5th of October last year. I could have gone directly to Pakshi by bus but chose the train to make the journey more enjoyable. I reached Kotchandpur railway station in Jhenaidah district with quite some time in hand. My journey will start from here. The train arrived at the station punctually. My backpack, camera, mobile phone and some money accompanied me on the journey. On a cold winter morning, the train rushed towards my destination through the fine sheet of fog. After about two and a half hours, the train reached Pakshi station. I got off the train. It was 10:30 in the morning.
Pakshi Station on a cold winter morning
The platform of Pakshi station is slightly higher than the plain. Standing on that platform, at first the eyes went towards the four large structures a little far to the south. In fact, four reactors of the Rooppur nuclear power plant. After that, the railway town of Pakshi
looking at the west side of the platform, the iron-red railway bridge came into view. It is basically the Centennial Hardinge Railroad Bridge. A staircase leads down from the platform to the station yard just below. I went down the stairs and stepped there. Bought some light food and water from a grocery store near the station. I started walking along the sloping path toward the west railway town of Pakshi.
Padma River, Railway Bridge, and Lalon Shah Bridge
I walked along the banks of the Padma River below the Hardinge railway bridge. Sarbandha boat on the river bank. A red railway bridge has passed over it. Standing there, I clearly saw another road bridge going from side to side parallel to the railway bridge. This is Lalon Shah Bridge. There are sand shops covering a large part of the river bank. Pakshir Balu is famous all over the country.
Standing on the other side of the river, it is dimly visible. On the other side railway town of Pakshi
surrounded by thick greenery is geographically in The Bheramara upazila of Kushtia district. The current in the river was quiet. The moored boats were thus colliding with each other in the current.
Divisional Office of Railways, Steam Train Locomotive
I walked from the bank of the river to the nearby Rooppur railway station. The newly constructed station will be used to transport goods for Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant. I hired an easy bike from there for the whole day. I reached the divisional headquarters of the railway by easy bike. I got off the easy bike and entered the office premises of the departmental manager. The premises are well maintained. Laying the floor, drawing Alpana somewhere. An old narrow gauge steam engine (locomotive) of the railway is kept for exhibition. A fragment of a bomb was seen next to the steam engine. The bomb was dropped on the Hardinge railway bridge during the Great War of Liberation.
The entire office area is covered with tall trees. Inside the office, there are various red brick old-style buildings scattered around. The architecture of the buildings is distinctive. Some distance away, I saw the divisional control room of the railway. Most of the trains in the western part of the country are controlled from this room. Right next to the control room is the office of the Superintendent of Police.
Then I moved towards the officers’ quarters. I heard that within this walled section is the bungalow of Mr. Gayle, Chief Engineer of the Hardinge Railway Bridge project. But the security guard stopped me at the beginning. Entry there is strictly prohibited without permission from ‘above’. I didn’t have any of the above permissions. necessarily exit from there. I rode the easy bike again. Now the journey is towards Guard Bank.
The guard bank and the peaceful shade of banyan trees
Gard Bank is originally a small neighborhood that grew up along the banks of the river. Very near to railway office. There are two big banyan trees standing on the bank of the river. Body tired from the autumn sun. I sat in the shade of a banyan tree and ate. It’s time to leave the tranquility of Guard Bank and head for another destination. Hardinge Railway Bridge in the distance looking south from Guard Bank.
Sara Ghat, a few miles from Gard Bank, however, is not within the Pakshi Union. It belongs to another union called Sara. Coming near this ghat, the river Padma has turned a lot. The entire reflection of the autumn sky is clear in the water of the river. A few boats were moving forward through the water on the riverbed. The wind was strong on the river bank. Coming to Sara Ghat, the fatigue disappeared in an instant. Nature is wonderful here. Looks like midday. Went to Rooppur market for lunch.
The famous Sanko
Just before entering Rooppur Bazar, one has to cross the famous Sanko of Pakshi. A small roadway runs under the elevated railway line – such a tunnel as the locals call it. I crossed it and reached Rooppur Bazar.
I saw several Russian citizens in the Rooppur market. They have come to this country to work on the nuclear power plant project. The names of businesses in Ruppur Bazaar are written in Bengali and English as well as in Russian. Even the common people there have learned to speak Russian quite competently.
It’s time to go back
Had lunch at Rooppur Market. By that time it was afternoon. I paid the rent to the Easybike driver and said goodbye. It was time for my return train. Pakshi station is nearby. I will take the return train from here. I started walking towards the station without delay.