Kaptai Lake is an artificial lake in Rangamati district in the Chittagong Hill Tracts region of Bangladesh. The construction of the Kaptai Dam on the Karnafuli River in 1956 for the Karnafuli Hydroelectric Power Station submerged 54,000 acres of agricultural land in Rangamati district and created this beautiful lake.
Kaptai Lake is basically the regional name of Karnafuli Lake. With an area of 256 square miles, the largest artificial lake in South Asia is one of the major attractions for domestic and foreign tourists. High and low hills, mountain streams, winding mountain roads, dense water and greenery, dark green forests, trees, flowers, fruits and the lifestyle of the tribes are some of the features of Kaptai Lake.
The lake is rich in various species of fish and biodiversity. There are hanging bridges for tourism, agricultural farms, Shuvolong springs and natural beauty, Peda Tingting Restaurant, Sangfang Restaurant, Chakma king Rajbari, RajBan Vihara, Tribal Museum, Deputy Commissioner’s Bungalow, Mausoleum of Birshreshtha Munshi Abdur Rauf and Tribal Life.
Kaptai Lake is the largest man-made freshwater lake in Bangladesh, even in Southeast Asia. Although it is mainly used for hydropower generation, the reservoir is rich in freshwater fish. Its contribution to navigability, flood control and agricultural cultivation is also significant. The reservoir was formed at Kaptai in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (22° ´ 09 ´ north latitude and 92° 1৭´ 18 east longitude) due to the construction of a dam on the river Karnafuli. The area of the main lake is about 1,722 sq km, but the surrounding area is also flooded by about 777 sq km. The reservoir is mainly limited to Rangamati district which includes Rangamati Sadar, Kaptai, Naniarchar, Langadu, Baghaichhari, Barkal, Jurachhari and Bilaichhari.
Although created for the purpose of hydropower generation, Kaptai Lake has made significant contributions to the overall fisheries of the country starting from fish production, earning foreign and domestic currency, socio-economic development and livelihood of the locals.
How to go:
You can reach Rangamati in different ways. Among the buses plying in Rangamati are: Hanif, Unique, Saudia, S Alam, Shyamoli etc. You can reach Rangamati from Dhaka in 7 to 8 hours with a fare of around 600 / -. There is no AC bus in Rangamati except the only AC bus of Shyamoli Paribahan. You can also take a bus from Dhaka to Chittagong and reach Rangamati by bus from there. However, it will be easier to go directly to Rangamati by bus from Dhaka.
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