My Bengal of gold, I love you
Forever your skies, your air set my heart in tune
As if it were a flute,
In spring, Oh mother mine, the fragrance from
Your mango-groves make me wild with joy-
Ah, what a thrill!
In autumn, Oh mother mine,
In the full-blossomed paddy fields,
I have seen spread all over – sweet smiles!
Ah, what a beauty, what shades, what an affection
And what a tenderness!
What a quilt have you spread at the feet of?
Banyan trees and along the banks of rivers!
Oh mother mine, words from your lips is like
Nectar to my ears!
Ah, what a thrill!
If sadness, Oh mother mine, casts a gloom on your face,
My eyes are filled with tears!
NATIONAL SYMBOLS OF BANGLADESH
Anthem Amar Shonar Bangla
Animal Royal Bengal Tiger
Bird Oriental Magpie Robin
Flower White water Lily
NATIONAL ICONS OF BANGLADESH:
Emblem of the Governmentof People’s Republic of Bangladesh
The National Parliament-(Jatio Sangshad bhaban)
Martyrs Memorial(Shaheed Minar)
National Monument(Jatio Smriti Soudho)
NationalBeastRoyal Bengal Tiger
NationalBirdMagpie robin (Doel)
NationalFlowerWater Lily (Shapla)
NATIONAL FLAG OF BANGLADESHThe national flag of Bangladesh is bottle green in color and rectangular in size with the length to width ratio of 10:6. It bears a red circle on the background of green. The color in the background represents the greenery of Bangladesh while the red circle symbolizes the rising sun and the sacrifice of lives in our freedom fight. The national flag was designed by Kamrul Hasan. Prescribed sizes of the flag for buildings are 305cm X 183cm, 152cm X 91cm and 76cm X 46cm and for vehicles are 38cm X 23cm and 25cm X 15cm.NATIONAL PARLIAMENT OF BANGLADESHJatiyo Sangshad or National Assembly is the national parliament of Bangladesh. The current parliament of Bangladesh contains 30seats, the occupants of which are called Members of Parliament or MPs. The parliament itself is housed in the Jatiyo Sangshad Bhaban an architectural masterpiece designed by Louis Kahn.
NATIONAL POET OF BANGLADESH:
Kazi Nazrul Islam
Kazi Nazrul Islam was born on the 25th May 1898 at Churulia in the district of Burdwan, West Bengal, India.A most versatile and prolific genius of this part of the world, he worked in multiple literary genres producing and astonishing corpus of literary works in Bangla.His works include at least 5books of poetry and songs, 400songs and ghazals, 6 books of stories and novels, 3 books of translations 53 plays, verse-plays and operas, 2 movie scripts, 5 books of essays and other kinds of prose writings.The poet died at Dhaka, capital of Bangladesh as National poet on the 29th August 1976.
MAP OF BANGLADESH
Bangladesh is a low-lying country with a total area of 56,977 square miles or 147,57square kilometers. It is mostly surrounded by Indian Territory except for small strip in the southeast by Myanmar and south by Bay of Bengal.
Most of its area is relatively flat lying. The only significant uplands are in the northeast and southeast of the country. Bangladesh has a tropical monsoon climate marked by sweltering temperatures and high humidity.
The Union Council is the lowest administrative unit. Each Union comprises about 20,00inhabitants. Generally 7-1Union cluster into a Thana (Police Station). Several Thanas form a District. There are about 56thanas and 64 districts in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh has an agrarian economy. Jute and rice are the main cash crops. Other crops are tea, sugarcane, oilseeds, fruits, spices, vegetables, wheat, potatoes, tobacco and cotton. The major industries are jute processing, cotton, garments, steel and pharmaceutical.
