The "Ali Surang" cave expedition to Alikadam in the Bandarban district was like an adventure. The cave is located on a hill which is about 3 km away from Alikadam Upazila. I do not know the history of this Ali cave. However, I heard that 360 Sufis came to the subcontinent to spread Islam. A part of them flew the banner of Islam in the greater Chittagong region. There may be a Sufi named Ali among them. Alikadam or Ali cave is named after him.
We chose a good day and went out toward Ali cave. There are several huts and shops at the beginning of the trekking, where you can leave your bags or essentials if you want. Because it's not easy to do the trekking with such a heavy thing.
We started walking. You have to walk a lot along the hilly path. Sometimes you have to go up; sometimes you have to go down. After crossing a village of the Mong tribe and crossing the "Tain" canal, we started climbing the hill.
The hills on both sides, the edge of the mountain, are like a canvas of artists' work. Coldwater is dripping from the side of the hill. The whole environment is full of green. The sun's light is coming from far above through the gaps in the trees' leaves, just like the game of light and darkness.
There are three mysterious tunnels or caves here in this Ali hill. This tunnel or Ali cave is a natural wonder situated between the two hills near the Tain canal born from the river Matamuhuri. This cave is about 150 feet above from hilly road. You have to cross the canal and proceed very carefully through the middle of the hill. The whole path will fascinate you with its natural beauty.
You will see the entrance to the cave in the middle of two high hills facing each other. There are three ladders to go up from the bottom to the mouth of the cave. Climb up the stairs and set foot in the cave's mouth is like the joy of conquering Everest. This cave is about 100 feet long. Next to there are two more caves, the length of which are almost the same.
There was creepy darkness inside the cave. We used flashlights and mobile lights. Suddenly a swarm of bats came flying and frightened us. The path has become slippery due to the frozen water under the tunnel. It is as if I went to the whole primitive age.
Bandarban district is a paradise for adventure lovers. Caves, hills, fountains are not here. The next day we went camping at "Marayon Tong" peak. The highest peak of the Mirinja Range in Alikadam Upazila of Bandarban is Marayan Tong, which is about 1640 feet tall.
Various indigenous ethnic groups are living in and around the Marayon Tong Jadi Hills. One of them is Tripura Marma and Murang. The Marmas live at the bottom of the hill. And the neighborhoods of the Murang nation are scattered in the folds of the mountains. The hill people usually build houses on the "Machang," which is made with bamboo and wood. Family lives upstairs, and below are chickens, pigs, etc. The beauty of this diverse culture has given Bandarban a different dimension.
After walking for about 3 hours, we reach Marayon Tong. And I can't wait to tell you about the beauty I saw during the trek. Maybe I will tell the whole story another time.