Haringhata Deer Forest
Haringhata forest has been formed near the sea at Patharghata in Barguna. There are more than 10 thousand deer in this forest. The rivers Bishkhali, Baleshwar and Payra flow through this forest and merge into the Bay of Bengal. The forest is a sanctuary for many known and unknown plants and wildlife. But there are no ferocious animals. So, tourists can roam in the forest without any fear.
Haringhata forest is mainly famous for its spotted deer. The sight of flocks of deer wandering in the secluded forest attracts more tourists. However, in addition to ‘Harin’, there are many other animals in Haringhata. There are 20 species of wildlife including wild chickens, monkeys, pigs, monitor lizards, red crabs and various species of reptiles. There are also 70 species of birds.
A total of 18 canals flowing through Haringhata forest. At high tide, the canals are filled with water. Then tourists can enjoy the beauty of the forest riding small boats.
On the southern boundary of the forest, where a strip of sandy land has been formed at the mouth of the sea, a dried fish village has developed. A bridge-shaped foot trail has been constructed across Haringhata forest, which is very attractive. Walking along this foot trail built on high pillars, nature lovers get a chance to safely see the life and nature of the forest and the sea.
Initiatives for Haringhata Forest
According to Patharghata Forest Office, the forest was naturally formed at the mouth of the sea, six kilometers away from Patharghata upazila town. Since 1967, the Forest Department has been planting various species of trees to expand Haringhata forest. Currently, the picturesque forest covers an area of 24,000 acres.
Keora, Gewa, Sundari and Tamarisk are the most abundant trees in Haringhata forest. Bangladesh Forest Department has been constructing the 2,950-meter-long foot trail since 2010, with the funding of the Climate Trust Fund, to develop the protected forest as a popular tourist area and to make Haringhata forest and the seashore spectacular.
The foot trail will be gradually extended through the forest up to the tamarisk bushes at the coast of the sea. A watch tower, restroom and round house have also been constructed in the forest for the convenience of tourists.
Things to do in Harinaghata
In Haringhata forest, you’ll love to walk along the long wooden trail to see the beauty of nature, take pictures of various animals including deer flocks and plants, enjoy a boat ride in the canals flowing in the forest during the rainy season, see the life and livelihood of the fishermen in dry fish village.
Haringhata deer forest shaded by dense green vegetation. Its beauty is further enhanced by the adjacent Laldia beach, Padma beach and Lathimara beach. The beaches are the better places to watch the sunset and sunrise.
If you wish, you can go to the estuary of the three rivers and the sea to soak your body in the sea water, or you can cross the Baleshwar river and peek into Sundarbans. There is also a picnic facility at Haringhata Tourist Center.
You can reach Kuakata beach in two-three hours from Haringhata forest.
How to get to Haringhata
Buses go directly from Gabtali in Dhaka to Patharghata, fare 650 taka. If you want, you can also board a launch going to Barguna or Barisal. Buses leave Barisal for Patharghata every hour. The bus fare from Barisal to Patharghata is 180 taka. If you travel on a Barguna-bound launch, get off the launch at Kakchira Ghat, then rent a motorbike to get to Patharghata. It takes 30 minutes to reach Haringhata by a bike from Patharghata. Besides, in Barguna town, cars can be reserved to make a trip to Haringhata.
Where to stay
There is no good arrangement for overnight stay in Haringhata. In Patharghata, however, there is a government bungalow and a few residential hotels. If, at the end of the trip, you can return to the city of Barguna, you’ll find the hotels of your choice.