Sylhet, situated in the north-eastern region of Bangladesh, has all the elements of a scenic vacation – lush green hills, beautiful tea gardens and rivers that have been raved with all of nature's boon.
Two of the most beautiful of places in Sylhet are Jaflong and Bichnakandi, both of which add to the accumulated allure of the region; along with the Keane Bridge and Ali Amjad's Clock in the city.
Jaflong: Where the soul becomes joyous
Jaflong in Gowanghat Upazila of Sylhet is one of the most intriguing places for tourists in the country. Jaflong is a place of almost unearthly beauty, with the Khasia-Jainta hills on the other side of the border and the clouds leaning over them, the innumerable waterfalls, clear river coming down from the hills and the pebbles in the river.
Described as a daughter of nature because of its beauty, Jaflong, with its succinct serenity, has rightly earned the moniker.
Located 62 kilometers northeast of Sylhet, Jaflong can be reached by bus, micro-bus and auto-rickshaw from Sylhet. It is possible to go to Jaflong directly from Dhaka without entering Sylhet city should one chooses to take a micro-bus directly to the scenic place.
Bichnakandi: Beguiling nature
Bichnakandi is located in Goanghat upazila of Sylhet. It is as if nature has arranged a bed of water and stones there. The springs coming down from the green hills have merged into the river.
There are innumerable white stones submerged in the water of the cold spring. In the heat of the day, tourists gather in Bichnakandi in search of peace by soaking their bodies in the waters. Should one want to go to Bichnakandi, they will have to go to Sylhet first, and then to Hadarpar Bazar. Hadarpar Bazar is the first road from Sylhet to Salutikar.
The distance from Sylhet to Hadarpar Bazar is about 46 kilometers. Hadarpar can be reached by micro-bus, auto-rickshaw and leguna.
After that one can finally make it to Bichnakandi near Hadarpar Bazar by crossing the distance of 4 kilometres by engine boat.
Keane Bridge and Ali Amjad's Clock: History and its allure
Two installations have become almost symbolic for the city of Sylhet: One is Ali Amjad's Clock, the other is Keane Bridge.
These two historical installations are located on the banks of Surma River in Chandnighat area of Sylhet city.
The red Keane Bridge, built of bow-shaped iron, was built in 1933. The 1150 feet long bridge was named after the then Governor of Assam John Keane.
Ali Ahmad Khan, the Zamindar of Prithimpassa, built a huge clock tower in 1874 after his son Ali Amjad; which came to known as Ali Amjad's Clock.
Both sites intrigue tourists and historians. Keane Bridge is known as the entrance to the city of Sylhet. If one comes to Sylhet by bus or train from Dhaka and crosses the road for about one kilometre, they will see Keane Bridge and Ali Amjad's Clock.
Rickshaws, auto-rickshaws or micro-buses can be taken from the bus terminal and railway station to these places.
The distance from Dhaka to Sylhet by road is 246 kilometres.