-National Flag of Bangladesh
BASIC INFORMATION OF BANGLADESH
Official Name-The People’s Republic of Bangladesh
Capital CityDhaka-(Metropolitan area 302.91 sq. Kilometers)
1) Dhaka-2) Chittagong 3) Barishal 4) Khulna- 5) Rajshahi- 6) Sylhet
Districts:-64 (Sixty Four)
Police Stations:-496 (Four Hundred Ninety Six)
City Corporation:- 4-
Union Parishad:- 4,472
Standard Time:- GMT + 6 hours-
Jute, Sugar, Paper, garments, Fertilizer, Cigarette, Cement, Newsprint, Fishing Food processing, Leather Leather goods, Timber, Pharmaceutical Chemical Industry, Ceramic Industries etc.
Raw jute and products, Tea, Leather and Leather goods, Garments, Frozen Shrimps, Fish products, Newsprint, Paper, Naphtha, Furnish oil, Fertilizer, Computer Software etc.-
Wheat, Oil seeds, Crude Petroleum, Raw Cotton, Edible Oil, Petroleum Products, Fertilizer, Cement, Staple fibers, Yarn, Iron Steel, Capital goods Raw materials/Chemicals for drugs etc.-
Seaports:- Chittagong Mongla.
Inland River ports:–
Dhaka, Narayanganj, Chandpur, Barisal, Khulna, Bhairab, Sirajgonj etc.-
InternationalZia Intl. Airport-Dhaka, Patenga Airport-Chittagong, Osmani Intl. Airport-Sylhet.
Dhaka, Chittagong, Sylhet, Cox’s Bazar, Thakurgoan, Syedpur, Rajshahi, Jessoere Barisal.
Principal Crops :- –
Rice, Jute, Tea, Tobacco, Wheat, Sugarcane, Vegetables, Potato, Pulses etc.
1194 mm to 3454 mm (Average during monsoon, June-August)
The climate of Bangladesh is tropical monsoon marked by Sweltering temperature and high humidity. Bangladesh has mainly four seasonssummer (March-May), Monsoon (Jun-September), Autumn (Oct-Nov) and Winter (December-February)
Padma, Bramhaputra, Jamuna, Meghna, Karnaphuli, Teesta, Arial Khan, Surma etc. (Total 23rivers including tributaries)
Natural Gas, Limestone, Hard rock, Coal lignite, Silica Sand, White clay, Radio-active sand etc. (there is a strong possibilities of oil deposit)
Satellite Station :-
Dhaka, Chittagong, Rajshahi, Rangpur, Khulna, Sylhet, Rangamati, Thakurgaon, Comilla,-
T.V. Station:- Dhaka, Chittagong.-
A substantial manpower reserve well trained and skilled Engineers, Economists, Physicians, Chartered qualified Accountants, IT Professionals, Technicians, Trained administrative and Managerial Personnel’s, abundance of low cost, easily trainable and adoptable and hard Working intelligent and youthful labour force;
Labour rates between 1.5 3 US$ per day (8-1hrs).
-GDP – purchasing power parity
$187 billion (199est.)
-GDP – real growth rate
-GDP – per capita-purchasing power parity
-GDP – composition by sector
agriculture30% industry17% services53% (199est.)
-Population below poverty line
35.6% (FY95/96 est.)
-Household income or consumption by-percentage share
lowest 10%4.1% highest 10%23.7% (1992)
-Inflation rate (consumer prices)
56 million (1995-96) noteextensive export of labor to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Oman, Qatar, Malaysia, and Singapore
-Labor force – by occupation
agriculture 63%, services 26%, industry 11% (FY95/96)
revenues$4.3 billion expenditures$6.5 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1997)
cotton textiles, jute, garments, tea processing, paper, newsprint, cement, chemical fertilizer, light engineering, sugar
-Industrial production growth rate
2.5% (1997 est.)
-Electricity – production
12.5 billion kWh (199est.)
