Jaintapur Upazila of Sylhet is full of history, heritage and natural beauty. Jaintapur's ‘DB Haor’ is now a tourist destination. DB Haor is located at the foot of the Meghalaya Hills on the Bangladesh-India border.
There are four beels including DB’s Haor, Yam Beel, Harafkata Beel and Kendri Beel, which are associated with the memory of Raja Ram Singh, king of Jainta kingdom. DB's haor has been named after all the beels.
This DB haor is now known to travelers as ‘Shaplar Rajyo’, kingdom of water lily. There are many red water lilies in the beel. Hundreds of thousands of red water lilies adapt to the water of the beel filled with herbs and leaves and outshines the light of the morning sun. A vast expanse of water is covered with green leaves. Blooming water lilies illuminates the beels in the morning light. Nature has decorated the beels with the smile of these water borne flowers with her own hands. These beels will open the door of the mind of any traveler with its beauty, who comes to visit.
All the beels are located along the north-eastern side of Jaintapur upazila of Sylhet. Eye-catching scenes can be found there after 42 km journey from Sylhet city. Travelers must arrive in the morning to see the lily's full smile. The beauty of the blooming water lily can be enjoyed before the sun shines.
If one wants to see the blooming lilies, one has to go there in the morning. The beels can be reached in ten minutes from Jaintapur Bazar. As it is a border area, Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) DB's Haor special camp is near the beels.
On hearing that the correspondent had gone there to visit the beels, a BGB member said, “Earlier, no one would come there except the people of the village and them but, now at this time of year many people from different parts of the country go there.” He warned not to go too close to the border though.
Earthen roads run along the middle of the four beels. Local people live on the front side of the beels. After the boatman brought the boat, the correspondent got on the boat without delay. The red water lilies were shining in the light of the morning sun. There was fog leaning on the hills of Meghalaya. Guest birds were flying in the sky then.
Boatman Hossain Ali said that different species of guest birds start coming to the beels at this time. Hundreds of thousands of crimson red water lilies of the beel also beat the light of the sun in the eastern sky. The red water lily blooms in the softness of the night and hides itself with its petals in the light of day.
Meghalaya hill stands next to the beels and people of the Khasia community lives at the foot of the hill. Between Harafkata and DB’s beel, there is the tomb of Raja Ram Singh. In the distant mountains one can also see the gardens of the Khasia’s. It is like a painting made by an artist amid the nature.
Freedom fighter Samsul Haque, a resident of Haor village in DB, said that water lilies are occupying the beel and there are different species of native fish in the water. When the water dries up, there is fishing. The occupation of the residents is agriculture and fishing. You will see this red water lily from September to December of the year. Jaintapur is hilly, Beel-lake-Haor, river-canal, canal-beel-rich and rich in natural resources.
Niranjan Biswas of Haor village in DB said that there was no shapla in the bill before. According to him, 30 years ago, the Khasia community on the other side of the border used to worship with red shapla. One of the Khasia families first planted a red shuffler sapling in DB Bill to meet the demand for flowers in worship.
From then on, one by one, the ponds and drains of the surrounding people including DB Beel, Kendri Beel, Harafkata Beel and Yambil became full of red water lilies. Lal Shapla occupies at least 700 acres of land in the four beels. This Shapla Bill is gaining a name in the list of places of interest in Sylhet which is known as a tourist area.
Asked about the overall safety of tourists, Jaintapur Model Police Officer-in-Charge Golam Dastagir told Bangladesh Post, “We always have a patrol team at DB's Haor.” We are always working for the overall safety of the tourists. We will serve the travelers with utmost sincerity and cooperation of all.