Tanguar Haor: The Second-Largest Wetland In Bangladesh

Tanguar Haor is one of the most prominent wetland areas in South Asia. It is visited by over 200 species of migratory birds every year
Tanguar Haor in Sunamganj, Bangladesh
Tanguar Haor in Sunamganj, BangladeshShutterstock

Located at the foothills of the Khasi-Jaintia Hills, Tanguar Haor is the second largest wetland in Bangladesh. It is situated in the Sunamganj district of greater Sylhet.

Tanguar Haor on a bright morning
Tanguar Haor on a bright morningKazi Emamul Hoq / Shutterstock.com

Tanguar Haor changes with every season. In the rainy season, the Haor transforms into a sea with rippling waves. Visitors can enjoy cruising across the Haor, though permission from local authorities is advisable. As water levels rise, the villages of Tanguar Haor give the impression of floating islands. During winter, you'd see many green fields spread next to canals. Also, it is common to spot numerous flocks of migratory birds. As the water recedes in this season, the banks of the beels in the Haor dry out, locally known as Kandha.

From the watchtower in Tanguar Haor, one can also spot the hills of Meghalaya in India. About 30 small and large springs from Meghalaya flow into Tanguar Haor. In the right season, the water from these springs is remarkably clear, allowing you to see the bottom of the Haor. The natural beauty of Tanguar Haor attracts tourists, making it an attractive tourist destination.

A grey-headed swamp hen looking for  breakfast in the wetlands of Tanguar
A grey-headed swamp hen looking for breakfast in the wetlands of TanguarShutterstock

Migratory Birds And Fisheries

The Haor is a perfect location for migratory birds, with approximately 200 different types making it their temporary home every winter. Garganey, northern shoveler, Indian spot-billed duck, red-crested pochard and ferruginous duck are some common birds in Haor. In the past, Sunamganj area zamindars would venture into the Haor on large boats for bird hunting.

Additionally, the Haor is a vital source of fisheries, providing over 140 species of freshwater fish such as gang magur, baim, tara baim, gutum, gulsha, tengra, garia, and kaikka.


Tanguar Haor supports the immediate subsistence and livelihoods of around 40,000 individuals in its surrounding areas. Due to its environmental and local importance, the Bangladesh government has designated it as an internationally critical environment area and listed it as a "Ramsar area" under the Ramsar Convention.

To preserve its natural environment and heritage, the authorities implemented a long-term plan to conserve its water, improve agriculture and fish production, and secure the Haor zone for birds and animals. Furthermore, the government has banned any developmental or commercial activities that may harm the delicate environment of the Haor and prohibited any digging of wells for gas or oil within a 10 km radius of the Haor.

Getting There

Daily buses are available from Dhaka's Sayedabad bus stand to Sunamganj, operated by Mamun Paribahan and Shyamali Paribahan. Ena Paribahan also offers direct buses from Mohakhali to Sunamganj. The travel time is approximately six hours.

Best Season to Visit

Monsoon season is generally considered as the best season to visit Tanguar Haor.

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