Serene, Scenic, Sylhet. Located at the base of the mountains of Meghalaya, Sylhet, also known as 'Surma Valley', is a land of hills, plains and a network of rivers. Steeped in history, culture and religious orientation, Sylhet is one of the most interesting places in Bangladesh.
Hazrat Shah - Jalal (1271 CE - 15 March 1346 CE) is a celebrated Sufi Muslim figure in Bengal. His name is associated with the Muslim movement and the spread of Islam in Bangladesh through Sufism. According to a tablet inscription found in Amber Khana, he arrived at Sylhet in 1303 CE. The Muslim traveller Ibn Batuta is said to have met him in Sylhet. His shrine is famous in Sylhet and throughout Bangladesh, with thousands of devotees visiting daily. The largest mosque in Sylhet was built at the Dargah (also one of the largest in Bangladesh).
Hazrat Shah Paran was a Sufi saint.He was the nephew of Hazrat Shah Jalal.He took part in the expedition of Sylhet in 1303 CE which was led by Hazeat Shah Jalal. After the conquest of Sylhet he established a khanqah at Khadim about 7 km away from Sylhet town,where he started Sufi spiritual practices and activities.Certain miraculous activities are attributed to Hazrat Shah Paran. He is buried on top of a hill next to his khanqah at Khadimnagar where the Dargaha attracts thousands of devotes every day
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (18 February 1486-14 June 1534) was a Bengali spiritual teacher. He popularised the chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra and composed the Siksastakam in Sanskrit.He was born as the second son of Jagannath Mishra and his wife Sachi Devi,who lived in the town of Dhakadhakin,Golapganj,Sylhet, but later migrated to Nadia in West Bengal. His ancestral home in Dhakadhakin is still preserved and is a place of pilgrimage every year by thousands of devotees.
This used to be a picturesque site at the foot of the Khasi Hills of the Indian State of Meghalaya. However, indiscriminate stone quarrying and crashing has diminished its beauty. None the less, in the Monsoon, a drive to the border post of Tamabil, one can see numerous water falls coming down from the Kasi Hills.
This is a rain forest at Khadimnagar, 2 kilometers from the 'Garden Resort'. With its luxuriant fauna and flora and tall rain trees, it is certainly a sight worth visiting.
This is a picturesque village in West Jaflong UP that runs parallel to the nearby Khasi Hills. A very large waterfalls in the Indian side named 'Borhill' is the main attraction in the Monsoon.
Some of the earliest Tea Gardens in the Indian Sub-continent were planted in the 'Surma Valley', Malnicheera TE in 1856 CE being the first. Jaflong TE is the only garden in the country on flat land and Ganga Jhum in Lalakhal is said to be the highest in Bangladesh.
At the base of the Hills of Meghalaya in Jaflong, are a number of Punjis (villages) of the Khasi tribe. These are an ancient people who migrated to these areas thousands of years ago from present day Laos, Cambodia and Thailand. They follow a matrilineal society where women usually inherit property. Though previously 'nature worshipers', they now flow the Christian faith. The quaint houses, built on stilts and set in picturesque beetle leaf plantations are pretty and colorful.
This is the crown jewel of nature in greater Sylhet. About 45 kms fro Sylhet City, it nestles at the foot of the cloud drenched Jaintia Hills, from where the clear green waters of the Shari river descend. The unique colour of this river is mentioned in the memoires of Ibn Batuta who visited Sylhet around 1335 CE.
Located near Haripur, about 25 kms from Sylhet City, Ratargul is a miniature swamp forest. It is best visited in the Monsoon.
This is a location at the foot of the Khasi Hills where two hill ranges meet. Particularly attractive in the Monsoon, it is diagonally below Cherrapunji in Meghalaya, said to be the place of the highest rainfall in the world.
This was the capital of the ancient Khasi Jaintia Kingdom. It was annexed by the British in 1835. The Jaintia/Khasi people shared a megalithic culture, and even today Jaintapur has some of the best megalithic structures to be found in any Khasi area. These stone monoliths represent burial site as well as place of worship to ancestors.
Sylhet is a very ancient town on the bank of the river Surma. The capital of the old Hindu Kingdom of Gaur, it was conquered by the Muslim Afghan rulers of Bengal around in 1303 AD. Hazrat Shah Jalal, along with 360 disciples, arrived at that time and inspired the people to embrace Islam. The famous Muslim traveler Ibne Battuta visited Shah Jalal in 1334 and has told of his travels here. Today Sylhet is the Head Quarters of Sylhet Division. Home to the Shrines of Hazrat Shah Jalal, Hazrat Shah Paran and other numerous saints, it is also a bustling commercial and educational centre with many sights to visit.