Nijhum Dwip

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Nijhum Island
Coordinates: 21°35′0″N 92°01′0″E / 21.58333°N 92.01667°E / 21.58333; 92.01667
Country Bangladesh Bangladesh
Administrative District Noakhali District
Area
 • Total 40,390 km2 (15,590 sq mi)
 • Land 9,550 km2 (3,690 sq mi)
 • Water 30,840 km2 (11,910 sq mi)
Population
 • Total 10,670
Time zone BST (UTC+6)

Nijhum Dwip (Bengali: নিঝুম দ্বীপ; English: Silent Island)[1] is a small island under Hatiya upazila. It is situated in Noakhali District in Bangladesh. Once it was called Char Osmani

A cluster of islands (mainly, Ballar Char, Kamlar char,Char Osman and Char Muri) emerged in the early 1950s as an alluvium in the shallow estuary of the Bay of Bengal On the south of Noakhali. These new sandbanks first drew the notice of a group of fishermen, who named it Baular Char (literally, the alluvium of sand) later transformed into Ballar Char. Occupying an area of 14050 acres the island situated between 21 0 1 / to 22 0 6 /north latitude and 90 0 3 / to 91 0 4 / east longitude

Migratory Birds in Nijhum Dwip. During winter, thousands of migratory birds flock in to island. The fishermen use the airy and sunny land as an ideal place for drying their catches from the sea. Sometimes many of them also construct straw huts on the island as seasonal residences.

In 1974 the Forest Department took an aforestation program for a duration of twenty years in the north side of the island. Covering an area of nine thousand acres, it has now developed into a deep forest with a variety of plant species. Among the trees Keora is much seen. Besides this Gewa, Kankra, Bain, Babul, Karamja, Pashur and many other species are seen.

On 8 th April, 2001 the government declared the 40390 acres of forest of Jahajmara range including 9550 acres of forest land on Nijhum Dwip as a National Park for the protection and development of the biodiversity of the forest. But in practice, there a very lazy appearance of that declaration.

It was named 'Nijhum Dwip' by former Minister Amirul Islam Kalam in 1979 observing its isolation and mild nature.

Population[edit]

The population in Nijhum Dwip in 2001 was 10,670. Their main occupations are cultivation, fishing and livestock farming. The island produces vegetables. But the island suffers from natural calamities, and life is hard and risky.

Current status[edit]

Nijhum Dwip presently has six big bazaars that mainly consist of grocery shops, small restaurants and drug stores. These bazaars are the only places in the islands to have electricity from generators. The forest department of the government of Bangladesh created mangrove forests in Nijhum Dwip and the main attraction in these forests is the herd of about 5000 cheetal or spotted deer. The most common type of planted tree species in the island is Keora, also known as Kerfa, which has fast growing roots holding the sandy land. The plant also supplies pillars for houses, materials for making boats and agricultural implements, and fuel for domestic use. In 2001, the government of Bangladesh declared Nijhum Dwip forests as National Park.[2] Now this island has been declared as the unique eco-touristic spot for its ideal natural setup with the rich bio-diversification factors and the perennial mangrove forest with wild animals like spotted deer, wild boar and rhesus macaque and for the ideal habitat for fish resources. Since south coast is open to the mouth of great span of Bay of Bengal, the appearance of whale sometimes occurred. There are more than eight (8) thousand inhabitants found their permanent settlement in the island and their occupation are mainly cultivation and fishing. There are some NGO like Red Crescent, Proshika, Human Development centre and JAICA are involved with their development projects on this island.

Flora & Fauna[edit]

Wandering glider from coastal Bangladesh, found at Nijhum island, Hatiya. Anderson's common grass butterfly of Bangladesh Honey Bee from Bangladesh


Travelling to Nijhum Dwip[edit]

Travelling Nijhum Dwip is sometimes too hard because it depends entirely on tidal forces of Water. You cannot go though bus or air due to no land connection or airport. There are two possible routes. From Dhaka you must go Sadarghat Launch Terminal from where a launch everyday leaves towards Hatia (Tamuruddin Ghat). It may take 12 hours (From 5.30pm - 8.00am). From Tamuruddin ghat you can hire motor cycle to reach Jahajmara Ghat. From Jahajmara Ghat you have to cross a small channel by boat. The opposite side of Jahajmara Ghat is called the Moktarghat and from here by hiring a motorcycle you can reach your final destination the silent Island (Nijhum Dwip). From Nijhum Dwip to Dhaka (on the back journey) you must catch the only one launch which leaves everyday from Hatia (Tamuruddin Ghat) at 12.30pm. By Bus you can travel Nijhum Dwip. First you have to go Noakhali (Chairman Ghat). Then by a Sea-truck/Speed boat/Engine boat cross the river to reach Nolchira Ghat. From there you must hire a motorcycle to reach Jahajmara Ghat. Then the journey is same as stated before.

References[edit]

  1. ^ S M Mahfuzur Rahman. "Nijhum Dwip". In Sirajul Islam. Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh. Asiatic Society of Bangladesh. 
  2. ^ John Kamol Halder. "Nijhum Island". DhakaHolidays: Leading Tour Operator in Bangladesh. 

External links[edit]