Sandwip is an ancient town and island with thousands of years of history and heritage. There is surprising information about Sandwip, which is unknown to many. In this post, we will know all about Sandwip Island — detailed information, how to travel Sandwip, Where to Eat, Attracting Places Of Sandwip, as well as foods and locals visiting sites of Sandwip.
The Sandwip Channel is located between the Chittagong coast and Sandwip. It is located at a distance of about 50 km by river from Chittagong district headquarters. The distance from Sandwip to the Sitakunda coast of Chittagong is about ten miles. The mainland of Noakhali is about 12 miles west of Sandwip. Hatia Island is located about twenty miles west of Sandwip. Sandwip is bounded by Sitakunda Upazila and Mirsarai Upazila on the east bank of Sandwip Channel and Channel on the east, Bamni River on the north, Meghna River on the west and Hatia Upazila of Noakhali District on the west and Bay of Bengal on the south.
How To Go To Sandwip
Every place on the island is worth visiting — Crop-filled fields, green nature, markets, simple village life, everything. You can easily see all the corners of the island from the north to the south. To the north of the island is the 100-year-old Maryam Bibi Sahebani Mosque, modeled after the Taj Mahal— Adjacent to the mosque is the big Dighi, the shrine. The traditional dry lake to the south of the island. There are also numerous mosques, schools, madrasas, large playgrounds. If you are lucky, you will be able to see the old Baul series of songs.
In the winter in Sandwip, the neighborhoods became the mouthpiece of the chirping of guest birds. The birds also catch fish with the fishermen. The birds flew away in groups. Sunrise and sunset can be observed together.
Dhaka To Kumira
You can go to Sandwip via Kumira. Any bus from Fakirapul to Chittagong will cost Tk 480 to come to Kumira. Ask the bus supervisor to drop you off at the road to Sandwip Ferry Ghat. From there you can reach Kumira-Sandwip Ferry Ghat Bridge by autorickshaw or by rickshaw for 10-20 BDT.
Sandwip from Kumira Ghat
There are speedboats and small launches from Kumira Sandwip Ghat to Sandwip. Speedboat fare is 300 Taka per person, it will take about 30 minutes to reach Guptachhara Ghat (Sandwip). If you want to stay in a hotel, take CNG from Sandwip Ghat (Guptachhara Ghat) to the Town Complex. And for camping, you can go to the west bank of Sandwip (Rahmatpur) near the river. You can get off at Sandwip Ghat and go to Rahmatpur by CNG (fare 250-300 Taka).
Attracting Places Of Sandwip Island:
There is nothing special as I tell to see on the Sandwip island, in fact, every place on the island is worth seeing – crop fields, green nature, markets, local sites, people on the villages, everything. You can easily see all the corners of the island from north to south within a day. To the north of the island you can see the hundred year old Maryam Bibi Sahebani Mosque built in the style of the Taj Mahal. There is a big dighi adjacent to the mosque, a shrine. To the south of the island is the traditional dry lake. There are also numerous mosques, schools, madrasas, large playgrounds. If you are lucky, you will be able to see Baul Jari Sari song festival. You can also visit Amanular Char to the north of Sandwip, Uri Char to the northeast, Kalapani and Kalia Char to the south.
Camping facilities can be mentioned as a special attraction of Sandwip. In this case, you can take the help of the locals to choose a suitable place. Choose the right place and pitch the tent, accompanied by the twinkling lights of the night stars, the murmur of the river under the open sky. The best time to camp is in winter, you can spend a few nights in thick fog effortlessly. The people of the island are very sincere and cooperative. Besides, you will get all the things you need easily. You can make food by shopping by yourself. You will find everything from river fish, meat to winter cakes in the markets. And the most delicious food of the winter season is the cinnamon of date juice. You can also eat the famous sweets of the island, for which you have to go to Shiva Hat in the south of the island.
Gradually, due to river and sea erosion, the size of the island has shrunk from small to 80 square miles. It is known that in the fifteenth century its size was 650 square miles. In this way, one day this island may be lost in the sea.
When returning from Sandwip Island, you can visit the below attracting places of Bangladesh as well. It is close the Sandwip.
- Sitakunda Eco Park
- Chandranath Hill
- The Jhorjhori Trail
- Komldoh Jhorna
- Napittachara Fountain
- Khayachara Waterfalls
- Bansbaria Beach
- Sandwip be pleasant.
Where To Eat:
There are several good quality hotels in Sandwip town. Moreover, the quality of hotels in Sandwip is quite healthy and affordable.
