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KEOKRADONG - THE HIGHEST PEAK OF BANGLDESH

 

 


 
 
About Keokradong, the highest peak in Bangladesh

Bangladesh is mainly a low plain land on an average only 30 meters above sea level. The Keokradong is the highest peak in Bangladesh (at least at the time when I visited in 2000). It is in the south-east end of Bandarban district 1230 meters above the sea level. Also, it is the remotest area of Bangladesh. 

Prepare yourself before going

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If you do not like to walk and you are anxious of climbing up by stairs then you are not the right person to go there. It will be very hard journey even for the person who usually does hard physical work. So, you have to be well prepared before planning to go there. You have to do physical exercise at least for two months. During the exercise do the following:

              1. Try to run at least five km everyday.
              2. Try to use stairs to climb up at least 15 floors at a stretch everyday

Know about local people

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You will feel loneliness along the whole way. Some times you may encounter one or two tribal people. Don't fear seeing them with knife in hand. They are very friendly and hostile. With that knife the usually clean the jungles to clear the path or collect fruits like banana or pineapple.

The women in the picture gave us shelter for two nights and cooked food for us. I am second from the left.

You will find several trivial villages where you will be welcomed very cordially. They will be very happy to see a small team is passing through their village. All the children with people of all ages will come forward and will talk to you. This is very enjoyable. The people are very simple and easygoing. Their local language will not be known to you. But interestingly you can speak English with them. Their local alphabet is English and most of them can speak English too.

They will offer you food when you will reach their village. Banana, pineapple or papaya are the common fruits. If you are lucky you may get biscuits and coke in some village shops that they usually purchase from Ruma. But this will not be available when you will go more deep into the remote area.

They are Christian in belief. Their homes are very neat and clean. They lead a very clean life that you cannot imagine. They grow all their own foods. They are dependant to outside only for salt. Their cash crops are zinger and rice that they sell to purchase salt. They prepare their homes with bamboo and nol-khagra. The man and women work equally in the outside field.

Make an effective plan

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Can you run 10 km at a stretch now? Can you climb up 20th floor by stairs at a stretch? If yes, you are now ready to plan for going there.

1. Keep in mind that you have to stay 2 nights in the trivial village for your four days journey
2. Select a day suitable for you
3. You mast learn the weather forecast for five days.
4. Go to chittagonj and hold the night there
5. The following morning go to bandarban by bus and go to Ruma by 'chnder-gari' (local zip).
6. Get down from the zip and hire a boat to take you to Ruma through Shankha river
7. Take lunch in Ruma bazar and start walking for Boga lake and hold night there.
8. Wake up early in the morning and walk for Keokradong where you will reach at noon
9. Return back in boga lake and hold night there
10. At last Boga lake to Ruma and back as you forwarded

Do not forget to take a local person as your guide from Ruma. Otherwise you will never know the way and consequently will never reach Keokradong 

What should you take with you?

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  Take the following items with each of you.

1. A bag to hang on the back side
2. Cira (1kg), Gur (half kg), a plastic bottle of coke (1 litre), biscuit and other light foods you like
3. Plastic rope (20 feet)
4. Torch light with extra battery and bulb
5. A knife
6. Special shoe to climb hill. you will find it in Ruma bazar
7. First aid box with basic medicine like paracetamol, detol etc.

 

You will start enjoying your journey just after leaving Bandarban. The zip will take you through ups and downs. Some times your heart will come out seeing dangerous turn of the hilly way. If you have any heart disease do not look through the side window where you will see deep cliff and feel that the car will just fall any time for a big crash. You will climb up hill and find the foggy surrounding as if you are in the middle of a sea. Again you will come down to discover yourself into deep forest. At last your journey will end when you will stop by the side of a small stream known as Shankha river.

Once we thought that we would not be able to complete the mission. My friend Shamor just fell asleep and denied to forward more

Now you are in another charm. The knee deep river water is so clean that you will find all the fishes as if they are in a large aquarium. You must drink that water to make your heart fresh and cool. The boats are amazing. They are so narrow that you have to sit in a line on them. The two sides are high rocky cliff that are about to fall upon you. Don't fear, just enjoy the natural beauty. This river will take you to Ruma.

Ruma is the remotest thana in Bangladesh. You will find a small community with some government building and a market. The market is full of goods from Barma (Mayanmar). Purchase your climbing shows from the shops. Have your lunch with local fish. Take some rest. Your real journey is just about to begin. By this time manage a guide to go with you for two days. Discuss with the people about current security warnings. Make sure that the guide is acquainted with the place you are planning to go.

Now the real journey begins. Prepare yourself for the first hurdles. The first hill is so high that you may decide to come back from the middle of the hill. The climbing is endless and some times impossible to endure mental strength. Some of your running mate may stop you to climb, some may just sit and will never start climbing. You will feel very tired that you never went through before. If your team is very enthusiastic you will at last see the top of the first hill named 'Lunkawee'. Now you will see a new horizon, a new scenery that you never enjoyed before.

When you are thinking that the difficult part is complete and following part to come down is the easy task for you, you are just making yourself a fool. The coming down in the another side of the hill will merely be easier than your first part. When you will climb down you will feel how much high you traveled.

Once you have come down your journey is almost through the plain land with rough walking way full of stones. You will cross several streams where you will enjoy the cold and clean water. You do not need to think of drinking water. There are plenty of streams for you to supply pure cold water. You will meet local people, talk to them and enjoy their hostility. Walk, Walk and walk. They way is endless. Take rest in several places. Drink cold water. Take bath if you feel hot. Enjoy as much as you can. You will pass just by the side of a stream where the solitary valley will make you enjoy the natural beauty. Do not fear for any wild animal or thief or hijacker. Your way is safe and enjoyable. Feel free to talk loudly or laugh or joke with each other. Otherwise your journey will not end.

The peak is just behind me

Now you will have another hill to cross. Prepare yourself after taking some rest on the foot of the hill. Climb climb and climb. You have to rest three or four times to finish climbing. Unfortunately this hill is higher than the first one you already passed. But good news is that you need not go down again. After going to the top of the hill you will find another new horizon. You will feel flying. Go forward. Another surprise is waiting for you.

Wow! Its a lake! A lake on so high! It is Boga lake 1500 feet above sea level. You will find a small trivial village at bank of the lake. They will welcome you. By this time it will be night. Take a rest for the whole night there and wake early in the morning.

Walk, walk and walk again. You have to hurry up otherwise it will be difficult to come back before sun set. At noon you will reach the peak. Take cira as food. have rest. enjoy the surrounding beauty. And leave the place before it is too late to return Boga lake again. It will almost be evening when you will reach the Lake. Stay in the same village and following morning start for Ruma again.

You will stay two nights in a trivial village on the bank of Boga lake. The boga lake is very beautiful surrounded by hills  1500 feet above sea level. The trivial people will welcome you. They will give you place to sleep. They will provide you with food. Please do not forget to pay for their cordial hospitality.

What will you not do?

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Though the trivial people are very friendly and hospitable your misbehavior may make them violent. Be sure to be aware of the following:
 
     1. Be respectful of their dress, because some trivial women may be topless
     2. Respect
their local language

   

 
 
   
 

Copyright @ 2005 Md. Mahbubul Amin Majumder. All rights reserved.