Kuakata Beach Tour, 2021
Kuakata sea beach is an amazingly scenic beach. This is the only beach in South Asia that offers both sunrise and sunset views unobstructed. Kuakata, popularly called as ‘the sea-girl’, is located on the shores of the Bay of Bengal, at Kalapara upazila in Patuakhali, the southernmost part of Bangladesh. Surrounded by Gajmati reserve forests to the east, Kuakata woodlands to the west, Kalapara habitation to the north and by the vast Bay of Bengal to the south, Kuakata beach is the most crowded tourist destination in Bangladesh.
The purpose of this article is to help a traveler with the necessary information. If you are planning to make a trip to Kuakata, I’ve put together all the information you may need for this trip. What’s the things to do in Kuakata, where to leave, how to get there, what is the fare of which transport, what are the residential hotels in Kuakata and what is their phone number, how is the food there? In this article I’ve tried to answer all your questions. Along with that I’ve included some gorgeous pictures and a nice video of Kuakata beach.
But first, if I don’t appreciate the sea-girl Kuakata a little, then the cute girl may get upset.
Kuakata, a profile picture of the Nature
Kuakata beach is 18 km long and about 3 km wide. The dense blue canopy of the sky stretched above, the continuous foaming waves of the sea on one side, and the green expanse of coconut groves and tamarisk bushes on the other side gave this beach an impressive look. In winter, a temporary fishing village and fish drying factory are set up east of the beach. There are huge teak gardens and many picnic spots around Kuakata. Alipur is the largest fishing port. In winter, flocks of different species of guest birds fly to Kuakata from far and wide. Kuakata also has many archeological sites and tribal settlements such as Keranipara, Mistripara, Seema Buddhist Temple and Amkholapara which attract tourists. As well as the pleasure of seeing the beauty of nature, you can get a real idea about Rakhine culture and traditions by taking a trip to Kuakata.
Things to do in Kuakata
Kuakata has a lot more to see than just the beach. It is difficult to say who will like what the most. Each of us has a different mind, a different sense of beauty. When I went to see the “Sada Pathor” tourist spot in Sylhet a few days ago, I liked the wild way to get there much than the main destination. However, considering the popularity, here I’m describing 6 interesting places of Kuakata, although there more things to see beyond that.
1. Take a short walk to the fishing village:
There is a fishing village at the western end of Kuakata beach. Here is the season for making shuntki from November to March. Fishes are caught from the sea and dried on the beach. You can spend some time watching this busy schedule of fishermen, if you like. And you can buy different types of dried fish at low prices.
2. Proceed to the Crab Island
If you go somewhat long way east along Kuakata beach, you’ll reach the Crab Island. You might be surprised to see thousands of red crabs scattering across the secluded beach. Speed boats are available from Kuakat Beach to Crab Island during the travel season, from October to March.
3. Get a touch of Gangamoti Forest
The Kuakata beach ends at the Gangamoti canal to the east. And from this place, the forest of Gangamati started. In addition to the diverse vegetation, the forest is home to a wide variety of birds, wild chickens, monkeys and other animals. Some people also call this forest as Gajmati forest.
4. Visit Fatra forest too, if you’ve time
Fatra Forest starts from the western end of Kuakata beach. The eye-catching forest covers an area of 13,844 acres, from Kuakata beach in Patuakhali to Taltoli in Barguna. It is the second largest respiratory forest in Bangladesh after the Sundarbans. The naturally formed Fatra forest, also known as Tengragiri forest, was once a part of the Sundarbans. Almost all the features of the Sundarbans can be seen in this forest. Forest roosters, monkeys, wild boar and various species of birds live here. Sonakata beach, which is about 4 kilometers long and 3 kilometers wide, is another destination of natural beauty. To reach the Fatra forest from Kuakata, you’ve to rent an engine boat.
5. Kuakata National Park
Kuakata National Park is a national park located on the edge of Kuakata beach in Kalapara upazila of Patuakhali district. The park, which covers an area of about 4,000 acres, was declared a national park in Bangladesh in 2010 for the conservation of flora, fauna and nature and for the development of tourism facilities. In addition to the huge Fatra forest, the park is very attractive due to the long rows of coconut trees and dense tamarisk bushes.
6. See the 'kua' of Kuakata
‘Kua’ is a Bangla word, means ‘well’. The well that bears witness to the history behind the naming of Kuakata is still there. If you want to see this well, yo’ve to go to Keranipara, the residence of the Rakhine community. As soon as you enter this village, you’ll see this ancient well.
The history behind the naming is that the Rakhines were expelled from their homeland in 1784 and took refuge on Rangabali Island on the shores of the Bay of Bengal. They cut (dug) a Kua for fresh water here as the salt water of the sea is unsuitable for use. Since then, the place has gradually become known as Kuakata.
7. Seema Buddhist Temple
If you cross the ancient Kua of Kuakata and go a little further, you’ll see the Seema Buddhist temple. The temple was formerly made of wood, recently demolished to make way for a building. The temple contains an ancient Buddhist statue made of all eight types of metal weighing about 37 maunds.
