Language: Bangla (official, also known as Bengali), English
Time: GMT +6 Hours
Administrative Units: Country is divided into six administrative divisions.
These are: Dhaka, Chittagong, Khulna, Rajshahi, Barisal and Sylhet
Flag: The 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.
The People’s Republic of Bangladesh is a country in South East Asia. The greater part of Bangladesh consists of a large alluvial plain land Crisscrossed by mighty rivers. The three principal rivers Padma, Meghna, and Jamuna come together in the southern half of the country to from enormous delta.
Geographic location :
South Asia, between 20°34′ and 26°38′ north latitude and between 88°01′ and 92°41′ east longitude; consists of flat fertile alluvial land.
Bangladesh is a country in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Myanmar to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south. Together with the Indian state of West Bengal, it makes up the ethno-linguistic region of Bengal. The name Bangladesh means “Country of Bengal” in the official Bengali language.
55,599 sq mis
Land: 133,910 sq kms
Water: 10,090 sq kms
Area – comparative:
Slightly smaller than Iowa
Total: 4,246 kms
Border countries: Burma 193 kms, India 4,053 km s
Territorial sea: 12 nms
Contiguous zone: 18 nms
Exclusive Economic zone: 200 nms
Continental shelf: up to the outer limits of the continental margin
Weather & Climate :
Bangladesh has a tropical monsoon-type climate, with a hot and rainy summer and a dry winter. January is the coolest month with temperatures averaging near 26 deg C (78 d F) and April the warmest with temperatures from 33 to 36 deg C (91 to 96 deg F). The climate is one of the wettest in the world. Most places receive more than 1,525 mm of rain a year, and areas near the hills receive 5,080 mm). Most rains occur during the monsoon (June-September) and little in winter (November-February).
Bangladesh is subject to devastating cyclones, originating over the Bay of Bengal, in the periods of April to May and September to November. Often accompanied by surging waves, these storms can cause great damage and loss of life. The cyclone of November 1970, in which about 500,000 lives were lost in Bangladesh, was one of the worst natural disasters of the country in the 20th century.
Bangladesh has warm temperatures throughout the year, with relatively little variation from month to month. January tends to be the coolest month and May the warmest. In Dhaka the average January temperature is about 19°C (about 66°F), and the average May temperature is about 29°C (about 84°F).
Required clothing: Lightweight cottons and linens throughout the year. Warmer clothes are needed in the evenings during the cool season. Waterproofs are necessary during the monsoon season.
Traditionally Bangladeshis subdivide the year into six seasons:
Grismo (summer) March to May
Barsha (rainy) June to August
Sharat (autumn) September to October
Hemanto (cool) October to November
Sheet (winter) November to December
Bashonto (spring) December to February
For practical purposes, however, three seasons are distinguishable:
summer, rainy, and winter.
Remnants of civilization in the greater Bengal region date back four thousand years, when the region was settled by Dravidian, Tibeto-Burman, and Austro-Asiatic peoples. The exact origin of the word “Bangla” or “Bengal” is unknown, though it is believed to be derived from Bang, the Dravidian-speaking tribe that settled in the area around the year 1000 BC.
After the arrival of Indo-Aryans, the kingdom of Gangaridai was formed from at least the seventh century BC, which later united with Bihar under the Magadha and Maurya Empires. Bengal was later part of the Gupta Empire from the third to the sixth centuries CE. Following its collapse, a dynamic Bengali named Shashanka founded an impressive yet short-lived kingdom. Shashanka is considered the first independent king in the history of Bangladesh. After a period of anarchy, the Buddhist Pala dynasty ruled the region for four hundred years, followed by a shorter reign of the Hindu Sena dynasty.
Islam was introduced to Bengal in the twelfth century by Sufi missionaries, and subsequent Muslim conquests helped spread Islam throughout the region. Bakhtiar Khilji, a Turkish general, defeated Lakshman Sen of the Sena dynasty and conquered large parts of Bengal. The region was ruled by dynasties of Sultans and feudal lords for the next few hundred years. By the 16th century, the Mughal Empire controlled Bengal, and Dhaka became an important provincial centre of Mughal administration.
