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Details of Munshiganj District

Background, Geographic Area and Location: Munshiganj was a sub-division of former Dhaka district. It was upgraded to a district on 26 February, 1984.There are different views about the origin of the district name. The most popular view goes with the fact that the present area of the district was under the jurisdiction of a Zaminder named Munshi Enayet Ali who set up a trading centre locally called Ganj in the present district headquarters. It is generally believed that the district might have originated its name from the words Munshi and Ganj. The district is bounded on the north by Dhaka and Narayaganj districts, on the east by Comilla and Chandpur districts, on the south by Shariatpur and Madaripur districts and on the west by Dhaka and Faridpur districts. The total area of the district is 1004.29 sq.km.(387.00 sq.miles) The district lies between 23° 23' and 23°'38' north latitudes and between 90° 10' and 90° 43'east longitudes.

The southern and eastern parts of the district often fall victim to erosion caused by the mighty Padma and the Meghna respectively. Main depression is Arial Beel covering an area of 4330 hectare.

Annual Average Temperature and Rainfall: Maximum 36°C, minimum 12.7°C and rainfall 2376 mm.

Administration: Munshiganj district, formerly a subdivision under Dhaka district, was established in 1984. The district consists of 6 upazilas, 67 unions, 564 mauzas, 919 villages, 2 paurashavas, 18 wards and 73 mahallas. The upazilas are Gazaria, Lauhajong, Munshiganj Sadar, SirajdikhanSreenagar and Tongibari.

Archaeological Heritage and Relics: Idrakpur Fort (1660) in Munshiganj town, Panditer vita (birth place of ATISH DIPANKAR SRIJNAN) at Bajrayogini, Baba Adam's Mosque, Dighi of Raja Haris chandra, home stead of Raja Ballal Sen, home stead of Raja Sreenath at Rampal, Rampal Dighi, Kodal Dhoar Dighi, Shyamsiddhi Math at Sreenagar, Hasara Dargah, Sholaghar Math, Bhagyakul Rajbari, residence of Jagadis Chandra Basu at Radhikhal, Jora Math at Sonarang, Kalibari at Tongibari, Taltala Pancha-shikhara Mahadeva Temple, Talukdarbari Mosque at Kusumpur, Tajpur Mosque, Patharghata Mosque, Kazishal Mosque, Palghata Bridge, Panch Pir Dargah, marble statue of Ashutosh Ganguly inside the library room of Haraganga College.

Historical Events: The area comprising the districts of Munshiganj stretching on the west of the Meghna and Dhaleshwari had been included in the kingdom of VIKRAMAPURA in the ancient period. During the Sena rule Vikramapura in East Bengal had been the second capital of the Senas in addition to their capital at Nadia. After the fall of Nadia in the hands of BAKHTIYAR KHALJI (1204) the Sena King LAKSHMANASENA fled to Vikramapura and began to rule East Bengal. After the death of Lakshmanasena (1206) his descendants Visvarupasena and Kesavasena ruled in Vikramapura till at least 1223 AD. Some historians postulate that the sons of Lakshamanasena ruled in Vikramapura up to 1243-45 AD. Raja Dasarathadeva Danujmadhava (Danuj Rai), the Deva king of Chandradvipa, ousted the Senas from Vikramapura in the third quarter of the thirteenth century and ruled the south-eastern Bengal till the end of the thirteenth century.

During the Mughal rule the present Munshiganj town including the outlying areas was known as Idrakpur which was named after the then Mughal faujdar Idrak. A village on the outskirts of Munshiganj town is still known as Idrakpur. During the British rule Idrakpur was renamed as Munshiganj after the name of Munshi Enayet Ali, the local ZAMINDAR and the inhabitant of the village Kazi Kasba in Rampal.

During the WAR OF LIBERATION of 1971 the Pak army raided Munshiganj and Kewar on 9 and 14 May respectively and killed some youths there. They launched an attack on the innocent villagers at Gazaria upazila on 5 May and killed about four hundred villagers by gun-shot. The people of Narayanganj in alliance with youths of Munshiganj resisted an attack of the Pak army on Narayanganj on 31 March. Hundreds of youths were recruited as freedom fighters and were given military training at Dhalgaon area in the month of July and they took part in various operations against the Pak army. The freedom fighters raided Sreenagar police station on August 11, Lauhajang police station within a few days and the Tongibari police station at the end of September, procured huge arms and ammunitions and Lohajang police station was set on fire. The freedom fighters attacked the motor-launches of the Pak-army on 24 September at Galimpur and Goalimandra and killed more than one hundred Pak soldiers. On the night of Shab-e-Qadr the freedom fighters numbering only 115 launched a combined attack on the Pak army stationed at Munshiganj and captured the town.

Marks of War of Liberation: Mass killing site 3, memorial monument 3, mass grave 1.

Main Crops: Potato, jute, rice, betel leaf, wheat, mustard, sesame, gram, lentil, pea, chilli, coriander, ground nut, maize, patal, karalla tomato, sweet pumpkin, vegetables. Extinct and nearly extinct crops Indigo, kaun, linseed, arahar (pulse), kalai (pulse).

Main Fruits: Banana, mango, papaya, jackfruit, litchi, melon, watermelon, black berry, pomegranate, guava, wood apple, shaddock, plum, palm, coconut, elephant apple.

Traditional Transport: Palanquin (extinct), horse carriage and bullock cart (nearly extinct), boat.

Main Export Items: Potato, banana, paddy, pathal, jute, betel leaf, sweet pumpkin, vegetables, milk, milk food, sack, cotton yarn, copper utensil, bamboo and cane materials.