Sandwip, which is 3,000 years old, is a suitable place for winter travel. The island has a distinct reputation for hospitality. Anyone who sets foot on the island is bound to welcome you.
Where To Stay The Night:
At present, tourists are showing interest in campaigning in groups. If you want to spend a secluded night camping on the beach, there is hardly a better place than this. So, if you want, you can also come back this winter from Sandwip, green land of natural beauty.
How Much Does It Cost:
You have to get off on Kumira stand by the bus from Dhaka to Chittagong. It will cost you BDT 500 to 1500 according to the services AC or Non-Ac. and then go to Kumira Ghat by auto, the fare is 10 Taka per person. From Kumira Ghat to Guptachhara Ghat by speed boat or sea-truck. Speed boat fare is 300 Taka per person and sea-truck or steamer fare is 130 Taka per person. First, you have to come to Sandwip Town Complex from Ghat. It would be better to rent an auto / CNG, it will cost 150 to 200 Taka.
So, if you stay one night to Sandwip Island, you can complete the tour within 2000 BDT. Then if you want to camp with friends and family, it will increase the cost accordingly. At the same time, your food habits and activities may vary the mentioned price. But as it is far away from the main land, it is very tough to get many options for spending your money. In this case, you can tell it as one of the best budget tour destination in Bangladesh.
More Information About Sandwip:
In the fifteenth century, Sandwip was about 630 square miles in size, but it has now become a small island of only 80 square miles due to the continuous erosion of the river by the giant deity of the Meghna. Sandwip is 25 miles (40 km) long and 3-9 miles (5-15 km) wide.
Different people have different opinions about the naming of Sandwip. According to some sources, during the journey to Chittagong, the Badr (Twelve) Auliyas discovered the island uninhabited and named it ‘Shunyadwip’, which later took the form of ‘Sandwip’. According to the historian Beveridge, the area was named Som Island after the moon god Som, which later took the form of Sandwip. Some people called the island Swarna (Gold) Island because of its fertility and abundance. For this reason, it is also believed that the name ‘Sandwip’ originated from that ‘Golden Island’. Another reason for naming the island is that the Western European nations, when they arrived in Bangladesh from a distance, called the island a sand dune or in their language Sand Sand-Heap, from which the present name Sandwip is derived.
Sandwip’s salt industry, shipbuilding and textile industries were world famous. Being located in the coastal areas of the subcontinent, travelers from different parts of the world used to come to this region to anchor their ships and expressed interest in establishing trade and settlements in this region due to its easy trade system and transportation facilities. According to a report of 1776, about 10 lakh and 35 thousand kgs of salt produced in Sandwip was sent to different parts of the country by three hundred ships every year.
Sandwip was once world famous for building strong and beautiful ships at low cost. These ships were exported to various parts of Europe. The Sultan of Turkey was attracted to ships in the area and bought several ships from here. Sandwip was a prosperous port in India. The Portuguese colonized Sandwip in the mid-sixteenth century, attracted by the salt and ship trade, grain resources, and so on.
In addition, French and Dutch travelers often came to Sandwip for the purpose of travel and preaching. In 1345, the historical traveler Ibn Battuta came to Sandwip. In 1565, the Danish traveler Caesar Friedrich came to Sandwip and recorded many of its ancient monuments.
On 26 January 1929, Kazi Nazrul Islam, the national poet of Bangladesh, came to Sandwip with Mozaffar Ahmed. Kazi Nazrul Islam composed his Madhubala lyric play against the backdrop of his memories of Sandwip’s travels. Sitting in the shade of a tree in Sandwip, Nazrul composed many poems in his Chakrabak Kavyagrantha.
Until 1954, Sandwip was included in Noakhali district but later it was included in Chittagong district. Sandwip Thana was turned into an upazila in 1984. Sandwip has a municipality, which was established in 1999. At present there is 1 municipality and 14 unions in this upazila. The entire administrative activities of Sandwip upazila are under the jurisdiction of Sandwip police station.
Glory of Sandwip
Nowadays, the indomitable desire to know about Sandwip is often expressed in various writings. It is difficult for many, especially the new generation, to find out the unknown of the island while collecting data on our thousands of years of heritage. I am only publishing today for those who are representing this generation today who are interested in knowing. I will be very happy to see that every student of Sandwip in the age of technology depends on welfare, mindfulness and those who are engaged in its creativity to know the heritage of the island and prosper.
- The first writer of Bengali language and literature, Minnath, in the 7th century AD was a native of Sandwip. Among his descendants are the ancient poets Shri Pranakrishna Kaivartak and Sriram Das Kaivartak of the Nath community of Sandwip.
