Today was officially our first day on the river in Bangladesh. Leaving the shallow waters of Phular Char ghat needed a lot of pushing and pulling but soon we were in the main channel and going was good.
The Brahmaputra river is known as Jamuna in Bangladesh and should not be confused with another holy river in India that originates in the Himalayas. The river scape here is not very different from that of Assam in India. The only apperant change is that while the settlements on most of the islands on Indian side are look recent and sparce with just a few huts and some banana trees, the ones on Bangladesh are well established villages with a lot of bamboo and other trees growing around the village cluster. Our first halt was at Rajiv Pur for a small tea break and later we stopped on a sandy island called Amiruddin Master Para where all that we could see was rice fields and no houses.
A unique aspect of paddy cultivation here is that the rice saplings are grown right on the river bank itself while in India farmers usually do it in their own fields. There is paddy all around here—ready to be harvested and ready to be planted too. We were told that the inland farmers away from the flood plains of river grow four crops a year while the ones on the river can take only three because during the monsoon season the fields are completely submerged. This annual flooding leaves behind a fertile layer of alluvial deposits on the land and following bumper crop more then makes up for the loss of one sowing cycle.
We stopped at Sarai Kandi for lunch. It was a busy river side hub as people take ferries from here to travel in various directions. After leaving the busy boat junction we carried on and camped on a lonely. In all it was a lovely journey of about 120 kiometres.