24-Mar-2006 -- Confluence 26N 89E is located in a paddy field 500m East of the village of Boglagari, about 3 km northwest of the town of Jaldhaka in Bangladesh's northern Nilphamari District. The landscape is dominated by endless paddy fields with Bamboo groves and villages scattered in between. The impressive Teesta canal, which flows just 1km east of the confluence, provides irrigation for the fertile land.
The international members of our excursion to Bangladesh's northern most confluence were Sayed Mustafa Kamal, Md. Asad Ullah, Zahid Hossain, Sayed Sumaiya Kamal and Saad Bin Tarique from Bangladesh, Robin Sharma from Nepal and me, Karl Lippe from Germany.
My GPS had told me that the confluence 26N89E was just 32km NNE of Rangpur and it turned out to be easy to convince my colleagues to extend our Friday outing to Bangladesh's beautiful countryside to search for the confluence. As Mustafa Kamal's family used to live in this area since generations, he was immediately fascinated by this idea. Eventually, it turned out to be an easy and pleasant weekend trip.
Taking the road from Rangpur to Saidpur in the northwestern direction, we turned north at Paglapir on the road to Jaldhaka. As this road is currently in a poor condition, we diverted in western direction until we reached the Teesta canal, which runs through the Nilphamari District from North to South. The road on the canal's eastern dam was partly sealed and smooth, but dusty and bumpy over several kilometres. It seemed to take us directly to the confluence.
When we had approached the confluence and were as close as 1km, we crossed the canal at the next bridge (26.0091N89.0025E) and followed the narrow tarmac road in the western direction. After another 360m we turned south into a dusty track (26.0052N88.9956E), which leads to Boglagari (26.0005N88.9944E). Here, only 500m from our target, we left the car and started tracking into the paddy fields, following the network of footpaths on the shoulders of the irrigation ditches. The villagers where very much interested in our activity, which seemed to be a welcome change in their daily life and the crowd that accompanied our party grew larger and larger as we approached the confluence. For once, it felt like the Pied Piper, with hordes of village-folk trailing behind us.
In the open terrain with perfect GPS reception (EPE 3m) it was easy to locate the confluence in one of the flooded paddy field. On a path next to the fields we were able to approach it as close as 10m. We refrained from attempting to zero it in, because neither was the prospect of wading around in the mud very inviting nor would the farmers have been very happy if we had trampled on their young paddy.
After taking the necessary documentation photos and many more with our onlookers, we finally made our way back to the car to celebrate this successful excursion in the next tea shop, leaving behind the villagers, who are probably still guessing, what this strange visit was about.