Sagarkanya Kuakata is another name for all the tourists of the world including Bangladesh. Kuakata is one of the most scenic beaches in Bangladesh with an 18 km long beach. It is the only beach in Bangladesh from where both sunrise and sunset can be seen. Kuakata Beach is located in the southernmost part of Latachapali Union of Kalapara Upazila. This beach has been created by the ocean.
It is believed that human settlement started in this region during the Sultanate or Mughal period. Behind the name Kuakata is the idea of this history. The word ‘kua’ is derived from ‘kup’. In the 18th century, the Arkans were expelled from Burma by the Mughal rulers and settled in the region. Then they dug a lot of wells or pits to meet the lack of fresh water here, hence the name of this region was Kuakata.
Bakerganj is a traditional place in history. The establishment of the Chandradwip dynasty in the 13th century is found in Baufal’s Kachua. Bakerganj and Patuakhali were called Bakla Sarkar during the Mughal Empire in 1582. However, Kuakata, known in the pages of history, is the epitome of Rakhine. According to local sources, the first Bengali came to Kuakata in 1903 in search of fortune.
Kuakata is now known all over the world as a tourist town. Also a pilgrimage site for Hindus and Buddhists. Krishna devotees of the Hindu community appear at the Ras Mela in November. Similarly holy bath organized on Maghi Purnima. During this time millions of local and foreign pilgrims came here.
It is known that the original residence of the Rakhine was in the Arakan province of Myanmar. Since 1782, various atrocities have been committed on the Rakhines. From 1784 to 1814, the number of Myanmar refugees stood at about one lakh.
Although the Rakhines left Myanmar and settled in Bangladesh, they retain their traditions. Especially in Rakhine food, clothing and language, they maintain their uniqueness from Bengalis. Rakhines adhere to Sanskar in marriage ceremonies. For example, there is no marriage between the Rakhines during the rainy season.
Kuakata is an enchanting land of natural beauty. The government declared Kuakata as a municipality to provide modern facilities to this tourist town. Kuakata’s famous well which was once the only source of fresh water is now part of the heritage.
Places to visit in Kuakata:
Kuakata Beach: The main attraction of Kuakata is the beach. Standing on the beach, the blue sky stretches as far as the eye can see to the south. Waves are crashing on the beach every moment. The beach has various facilities for thousands of tourists including private seating, horses, carriages, food. Apart from this, Kuakata has a security system of tourism police.
Jhowban: To prevent beach erosion, Forest Department has Monolova Jhowban at Kuakata. Where the sound of the wind continues to show. Tourist guides said that in the darkness of the new moon, the waves of the ocean scatter the light mixed with phosphorous.
Kuakata’s Kua: The name Kuakata is derived from Kua. This well is the only source of fresh water in the salt water area of the sea. This well has water from ground water or rain water. The well is located at the entrance to Kuakata Buddhist Monastery. The well has been preserved with the financial support of the government. Next to the well is the Buddhist temple. Which is known as Srimangal Buddhist Vihara. There are Buddhist beads made of nine metals.
Boat Museum: The Kuakata Boat Museum is located on the slopes of the embankment adjacent to Srimangal Buddha Vihar and Rakhine Market. A wreck of a sailing ship is kept here. The Department of Archeology has arranged for the preservation of the boat. The boat is 72 feet long, 22 feet wide, 11 feet high and weighs 90 tons. In ancient times, these sailing ships were used to trade with different countries by sea.
Kerani Para: Kerani Para is the name of the Rakhine village located at the core of Kuakata. During the British period, a Rakhine named Nalau worked as a bank clerk. This village is called Kerani Para after his surname.
Kuakata National Park (Ecopark): One and a half kilometers east of Kuakata Zeropark, Kuakata Ecopark covers an area of 700 acres. Different types of forest and fruit trees have been planted here in a planned manner.
Gangamati Char: Gangamati is located 6 km east of the main tourist spot of Kuakata. Char is called Gangamati or Gangamati Char as it is formed on the banks of the Gangamati canal. The sunrise is better from here than the main spot.
