Writer: Joshoshi Jaminee and Shafi Newaz
Photo: District Info Page, Lonely Traveler, Faizul Latif Chowdhury
Jhalokathi is a district in South-western Bangladesh. It is a part of the Barisal Division. With an area of 758.06 sq. km, Jhalokathi is bounded by Barisal district to the north and east, Barguna district and the Bishkhali river in the south, and Pirojpur district to the west. Main rivers in this district are Bishkhali, Sugandha, Dhansiri, Gabkhan, Jangalia and Basanda.
Jhalokathi subdivision was established in 1972 and was turned into a district in 1984. It consists of 2 municipalities, 18 wards, 4 upazilas, 32 union parishads, 400 mouzas, 66 mahallas and 449 villages.
Jhalokathi is a municipal (1875) town, consists of 9 wards and 47 mahallas. The area of the town is 6.37 sq. km. The town has a population of 45095; male 53.11%, female 46.89%; density of population is 7079 per sq. km. Literacy rate among the town people is 67.5%. Annual average temperatures: maximum 33.3°C, minimum 12.1°C; annual rainfall 2506 mm.
Jhalokathi is the birth place of Sher-E Bangla A. K. Fazlul Huq. The remains of the palace of Land lord Prasonno Kumar, Old Municipal Building are the notable archaeological sites.
Due to navigation facilities of Gabkhan River, the area attracted the Europeans; the East India Company, the Dutch and the French established their trade centers in phases. Because of its commercial importance Jhalokathi was called the 'Second Kolkata'.
The Shiv Bari Temple
The Shiv Bari Temple is one of the largest Hindu temples in Jhalakathi. All the major Hindu cultural festivals in Jhalakathi are held in this well-known temple including the Falguni Chaturdashi puja. One of the best features of this beautiful architectural build. The followers of this temple is far from biasedness and very friendly. As a result, people of other religions are also welcome to take part in their festivities. This makes it one of the spots for tourist to visit and learn about the religious harmony of Bangladesh.
How to go?
The way to travel to this location is a bit complicated. One has to take a CNG to the Jhalakathi boat terminal first. After crossing the river by a boat, one can avail a tempo or rickshaw to reach Shivbari village where the temple stands with glory
Kirtipasha Zamindar Bari
Among the architectural attractions of Jhalokathi Kirtipasha Zamindar Bari is one of the most beautiful Landlord palaces. It was built by landlord Kirti Narayan in the late 17th century. Being devout Hindus, the descendants of the original builder kept preserving the structure and enhancing the beauty of the palace with setting up religious statues and murals inside the hall.
How to go?
To go to Kirtipasha Zamindar Bari, one has to hire a CNG autorickshaw or rickshaw van from Fire Service Square of Jhalakathi town to directly travel to the village Kirtipasha where the palace is situated.
Miah Bari Masjid
Miah Bari Masjid is one of the few remaining post-Mughal architecture in Bangladesh. Sheikh Abdul Majid, a friend of Shah Suja came to Varukathi and settled here. It is about 150 years old and comprised of 3 domes. The walls of the mosque are 42 inches thick. There is also a pond in front of the mosque.
How to go?
One has to travel by bus from Jhalakathi town to the village Nobogram, first. From there tempo and autorickshaw is available to Gudikaata village. The most is situated in the village Varukathi just adjacent to Gudikaata.
Beshnai Mallik Lake
Beshnai Mallik Lake is a beautiful man-made lake located in Romanathpur village of Jhalakathi. The lake is surrounded by coconut and palm trees. It is quite spacious and serene. The atmosphere around the lake get very beautiful, especially in the afternoon. As a result, lots of people comes during the sunset to enjoy the mind-blowing view. It was named after Beshnai Mallik Lake, a famous personality of the area.
How to go?
One has to reach Kirtipasha village from Jhalakathi by rickshaw or motorbike. From Kirtipasha, Rickshaw is available to Romanathpur via Runsi to reach the lake.
The Shrine of Lehaj Chan Chishti
Alhajj Lehaj Chan Chishti is one of the most famous modern religious figures in Jhalokathi. He was a religious teacher, who traveled in different parts of the country to preach religion. This shrine was built to honor his contribution.
How to go?
One has to get to the the boat terminal first from Jhalokathi and cross the river by trawler. After crossing the river, rickshaw can be taken to reach the village Chhilarish.
Shital Pati is an age-old handicraft of Bangladesh and has been a dynasty of 250 to 300 years in Jhalokati, ascending through generations. Once upon a time it was a special handicraft art form that expanded through Jhalokati town and some specific areas of Rajapur upazila under Jhalokati district and then became popular all over the country. So now the popularity of Shital Pati is not bound within Jalokati only. The main decoration piece of many people’s dream house sorting is Shital Pati, as it gives the home a traditional and peaceful look. Shital Pati is used as bedsheet too as it is very comfortable to just rest or have a sound sleep in hot days of Summer.