- Arab merchants had trade relations with the three-thousand-year-old island of Sandwip from the seventh century. From then on, Arab merchants started colonizing and settling in Sandwip.
- In the late ninth century, Sultan Bayezid Bostami, a famous saint, came to Sandwip from Sindh to spread Islam on the orders of his master Abu Ali.
- In 1047 AD, Mir Syed Sultan Mahmud Mahi Sawar Balki, a learned saint, came to Sandwip and preached the religion.
- In the 1300s, the famous Baro Auliya entered Sandwip and performed the Zuhr prayers. Among them, the famous saint Bakhtiyar settled at Sandwip in Mysore. His shrine was at Rahini. The ancient zamindar Abu Torab Chowdhury is his descendant.
- In 1345, the traveler Ibn Battuta visited China on his way to China. He saw many Arabs living in Chittagong, Sandwip, and coastal islands.
- In 1412 AD (636 AH) Hazrat Shah Ali Bogdadi came to Sandwip and preached Islam.
- The prosperity of Sandwip in the 1500s attracted the attention of the conquering Muslims of Bengal. At this time many Muslim and aristocratic families came from the capital to Sandwip and settled there permanently.
- In 1565, Caesar Frederick, a world traveler, bought a cow and a hen from Sandwip for Rs. He referred to the Sandwip people as ‘Moors’ (A Reach of Arabs).
- In 1582, the Tudor Malla, the subedar king of Bengal, fixed the revenue of Sandwip by including Fatehabad in the ‘Sandwip Pargana’ government.
- In 1602, Kedar Roy, a naval expert, liberated Sandwip from the Mughals with the help of Carverol, a foreign general.
- In 1603, Fateh Khan took over the rule of Sandwip and continued to rule Sandwip under Dimatur Sher. The banner of Fateh Khan used to read: By the grace of Allah, Fateh Khan was the Sultan of Sandwip, the bloodthirsty of the Christians and the destroyer of the Portuguese nation.
- In 1609, the Muslim army of Sandwip fought with the army of Gonzalez.
- From some time before 1610 AD, Gonzalez was an independent ruler of Sandwip. His defense force consisted of 2,000 armed Bengali soldiers, 70 ships equipped with artillery, 200 cavalry, and 1,000 Portuguese troops.
- Until 1615, Gonzalez was the ruler of Sandwip. After its fall in 1616, the Portuguese rule of Sandwip came to an end.
- In 1616, the Arakanese king seized the administrative authority of Sandwip by defeating Gonzalez. In the same year, King Delwar Khan defeated the Arkan king and, with the help of the people who ruled the literature of Sandwip, became an independent king of Sandwip for almost half a century. During his reign, the people of Sandwip lived happily ever after.
- During the subedari period of Ibrahim Khan between 1618 and 1622, Delwar Khan, the warlord of the Nawab, forced many Shahi subjects to live with their families in Sandwip.
- On Thursday, November 9, 1665, the Nawab’s army chief Abul Hossain attacked and captured the Sandwip fort. With the fall of Sultan Dilal on 19 November, the sun of independence of this small state set forever.
Tips When Traveling Sandwip:
- You can try the famous sweets of Sandwip. But for this, you have to go to Shiva Hat in the south of the island.
- You can rent a bicycle and go around. The best option to visit an area at Sandwip comfortably in a short time.
- Rental of rickshaws or other vehicles may seem a little high, so bargain.
- It would be foolish not to eat date juice if it is not available at this time. If you search around you will find. The taste of freshly extracted juice from the tree is different. You will remember this taste in your whole life.
- If you can taste the Finni/paise (One Type Sweet Food) of date juice somewhere, make sure to never forget the taste.
- If possible, come with locals’ favorite thick date sweets and grated coconut and Kholaja Pitha.
Note: Stop from activities that harm the environment, be friendly with the locals. If you are camping, burn it together without scattering the garbage around.
Let’s Travel Sandwip
Coconut orchards and open deserts, it would be wrong to say which island in the Caribbean! No, it is the Sandwip Island in Bangladesh. Unlike Sandwip, within this budget, it is tough to get any place in the world to pass some favorite moments with the nearest ones. The evening at Sandwip can be pleasant and memorable.
- History of Noakhali and Sandwip, compilation and editing by Kamal Chowdhury.
- Wikipedia and Banglapedia (July 2020)
- Ali Haider Chowdhury Babul, Baira, Co-president, SandwipNews24, 2015-09-02 (Glory of Sandwip)
- Other Sources About Sandwip From Journals, TV, Newspaper, and Magazines (2019)