Sada Pathor, Bholaganj: Where Nature Paints with White Stones
‘Sada Pathor’ means white stone in Bangla. Here, the entire area is covered with white stones, which is why people now refer to it as Sada Pathor. Today, it has become a highly popular tourist spot in Sylhet, situated in Bholaganj within the Companiganj upazila of Sylhet, near the northern border of Bangladesh.
Besides the wide stretch of white rocks, Bholaganj attracts numerous visitors each day due to its stunning views of the river, the ropeway, stone quarries, and the lush green mountains. In the past, people used to travel directly from Bholaganj to Shillong in India. The ropeway was established during the British colonial rule. The Bholaganj quarry happens to be the largest stone quarry in Bangladesh.
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The Beauty of Sada Pathor
White stones and rocks scattered as far as you can see. The walls of the high Meghalaya mountain are steep on both sides. In the middle of it, a strong stream of crystal-clear water jumped down from the mountain. The murmur of the current of water is floating in the air. The blue sky and the green mountains cast a dense shadow over the water. The view is really amazing. So, If you ever get a chance to visit Sylhet, don’t back without enjoying the stunning beauty of Sada Pathor.
Bholaganj Sada Pathor has great similarities with three other popular tourist destinations in Sylhet. These are Jaflong, Bisnakandi and Utma Chora. All of the four places are located at the foot of Indian Meghalaya, Khasia-Jainta and Cherrapunji hills. Similarly the four places are the source of four separate rivers and filled with lots of stone quarries.
As the days go by, more and more tourists are rushing to visit Sada Pathor. Because the spot is purely natural. There is no artificial construction anywhere. No one had planned for this spacious bed of white stones. There is no sign of human intervention. All of this has been made up of insane flood waters, dashed down from Meghalaya.
The river bottom is not horizontally flat here. Rather it’s sloped down like a stair descending from the top. As a result, a swifter current and continuous murmuring were made. Underneath the stream there are enormous large, white, blue and brown rocks too. Some of them are as high as human. The stream jumps again again striking from those rocks. If you listen to this murmuring of water for a while, you will be fascinated.
Make a Flexible tour plan for Sada Pathor
A convenient thing for travelers is that the places mentioned above are not too far from each other. So if you like, after visiting Sada Pathor you can go straight to Utma Chora, a secluded and beautiful place located three kilometers east of Bholaganj. From there you can leave for Bisnakandi. Next to Bisnakandi, there is a wonderful spring called Panthumai. Jaflong is further east of it. If daylight is still left, then you can start for Jaflong. And if night falls, go back to Sylhet city to take a rest and move towards Jaflong the next day.
Icy water in Sada Pathor
Sada Pathor spot is very close to the source of Dholai river. Let me tell you about the coolness of its water from my own experience.
‘The Ice-melt River’ is one of the best novels in Bangla literature. The name immediately came to mind when I went down into the water of Bholaganj Sada Pathor. I realized that it was literally an ice-melted river. It was summer. Hot sunshine all day long. The heat of the sun is burning all around. The rocky beds of the beach are hot. None can set foot without shoes. My whole body was drenched with sweat. So, I hurried down to the water. I grabbed a big stone and drowned. Then drowned into water up to the nose, tranquility—oh, what a great relief!
Dipping my body up to the nose, I looked at the other bank. There were white clouds floating over the mountains like carded cottons here and there. And below, a dark shadow of clouds laid over a part of intensive greenery, while the rest of the wide forest were shining with yellow rays. Exquisite beauty of the nature overwhelmed my heart and the icy water cooled all the nerves of my body.
Shortly afterwards, I noticed that in this hot noon of summer, my body has started to freeze in cold and teeth are shivering. I had to get out of the water. I sat on a large rock chilled in the shade of an umbrella. Then I took my mobile phone out of my bag and started taking pictures of this eye-catching scene, from which I have included some pictures in this post.
How to go to Sada Pathor
Sada Pathor tourist spot is at Bholaganj zero point in Companiganj upazila of Sylhet. The north end of Bholaganj, near the Indian border, is called ‘10 number area’. The place is 35 km to the north from Sylhet city. It takes about an hour to get by a bus or autorickshaw.
