Historical, archeological, natural, religious and cultural spots
01. Cox’s Bazar Sea-beach
The Cox’s Bazar sea-beach is the largest sandy sea-beach in the world. It may be mentioned here that Cox’s Bazar has been named after Captain Heraim Cox. The whole of the sea-beach which is 120 kilometer-long is sandy, and the existence of snails and oysters occur there in the beach. The sites of shops with various coral-made articles, ultra-modern hotels, motels, cottages, and the Burmese markets etc. are resonant and vibrant with the roam and movement of the tourists. The Bangladesh Tourism Corporation and the local Sea-beach Management Committee have undertaken programs to refurbish and renovate Cox’s Bazar Sea-beach. The old Jhenuk Market has been dismantled and the modern Jhenuk Market ‘Beach Park Market’ in the form of umbrella has been built. Each market has 16 shops, but in some especial cases the market has 20 shops. Three more similar markets are under construction nearby. In line with the snail-oyster and coral shops, there is a location or assemblage of various other shops with Burmese commodities, cosmetics, first-food, cooling corner, dry fish, studio, including mobile shops in these markets. At the entrance gate to the sea-beach, spectacular ‘Beach Garden cum Park’ and the Jhenuk Market with 26 well-stocked shops have been constructed under the financial aegis of the Cox’s Bazar Zila Parishad. In front of the garden at Laboni point under the supervision of the Beach Management Committee and financed by the Zila Parishad, a two-storied observation tower has been set up. Throughout the year on different national days open concert, national and international beach football, beach volley ball, beach cricket competition, and many other functions including the national kite flying festivals are held. For the security of the tourists, Beach-Police have recently been appointed. There are arrangements for beach bikes, Jet Ski, horse carts in the silvery sea-beach.
02. Mathiner Kup (well of Mathin)
Mathiner Kup (well of Mathin) is located in the Teknaf Upazila Complex. Centering on the well, there goes a love episode between a police officer Dhiraj Bhattacharia and the Rakhime young girl Mathin. It is said that about one hundred years ago Dhiraj Bhattacharia a young unmarried police officer of Kolkata was transferred to the then inaccessible hilly Thana Teknaf as a police officer. Every day morning the Rakhain young girls used to come to take water from the well of Thana. At one stage the beautiful Rakhain young girl became familiar with Dhiraj Daroga. Gradually love developed between the two. Dhiraj gave promise to marry her and left for Kolkatta with a word to come back soon. But he never came back to Teknaf. The leaving of Teknaf of the lover Dhiraj for Kolkatta and his not coming back to Teknaf made her extremely disappointed and frustrated, and out of her mental agitation and huff, Mathin gave up taking bath and food and gradually fell into the jaws of death. In other opinion, Mathin committed suicide jumping into the well in the Thana campus. A good number of visitors come daily to see the well which is the witness of the immortal love of Mathin.
03. Kutupdia Lighthouse
This Kutupdia Lighthouse was set up in 1846 to show the fishing boats, trawlers, launches, ships directions in the darkness of night at sea. The new Light House was set up after the old one sank in the abyss of the sea. The light of the new Light House is visible from 40-45 kilometers. Kutupdia Light House is one of the historical evidences of the country and the beauty of this Light House draws the attention of the tourists.
04. Kakara Shah Omar Mazar
Shah Omar Mazar of Kakara Union on the Chittagong-Cox’s Bazar-Highway is a historical spectacular site. Shah Omar Mazar as is the holiest Mazar of Cox’s Bazar is very beloved to the devotees. This Mazar was built in the Muslim culture on about 60 acres of land. And there are mosques, 4 big ponds near the Mazar. In the ponds there are innumerable large-sized Gajar Machs (Giant Snakeheads).
05. Lama PaharBuddha Vihara
Lama Pahar Buddhu Vihara which was built in artistic designs in 1800 by the craftsmen of Myanmar in the Union of Fate-Kharkul of Ramu Upazila is a unique Buddhist establishment /installation in the country. In Bangladesh, the biggest Buddha image/ statue made of a mixture of eight metals, seated in Padmasan (a particular posture of yogic sitting) which is 22 ft. high lies here. The Buddha Vihara made of valuable and rare wood has created interest in the tourists home and abroad. By the side of the Vihara there are two big bells weighing 3900 kilograms.
