Nijhum Dwip -Silent Island-is a small island under Hatiya upazila. It is situated in Noakhali District in Bangladesh. Once it was called Char Osmani,Baluar Char, Golden Island A cluster of islands (mainly, Ballar Char, Kamlar Char, Char Osman and Char Muri) emerged in the early 1950s as an alluvium in the shallow estuary of the Bay of Bengal on the south of Noakhali. These new sandbanks first drew the notice of a group of fishermen, who named it Baular Char (literally, the alluvium of sand) later transformed into Ballar Char. Occupying an area of 14,050 acres (5,686 hectares), the island is situated between 21 0 1 / to 22 0 6 /North latitude and 90 0 3 / to 91 0 4 / East longitude Migratory Birds in Nijhum Dwip: During winter, thousands of migratory birds flock in to island. The fishermen use the airy and sunny land as an ideal place for drying their catches from the sea. Sometimes many of them also construct straw huts on the island as seasonal residences.
The population in Nijhum Dwip in 2001 was 15,670. Their main occupations are cultivation, fishing and livestock farming. The island produces vegetables. But the island suffers from natural calamities, and life is hard and risky.Nijhum Dwip presently has six big bazaars that mainly consist of grocery shops, small restaurants and drug stores. These bazaars are the only places in the islands to have electricity from generators. More than eight Thousand inhabitants found their permanent settlement in the island and their occupations are mainly cultivation and fishing. There are some NGO and other organisations like Proshika, Human Development Centre and JAICA who are involved with their development projects on this island.
This island was brought under settlement during 1969 and subsequently the forest department under took massive drive for aforestation by mangrove species. Now this island has been declared as the unique eco-touristic spot for its ideal natural setup with the rich biodiversification factors and the perennial mangrove forest with wild animals like spotted deer, wild boar and rhesus macaque and for the ideal habitat for fish resources. Since south coast is open to the mouth of great span of Bay of Bengal, the appearance of whale sometimes occurred. There are more than eight (8) thousand inhabitants found their permanent settlement in the island and their occupation are mainly cultivation and fishing. There are some NGO like Red Crescent, Proshika, Human Development centre and JAICA are involved with their development projects on this island.
The forest department of the government of Bangladesh created mangrove forests in Nijhum Dwip and the main attraction in these forests is the herd of about 5000 cheetal or spotted deer. The most common type of planted tree species in the island is Keora, also known as Kerfa, which has fast growing roots holding the sandy land.The plant also supplies pillars for houses, materials for making boats and agricultural implements, and fuel for domestic use. In 2001, the government of Bangladesh declared Nijhum Dwip forests as National Park.Now this island has been declared as the unique eco-touristic spot for its ideal natural setup with the rich bio-diversification factors and the perennial mangrove forest with wild animals like spotted deer, wild boar and rhesus macaque and for the ideal habitat for fish resources.
You can go to this Island either from Dhaka or from Chittagong.From Chittagong first you will to go Hatia Island by Motor boat or Ship and from there you can go to Nijhum Island by local motor boat. From Dhaka you can go Tomzuddion by launch from Sadarghat launch terminal. From there you can go to Nijhum Island by local motorboat. Since there is no regular river transport or passenger route from Dhaka to Nijhum Dwip, it is difficult to organize direct tour program from Dhaka to Nijhum Dwip and Kuakata beach through coastal water ways. The main problem is that there is no navigation light and lusider, there are hundreds of submerged islands due to the constant deposition of silt through the Megna estuary.
Accommodation is very limited for the tourists in this Island. You can take foods from local restaurants but be careful about the quality of foods. If you can take prior permission for forest department then you can stay in forest rest house in Nijhum Island. Another possibility for accommodation is in District Parishod Guest house. If you take the permission from Thana administration (TNO) of Hatia you can also stay in the District Parishod Guest house. For the adventure seekers Nijhum Island could be one of the greatest experience of journey and it will be a memorable enjoyment to stay and pass some days in this isolated Island.