Maheshkhali is a 362 sq km island upazila in Cox’s Bazar district. It is the only hilly island in Bangladesh. It is boundaried on the west by Kutubdia Island and Bay of Bengal, on the east by Chakoria and Cox’s Bazar Sadar Upazilas, on the south by Cox’s Bazar Sadar and Bay of Bengal and on the north by Chakoria Upazila.
According to historians, the place is named after Shiva’s other name ‘Mahesh’. It is alleged that at one time a farmer found a rocky idol in the forest. In a dream, he learned that it’s an idol of a Hindu god named ‘Mahesh’. After that He built a temple and placed the idol there. According to the Portuguese traveler Caesar Frederick, the catastrophic cyclone and tidal wave of 1559 caused the island of Maheshkhali to become detached from the mainland. Maheshkhali Channel and Bakkhali are notable rivers here.
Maheshkhali Upazila is straight to the west of the town, crossing Maheshkhali Channel, along with the jetty, and this small town of only three square kilometers is like the other upazila towns of the country. Even if there are no spectacular places to visit significantly , still you can pay a visit to the city.
Before entering the market from Maheshkhali Jetty, on the left side of the road is Maheshkhali Big Buddhist Keyang or Temple. Inside there are several Buddhist temples. Several bronze Buddhist statues can be seen in this Kayang. However the most notable of these is the meditative Buddha statues, the Buddha lying on his hand, and the huge standing Buddha statues.
Adinath temple is on top of Mainak hill in Thakurtala village of Gorakh Gatha union of Maheshkhali. The temple is located at an altitude of 85 meters above sea level. The temple is 10.50 meters long, 9.75 meters wide and about 6 meters high. The internal arrangement of the temple is divided into three parts. The northern part is the oldest.There is another idol statue called ashtabhuja on the side of the Adinath temple . On the first side of the northern part, there are Adinath Banalinga Shiva idols and octagonal Durga idols in two square worship rooms. The front entrance is arched.
The Adinath fair has been centered around the Adinath temple for a long time. It is believed that this fair has been introduced since the temple was built. This fair is organized every year on the occasion of Krishnapaksha Chaturdashi meaning Shiva Chaturdashi in the month of Falgun. Apart from different parts of the country, Hindu pilgrims and tourists from India, Nepal, Myanmar and many other countries gather on the occasion of this fair. Although a fair for Hindu devotees, the week-long event turned into a public fair for people of all faiths.
It takes twenty minutes to reach Maheshkhali by speedboat from Cox’s Bazar Kasturi ghat. The rent per person is 80-150 TK. In addition, the engine takes about an hour to go to the boat. Rent 30-50 taka. Those who want to go directly to Adinath temple have to go from Kasturi Ghat to Gorakh Gatha first.
Sonadia is a small island under Maheshkhali upazila. The island covers an area of about nine square kilometers and is located in Huanak Union of the upazila. Sonadia is located south-west of Maheshkhali. Sonadia is about seven kilometers straight west from the tourist town of Cox’s Bazar. The boundless natural beauty of this island easily captivates people’s minds. A group of brave fishermen live on the island. And that’s why the whole island is scenes of dry fish & goods production. Respiratory or mangrove forests can also be seen in Sonadia besides the secluded beach, Zhou forest on the shore is also another level of refreshment. The blue water of the sea merged on the distant horizon, what is not here? As the island is Slightly secluded, maybe that’s why the shy bloody red crab sanctuary is here on Sonadia Sagar beach. Somewhere red crabs sometimes roam the beach. And quickly hide in the hole again after hearing the footsteps of the tourists.
How to get there:
If you want to go to Maheshkhali, you have to reach Cox’s Bazar first. Cox’s Bazar can be reached directly from Dhaka by road and air. Green Line, Saudia, Sohag, Hanif, TR and other transport companies run heat-controlled luxury buses on this route. Rent 1150 taka. Apart from this, non-AC buses of S Alam, Saudia, Shyamoli, Unique, Eagle, Hanif, etc. also run on this route. Rent 600-750 taka. Apart from this, you can go directly to Cox’s Bazar from Dhaka by Bangladesh Biman, United Air and GMG Air and Regent Air. The way to Maheshkhali from Kasturi Ghat in Cox’s Bazar has already been mentioned. However, this route can only be used in the winter season. At present it is possible to visit Maheshkhali, Sonadia and Dhalghata by road in other seasons as well. For this, you have to go directly to Maheshkhali by crossing Badarkhali bridge through Chakoria. There is no good bus service on this route. So you have to take the reserve car.
Where to stay:
There are now plenty of hotels to stay in Cox’s Bazar. Depending on the type, the daily room rent of these hotels is 300-20000 taka. Below are the phone numbers of some of the hotels for the convenience of the readers.
Bangladesh Tourism Corporation has Hotel Shaibal in Cox’s Bazar, Phone: 63274. Motel Upal, Phone: 64258. Motel Coral, Phone: 63211. Motel Laboni, Phone: 64703.
These hotels can also be booked from the head office of the Tourism Corporation in Dhaka.
83-88, Mohakhali Commercial Area,
Dhaka. Phone- 9899288-91.
Apart from this there are other hotels
- Hotel C Gal, (Five Star), Phone: 62480-91, Dhaka Office 8322973-6.
- Hotel Simon, Phone: 63235, Dhaka Office 8614565.
- Hotel C Queen, Phone: 63789, 63878.
- Hotel Sagar Gaon Ltd. Phone: 63445, 63428.
- Sugandha Guest House, Phone: 62466.
- Zia Guest Inn, Phone: 63925.
- Hotel Sea Heart, Phone: 62298.
- Hotel Diamond Place and Guest House, Phone: 63642.
- Guest Care Ltd. Phone: 63930.
- Hotel Panwa Lee Phone: 64430.
**** Cox’s Bazar NWD Code-0341.
There is no good arrangement to stay in Maheshkhali, Sonadia and Dhalghata. You have to visit Cox’s Bazar from day to day. However, you can stay in a safe place to visit Sonadia and Dhalghata.
If you have more information or any correction in this information please comment here.