Bangladesh got the special blessings of nature. Many very beautiful places surround it. Kuakata is one of them. Kuakata is a town known for its panoramic sea beach.
Kuakata is about 70km from the Patuakhali main city, in Latachapli union under Kalapara upazlla. Patuakhali is about 320 km from Dhaka (Capital of Bangladesh). Patuakhali District is about 30 km long and 6 km wide. It is located in south-eastern Bangladesh, and is the number two tourist destination in the country.
►The History of Kuakata:
If we try to find out the history of kuakata we will find that, a long time ago (around 1784) Barmiest King "Bodofoa" illegally took position at "Arakan", on the home land of Rakhains and started to kill them. So many of them started to leave their homeland to save their lives. A part of them came in "Rangabali" Ireland in Galachipa by boat. A big part of them started to live in Kuakata and Kolapara. They started to live beside sea and felt shortage of drinking water. So dug two "Kuas" (Wells) in of getting fresh drinking water. From this digging of "Kua" (well) the name of the place became "Kuakata".
The name Kuakata originated from the word 'Kua'-the Bengali word for "Well" which was dug on the sea shore by the early Rakhine settlers in quest of collecting drinking water, who landed on Kuakata coast in the eighteenth century after being expelled from Arakan (Myanmar) by the Mughals. Afterwards, it has become a tradition of digging Well in the neighborhoods of Rakhaine tribes for water.
Kuakata beach is both sandy and muddy with a mind blowing scenic beauties, expanse 18 kilometres (11 mi) long and 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) wide. From the beach one can have an unobstructed view of both sunrise and sunset over the Bay of Bengal. Travelers of diverse places come here to enjoy this unique beauties. Kuakata is located on the south western part of Bangladesh. It is in Potuakhali district and about 70 kilometers, north of the town. It is the beach where one can enjoy the amazing scene of both sunrise and sunset. These features attract a lot of tourists from both home and abroad to travel kuakata. Previously tourists did not feel comfort there due to poor transport and poor housing places. But recent times a lot of development done by the government and local business owners. After sunset one can go to the Rakhaine market where one can find several goods made by tribal Rakhaine peoples and also observe their lifestyle. One can see Gangamati which is a forest reserve and Fatrar chor which is a mangrove forest and part of world famous Sundarban. During Maghi purnima and rush purnima a lot of people arrive here to have holy bath. Kuakata is a virgin place of migratory winter birds. A lot of birds come here during winter.
There exists road communication between capital Dhaka and Patuakhali .Direct bus services are also available from Dhaka to Kuakata via Barisal. One can also go by water to kuakata as well. Everyday launches starts from Sadarghat launch terminal to Patuakhali at the evening. Next mornings launches reach Patuakhali, then bus, car are easier vehicle to come Kuakata. Lots of luxurious hotels, motels are available and cheaper here for staying at night and don’t forget to eat the delicious Hilsha fish, the special attraction of Kuakata.
Tourist can go to Kuakata by Launch or Bus. But if a group of students want to visit there they must hired a bus and follow the river journey by Ferry. Most appropriate route that we were followed in our downward journey is to follow the Mawa-Kaorakandi Ferry route. The road followed by the route is very much comfortable for the tourists.
There are many hotels and resorts in Kuakata. Like as Hotel by sky palace Ltd, Hotel Nilanjona Ltd, Hotel Kuakata Inn Int. Ltd, Hotel Mohona Int. Ltd, Biswas Sea Palace, Hotel Banani Palace, Hotel Golden Palace, Sagoakonna Resort Ltd, Hotel Shoikot. But one can lived in a government motel named “MOTEL PARJATAN AND YOUTH INN”. The motel is comparatively cheaper than the other hotel.
The name Kuakata originated from the word 'Kua'-the Bengali word for “Well” which was dug on the sea shore by the early Rakhine settlers in quest of collecting drinking water, who landed on Kuakata coast in the eighteenth century after being expelled from Arakan (Myanmar) by the Mughals. Afterwards, it has become a tradition of digging well in the neighborhoods of Rakhaine tribes for water.
Kuakata is the place of pilgrimage for both Hindu and Buddhist communities. Innumerable devotees arrive here at the festival of 'Rush Purnima' and 'Maghi Purnima'. On these two occasions the pilgrims take holy bath at the bay and participate in the traditional fairs.One may also visit the 100 years old Buddhist Temple where the statue of Goutama Buddha and two wells of 200 years old are located.
Kuakata Shutki Polli:
Shutki polli is another place at Kuakata where tourist can visit. It is located 4 kilometer west from Kuakata beach. On the way of Lebur bon/Lebur chor one can visit shutki polli. From that place one can get the experience of how to make dry fish (shutki). He will see the full process of making dry fish.
Fisherman catches many types of fish from the sea. They sell some fresh fish and rest of the fish is use to make dry. There are varieties of fish process here. From shutki polli, shutki fish/dry fish is supplied in many places of Bangladesh and also export in many countries.
►Shutki making process:
At first fisherman cut the fishes then dry the fishes in the sun properly. It has to be done carefully to get the best quality of dry fish.
Land of red crabs:
In Kuakata, there's a place called "Lal Kakrar chor (land of red crabs)". Hundreds of bright red colored crabs just lie there. Usually they are really sensitive to the presence of any intruders around them. If they sense something dangerous, they immediately run to their respective holes & hide there until the coast is clear. We saw very few red crabs on the main sandy beach of Kuakata, perhaps escaped from the land of red crabs.
Fatar Chor, Kuakata:
Fatra’s chor is the nice tourist place near Kuakata beach. This Forest is near at Kuakata Beach which is the extended part of Sundarbans which is one and only mangrove forest over the world. Fatrar Chor is also known as Fatrar Bon. As the Fatrar Chor is the part of Sundarban so it is mangrove forest. Fatrar Bon is fairly big forest in Kuakata. One may go there by traveller. From the sea one may have to enter a branch river. Although Sundari is the main tree there are other sorts of trees found in Sundarbans. In Fatra forest many wild birds, some monkey, some rabbit, squirrel, deer, jackals, Bagdas (One type of small tiger) and some other animals can be found, but they are not always available because of the disturbance of tourists.
There are many timber trees available here. And the wood of this trees are very long lasting and also costly. A wood business is started at that place and these woods are supplied in all over the country.
►How to Go at Kuakata Fatrar Chor:
At first traveller have to rent an engine boat near the beach. It may take about an hour boat journey from Kuakata sea beach. After the thrilling journey traveller will reach at Fatrar chor or Fatrar bon. There is a nice canal in that place and forest beside the canal. Now traveler should enter at the forest after taking the permission from forest camp. If travellers want to visit Fatrar chor some tour agency is available in Kuakata to bring the traveller at fatrar chor. It is really a nice place to visit.
Government took initiative to create an eco-park here. There are lakes, concert benches, toilet facilities and brick built lames through the forest. There are few stalls a going way for safe placement of the boats, Cooling arrangement for picnic parties etc.
The most important matter is that, there always has a special food item in every places. If somebody follow their downward journey through the Mawa-kaorakandi Ferryghat, then they must test the sweets of “GOURONODI”. The Hilsha fish fry with fried red chilly with plain rice is the super tasty food of Kaorakandi as well as Mawa Ferryghat. The students living in Dhaka now and then visit to the Mawa or Kaorakandi Ferryghat to taste this special food.