Baikka Beel Sanctuary

Type: Lake
Contributed By: Nayeem


Baikka Beel Sanctuary is to protect and restore aquatic biodiversity (particularly fish and birds) in Hail Haor. A secondary aim is through the visitor facilities to enhance enjoyment of the site and understanding of nature, the value of wetlands and need for their conservation. The sanctuary and its facilities are a model that can encourage replication of similar sanctuaries elsewhere in the country. Baikka Beel is a 100 ha wetland sanctuary located in Hail Haor a large wetland seasonally extending from 3,000-12,000 ha in north-east Bangladesh.

Baikka Beel comprises of open water with emergent vegetation (mostly lotus), and a fringe of native swamp forest planted in 5-8 years ago. Originally it was protected to conserve and restore fish and it supports about 90 species of fish, but populations of wintering water birds rapidly increased.

So far 141 bird species have been recorded in the sanctuary. Up to 9 Pallas’s Fish Eagles winter, Large flocks of ducks including up to 4,500 Fulvous Whistling-duck occur in winter, Great Spotted Eagle is regular, and good numbers and diversity of shorebirds, marshland warblers and other birds occur.

Mammals are few but include Fishing Cat. A visitor tower with several permanent interpretive displays was opened in early 2007. This is the only such facility in the country and this is the only substantial community managed wetland sanctuary in the country.

It is planned to construct a visitor centre and other facilities in 2010 with funds left over from the earlier MACH project. Visitor number have not been recorded as reliably as would be ideal, but are in the low thousands per year and include student groups, diverse government officials, and a wide range of foreign visitors.

How to go

The sign on the main Moulvibazar-Srimangal road is right to you if you are coming from Moulvibazar, about 0.5 km to Bhairabganj Bazar. A tourist should start from Srimangal town, hire a CNG at station road, standard is 400-500 BDT for taking him/her to the Beel. You may take your own transport. A 4WD Jeep/SUV or similar vehicle is suggested. The country road is not suitable for sedans. You should take the road heading towards Moulvibazar.

If you drive for about 6 kilometers, you will find a signboard that tells to turn left to reach Baikka Beel. You’ll reach a road that is marked with signboards; if necessary the help of locals may be taken. You may consider trekking/bicycle ride through the country. For trekking, you can take a bus. They will drop you at the point where you have to leave the highway and get on the country road. Then trek to Baikka Beel which will take 2hours or little more. The road that takes a tourist to the Beel runs through scenic country side, typical rural area of Bangladesh.

How To Reach: Sreemangal Upazila

1. Shaymoli Paribahan:
Head Office, 25/B-1, Khilji Road, Mohammadpur, Shaymoli, Dhaka, Phone-9124139
Kalabagan Counter, Dhaka, Ph-9141047, 0171-1130862
Uttara Counter, Abdullahpur, Dhaka, Phone-0171-2839111
Kalyanpur Counter, Dhaka, Phone-9003331

2. Green Line
9/2, Outer Circular Road, Momen Bagh, Rajarbagh, Dhaka, Tel: 8331302-4, 8353004-5

3. Hanif Enterprise
22/3, Block-B, College Gate, Dhaka, Tel: +8802 9008480

Where to Stay

Sreemangal Tea Resort:
Accommodation: Bungalows BDT 3,500-5,500, Suites BDT-3,500/-, Ip rooms BDT-2,500/-. Have to add 15% vat & 7% Service charge.
Address: Bangladesh Tea Board, Bhanugach Road, Srimangal, MauloviBazar.

Hotel Tea Town:
Accommodation: Deluxe non A/c BDT 1,000-1,250, Couple BDT 1,350/-, Suite BDT-1,550-1,850/-
Have to add 15% vat & 5% service charge
Address: Dhaka Sylhet Road, Sreemongal.

3. Grand Sultan Tea Resort & Golf
Arman Khan (Act GM), Sreemangal, +8801730793552-(59)

Things to do

1. Observation tower in Baikka Beel with telescope & binocular. The area is great for migratory bird watching and getting sense of wildlife.
2. Climb observation tower: 05 taka
3. Boat ride half an hour: 20 taka
4. Boat ride one hour: 30 taka

Eating Facilities

There are no good eating facilities at the Beel. But, there are some roadside cafes (tea stalls). It is recommended for a traveler to carry food with them.

Travel Tips

The best time to watch birds is early in the morning for two hours starting from sunrise and in the afternoon since two hours before the sunset. If you are planning to watch birds in the afternoon, should start your day pretty early. It will allow you to reach the Beel at about 3:00 PM. You’ll get plenty of time to watch and take photos of birds. You should not forget to bring your tele-lens if you are into wildlife/bird photography. A boat can be hired to get pretty close to the flock of birds.


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