Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Depleting Destinations in Bangladesh


Subah Shaheen

Bangladesh is a beautiful tropical nation housing several booming tourist attractions. The beaches, hill stations, waterfalls and islands of this small South Asian wonderland offer tourists a memorable experience at an affordable rate. However, after centuries of taking mother earth for granted, nature has finally begun to retaliate. Climate change is here and its effects will be getting more prominent in due time. The areas best known for their natural allure will thus, in a few years, start to display signs of global warming, resource depletion and worst of all contamination. Bangladesh will be no exception to that rule, in fact, according to National Geographic- Bangladesh is most vulnerable to climate change. This is because the country is located at the bottom of three ferocious rivers and watered by fifty seven trans-boundary ones. Already some areas of the country are at risk of losing their enviable pristine beauty in a few years time. The clock is ticking to explore the unique magic of these endangered destinations.
Bhola
This is the largest island of the country and has been awarded the honorary title ‘‘Queen Island of Bangladesh,’’ due to its immaculate, subtle beauty. The beauty of Bhola lies in its simplicity and the serene calmness it provides to onlookers. The long palm trees swaying gently against the afternoon breeze, and the mighty sun making the water shimmer as a particularly feisty silver fish jumps out to get some fresh sunshine for himself are mesmerizing scenes in the most soothing sense. Bhola is easy on the eyes and allows respite to troubled souls as the calmness of the surroundings balances out the turmoil raging inside one’s mind. Being an island nation, the seafood of the place is exquisite and a particular desert item- the buffalo curd- has enchanted the taste buds of all those who have tried it. Bhola is, therefore, an exquisite destination
for a few quiet days to oneself but alas, due to the low altitude of this gentle island, it is soon to be in grave danger of floods and tsunamis. The government has already started preparing in advance but one can naturally conclude that Bhola might not be the same in a couple of years.



Sundarbans
Bangladesh is renowned worldwide as the home of the Sundarbans- the largest mangrove forest in the world- and the treasure trove of wildlife present there. It is a
UNESCO world heritage site and a must see for all adventure lovers. The islands of Sundarban buzz with activity and there is excitement in the very air. One can hear several varieties of birds and monkeys even while on a ship cruising on the waters surrounding it. One always has to be on the lookout as animals are abundant in the forest and some of them aren’t too shy. They will peek from trees and bushes to get a glimpse of their latest guests. Of course, the Sundarbans are home to the Royal Bengal Tigers and these big cats don’t react well to uninvited visitors but if people familiarize themselves with the mindset of the tigers beforehand, there does exist the chance of one simply walking by in front of you. The mighty mammal with its lush orange fur and dramatic black stripes would prove to be the most awe aspiring view in its natural
habitat where it would walk with the delicacy of a cat and the dignity of a lion. Though many have spotted the king of the jungle on their excursions, a more common and welcome sight to many have been deers, alligators, various birds, monkeys and other fauna. The Sundarbans are amazing but sadly they are depleting as well. Rising sea levels, deforestation, urbanization and hotter, drier summers have started to take its toll on this island of exquisite flora and fauna. The Rampal powerplant shall probably catalyse these changes making our Sundarbans- literally meaning, ‘‘Beautiful Forests,’’ an entirely different area 10 years from now.

Sonargaon,Lalbagh Fort and Ahsan Manjil
Bangladesh has hundreds of years of history as part of the Indian Subcontinent and many archaeological and architectural sites exist today as proof of that glorious heritage. While the country has several constructions to satiate the thirst of every history or fine art enthusiast, some of these places have become extrem
ely popular with tourists and in that group- the sites of Sonargaon, Lalbagh Fort and Ahsan Manjil are noteworthy. The rich history of these places and the spell binding raw beauty they hold have earned them the right to win admirers from all over the world but unfortunately, beauty cannot freeze time. The latter makes the former wither away until only the legends of its supremacy remain, nothing more. Though these structures have withstood the test of time and stand tall today, the withering has continued. They are not as magnificent as they were 10 years back and their state will continue to depreciate. Various preservation and renovation efforts are routinely performed but these are weak defenses against the test of time which now has air pollution to aid its task and the protection policies of the government fail to fully tackle the situation at hand.

The above featured only a few of the fast depleting destinations of Bangladesh. With the onset of climate change, the whole world is unaware of the full extent of the changes that will befall us and this applies to Bangladesh as well. Being a low lying developing country, Bangladesh is both at risk of facing terrible consequences and having the inability to protect itself fully from the consequences. However, the most must be made of the country’s resources till then and its tourist destinations shall continue to be a promising sector for the country over the next few years- offering wonderful holidays for tourists to come and cherish for a lifetime.

2 comments:

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