-Electricity – production by source
fossil fuel98% hydro2% nuclear0% other0% (1999)
-Electricity – consumption
11.03billion kWh (1998)
-Agriculture – products
rice, jute, tea, wheat, sugarcane, potatoes; beef, milk, poultry, tobacco, pulses, oilseeds, spices, fruit
$5.1 billion (1998)
-Exports – commodities
garments, jute and jute goods, leather, frozen fish and seafood
-Exports – partners
US 33%, Germany 10%, UK 9%, France 6%, Italy 5% (1997)
$8.01 billion (1998)
-Imports – commodities
machinery and equipment, chemicals, iron and steel, textiles, raw cotton, food, crude oil and petroleum products, cement
-Imports – partners
India 12%, China 9%, Japan 7%, Hong Kong 6%, South Korea 6% (1997)
1 taka (Tk) = 10paisa
taka (Tk) per US$1 – 51.00(January 2000), 49.085 (1999), 46.906 (1998), 43.892 (1997), 41.794 (1996), 40.278 (1995)
1 July – 3June
Conventional long formPeople’s Republic of Bangladesh Conventional short formBangladesh
4 November 1972, effective 16 December 1972, suspended following coup of 24 March 1982, restored 1November 1986, amended many times
Based on English common law
18 years of age; universal
Chief of statePresident Head of governmentThe Elected Prime Minister CabinetCabinet selected by the prime minister and appointed by the president
National Parliament or Jatiya Sangsad (33seats; 30elected by popular vote from single territorial constituencies, 3seats reserved for women; members serve five-year terms)
Supreme Court, the Chief Justices and other judges are appointed by the president
-Main Political parties
– Awami League or AL—- LeaderSheikh Hasina Wajed- Bangladesh Nationalist Party or BNP—- LeaderKhaleda Zia – Jatiyo Party— LeaderHussain Mohammad Ershad- Liberal Democratic Party or LDP — LeaderProf. Dr. A.Q.M. Badrudoza Chowdhury – Jamaat-E-Islami—- LeaderMotiur Rahman Nizami
129,194,224 (July 200est.)
0-14 years36% (male 24,055,675; female 22,918,354) 15-64 years60% (male 39,924,040; female 37,992,459) 65 years and over4% (male 2,342,134; female 1,961,562) (200est.)
-Population growth rate
25.44 births/1,00population (200est.)
8.73 deaths/1,00population (200est.)
-Net migration rate
-0.77 migrant(s)/1,00population (200est.)
at birth1.06 male(s)/female under 15 years1.05 male(s)/female 15-64 years1.05 male(s)/female 65 years and over1.1male(s)/female total population1.05 male(s)/female (200est.)
-Infant mortality rate
71.66 deaths/1,00live births (200est.)
-Life expectancy at birth
total population60.16 years male60.4 years female59.91 years (200est.)
-Total fertility rate
2.85 children born/woman (200est.)
Bengali 98%, Biharis 250,000, tribals less than 1 million
Muslim 88.3%, Hindu 10.5%, other 1.2%
Bangla (official), English
definitionage 15 and over can read and write total population38.1% male49.4% female26.1% (1995 est.)
INTER CITY DISTANCE
Values shown in Kilo Meter
Chittagong Head Office
Dhaka Head Office
Khulna Head Office
POST CODE OF DIFFERENT AREAS OF DHAKA CITY
Banga Bhaban 1222
Dhaka Cantonment 1206
Dhaka GPO 1000
Dhaka Head Office 1100
Dhaka Politechnic 1208
Mirpur Bazar 1218
Mirpur Section-1 1216
Mirpur Section-2 1221
New Market 1205
Sangsad Bhaban 1225
DISTRICT OF BANGLADESH
Bagerhat Jessore Netrokona Bandarban Jhalakathi Nilphamari BargunaJhinaidah Noakhali BarisalKhagrachariNorailBarnmanbariaKhulnaPabnaBhola Kishoreganj Panchagarh BograKurigramPatuakhaliChandpurKushtia PirojpurChittagongLakshmipurRajbariChuadanga Lalmonirhat Rajshahi ComillaMadaripurRangamati Cox’s BazarMaguraRangpurDhakaManikganjSatkhira DinajpurMeherpurShariyatpurFaridpur MoulavibazarSherpur
FeniMunshiganj SirajgonjGaibandhaMymensingh SunamganjGazipur Naogaon SylhetGopalganj Narayangan Tangail Habiganj Narsingdi ThakurgaonJaipurhat Natore – JamalpurNawabgonj
DHAKA CITY MAP
CHITTAGONG CITY MAP
KHULNA CITY MAP
RAJSHAHI CITY MAP
NATIONAL DAYS OF BANGLADESH
The Bengali New Year day is gaily observed in the cities and villages throughout the country. This is a most important traditional day of the nation. Many fairs held in Dhaka as well as all other places. But the most colorful daylong gatherings are at Ramna Park, Dhaka. The main attraction of the day is Panta Bhat(watered rice) and Hilsha Fish. Social and cultural organizations arrange different cultural functions.
