Kaptai Water and Electricity Center, the only hydroelectric power plant in Bangladesh is situated in Kaptai, which is 50km from the port city Chittagong. Kaptai Upazila is bounded by rangamati sadar and kawkhali upazilas on the north, Rajasthali Upazila on the south, belaichhari on the east, rangunia and Kawkhali Upazila on the west.
The Kaptai Water and Electricity Center has an arc-shaped canal which holds the river Rinkhyong at the upstream and the fountain Freengkhyang at the downstream. It is built in 1962, financed by the USA and built by a joint effort of International Engineering Company (IEC) and Utah International Inc.
The design includes an earth-filled dam which is 45.7m high, 670.6m long and 7.6m wide, that holds water from the upstream which is released by 16 gate spillways (each 12.2m by 11.3 m) and tunnels through a spiral route that activates and rotates the turbines to generate electricity.
The current capacity of this plant is 230MW, which powers Chittagong and adds to the national grid, which saves foreign currency for importing manufactured goods and expands national industries. It also helps to power water pumps for irrigation and helps cultivate various breeds of fish. The dam helps prevent flooding during Monsoon season between June and October, thus saving numerous lives.
Most of the power is generated during this Monsoon season when the dam holds most water. Nonetheless, typhoons and seasonal storms cause shifts in tidal waves that caused overflow in the dam area causing damage to crops and properties, which the government compensates on humanitarian grounds.
Tourists can take an exciting boat ride in the Kaptai Lake and explore and witness the wonderful natural sceneries of the area surrounding the Lake. From the Kaptai Boat Terminal tourist can make a sweet journey of the Kaptai Lake. There are also excellent restaurants near the lake where tourists can have their Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.
The night view of the Kaptai Lake is mesmerizing, beautiful to watch the stars above the lake and also the view of the Lake from the restaurants is amazing. A motor boat will cost 800 to 1000 taka per hour.
As Kaptai is a far away from the Chittagong town, it is wise if tourists can take a one day plus trip to visit the Kaptai Lake. Reaching Kaptai from Chittagong city is effortless. Tourists will have to go to Chittagong town, and there they will find some transport facilities to reach Kaptai Lake and Kaptai Water and Electricity Center. It takes 2 hours and 10 minutes by road from Chittagong to travel to Kaptai Road. There are local buses in Chittagong which will take tourists to Kaptai. Also tourists will be able to hire cars which will drop the visitors in Kaptai. Apart from that tourists can also make a boat journey from Chittagong to Kaptai.
A ship name Keari Tarango will take the tourists from Chittagong to Kaptai through the Karnaphuli River and tourists will witness here the green hills by the side of the river standing in magnificence, the subliminal land of Braaulia, the green hills, and forests by the side of the river which makes this route filled with heavenly natural beauty.
Indeed, the best of nature, like a realistic painting filled with so much beauty and grandeur, can be seen by tourists if they take the water route from Chittagong to Kaptai. The price of Keari Tarango taking travelers to Kaptai from Chittagong is below 500 taka.
There are many hotels in Kaptai such as hotel Nadisa International, Lakeshore Resort, which offers a view of the Kaptai Lake, Parjatan Holiday Complex, Hotel Sufia, Hotel Prince etc. The price of the hotels is reasonable, and for one or two nights the service is well standard in these hotels.