Place where Abdul Ali Garuli’s memory is enmeshed: There are various folk stories about the famous Sapude Abdul Ali Garuli about catching snakes. 7 km from Misripara. In the north is the place at Boultali Para.
Misripara Seema Buddhist Vihara: Seven kilometers east of Kuakata Zero Point lies the Rakhine village of Misripara. It is known that the village was named after the influential Mishri Talukdar. The Buddhist temple here is known as Seema Buddhist Vihar. It houses a 200 year old Buddhist statue and the second largest Buddhist statue in the Indian subcontinent.
Goga Amkholapara Rakhine Village: Kuakata’s largest Rakhine community resides in Goga Amkholapara Rakhine Village. This Rakhine village is three kilometers east of Alipur port. There are many small Buddhist statues in the temple on the platform using tin and wood.
Alipur and Mahipur Fishing Ports: It is one of the fishing ports of Bangladesh. There is a Rakhine village called Kalachan Para next to Alipur port. This Rakhine village is the second largest in Kuakata.
Nayapara Buddha Vihar: One and a half kilometers south of Kuakata from Alipore is a small Rakhine village known as Nayapara. Four families live in the countryside but there is a beautiful Buddhist temple here. On the temple wall there are portraits of Lord Buddha
Ilisha Park and Resort: Ilisha Park is located in Kuakata Municipality. Five minutes drive from zero point. The park is located on 40 percent of the land. Inside the park there are sculptures of different animals.
Shutki Palli : Although there was no demand for shutki in Kuakata, the journey of shutki industry started in Kuakata due to the demand for shutki in different parts of the country. On the western side of the beach, dry huts are constructed with temporary bastions of lemon grass.
Sapnarajya Park and Resort: Sapnarajya Park and Resort is located along the seawall three kilometers west of Kuakata beach. There is a small park here. There are few live animals in the park.
Lembu Forest: Tourists may think Lembu forest or garden is actually Lembu was a girl from the Rakhine community. His house and garden were here. He lost his house in the sea. Fatra forest can be seen from here to the west. The sunset is best seen from the lemon grove. A lot of shells of sea snails and oysters are found here. Several shops have been established here. Crab or fish fry is available.
Fatra Forest: This mangrove forest is formed along the shores of the Bay of Bengal across the estuary of the Andharmanik River. The tourist guides told us that deer, monkeys, pigs, forest roosters, foxes, bagdas, mechobags, bhodars, rabbits, pythons can be seen in this forest. Government funded Ecopark has been created on the south west side of the forest.
Red crab feeding: Red crabs can be found in several places in Kuakata.
Water Museum: This museum has been established to make people aware of the use of water resources. Asia’s first water museum. Located 6 km south of Kalapara upazila next to Pakhimara market. It is established on the initiative of a private organization. Open daily from 9 am to 5 pm except Friday.
Sonar Char: Sonar Char is located in Rangabali Upazila of Patuakhali district. This char on the chest of the Bay of Bengal is the last land of the southern limit. There are also different types of animals and birds here.
How much time to take to Kuakata: To travel to Kuakata, tourists should keep a minimum of two days. Kuakata offers various package tours. There are arrangements for these trips by water and land. Kuakata Zero Point has food hotels at different places including Beribadh, Kerani Para.
A variety of quality food is available, both cheap and expensive. Rakhine folk music, acting, dance etc. are organized in Kuakata. They organize according to the needs of the tourists. There are many markets in Kuakata that sell a variety of products including clothing, snails, oyster work.
Tulatali has a 20-bed health complex to provide health services to locals as well as tourists. Kuakata has a variety of public and private hotels and motels to provide accommodation to tourists. These hotels have different types of bed AC, non AC accommodation. Kuakata has at least 60 hotels and motels accommodating 10,000 people.
There are various modes of transportation in the tourist center of Kuakata. There are AC and non-AC buses from Dhaka to Kuakata. Also, the tourists of Rangpur division can reach Sagar Kanya Kuakata directly by bus or private car from different districts of the division. There is also Dhaka Patuakhali launch service. There are arrangements to go to Kuakata by air from Barisal.