Another traditional day is Pahela Falgoon, the first day of- spring, which is observed throughout the country by traditional festivities and colorful programs. Spring fairs, cultural programs and exchanges of greetings and gifts among friends and beloved ones mark the day. People from all walks of life throng- the venues of different programs wearing traditional ‘spring sarees’ and ‘Panjabi’. Other programs of the day include exchange of flowers, gifts and ‘Rakhi-Bandhan’.Shaheed Dibosh (Martyrs day) 21st February
21st February of every year is observed throughout the country to pay respect and homage to the sacred souls of the martyr’s of Language Movement of 1952. Blood was shed on this day near Dhaka Medical College Hospital area to establish Bangla as the state language of Bangladesh (then East Pakistan). All subsequent movements including struggle for independence owe their origin to the historic language movement. The Shahid Minar (Martyr’s Monument) is the symbol of sacrifice for the mother tongue.-The UNESCO has proclaimed the day as the International Mother Language Day to be observed globally in recognition of the sacrifices of the martyrs for establishing ‘Bangla’ (Bengali) as mother tongue. The celebration starts at zero hour and continues for the whole day. The monument is bedecked with flowers and wreaths. Social and cultural organizations arrange different programs including barefooted processions and singing session.
Independence Day 26 March
In March 26, Independence of Bangladesh was formally declared on the eve of a month long war of Independence against Pakistan in the year 1971. After many years of exploitation, both politically and economically, the Bengali national sentiments led to the massive victory of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the Awami League in the Pakistan National Elections of 1970. The ruling oligarchs in the then West Pakistan balked at having to give up the reigns of power to East Pakistanis. They stalled the installation of the newly elected parliament, and on the dark night of March 25, 1971 embarked on a genocidal reign of terror aimed at extinguishing all signs of Bengali nationalism. In the face of this, the inevitable declaration of independence was announced on 26th March.
The day, 26th March, is most befittingly observed everywhere of the country. The citizens of Dhaka and all other places wake up early in the morning with the booming of guns heralding the day. Leaders of Government and sociopolitical parties, freedom fighters and people of all level place floral wreaths at the National Memorial Monument at Savar. Cultural functions are held by different Socio-cultural organizations. At night the main public buildings are tastefully illuminated to give the capital city a dazzling look.-
Bijoy Dibosh (Victory Day)16 December
On this day, after the nine month long independence war with Pakistan, the occupying armed forces of Pakistan formally surrendered to the freedom fighters of Bangladesh. After declaration of Independence, the fight was on for the people of Bangladesh to achieve independence. Lastly victory comes at a terrible price of 3 million people killed by the marauding armies of Pakistan.
In this day, like the Independence day, people of all level place floral wreaths at the National Memorial Monument at Savar and cultural organizations arrange cultural functions.