Since the largest stone mines of the country are at Bholaganj, the Sylhet-Bholaganj Highway is a busy road under the pressure of thousands of trucks. In the past, the road was very bad. But now the entire road has been rebuilt, widened, with stone-cement instead of pitch.
Apart from the local buses, two new bus services have now taken to the streets: BRTC’s double-decker bus and ‘Sada Pathor tourist transport’. There are also CNG-operated auto rickshaws. CNG-operated auto-rickshaw station is at Amberkhana point, Sylhet. Up to ‘10 number area’ of Bholaganj, the CNG fare per person is Tk. 120. The bus-stop is located in Mazumdari, approximately two hundred yards north from Amberkhana. From Mazumdari to Zero Point near ‘Sada Pathor’, BRTC double-decker bus fare is Tk. 60 and tourist bus ‘Sada Pathor Transport’ fare is Tk. 70. You can also board a local bus at Mazumdari for Bholaganj Point, then can reach the ‘10 number area’ boat-ghat by a rickshaw or tomtom. However, local mini-buses are very small and old.
Sada Pathor Bus Ticket Booking
It’s better to take a BRTC double-decker bus or tourist bus ‘Sada Pathor Transport’ from Mazumdari if it’s severe winter or rainy season, otherwise you can take CNG-auto-rickshaw from Amberkhana. You may reserve a 29-seat tourist bus ‘Sada Pathor Transport’ when traveling in groups. Below are the ‘Sada Pathor Transport’s mobile phone numbers:
Sylhet Ticket: 01311-612455.
Companiganj Ticket: 01311-612459.
Bholaganj Ticket: 01311-612456.
Sada Pathor Ticket Info: 01311-612457.
From Bholaganj ‘10 number boat-ghat’, you have to board on a boat to reach the ‘Sada Pathor’. These are small and wooden motor-boats. In 10 number boat ghat, you will see many boats are lined up. Each boat can carry up to 10 passengers. The fare of a whole boat for three-hours Sada Pathor tour is tk. 800.
Hotels near Sada Pathor
Good quality food is available at Pakshi Restaurant & Hotel Asia in Bandarbazar; Pansi, Panch Bhai and Bhojonbarhi in Zindabazar; Habib and Ishtikutum Restaurant in Amberkhana of Sylhet city. However, ‘Panch Bhai’ is most popular for affordable prices and food variety.
Besides, you may have your meal on the way at Companiganj Sadar or Tukerbazar. ‘Pansi Bari’ restaurant is located next to the highway at Companiganj Sadar, where almost all items of fish, meat and vegetables are available at reasonable prices. In addition, they provide special parcel service for tourist groups. To order in advance at ‘Pansi Bari Restaurant’, you can call 01707-394060.
Moreover, there are medium-quality dishes at the Al-Makka Hotel in Tukerbazar and Megher Bari Hotel at the ‘10 number area’ of Bholaganj. But the environment of hotels in Tukarbazar and Bholaganj is dusty, so it would be convenient to have Sylhet city or Companiganj Sadar planned for your eating while you’ll be on the way to Bholaganj Sada Pathor.
Nearby Places of Interest
There are several beautiful tourist attractions near Sada Pathor. Utma Chora is only 3 km to the east. Bisnakandi is also not far away. Jaflong and Panthumai springs are two amazing tourist destinations. Ratargul swamp forest is famous for visitors from home and abroad, and ‘Lalakhal‘ is called as the ‘Nile of Sylhet’. The following article provides a detailed report with images on selected and popular tourist destinations in Sylhet:
Caution while Traveling to Sada Pathor
Sada Pathor is situated near the origin of the Dholai River, where a forceful current descends from the mountain slope. The water contains both small and large stones, some of which are slippery. Therefore, it is advised to refrain from diving into deep water if you lack swimming skills. Even if you are a proficient swimmer, it is important to exercise caution to avoid slipping and submerging. Every year, numerous tourists meet with fatal accidents while visiting Bholaganj Sada Pathor. If you are accompanied by your family, it is crucial to remain particularly vigilant, especially towards children. Avoid venturing too far or entering deep waters, and instead, stay in close proximity to others.
See Sada Pathor in a Video
I captured this video of Sada Pathor with my simple Nokia phone. What a strong current! And look at the color of the water, what a dark blue it is! This is how Sada Pathor continues to fascinate beauty-loving tourists.