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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Jaflong : The daughter of nature.

Jaflong is one of the greatest tourist spots in Bangladesh. The attractive spot is located in Gowanighat upazila, 62 kilometres north-east of Sylhet city. Jaflong is known as the daughter of nature. The fountain created by the flowing of the Piyain River originated on the Dowki hill at the foot of Khasia-Jainta hill across the border. It has made Jaflong a wonderful natural beauty with nearby beautiful tea and orange gardens.

The heap of stones laid in layers on the bank of the Piyain River has made Jaflong attractive. Because of the hanging Dowki Bridge, transparent and cold water of the river, high hills, dep forest and pin drop silence of the neighbourhood irresistibly attracts tourists from home and abroad. To enjoy its scenic beauty, every day a large number of domestic and foreign tourists rush to the spot. Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation (BPC) has built a restaurant that provides accommodation to tourists.  

Jaflong takes a different look in the winter and the rainy seasons. In the rainy season, the dusty surroundings become clean. On the greenish top of Khasia hill, the movement of patches and clouds like cotton and incessant rainfalls at any moment adds to a new dimension.  

History tells that Jaflong had been a lonely forest for a thousand years under Khasia Jaintia Raja. After abolition of Zamindary system in 1954, the kingdom of Khasia Jaintia came to an end. From time immemorial, businessmen used to come here by boats to collect stones. Following establishment of 55 kilometre Sylhet-Dhaka road communications during the 80s, the pleasant, delightful and captivating beauty of Jaflong spread far and wide.

Khasias, indigenous people of the hills, live in total harmony with Jafflong’s idyllic beauty. The punjees consist of cute houses on bamboo stilts. A walk through Khasia Punjees will take anyone through large plantations of Paan (betel leaf) and Supari (betel nut). Khasias once practiced a pagan religion and old records portray them as a fierce and warlike tribe. But nowadays, Khasias lead a simple and quiet life growing paan-supari and fishing. Theirs is a matriarchal society and women are free to choose their mates. The youngest daughter inherits the mother’s property. Robert Lindsay described them as head-hunters who murdered their enemies using a combination of ferocity and voodoo. Both the Mughal and the British had to be continuously on guard against attack from the hills. Nowadays, the Khasia people have settled into a simple and quiet life. Most of them have been converted to Christianity.

Ecotourism can be a potential boom industry for the region. Domestic and foreign tourists as well as nature lovers flock here in groups to enjoy its rare natural beauty.     

Sylhet city is roughly 230 kilometres from the capital and it is a smooth 4-5 hour drive. First-rate highway restaurants along the way mean you can stop for a breather as often as you like. Train journeys take slightly longer, but can be fun as the line passes through the Lawachara national forest range Sylhet International Airport is half an hour’s flying time from Dhaka, and most of the private airlines as well as state-run Biman offer several daily flights. Transports are available from Syhlet town to Jaflong.  There are innumerable hotels and motels in Sylhet city. Any visitor can stay there at affordable rate and the enjoy the beautiful view of the city.

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