Keokradong, the Second Highest Peak of Bangaldesh

This story was originally published in TraveloBlog before I started this blog. Some revisions are done while importing the story here.

It should not be a tough job to reach such a higher point. But it’s rainy season now and that made the situation bit harder. We were a group of 21; 19 boys, 2 girls. 2/3 of us are going there for the second time. They are our primary guides.

We started for Bandarban by a S Alam bus on the night of 10 May. The journey was wonderful. We reached Bandarban by the very first morning of 11 May. Many of us were seeing mountains for the first time. But it was exciting for everyone.

After a break we started again for Ruma Bazar by a Chander Gari. It was supposed to be a 48 kilometer journey on mountain track following the rive Sangu. But our transport got collapsed at some point and we had to hire a boat.

So it was another 2 hours journey by boat. We were roasted by sun and later hydrate by the rain. But still this was the most exciting part.

Ruma Bazar is a very small town (its like a village market, but it has a town status). You might not get running water in bathroom or electricity in your room but it’s very cheap – something like $0.8 per person!

There is an army camp there and you have to inform them all about you – where are you from, why you are here, how long you will stay and where you will go from here etc. But they are really helpful. They will tell you something that is really very important to travel this place.

Our next destination was Boga Lake, a nearby village to Keokradong. We hired another Chander Gari to travel next 18 kilometer. But the weather didn’t support us. Suddenly it started raining and the road became to slippery for the jeep. Before 3 kilometer of Boga Lake the jeep got stuck in the mud and we had no other option but walk rest 3 kilometer with our belongings.

First it seemed quite impossible. But we had no other choice. We started singing, sometime dancing. First one hour was exciting. It was painless, just fun. But when we start climbing a big mountain it became quite impossible to hold the breath. it seemed endless. The higher we were climbing the peak also growing higher.

Well, we didn’t realize what the excitement was waiting on the other side of the peak. There is another army camp on the top of the hill. Besides it there is a huge lake with clear water! It’s really astonishing! How it happened? All of our tiredness suddenly came to zero just to see the lake.

We had to report to the army camp. They gave us some very essential guidelines like wearing full shirt, full pant and use mosquito protection cream. Because this area is a danger zone for Malaria. They also asked us to be careful about the leech.

There are 8-10 families live in Boga Lake area. We rented one of their home. It was a nice place. No electricity, no urban facility. The only drinkable water was the lake’s water.

The next day was the day to start for Keokradong. We were excited. Our guide was from a tribal community called Bawm. He gave us a brief speech about the way of Keokradong. It was a very sunny day. So we took lot of saline water.

We’ve found two water streams on the way to keokradong. Everything was really amazing. We had to walk almost 14 kilometer to reach the highest peak. There was a tiny village called Darjeeling Para just before the highest peak.

It started raining when we started from Darjeeling Para. The muddy way became very slippery and we had to walk very carefully. It took bit longer time than usual but we reached peak it at last. We started singing our national anthem when we were climbing the last steps of the highest peak. It was an extraordinary feeling that I’ve never felt before.

Still it was raining but we could see some other lower peaks where it was sunny at the same time. The rain traveled to another place some minutes later. We started taking photos. It’s going to be our one of the most favorite memories, so we took as much pictures possible.

We walked almost 4.5 hours and we stayed on the peak for more than half an hour. We didn’t want to come back but we had to. I thought it’d be easier to walk down track. But soon I realized how hard it could be. The way was too slippery and after one hour we could realize that we are losing controls of our feet.

It’d be quite impossible if someone want to walk all this way alone. There is a big chance that you may give up at some point. But we were in a group and we’ve tried to help each other all the time. So it became easier and certainly made us thankful to each other.

It was raining all through the night and the morning. It was our day to get back. Our guide told us that the jeep that stacked on the way of our coming is still staying on the same place. So we started again with the hope that may be we could travel next 15 kilometer by that jeep. but another one group reached the jeep before we do. they were a group of 8. so there was place for only another 10-12 person. so 10 of us decided to walk and another 11 went by the jeep. i was one of 10 walker. it was really amazing. the mountain has bunch of beauties. i didn’t see ocean but i think mountains are more resourceful. nothing seemed impossible when we reached ruma bazar by walking. i start believing i could travel all around the globe just on my feet. we stayed ruma bazar next 2 hours. then again started for bandarban. we were heading to catch the bus of 8:00 pm to dhaka. we took another journey by boat, then a chander gari. it was raining hardly and 7 of us were traveling on the roof of the jeep. it was very risky but exciting too. we made it at last. we reached bandarban by 7:00 pm and some of us got few minutes for shopping. next morning when we reached dhaka, it seemed we just awakened from a dream with full strength in our body and soul to travel any tough place around the world.