Journey to Boga Lake
One should have to be prepared for a long time journey experience to reach to Bogalake. But the way is to reach to Bandarban first. Then the Thana/Upazilla Ruma and then from the Ruma Bazar the tourists or travelers should plan to visit Bogalake.
If anyone wants to visit Boga Lake from Dhaka or Chittagong, then he might have to use several transports like bus, car, rickshaw, river cruise and bumpy jeep of Bandarban (locally called chander gari or chader gari) and then by walking to the desired destination of Boga Lake.
Superstition about Boga Lake journey
Some still believe that trekking is the only way to reach to Boga Lake. They even do not know about the existence of Chander Gari vehicle. If proper information is being collected then things would get cleared that a little courage and confidence will easily pave your way to the dream land Boga Lake.
The routes to visit Boga lake
One can go to Bandarban city following three routes mainly. Dhaka, Chittagong and Cox`s Bazar. To reach to Bogalake firstly one has to go to Bandarban. By bus or hiring private jeep one can go to Bandarban.
The easiest way to get to Bandarban is hiring a bus. Among few services from Dhaka to Bandarban the Dolphin at Kalabagan, Unique service, Shyamoli Paribahan at Gabtoli, Asad gate, Fakirerpul, Kamalapur, Saydabad and S Alam at Kamalapur are considered as the best services. Generally they cost (550-600) Tk per person and takes around 6/7 hours to reach. The long tiring journey can be taken during the night time to pass the time and journey easily. Usually it is better to buy advance tickets to avoid interruptions. There are only a few services from Chittagong to reach to Bandarban such as Purbani at Bahaddarhaat which takes approximately two hours and costs around 220 Tk per person. The bus service is available from 6:30 am to 5:00 pm all day long after every 30 minutes.
One can reach to Chittagong from Dhaka by taking a flight (Bangladesh Biman or GMG airlines), bus service (Shohagh is considered best) or a train service (Turna Nishitha, Subarna or Mahanagar). It is a 3 hour Journey from Cox`s Bazar to Bandarban route (the most popular is Purbani at Laldighi). To reach Cox’s Bazaar from Dhaka it can be made either a 10 hour bus journey (Shohagh is recommended) or a flight (Bangladesh Biman or GMG airlines). From Chittagong it is 4 hour bus journey (Dolphin and Purbani are most popular). But the honest advice is to take direct Bus service from Dhaka for the Dhaka dwellers and Chittagong Bus service is best for the inhabitants of Chittagong as well as Cox`s Bazar transport service for the Cox`s Bazar dwellers to reach easily and safely to Bandarban. One can also reach to Bandarban through Rangamati by the way of Chandraghona by bus (around 270 Tk per person) but due to perilous route system it is not recommended at all.
It is possible from Dhaka or Chittagong to rent a car, micro bus or private jeep to directly to Bandarban. There are several services of micro bus. Among them NOAH is popularly known to all. Air conditioned and 14 seated these micro bus costs around (7000-10000) TK including all charges and air conditioned private car may cost around (6000-8000) Tk including all per day. Price may vary with different indicators indeed. But it is strictly discouraged by the experts because the roads are there are not friendly or as simple like Dhaka or Chittagong. The roads are free of jam but they are rough and unsmooth and sometimes dangerously zigzag through the map. The plain land drivers often get lousy or confused in the hilly areas and they also do not know the locality or strategy to drive there. So, it is needed an expert or habituated driver of those unfriendly roads to drive in such way to avoid unwanted interruption and secure journey to Boga lake.
Bandarban to Ruma transport system:
One can hire a public jeep Chander Gari or private jeep up to Ruma Thana/Upazilla of Bandarban. From Bandarban it takes first Chander Gari and then river cruise to reach to Ruma. The first trip of Chander Gari is at 9am. The Chander Gari or bus will go in front of ‘Koikhong Jiri’ in 1-1.30 hrs. Then it is needed to have the boat journey. The river Sangu needs to be crossed by boat. These boats usually carry ten people. It costs about 30 tk per person. During the dry season the river remains virtually dry and it takes much time to reach to Ruma. It takes around one hour (more or less depending upon the nature and season) to Ruma bazaar. It can take 9am to 1pm to reach from Bandarban to Ruma Bazar.
