The beauty of Panthumai
If you love a calm river, its crystal clear water, the solitude of the mountains and at the same time if you like to listen to the endless song of a drunken fountain, then Panthumai in Sylhet is for you. There are plenty of places to visit in Bangladesh, but there are no such beautiful waterfalls anywhere else.
Panthumai, some pronounce as Pangthumai, is a uniquely beautiful village at the foot of the Meghalaya hills on Bangladesh-India border. Pangthumai village belongs to West Jaflong Union of Gowainghat upazila of Sylhet district. Situated in the cool shade of Meghalaya and on the banks of the Piyain River, this village is probably one of the most beautiful villages in Bangladesh. Next to the Pangthumai village, the huge waterfall called Panthumai or Pangthumai waterfall cascades down from a high mountain, which the locals call also as Fatachori Jhorna. Another name for this fountain is Borohill Jhorna. Although the main fountain is part of India, it can be clearly seen from the banks of the Piyain River in Bangladesh. Next to it is a BSF camp. The borders of the two countries are divided here with rows of plum trees. Since there is no BGB outpost here, it will not be safe for tourists to go near the border.
White water is rushing from the hill several hundred feet high with a great speed and loud noise. Seen from a distance, it looks as if someone has spread a white Sari on a green ground. The sound of the fountain will break your confusion as you approach. You will be amazed at this primitive play of mountains and water. Maybe you want to soak your body in the cool water of the fountain. You can definitely do that. And to enjoy this beauty of the Pangthumai waterfall you don’t have to set foot outside the border. Standing on the border of Bangladesh, you can enjoy the beauty of Panthumai.
You can rent a small Dinghy for a hundred taka and go very close to the waterfall. By taking the advice of local boatmen, you can view the beauty of this amazing waterfall staying a safe distance as well as take pictures and videos.
The rainy season is the best time to visit most of the places of interest in Sylhet. Similarly, the best time to visit Pantumai Jharna is also monsoon. Then, the true beauty of the waterfall can be enjoyed as the mountain water flow is strong.
Planning a trip to Panthumai
It is worth mentioning that the travelers who visit Pantumai also include Bisnakhandi and Lakkhanchora trips in their plans. This is because it is possible to visit those three places with the same amount of money that would cost to visit Panthumai Falls only. So it would be good for you to plan to visit these three places together. We have arranged the details of Bisnakhandi travel, please take a look at this article: Bichanakandi.
On the way to Panthumai
Panthumai Falls is located at the foot of the Meghalaya Hills near the Indian border in West Jaflong Union, Gowainghat Upazila, Sylhet District. It is about 20-25 km away from Jaflong, a very popular place of interest in Sylhet. So no matter where you are in the country, you have to come to Sylhet first to travel to Panthumai.
How to go to Sylhet
Dhaka to Sylhet by Bus:
Buses leave from Dhaka for Sylhet from bus terminals like Gabtali, Sayedabad, Mohakhali, Fakirapul etc. These leave at regular intervals from morning to 12:45 am. AC buses of Green Line Paribahan, Saudia S Alam Paribahan, Shyamali Paribahan and Ena Paribahan run on this route. Rent 800 to 1100 taka. Besides, there are non-AC buses of Shyamali Paribahan, Hanif Enterprise, Unique Service, Ena Paribahan for Sylhet. The rent will be 400 to 470 taka. Click on the link for Dhaka to Sylhet bus list, fares and phone numbers for bus counters: Dhaka to Sylhet Bus : Ticket Price & Contacts.
Dhaka to Sylhet by Train:
Four intercity and one mail train regularly travel from Dhaka to Sylhet. These are: Parabat Express, Jayantika Express, Upaban Express, Kalani Express and Mail Train Surma Express. The following linked article contains all the information you need about the detailed schedule and ticket price of these trains: Dhaka to Sylhet Train Schedule 2020. And if you want to go from Chittagong to Sylhet directly by train, please see this article for details: Chittagong to Sylhet Train Schedule with Ticket Price 2020 .
Dhaka to Sylhet by Plane:
From Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka, Biman Bangladesh, United Air, Regent Air, Novo Air and US Bangla Air fly daily to Osmani Airport in Sylhet.
The ticket price for Biman Bangladesh Airlines’ domestic Dhaka-Sylhet route is as follows:
Super Saver: 3200 taka;
Economy Saver: 3700 taka;
Economy Flexible: 4200 taka;
Business Saver: 5900 taka;
Business Flexible: 6900 taka.
How to go to Panthumai from Sylhet
From the CNG station at Amberkhana in Sylhet, you have to take a local CNG at 140 to 160 taka per person to reach Hadarpar. It can cost 1000 to 1500 taka to reserve a CNG for the whole day. To visit Bisnakhandi (Bichanakandi), Panthumai falls and Lakkhanchora together from Hadarpar boat ghat, fix a boat in consultation with the boatman. It may cost 800 to 1500 taka to rent a boat. Renting a large trawler can cost up to 2,500 taka. In winter and at the beginning of the monsoon, when the water level in the river is low, you can reach Bisnakhandi on foot from Hadarpar. Then motorbikes ply on this route for 50 to 60 taka.
Make a good bargain on rent. And due to the differences in the seasons and tourist presence, the rent may be more or less. In case of any unwanted problem, you can call Upazila Nirbahi Officer (01730-331036) or Upazila Parishad (01919-515960) for help.
Where to Stay
Panthumai is a village. So there is no hotel to stay. You can return to Sylhet to spend the night or get a vehicle to back to Dhaka. Tourists feel comfortable to stay in Sylhet as they can leave for Panthumai in the morning and return within the evening. In Sylhet you will find different kinds of hotels according to your need. Notable hotels in Sylhet include Hotel Hill Town, Hotel Gulshan, Hotel Dargah Gate, Hotel Kaikobad etc. If you look for lowest priced residential hotels in the city, you may go to Lalbazar area. There you can spend the night in a fairly good hotel for 300 to 1000 taka only.
Where to eat
If you visit Bisnakhandi at the end of your Panthumai tour, you will find some temporary food hotels there. In those hotels, eating as many rice and pulses as you want with a certain curry and dried fish will cost you 120 to 150 taka. You may carry some dry food and water with you when you start to Panthumai. Please don’t forget to taste ‘Gani Mia’s Vuna Khichuri’ in Hadarpar bazar.
There are different quality restaurants in Sylhet city, you will get everything you need. In the Zindabazar area of Sylhet, you can eat local food of your choice at Pansi, Panch Bhai or Palki Restaurant. These restaurants offer a wide variety of bharata and bhaji at affordable prices.
Other places to visit in Sylhet
When you visit Sylhet, you can see some more special places around the city besides Panthumai. Honestly, Sylhet is full of natural beauty. Other notable tourist destinations in Sylhet include: Hazrat Shahjalal’s Mazar, Hazrat Shahparan’s Shrine, Malnicherra Tea Estate, Jaflong, Ratargul Swamp Forest, Bichanakandi, amazing Lovachora (Luvachora), Bholaganj Shada Pathor, Utma Chora, Lalakhal, Sangrampunji waterfall, Ali Amjad’s clock, Hakaluki Haor, Dreamland Park, Zakaria City etc.