It is no secret that my homeland of Bangladesh is blessed with all sorts of natural beauties – be it the blue rivers, the green forests or the brown mountains! In this beautiful palette, I’m mostly attracted to the green because all the fresh new leaves surrounding me rejuvenate my mind like nothing else EVERY TIME!
So I decided to visit the beautiful Sreemangal one summer since it has a bit of all these shades!
This place located in the Moulvibazar district of Sylhet division is widely recognized for its abundance of tea gardens. Rows and rows of greenery will keep you mesmerized in this peaceful north-eastern area. Besides, it also has the beautiful Madhabpur lake and its adjacent hills which we will explore soon!
1. First train ride!
Unfortunately, I passed the majority of my life in such a surrounding where traveling anywhere was not a norm at all. I used to spend my days in teenage wondering how would it actually feel to travel on a train. All the knowledge I had about train rides were from native and Bollywood movies, which as we all know are *perfect depiction of reality* 👀
Finally, my chance to experience a ride on the train came with this Sreemangal trip! Trying to hide all that excitement behind the veil of a calm posture, I set out for the Kamlapur railway station directly from my office. I took an Uber and reached the place an HOUR before other travelers!
Luckily, there was a small eating corner in that area and I treated myself there with some cheap sandwiches, as well as a cup of refreshing tea!
Then the moment came to assemble all the travelers together and hop on the right compartment. After settling there, we had some food – either from the salesman on train or from the packaged items we brought from our home.
Some of us joined another group of travelers present in the same bogie to sing! The beautiful sound of live music lifted up our spirits even more. Then things became quiet since most of us needed to sleep.
Me, however, having the first night on train, decided to stare at the lone star shining up in the sky! I thoroughly enjoyed the loud sound of rail engines (yes really), how it moved swiftly through different localities and how there was nothing artificial about this whole experience.
2. Breakfast at 5AM
We reached Sylhet at around 4AM and took several jeeps to reach the breakfast place. That restaurant called “Paach Bhai” is pretty famous for welcoming tourists. It wasn’t even open when we arrived there. Nonetheless, the staff there were very caring and arranged for our breakfasts within half an hour.
After freshening up, we devoured the delicious hotchpotch (khichuri) with omelets. What more can travelers ask for after waking up from a train journey?
3. Tea estate
The first location we visited is of course the BEAUTIFUL tea estate where rows of tea plants keep everyone under a spell! We didn’t see any tea worker at this time since it was too early for them to start working. As a result, we had the freedom to take as many photos as we want and explore the space as much as we want! We certainly made the most of this opportunity 😉
4. Madhobpur lake
The next destination in our Sreemangal tour was Madhobpur lake and the accompanying hills around it. The lake itself was pretty breathtaking in its beauty and I sat there with some fellow travelers for a while, dipping feet into the cold water.
Then I joined the ones who were climbing up the moderately tricky stairs of the hills. Luckily, the sneakers I was wearing saved me from slipping!
5. Eight layers!
It would be a crime to visit Sreemangal and not try out their famous 8-layered tea! The Neelkontho shop was usually the center for this tea and almost all of had it. You can also try the teas with fewer layers or go for the most basic ones.
We then prepared to return to the busy city after a therapeutic day among the greens, teas and a little bit of blue! Each of us took two or more bags of authentic Sreemangal tea to enjoy the taste with our loved ones at home.
I long for the days when I can get out of my room, get on a car and just visit these beautiful places again!
Hope the world heals soon and lets us traveling birds fly far away again!
“Nature’s first green is gold,– Robert Frost
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.”