Ratargul Swamp Forest is only freshwater Swamp Forest in Bangladesh. This forest is located in Fatehpur union of Gowainghat Upazila bordering at Sylhet. The distance of this Swamp forest from the Sylhet city about 26 km. In the local language of Sylhet, ‘murta (tree)’ is known as “ratagacha”. The name of this forest is Ratargul after the name of that ratagacha.  Ratargul Swamp Forest is the best Freshwater Swamp Forest in the World. Goain River and a huge haor in the north and south and in the middle is the ‘Swamp Forest’ Ratargul which is known as the “Amazon of Bengal”.

Tourist are enjoying the natural beauty of Ratargul Swamp Forest
Tourist are enjoying the natural beauty of Ratargul Swamp Forest

The total area of this forest is 3325.61 acres, among which 504 acres of forest was declared wildlife sanctuary in 1973. This Swamp forest is covered with various types of water plants.  The main tress of this forest is zigzag style Koroch and Hizal tree. There are about 25 species of water tolerant plants in this huge forest. The Forest department has planted various types of the water tolerant trees including cane, kadam, hijal nad murta.

A man is enjoying the natural beauty of Ratargul Swamp Forest
A man is enjoying the natural beauty of Ratargul Swamp Forest

This forest is flooded by the water is coming from hills of Indian state of Meghalaya only the rainy season and make this forest Swamp. In other seasons, this forest remains dry. The water level never remains at the same level in this forest. The water level could be 15-20 feet in the forest on the time of heavy rainfall.  Actually, the water level of this forest is depending on the number of rainfalls.  This Swamp Forest is stays under water for four to seven months in a year. This forest is very strange to see. Somewhere it is seen that half of the tree is submerged and somewhere the whole tree is submerged in the water. Many places in the forest get dark due to dense vegetation. The water of this beautiful forest is so clean that you can see the bottom layer.

This forest is different in the winter season.  In winter/dry season, the idol and cane garden woke up. This natural beauty is different from rainy season. Another look can be seen as soon as the rain stops. Then the small canals inside the forest will turn in footpath. You can walk that path so easily.

Ratargul Forest (dry season)
Ratargul Forest (Dry Season)

This Freshwater swamp Forest comes with extraordinary beauty during rainy season so the rainy season is the best time to explore Ratargul Swamp Forest.  You can go Kayaking in the water of this Swamp forest.  The fun of going around in a Kayak is not going to be the same as the fun of getting on a boat. A Kayak can seat 2 people. The fare of a kayak is TK.300 for per hour. It is better to take a guide for the first time otherwise you may get lost in the forest. Guide fare TK.150 for per hour. There is also a watchtower in Ratargul Swamp forest. You can see the natural view of Ratargul forest from that watchtower.


How to go Ratargul Swamp Forest:

To go to Ratargul Swamp Forest, you must first come Sylhet city from anywhere in Bangladesh.  Buses, train and air are available from Dhaka to Sylhet.

Dhaka to Sylhet by bus:There are so many buses from Fakirapul, Kamalapur, Sayedabad and Shymoli, Dhaka to Sylhet. They are- Green line Paribahan, ENA Transports, Unique Paribahan, BRTC, Hanif Enterprise, Al Mobaraka Paribahan, Mamun Enterprise, RP Aliganch  etc ( AC and non AC buses are available on this route. The fare of those buses is TK.600-1500 for AC bus and TK.400-500 for non AC buses.

Dhaka to Sylhet by train:There are so many train services departs from Kamalapur , Dhaka for Sylhet. The intercity train Parabat Express, Jayantika Express, Upban Express, Kalni Express are available for Sylhet. The fare of those trains is TK.150-1018. If you go by train, it is best to take the Upban Express at 9.50 pm because it will be early in the morning and you can start your journey from morning.

Dhaka to Sylhet by air: From Dhaka’s Shahjalal International Airport- Biman Bangladesh, United air, Regent Air, Novo Air and US Bangla Air fly daily to Osmani Airport in Sylhet. The fare of those air is TK.300-8000.

Biman Bangladesh Airlines domestic route Dhaka-Sylhet ticket price is given below:

Super Saver: TK.3200

Economy Saver: TK.3700

Economy Flexible: TK.4200

Business Saver: TK.5900

Business Flexible: TK.6900

Chittagong to Sylhet by train: Paharika Express, Udayan Express is available for Sylhet from Chittagong. The fare of those trains is TK.145-1090.

Sylhet to Ratargul Swamp Forest: There are many ways to go Ratargul Swamp Forest from Sylhet city.

  1. To reach Goainghat by CNG from Amberkhana point in Sylhet, the fare will be TK.500. After that you have to fare a Engine Boat (Trawler) from Goainghat to Ratargul bit office, The fare will be between TK.800-1500 (up and down). You have to go down to the bit office and enter the forest with a boat (dinghy boat), it will cost TK.200-300 for per hour.
  2. Reaching Goainghat directly from Sylhet via Sarighat on Jaflong-Tamabil road. Then you have to fare a Engine Boat (Trawler) from Goainghat to Ratargul bit office, the fare is between TK.900-1500 (up and down). You have to down to the bit office and enter the forest with a boat (dinghy boat), it will cost TK.200-300 for per hour.
  3. From Amberkhana Point to Ratargul in Sylhet you have to take CNG to reach the motor ghat via Saheb Bazar. It will cost you TK.200-300. Then you can take a boat (dinghy boat) directly from the motor ghat to the forest. It will cost you TK.200-300 for per hour.
Dinghy Boat
Dinghy Boat

Where do you stay?

You can visit Ratargul Swamp Forest and stay in Sylhet. There are so many hotels to stay in Sylhet. They are- Hotel Hill Town, Gulshan Hotel, Hotel Grand Surma, The Grand Hotel, Rose View Hotel, Hotel Noorjahan Grand, Bottom Hill Palace Hotel, 2nd Homes etc. According to your budget you will find both cheap and expensive options to stay in those hotels.

Where do you eat?

There are some famous hotels to eat in Sylhet. They are- Five Brothers, Panshi, Palanquin etc.

It is our Responsibility to keep our tourist spots clean. Let’s keep the spots neat & clean as we go around. Happy Travelling 🙂

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