Embracing the wilderness as well as experiencing the rich flora and fauna are parts of trekking and adventure. Passing the whole impenetrable trail with all the hurdles involves uplifting body and mind, and ultimately the essence of longevity. The mountains, standing on the northeast and southeast region of Bangladesh, appeal to adventurers for trekking. Ham Ham Falls, located deep in the Rajkandi Reserve Forest in Kamalganj Upazila of Moulvibazar district, is a place that offers the thrill and pleasure to see the beauty at a time. This feature will cover the details about trekking to Ham-Ham waterfall.
Historical background of Ham Ham waterfall
In late 2010, a group of tourists wandering in a remote forest with tour guide Shyamal Devvarma discovered the waterfall. There are different opinions from adventurers about naming the Ham-Ham waterfall. Some people have suggested that the word "hammam" (bathroom) is derived from the word "Ham Ham" in relation to the bath with the fountain.
Some people think that in Sylhet dialect, "a-m a-m" means the sharp sound of water, and since the fountain sounds like that, from there it becomes known as "Ham Ham" in the translation of urban tourists.
To the locals, however, it is known as the "Cheetah Fountain", as the leopard was once seen in the jungle.
The natural beauty
People come from all over Bangladesh to see the wild beauty of this fountain. The waterfall is 147 to 160 feet high (approximately). There is no established or tested opinion about the height of Ham Ham waterfall.
The falling water in the spring makes several canals (locally termed ‘Chharas’) by flowing through the forest. Travelers get to cross these small and big canals (Chharas) and cross the impeccable path of the forest to reach the spring. However, Ham-Ham has two steps of falls.
Another low waterfall can be seen on the way to Ham Ham in the rainy season.
There are lots of trees - such as Banana, Chikrashi Kadam, Jarul and many more - in the Rajkandi forest adjacent to Ham Ham. Colorful butterflies fly around these trees. On the way to Hum Hum, the trekkers may suddenly catch sight of Hanumans in the branches of the fig tree and/or in the cane garden. There are also different species of bamboo with different names.
Best time to visit
The rainy season is the youth of the spring, as heavy downpours occur at this time. In winter, they turn into a thin stream. So the adventurers go trekking soon after the monsoon. But there are some necessary things to keep in mind during the trip in this season.
No official initiative has yet been taken to approach the waterfall. Tourists usually visit the fountain by taking a guide from the locals.
Travelers have to reach Ham-Ham falls through the tea garden in Champara of Kurma forest bit. The distance from the Champara tea garden to the fountain is about 7 km. There is a very steep hill, many muddy paths, and canals (Chharas) on the way. Paths to waterfall (Locally termed ‘Jhiripath)’ rarely produce quicksand (Locally termed ‘Chorabali’), but there are no guidelines for tourists in those places. In the deep forest, travelers often have to endure the torture of mosquitoes, monkeys, leeches, and snakes.
How to reach
The most convenient way to get to Ham Ham from Dhaka is to go through Srimangal. Srimangal can be reached first by train from Kamalapur or Airport Railway Station. The rent varies from BDT 180 to 1000 and takes 5 to 5 and a half hours.
In the case of bus travel, different types of buses are available from Fakirapul or Saidabad in Dhaka. The fare of AC and non-AC buses is BDT 360 to 900 which takes four to five hours to reach Srimangal.
The first destination to reach Hamham from Srimangal is Kolabon Para. Up-down CNG fare from Srimangal to Kolabon Para is around BDT 1000 to 1200. There are also jeeps available for the large group of tourists. From Kolabon Para Travelers can get a guide for BDT 200 to 300.
There are two trails from Kolabon Para to Ham Ham - Jhiri route and Hill route. Though the Jhiri route is a little time-consuming, the beauty of this road is more captivating than the hilly track. It will take 2 to 3 hours to arrive at the destination Ham Ham waterfall from Kolabon Para. However, the duration of trekking depends entirely on the trekker’s habit of walking through hilly roads.
Accommodation for overnight stay
There is no such thing as being around a Ham-Ham fountain. It is better to leave very early in the morning and come back in a day. However, many travelers talk to the tribals and manage to stay in Toilongbari or Kolabon.
The best place to stay in Srimangal is on Bhanugachha Road. The rent of hotels and resorts here ranges from BDT 500 to 5,500 depending on the type.
The cost of cheap hotels in Radhanagar ranges from BDT 500 to 800.
Arrangement of meals
Trekkers usually have light food in Kolabon Para. Most take dry food with them. Nowadays, at the foot of the Ham-Ham fountain, tea and chickpea are found, which can alleviate temporary hunger.
There is a small hotel run by the local people in Kolabon Para. Travelers order here before going to Ham Ham and have meals after getting back. There are also some standard restaurants in the town of Srimangal to have breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Precautions in trekking to Ham Ham waterfall
Unlike luxury tours, a trekking tour requires the traveler to be strong enough to walk through forests and hilly paths for several hours continuously. During the tour, the weather may be adverse sometimes. There might be scorching heat or heavy rain. So, before planning to go trekking the tourists should consider their health condition and mental strength.
Good trekking shoes are a must for trekking in the rainy season. The lighter the backpack, the better. Before starting trekking, it is important to check if there is enough water, saline, insect repellent, and first aid. It would be wise to carry some dry food on the trekking tours.
There is no substitute for caution when walking up and down hilly paths. Each of the travelers should carry a bamboo stick during trekking.
The journey should start in the early morning so that it does not take the evening to get back. All in all, everyone in the group should avoid leaving wastages on fountains and trails.
Ham-Ham Trekking can be an unforgettable experience for an outdoor enthusiast. There is a deep connection between being close to nature and acquiring mental purity. When discipline and patience are added, the whole experience of trekking becomes a milestone in life. So occasional trekking and adventure are essential for complete wellness both physically and mentally.