Chander Gari to reach from Ruma Bazar to Boga lake
Chander Gari or Chader gari (meaning the vehicle of the Moon) is the most popular transport like a bumpy jeep, open topped truck or bus in Bandarban to reach to Boga Lake. This car is actually having 4 wheels driving vehicle as land cruiser. The drivers of the Chander Gari have to be carefully trained and their tactics are pretty much different than the local drivers of Dhaka or Chittagong city. Because the roads are not smooth but enough rough and the drivers should have to be extra strategic to safely drive the cars through the lofty and serpentine zigzag roads and the hilly tracks of Bandarban to Boga Lake. The passengers usually gets squeezed in them and the vehicles are able to carry about 35-40 people in a single trip. The Chander gari is available to take the tourists to Boga Lake 3 times a day from the Ruma Bus stand or Chander Gari stand. Tourists can ride on a Chander Gari by buying tickets from the stands on the way to Boga Lake. The transport can easily be compared with a ride like roller coaster for the serpentine or zigzag road system. A little hiking or rickshaw at the cost of around 15 Tk will make the tourists to reach from Ruma bazaar to Chander Gari stand.
Time schedule of Chander Gari
Chander Gari is 3 times available to reach to Boga Lake. This are
- The first trip at 8.00 am
- The second trip at 12.00 pm
- The third and last trip 3.00 pm
It should be reminded that the best one is to catch the first tip to Boga Lake because the latter journey is full of challenge, adventure and uncertainty of long trekking and all stuffs. And it is also important that no tourist or travelers are allowed to set for Boga lake after 4pm because of natural risk and unsmooth way. After reaching Ruma Bazar the tourists have to seek permission from the Ruma Garrison or Ruma Bazar Army Camp before 2pm if anyone wants to start that day for Boga Lake. So, the tourists should try to catch the first Chander Gari for their own safety and enjoyment.
Hard rock roads to Boga lake
The roads to Boga lake is not smooth but challenging basically for two reasons. One is for its longer duration and another is for its rough, dry and zigzag, unsmooth way to go to Bogalake surroundings fill with dust and dirt indeed.
Journey by Chander Gari
The first advice is for the travelers not to be nervous. The drivers are quite experts. They would not let you easily to fall down. Secondly passengers should try to be squeeze. The transport basically moves through the top of the hills, from one base to another directly like a bumpy ride. It is thrilling as well as challenging. The thorny roads can easily move the travelers up and down according to the soft, rock, soil made or brick laid roads which are still under construction. It is beyond mention that they have to sit tightly with much confidence.
Trekking and climbing hills to Bogalake
During the winter season the tourists can have a walk to Bogalake- the historical trekking takes approximately 6 hours and way of 22 km to Boga lake. It is a bit tough part of the journey. Sometimes hills seem too harder to climb and travelers wish to give up. But they have to keep patience to reach to the desired destination of Boga lake. It would be easier for the trekkers to keep a bamboo stick with them for keeping balance. It is also easy to go down rather than going up scientifically.
All Fare and usually required time to travel Dhaka-Bandarban-Ruma-Bogalake at a glance
|Dhaka to Bandarban||S. Alam/Saudia/ Dolphin/Unique||10:30pm-6:30am||Tk 550-600/- (BDT)|
|Bandarban – Sangu||By Chander Gari or Bus||9:00am-10.30am||Tk 70/- (BDT)|
|Sangu – Ruma Bazar||By Boat||12:00pm-1:30pm||Tk 30/- (BDT)|
|Ruma Bazar – Boga lake||By Walk||About 6 hours|
The simple graph from Dhaka to Boga lake using two different ways
Dhaka – Bandarban city (by bus) – Ruma Sadar (by Chader gari) – Ruma Bazar (by Hired boat) Boga lake (By walking at the Hilly Road about 22km) – Ruma bazar (by walking in Jhiri Pot around 16 km) – Bandarban city (by boat) – Dhaka (by bus)
Guides in the Boga Lake
Travelers can hire guides from the local hotels of Ruma, Bandarban because it becomes kind of impossible without a guide to visit the Boga Lake. Because the tourists are totally unknown and unaware of the new atmosphere. Guides are available at TK (500- 600) approximately per day for the travelers. Guide will also stay and eat with the travelers cost indeed. Guide is damn necessary for the strangers and first timers. An experienced and smart guide is needed who will understand the zeal and thirst for knowledge and beauty. Tribal guides can offer a better service because they are more experienced about the Boga Lake.
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