Kuakata – The Arrogance of Kalapara, Patuakhali – July 2009

Journey to Kuakata

As regular safari tours of our photography group Through The Lens: Bangladesh (TTL), after our last tour in Rajshahi and Chapai Nawabgonj, this time we have visited Kuakata Sea Beach. Before the journey I was very excited, because this will be my first visit at Kuakata. After the journey I am still same excited having such a nice tour. I have visited the sea beach few more time before kuakata but never passed so many times in beach before this time. Also have seen some lifestyle that is dependent on the see.

We have started our journey from Malibag counter of Eagle Paribahan. Our bus was supposed to start at 8.00PM, but the bus started at 9.00pm. Some tour mates catch the bus from Badda counter and Sharif bhai catches from Uttara. We were a team of total 26 members. As always, we were dominating the bus. Everyone was chatting, singing and after around one hour, all get slept.

When we reach Aricha feri ghat, almost all of us came down from bus to have some food as dinner. We get in into a small restaurant and take some bread and vegetables. Before we finish, the feri has come and bus start moving toward the feri. We had to move fast, so we left our foods and run for the feri.

I have started 1st shooting from the feri. After the feri reach its destination, we get in into the bus and fall in slip. I weak up at Khepupara Feri ghat and come to know that journey with current bus has end. After weak up someone told me that when we were sleeping, after Aricha, we have passed more three feris. Now we need to take a bus which was reserved for us. We leaved the 1st bus and start morning shooting at the feri ghat. Saw some small hotels were just opened and people get busy with their duties. We were waiting for the feri to come our side of the river and bring our new bus to other side.

After passing Khepupara ghat, we passed two more feris. Every times many of us have come down from feri and shot. I’ve found some other kind of use of feri and feri gaht.

After the 2nd feri, we pass through some very green villages. During passing the village I felt the smell the scent of soil which reminds me my village. Seen lots of bird around us and presence of Black Drongo, White-breasted Kingfisher, Dove was in great position.

Finally we reach Kalapara and declare the end of this bus journey. We had to walk five minutes to reach our hotel, Hotel Golden Palace. It’s a nice hotel. Me, Kamal and Kamrul got room no 201. It’s a nice room in deed. From the balcony of the room, we can easily see the sea.

Visiting Kuakata Beach

After a few hours rest, we went to beach which is very near from our hotel. We reach beach after a 5-8 minute of walk. Seem some trees, leisure fishing boats in the beach.

Beach 01
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Leisure beach
Leisure boat 01
Leisure boat 02
Bay of Bengle

I discover most of the people in the beach are local people who are actually busy with fishing in beach and related works.

Fisherman 01
Fisherman 02
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Fisherman 05
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Youngest members of the poor fisherman family are also part of the job. They are doing the same work as their previous peoples did.

Working kid 01
Working kid 02
Working kid 03
Working kid 04
Working kid 05

Their family member helps them on the ground. They sort the required fishes and sorting them, they free the remaining fishes in the sea. Shooting few hours there, I went back to hotel.

Waiting for husband
Sorting fishes
Sorting fishes
A fish who couldnt go back to sea

After lunch we have visited the main tourist beach. There are some alive and dead coconut trees at the east side of the beach. The dead trees must be dead because of any disaster, provably AILA or SIDR or its effect of both of them. Increasing height of sea level is another cause of this.

Grounded tree
Strongest among them
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Wheels are the most common object in all over Kuakata beach. These wheels used to bring the boats in dry land and send them to sea too.

Wheel of Kuakata

Lebu Bagan of Kuakata

Spend few 20minutes there and then rent some motor bikes for a ride up to Lebu Bagan. Enjoyed the motor bike ride and reaches Lebu bagan within 20 minutes.

On the way to Lebu Bagan (Lemon garden)
At the door of Lebu Bagan

It’s a mangrove forest. Didn’t find any lemon tree, though its called Lemon Garden (Lebo Bagan). I don’t know the justification of this kind of naming. Heard call of many birds inside of the jungle but did not get in into the jungle. In front of the jungle found many mangroves and the remain roots of trees. Those might be destroyed by the sea.

Lebu Bagan (Lemon garden)
Lebu Bagan 02
Lebu Bagan (03)
roots of tree
Lebu Bagan
Wild fruits of Lebu Bagan

Mangroves and local people of Lebu Bagan

Roots of old trees
Roots of old trees
Lebu Bagan
Cows of Lebu' Bagan
Peoples of Lebu Bagan

Then we start going back to the fishing beach. At the middle of the road, we found some of us.

