Floating Guava Market, Jhalokati
The floating guava market at Bhimruli in Jhalokati is really a strange market. Instead of shops, there are hundreds of boats in that water market. Those boats, of all the same size and design, are loaded with yellow-green guavas. Selling and buying goes on from morning to evening every day of the week. Most of the buyers are wholesalers. They came to the market with big engine boats. They buy guavas from small boats and ship them to Dhaka or any other big city.
Guava orchards cover large areas of Jhalokati, Barisal and Pirojpur districts. There is nowhere else in Asia with so many guava gardens. Here, guava is cultivated in about 24,000 acres of land. About 80% of the total guava of the country is produced in this region.
Gardens abound in this area, so many floating markets have sprung up for marketing. However, the largest market is Bhimruli Floating Market. Although the market is open all year round, it is crowded most during the full guava season. The village of Bhimruli, about 15 km from the district town of Jhalokati, is home to a huge floating guava market at the mouth of three meandering canals.
Guava worth hundreds of crores of taka is traded in this market from July to September every year. However, the best season to visit the floating guava market is August. Apart from guava, there are many sugarcane orchards around Bhimruli village. When the guava and sugarcane season is over, the hog-plum season starts. Hog-plum yield is also ubiquitous in this region. Finally comes the betel nut season. Apart from fruits, various vegetables are also sold in these markets. Thus, the floating markets in the area remain busy with raw materials throughout the year.
The view of the canals filled with rain water, the green nature on the banks and the countless boats filled with green-yellow guava is really enjoyable. You’ll love to sail through the floating guava markets in a small boat or trawler. So, you can plan now to make a trip towards the floating guava market in Jhalokati.
On the way to the floating market, don’t forget to taste the hot desserts at Rituparna shop in Kuriana Bazar, and have lunch at Baudi’s Hotel in the market. When you leave for Barisal at the end of your floating guava market tour, you can visit the fascinating Gutia Masjid and Durgasagar Dighi in a short time.
How to reach the Floating Guava Market
Launches leave Sadarghat in Dhaka every evening for Hularhat. Fare for deck 200-250 taka, single cabin 900-1000 taka. From the launch, you have to get off at Nesharabad or Swarupkathi. Then rent a trawler for 4-5 hours. You’ll reach Bhimruli Bazar via Atghar, Kuriana along the Nesarabad canal. Go to Bhimruli Bazaar and see hundreds of guava boats across the canal. You can buy some guava if you wish. Then you can turn around and have a lunch at Kuriana Bazaar.
From Kuriana, you can reach Rayerhat by a van. There you will find Barisal-bound buses. Or you can reach Barisal by launch / steamer from Dhaka any day in the evening. You can also go to Barisal from Dhaka by a bus, and from there you can go to Jagadishpur Bazar by autorickshaw and reserve a trawler and roam all day. The rent will be 2000-2500 taka.
If you want to go by bus
AC buses of Sakura Paribahan goes from Gabtali in Dhaka to Jhalokati. The rent will be 800 taka. Apart from this, non-AC buses of Druti, Eagle, Survi and Sakura Paribahan also run on this route, the fare is 350-450 taka. There is another bus, of Sugandha Paribahan, from Sayedabad to Jhalokati Sadar. It takes about half an hour to go to the floating market by motorbike from Jhalokati district headquarter. And it takes an hour to go by motor boat. Engine-powered boats are available for rent from Jhalokati launch dock or Kathapatti. It can cost you 1500-2000 taka to rent a boat for 10 people. However, it’s better to ride a motor boat than a motorbike. You’ll get on a Khulna-bound Dhansinri Paribahan bus from Rupatali bus stand in Barisal. After crossing Jhalokathi, ask to drop you at Kirtipasha junction. Bus fare is 60 taka. From there, you can go to Bhimruli by autorickshaw for 20-30 taka.
Where to Stay
You can spend the night at Dhansiri Rest House, Halima boarding or Arafat Boarding in Jhalokati for 100-200 taka. But to spend the night in a good quality hotel, you’ve to come to Barisal city. There are several residential hotels of different quality in Barisal city.