06. Ramkot Buddha Vihara
The Ramkot Buddha Vihara is located in Ramu Upazila. In various history books, Ramu has been described as Pyang-wa or ‘Pyanwa’ that is a land of yellow flowers. Ramu area once was regarded in Arakan as a provincial capital. There goes hearsay that during the rule of the first Rakhaine Raj Chanda Thoriar ( 580-528 B.C ) and at his invitation in the 3rd Dhanya Bati Age, Gautama Buddha along with Sebok came to Arakan. There is hearsay that five hundred disciples accompanied Gautama Buddha. In a religious congregation there, Gautama Buddha prophesied that the bones of his chest would be placed on the hill located on the east coast of the west sea. In Rahkaine language the bone of the chest is called ‘Rang-u’. It is assumed that the word ‘Ramu’ originated from there. But according to some others, this area has been named after Ram Raj dynasty. With the evolution of time, the existence of Ramkut became extinct. A priest Jyoti Mahastobir came in 1919 from Kolkatta then reformed and reinstalled the Buddha Vihara. There is a forest cottage where ancient Buddha installations and archaeological finds/ evidences are there. At the foot of the forest cottage, there is a Buddha orphanage ‘Jagat Jyoti Shishu Sadan’ financed by Brazil, France, and other countries including Italy. Every year a plenty number of pilgrims-worshippers and tourists gather here.
07. Sree Sree Ramkot Buddha Vihara
Sree Sree Ramkut Holy Place of Pilgrimage is located near Ramkut Ban Ashram on the top of another hill. In the opinion of some people, this was founded in1494. While in the opinion of some other people, this temple was built by Raja Gobindra Manikya of Tripura in 17th century. It is the belief of the followers of the ancient Hinduism that Ram and Sita stayed here for some days. There is a Ram-Sita Mandir (temple) where there are five big banyan trees and with these five banyan trees Panchaboti Ban had been formed.
08. Mahasing-Dogri Buddha Mandir (temple)
Mahasing-Dogri Buddha Mandir (temple) is located at the Rakhaine Pally by the side of the Baitos Sharaf Complex 5 kilometers away from Cox’s Bazar Sadar Upazila. After the occupation of Arakan by the Burmese, the torture and persecution began on the refugees of Arakan. The then Lieutenant Hiram Cox reconstructed the village ‘Ang-khochha’ in order to rehabilitate ten thousand Arakani refugees and the village was named Cox’s Bazar after his name. The Arakani refugees with the people of the area and in aid of the local worshippers established jointly a Buddha religious institution. Thereafter, a Buddha Statue whose name is ‘Kathet Asan’ was brought here. This Buddha Statue was named ‘Mahasing-Dogri’ after its placement in that institution. The devout followers of Buddhism come here to worship and adore the holy statue of Buddha.
09. Patabari Buddha Vihara
This Vihara was founded about two hundred years ago on the Teknaf-Cox’s Bazar-Arakan Road 1 kilometer on the east of Ukhia Upazila, 32 kilometers away from Cox’s Bazar Sadar. In this Vihara (monastery) the monks regularly adore and meditate for the prosperity of the nation.
10. Adinath Mandir (temple)
Adinath Temple is one of the places of interest in Maheshkhali surrounded by sea all around. Adinath Mandir (temple) is located on the top of Mainak Hill at the height of 58.3 meters from the sea level. The temple is located at Thakurtala Village under the Gorakghata Union in the Maheshkhali Upazila of Cos’s Bazar District. From Kasturighat of Cox’s Bazar, you can go by trawler or speed boat to Gorakghata a ghat near Adinath Temple. The temple is 10.50 meters in length, 9.75 meters in width, and 6 meters in height. The temple is divided into three parts. In its first part there are two square worship rooms with 3.35 square meters each. In the east-room there is Banlingo Shiva Statue, and in the west room Austo-Vuja Durga Statue. There is a legend that one influential Noor Mommad Sikder of Maheshkhali dreamt a stone or the image of a deity and then after the name of the image, or the stone, the island was named as Maheshkhali and then Mandap (pavilion) was named as ‘Adinath Mandir.’ Every year on the occasion of Shiva Chatur Dorshi a big Mela (fair) is held for 8-10 days at ‘Adinath Mandir.’ Many pilgrims from India Nepal and Myanmar including Bangladesh come here.
