Maheshkhali Sonadia Travel Story.
Maheshkhali, the only hilly island in Bangladesh, is only 12 km from Cox’s Bazar. It is said that the island was formed after a severe cyclone and tidal wave in 1559. The Upazila is famous for its production of betel, fish, dried fruits, shrimp, salt, and pearls. There are three small islands named Sonadia, Dhalghata, and Matarbari in Maheshkhali Upazila.
Sonadia is the most beautiful of them all. The area of this island is about 9 sq km. Beaches on three sides, sand dunes covered with sea cliffs, Keya-Nishindar bushes, small and large canal paragon, and a variety of waterfowl make the island unique. The main attraction of the island is probably the clear blue water and numerous red crows roaming the entire beach. The history of human settlement on Sonadia Island is only 100-125 years. The island is divided into two parts. East and West neighborhoods. The total population of the island is about 2,000. The island has 2 mosques, 1 primary school, 1 cyclone center, approximately 12 deep tube wells. The eastern part is relatively more populated.
Sonadia is an ideal place for camping, you can take a tent with your friends and run for two days on these two secluded islands. Especially on a moonlit night, you can have a night camping and bar BQ party at Sonadia beach, see how beautiful the world is. Last year, with a group of 19 people, I had the opportunity to enjoy this unearthly beauty. In this regard, the composition of the travelogue!
According to the rules of TOB, it is not possible to give more than 5 pictures here. However, to understand the real beauty of this place, you should see the following album:
How to get there?
You have to come to Chittagong first to go to Maheshkhali-Sonadia. You can go from Chittagong in two ways. By road and by road.
From Chittagong, you have to go directly to Cox’s Bazar. There are many buses from Dampara and New Bridge. The fare is 250 TK per person. You will reach in approximately 4 hours. You have to get off at Dolphin junction of Cox’s Bazar and take rickshaw / CNG / Tomtom to Ghat No. 8. Rent 100 TK and rickshaw 50 TK. There you will get a speed boat to go to Maheshkhali. The rent is 75 TK per person. It will take 12-15 minutes to reach Maheshkhali Ghat. If you are afraid to take a speed boat, you can take a tree boat. Rent 30 TK. It will take 45-50 minutes. Gorakhghata Bazar will come down to Maheshkhali Ghat by rickshaw. Rent 20 TK. Then you have to go to Ghatibhanga. The distance from Gorakghata in Maheshkhali to Ghatibhanga is 24 kilometers. If there are 3-4 people, you can take a CNG. Rent 150-160 TK. Sonadia only after crossing the Sonadia channel in a ferry boat. There is not much water in the canal at low tide. There are two ways to go to Sonadia. Walking or boating when the tide comes. Every day at high tide a trawler leaves only once from West Sonadia to Ghatibhanga. This trawler picks up the passengers after a while and returns again. The rent is 25 TK per person.
You have to get on any bus going to Chakaria or Cox’s Bazar from the new bridge of Chittagong. You have to get off at Chakaria bus terminal. It will take about 3 hours. The fare is 160 rupees per person. From there you have to go to Badarkhali by moon car or jeep. Here the fare is 50 rupees per person and if you reserve the whole car it is 800 rupees. The car can seat 13/14 people. The Chakaria-Badarkhali road is very beautiful. It will take minutes. From there you will have to go to Ghatibhanga of Maheshkhali by CNG again. It will take about 1.5 hours. The whole CNG will be rented for around Tk. 400. Then you can go to Sonadia in the previous method.
Now let’s talk about the route I took. I went by boat on the way. But in this case, I did not reserve a trawler for 2 days from Ghat No. 6 of Cox’s Bazar and went directly to Sonadia without going to Maheshkhali. The advantage, in this case, is that we brought the boat as per our wish and got the opportunity to see many more slaps on the side. The next day the same boat dropped us off at Maheshkhali. On the way back we go back by road. In this way road and waterway, 2 o’clock fun can be found. We rented a 2-day trawler for 4000 TK. It can seat about 25 people.
Where to go?
Maheshkhali: Tomtom is the best place to visit in Maheshkhali. We do not reserve Tomtom for the whole day. A tomtom can seat 6 people. We have rented 600 rupees for the whole day. The places below Maheshkhali must be visited.
1. Adinath Temple
2. Buddhist temple
3. Golden Temple
4. Maheshkhali Ghat
5. Drinking waste
6. Rakhine neighborhood
6. Dry market
Sonadia: Sonadia is basically divided into 2 neighborhoods. East neighborhood and west neighborhood. The main settlement and campsite is in the western neighborhood. You have to turn the eastern side while passing the boat. It is better to turn the boat around for half an hour and go to the western side again. Because it is very difficult to walk from east to west.
Basically you have to set up a tent on the west side of the beach. Although tents are available for rent here, we took it with us. There is a turtle breeding center in the west side. In the season you will actually see turtles here. You can buy the dry pick of your choice directly from the sun in the field. Again, there is a little swamp forest at the back.
Where to eat?
In Maheshkhali you will find many hotels to eat, but stay away from hotels in Sonadia, you will not find any tong shop. So, in this case, you have to arrange food in a local house. We have arranged food at Saiful Bhai’s house near the beach.
We used it. Besides, two security guards of that house were in our tent hill all night. Along with these, 19 of us had to pay him a total of 6000 rupees for 3 meals. If you need it, you can contact Saiful Bhai – 01750393483. He fixed the trawler for us.
1. The danger point is not marked on Maheshkhali / Sonadia beach like Cox’s Bazar. There is no rescue team. So be careful while going to sea.
2. You will not find any shops or markets on the whole island of Sonadia. So bring the necessary things in advance.
3. There is no electricity in Sonadia. So power bank is necessary.
4. The local people are very hospitable. However, it is better not to go into any argument with them.
5. If you do not have proficiency in the regional language of Chittagong, you may have a lot of trouble in communication.
6. You need to have special knowledge about tides.