| Chalan Beel

Chalan Beel

Type: Lake
Contributed By: Nayeem
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Brief

Chalan Beel (Bengali: চলনবিল) is a wetland in Bangladesh. It is a large inland depression, marshy in character, with rich flora and fauna. Forty-seven rivers and other waterways flow into the Chalan Beel. As silt builds up in the beel, its size is being reduced.

Chalan Beel is an extensive lowland area in the lower Atrai basin, and spreads across Singra and Gurudaspur upazilas on Natore District, Chatmohar, Bhangura and Faridpur upazilas of Pabna District, and Ullahpara, Raiganj and Tarash upazilas of Sirajganj District. It consists of a series of beels connected to one another by various channels to form a continuous water body during the rainy season. Although the beel area expands into a vast water body with dense aquatic vegetation as long as the Jamuna remains flooded during the monsoon months, it dries out in the winter months, leaving only patches of water in the central parts of this zone.

Chalan Beel is fast silting up. In the past it covered an area of about 1,085 km² but was reduced to 368 km² in 1909, of which only 85 km² remained underwater throughout the year. It has since shrunk to only 26 km².

The most important factor dominating the river history in Bengal is the large proportion of silt carried by its rivers. It is the silt which has created the land and made it habitable by building it up through the centuries. It is silt which is fertilising the land, but the silt, which has been the most beneficial gift of nature, has also produced most of the river problems now confronting the people of Bengal. Silt deposited in the old river channel beds has forced them to change course, creating problems for abandoned areas while assisting in developing new areas.

The main volume of water from the Ganges River began flowing through the Padma channel in the sixteenth century. Silt from the Padma helped in building up the southern portion of north Bengal. This is the most plausible explanation for the existence of a depression around Chalan Beel. The Teesta was active in the region until it changed its course in 1787. This territory lies in between the land raised in the north by the Teesta system when it was active and that in the south by the Padma.

However, there is another explanation for the creation of the depression. The Padma has been changing its course over the centuries. In Ven den Brouck’s map of Bengal, prepared in 1660, the main channel of the Padma is shown as flowing through Faridpur-Bakharganj, but there also is a suggestion of another, possibly earlier channel. This channel runs through Rampur Boalia in Rajshahi, Chalan Beel, Dhaleswari and Buriganga before meeting the Meghna. At that time the Jamunawas virtually non-existent and the Brahmaputra used to flow through its old channel.

How to go

After reaching at Natore, you can take CNG or Auto Rickshaw to visit Chalan Beel. For directions see http://bit.ly/1onbpVL

How To Reach: Natore District

It is approximately 196.2 km away from Dhaka. You can reach Natore by both bus and train.

Where to Stay

Things to do

  1. Take boat rides during if there is enough water.
  2. Click pictures of the beautiful nature.

Eating Facilities

Travel Tips

The ideal time to visit this Beel is during rainy season as there is a lot of water around.

Map

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