Nijhum Dwip is a small island of Bangladesh. It is a small island rose in the Bay of Bengal, is located in the south-west of Hatia Upazila of Noakhali District. Ballar Char, Kamlar Char, Char Osman and Char Muri, Nijhum Island is consisting of these four main islands and several small chars. Its area is about 14,050 acres. The island is completely silent, that’s why it is named as Nijhum Island (Silent Island).
There is one main road on the island. The road goes straight from one side of the island to the other side. Nijhum Island has 9 villages. In addition to the villages, several small houses are spreading in different places. There are three markets on the island. The main residential area of Nijhum Dwip is Nama Bazar. There is no electricity supply in Nijhum Dwip. Electricity is supplied through the generator in the Nama Bazar area up to 11 pm. There are rickshaws and motorbikes on the island to travel. But motorcycles are more available than rickshaws. To ride the island, you can rent the motorcycle. In this case, you will get two benefits. The driver of the motorcycle can guide you to different places. If you can drive the motorcycle you can drive it yourself.
Nijhum Dwip wakes up on the sea in the 1950’s. Nirjhum Island’s former name was Char-Osman. It is said that a buffalo breeder named Osman, had settled on the first at Nijhum Dwip with his buffalo flock. Then the name of this island was named after him. The island was later known as ‘Nijhum Dwip’. Before 1970, there was no human habitation here. Later, people affected by the river erosion of Hatiya, Shahbazpur and Ramgati started taking refuge in the island. Bangladesh’s Department of Forests started their activities in the 70’s. First, in 1978, four pairs of deer were released on the experimental basis. Later, the number of deer increased greatly. Now the number of deer is like 40 thousand in Nijhum, Dwip. On April 8, 2001, the government of Bangladesh declared the whole island as a national park.
The main wildlife of NIjhum Dwip is Spotted Deer. The density of Spotted Deer at Nijhum Island is three times higher than the Sundarbans. Because there are no carnivorous animals like tigers, their breeding is rapidly growing. Among other mammals, there are Clawless Otter, Fishing Cat etc. Various species of birds include Black-crowned Night Heron, Desi Pond Heron, Cattle Egret, Indian Shag, Gray Heron, Snipe Bird, Cotton Pygmy Goose, Tufted Duck, Watercock, Spotted Redshank, Spotted Greenshank etc. Nijhum Dwip is one of the main wandering grounds of Indian Skimmer. Among the reptiles, there are Bengal monitor and various types of sea turtles. This Nijhum Dwip is an important breeding ground for sea turtles.
For Bird lovers:
If you are a bird lover, then Nijhum Dwip is a heaven for you. Thousands of guest birds come in the winter in the islands along the main island of Nijhum Dwip. Some of them include Lesser whistling duck, Northern Pintail, Plover, Gadwall, Ruddy Shelduck, Red-crested pochard, Ferruginous Pochard and many other ducks, swan, Snipe, Small Pratincole, Whimbrel and many watery birds, different types of Sea-gull, Black-headed Ibis etc. Pelican also comes occasionally. And there are many local birds including sea eagles, Brahminy Kite, and Herons all year round. To see the birds, will have to go to the islands nearby by engine boats, there will be a lot of mud. Kobirajer Char and Damar Char are the best places to see the birds. There are approximately 35 species of birds in Nijhum Dwip.
To see Deer:
To see deer, you have to get up early in the morning. Deer can be seen by visiting the main island with the local guides. There are approximately 40 thousand deer in NIjhum Dwip. But still, you have to move silently into the forest to see deer. If there is a little noise, it will be tough to see deer. During the trekking of the jungle, everyone should try to wear light-colored cotton clothes. The sight of wild animals is very sharp. They will get away and hide from you if they realize your arrival. To see the deer flock or to take pictures, the last end of the Chowdhury canal is good, the deer are more visible there. There is not so much Chitra deer in the other forests like Nijhum Island that is so close to the forest.