European traders arrived late in the 15th century, and their influence grew until the British East India Company gained control of Bengal following the Battle of Plassey in 1757. The bloody rebellion of 1857, known as the Sepoy Mutiny, resulted in transfer of authority to the crown, with a British viceroy running the administration. During colonial rule, famine racked the Indian subcontinent many times, including the Great Bengal famine of 1943 that claimed 3 million lives. Between 1905 and 1911, an abortive attempt was made to divide the province of Bengal into two zones, with Dhaka being the capital of the eastern zone. When India was partitioned in 1947, Bengal was partitioned along religious lines, with the western part going to India and the eastern part joining Pakistan as a province called East Bengal (later renamed East Pakistan), with its capital at Dhaka.
In 1950, land reform was accomplished in East Bengal with the abolishment of the feudal zamindari system. However, despite the economic and demographic weight of the east, Pakistan’s government and military were largely dominated by the upper classes from the west. The Bengali Language Movement of 1952 was the first sign of friction between the two wings of Pakistan. Dissatisfaction with the central government over economic and cultural issues continued to rise through the next decade, during which the Awami League emerged as the political voice of the Bengali-speaking population. It agitated for autonomy in the 1960s, and in 1966, its president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was jailed; he was released in 1969 after an unprecedented popular uprising.
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, founder of Bangladesh. In 1970, a massive cyclone devastated the coast of East Pakistan, and the central government responded poorly. The Bengali population’s anger was compounded when Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, whose Awami League won a majority in Parliament in the 1970 elections, was blocked from taking office. After staging compromise talks with Mujib, President Yahya Khan arrested him on the early hours of March 26, 1971, and launched Operation Searchlight, a sustained military assault on East Pakistan. Yahya’s methods were extremely bloody, and the violence of the war resulted in many civilian deaths. Chief targets included intellectuals and Hindus, and about ten million refugees fled to neighbouring India (LaPorte, p. 103). Estimates of those massacred throughout the war range from three hundred thousand to 3 million.
Most of the Awami League leaders fled and set up a government-in-exile in Calcutta, India. The Bangladesh Liberation War lasted for nine months. The guerrilla Mukti Bahini and Bengali regulars eventually received support from the Indian Armed Forces in December 1971. The Indian army, under the command of Lt. General J.S. Aurora, achieved a decisive victory over Pakistan on 16 December, 1971, taking over 90,000 prisoners of war in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971.
During the twentieth century, its resilient inhabitants seem to have suffered one trauma after another. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (Mujib) led the nation to independence in 1971, but he and his successor Ziaur Rahman (Zia) were both assassinated only in a span of six years. Their legacies (and families) define Bangladesh’s democracy to this day.
Natural History :
Satellite image presenting physical features of Bangladesh.
Bangladesh is located in the low-lying Ganges–Brahmaputra River Delta or Ganges Delta. This delta is formed by the confluence of the Ganges (local name Padma or Pôdda), Brahmaputra (Jamuna or Jomuna), and Meghna rivers and their respective tributaries. The Ganges unites with the Jamuna (main channel of the Brahmaputra) and later joins the Meghna to eventually empty into the Bay of Bengal. The alluvial soil deposited by these rivers has created some of the most fertile plains in the world. Bangladesh has 58 trans-boundary rivers, making water issues politically complicated to resolve – in most cases as the lower riparian state to India. Most parts of Bangladesh are less than 12 metres (39 ft) above the sea level, and it is believed that about 50% of the land would be flooded if the sea level were to rise by a metre (3 ft).
The highest point in Bangladesh is in Mowdok range at 1,052 metres (3,451 ft) in the Chittagong Hill Tracts to the southeast of the country. A major part of the coastline comprises a marshy jungle, the Sundarbans, the largest mangrove forest in the world and home to diverse flora and fauna, including the Royal Bengal Tiger. In 1997, this region was declared endangered.
Straddling the Tropic of Cancer, Bangladeshi climate is tropical with a mild winter from October to March, a hot, humid summer from March to June. A warm and humid monsoon season lasts from June to October and supplies most of the country’s rainfall. Natural calamities, such as floods, tropical cyclones, tornadoes, and tidal bores occur almost every year, combined with the effects of deforestation, soil degradation and erosion. Cox’s Bazar, south of the city of Chittagong, has a beach that stretches uninterrupted over 120 kilometres (75 mi).
