Tourism boom in guava kingdom...

Tourism boom in guava kingdom

 Atiqur Rahman, Jhalokati

 Published: 07:45 PM, 8 August 2022   Updated: 07:46 PM, 8 August 2022

The tourism center in the guava kingdom covers more than 55 villages including Sadar Upazila of Jhalokati, Swarupkathi of Pirojpur and Banaripara of Barishal; Photo: Daily Bangladesh

The tourism center in the guava kingdom covers more than 55 villages including Sadar Upazila of Jhalokati, Swarupkathi of Pirojpur and Banaripara of Barishal; Photo: Daily Bangladesh

The huge guava kingdom – located in Jhalokati, Barishal and Pirojpur districts – has covered the area of 55 villages in these districts! At one time, boats were the main means of communication to these places. Now road communication has been opened due to the launch of the Padma Bridge, establishing close communication with the entire country.

Domestic and foreign tourists come here to enjoy the natural beauty in a short time. A number of picnic spots have been made around this huge guava garden. Tourists come here and visit these spots. 

Guava kingdom is mainly located in Sadar Upazila of Jhalokati, Swarupkathi of Pirojpur and Banaripara of Barishal. Here is the location of the only floating market in Bangladesh. The guava kingdom, located in 55 villages in these three districts, has a handful of potential tourist centers.

Every year, during the monsoon season, these gardens are bustling with tourists. Tourists are enthralled by the beautiful array of guava orchards on both banks of the narrow canal and the Bhimruli Floating Guava Hat. 

At the beginning of the guava season, the garden is flocked with visitors. Tourists can ride in native canoes and motorized boats. Thousands of visitors come here every day.

The number of tourists is increasing day by day in the charming natural beauty guava garden. Especially, on Fridays and Saturdays, there are more tourists. Apart from domestic tourists, foreign tourists are also coming to this guava garden. Among them are former US Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl Robert Miller and former Indian High Commissioner Harsh Vardhan Shringla. Besides, ICT State Minister Zunaid Ahmed Palak, Divisional Commissioner, DIG and other senior officials also visited.

Recreation centers and picnic spots have been developed in some of these gardens by private initiative. Tourists can take a break at these entertainment centers. It takes Tk 20-40 to enter these entertainment centers. These include hotels, rest facilities and picnic facilities.

Those concerned said the entertainment centers are full of tourists for two months in July and August. A significant number of tourists also come in the winter season. 

“During the guava season, 1,000-1,500 visitors come every day which increases to 5,000-7,000 during the holidays,” said Sujan Halder Shanu, owner partner of Floating Guava Park. “Locals are hoping to develop tourism around guava  garden and floating market.”

Aminul Islam, principal of Tejdaskathi College in Pirojpur, said that many local and foreign tourists come to Bhimruli, the traditional place of guava market which has been continuing for more than 300 years. More tourists will come if overnight accommodation, food hotels and standard toilets are arranged in the region.

“Since the guava season is three months, no one privately wants to invest heavily. Some of the locals have individually developed a few entertainment spots. Around every park, employment has been created for numerous unemployed youths,” he said, adding that more domestic and foreign tourists will come – as Padma Bridge has been opened – if properly managed.

The wheels of the rural economy will turn and the wheels of the people’s fortunes will also turn, said Aminul Islam, principal of Tejdaskathi College in Pirojpur.

Pranay Majumdar, an owner partner of Floating Guava Park, said that various arrangements have been made in this park to attract tourists. Many jobless people have been created centering on this park.

President of Bhimruli Floating Market Committee Bhabendranath Halder said employment for the locals has been created due to the tourists. However, there are hotels or motels to stay in here. Government patronage is required to develop modern tourist centers. 

Additional Divisional Commissioner of Barishal Md. Wahedur Rahman said that after the inauguration of the Padma Bridge, the number of tourists in the guava gardens has increased due to the ease of communication. The higher authorities have been informed about the development of the tourist center.