I had the plan to visit Sajek Valley for a long time; fortunately, I have got a chance to visit the mysterious place with some of my friends. Sajek Valley is a wonder of nature; the place is situated in Baghaichari Upazila under the Rangamati district. The Sajek is the largest union in the country. Sajek is situated in Rangamati but it is comfortable to go from Khagrachhari. Actually the beautiful place Sajek is named by a river that flows into the Karnafuli River in the Chittagong. It is situated in the north angle of Rangamati district and touches the Mizoram border of India. The valley is 1800 feet high from the sea level and its area 607 square kilometers. Sajek is regarded as the queen of the hill.
Bangladesh Army has developed a beautiful 62 kilometers road toward the Sajek Valley from Khagrachhari. Once upon a time, the place was very risky for travelers, only a few travelers dare to visit the place. But the situation dramatically changed by the helpful effort of Bangladesh Army, they ensured you sufficient security in the remote beautiful Sajek. Many rivers flow through the Sajek among them Kachalon and Machalong are remarkable. About 96 indigenous family lives in the Sajek among them main ethnic minorities are Chakma, Marma, Tripura, Lushai, Pankua and Sagma. There is another village named Kanlak nearby Sajek which is famous for the orange orchard. Most of the people are Buddhist here the rest of the people are Christian and we find a Muslim family. There is a primary school and a junior high school, the junior high school managed by the Bangladesh Border Guard. The proper accommodation facilities, water supply, electricity supply have been providing by the Bangladesh Army in the Sajek. The relentless effort of Bangladesh Army makes Sajek an amazing tourist spot in Bangladesh.
There are two ways to go to Sajek Valley, one is via Chittagong city another is via Feni bypass road, I think through Feni is more comfortable to go from Dhaka. I and some of the friends started the journey from Dhaka to Sajek Valley, but I am very much fortunate that I have got a chance to stay a night at the soil made the house at Manikchhari Upazila, Khagrachhari during the tour. I have enjoyed the night very much with friends on the hill that was my first experience passing a night in the soil made a house on the hill. The house was my friend’s relative house.
In the morning after taking breakfast on the hill, we started our main journey toward Sajek Valley. The journey is memorable in my life; it was my first journey to the Sajek Valley, even to the Khagrachhari and Rangamati. The total journey was adventurous; the road goes through the hill that will give you extra amusement. During the tour, you will find some tourist spot in Khagrachhari like Alutila Mysterious Cave, if you want can enjoy the tourist spots. During the entering in the Khagrachaari city, you will find a police check post where you have to enter your car number for security reason, from Khagrachhari to Sajek Valley you will find more Army check post without entering your car number you will not go Sajek Valley.
Once upon a time, the road from Dighinala Upazila to Sajek Valley was very risky, but Bangladesh Army totally changed the atmosphere, now it is a safe place, although sometimes criminal offense has happened by the hill track miscreant group. However, during our journey we have got total Army protection that was really amazing, the Bangladesh Army is actually helpful which is hard to believe if no one seen the situation. Army protection was started from the Dighinala Bazaar; the protection was avail until we reached Sajek Valley.
People of Sajek Valley:
The tribal people of Sajek Valley is very generous and helpful, they were many poor and modern facilities were absent at Sajek Valley before declared as tourist spot the place by the Bangladesh government. There was no electricity, water, and transportation facility but government input here all types of modern facilities. The indigenous people continue a very simple life; because there was a little job opportunity, the cultivation of ginger and yellow are the main occupations of them. They managed their livelihood by the cultivation on the hill.
Travel and Transportation:
Transportation is the main issue in the Sajek Valley because the vehicle is not available there. As if, the road is very risky and as a big snake spiral, you should be careful about your car fitness, CNG running car is unable to go the Sajek Valley. You have to ensure, there is enough oil or energy in your car. Besides your personal car, you will find there the local car named Chander Gari which is the main transportation option for the tribal people. If you want to go by the Chander Gari have to hire the car also return trip, otherwise, you may fall in returning trouble. So, it will be wise to hire the vehicle for the return trip even you hire a motorcycle.
Dining at Sajek Valley:
At present dining is the main issue at Sajek Valley, because there is not enough hotel or restaurant facility, but dining is no problem at all. There is some restaurant managed by tribal people but you have to order before for your meal. Price is little more at the Sajek Valley. There is only two cottages managed by Bangladesh they also provide you with food but it is a little more expensive for generous people. Banana is very cheap here only about 1 taka price per banana.
At present, proper accommodation facilities are available here. There two well-furnished cottages managed by Bangladesh Army-Runmoy and Sajek Resort but the price of these hotels are a little high. If you are a small budget tourist, you can stay at the tribal’s house that is a very little price to pass the night. Army’s resorts have to book prior to reaching the Sajek, otherwise, you will not find sitting in the resort. However, you have other option to book the cottage of tribal people being reached at the Sajek Valley.
Security is the major fact at the Sajek Valley; the recommendation is that you should not go into the deep of hill alone. The army will not allow you to go to some restriction places. The Sajek Valley is a little bit risky place for the hill track miscreants whose don’t want any improvement of the hill. But normal tribal people don’t support any criminal activities.
How to go Sajek Valley:
Although Sajek Valley is the part of Rangamati district, it is better to go through the Khagrachhari district. From Dhaka, first of all, you have to go Khagrachhari through Chittagong or Feni. From Khagrachhari city you have to go Dighinala Bazaar to hire Chander Gari if you have no personal car. Then Dighinala – Bagaihat Bazaar -Machalong Haat- finally Sajek. Dighinala to Sajek is 40 kilometers away.