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Details of Khagrachari District

Background, Geographic Area and Location: Khagrachhari was formerly a sub-division of Chittagong Hill Tracts district. It was previously the headquarters of Ramgarh sub-division and became a sub-division in 1970 and was upgraded to a district in 1983. Nothing is definitely known about the origin of the district name. It is said that the existing district headquarters is situated on the bank of the chengi stream(chhara) which was full of Catkin plants means ‘Khagra’ in local languages. This might be the origin of the district name as Khagrachhari. It is bounded on the north by India, on the east by Rangamati district, on the south by Chittagong and Rangamati districts and on the west by India and Chittagong district. It lies between 22˚38' and 23˚44' north latitudes and between 91˚44' and 92˚11' east longitudes. The total area of the district is 2,749.16 sq. km (1061.00 sq. miles) of which 2242.44 sq. km is under forest. It is a hilly district.

Temperature and Rainfall: Annual average temperature- maximum 34.6ºC, minimum 13ºC and rainfall 3031 mm.

The hills of this region are composed of folded sedimentary rocks. Notable hill ranges Alu Tila, Bhanga Mura (416.66 m), Matai Pukhiri (213.36m), Matai Lakho (274.32 m);

Main Rivers: Chingri, Maini, Feni and Halda; lake Mataipukhiri (Debotar pukur).

Khagrachhari (Town) was established in 1860 by Remrochai Chowdhury.

Administration: Khagrachhari subdivision was turned into a district in 1983. The district of Chittagong Hill Tracts was established in 1860 under the 'Frontier Tribes Act 22 of 1860'. Following the district of Chittagong Hill Tract Regulation Act the Chittagong Hill Tract was divided into three subdivisions (included Khagracharri) in 1900. The Khagrachhari Local Government Legislative Council was formed in 1989 (in accordance with the Khagrachhari Hill districts Council, Act 20), which, on the basis of the historic 'Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord', was turned into Khagrachhari Hill district Council on 2 December, 1997. The district consists of 8 upazilas, 38 unions, 120 mauzas, 1702 villages, 3 paurashavas, 27 wards and 154 mahallas. The Upazilas are Dighinala, Khagrachari Sadar, Laxmichari, Mahalchari, Manikchari, MatirangaPanchari and Ramgarh.

Archaeological Heritage and Relics: Rajbari of the Mong Circle and Dighi (large pond) of Dighinala (excavated by Gobindo Manikko exiled king of Tripura).

Historical Events: The Chittagong Hill Tracts was under the reign of the Tripura State, the Arakans and the Sultans in different times before it came under the control of the British East India Company in 1760. Although the British got the authority of the Chittagong Hill Tracts in 1760, they had no authority besides collecting nominal taxes. Until 1860, two kings or chiefs governed the internal administration of this region. In 1860, another 'circle' was formed in present Khagrachhari district, inhabited by the Tripura population. The chief or the Raja of this circle was selected from the minority Marma population. The 'circle' was named after the Tripura dialect the 'Mun Circle', but later, the 'Mun dialect', was changed and renamed as 'Mong Circle'. In 1900 the British offered independent status to Chittagong Hill Tracts recognising the culture and language of the hill tracts population. But during the Pakistan period this status was abolished, which created anger among the hill population. Moreover, due to the construction of the Kaptai dam in 1960, thousands of people became homeless and refugee. At this perspective the hill population revolted claiming autonomy. Through the Chittagong Hill Tracts peace Accord on 2 December 1997 this problem was resolved.

Marks of the War of Liberation: Mass grave1, memorial plank 1, memorial 2.

Main Crops: Paddy, corn, ginger, turmeric, pineapple, til (the seeds of which yield fine oil). Extinct or nearly extinct crops Maiguru, maibidi, sanki, manoful, chikon kuichari and maime.

Main Fruits: Papaya, pineapple, jackfruit, banana, mango, batabi labu (shaddock), litchi, coconut, lemon.

Traditional Transport: Elephant (extinct), horse carriage (nearly extinct) and boat.

Manufactories: Rubber processing plant, rice mill, flour mill, sawmill, etc.