Sheikh Rokon's River Odyssey: celebrating rivers of Bangladesh and the world

Last Modified: Sun Apr 12 2020 17:21:28 GMT+0530 (India Standard Time)
  • 400+
    Number of rivers Sheikh Rokon - Writer, Researcher and River-traveler; Founding Secretary General of Riverine People - has visited over 400+ rivers in the last 15 years. In this collection he shares information and issues for 365 of them.
  • 01
    River Jalchhira, Kurigram, Bangladesh. 'Jalchhira' means net-tearer. This small river used to connect Jinjiram and Brahmaputra and flowed so furiously that it could tear fishing nets up. A highway across it in 80's had made the river a mere lowland.
  • 02
    River Dhalai, Moulovibazar, Bangladesh. It is one of the 54 trans-boundary rivers between India and Bangladesh. Originating from Longtharai range of Tripura state in India, it joins Manu river in Bangladesh. Tripura has a district named after the river.
  • 03
    Jamuna River, Bogra. The area I'm standing on a groyne, is known as Prem Jamunar Ghat or Port of Love. The newer but bigger course of Brahmaputra is called Jamuna in Bangladesh. It is one of the widest (8-12 km) & wildest rivers of the country.
  • 04
    Boral River, Rajshahi, Bangladesh. The mouth of Boral, Ganges seen on the end. The 220 km river used to connect Ganges and Brahmaputra. That is how a couple of sluice gates & earthen dam ruined it.
  • 05
    Bangali River, Bogra, Bangladesh. The river bearing name of the nation. Bengalis are the third largest ethnic group in the world, after Han Chinese & Arabs. Their native name is 'Bangali'. Originating from Teesta, it joins Jamuna in North Bengal.
  • 06
    ArialKhan, Narsingdi, Bangladesh. There are 2 ArialKhan - upper one is in Narsingdi, tiny and tamed; lower one is in Barisal, wide and wild. Both were same river before Brahmaputra changed its course and bifurcated the ArialKhan.
  • 07
    ArialKhan, Barisal, Bangladesh. The lower section of ArialKhan in Barisal, wide and wild.
  • 08
    Naboganga, Jhenaidah, Bangladesh. This century old bridge, constructed by British Raj, on the river Naboganga is functioning well, still. The non-functioning kerosene lamp-post is still standing with pride.
  • 09
    Saniajan, Lalmonirhat, Bangladesh. India and Bangladesh share 54 'enlisted' transboundary rivers officially. To our count, there are around 100 more unlisted transboundary rivers. Saniajan is one of them.
  • 10
    Patuakhali, Patuakhali district, Bangladesh. Bangladesh has four districts which are directly named after a river. Patuakhali is one of them.
  • 11
    Kaliganga River, Kushtia, Bangladesh. Fakir Lalon Shah, one of the most influential spiritual leader of Bengal, came to his practicing place through this river by raft. So many of his followers respect the Kaliganga as well. But the river itself is dying.
  • 12
    Jalangi River, West Bengal, India. Jibanananda Dash wants reincarnation to the 'dim green land on the Jalangi River' by his immortal poem. Though there are two rivers by this name. One here, other Jalangi is in Barisal of Bangladesh. Both of them are beautiful!
  • 13
    Churni River, West Bengal, India. Knew the river for long, but first saw it in 2016 while attending a workshop hosted by third_pole. We were going through the Bhagirathi River, into which the beautiful, greenish Churni was flowing. The confluence was lovely!
  • 14
    Shonabhori, Bangladesh. According to mythology, Behula took her dead husband Laxmindar to Kamakhya temple through Shonabhori river by raft to bring his life back. The river itself dying now due to a sluice gate & earthen cross dam in the mouth. So sad!
  • 15
    Donni, Kurigram, Bangladesh. Can you recall the 'Baraibari Clash' between then BDR & BSF? This area is now Bangladesh possession under LBA. Indian border fence is seen far behind me. And the river beside me is Donni, one of the 'unofficial' trans boundary rivers.
  • 16
    Ichhamoti River, Bangladesh. There are at least 12 different rivers across the country with this name. Tagore has called one of the rivers as 'ichchhamoti' meaning 'free as will'. Ironically every Ichhamoti is chained by now. This one is from Dhaka region.
  • 17
    Manu, the river named after Hindu mythological character, is the only India-Bangladesh transboundary rivers after Teesta which is tamed under two barrages built by both of the riparian countries.
  • 18
    Irrawaddy River, Myanmar. Before 2015, I was long to visit this river, the lifeline of Myanmar. Economically, ecologically & culturally. So Rudyard Kipling called it 'Road to Mandalay'. The ancient Burma & Bengal business route was connected through this river.
  • 19
    Holholia, Bangladesh. Sad, not surprising. These boys didn't know the name of the river where they swam right that moment. It was Holholia, one of the rivers partly engulfed by Brahmaputra, in Kurigram. A generation growing up not knowing the name of their river!
  • 20
    Jinjiram, Kurigram, Bangladesh. Wandering my childhood river, my mother's as well, with my son. I've grown up listening so many stories & mythologies on it from my mother. Roads in India & rubber dam in Bangladesh is killing this beautiful transboundary river.
  • 21
    Hoorasagar, Sirajganj, Bangladesh. Hoorasagar, one of the 25 rivers mentioned by Tagore, means 'sudden sea'. It is the confluence of four rivers: Atrai, Boral, Karatoa, & Jamuna. When Brahmaputra changed it course as Jamuna, the confluence really became sea.
  • 22
    Naf was the most salined river because of Rohingya tears, once I wrote. It is one of the 3 transboundary rivers between Bangladesh and Myanmar, now known as Rohingya River too. No mans land lays down the mid flow.
  • 23
    Bankkhali, Coxsbazar, Bangladesh. Before the Rohingya crisis, the city of Cox's Bazar was famous for its long sea beach. Tourists from all over the world used to travel visit. Few of them might notice the beautiful river, Bankkhali, flowing through the city.
  • 24
    Payra, Patuakhali, Bangladesh. Early winter morning is settling down over the river. The Payra seaport, third, smallest, & latest, is not on this river estuary though, rather on Ramnabad River. Payra means pigeon in Bangla, the bird of prosperity.
  • 25
    Shankha, Bandarban, Bangladesh. It is, a transboundary rivers between Myanmar & Bangladesh, called Sangu officially since English surveyors couldn't take on the local name back in 19th century.
  • 26
    Pagla River, Chapainawabganj. Pagla - meaning mad in Bangla - got that name because of its raging mood. It is one of the transboundary rivers between India and Bangladesh.
  • 27
    Karnatoli River, Dhaka, Bangladesh. It is one of the least known rivers surrounding Dhaka city. Least encroached as well. And it is still beautiful with green villages on its banks. Off from the Dhaleswari river, it joins the Turag river near Gabtoli.
  • 28
    Little River, Oklahoma, USA. Though people call it the ThunderBird lake, actually it is a reservoir made by damming the Little River.
  • 29
    Potomac River, Washington DC, USA. Grown up listening the 'Potomac to Padma' radio program on @VOABANGLA, living in a remote locality of Bangladesh. In that non-internet era, I often wondered how the river looked like! Didn't miss meeting her at the first chance.
  • 30
    ThaChin River, Thailand. Sometimes prefer to sit with the rivers alone. By that way one can feel the riverine spirit better. This place, Lam Phaya, is plused by a Buddhist temple on the bank. Devotees feed the fishes in the 'Fish Park'. Solemn silence!