Panigram Resort is a socially and environmentally responsible boutique resort located on a river in southern Bangladesh just 70 km from the famous Sundarban mangrove forest. We are developing a luxury resort with a spa and wellness center that protects the natural and cultural heritage of Bangladesh, provides authentic and distinctive travel experiences to discerning travelers, promotes sustainable development, and improves the quality of life in the host community.
Not only will Panigram be one of the premiere resorts in Bangladesh, but it will also be committed to responsible hospitality, designed to harmonize with the community and powered by alternative energy. The beautifully designed mud and bamboo construction will be will be a modern interpretation of vernacular Bangladeshi architecture.
The resort is easily accessible by air; it takes less time to get from Dhaka to Panigram than it does to get from the northern to the southern end of Dhaka in rush hour traffic!
May 10th, 2014
Our river (like many others in Bangladesh) is choked with water hyacinth this time of year. This water weed damages the river eco system and makes boat navigation extremely difficult, but it is also an amazing source of energy.
(Photo by Paola Fornari.)
Like many Bangladeshi rivers, ours is regularly clogged with water hyacinth this time of year. Water hyacinth is a water weed which restricts water flow, blocks sunlight from reaching native aquatic plants, and starves the water of oxygen, often killing fish. When water hyacinth takes over a water way, underwater visibility and boat navigation are reduced; and biodiversity is significantly compromised.
Just as owners of beach resorts must clean the seaweed off of their beaches every morning, we too will need to clean the water hyacinth off of our river. Fortunately, instead of just throwing this weed away or composting it, we can turn it into biogas by putting it in our biogas reactor. To our knowledge, this will be the first commercially operating biogas reactor running off of water hyacinth in the world. Though biogas reactor technology is common in Bangladesh, because our fuel source is new, we decided to create a prototype reactor first to see if the system works as well in practice as it does on paper. And the answer? A resounding, “Yes!”
GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit) is partnering with us to introduce this technology to Bangladesh. The gas generated from Panigram’s biogas reactor will be used to power our gas stoves and ovens, but as biogas is predominantly methane, it can also be burned in a generator and turned into electricity. As an added benefit, the sludge byproduct of the gasification process makes a great fertilizer that we can use on our organic farms.
Our cook, Dipu, cooking our first biogas-heated meal!
January 9th, 2014
Our organic farm test plot next to the riverside bungalows.
Our first planting of our organic test plot is flourishing! Clark, our summer intern, and ULAB professor Shafiqul Islam designed our planting plan: first, we plant a round of legumes (beans and peas) to enrich the soil with nitrogen. Second, members of the brassicaceae (mustard and cabbage) family are planted; these include: lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, spinach, and brussels sprouts. Next, nightshade vegetables are planted; these include: tomatoes, peppers, eggplant. Finally, roots and alliums are planted; these include: garlic, onion, leek, turnip, celery, carrot, beets, etc. Planting in this order restores the nutrients in the soil and creates the ideal growing conditions for our crops. Read the rest of this entry »
November 27th, 2013
As we enter into the winter season at Panigram the emerald green fields turn to golden brown as the rice is collected and harvested. In a few weeks beautiful yellow mustard flowers will start popping up all over the countryside. As the weather cools, the date palm sap starts to run. Villagers (and Panigram Apprenticeship guests!) collect the date palm sap called “rosh” and drink it straight from the tree. The sweet, smoky flavored juice that is not consumed by the guests is cooked into a sticky sweet syrup or sugar called khejurer ghur, a true village delight!
Winter time brings delicious date palm juice and khejurer ghur!
We have added some fun new activities to the Panigram Apprenticeship Experience including:
- Date palm juice collection and ghur making
- Muri moa (Bangladeshi equivalent of caramel corn balls) cooking class
- Basket weaving
- Pottery classes for children
- Mustard oil collection and processing
For more information on the Panigram Apprenticeship Experience, click here.
Panigram Apprenticeship Experience guest (and father of company founder Kristin Boekhoff!) enjoys some fresh sugar cane on the verandah of one of our bungalows.
July 4th, 2013
Paola Fornari Hanna, a professional linguist, writer, and trainer and wife of the European Union Ambassador in Bangladesh, recently participated in the Panigram Apprenticeship Experience with her sister, Silvia. She enjoyed her stay so much that she was inspired to write a blog entry for us; we are very happy to publish it!
The Real Bangladesh
Recently my sister Silvia, who lives in Houston, Texas, came to stay. She was our very first visitor in two and a half years in Bangladesh, and was as determined to see, feel and breathe as much of the real Bangladesh as I was to show her.
I had read about the Panigram Apprenticeship Experience, and it seemed to be exactly what we were looking for, so we signed up. And for three days and two nights, it was one exciting sensory experience after another. Like blissful children, we got filthy mixing mud (and learnt to add jute to strengthen it for fixing cracks).
Read the rest of this entry »