About 9 sq km Sonadia Island is situated in Maheshkhali upazila of Cox ‘s Bazar district . A small beautiful island in size. This beautiful island is located about 15 km northwest of Cox’s Bazar district headquarters and southwest of Maheshkhali Island adjacent to the Bay of Bengal. The island is separated from Maheshkhali Island by a canal. It is rumored that a gold-laden ship sank here a few hundred years ago by Portuguese pirates and later an island arose around the wreckage. This is Sonadia Dbip, also known locally as Sonadia Char. You will be fascinated by the beauty of Sonadia Island.
Sonadia Island is one of the most interesting places in Cox’s Bazar. This beautiful island is very attractive to tourists. The Beauty of this mangrove and coastal forest composed island is almost impossible to believe without seeing this island. The beach, with its three-sided beach, dunes covered with sea cliffs, Keya-Nishindar bushes, small and large canals, makes the island unique. The deep blue waters of the sea, the red crabs, the Keya forest, all together have a kind of thrilling atmosphere on this island. Sonadia Island is a sanctuary for various guest birds and aquatic birds. This island can be called a paradise for migratory birds. Among the birds that come here are petrol, sniper, shank, partridge and various species of ducks.
Created from the sea, a canal flows inwards and spreads far and wide. The water of this canal is so crystal clear that it looks as if the vessel is moving on a piece of glass. Seeing that, the misery of a hundred years is bound to be forgotten in an instant. There is green forest on both sides of the canal. The forest includes Keora, Hargoza, Orighas and black and white bain trees.
On the west side of the island, open fields wrapped in green grass, solitude and endless wind, all together will fill the mind with peace. Sitting in the open field of this island will make you feel as if you are alone on an unknown island. The scenery of red crabs floking all around is very beautiful. Everything will look like a fictional scene, but it is real. The sunset on Sonadia Island is even more spectacular. In the evening, fluttering white feathers, rows of egret fly to their own address. The fading sun seems like Someone is decorating the blue sky with red tilak. Gradually when the sun is lost in the chest of the sea, an enchanting atmosphere is created.
Staying here can be one of the best nights of your life. Especially on a moonlit night you can enjoy a night camping and BBQ party on Sonadia beach to see how beautiful the world is. With your friends and your tent you can visit there for refreshment on this secluded island. Paschimpara on Sonadia Island is completely safe for sightseeing and camping. The thing about this island is that the taste of the tea is able to stay in the minds of tourists for a lifetime although the quality is very simple, but still the taste is unforgettable.
It is the main dried fish production center of the country. In winter, thousands of fishermen camp here and let the fish they catch dry. Lots of fish are dried here which are sold in different parts of the country. The island is famous for drying fish. There are different types of snails and oysters on the beach. Once the island was famous for its pink pearls.
Accommodation on Sonadia Island –
There are no residential hotels for tourists to stay on Sonadia Island. There is no specific arrangement for eating. The local people may arrange food in exchange for money. And the locals also have no trust in spending the night on Sonadia Island. However, those who come back before sunset thinking about the hardships of staying the night will be deprived of the true beauty of Sonadia Island.
If you want to spend the night, you need to stay at a local resident home. In this case, a boy named Gias Uddin from that area can arrange accommodation, you have to give him something in return. If you say in advance he will cook fresh marine fish or dried fish, he has already helped some tourists in this regard. In addition, if you want, you can stay in the office of the forest department, in that case you have to take the permission of the staff there.
How to get to Sonadia Island:
From Dhaka’s Kamalapur, Sayedabad, Kalyanpur and any other place in the country, you have to go to Cox’s Bazar first by bus, train or any other vehicle. From Kasturi Ghat in Cox’s Bazar, you have to go to Maheshkhali by speedboat or motor boat. In this case, first you have to come from Kalatali or Laboni Point to Ghat No. 6 of Cox’s Bazar. There you will get a speed boat to Maheshkhali, the fare is 75 TK per person, it will take 12-15 minutes to reach Maheshkhali Ghat. If you are afraid to get on a speedboat, you can get on a wooden boat, rent 30 TK, it will take 45-50 minutes.
You have to get off at Maheshkhali Ghat and take a rickshaw to Gorakghata Bazaar, the fare is 20 TK. Then you have to go to Ghatibhanga, the distance from Gorakghata in Maheshkhali to Ghati Bhanga is 24 kilometers. If there are 3-4 people, you can take a CNG to Ghatibhanga, the rent is 150-170 taka.
From there you have to go to Sonadia Island again by motor boat. Sonadia Island as soon as you cross the Sonadia Channel by ferry. There is not much water in the canal at low tide. There are two ways to go to Sonadia. Walking or when the tide comes then boating . Every day at high tide a trawler leaves only once from West Sonadia to Ghatibhanga. Usually leaves at 10 or 11 in the morning. This trawler picks up the passengers after a while and returns again. In 40-50 minutes you will reach Sonadia, the fare is 25 TK each.
There is a forest department building near where you can get off the boat and take some rest there for a while , or you can sit and chat in the nearby Zhaoban. Then you can go to the beach by asking the locals. You can reach the beach after walking for 10-15 minutes.
Sonadia can be reached on foot from Ghatibhanga, but it is a little difficult. If you walk, you have to go to Sonadia East Para, there is no arrangement to stay there, so it is better to go to West Para.
It is to be noted that there is an arrangement to go to Sonadia Island by reserving a speedboat directly from Cox’s Bazar. But you have to pay more than the prescribed rent. Those who love to make travel adventurous can go to Sonadia Island by speed boat directly from Cox’s Bazar at some extra cost.
Another good news, now you can go directly to Maheshkhali by car. Those who are afraid to board the boat and want to come by land or take a private car will have to get off at Chakaria on the way from Cox’s Bazar of Dhaka / Chittagong. From Chakaria you have to go to Badarkhali by jeep / CNG and then by jeep / CNG to Ghoraghata market.
Note See: it’s possible to visit Sonadia From Cox’s Bazar at one day, at least consider two days to make it out, so that you can visit Sonadia Moheshkhali Adinath Temple, Rakhine neighborhood, a Buddhist temple, Charpara, salt field,battle leaf field. Before getting on to the rickshaw, try to know the fare from a local, then bargain, or else some of the rickshaw pullers make trouble in times.
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