Chittagong Hill Tracks
Decidedly untypical of Bangladesh in topography and
culture, the Chittagong Hill Tracts have steep jungle
hills, Buddhist tribal peoples and relatively low-density
population. The tracts are about 60km (37mi) east of
Chittagong. The region comprises a mass of hills, ravines
and cliffs covered with dense jungle, bamboo, creepers
and shrubs, and have four main valleys formed by the
Karnapuli, Feni, Shangu and Matamuhur rivers.
[A View of Rangamati Lake]
a lush and verdant rural area belonging to the
Chakma tribe, is open to visitors, as is Kaptai
Lake. The lake, ringed by thick tropical and semi-evergreen
forests, looks like nothing else in Bangladesh.
While the lake itself is beautiful, the thatched
fishing villages located on the lakeshore are
what make a visit really special.
that visit the villages leave from Rangamati. Bring
your swimming gear because you can take a plunge anywhere.
Hill Tract is divided into four valleys surrounded by
the Feni, Karnaphuli, Sangu (Sankhu) and Matamuhuri
rivers and their tributaries. The ranges or hills of
the Hill Tracts rise steeply thus looking far more impressive
than what their height would imply and extend in long
narrow ridges. The highest peaks on the northern side
are Thangnang, Langliang and Khantiang while those on
the southern side are Ramu, Taung, Keekradang, Tahjindong
(4632 ft, highest in Bangladesh), Mowdok Mual, Rang
Tlang and Mowdok Tlang.
inhabitants of the Hill Tracts are mostly tribal. Life
of the tribal people is extremely fascinating. Majority
of them are Buddhists and the rest are Hindus, Christians
and Animists. Despite the bondage of religion, elements
of primitiveness are strongly displayed in their rites,
rituals and everyday life. The tribal families are matriarchal.
The women-folk are more hardworking than the males and
they are the main productive force.
[Tribal Village at Bandarnan]
tribal people are extremely self-reliant, they
grow their own food, their girls weave their own
clothes and generally speaking, they live a simple
life. Each tribe has its own dialect, distinctive
dress and rites and rituals. The common feature
is their way of life, which still speaks of their
of them take pride in hunting with bows and arrows.
Tribal women are very skilful in making beautiful handicrafts.
Tribal people are generally peace loving, honest and
hospitable. They usually greet a tourist with a smile.
valleys of the Hill Tracts are covered with thick-planted
forests. The vegetation in semi-evergreen to tropical
evergreen dominated by tall teak trees. The natural
vegetation can be seen best in the Rain-khyong valleys
of the Bandarban district.
This district provides valuable wood which is
used for various purposes, besides supplying wood
and bamboo for the Karnaphuli Paper Mills and
the Rayon Mills situated at Chandraghona.
a tourist may be lucky to see how huge logs of
wood are being carried to the plain by the tamed
[Wild Elephent at Tecknaf]
Kaptai Lake, the largest "man-made" lake,
spreading over 680 sq. km. of crystal-clean water flanked
by hills and evergreen forests lies in the Rangamati
Hill District. The lake was formed when the Karnaphuli
river dam (153 feet high, 1800 feet long crest) was
built for the purpose of hydroelectric power project
at Kaptai. The old Rangamati town was submerged under
lake water and a new town had to be built later. The
lake is full of fish and provides facilities for cruising,
swimming and skiing. There are also facilities for angling
and short trip by Sampan, local name for country boats.
:: Hill Districts
Hill Tracts is divided into three districts, namely
For visit of foreign tourists to the Hill Districts
prior permission from the Government is required which
can be arranged through Tour Operators & BPC.