11. Mazar of Kutub Aulia
The Mazar and Darbar Sharif Shah Abdul Malek Al-Kutubi Mohiuddnin Ajmir one of the celebrated worshippers/ adorers is located at Kutubdia. He was in the subcontinent a spiritual adorer /votary averse to publicity. He established Hefazkhana at his own home and learners came from distant places to learn the holy Quaran.
12. Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Safari Park
The sole Safari Park of the country established on about nine hundred hectors of land is not far away from Cox’s Bazar Sadar. FromChakaria Bus Stand it is about 10 kilometers away and from Zila Sadar, it is about 45 kilometers. Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Safari Park is divided into eight blocs and, you can go for a walk with the members of your family in the free environment of the park. There are many lions; royal Bengal Tigers, deer of various species, langurs, bans bears, peacocks, wild hogs, various species of birds, snakes, crocodiles, hippopotamuses, monkeys, deer, elephants, forest cows, etc. live in the park. More observation towers have been set up here, and you can very safely enjoy the exquisite beauty, and the free movement / roam of the animals and birds. Apart from these, there are big trees, valuable trees and plants, and rare herbal creepers and shrubs. Though some animals and birds are kept in cages, but most of the birds and animals have sufficient open places for their roam and movement. For the tourists, there are rest houses and dormitories. Here we find Natural History Museum and the first Nature Observation Centre This popular Safari Park is getting more and more popular with the tourists.
13. Baroi Tolir Golap Bagan (rose garden)
Plenty of rose gardens are available on either side at the entrance gate to Baroi Toli Union of the Chittagong-Cox’s-Bazar-Highway. One remarkable person Zamindar Babu Sree Notun Chandra who was fond of roses created / grew beautiful rose garden at his own home in Baroi Toli during 1890-1900. It is learnt that he collected seedlings of various species from Dhaka and Kolkatta and created/ grew garden at his yard, and he himself tended it. Towards the end of the twentieth century, another rose appreciative person late Maruf Rabban Kaderi of Deputy Bari of Baroi Toli, who collected beautiful and quality rose seedlings from Kolkatta and Dhaka, and created another rose garden at his own home.
The island which is 12 kilometers away from Cox’s Bazar emerged in the bosom of the sea is the only hilly island in Bangladesh. Every day countless tourists come to enjoy the natural beauty of the sea-girdled/girt Maheshkhali Island. Here one of the places of interest is Adinath Mandir. Centering on the Mandir, Shiva Chaturdarshi Mela is held here every year. There is an ancient pagoda of the Buddha community by the side of the Adinath Mandir. At the foot of the Adinath Mandir, there are a neighbourhood of the Rakhaine community and a Vihara of the name of Thakurtala Buddha Vihara.
The Sonadia Island is located on the north-west from Cox’s Bazar and 7 kilometers on the south from the Maheshkhali Island. Sonadia is isolated from Maheshkhali by a canal.
This Sonadia Island consisting of the area of 9 square kilometers is formed with the mangrove and the costal forest. The deep blue sea water, red crabs, forest of screw-pine trees (kaya ban), sea-birds all together there prevails in the island one kind of exciting and thrilling surroundings. Here the canal-water is so crystal-clean and transparent that it will appear that the boat is moving on some glass.
Though the island is on the bosom of the sea, here human habitations have not developed as many as have developed on the St, Martin. Most of the people on this island are fishermen but a few of them are salt manufacturers/producers. On some portion of this island watermelon is cultivated. There is a private hatchery for the sea-tortoises. Eggs of tortoises are collected from the island and preserved here and thereafter those eggs are hatched out and young tortoises are released in the sea.
16. Inani Sea-beach
Inani Sea-beach is located about 33 kilometers on the south from Cox’s Bazar and 10 kilometers away from Himchhari. Inani Beach is the most beautiful, attractive, and spectacular/imposing of the 120 kilometer-long sea-beach from Cox’s Bazar to Teknaf. The natural corals, pieces of stones from Inani Beach to Teknaf have, on one hand added additional beauty, and on the other hand they have protected beach from sea-erosion. There are many hatcheries to produce young fish of prawn or shrimp. Other than one rest house of Forest Department in Inani Beach, many other rest houses, hotels, motels, and cottages have developed there on private ownership. As a spot for picnic and shooting, it is very attractive for the tourists. One can go to Inani Sea-Beach by any kind of vehicle along the 84 kilometer long Marine Drive Road built from Kalatali to Teknaf in 1992 by the Engineering Corps of the armed forces.
Himchhari is one of the attractive spots which we find on our way from Cox’s Bazar Sadar to Teknaf which is 9 kilometers away from Cox’s Bazar Sadar. There are some natural fountains. One can climb up the high hill through the stairs and can enjoy the natural view of the sea, hills, and Cox’s Bazar.
18. Kudum Guha (cave)
On your way from Cox’s Bazar to Teknaf, you will come across Whai Kyng, and then walk 2 kilometer long walkway; you will find the location of the Kudum Guha (cave) in a hill inside a forest. The cave is 127 ft. long, 25 ft. high and 12ft. wide. Inside the cave a knee-deep Chhara is flowing and in the Chhara koi, prawn, taki and sol fishes are seen. Once upon a time, wild elephants, Sumbar, peacocks and many other wild animals including bears were seen in the hill surrounded by deep forests.
19. Chunti Sanctuary
Chunti Sanctuary is located in Chunti Union under Lohagora Upazila by the Chittagong-Cox’s Bazar-Highway. This sanctuary is the ground / field for the roam and movement of animals of various species. There are big Sivit trees and rivers. During harvesting time, elephants and wild dogs are seen. In other time bears, langurs, crabs, and deer are seen. At night cats of small-sized species, Binto Rang and pole-cats/civets, prowl at night. Some others are hornbills, laughing thrush, Ban Titir, doves, Madhupaie and the birds that eat insects. After the sunrise, wild cocks and wild hens are seen in the forest. There are 200 species of butterflies here. In the deep forest there are observation towers by means of which natural beauty can be enjoyed.
20. Cave of Kana Raja (king blind of one eye)
The cave of one-eyed king is in the Nidania Hill near Paturar Tak Beach in Jalia Palong Union of Ukhia 13 kiolmeters from Ukhia Upazila and 25 kilometers from Cox’s Bazar town. The Russian Exploration Team for oil, gas discovered the cave in 1960.The entrance of the tunnel is about 14 ft. high and 10 ft. wide, and there are two doors one on either side and there are two big rooms one on either side of the door which are straight 120-150 ft. away from the entrance gate of the tunnel. There is hearsay that a Rakhaine king built the cave for his self protection. According to the belief of local people, plenty of riches and wealth are hidden inside the cave. Therefore, this is known as ‘Dhadar Manik’.
21. Rubber Garden/ Plantation
Rubber Garden comprises a vast area around Ramu Rest House, and on the either side of Arakan Road. This rubber garden was created on the forest land of the government during 1960-61. The area of this garden is 2,682 acres of land and at present managed by the self-governing Commercial Institution. Now out of 1,130 acres of land, rubber sap/ juice is collected. In the Ramu Rubber Garden/ Plantation, there are about 58 thousand productive rubber plants. From these trees the annual production of rubber sap/ juice is about two lakh and a half kg. It may be mentioned that apart from Ramu Rubber, there are 7 rubber gardens/ plantations in Chittagong, 4 in Sylhet and 5 in Madhupur.
22. St Martin’s Island
St Martin’s Island is the sole coral Island in Bangladesh. Locally the island is known as Narikel Jinjira. There is a coral island under water 9 kilometers on the west of the island. Pieces of rock, corals, sea-beach, and rows of coconuts trees– all these have given exquisite and extraordinary beauty to the island girdled/ surrounded around by the mass of blue water. Apart from the Rest House built by the Cox’s Bazar Zila Parishad, there are many private resorts for the tourists to stay in. There are facilities to enjoy the sea waves and the beauty of the moonlit night through the transparent window panes of the cottages built close to the sea-shore. As the location of the island is in the sea, one should go there after knowing well the weather forecast in any season.
23. Chhera Island
It takes 30 minutes by trawler to go to Chhera Island from St Martin’s Island. It is the extreme point of Bangladesh and then the extensive Bay of Bengal lies. This island is a part of St Martin’s Island. As during the high tide of the sea, the island becomes completely separated, so it is called the Chhera Island. There is no human habitation here. But the fishermen catch fish by day and go back to their own houses at night. Corals and marine algae of various species are found in the depth of its transparent water.
24. Taknaf Sea-beach
Taknaf is the southernmost Upazila of Bangladesh. By jeep or by any other powerful engine-operated vehicles, you can come to Taknaf along the sandy beach close to the seashore. But the time for the high and low tides/ ebb and flow has to be taken into consideration well before starting the journey along the way. The main attractions of the journey on the way are Himchhary Hill and Inani Beach. The town of Taknaf is surrounded by hills and forests. In the forest of Taknaf monkeys, elephants leopards, and birds of various species are seen.
Kutubdia is one of the beautiful islands of Bangladesh. Kutubdia is located about 100 miles away from Chittagong. After the name of Kutub Aulia, this island has been named as Kutubdia. You can straight go from Chittagong or via Cox’s Bazar to Kutubdia. Every day from Sadarghat of Chittagong, steamers leave for Kutubdia. Winter season is suitable for going for excursion or tour or visit. There are hotels and residential hotels there to stay at night. Kutubdia is very famous for its high Light House. Besides the place of interest the shrine of Shah Abdul Malek, the natural rock that emerge from the sea, the alluvial hillock covered with green creepers and various kinds of snails and oysters are seen.
26. Old Buddha Statue
An old statue of Buddha of two thousand years lies in Ramu Upazila. This is a place of pilgrimage for the followers of Buddhism.
It is an Upazila of Cox’s Bazar. A 13 ft. high bronze statue or image of Buddha was found in Ramu in 1616. Ramu is noted for rubber cultivation.
28. Shah Parir Island
Shah Parir Island is in Sarbarang Union under Taknaf Upazila. There is a popular hearsay that fairies lived on that island, and that is why it has been name as such.
29. Naf River
The Naf River is flowing on the farthest south-west corner of Cox’s Bazar District. This elongated creed like the Naf River has isolated Cox’s Bazar from Arakan of Myanmar. The Naf River that originates from Arakan and the south-east border hills falls into the Bay of Bengal.
30. Local Tradition and Festival
The main attraction of Cox’s Bazar is the Burmese Market 4 kilometers away from Sadar Upazil Parishad. The initiation of the Burmese Market began in 1962 when a Rakhaine lady Unag started business on a small scale with light and paltry objects (tidbits) and locally produced handicrafts as wrappers, bags that could be hung on the shoulders, cigarettes, lungis for males, etc. at her own house adjacent to the Burmese Primary School at Takpara. Realizing the demand of the tourists, later on in front of her house she opened commercially a shop named ‘Cox’s Bazar Cottage Industries.’ Then one after another ‘Tin Tin Burmese Store’, ‘Rakhaine Store’, ‘Umei Store’, ‘Nurani Emporium’, ‘Bibi Fashion Diamond Store’ etc. shops developed. At the outset, there was no Burmese commodity in the stores. Later on came to the market the Burmese commodities such as—lungis, thumis, sandals, pickles, balm, slaykhas (one kind of cosmetics), stones, and various other fancy goods made of wood, oyster etc. Most of the stores are managed by women. Oyster Market is close to Cox’s Bazar sea-beach. Here various objects made of oyster are available.
On the occasion of Bangla New Year and the last day of the month of Chaitra( a Bangla month), the biggest religious, social and traditional festival ‘Baisabi’ of the tribals of the three hilly districts –Rangamati, Banndarban and Khagrachhari is held in a festive and delightful atmosphere. Though the Chakmas call it ‘Bizu’, Marma call it ‘Sangri’ and the Tripurians call it ‘Baisuk’ yet it is called ‘Baisabi’ in the whole of hilly area. ‘Baisabi’ has been formed with the initial letters of ‘Baisuk’ ‘Sangri’, ‘Bizu’. The New Year’s Day Festival is observed for three days which includes the last two days of the immediate pat year and the first day of the New Year.
The Rakhaines and the followers of Buddhism of Cox’s Bazar town, Teknaf, Ukhia, Maheskhali, Ramu, including Chakaria fly paper-balloons at night at different places in the fulfillment of their holy wishes.
On the occasion of the wish-fulfillment-full-moon, the Ramu’s Buddhists hold the festival of floating ships of traditional papers in the River Bankkhali. Children-adolescents-young boys and girls play their music, perform dances and sing songs then float ships made of artistic papers.