Tourist places in Nijhum Dwip:
Chowdhury Khal and Kabirajer Char: Here you have to go in the afternoon before the evening. After reaching Chowdhury Khal, you have to walk for an hour to see the deer flocks in the forest. Reserve an engine boat, for a group of 10-15 people it will cost 1000-1200 taka. In the evening, do not forget to enjoy sunrise and thousands of buffalo flocks in the Kabirajer Char.
Mangrove Forest: It is a forestry project on Nijhum Island. The little boys of Nijhum Dwip work as guides; with the,m you can visit the forest in the morning. There you will see the deer.
Namabazar Sea Beach: It takes 10 minutes to walk from Nama Bazaar to Sea Beach. From here you will see sunrise and sunset.
Damar Char and Kumari Sea Beach: There is a new sea beach on the south side of Damar Char, which is called the Virgin Islands. Here you can see many unknown birds if you go in the morning. This place is still unknown to many tourists. The engine boat rental is 3000-3500 taka.
Dhalchar and Char Kukri-Mukri: If you have enough time you can visit the Dhalchar of Vola and the Char Kukri-Mukri by reserving an engine boat.
Best time to travel:
According to the weather, the best time to travel Nijhum Dwip is the time between October to mid-April. In the rainy season, due to rain and storm, the Meghna River and the sea are in turmoil.
How to go there?
By Water Way:
The easiest route to go Nijhum Dwip from Dhaka is going to Tamarudi of Hatiya from Sadarghat by launches. There are two lanches runs on this route regularly. MV Panamá-2 Phone- 01924-004608 and MV Tipu-5, Phone-01711348813. The departure time from Dhaka is 5:30 pm.
From Tamariddi you have to go to Bondortila Ghat at first by auto rickshaw or bus. After crossing the channel from Bandartila Ghat by an engine boat, you will reach Nijhum Dwip. It takes 15 minutes to cross the channel. It is the one end of Nijhum Dwip. The main destination is the other end of the Nijhum Dwip named Namabazar. From there, you have to Namabazar by rickshaw.
By the road:
Buses of Asia Line, Asia Classic, Ekushey Express and Himachal Express departs from Mohakhali, Kamalapur, and Sayedabad of Dhaka to Shonapur of Noakhali. Rent 350-450 taka. From there, you have to Chairman Ghat by CNG auto rickshaw. Rent is 100 Taka. Then you will have to go Nalchira Ghat by engine boat. Rent 150 Taka From there you have to go Jahajmara Bazar by bus. Rent 70 Taka. From Jahajmara you have to go Muktara Ghat by motorcycle. Rent 70 Taka. From there you can reach Nijhum Dwip Ghat by engine boat. Rent 10 taka. From there you have to go to your final destination Namabazar of Nijhum Dwip by motorcycle. Rent 60 Taka.
Where will you stay?
The only good quality place for staying in Nijhum Dwip is the Nijhum Resort. The list of fare of this resort is given below.
1 room – 2 bed: 2000 Taka.
1 room – 3 bed: 1800 Taka.
1 room – 4 bed: 2000 Taka.
5-bed family room: 3000 Taka.
5-bed dormitory: 1800 Taka.
12-bed dormitory: 3000 Taka.
If there are additional people in the dormitories, then each person has to pay 200 Taka.
All rooms have attached bathroom. There you will get electricity supply by generators from evening till 10.30 pm. Besides, you can use the light all night from the solar panel. Besides, you will get electricity for 30 minutes after 1-2 hours at daytime. Resorts can be booked from Dhaka.
Contact: Nijhum Resort, Dhaka: Obokash Tourism Limited, Shamsuddin Mansion, 10th Floor, 17 New Eskaton, Dhaka. Phone- 8358485, 934351, 935930, 01552372269. Contact: Nijhoom Resort, Nijhum Dwip: 01724-145864, 01845558899, 017382830655.
There is four or five residential facility in the local market at very low prices. There is also a nice bungalow owned by the forest department. It is possible to stay here with permission from the authorities concerned.
Mobile network: Only the network of Robi and Grameenphone is available on Nijhum Island.