Remakri khum waterfalls

Majestic water flowing over Shangu river at Naf-khum waterfalls

Mesmerizing Nillachol

About Chittagong Hill Tracts

The Chittagong Hill Tracts in south-east Bangladesh, are on the border between South Asia and South East Asia. The tracts are a series of lines of hills that run from the Himalayan ranges to Myanmar. To the west of this area there is a culture and set of languages that are familiar to those who have travelled in India, Iran, Turkey, etc. However the people who have lived in the CHT for hundreds of years are Mongoloid, speak Sino-Tibetan tonal languages and have a culture, that is similar to that of Burma, the Mekong valley and China, but which has been developed by the need to survive in the difficult hill areas. For this reason the CHT can be seen as a border between the 2 cultural blocks of Asia.

No one is the difference between the 2 cultural blocks more apparent than in the town of Bandarban. Half the population are of the western asian culture; a male dominated culture based on commerce (you barter for everything) speaking a language that mostly derived from Persia. The other half are the local, indigenous people, who have a culture based on kinship and strong community. The People page shows the lives of these people.

The Bandarban hills are probably the only place in the world where you can find several different languages and cultures living in close proximity in harmony. The differences in culture between the groups are quite apparent and include differences languages, clothes, religions traditions, laws, etc. It is possible to walk between the villages of several groups within a day and get the sense of the cultural differences and of the peaceful co-existence.

And the hills and the settlements on those hills are stunningly beautiful. Please see the Scenery page.

Because the CHT forms a natural geographic and cultural borderline, it has changed hands several times, has experienced inter-community conflict, has used as a buffer zone and, too often, has seen as an area to be exploited.

The Bandarban hill district is the southern most of the three districts of the CHT. Bandarban has eleven indigenous groups; has the highest hills; has a border with Burma and has the smallest proportion of settlers from the plains.

It is important to look at the history of the people of the people of Bandarban to realise why the customary laws and traditions exist. The eleven indigenous groups of Bandarban are the Bawm, Pangkuao, Lushai (these 3 can be are all northern Chin groups), Khumi, Khyang, (who are both Southern Chin), Mro, Marma, Chak, Tripura, Chakma and Tongchanya. The History page explains how the area has derived.

edited by Richie Aung

Introduction

Bandarban is a unique area of the world with beautiful scenery and 11 indigenous nations with distinct cultures.
Bandarban is the southern most of the 3 areas of the Chittagong Hill Tracts of South East Bangladesh.

About Bandarban Hill Discrict

Shwe Jdiie Kyowng(Golden Pagoda Temple)

 Bandarban (Bengali: বান্দরবান) is a district in South-Eastern Bangladesh, and a part of the Chittagong Division.It is one of the three districts that make up the Chittagong Hill Tracts, the others being Rangamati District and Khagrachhari District. Bandarban is regarded as one of the most attractive travel destinations in Bangladesh. Bandarban (meaning the dam of monkeys), or in Marma or Arakanese language as "Rwa-daw Mro" is also known as Arvumi or the Bohmong Circle (of the rest of the three hill districts Rangamati is the Chakma Circle, Raja Devasish Roy and Khagrachari is the Mong Circle, Raja Sachingprue Marma). Bandarban town is the home town of the Bohmong Chief (currently King, or Raja, U Cho Prue Marma) who is the head of the Marma population. It also is the administrative headquarters of Bandarban district, which has turned into one of the most exotic tourist attractions in Bangladesh.

edited by Richie Aung

History

Nillgiri truely brethetaking.

In the early days of 15th century, the Arakanese kingdom, where Mrauk U was the capital, expended its territories to the Chittagong area of Bengal. After the victory of Arakan on Burma's Pegu kingdom in 1599 AD, the Arakanese king Mong Raja Gree appointed a Prince of Pegu as the governor of newly established Bohmong Htaung (Circle) by giving the title of "Bohmong" Raja. That area was mostly populated by the Arakanese descendants and ruled by the Burmese (Myanmar) noble descendants who started to call themselves in Arakanese language as Marma. Marma is an archaic Arakanese pronunciation for Myanmar. As the population of the Bohmong Htaung were of Arakanese descandants, these Myanmar-descendants Bohmong chiefs (Rajas) of the ruling class took the titles in Arakanese and speak a dialect of the Arakanese language.

Bandarban Hill District was once called Bohmong Htaung since the Arakanese rule. Once Bohmong Htaung was ruled by Bohmong Rajas who were the subordinates to the Arakanese kings. Ancestors of the present Bohmong dynasty were the successor of the Pegu King of Burma under Arakan's rule in Cointed Maung Saw Pru as Governor of Chittagong who in 1620 repulsed the Portuguese invasion with great valour. As a consequence, Arakanese king, Mong Kha Maung adorned Maung Saw Pru with a title of Bohmong meaning Great General. After the death of Maung Saw Pru two successors retained Bohmong title. During the time of Bohmong Hari Gneo in 1710, Arakanese King Canda Wizaya recaptured Chittagong from the Mughals. Bohmong Hari Gneo helped King Canda Wizaya in recapturing Chittagong and as a mark of gratitude the later conferred on Bohmong Hari Gneo the grand title of Bohmong Gree which means great Commander in Chief.hittagong. In 1614, King Mong Kha Maung, the king of Arakan.

edited by Richie Aung

 

 

British and Pakistani rule

During the British reign in 1690 The Raide of Frontier Tribes Act -22 was passed which among other things envisaged the creation of Chittagong Hill Tracts District comprising the entire hilly region along the south eastern border of present-day Bangladesh, stretching right from Tripura in the north and Myanmar in the south. The act also provided for the appointment of a superintendent to discharge the administrative functions under the direct control and supervision of Divisional Commissioner of Chittagong. However seven years later in 1697 the post of superintendent was re-designated as that of Deputy Commissioner.


