Night on Bandarban’s Marayan Tang hilltop

To appreciate the awe-inspiring landscape of the mountains, I ascended to the summit of Marayan Thang Jadi. It had already become twilight at that juncture. The surrounding environment lacks any visible light, with only darkness present. A sudden realisation occurred within me when I gazed upwards at the celestial expanse. The gaze is captivated by the meticulously organised galaxy. One experiences a sensation akin to being in outer space when observing the stars. A multitude of stars were observable from the location of our camp. Perched upon an unfamiliar tree, the celestial bodies amassed a narrative over the nocturnal hours.

I felt like I was freely moving about with many celestial bodies. It was 3 p.m. Abruptly, an intense sensation permeated the entirety of the human body. It appeared as though a frigid substance had touched it. Following this, I became aware of a cloud’s arrival and subsequent disappearance, accompanied by a captivating sensation. Consequently, the duration of waiting for the morning increased. There was a consensus among individuals that we would experience a state of buoyancy upon the arrival of the morning. In the absence of morning light, I experienced a sensation akin to standing on an all-white expanse. Clouds were accumulating in the crevices of all the mountains, nearby and at a considerable distance. A golden radiance lit the entire valley. Subsequently, I observed that the sun was on the verge of descending. Every instant is distinct in its manner. Periodically, we have observed the metamorphosis of Marayan Tang Jadi into an alternative form. When we desire to see clouds, we journey to regions such as Darjeeling and Shillong, along with other highly acclaimed destinations in the country. Did you know there are specific areas in the country where clouds form and rain occurs daily, making the surroundings appear indistinct? The presence of clouds on the slopes of mountains gives rise to rivers or reservoirs, making you appear to be submerged in water. Standing on the summit of the Marayan Tong Jadi is thrilling and challenging. The height difference between this mountain and sea level is 1660 feet. The four of us hastily reached Marayan Tang Jadi Hill, situated in the Alikadam Upazila in Bandarban, with a keen interest in observing the inherent shape of the mountain folds.

The distance we had to traverse on the mountain road to reach the summit of this mountain was around five kilometers. During the counting process, there were five distinct trails, with the most pronounced trail extending at an inclination of seventy-two degrees from the ground to the summit. The road remained completely level, without any descent. It is a rocky path that extends from the trail’s starting point to its highest point.

Upon reaching the crest, your initial sight is a colossal vase. Buddhists crafted the Buddha statue, known as Jadi, for worship. The vase’s intricate craftsmanship creates the impression of witnessing a mysterious natural event from a significant distance, adorned with a smile on its lips. Rise while bypassing the container.

Although the hill rises rapidly, the upper portion maintains reasonably level terrain. The Matamuhuri River displays a meandering flow pattern in its vicinity. The thunderous sound of the Bay of Bengal can be perceived by people with relatively narrow ears. From this perspective, the only observable features are mountain ranges. Jumghar interrupts and participates in the act of observing. Diverse ethnic groups populate the geographical area under consideration, which includes the states of Tripura, Marma, and Murang.

The Marmads inhabit the lower region of the Marayan Tong Zadi and demonstrate a significant level of bravery. Nevertheless, a perplexing aspect lies in the hilly folds that obscure the Murongs’ dwellings. The vertical space between their stems and the ground gradually increases. The residences function as biological environments for many animals, including bovine species such as cows, goats, pigs, and chickens. Commonly, stacks near the animals store the necessary firewood.

We spend most of our time here relaxing and participating in leisure activities. Various activities can occupy one’s time in this location, such as reading a book, reclining in a tent or an open area, or viewing the motion of clouds. Instantaneously, a cloud or raindrop will descend and touch the ground, giving the situation a distinct character. Beautiful melodies emanate from the tribal abodes each morning and afternoon. The language and accent of these songs are different.

Go and stay

There is a direct bus route from Dhaka to Alikadam. Various operators offer a diverse range of bus options. The rental fee starts at Tk 850. Dhaka buses arrive in the morning and depart between 8 and 10 p.m. Please ensure you conclude your journey at the residential roadhead in Alikadam. At this juncture, the trip commences. One can obtain instructions from Marayan Tong by consulting a local person. The estimated duration for ascending to the summit of Marayan Tang Hill from the specified position is around two hours. However, there may be instances where the duration extends beyond this timeframe.

Marayan-Tong Hill is a popular destination for individuals seeking overnight accommodations. Hence, it is more advantageous to formulate plans with this consideration in mind. In Alikadam, there are two options for accommodation: “The Damatua Inn Hotel” and “Zela Parishad Dak Bungalow,” located on Upazila Road. Furthermore, Pan Bazar offers a boarding facility that meets the expected standards.

Advice and warnings

When travelling to the mountains, it is crucial to have ample amounts of water, saline solution, glucose, dry food, a first aid kit, and any required prescriptions. For individuals with an inclination towards camping, choose a group of at least four or five individuals rather than embarking on a solitary expedition. When embarking on a camping trip, ensure that you have a tent, culinary utensils, and provisions.

It is advisable to wear trekking boots while walking. The choice between sandals made of rubber or plastic is contingent upon individual desire. Unauthorised photography of indigenous individuals should be strictly prohibited. Demonstrating reverence for indigenous culture is significant. We should not undertake any actions that could potentially harm the environment or biodiversity.

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