Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5, Issue 29, Tuesday, July 20, 2010

 

by the tranquil waters

Foy's Lake Resort is a unique place in Chittagong where you can stay in luxurious accommodation while enjoying the natural beauty of Foy's Lake and the entertainment of two theme parks.

Whether you are taking you children on holiday, enjoying a corporate retreat or on a romantic break, they have everything you need for an unforgettable experience.

Reservation procedure:
At least 50 percent of one day's rent is required to confirm booking in advance.
Booking has to be confirmed at least 24 hours ahead.

To make reservations, please call-
Dhaka: 8833786, 9896482, 01913531377-8, 01913531386-7
Chittagong: 031-2566080, 01913531480-1, 01913531554-5
Fax: 031-659406
web: www.foyslake.com

It had rained all night. On tiled floor of the bank of the lake rainwater fell like drizzle, losing its nightlong fury. The eerie silence of dawn was shattered by the roaring defiance of the shallow engine. As we waited for the boat to take us to our destination, repeated attempts at jumpstarting the machine failed. Rainwater had entered the engine, and hence its insubordination.

Over the placid waters of the lake, raindrops fell like mallets hitting the strings of the Indian Santoor. Just as the tranquil waters of Dal Lake had perhaps inspired compositions of the Santoor, the waters of Foy’s Lake, a mere 10 minute drive from the heart of Chittagong, concocted similar emotions to someone as musically deaf as myself.

Each drops of water stroke a mellifluous note on the string reiterating the bond that the sound of the stringed santoor seemed to share with water.

Standing at the ghaat – the bank of the lake – one could see the snaky waterway channel through the small hillocks. The hills made a firm ground for trees arching over the water or standing upright in search of light. Moss, ferns and foliage that changed hue with the changing season – a vibrant green in monsoon and subtler shades in the dry – enveloped the hills, making the soil disappear amidst the green.

The fauna, we were told, comprised of wild birds, reptiles, monkeys and deer even. I caught a glimpse of a pankauri gracefully afloat on the murky waters take a sudden flight, possibly at the ecstasy of catching fish.

The boat ride from the ghaat to the resort was a short one, but even in matters of minutes, Foy's Lake did not fail to make an impression. Truly, it was God's own country glimpse of a heavenly lake, bestowed with the lush bounty of nature.

The luxury resort that stood at the shores of the water was simple and complimented the serenity of the lake. The west side veranda of the room we occupied gave a wide view of the lake itself, some hills on the opposite banks and the Sea World theme park, which undoubtedly catered to the needs of a younger audience.

As the day progressed, the symphony of the rain had stopped, and the chirping sounds of children at the park took over. Children, and those young at heart alike, were seen to enjoy the adrenaline rush at the splash pool and water coaster ride, what seemed like the hallmark of the Sea World. The dry park featured at the entrance of the resort on the other end provided similar amusement opportunities.

Ever since Concord Group took over the management of the Foy's Lake through a tripartite agreement with Bangladesh Railway and Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation, it has been a struggle to strike balance between preserving the harmony of the lake and its surroundings, while evolving with the changing demands of time. The balance, it must be said, is a well struck one.

Every attempt has been made to cater to the needs of the people visiting the parks or opting to stay overnight at the resort with state of the art facilities in the form of restaurants, round the clock room service and splendid hospitality. There are facilities to arrange gatherings at the Chairman's Chamber, which over the years have proved successful with the corporate clientele.

Yet, the feature that stands apart is the preservation of the picturesque setting of the lake. The Foy's Lake and its surrounding area is a haven for the nature lover who can spend endless hours identifying the trees that grow in the area. Or simply relish the views of the lake from a paddleboat.

A climb to the observation point, although a mere 27 metres above the sea level is a daunting task for the physically unfit, can provide a birds' eye view of the lake and the landscape of Chittagong City on the opposite end.

At nightfall, we ventured out into the waters on a boat. Even the cacophonous engine was overshadowed by the songs of the fireflies. A constant buzz that completed the romantic setting.

As we maneuvered through the water, nature played it's game of light and shadow that would surely leave a haunting impression on the mind for many years to come.

We stepped out from the boat on the feet of a cottage, set in a desolate hill of the lake, far from the daily hubbub of the resort and the sounds of the commuters across the lake. A stray dog welcomed us with a bark and failed to respond to our loving gestures. But soon enough the canine grew accustomed to the shadowy figures of the night and as we left him, and the wonderfully maintained cottages behind, we could still see “Courage” wag its grey tail.

We left Foy's Lake the next morning, amidst pouring rain. Back into the asphalt streets of the city, the memory of the past one day would always remain as green as the hills by the water. The stillness of the lake and its silent surroundings would forever remind of the close proximity it took us to nature. And the waters of the lake will continue to play a Santoor in our hearts.

By Mannan Mashhur Zarif back from Chittagong
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed
Special thanks to M Mahfuzur Rahman, Deputy Manager, Concord Entertainment Co. Ltd.

 
 

home | Issues | The Daily Star Home

2010 The Daily Star