Every year, usually from mid-October to January, the beautiful Kanchenjunga becomes visible from Bangladesh. The view is especially stunning in November when the air is clearer and the weather is quite soothing. The majestic snow-capped mountain can be easily seen from Panchagarh and Thakurgaon.
Kanchenjunga is one of the three highest mountains in the world located in the Himalayas. The first is Mount Everest with a height of 8,848 metres from sea level. The second highest is K2 with a height of 8,611 metres. Kanchenjunga stands third with a height of 8,586 metres.
Kanchenjunga can also be seen from Tiger Hill in the Darjeeling district of West Bengal, India. Hundreds of people visit Tiger Hill every year to witness as the sun rises and lights up the peaks, creating a breathtaking picture.
The mountain has multiple peaks – five of the highest peaks are Kangchenjunga Main, Kangchenjunga West (Yalung Kang), Kangchenjunga Central, Kangchenjunga South and Kangbachen.
The peak seen from Panchagarh on the right side of the Kanchenjunga range seems to be Mount Siniolchu, which was not visible before.
Siniolchu is one of the highest mountains in the Indian state of Sikkim. The 6,888 metres mountain is considered particularly aesthetically pleasing, with famous British mountaineer Douglas Freshfield describing it as "The most magnificent triumph of mountain architecture and the most beautiful snow mountain in the world." It is located near the Green Lake, adjacent to Kanchenjunga.
Just like Tiger Hill, tourists have also started to flock to Panchagarh and Thakurgaon to see Kanchenjunga. These two areas in northern Bangladesh have a lot of potential to become great tourist spots if authorities take the necessary initiatives.
Many pictures of Kanchenjunga seen from Bangladesh are found on social media pages and people, tourists and the locals are increasingly becoming interested in it.
The beauty of the Kanchenjunga mountain is unmatched. From sunrise to sunset, the peaks change colours, ranging from shades of golden to pink and purple. In the mornings, with a background of clear, blue and white sky, the different lights reflect on the white snow and create magical moments.
The dak bungalow in Tetulia, Panchagarh is built on an elevated area, which is why people choose it to be the perfect area to view Kanchenjunga.
In fact, if you have access to tall buildings or structures in Panchagarh, you can also try out your luck from there. But finding a spot like that depends on having local connections and timing.
As the day progresses and the sun's brightness increases, the peaks begin to gradually disappear. However, there are many days when the view is hazy and nothing can be seen (this happens in Tiger Hill, Darjeeling as well). It all depends on how lucky the visitors are and their timing.
Many of us spend a lot of money travelling to India to see Kanchenjunga, but have we ever thought of giving our own country a chance and enjoying the picturesque mountain from here? This would boost the local economy and increase employment opportunities in Thakurgaon and Panchagarh.
If the authority can allocate some funds for developing these areas for tourists, along with proper management and extension of different facilities, then people might be interested to go there and not go all the way to Darjeeling.
Travelling to the northern side of the country is fairly easy these days. You can opt for a bus ride or hire a car for a more comfortable journey.
You can also take the train. Except for Eid holidays, tickets are usually available for Panchagarh Express, Ekota Express and Drutojan Express from Dhaka to Panchagarh.
If you want to cut down on your travelling time, you can take a flight to Saidpur Airport, Nilphamari. From here you can take local transport to Panchagarh.
This airport can be further developed and more hotels should be built around it to attract foreign tourists.
There are not sufficient hotel and motel facilities in Panchagarh and Thakurgaon, including government rest houses. The government rest houses are usually reserved for officials and have a limited number of rooms and services.
At present, there are some private hotels in Panchagarh with one called Eco Mohananda Cottage, which is quite popular. But the cost is quite high.
But tourism authorities should take more initiatives to attract tourists not just for viewing Kanchenjunga, but also to see the Mahananda River, local tea gardens and factories, the zero point at Banglabandha and many other interesting local sites.
If a safe and comfortable atmosphere can be ensured, more tourists will visit there. We have to make sure people from other countries know more about Bangladesh and its beautiful tourist spots which go beyond the Sundarbans and Cox's Bazar.