Ratargul Swamp Forest


Ratargul Swamp Forest is a freshwater swamp forest located in Gowain River, Fatehpur Union, Gowainghat, Sylhet, Bangladesh. It is the only swamp forest located in Bangladesh and one of the few freshwater swamp forests in the world. The forest is naturally conserved under the Department of Forestry, Government of Bangladesh.

Its area is 3, 325.61 acre including 504 acre declared as the animal sanctuary in 2015. It is known as the Sundarbans of Sylhet. This only swamp forest in Bangladesh is located 26 kilometres (16 mi) far from Sylhet. The forest’s name comes from the word, “Rata” or “Pati” tree, used by the locals of Sylhet.

Enjoy the Bisnakhandi charms of high mountains, sinuous rivers, graceful waterfalls, and dancing clouds.Start your day early in the morning as you meet your private tour guide in your hotel lobby. Departing from Sylhet, your journey begins with a leisurely drive by picturesque rice paddies fields. After arriving at Ratargul Swamp Forest, you will board a boat to explore one of the few freshwater swamp forests in the world.

The forest is naturally conserved under the Department of Forestry (Govt. of Bangladesh). The evergreen forest is situated by the River Grain and linked with the Chengir Khal canal. Most of the trees that grow here are Koroch trees. The forest goes under 20-30 feet of water during the rainy season. For the rest of the year, the water level is about 10 feet deep variously.

Continue to Bisnakhandi where many layers of the Khasi mountain meet at a single point from both sides. Flowing from above is a high waterfall. Adding to its charm are dark clouds hugging the mountains during the rainy season. Flowing underneath towards Bholaganj is a branch of the Piyain. Along the stream, flowing from high up in the mountains, come huge boulders that are deposited and mined in Bisanakhandi.

An exceptional place to visit. One of the very few swamp forest in Bangladesh. It’s a must place to visit for tourists. The best time for visit is rainy season from June to September. Ratargul forest still awaits co-management system

This forest is engulfed with freshwater in most of the seasons. This evergreen forest gets over flooded during the rainy season. Different local fish are available here. It’s the terrain of different creatures’ like snakes, monkeys, lizards, insects & birds.

You may also see vulture and Eagle. Some parts of this forest are very small, so boat ride would be tough. However, it is the only swamp forest located in Bangladesh and one of the few freshwater swamp forests in the world. The forest is naturally conserved under the Department of Forestry, Government of Bangladesh.

This evergreen forest is situated by the river Gowain and linked with the canal named Chengir Khal. Most of the trees grow here are Pongamia pinnata (Koroch tree). The forest goes under 20-30 feet water in the rainy season. Rest of the year the water level is about 10 feet deep.

How to go

Three type of transportation mode is available towards Sylhet from Dhaka. You can get in there by bus, train or air.

It is approximately 18.7 km away from Sylhet. You may take bus or CNG auto rickshaw and head towards Saklutikor road. Take rickshaw to reach there. After reach at Sylhet You can go to Ratargul by CNG for economy trip or by Noah/Car . CNG cost 800 tk Round trip Noah cost 3000 tk round trip. Car cost 2000-2500 tk .and boat 700-800 taka .

You can hire a local micro bus from sylhet city, they will take to ratargul.Takes about 60-70 minutes. Time required is more than two hours. you should hire the micro for the whole day, if you leave micro after reaching there, it will be difficult to get another one.

The micro can go up to hadarpar, there after you need to hire a engine boat. you may also avail the public engine boat to reduce costing. engine boat may take 1000-1500 tk for round trip.


Where to Stay

There are a number of good quality hotels in Sylhet town. Most of those are at the Mazar road, Amberkhana, or in Zindabazar. A brief list of hotels is given below:

  1. Hotel Eastern Gate & Panahar Restaurant.
    2. Hotel Gulshan.
    3. Hotel Dargah View.
    4. Greenland Hotel & Restaurant.
    5. Hotel City Link International.
    6. Surma Valley Rest House.
    7. Hotel Baharain Residential
    8. Hotel Qureishi Residence.
    9. Hotel Ajmeer.
    10. Hotel Payra.
    11. Hotel Supreme,
    12. Hotel Palash,
    13. Hotel Western,
    14. Hotel Anurag,
    15. Hotel Al-Amin,
    16. Hotel Garden’s Inn,
    17. Hotel Ferdous,
    18. Hotel Panama,
    19. Hotel Green,
    20. Hotel Hilltown,
    21. Hotel Rose View,
    22. Hotel Star Pacific,
    23. Hotel Tajmohal.

Things to do

  1. Enjoy boat trip.
  2. You’ll get the flavor of Amazon forest here.
  3. See different types of animals those can’t be seen otherwise.
  4. Observe the natural beauty of forest.

Eating Facilities

You’ll find all types of food in Goain Ghat. You can also have lunch or snacks at Nazimgarh resort. You may also look out for local restaurants available.

Travel Tips

You have to report and take permission from the forest office first before entering the forest, and request them to arrange a boat. You should not take any boat from outside. It may have the risk of hijacking with unknown boats.73 species of plants could be found in the forest till now. 80 percent of the forest area is covered with umbrella of the trees.

Two layer of plants can be seen in the swamp forest. The upper layer consists of trees and the lower one consists of intense Schumannianthus dichotomus. The canopy of the plants spreads up to 15 meters of height.

Though the forest is natural, the Forestry Department of Bangladesh has planted some watery plants like Calamus tenuis, Neolamarckia cadamba, Barringtonia acutangula, Calamus tenuis. Banyan Tree is very common in the forest. Besides that, Barringtonia acutangula, Millettia pinnata, Crateva religiosa or Hygrophila (plant), Alstonia scholaris can also be seen.