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Details of Bagerhat District

Background: Bagerhat, the sanctuary of Hazrat Khan Jahan Ali, was formerly a part of Khilafatabad Pargana. It is situated at the fringe of the Bay of Bengal with the plentiful boundaries of Sundarbans. It became a Police Station under Khulna sub-division of Jessore zila in 1842. Bagerhat was raised into a sub-division under the same zila in 1863 with the recommendation of the then Deputy Magistrate poet Bankim Chandra Chattapadhya. Bagerhat sub-division was transferred to Khulna zila in 1882 and was upgraded to a separate district in February 23, 1984.

Geographic Area and Location: Bagerhat is surrounded on the north by the Gopalganj district, on the east by the Pirojpur and Barguna districts, on the south by the Bay of Bengal and on the west by Khulna district. It lies between 21º49' and 22º59' north latitudes and between 89º32' and 89º98' east longitudes. The total area of the district is 3959.06 sq. km. of which 600.04 sq. km. is under reserve forest.

Temperature and Rainfall: Annual average temperature varies from maximum 24.2°C to minimum 12.0°C and annual average rainfall is 1947 mm.

Main Rivers: Panguchi, Daratana, Madhumati, Pasur, Haringhata, Mongla, Baleswar, Bangra and Goshairkhali are notable rivers of Bagerhat district.

Administration: Bagerhat sub-division was turned into a district in 1984. The district consists of 9 upazilas, 75 unions, 723 mauzas, 1031 villages, 3 paurashavas, 27 wards and 56 mahallas. The upazilas are Bagerhat Sadar, Chitalmari, Fakirhat, Kachua, Mollahat, Mongla, MorrelganjRampal and Sharankhola. Bagerhat municipality was established in 1958. It has an area of 7.50 sq. km.

Archaeological Heritage and Relics: Among the archaeological heritage and relics, Shatgumbad Mosque, Nine-dome Mosque, Sona Mosque, Khan Jahan's tomb Complex, Seven-domed Mosque, Ten-domed Mosque, One-domed Mosque, Pacha Dighee, Ghora Dighee, Kodla Math or Ayudha Math, Kuthibari, Durgapur Shiva Math, Shiva Temple are notable.

Historical Events: The name of Khan Jahan Ali is closely related to the history of Bagerhat. He migrated here in 1429 with a large number of soldiers. He established the Khalifabad Pargana covering areas including Bagerhat, Khulna, Satkhira, Jessore and Barisal districts. He ruled this pargana during the period from 1429 to 1449. After the death of Khan Jahan Ali in 1449, Raja Prajapaditya occupied the pargana. During the war of liberation in 1971, the Pak army entered into Bagerhat through the land way via Domerpool.They killed about 200 innocent people at Khalishakhali and Babuganj. Many people were killed and wounded in several encounters between the Pak army and the Freedom Fighters at Doyapara, Shakharikarihat, and at Chakulia of Mollahat. 35 persons were also killed in an encounter between the Freedom Fighters and the Razakars in Morrelganj.

Marks of War of Liberation: There are 9 mass graves, 8 memorial monuments, 4 mass killing sites in this district.

Religious Institutions: The numbers of Mosque 2775, Eid Gah 375, Temple 711 and Church 23 in this district.

Educational Institutions: The total numbers of educational institutions are Government college 2, Non-government college 38, Government high school 5, Non-government high school 287, Junior school 33, Mentally retarded school 1, Government primary school 603, Registered primary school 511, Madrasa 352, Satellite school 14 and Community school 9.

Locally Published Newspapers and Periodicals: The dailies are Dhakhin Kantha, Uttayal, Dut, Morrelganj Barta and Sundarbans.The weeklies are Mongla, Bananchal, Projanma (defunct), Royal Bengal (defunct) and Mazlum (periodical).

Cultural Organizations: The numbers of Public library 16, Rural club 255, Museum 1, Cinema hall 6, Theatre group 3, literary organisation 14, Women's organisation 65 and Playground 37 in this district.

Main Crops: Paddy, wheat, jute, sugar cane, potato, banana, onion, garlic etc. are main crops of this district.

Main Fruits: Sabeda, mango, jackfruit, banana, papaya etc. are main fruits of this district.

Traditional Transport: Horse carriage, bullock cart and boat are traditional transports found in this district.

Hats, Bazars and Fairs: Total numbers of hats and bazars are 188 and fairs 29.

Main Export Items: Fish (Shrimp), paddy, coconut, betel nut, betel leaf, honey are main export items in this district.

NGO Activities: Operationally important NGOs are BRAC, Proshika, ASA, Grameen Bank, Shaplafull, Dak Dia Jai, CRC, CSS and Rupantar.

Economic SituationThe economy of Bagerhat is predominantly agricultural. Its economy is also dependent on the Sundarbans and Mongla port. According to the Agriculture Census 2008, the total holdings of the district are 339 thousand of which 68.57% of holdings are farms that produce varieties of crops, namely local and HYV paddy, wheat, jute, vegetables, spices, pulses, oilseeds, sugarcane and others. Various fruits like mango, banana, Jackfruit guava, coconut and betel nut etc. are grown. Fish of different varieties abound in the district. Varieties of fishes caught from rivers, tributary, channels and creeks and even from paddy field during rainy seasons. Besides crops, livestock and fishery are main source of household income.