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Details of Comilla District

Background, Geographic Area and Location: The area now constituting Comilla district comprises of two sub-divisions of the former Comilla district which was known as Tippera district till 1960. The name Comilla is the old name of the headquarter town of the district. There are different opinions about the origin of the district name. The general belief is that the word Comilla has been derived from the word Kamalinka. Archaeologysts believe that once upon a time the Draviddian Kolingas had established a kingdom in the area in the name of Kamalinka which was subsequently converted to Kamalanka with Brahmin influence. The district is bounded on the north by Brahmanbaria district, on the east by India, on the south by Feni and Noakhali district and on the west by Narayanganj, Munshiganj and Chandpur districts. The total area of the district is 3146.30 sq. km. (1214.00 sq. miles) including 6.79 sq. km. forest area. The district lies between 23° 02' and 23° 48' north latitudes and between 90° 38' and 91° 22' east longitudes.

Temperature and Rainfall: Annual average temperature- maximum 34.3°C, minimum 12.7°C and rainfall 2551 mm.

Main Rivers: MEGHNA, GUMTI and DAKATIA.

Comilla (Town) stands on the bank of the Gumti River. In the suburb there exists the Commonwealth War Cemetery Memorials, Muktijuddha Museum at Mainamati Cantonment and BANGLADESH ACADEMY FOR RURAL DEVELOPMENT (BARD), Mainamati Museum, Comilla Cadet College at Courtbari. Comilla Town is blessed with the memories of national poet Kazi Nazrul Islam. Nazrul Islam married twice in life, one at Daulatpur of Muradnagar upazila of the district and the other at Comilla Town. Those places have been marked with memorial plates. Poet Rabindranath Tagore visited Comilla twice. Ustad Muhammad Hussain, Fazle Nizami and Kulendu Das have enriched the cultural heritage of the town. Ustad Ayet Ali Khan established a musical institute here.

Administration: The Comilla region was once under ancient Samatat and was joined with Tripura State. This district came under the reign of the kings of the Harikela in the ninth century AD. Lalmai Mainamati was ruled by Deva dynasty (eighth century AD) and Chandra dynasty (during tenth and mid eleventh century AD). It came under the rule of East India Company in 1765. This district was established as Tripura district in 1790. It was renamed Comilla in 1960. Chandpur and Brahmanbaria subdivisions of this district were transformed into districts in 1984. The district consists of 16 upazilas, 185 unions, 2455 mauzas, 3532 villages, 10 paurashavas, 99 wards and 297 mahallas. The upazilas are Barura, Brahmanpara, Burichong, Chandina, Chouddagram, Comilla Sadar (Dakshin), Comilla Sadar, Daudkandi, Debidwar, Homna, Laksham, Meghna, Monohorganj, MuradnagarNangalkot and Titas.

Archaeological Heritage and Relics: Marks of rich ancient civilization have been found in Lalmai Mainamati hills. In these hills there are plenty of archaeological sites including Shalvan Vihara, Kutila Mura, Charandra Mura, Rupban Mura, Itakhola Mura, Satera Ratna Mura, Ranir Banglar Pahar, Ananda Bazar Palaces, Palaces of Bhoj King, Chandi Mura, etc. Various archaeological relics including images and metalled utensils discovered from these viharas, muras and palaces are now preserved in the Mainamati Museum. Other archaeological heritage and relics include Saptaratna Mandir (Jagannath Mandir), Shah Suja Mosque, Dharmasagar, Chandimata Mandir (on the top of Lalmai Hill of Barura), Chandala Shiva Mandir (Brahmanpara, eighteenth century), Saitshala Jami Mosque (Brahmanpara, 1719), Mazars of Panch Pir (five saints) at Shashidal (Brahmanpara, 1815), Harimangal Math (Brahmanpara, 1822), Ramnagar elongated Math (Brahmanpara, 1705), Saitshala Rammahan Mandir (Brahmanpara, 1805), Hasnabad Math and Hatiabhanga Fort (Daudkandi).

Historical Events: Peasants Movement against the king of Tripura in 1764 under the leadership of Samsher Gazi is a notable historical event. Communal tension spread over Comilla when a Muslim was shot at Comilla town during the PARTIITION OF BENGAL in 1905. During the preparation of a countrywide HARTAL on 21 November 1921, protesting the visit of India by Prince of Wales, Kazi Nazrul Islam composed patriotic songs and tried to awaken the town people. During this time Avay Ashram, as a revolutionary institution, played significant role. Poet Rabindranath Tagore and

Mahatma Gandhi visited Comilla at that time. In 1931, the British Gurkha soldiers fired indiscriminately and killed four persons of village Mohini of Chauddagram upazila when about four thousand peasants of this village revolted against paying land revenue. In a huge peasant gathering the police fired at Hasnabad of Laksham Upazila in 1932. Two persons were killed and many wounded in this firing.

Marks of the War of Liberation: Mass killing site 5, Laksham, Comilla Cantonment, Homna, Beltali and Rasulpur; mass graves at Betiara, Muzaffarganj, Nagaripara, Cantonment, Krishnapur, Dhananjay, Dilabad and Laksham Bidi Factory; memorials at Comilla Victoria College, Betiara, Police Line, Cantonment, Laksham, Polytechnic Institution and Haratali.

Main Crops: Paddy, jute, wheat, mustard seed, brinjal. Extinct or nearly extinct crops Linseed, sesame, sweet potato, china and kaun.

Main Fruits: Mango, jackfruit, banana, coconut, palm, guava and blackberry.

Traditional Transport: Palanquin, horse carriage, bullock cart, dhuri and bhari. These means of transport are either extinct or nearly extinct.

Main Export Items: Natural gas, khaddar cloth, coconut, dry chilly, dry fish, egg, poultries and potteries.

Mineral Resources: Natural gas (Bakharabad in Sreekail).