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Details of Panchagarh District

Background, Geographic Area and Location: Panchagarh district was formerly a sub-division of Dinajpur district. It became a sub-division in 1980 and was upgraded to a district in 1984. It is generally believed that there were Panch (means five) Garhs (means Jungles) namely Mir garh, Hossen garh, Daben garh, Coat Vojonir garh and Vitar garh in the present place of the district, in consequence of which it was named Panchagarh. It is bounded on the north by India, on the east by Nilphamari district, on the south by Dinajpur and Thakurgaon districts and on the west by India. It lies between 26º 00' and 26º 38' north latitudes and between 88º 19' and 88º 49' east longitudes. The total area of the district is 1404.62 sq. km. (542.00 sq. miles).

Its soil is sandy, alluvial and bears close affinity with the soil of the old Himalayan basin. On the northern part of the district there exists underground layer of pebbles.

Annual Average Temperature: Maximum 30.2°C and minimum 10.1°C; annual total rainfall 2931 mm.

Main Rivers: Karatoya, Atrai, Tista, Mahananda, Tangon, Dahuk, Pathraj, Bhulli, Talma, Nagar, Chawai, Kurum, Versa, