Nestled in the heart of the Sylhet region, Kalapahar stands tall as the highest peak, reaching approximately 1100 feet in height. Despite its picturesque charm and the ease of moderate hiking required to conquer it, Kalapahar remains a hidden gem in the tourism landscape of Bangladesh, with only a handful of adventurous souls venturing to its summit. This blog recounts my own adventure to this pristine peak and the intriguing experiences that unfolded along the way.
A Serendipitous Reunion
As I prepared to embark on this journey, I discovered that some of my fellow travelers were also keen to conquer Kalapahar. What made the adventure even more exciting was that I recognized almost all the group members from various past tours in Bandarban. With familiar faces by my side, the journey promised not only adventure but also camaraderie.
Setting Out for Kalapahar
Our journey commenced as we arrived at the bus station and, from there, secured a few CNGs to transport us to our base camp. Surprisingly, our base camp was the guide’s very own residence, located in the vicinity of Kalapahar. Our guide, an expert in navigating the trails, would lead us to the summit, while his family would take care of our meals.
The Hike through Ajgarbad
Having reached the guide’s house, situated at the edge of a picturesque tea garden known as “Ajgarbad,” we packed only the essentials and began our hike. Most of us were seasoned trekkers from Bandarban, which made this journey comparatively easier for us.
Along the way, we encountered several tribal communities, and their way of life left us in awe. The houses featured small gardens in the front, where they cultivated and sold betel leaves in the local market.
The Enchanting Peak
After approximately four hours of trekking, we reached the summit of Kalapahar. From this vantage point, we were treated to breathtaking panoramic views of the Hakaluki Haor, a natural lake. Since it was winter, the lake was teeming with an array of foreign birds, making the experience all the more enchanting.
Tales of Adventure
During our return journey, our guide regaled us with fascinating tales of adventure. He shared stories of felling trees and employing elephants to transport logs from the hills to the roads. In his early years, he had even ridden these magnificent creatures, traveling distances of 300–400 kilometers. His ability to navigate elephants over rivers and lakes was truly remarkable, and I plan to dedicate a separate article to chronicle his adventurous stories.
A Memorable Evening
As the sun began to set, we returned to the guide’s house. There, a delightful spread of food, including traditional dishes, awaited us. Sharing this meal with my fellow adventurers was the perfect end to a day filled with exploration and discovery.
The journey to Kalapahar may not be on the radar of every traveler, but for those seeking a unique and less-traveled path in the stunning landscapes of Sylhet, it is an experience worth embracing. With its hidden treasures, breathtaking views, and the captivating stories of our guide, this adventure left an indelible mark on our souls. It is a testament to the beauty and wonder that can be found in the unexplored corners of our world, and I returned to Dhaka that night with a heart full of memories and a spirit hungry for more adventures.