1 May 2019
Dublar Char, in Bagerhat district within Bangladesh, is an island at the point of confluence of two rivers Kunga & Marapshur with the Bay of Bengal. Normally a serene place without any resident population, the island however is used to have nearly 25000 fishermen during fishing season as sweet ground water is available in the island. As a matter of fact, Dubla remains the center of winter fishing across the twenty-mile-wide area of Kochikhali, on the southeastern edge of the Sundarban in Bangladesh, who only return home once the weather, and the sea, turns rough.
But along with the fishermen come pilgrims every winter to observe Rashmela, a famous socio-religious event, which takes place on the char in November. Few thousands hindu pilgrims – around five thousands according to a local rough estimate –from Barisal, Patua Khali, Khulna and also from distant South 24 Parganas in West Bengal, India are used to come for taking a holy bath . According to local belief the Rashmela was probably initiated in 1923 by a monk named Haribhajan. However according to Abdul Jalil’s History of Sundarbans; in second decade of the twentieth century, a person called Hari Chand Thakur from the village of Orakandi in Faridpur district had started to offer puja and practice some rituals in Dublar Char; and that was the starting point of Rashmela. Apart from bathing in this holy estuarine zone, which is part of Ganga basin, people also enjoy a local festival in the island over three days . To the locals, the fair is known as ‘Nil Kamal’.
How to reach the island:
Visitors can reach the island taking any of the following routes;
• From Burigoalini and Kobadak via Batulandi-Balanadi-Patkosta, and the river Hansaraj to Dublar Char.
• From Kakhali station to Madargang, Khoprakhali Bharani, via Dabbeki, Arpangasiya-Kagadobeki to Dublar Char.
• From Nolian Station, by the river Shibsa- river Morjat to the Dublar Char
• Via Kaira, Kashyashabad, Khasitana, Bojboja, Arua by the Shibsa River and Morjat river to Dublar Char.
• Dhungmari / Chandpai Station, through the rivers of Pashur to Dublar Char
• Bagi-Baleshwar-The Supati station-Kanchikhali-Sheela Char to Dublar Char.
• Via land borders of India and Bangladesh, Khulna, Mongla
Visitors are allowed to enter Rashmela through the 8 points including Mongla of Sundarban. Department of Forests and other relevant administrative departments of Bangladesh government ensure the safety of the pilgrims and visitors.