The biggest Muslim Festival observed throughout the Muslim world. This is held on the day following the Ramadan. The Ramadan is treated as the month of fasting. After fasting for the whole month, the day is very much desirable and enjoyable to the Muslim community. On this day all Muslims go to the Eidgah or Mosque for prayer. Everybody wears new dress, embrace each other, travel here and there all day long and enjoy tasty foods.-Eid-ul- Azha
It is held marking the Hajj in Mokka on the 10th Zilhaj the moon month of the Muslims. Animals are sacrificed in reminiscence of Hazarat Ibrabim (AM) preparedness for the supreme sacrifice of his beloved son to Allah. In the morning everybody complete prayer and then sacrifice their selected animal(s) to the almighty. On this day the riches distribute meats and other foods to the poorer. Everybody visit their neighbor and relatives house and share meat and foods. This day teaches us sacrifice, love and affection.Durga Puja
Durga Puja is the biggest festival and has a great significance in Hindu mythology. Goddess Durga is the symbol of strength. The festival also symbolizes the victory of the good over evil. Mythology says, when evil Mohishashur disrupted everywhere and harassed everybody then the goddess Durga killed him and re-established peace in the earth and haven. Durga Puja continues for five days and each of the days has some special importance. During these days each and every house is decorated and illuminated attractively. This is the time to buy new dress and enjoy sweets. On these days we get together with our friends, family member neighbors and express love for each other.Janmastami
Janmastami is the birthday of Lord Krishna. Krishna was borne at such a time when his mother Jashada father Bashudev were in the prison of evil Kangso. According to the Hindus mythology, when mischief and evils started disquieting the human and destroying truth then Lord Krishna appeared at the earth with an aim to save the truth, salvage the pious and destroy the false and evils. On this day Hindus implore for the blessings of Krishna. Everybody gets together, express love and affection to each other.
Buddhists commemorate the birth and enlightenment of Buddha. This occurs on the first full-moon of the Bengali month of Baishakh.
ChristmasChristians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ
HISTORY OF BANGLADESH
Stone tools provide the earliest evidence of human settlements. Prehistoric stone implements have been discovered in various parts of West Bengal in the districts of Midnapur, Bankura and Burdwan. But it is difficult to determine, even approximately, the time when people using them first settled in Bengal. It might have taken place ten thousand years (or even more) ago. The original settlers spoke non-Aryan languagesthey may have spoken Austric or Austro-Asiatic languages like the languages of the present-day Kola, Bhil, Santal, Shabara and Pulinda peoples. At a subsequent age, peoples speaking languages from two other language familiesDravidian and Tibeto-Burmanseem to have settled in Bengal. Archaeological discoveries during the 1960s furnished evidence of a degree of civilisation in certain parts of Bengal as far back as the beginning of the first millennium BC, perhaps even earlier. The discoveries at Pandu Rajar Dhibi in the valley of the Ajay River (near Bolpur) in Burdwan district and in several other sites on the Ajay, Kunar and Kopai Rivers have thrown fresh light on Bengal’s prehistory. Pandu Rajar Dhibi represents the ruins of a trading township, which carried on trade not only with the interior regions of India, but alsopossibly indirectlywith the countries of the Mediterranean.
Bengal in mythology
Some deprecatory references indicate that the early people in Bengal were different in ethnicity and culture from the Vedic beyond the boundary of Aryandom and who were classed as ‘Dasyus. The Bhagavata Purana classes them as sinful people while Dharmasutra of Bodhayana prescribes expiatory rites after a journey among the Pundras and Vangas. Mahabharata speaks of Paundraka Vasudeva who was lord of the Pundrasand who allied himself with Jarasandha against Krishna. Mahabharata also speaks of Bengali kings called Chitrasena and Sanudrasena who were defeated by Bhima, Kalidas mentions Raghu defeated a coalition of Vanga kings who were defeated by Raghu and Raghu established a victory column in the Gangetic delta.
Proto-history and Pre-history
Geological evidence indicates that much of Bangladesh was formed 1 to 6.5 million years ago during the tertiary era. Human habitation in this region is, therefore, likely to be very old. The implements discovered in Deolpota village in the neighbouring state of West Bengal suggest that paleolithic civilization in the region existed about one hundred thousand years ago. The evidence of paleolithic civilization in Bangladesh region is limited to a stone implement in Rangamati and a hand axe in the hilly tip of Feni district. They are likely to be 10,00to 15,00years old. New stone age in the region lasted from 3,00B C to 1,50B C. Neolithic tools comparable to Assam group were found at Sitakunda in Chittagong. Hand axes and chisels showing close affinity to neolithic industries in West Bengal, Bihar and Orissa have been discovered at Mainamati near Comilla. The thinly forested laterite hills in eastern Bengal dotted with fertile valleys provided a congenial environment for neolithic settlements. However, the archaeological evidence on transition from stone age to metal age in this region is still missing.
