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Rangamati: The Lake City of Bangladesh

Rangamati, within the district of Rangamati, is the capital of the Chittagong Hill Tracts in south-eastern Bangladesh. It is known as the ‘Lake City of Bangladesh’ as it is situated on the bank of Kaptai Lake, which is the largest man made lake in Bangladesh. The total population of the district of Rangamati is around 500,000 with around half of the population being tribal.

Due to its scenic beauty Rangamati is a prime Bangladeshi tourist attraction. One of Rangamati’s most iconic attractions is the Hanging Bridge, which is a low suspension, 335 feet long bridge over the Kaptai Lake

If you are planning on visiting Rangamati, the best time to do so is during October to February as the temperature remains cool and rainfall is infrequent. During the monsoon season, the forests burst with life, the rivers extend and waterfalls begin to appear.

Rangamati and the wider regions also have a diverse range of fauna native to the area, including primates like the capped langurs, hoolocks, rhesus macaques and gibbons, as well as larger mammals such as tigers, Asian elephants, otters, wild boars and Indian muntjacs. Located 60 miles North-East of Rangamati town is the ‘Pablakhali Wildlife Sanctuary’ which is open to visitors allowing them to explore the region’s wildlife through jungle and bird safaris.

The tribal, indigenous peoples of Rangamati are collectively known as the Jumma people. The Jumma people are ethnically, culturally and linguistically different from the rest of the population of Bangladesh and have a rich agricultural history with most of their population reliant on the industry of farming. They practice a form of nomadic farming called ‘shifting cultivation’, where they grow food in small parts of their territory and then move on to another area and allowing the land to recover.

One of the main attractions in Rangamati town is the ‘Tribal Cultural Museum’, which offers an insight into the history and cultural traditions of the region’s indigenous peoples. Visitors can view tribal dresses, ornaments, musical instruments, coins and handicrafts at the museum.

Since the Bangladeshi EPB (Export Promotion Bureau) launched its ‘one district, one product’ initiative, Rangamati has a growing homespun textile industry.

 

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