A BOAT RIDE IN BURIGANGA
Last sunday we went to BIWTA jetty in Pagla along the banks of the Buriganga river, some 20 kms away from Dhaka. My last visit to that place some 7-8 years ago was more memorable because the infrastructures and the surroundings have been degraded by now. There are no visible sign for easy direction in the road. The 'Mary Anderson' (Pic: on the left, click for a larger view) was initially a luxury cruise ship for the VIPs, which was converted to a floating restaurant. The Parjatan Corporation, the state tourism organization used to arrange some day long cruises in launch which included on board live music and quality foods. They have curtailed the service and only big groups can hire a whole motor boat.
However people can hire small private yachts and speed boats for a cruise. We have rented a boat (Pic: on the right) which could accomodate our 11 family members and we rode along the Buriganga river down to the South and came back. The rent is reasonable (Tk. 500 per hour, Tk. 1000 for the speedboat) if you avail it in a group. The boat ride was overall relaxing (more photos).
The only downside was that the boat engine was very noisy. And Buriganga waters have been contaminated like anything. The sources were evident, wastes from the industries along the river. The stenches were so prominent that many refused to have their lunch in 'Mary Anderson'.
So we drove on to Narayanganj to have our lunch. Then we went to the Sonargaon Folk Arts Museum, some 29 km from Dhaka before heading back home. The Christmas day holiday was well spent.