The Vanga Kingdom was a powerful seafaring nation of Ancient India. They had overseas trade relations with Java, Sumatra and Siam (modern day Thailand). According to Mahavamsa, the Vanga prince Vijaya Singha conquered Lanka (modern day Sri Lanka) in 544 BC and gave the name Sinhalato the country. Bengali people migrated to the Maritime Southeast Asia and Siam (in modern Thailand), establishing their own colonies there.
Though north and west Bengal were part of the Magadhan empire southern Bengal thrived and became powerful with her overseas trades. In 326 BCE, with the invasion of Alexander the Great the region again came to prominence. The Greek and Latin historians suggested that Alexander the Great withdrew from India anticipating the valiant counter attack of the mighty Gangaridai empire that was located in the Bengal region. Alexander, after the meeting with his officer, Coenus, was convinced that it was better to return. Diodorus Siculus mentions Gangaridai to be the most powerful empire in India whose king possessed an army of 20,00horses, 200,00infantry, 2,00chariots and 4,00elephants trained and equipped for war. The allied forces of Gangaridai Empire and Nanda Empire (Prasii) were preparing a massive counter attack against the forces of Alexander on the banks of Ganges. Gangaridai according to the Greek accounts kept on flourishing at least up to the 1st century AD.
Asia in 323BC, the Nanda Empire and Gangaridai Empire in relation to Alexander’s Empire and neighbors.
EARLY MIDDLE AGES
The pre-Gupta period of Bengal is shrouded with obscurity. Before the conquest of Samudragupta Bengal was divided into two kingdomsPushkarana and Samatata. Chandragupta II had defeated a confederacy of Vanga kings resulting in Bengal becoming part of the Gupta Empire.
By the sixth century, the Gupta Empire ruling over the northern Indian subcontinent was largely broken up. Eastern Bengal became the Vanga Kingdom while the Gauda kings rose in the west with their capital at Karnasuvarna (Murshidabad). Shashanka, a vassal of the last Gupta Empire became independent and unified the smaller principalities of Bengal (Gaur, Vanga, Samatata) and vied for regional power with Harshavardhana in northern India. But this burst of Bengali power did not last beyond his death, as Bengal descended afterwards into a period marked by disunity and foreign invasion.
The Pala dynasty
Main articlePala Empire
HYPERLINK http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Pala_Empire_(Dharmapala).gifo Pala Empire under Dharmapala
HYPERLINK http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Devapala.jpgo Pala Empire under Devapala
Pala Empire under Dharmapala
Pala Empire under Devapala
Pala dynasty were the first independent Buddhist dynasty of Bengal. The name Pala (Modern Bengali pal) means protector and was used as an ending to the names of all Pala monarchs. The Palas were followers of the Mahayana and Tantric schools of Buddhism. Gopala was the first ruler from the dynasty. He came to power in 750 in Gaur by a democratic election. This event is recognized as one of the first democratic elections in South Asia since the time of the Mah Janapadas. He reigned from 750-770 and consolidated his position by extending his control over all of Bengal. The Buddhist dynasty lasted for four centuries (750-112AD) and ushered in a period of stability and prosperity in Bengal. They created many temples and works of art as well as supported the Universities of Nalanda and Vikramashila. Somapura Mahavihara built by Dharmapala is the greatest Buddhist Vihara in the Indian Subcontinent.
Somapura Mahavihara in Bangladesh is the greatest Buddhist Vihara in the India Subcontinent, built by Dharmapala.
