Sonadia Island known as an ‘Island of miracle’ is located 16 km. South-west of Cox’s Bazar town and by the side of Moheshkhali Island. It is geographically under the administration of Moheshkhali upazila. The area of Sonadia is 9.5 sq. Km seems to be a half moon shaped area consists of sandy soil with widespread Mangrove verities of trees like Sundarban.
AT A GLANCE Name: Sonadia Island Location: Sonadia Island, Moheshkhali, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Destination: Dhaka to Cox’s Bazar Transport: Green Line bus service, Shoag, Hanif Paribhan etc bus services from Uttara Fakirapul, Saydabad , Kalampur, Panthopath etc.. Fair: BDT 800 to 2000 (Bus), Airplane would cost 20000 taka or more (Dhaka to Cox’s Bazar ) Time: 10 –12 Hours (Bus),30 minutes (Air). Explore: Sonadia Island, Moheshkhali, Cox’s Bazar , Bangladesh. Distance: 400 kilometers from Dhaka Cost: Depend to coverage tourists spots. Accommodation: Hotels, Government rest house, Cottages, Motel, etc. available. Food: Available. Advice: Keep dry foods, water, medicines, saline, glucose, extra money, and kits.
There are some canals running through the island decorated with different types of plants and weeds along the canal sides. Its western coast is sandy and rich in various kinds of shells. At the northern part of the island, there are beds of window pane oysters. The island is divided into two neighbourhoods, Para-East and West regions. More than 2000 people live on Sonadia Island. Most of the people live on the Eastern side, and the main occupation of the Islanders are catching fish, a collection of shrimps and another minnow etc.
The island is also known as a paradise for migratory birds like different kinds of ducks, seagulls, fowls, sandpipers and geese etc. The red crabs are abundant at the sea beach. From a distance, it seems to a red carpet but disappears as soon as someone approaches them. This island is an ideal breeding ground for a specific variety of Sea Turtles. In the Mangrove areas, the sea snakes have found their safe homes. The government has declared Sonadia as reserve forest.
The record shows that the human habitation initiated in Sonadia before 150 years before. For a long time, it was remaining as a solitary island and only after 2007, people started to visit the island.
The island is full of scenic beauties all around with prevailing an absolute silence other than the roaring of sea and chanting of birds. The bio-diversity and coping capability of different flora and fauna could be the subject of undertaking scientific researchers even on climate change adaptation. Many scientists have remarked that this island should be left free to nature as it is now and attract attention to the scientists and students for researchers. The elevation of the island is comparatively high and how it has happened is also a subject to discover.
Many environmentalists have remarked that the Sonadia is an only exceptional island of its kind in Bangladesh and should not be interfered its normal course of action with establishing power plant, seaport or any other developmental activities. Sonadia, the island of diversification should be kept uninterrupted and earmarked as the Island of Knowledge with permanent legislator status.
How to go to Sonadia Island
For tourists to go to Sonadia Island, they will have to reach to Cox’s Bazar first and from there go to Moheskhali Ghat or Kostury Ghat. To go to Cox’s Bazar, there are many bus services such as Shamoli Bus Service, Hanif Paribahan, Green Line, Volvo Scania etc. There are both AC bus and non-AC bus available in each of the buses above services. If the transportation is by train, then you have to travel to Chittagong first. There are various trains to Chittagong like Turna, Dhaka mail, Mahanagargodhuli, Mahanagar Probhati, Subarna express and so on. The fair rate from regular to the first class seat will cost from, 285tk to 460tk and AC seat 788tk.
Non-AC berth costs 685tk and AC berth 1179tk. By Air, there are four flights which are, Biman Bangladesh Airlines, Novo Air, United Airways, US-Bangla Airlines that departs from Dhaka to Cox’s Bazar. These fights go on a daily basis the Round Cost for Biman and United Airways is 5500-7000tk, and others are one-way flight which costs from 5200tk to 8700tk. These are the transport system for going to Inani beach.
After reaching Cox’s Bazar to go to Sonadia tourists will need to hire trawler or speedboat from Moheshkhali Ghat (jetty) or Kostury Ghat at Cox’s Bazar. It will take 20 minutes by a speedboat and 35 minutes by a trawler, but it is to be remembered that the journey made only during the high tide period. A trip to Sonadia Island from Cox’s Bazar will be a thrilling journey which tourists would be keeping in their minds for a long time. The speedboat charge for a single person is 50 Taka, and 25 Taka is required to go by a trawler.
Food and Living Accommodations
There are no living accommodations available in Moheshkhali area. Therefore tourists will have to go to Sonadia Island by morning and return to Cox’s Bazar by late afternoon. There are many hotel services available in Cox’s Bazar. Cox’s Bazar is a very tourist friendly place and has food and living facilities. There are some hotels to choose from and of various types. Some hotels are filled with trees, and the rooms are like tents. Some hotels are perfect in their service of food; there are large rooms. Also, there is house in Cox’s Bazar central town which is given for rent to the tourists; these are relatively cheaper than the hotels.
There are many local restaurants in Moheshkhail. Tourists can try the various local fish items which are fantastic to taste. Also chicken and beef meat are available. The food prices are reasonable. In Cox’s Bazaar, there is a wide range of restaurants available with a wide price range so tourists can have their lunch and dinner according to their convenience.