In 1900 the Chittagong Hill Tracts Regulations 1900 was enacted to provide a consolidated and broader legal framework for the administrative system. This Act with minor modifications constituted the fundamentals for the administration of three hill districts. Recognizing the special historical and geographical features of the place as well as uniqueness of tribal population, the Regulation of 1900 divided the entire district into three circles. Each circle was to be headed by a circle chief whose primary responsibility was to collect revenue, assisted by a Headman (Head of a Mouza) and a Karbari (Head of a Village) respectively at Mouza and village level. The Bohmong king was appointed as the Circle Chief of the Bohmong Circle. During the British period, the area of Bohmong circle under Bandarban and Lama Thana was operated as lowest administrative unit, with a Circle Officer as its head.
During World War II the area saw the presence of a formidable British military presence that came to stand against a Japanese invasion. The tribes of these hills held the reputation of unyielding rebellion throughout history. During the Bangladesh Liberation War (1971) to gain independence from Pakistan, leaders of the tribal people sought allegiance with Pakistan government.

 edited by Richie Aung

 

Geography

 

One of the three hill districts of Bangladesh and a part of the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bandarban (4,479 km²) is not only the remotest district of the country, but also is the least populated (population 292,900) one. All of the highest peaks of Bangladesh are located at Bandarban district. Their heights measured with Garmin GPSMAP60CSX GPS are as follows:
Tahjindong, also known as bijoy (1280 meters)
Mowdok Mual (1052 m)
Keokradong (1230 m)
Raikhiang Lake, the highest lake in Bangladesh is also found in Bandarban. Chimbuk peak and Boga Lake are two more highly noted features of the district. The newly reported highest peak of Bangladesh - Saka Haphong (3488 ft) is also here in Thanchi upazila.
Bandarban Sadar, Thanchi, Lama, Naikhongchhari, Ali kadam, Rowangchhari, and Ruma are the administrative sub-districts of Bandarban. Major road routes are:
Map of Bandarban District
Bandarban-Rowangchhari-Ruma
Bandarban-Chimbuk-Thanchi-Alikadam-Baishari-Dhundhum
Chimbuk-Ruma
Chimbuk-Tangkabati-Baro Aoulia
Aziznagar-Gojalia-Lama and
Khanhat-Dhopachhari-Bandarban.
Meghla Parjatan
Nilachal
Shoila Propat
Prantik Lake
Chimbuk
Boga Lake
Rijuk Fall
Keokradong
Tahjingdong
Shangu River
Golden Temple
Nilgiri
Mirinja Parjatan
Upabon Parjatan
The three highest peak of Bangladesh - Tahjindong (1280 meters, also known as bijoy), Mowdok Mual (1052 meters), and Keokradong (883 metres) - are located in Bandarban district, as well as Raikhiang Lake, the highest lake in Bangladesh. Chimbuk peak and Boga Lake are two more highly noted features of the district. Though most Bangladesh sources cite Keokradong as the highest peak in the country, but Tazing Dong (sometimes spelled as Tahjingdong, and also known as Bijoy) lying further east is recognized both by government and expert sources as a taller peak. Measurements taken by English adventurer Ginge Fullen shows that an officially unnamed peak near the Myanmar border (locally known as Mowdok Mual) is the highest point in Bangladesh.Recently a team from Nature Adventure Club took part in an expedition in the mowdok range and agreed with the ginge fullens statement. They got the height of this peak as 3488 feet with gps accuracy of 3 meter. The unnamed summit is known as 'Saka Haphong' to the local Tripura tribes.
The following is a list of mountain ranges in the area and the tallest peaks of each range:
Range
Peak
Muranja (also known as Meranja) range
Basitaung, 664m
Wayla range (most of this range is in Myanmar)

Chimbook range
Tindu, 898m
Batimain range
Batitaung, 526m
Politai range
Keokradang, 884m; Ramiu Taung 921m
Saichal-Mowdok range
Bilaisari, 669m; Mowdok Mual 1,003m
Saichal range
Waibung 808m; Rang Tlang, 958m; Mowdok Tlang, 905m
Wailatong and Tambang ranges

The River Sangu (also known as Sangpo or Shankha), the only river born inside Bangladesh territory, runs through Bandarban. The other rivers in the district are Matamuhuri and Bakkhali. Parts of Kaptai Lake, the biggest lake in, Bangladesh fall under the district.

edited by Richie Aung

Bandarban Town City

A nearly 52 km² hill-town housing about 32,000 people, of which the majority are Marma. There is a Tribal Cultural Institute here, which features a library and a museum. The town also features Bandarban Town Hospital (offering the best medical service in the district), the District Public Library, Bandarban Government College, the District Stadium, banashri, the solitary movie theatre, the royal cemetery, and, of course, the Royal Palace (two of them since the 11th and 13th royal lines both claim the throne). Apart from the numerous kyangs and mosques, there is a temple dedicated to Kali, the most revered goddess of Hindus is Bangladesh, as well as a centre maintained by ISKON.

edited by Richie Aung

Original tribal map of Bandarban Hill district.

Documents on Chittagong hill tracts