The empire reached its peak under Dharmapala and Devapala. Dharmapala extended the empire into the northern parts of the Indian Subcontinent. This triggered once more for the control of the subcontinent. Devapala, successor of Dharmapala, expanded the empire to cover much of South Asia and beyond. His empire stretched from Assam and Utkala in the east, Kamboja (modern day Afghanistan) in the north-west and Deccan in the south. According to Pala copperplate inscription Devapala exterminated the Utkalas, conquered the Pragjyotisha (Assam), shattered the pride of the Huna, and humbled the lords of Gurjara, Pratiharas and the Dravidas.
Buddha and Bodhisattvas, 11th century, Pala Empire
The death of Devapala ended the period of ascendancy of the Pala Empire and several independent dynasties and kingdoms emerged during this time. However, Mahipala I rejuvenated the reign of the Palas. He recovered control over all of Bengal and expanded the empire. He survived the invasions of Rajendra Chola and the Chalukyas. After Mahipala I the Pala dynasty again saw its decline until Ramapala, the last great ruler of the dynasty, managed to retrieve the position of the dynasty to some extent. He crushed the Varendra rebellion and extended his empire farther to Kamarupa, Orissa and Northern India.
The Pala Empire can be considered as the golden era of Bengal. Never had the Bengali people reached such height of power and glory to that extent. Palas were responsible for the introduction of Mahayana Buddhism in Tibet, Bhutan and Myanmar. The Pala had extensive trade as well as influence in south-east Asia. This can be seen in the sculptures and architectural style of the Sailendra Empire (present-day Malaya, Java, Sumatra).
The Palas were followed by the Sena dynasty who brought Bengal under one ruler during the twelfth century. Vijay Sen the second ruler of this dynasty defeated the last Pala emperor Madanapala and established his reign. Ballal Sena introduced caste system in Bengal and made Nabadwip the capital. The fourth king of this dynasty Lakshman Sen expanded the empire beyond Bengal to Bihar. Lakshman fled to eastern Bengal under the onslaught of the muslims without facing them in battle. The Sena dynasty brought a brief period of revival of Hinduism in bengal. A popular myth comprehended by some Bengali authors about Jayadeva, the famous Sanskrit poet of Odisha(then known as the Kalingan Empire)and author of Gita Govinda, was one of the Pancharatnas (meaning 5 gems) in the court of Lakshman Sen.It remains a myth though as there remains no evidence to suggest so.
LATE MIDDLE AGES – ARRIVAL OF ISLAM
Islam made its first appearance in Bengal during the twelfth century AD when Sufi missionaries arrived. Later occasional Muslim invaders reinforced the process of conversion by building mosques, madrassas and Sufi Khanqah. Beginning in 1202 a military commander from the Delhi Sultanate, Bakhtiar Khilji, overran Bihar and Bengal as far east as Rangpur, Bogra and the Brahmaputra River. The defeated Laksman Sen and his two sons moved to a place then called Vikramapur (present-day Munshiganj District), where their diminished dominion lasted until the late thirteenth century.
The period after Bakhtiar Khilji’s death in 1206 devolved into infighting among the Khiljis – representative of a pattern of succession struggles and intra-empire intrigues during later Turkic regimes. Ghiyasuddin Iwaz Khalji prevailed and extended the Sultan’s domain south to Jessore and made the eastern Bang province a tributary. The capital was made at Lakhnauti on the Ganges near the older Bengal capital of Gaur. He managed to make Kamarupa and Trihut pay tribute to him. But he was later defeated by Shams-ud-Din Iltutmish.
The weak successors of Iltutmish encouraged the local governors to declare independence. Bengal was sufficiently remote from Delhi that its governors would declare independence on occasion, styling themselves as Sultans of Bengal. It was during this time that Bengal earned the name Bulgakpur(land of the rebels). Tughral Togun Khan added Oudh and Bihar to Bengal. Mughisuddin Yuzbak also conquered Bihar and Oudh from Delhi but was killed during an unsuccessful expedition in Assam. Two Turkic attempts to push east of the broad Jamuna and Brahmaputra rivers were repulsed, but a third led by Mughisuddin Tughral conquered the Sonargaon area south of Dhaka to Faridpur, bringing the Sen Kingdom officially to an end by 1277. Mughisuddin Tughral repulsed two massive attacks of the sultanate of Delhi before finally being defeated and killed by Ghiyas ud din Balban.
