well, how do we know the expanse of the continent here?”
“It must be one hundred to one hundred and twenty meters,” said the younger brother. Sejh Bhai agreed.
I do not remember. Once I went as far as the continent; At that time, of course, I was not familiar with this term.
At the age of fourteen or fifteen. The ebb was. I was playing to have fun with everyone in the waist water.
The tide was slowly receding. At one point I saw that the beach is no longer equal. (Banshkhali Sea Beach)
Absolutely about ninety degrees down the slope. The water was falling down from the beach in exactly the same style as the Niagara Falls.
The continental shelf is a very small area, starting from the sea shore inland, with a maximum slope of five to ten degrees.
Overall, the average depth of this continent is up to 200 meters. But our depth here will be a maximum of five to ten meters.
Although it is not practically a continental shelf, it can be defined in the continental shelf!
Anyway, one hundred to one hundred and twenty meters of continental shelf means something huge.
What more could a beach need than a 120-meter-wide beach!
There are rows of carefully planted zhao trees on it. Ish! If only a permanent solution to the embankment! If the roads were appropriate! Sigh …
Khankhanabad point is seen. Rows and rows of palm groves. Several fishermen’s boats are being repaired on the shore.
Hu hu tan caused by the friction of the leaves with the wind is constantly floating. Three brothers sat down tired.
There is no strength to walk anymore. I sat down and rumored the story. I drank water, took pictures of Toby, and finally, I started walking home with three big sighs.