In September 1998 Bangladesh saw the most severe flooding the modern world has seen. As the Brahmaputra, Ganges and Meghna spilt over and swallowed 300,000 houses, 6,000 miles (9,700 km) of road and 1,600 miles (2,600 km) of embankment 1,000 people were killed and 30 million more were made homeless with 135,000 cattle killed, 50 square kilometres of land destroyed and 11,000 kilometres of roads damaged or destroyed. Two-thirds of the country was underwater. There were several reasons for the severity of the flooding. Firstly, there were unusually high monsoon rains. Secondly, the Himalayas shed off an equally unusually high amount of melt water that year. Trees that usually intercept rain water were cut down for firewood or to make space for animals.
Population: 141.8 million (153,546,901 (July 2008 est.))
Age structure: 0-14 years: 33.4% (male 26,364,370/female 24,859,792)
15-64 years: 63.1% (male 49,412,903/female 47,468,013)
65 years and over: 3.5% (male 2,912,321/female 2,529,502) (2008 est.)
Median age: Total: 22.8 years
male: 22.8 years
female: 22.9 years (2008 est.)
Population growth rate: 2.022% (2008 est.)
Birth rate: 28.86 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Death rate: 8 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Net migration rate: -0.65 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.15 male(s)/female
Total population: 1.05 male(s)/female (2008 est.)
Infant mortality rate: Total: 57.45 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 58.44 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 56.41 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: Total population: 63.21 years
male: 63.14 years
female: 63.28 years (2008 est.)
Total fertility rate: 3.08 children born/woman (2008 est.)
HIV/AIDS – adult prevalence rate: less than 0.1% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS – people living with HIV/AIDS: 13,000 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS – deaths: 650 (2001 est.)
Major infectious diseases: degree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria are high risks in some locations
water contact disease: leptospirosis
animal contact disease: rabies
note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2008)
Ethnic groups: Bengali 98%, other 2% (includes tribal groups, non-Bengali Muslims) (1998)
Religions: Muslim 83%, Hindu 16%, other 1% (1998)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 43.1%
female: 31.8% (2003 est.)
The economy has grown 5-6% over the past few years despite inefficient state-owned enterprises, delays in exploiting natural gas resources, insufficient power supplies, and slow implementation of economic reforms. Bangladesh remains a poor, overpopulated, and inefficiently-governed nation. Although more than half of GDP is generated through the service sector, nearly two-thirds of Bangladeshis are employed in the agriculture sector, with rice as the single-most-important product. Garment exports and remittances from Bangladeshis working overseas, mainly in the Middle East and East Asia, fuel economic growth.
Currency (code): Taka (BDT)
Currency code: BDT
Notes in Circulation: Tk.500, Tk.100, Tk.50, Tk.20, Tk.10, Tk.5, Tk.2, Tk.1
Exchange rates: taka per US dollar – 69.893 (2007), 69.031 (2006), 64.328 (2005), 59.513 (2004), 58.15 (2003)
GDP (PPP): $291.2 billion
6.3% growth in 2005
5.8% 5-yr. comp. ann. growth
$2,053.4 per capita
Agriculture – products: rice, jute, tea, wheat, sugarcane, potatoes, tobacco, pulses, oilseeds, spices, fruit; beef, milk, poultry
Industries: cotton textiles, jute, garments, tea processing, paper newsprint, cement, chemical fertilizer, light engineering, sugar.
Exports: $10.4 billion
Primarily garments, jute and jute goods, leather, frozen fish and seafood
Exports – partners: US 25%, Germany 12.6%, UK 9.8%, France 5% (2006)
Imports: $14.5 billion
Primarily machinery and equipment, chemicals, iron and steel, textiles, foodstuffs, petroleum products, cement
Imports – partners: China 17.7%, India 12.5%, Kuwait 7.9%, Singapore 5.5%, Hong Kong 4.1% (2006)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $5.515 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Inflation (CPI): 7.0%
FDI (net inflow): $682.0 million
Official Development Assistance: $756.6 million (11.1% from the U.S.)
External Debt: $18.9 billion
Fiscal year: 1 July – 30 June
Rivers of Bangladesh :
Principal rivers :
Major rivers of Bangladesh
Politics of Bangladesh takes place in a framework of a parliamentary representative democratic republic, whereby the Prime Minister of Bangladesh is the head of government, and of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and parliament. The Constitution of Bangladesh was written in 1972 and has undergone thirteen amendments.
