Usually we called Bangladesh is a land of river. But Bangladesh also well known for its haor. May be you are starting to think about haor right now. There are rising some questions in your mind! What is haor? What type of space this is? Actually Haor looks like a lake. It’s the largest storage of fresh water. North-east part of Bangladesh is famous for its haors. Near about 25 lacs years ago in Pleistocene era all haors were created. The Pleistocene is the geological epoch that lasted from about 2,580,000 to 11,700 years ago, spanning the world's most recent period of repeated glaciations. In this article we are going to introduce you with the largest fresh water land of Asia. It’s a Haor. Named Hakaluki. The name of haor comes from Sagor (sea). But there are lot of controversies about the name of Hakaluki. Most popular story is that many years ago there was a powerful king in Tripura. His name was and Omar Manikya. Hangor Sing was the leader of kuki tribe of Tripura state. Hangor Sing was afraid of Omar Manikya due to some power game issues. Once Hangor Sing was fled and hide in the haor area. In local language hide means luki. So, people were started to call this area as Hangor Luki. By the time Hangor Luki changed into Hakaluki.
Hakaluki Haor is a marsh wetland ecological system of North-Eastern Bangladesh. It is one of Bangladesh’s largest and one of Asia’s larger marsh wetland resources. A total of 558 species of animals and birds have been identified here, including some very rare – already declared as threatened, vulnerable, endangered and critically endangered species. Some 190,000 people live in the surrounding Hakaluki haor area.
Hakaluki Haor was designated an Ecologically Critical Area (ECA). It also is a protected Ramsar site of international importance for the conservation and sustainable utilization of wetlands.
The surface area of Hakaluki Haor is 181.15 km2, of which 72.46 km2 (40.01%) is within the territory of Barlekha Upazila. It is also under Kulaura Juri upazila of Moulvibazar District and Golapganj, Fenchuganj upazila of Sylhet district.
This huge land coverage makes it Bangladesh's largest haor and one of Asia's larger wetlands. There are more than 238 small, medium and large interconnecting beels, some of which are perennial and others seasonal. During the dry season, approximately 4,4000 ha are is covered by the beel, but with the onset of the rains in the summer, the entire area floods to about four and half times of this size (18,383 ha) and remains under water for up to five months. During this period, all the beels are united as one large lake, or haor, making Hakaluki Haor the largest freshwater wetland in Bangladesh. The haor is mainly fed by the Juri/ Kantinala, Sonai/ Bordol, Damai, Fanai, and Kuiachara Rivers, out of which the Bordol/ Sonai, and Juri/ Kantinala Rivers are originated in India.
This haor basin supports numerous wetland habitats. Different types of plants are found here. Various known- unknown plants and rare aquatics adorn this area with shades of green. The abundance of trees and herbs is surprising. The Hakaluki Haor supports a wide variety of agricultural and horticultural crops and fast growing introduced timber species. A significant number of medicinal plants is also found in the Haor. It provides sanctuary to many species of animals and birds including some very rare kinds – already declared as threatened, vulnerable, endangered and critically endangered species.
A total of 558 species of animal and birds have been identified here. Amphibians, reptiles, aves and mammals all of them enrich the biodiversity of this haor region. Among these animals are the freshwater Turtle and Tortoises, Otters, Capped Langur, Pallas's Fish Eagle, dolphin, snakes and many more. Besides trees and animals Hakaluki haor has something more special for the bird lovers. Presence of birds of many different species adds life to this haor. 417 species of aves have been spotted here among which 26 are totally threatened, 2 are vulnerable, and 10 are endangered and 14 critically endangered species. Besides local birds many migratory birds visit this area in winter. The numbers of migratory birds are increasing every year. As a result Hakaluki haor has become a significant site for bird watching. Wide variety of waterfowl seen here is one of the main attractions.
The beauty of Hakaluki haor change based on season. Especially in summer, rainy season and winter is the best season to visit the haor. You must have to put the name of hakaluki haor in your upcoming trip list. Hakaluki will be the best place that ever you seen. So, don’t miss tremendous beauty of Hakaluki Haor.