The port city of Chattogram is unique compared to the rest of the cities in Bangladesh. Due to its geographical position, mountain, sea, and lush greenery there is no other place in Bangladesh that offers similar geodiversity. Also, Chattogram is the place where the mountain meets the sea. On one side there are imposing mountain ranges that are overlooking the sea and on the other is the beckoning of the tranquil water of the vast ocean. There is hardly anything that can beat the views. But other than the picturesque views, Chattogram stands out for its rich history, the amalgamation of different races and ethnicities, interesting culture, and much more. Here are the reasons why I love Chattogram.
Nature didn’t hold back a bit while adorning Chattogram with its beauty. Imposing mountain range, magnificent waterfalls, lush greenery; there is no shortage of magnificent sites in Chattogram. The multi-storey waterfall of Khoiyachora in Mirershorai is one such example. Although it comes to bloom in the monsoon and one of the best places to visit during that time, the magnificent multistoried waterfall is something to behold even in the off-season. Then there is the Chandranath mountain at Shitakunda that will greet you with its spectacular presence before you even enter the city.
And once you set your foot in the city, it will become apparent that you are in the land of mesmerizing beauty. Take a boat ride through the charming Foy’s Lake and you will be blown away by the experience. The verdant greenery will help you calm your mind and help you become one with nature. That is why nature is one of the reasons why I love Chattogram so much.
Apart from these, there is Vatiary lake for enjoying stunning sunset and sunrise, butterfly park if you want to spend a day amid nature’s most prolific beauty, and Dulahazra safari park which is the home to more than 4000 animals. But to experience the full extent of Chattogram’s beauty you have to get yourself out of the house and actually visit the sites in person.
Talking about the reasons why I love Chattogram, the history of Chattogram, and how it came into being is definitely one of them. There are various stories concerning how the Chattogram got its name. However, the most interesting one out of the bunch is the story that is associated with the Sufi named Badar Auliya. It is believed that long ago the area of Chattogram was a place with dense forest and infested with wild animals and occupied by evil spirits. Then the Sufi from Arab named Badar Auliya came floating on a rock and started preaching Islam in the area. Legend has it, he went to the top of a hill to lit a “Chati (lamp)” and called out an Azan. Which in effect made the area free from evil spirits. And soon the locals started calling the area Chatigram or Chatigao. Then from that, the area came to be known as Chattogram later.
Apart from the fun bit, there is much more to Chattogram than just legends. There is an ethnological museum that gives you a fascinating insight into the hill tribes of Bangladesh and their fascinating history. The shrine of Bayazid Bostami or the turtle shrine is another historical landmark of great importance in Chattogram. Chattogram War Cemetery or Chattogram Commonwealth War Cemetery, on the other hand, is steeped with the tragic history of World War II. Chandranath mandir, one of the seven Shakthi Peeths in Bangladesh is another religious landmark with a magnificent history.
Chattogram is the mecca of mouthwatering cuisines and the birthplace of the famous Mezbani beef. There is no other place in Bangladesh that offers this much variety when it comes to traditional cuisine. Be you a vegetarian or meat lover, Chattogram will not disappoint. Cooked in a unique style, the taste of the traditional vegetarian dish is to die for. The traditional mezbani feast (a hot and spicy beef dish served with rice) and kala-bhuna (another beef dish prepared through a unique cooking style), on the other hand, will make your mouth water. Morog pulao is another traditional dish served with an entire roasted rooster. This dish is commonly served in traditional events such as weddings and so on.
Apart from these, there are plenty of local street foods such as crab fry, fish fry, and many chickpea dishes that can make you go for the second round. But that’s not it, there are a whole host of must-try restaurants in the city. Oriental, continental, western; you will find all kinds of restaurants inside the town.
People and the culture
People are the lifeforce of a city. And their customs, beliefs, religion, tradition, festivities, and cuisine create the culture that defines them. Chattogram is no exception. Being a port city, Chattogram has always been a place of attraction to international visitors. Thousands of people used to come here from overseas to do business in the area due to its geographical advantages. Over the years, they have molded the culture by introducing new things, fusing things, and ultimately shaping the city the way it is today. Chattogram was used to be the gateway to the early Islamic missionaries in Bengal. That is why most of the cultural aspects of the city have an Islamic influence on them. This impacted the local dialect (Chittagonian language) of the city as well.
Apart from that, Chattogram is the house to numerous ethnic groups including Chakma, Marma, Tripura, and many more. These people do not speak Bengali but together with the Bengali-speaking locals, they create the ultimate melting pot of different cultures and races.
The list of reasons why I love Chattogram can not be complete without mentioning the sea beaches. There are multiple popular sea beaches in Chattogram. Notable of them are Patenga Beach, Naval beach, Banshbaria Sea Beach, and Guliakhali Sea Beach. Each one of these serene sea beaches is different from each other but offers similar sensation beautiful views of picturesque sunset and sunrise. Gazing at the ocean lets you unplug and calm your mind and helps you develop a sense of oneness with nature. Moreover, the tranquil water of the vast ocean allows you to pause for a moment, take a deep breath and inhale the fresh air of the beach. But the magical feeling of cold ocean water touching your feet is beyond anything and it can be the best cure to your everyday stress.
Chattogram is filled with mesmerizing beauty. Be you a wanderlust struck traveler or just someone who is in search of a better place to live the rest of their lives, Chattogram will not disappoint. Beauty, charm, better lifestyle – Chattogram has everything going for it. The union of mountains and the sea coupled with the verdant greenery has made the place truly a prodigy of nature. But don’t take my words for it, visit the place to experience its unblemished beauty.