Things to Do & Places to See in Srimangal
Sreemangal (also known as Srimangal), an upazila of Moulovibazer in the northern-eastern Division of Sylhet, is the Tea Capital of Bangladesh. It is one of the world’s sources of high quality tea, contributing to 3% of the world’s total production. However it doesn’t stop there. Sreemangal is a prime eco-tourism destination boasting of its untouched flora and fauna. Stroll along endless tea gardens with breathtaking views of lush greenery on sloping hills, trek in several forests to see a multitude of species you only see in photos, experience bird watching, marvel in awe at one of the highest waterfalls in Bangladesh, discover an ancient palace, temples and mosques, and witness distinctive tribal cultures and lifestyles. Surely you will find the absolute serenity that Sreemangal guarantees to travelers from all over the globe.
Ready to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city? To get to Srimangal, take the daily buses from Dhaka in the early morning and once you reach the bus stand, rent a rickshaw to Choumohona, the center of Sreemangal town. You may also get to Srimangal by train or by air but the most preferred option is to take the bus. It is the easiest way plus the sceneries along the route are indeed incredible. Here are some of the activities you will surely take pleasure in when visiting Sreemangal.
Lawachara Rain Forest
Just 8 kilometers away from Sreemangal is a major national park, the Lawachara Rain Forest. This is one of the major tourist attractions in Srimanagal. The forest possesses a spectacular number of species including endangered hoolok gibbons, slow loris, capped languor, and about 260 bird species of birds recorded, among others. This rainforest is a popular destination among bird watchers and hikers. It is rumored that even big species of cats like leopards can be seen in this enchanting jungle. You can book a cottage in the rainforest to enjoy the walking-up of the forest.
Tea Gardens and Estates
Srimangal’s tea industry began in the mid-1800 when the first tea garden was launched at Malinichera, Sylhet District. Today there are more than 150 tea gardens in Sreemangal for you to enjoy. Savor the sunset while biking in scenic views with birds chirping in the background. Visit the Sreemangal Tea Factory, Tea Research Institute and take a stroll along the plantation to appreciate the meticulous process on how tea is produced.
The Seven-Layered Tea
You read it right. Nilkantha Tea Cabin, located around 5 kilometers south of town near BGB (Previously known as BDR) camp, serves tea with visibly 7 different layers. Invented by a local, the 7-layered tea is an original delicacy from Sreemangal. Published and televised locally and in different countries in the world, this is a treat you wouldn’t want to miss while in town. Sip each layer slowly and try to guess what each layer is for a really fun experience. One-layered to six-layered tea are also available. After all, Sreemangal is not dubbed as the Tea Capital of Bangladesh for nothing.
There are about 18 villages near Lawachara Rain Forest. Several of these villages are where indigenous people still live today. Among them are the Christian Kashia, Hindu Tipuri, Tipra and Manipuri people. Pay a visit and be enthralled by the graceful acrobatic-dance performances of the Manipuri people. Manipuri Dance is passed on to generations after generations and can be traced back from nearly a thousand years ago. Witness how Manipuri women skillfully make handicrafts sold in local markets using traditional weaving techniques. Drop by the Kashia Village, famous for their cultivation of betel leaves alongside with pineapple, orange, lemon, jackfruit, betel nuts and other fruits. Kashia people have a matriarchal society and always live collectively as they have a tradition of joined families.
Near the village of the Kashia’s, you will find a natural lake inside Madhabpur tea estate. Clear, calm waters and vast carpets of purple lotus flowers and lilies extend beyond your perspective and will certainly charm you. Truly an ideal place for photographers, a delight for bird watchers during winter in other countries when migratory birds come to the lake, or simply a welcome retreat from the busy city life while taking in the amazing sunset, it is another favorite Sreemangal attraction.
Standing 200 feet high, located about 60 kilometers from Srimangal is a renowned tourist attraction, the Madhabkunda Waterfall. It is one of the highest and largest waterfalls in the whole country. Surrounded by big boulders, adjoining streams and forest, this is a perfect picnic place where you can easily spend the whole day exploring. It takes around 1-2 hours to reach Madhabkunda from Srimangal.
The best way to go here is by bus. The journey is an exotic experience in itself, passing by miles after miles of green tea gardens, picturesque sloping hills and zigzag roads. Some even claim that they go to Madhabkundha more for the scenic expedition than the remarkable waterfall itself.