The historic 300-year-old Kana Raja’s Cave at Patuar Tek under Ukhiya upazila in Cox’s Bazar is just a victim of negligence despite having the potential to fetch revenue earnings as an attractive tourist spot.
Situated at Zalia Palong Union, about 25 kilometres away from the Laboni Point of the Cox’s Bazar beach, and believed to be the biggest cave in South Asia, it cannot live up to the billing, the local people think, in absence of necessary development work.
It is said that almost 300 years back one Kana Raja from Myanmar took shelter with his followers at Patuar Tek, where he dug the cave, now widely known as Kana Raja’s Cave (cave of the one-eyed king).
Even when it is not the tourism season, hundreds of local and foreign tourists flock to Cox’s Bazar’s Inani Beach and the Kana Raja’s Cave to spend some time in the lap of the nature. But when the tourists visit the 3km-long and 30-foot-wide cave, they become a bit disillusioned, as the cave lacks the lustre, which it should have, according to the local people.
They said at the time when Kana Raja came here 300 years ago, sea-going vessels were the only mode of communication with other countries and plenty of local and foreign vessels carrying goods used to sail past the area frequently. Kana Raja along with his accomplices used to loot those ships and heap up the booty in the cave. Locals said some of the booty still might be found here.
They said Chakma people started living at the place about 200 years ago. They first discovered the mysterious cave while cultivating crops. Later it created a stir among the globe-trotters at home and abroad and thousands of people visited it.
The authorities concerned are just allowing the cave to decay as the time passes, the locals alleged. It is now in such a derelict condition that the next generation might be quite in the dark about existence of such a cave. So necessary work should be undertaken to give it a facelift and save it from the brink of ruination, they suggested.
The pile of natural stones at Patuar Tek is some 3km south off the international tourist spot Inani Beach in Cox’s Bazar and the cave is about 100 yards east off the beach.