Stretching miles after miles, imbued with innumerous canals and rivulets with the mesmerising, enchanting beauty of nature, the vast 'Ocean-like' water bodies of the Chalanbeel might turn into a busy tourist spot during the Monsoon.
Situated at the juncture of nine upazilas of Sirajganj, Pabna and Natore districts, the Chalanbeel, in fact, turns into a wide sea as vast water carried by the rivers Atrai, Gur, Baranoi, Boral, Tulsi, Chenchua, Bhadaiand Gumani pours into this beel during the rain and the flood. The Chalanbeel is regarded as one of the largest sweetwater reservoirs in the country.
After talking to the villagers living in and around the Chalanbeel villages, it is learnt that by developing infrastructures including hotels and motels and arranging voyages on boats, the vast Chalanbeel waterbodies covering some 12,000 square miles of areas of Tarash, Raiganj, Ullapara, Shajadpur upazilas of Sirajganj district, Singra, Guruadaspur upazilas of Natore district and Bonwarinagar, Faridpur, Chatmohar and Bhangura upazilas of Pabna and Sirajganj districts would turn to busy tourists' hubs.
In addition to the beauty of the vast expanse of water of the beel, the tourists of the beel would be able to visit and watch some historical sites situated in the villages of Chalanbeel. The sites are- Radha Govinda Temple, Shiba Temple, Mathura Dighi, Boro Kunjobon, Ulipur Dighi, the remains of Tarash Rajbari, Shishu Park and Bouddha Bihar at Tarash upazila.
The catching of fish by fishermen with boats in the Chalanbeel and drying of those on the 'chatals' made of bamboo sticks is also spectacular scenery for the tourists. Moreover, there should also be arrangements for catching fish with wheels and nets for the tourists in the vast Chalanbeel areas and the water reservoirs inside the beel.
According to a wall script inscribed in 1661, at Jore Bangla Bhaban it is learnt one Kayastha Brahmin belonged to the Nag sect was the caretaker of the Gopinath temple. The artistic decoration on the walls of all temples of the upazila, the 'Well of Behula' at Binasara, the Houses of her father Basia Bania Saodagar, the Palace of Roy Bahadur, the Mausoleum of Saint Shah Sharif Zindani(Rs) are all the attractive spots inside the Chalanbeel which are sure to attract huge tourists.
On the other hand, the Jamindar Palace of Shitlai, Shahi Mosque of Chatmohar, Chalanbeel Museum of Gurudaspur, Petro Bangla and Tishi Khali Mausoleum of Singra and the fishing spots including the dried fish sites inside the Chalanbeel villages are all attractive spots for the nature loving people and the historians.
Elderly Abdul Majid of the Chalanbeel area informed during the full monsoon, the miles-long chalanbeel looks like a vast expanse of ocean with huge waves in water while during the dry season, the entire area is filled with green paddy plants. He added that Chalanbeel would turn into an attractive tourist spot during the monsoon.
According to Sonaton Das, a renowned journalist and executive of Tarash Press Club, the vast Chalanbeel is being squeezed year after year under the nasty claws of illegal land grabbers and encroachers. He demanded to excavate 12 rivers flowing through the Chalanbeel, the eviction of illegal land grabbers and encroachers and to turn the vast region into a busy tourist hub under Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation.
Mehedi Hasan Magnet, Chairman of Magura Binode UP under Tarash upazila informed that the movement of boats through the Chalanbeel has decreased due to the construction of roads through the Chalanbeel. He lamented that many researchers, political personalities and famed persons are seen to visit the Chalanbeel but none of them are seen to take a pragmatic step to save its environment, its biodiversity, and its century-old traditional assets and turn it into an enchanting Tourist spot. Both the government and the private enterprises should come forward to explore this vast potential of the Northern region of the country.