The President is the head of state , a largely ceremonial post. The real power is held by the Prime Minister, who is the head of government. The president is elected by the legislature every five years and has normally limited powers that are substantially expanded during the tenure of a caretaker government, mainly in controlling the transition to a new government. Bangladesh has instituted a unique system of transfer of power; at the end of the tenure of the government, power is handed over to members of a civil society for three months, who run the general elections and transfer the power to elected representatives. This system was first practiced in 1991 and adopted to the constitution in 1996.
The prime minister is ceremonially appointed by the president and must be a member of parliament (MP), commanding the confidence of the majority of the MPs. The cabinet is composed of ministers selected by the prime minister and appointed by the president.
Towns in Khulna Division, excluding the city
Towns in Barisal Division:
|City||City population||Metro population|
Towns in Sylhet Division:
Archaeological sites in Bangladesh
Beaches of Bangladesh
Cox’s Bazar is a town; a fishing port and district headquarter in Bangladesh. It is known for its wide sandy beach which is claimed to be the world’s longest natural sandy sea beach. <href=”#cite_note-1 title=””><href=”#cite_note-2 title=””><href=”#cite_note-3 title=””> It is an unbroken 125 km sandy sea beach with a gentle slope. Since the rise and fall of the tide here is not great, it is a good place for sea bathing <href=”#cite_note-4 title=””>. It is located 150 km south of Chittagong.
Kuakata is a scenic sea beach in south-western Bangladesh. It is about 320 Kilometres south of Dhaka, the capital, and about 70 Kilometres from the Patuakhali District headquarters. The kuakata beach is 30 km long and 6 km wide. On 13 September, 2007 government have announced red alert in Kuakata as caution for a possible Tsunami.
Lakes of Bangladesh
Monuments and memorials in Bangladesh
Jatiyo Smriti Soudho or National Martyrs’ Memorial is a monument in Bangladesh. It is the symbol of the valour and the sacrifice of those killed in the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971, which brought the independence of Bangladesh from Pakistani rule. The monument is located in Savar, about 35km north-west of the capital, Dhaka.
Martyred Intellectuals Memorial: Martyred Intellectuals Memorial is a memorial built for the memory of the intellectuals of Bangladesh killed by Pakistan during the Bangladesh Liberation War. The memorial, located in Mirpur area of Dhaka
Museums in Bangladesh
The Bangladesh National Museum, originally established on 20 March 1913, albeit under another name, and formally inaugurated on 7 August 1913, was accorded the status of the national museum of Bangladesh on 17 November 1983. It is located Shahbag, Dhaka.
Varendra Museum: Varendra Museum was the first museum to be established in erstwhile East Bengal in 1910. The museum started out as the collection for Varendra Anushandhan Samiti or Varendra Investigation Society and got its current name in 1919. The Zamindars of Rajshahi and Natore
Places of worship in Bangladesh
Dhakeshwari National Temple:
World Heritage Sites in Bangladesh
Mosque City of Bagerhat:
Mosque City of Bagerhat is one of the three World Heritage Sites in Bangladesh. This historic city is located within Bagerhat District in south-west Bangladesh. It was founded by Turkish general Ulugh Khan Jahan in the early 15th century. Originally this ancient city was known as Khalifatabad. The city is renowned for its large concentration of mosques and Islamic monuments.
The Sundarbans is the largest single block of tidal halophytic mangrove forest in the world. It lies at the mouth of the Ganges and is spread across areas of Bangladesh and West Bengal, India, forming the seaward fringe of the delta. The forest covers 10,000 sqkm of which about 6,000 are in Bangladesh. It became inscripted as a UNESCO world heritage site in 1997, but while the Bangladeshi and Indian portions constitute the same continuous ecotope, these are
separately listed in the UNESCO world heritage list as the Sundarbans and Sundarbans National Park, respectively. The Sundarbans is intersected by a complex network of tidal waterways, mudflats and small islands of salt-tolerant mangrove forests. The area is known for the eponymous Royal Bengal Tiger, as well as numerous fauna including species of birds, spotted deer, crocodiles and snakes. It is estimated that there are now 500 Bengal tigers and about 30,000 spotted deer in the area. Sundarbans was designated a Ramsar site