Mahmud Shahi dynasty
Mahmud Shahi dynasty started when Nasiruddin Bughra Khan declared independence in Bengal. Thus Bengal regained her independence back. Nasiruddin Bughra Khan and his successors ruled Bengal for 23 years finally being incorporated into Delhi Sultanate by Ghyiasuddin Tughlaq.
Ilyas Shahi dynasty
Sixty Dome Mosque in Mosque city of Bagerhat was built in the 15th century and is the largest historical mosque in Bangladesh, as well as a World Heritage site.
Shamsuddin Iliyas Shah founded an independent dynasty that lasted from 1342-1487. The dynasty successfully repulsed attempts by Delhi to conquer them. They continued to reel in the territory of modern-day Bengal, reaching to Khulna in the south and Sylhet in the east. The sultans advanced civic institutions and became more responsive and nativein their outlook and cut loose from Delhi. Considerable architectural projects were completed including the massive Adina Mosque and the Darasbari Mosque which still stands in Bangladesh near the border. The Sultans of Bengal were patrons of Bengali literature and began a process in which Bengali culture and identity would flourish. The Ilyas Shahi Dynasty was interrupted by an uprising by the Hindus under Raja Ganesha. However the Ilyas Shahi dynasty was restored by Nasiruddin Mahmud Shah. The dynasty was finally overthrown by the Habshi (Abyssinian) slaves of the sultanate.
Hussain Shahi dynasty
The Habshi rule gave way to the Hussain Shahi dynasty that ruled from 1494-1538. Alauddin Hussain Shah, considered as the greatest of all the sultans of Bengal for bringing cultural renaissance during his reign. He extended the sultanate all the way to the port of Chittagong, which witnessed the arrival of the first Portuguese merchants. Nasiruddin Nasrat Shah gave refuge to the Afghan lords during the invasion of Babur though he remained neutral. However Nusrat Shah made a treaty with Babur and saved Bengal from a Mughal invasion. The last Sultan of the dynasty, who continued to rule from Gaur, had to contend with rising Afghan activity on his northwestern border. Eventually, the Afghans broke through and sacked the capital in 1538 where they remained for several decades until the arrival of the Mughals.
Sher Shah Suri established the Sur dynasty in Bengal. After the battle of Chausa he declared himself independent Sultan of Bengal and Bihar. Sher Shah was the only Muslim Sultan of Bengal to establish an empire in northern India. The Delhi Sultanate Islam Shah appointed Muhammad Khan Sur as the governor of Bengal. After the death of Islam Shah, Muhammad Khan Sur became independent. Muhammad Khan Sur was followed by Ghyiasuddin Bahadur Shah and Ghyiasuddin Jalal Shah. The Pashtun rule in Bengal remained for 44 years. Their most impressive achievement was Sher Shah’s construction of the Grand Trunk Road connecting Sonargaon, Delhi and Peshawar.
The Sur dynasty was followed by the Karrani dynasty. Sulaiman Khan Karrani annexed Orissa to the Muslim sultanate permanently. Daoud Shah Karrani declared independence from Akbar which led to four years of bloody war between the Mughals and the Pashtuns. The Mughal onslaught against the Pashtun Sultan ended with the battle of Rajmahal in 1576, led by Khan Jahan. However, the Pashtun and the local landlords (Baro Bhuyans) led by Isa Khan resisted the Mughal invasion.
The Lalbagh Fort was developed by Shaista Khan.
Bengal came once more under the control of Delhi as the Mughals conquered it in 1576. At that time Dhaka became a Mughal provincial capital. But it remained remote and thus a difficult to govern the region especially the section east of the Brahmaputra River remained outside the mainstream of Mughal politics. The Bengali ethnic and linguistic identity further crystallized during this period, since the whole of Bengal was united under an able and long-lasting administration