Kaptai Lake is the largest lake in Bangladesh. It is located in the Kaptai Upazila under Rangamati District of Chittagong Division. The lake was created as a result of building the Kaptai Dam on the Karnaphuli River, as part of the Karnaphuli Hydro-electric project. Kaptai Lake’s average depth is 100 feet (30 m) and maximum depth is 490 feet (150 m).
Histroy of Kaptai Lake
Construction of the reservoir for the hydro-electric plant began in 1956 by the Government of East Pakistan. As a result, 54,000 acres (220 km2) of farmland in the Rangamati District went underwater and created the lake. The hydro-electric project was funded by the United States. The project was finished in 1962. International Engineering Company and Utah International Inc. received the contract for construction of the dam. The dam is 670.8 meters long, and 54.7 meters high. The dam has a 745 feet (227 m) long spillway containing 16 gates. Through the spillway 5,250,000 cu ft/s (149,000 m3/s) of water can pass.
The land that went underwater as a result of the dam construction, was 40% of the total arable land in the area. Along with that, 29 square miles (75 km2) of the Government-owned forest, and 234 square miles (610 km2) of other forest land went underwater. About 18,000 families with a total of almost 100 thousand people were also displaced. The palace of the king of the Chakmas was also flooded and is now underwater.
When to visit Kaptai Lake in Rangamati
You can have a journey to Kaptai Lake all year round. But in the rainy season, the beauty of waterfalls along the lakes is at its peak.
How To Go
By using road/train/air from any places to Chattogram, then By local transport to Destination. Speed boats and boats are available for hire at the reserve market, Tabalchhari, and tourist wharves. The rent is Rs. 1200-1500 / – per hour for speed boat and Rs. 500-600 / – for domestic boat.
Where to stay during the trip
For the overnight stay in Kaptai, you better contact the government rest house authorities in Kaptai in advance. It is also possible to spend the night at low cost in the rest houses of the Armey, PDB, Water Development Board, and Forest Department subject to the permission of the concerned government office. Rangamati can be a better place to spend the night as it is close to Kaptai. Room rent of hotels in Rangamati can range from BDT 400 to 10,000 dependintg on the quality.
Popular cuisine in the locale
There are some restaurants built on small islands in the middle of Kaptai Lake. You can buy lunch and/or the necessary food items from there. Alternatively, you can have some delicious food in the floating restaurant adjacent to the naval base. The local restaurants are available every day from 10am to evening.
Places to enjoy nearby Kaptai lake
To enjoy Kaptai Lake from very close to the water, you have to come to a picnic spot called Lake Paradise. A boat trip to Kaptai Lake from here can be a memoraaaaavle experience for you. You can observe this eye-catching beauty by reserving a speedboat or a boat. You can rent an engine-driven boat for one hour between BDT 200 and 300 rent.
The tourists enjoy the thrill of kayaking here. In additon to Lake Paradise, Zoom Restaurant offers boats trips and kayaking. You can start kayaking on the Karnafuli river near Kaptai. What is more ? There is a amazing opportunity for you to have fun by riding a cable car in Sheikh Russell Ecopark.
Besides, when you visit Kaptai, put Kornfuli Hydropower Station on your bucket list. If you have time, do not miss Navy Camp Picnic spot, Zoom Restarrant Picnic Spot, and Waggachhora Tea Estate.