How to get to Kuakata
Kuakata can be reached from Dhaka by both river and road. You can ride a launch at Dhaka Sadarghat for Patuakhali, or via Barisal to Kuakata. If you like to go by bus, you can go to Barisal from Dhaka, then fom Barisal to Kuakata. However, if you wish to travel easily and comfortably, the river route is the best way to go to Kuakata. From Sadarghat Launch Terminal in Dhaka, first go to Patuakhali by launch, then from there take a bus for Kuakata. Or go to Barisal from Dhaka Sadarghat by a launch, then you can go to Kuakata directly by a bus from Barisal.
Dhaka to Kuakata via Patuakhali by a launch
Launches like Sundarban-9, Kuakata-1, MV Prince Awlad-7, Kajal-7, Sundarbans-11, MVAR Khan-1 left Dhaka Sadarghat for Patuakhali in the afternoon. These launches cost 800 to 1000 taka for a first class single cabin, 1800 to 3500 taka for double cabin, 200-300 taka for a deck seat. These launches go to different terminals in Patuakhali. It would be convenient to go to Amtali Ghat or Patuakhali Launch Ghat. From Patuakhali launch ghat, you’ve to take an auto rickshaw for the bus stand and take a bus to reach Kuakata. It will take about 2 hours, the rent is 130-150 taka. Or you can get off at Amtali Ghat and then go to Kuakata paying 50-70 taka from the bus stand.
Dhaka to Kuakata by bus
Kuakata can be reached from Gabtoli bus stand in Dhaka by buses of Shakura Paribahan, Druti Paribahan and Survi Paribahan. Non-AC bus fare is 650 to 700 taka per person and AC bus fare is 1000 taka. Also every morning and night buses leave from Kamalapur BRTC bus stand for Kuakata.
Kuakata Hotel Booking
There are various quality residential hotels and resorts in Kuakata for tourists. Depending on the standard and class, you can stay in these hotels for 500-5000 taka. There are also many good hotels of medium quality. The rent of a single bed in these hotels is around 300-600 taka. And if 6-7 people go together, you can take a room with 4 beds, the rent will be around 800-1200 taka. There is no need to book a hotel in advance except for the season and public holidays. Below is information on some of the best quality hotels:
1. Youth Inn (Porzoton Corporation), Kuakata
Rent: Non-AC Twin—1500 Taka, AC Twin—2500 Taka.
2. Holiday Homes (Porzoton Corporation), Kuakata
Rent: Non-AC Twin—1100 Taka, Economy—800 Taka.
These two hotels can be booked from the Tourism Head Office in Dhaka. Contact: 02-8811109, 02-989288.
3. Hotel Graver Inn, Kuakata
Rent: 3000-5000 Taka (according to different standards).
4. Hotel Sea View, Kuakata
Rent: 800-2000 Taka (according to different standards).
5. Beach Haven Resort, Kuakata
Rent: AC/Non-AC single room—800-1000 taka.
6. Hotel Sky Palace, Kuakata
Phone: 01727-507479, 01727-030248, 01716-749027.
Rent:Non-AC Couple—1200 Taka, Non-AC Twin—1400 Taka.
7. Hotel Bonani Palace, Kuakata
Phone: 01713-674192, 01911-672135, 01712-849373.
Rent: Non-AC Twin / Couple: 1250 taka (ground floor), 1650 taka (upper floor), dormitory: 4000 taka (8 beds).
8. Hotel Nilanjana, Rakhine Market, Kuakata
Rent: Non AC Single: 850 taka, Non-AC Twin: 1450 taka.
9. Bishwas Sea Palace Hotel, Beri Dam, Kuakata
Rent: Non-AC twin: 1800 taka, 3 bedded room: 2000 taka.
10. Sagar Kanya Resort Ltd, West Kuakata, Kuakata
Rent: Non-AC couple: 1200 taka (ground floor), 1500 taka (upper floor), non-AC twin: 1800 taka.
11. Hotel Kuakata Inn, Sadar Road, Kuakata
Rent: Economy Twin / Couple: 1500 Taka, Economy Family Room: 1850 Taka (1 Double, 1 Single).
12. Kings Hotel, Beach, Kuakata
Rent: Economy Double: 600 Taka, Non-AC Deluxe: 800 Taka.
Note: There are allegations that Kuakata hoteliers charge much higher rents than the quality of the hotel. So, look at the quality of your room and then finalize the rent.
Meals in Kuakata
Most residential hotels usually have their own restaurants in the Kuakata area. If you stay in a hotel that does not have its own restaurant, or if you prefer an outdoor restaurant, you can choose Hotel Shepherd, Khabar Ghar-1, Khabar Ghar-2 for quality food cooked in a home environment. They will deliver food to your residential hotel. There are also many small food hotels like Kolapara Hotel, Hotel Mannan, Hotel Barisal etc. in the tourist area. These hotels provide quality food at low cost.