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Then we leave our bikes there and pass some times there. There were so many red crabs that some part of the beach was almost becoming red by hundreds of red crab. Thos crabs are so smart that they don’t allow anyone to go near to them. When I was going near, they were going inside the soil.

Red crabs
Red Crabs

But they cant always save themselves from the birds. Local people also know the technique how to catch them. A young local kid catches a crab and takes to us to take a picture of that.

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A hunter Black Drongo
Caught by local kid
Red Crab

Before we leave the place, a fishing boat just arrived from the sea along with some Hilsha and other small fishes.

Hilsa fish
Fisherman who caught the Hilsa

Then we have start walking to reach the fishing beach, because time of sunset was near and we wanted to shot the sunset from there. In middle of the walk we’ve found Sharif bhai was coming. Then I stayed with Sharif bhai and both of us passed time till the sunset and after sunset, we back in hotel together.

Returning Fishing boat
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In hotel I was chatting with Sharif bhai, suddenly got the idea to shot the stars in sky. This is one of the big differences between Dhaka and other places in Bangladesh. As Dhaka is ranked one of the most polluted cities, stars are almost invisible form sky of Dhaka. But in other cities, night sky becomes the most beautiful thing to see.

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We had planned to shot the sunrise at Gongamati. So weak up at 5.00 AM and was waiting for the bikes to come and take us to the place. Finally we got the bikes at 5.30 AM and start ride for Gongamati. It was not a long ride more then 15minutes. Gongamati is in the east side of the Kuakata beach. Not only were we there, some other tourists also there to see the beautiful sunrise. After the sunrise shooting, we shot a forest beside that place. Mangroves of the forest reflect that Kuakata is not far from the Sundarbans. Found few birds there too.

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Then we back in hotel. I was feeling very sleepy so that I went for a sleep.

Buddhist Temple in Kuakata

After two hour of sleeping, I weak up and find few of us was inside hotel and rest of others went to Kawwar Char (Crow’s Island). We planned to visit a Buddhist Temple which is very near of our hotel. It was a very large temple and the statue of Buddha was very big in size.

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We found the Kua of Kuakata at the gate of the temple. It’s the deepest kua of the area along with some other area beside.

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How stupid our peoples are.. they event dont have the sense of throwing packets and other things such historical kua :( After the short visit of the temple we came back in hotel again.

Remaining of Narikel Bagan

Our final and last two visits were in Narikel Bagan (Coconut garden) and Lebu Bagan. All of our bikes were ready in hotel and start bike ride from there. At first we have went at Narikel Bagan which is in east side of the main beach, not so far from there. As far Sharif bhai’s blog and his statement, once it was a very big garden but the changing landscape and increasing sea has destroyed it. Only few trees are remaining which don’t seems like a garden. Weather and light condition was perfect for shooting at that time.

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After passing a few time there and start for the final ride of Lebu Bagan.

Visiting Andarmanik River

During the time of going Lebu Bagan sky was forming very nice. When we was passing by a constriction work was happening there. We stopped our bike and shot there.

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At 2nd visit of Lebu Bagan, I come to know that yesterday we shot at the start of lebu bagan and didn’t explore the reaming very big area of that place. This time we went at the end of the garden which is more likely a jungle (Very strange naming convention of the places).

As like yesterday, heard many bird calls and Shudipto da has called my in whispering way that there is a bird. He called me to shot that. 1st I saw some wild pigeons but suddenly saw that there was a sandpiper walking near the shore. I tried to shot that ASAP.

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Then I shot some water life and landscapes. The place we were standing is the bank of Andharmanik River and junction of the Bay of Bengal and the river.

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Suddenly Tuhin bhai called that he saw some kingfisher. I find that these are Collared kingfisher too. I become very sure that the habitation of this bird is very good there. I went inside of the jungle to search other birds. But find only the colored kingfisher. But this time I went very close to him and hope its one of the best bird pic of mine.

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After shooting him, I’ve come out from the jungle and together all come back to the main beach.

Leaving Kuakata, Last moments

We spend only five minutes in the main beach and took 4/5 photos within the time. Then we had to go back to hotel for packing, because we had only few hours left in hand to leave Kuakata.

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Back in hotel and packed everything. Then we see we still have some times in hand and beach is not so far from the hotel, so went to fishing beach once again. Took some quick shots but didn’t get the sunset.

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We had to go back to the hotel. From the hotel we took our begs and said good bye to Labu bhai and went to bus counter. We ride on the bus to back Dhaka. Bust starts at 8.00PM. None of us had enough energy to have chat. All of us just slept and no one weak up until we reach Dhaka.

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