Lalakhal [লালাখাল] is one of the favorite places to visit in Sylhet. It is 35 km away from Sylhet city, in Jaintapur upazila. Lalakhal is located just below the Cherrapunji hills in India. The Shari river [সারি] originating from Cherrapunji flows along the side of Lalakhal. Although named ‘Khal’, that means a canal, Lalakhal is actually a river connected with Shari river. On the banks of this winding river are hilly forests, Lalakhal nature park, Lalakhal tea estate and various species of trees. You would do wisely if you travel to Jaflong and Lalakhal together, because if you travel to Jaflong you will find Lalakhal on your way. This will save both time and money.
Lalakhal: blue water, green hills, white clouds
Lalakhal is a great place to experience nature up close. Lalakhal is a combination of dense green hills, rivers, tea gardens and a variety of trees. The most interesting thing about Lalakhal is its water. You’ll see different colored water in each part of this river. Somewhere you’ll see absolutely dark blue water, somewhere it’s light blue, you’ll notice green water in a bend, and somewhere it’s crystal clear. The color of this river looks like this because of various minerals mixed with the flowing water from Cherrapunji and Khasia-Jainta hills and the sandy bottom of the river.
If you go on a full moon night, then the form of the moon-washed river will be an event to remember for a lifetime. Numerous turns are seen in Lalakhal river. Every turn is beautiful. When you look at the mountains, it seems as if someone has arranged them one by one with his own hands. Here clouds accumulate on the mountain. The floating raft of clouds comes and stops leaning on the hill. Sometimes it gets lost in the middle of two mountains.
Good time to visit Lalakhal
Winter is a good time to visit Lalakhal. In winter you will see clear water of different colors. Then there is no spate, so the water is calm and clear. Absolutely the bottom of the river can be seen from above. It is unthinkable that water can be so clear! But due to strong currents in the rainy season, the water loses its color and clarity. When you visit in winter, you will also see migratory birds.
How to get to Lalakhal
Dhaka to Sylhet by Train
Lalakhal is a tourist area near the city of Sylhet. So if you live outside Sylhet, for example in Dhaka, then you have to come to Sylhet first. Because there is no way to go directly from Dhaka to Lalakhal. You can come to Sylhet by train or bus from the capital Dhaka. Which trains come from Dhaka to Sylhet, what is their schedule, how much the train ticket price — you will find all the information here: Dhaka to Sylhet Train Schedule 2020. But if you’re to come to Sylhet from Chittagong, please have a look at Chittagong to Sylhet Train Schedule with Ticket Price 2020.
Dhaka to Sylhet by Bus
And if you want to come to Sylhet by bus from Dhaka, then the names of the buses concerned, the amount of fare and the phone number of the bus counter will come in handy. This linked article contains all the necessary information for Dhaka to Sylhet AC and non-AC buses: Dhaka to Sylhet Bus: Ticket Price & Contacts.
Sylhet to Lalakhal
If you want to go to Lalakhal from Sylhet, take a Laguna, microbus or Jaflong-going bus from the front of Osmani Children’s Park on the banks of Dhopadighi in the city, then you will reach Sarighat. Sarighat is located between Sylhet and Jaflong. CNG-powered autorickshaws to Lalakhal are available at Sarighat. If you want to go to Lalakhale by river, rent an engine-driven trawler or boat from here. From Lalakhal to Sylhet you will get bus and Laguna till 8 pm.
Where to Stay
You can spend the night on the banks of Lalakhal if you like. There is a resort called Northern Resort or Lalakhal resort. They also have their own transportation system. Another accommodation is Nazimgarh Resort, which is located in Khadimnagar, very close to Lalakhal. If you want to stay in it, it is better to contact them in advance. Otherwise getting a room at the resort can be uncertain. There are three types of accommodation at Nazimgarh Resort. It has huge terraces, small bungalows and large villas. The rent is different, but the modern facilities are the same as a five-star hotel. There are spas and pools, where you can get rid of body fatigue. The wonderful thing is, each installation is on the edge of a tree-covered hillock. Sitting on the veranda of a villa, terrace or bungalow, you can touch the trees as soon as you reach out. The cost of staying in Nazimgarh will seem a little higher than ordinary hotel-cottages. The cheapest ‘premier’ room for one night will cost around 7,000 taka, and the presidential suite will cost around 15,000. A maximum of 3 people can stay in one room, but there is no rent for a child below 8 years. Breakfast for two is included in this fare.
You can also spend the night in Sylhet after finishing the trip before evening. In addition, your afternoon trip can be to Lalakhale in combination with Bichanakandi or Jaflong. Since Lalakhal is a little far from Sylhet city, there are no boats in the river after evening. So travel or sightseeing has to end with the evening. It is best to start the journey by renting a boat.
Other places to visit in Sylhet
Apart from Lalakhal, notable places to visit in and around Sylhet city include: Hazrat Shahjalal’s Shrine, Malnicherra Tea Estate, Lakkatura Tea Garden, Jaflong, Bichanakandi, Ratargul Swamp Forest, Lobhachora, Pangthumai waterfall, Sangrampunji waterfall, Bholaganj Shada Pathor, Utmachora, Zakaria City, Ali Amjad’s clock etc.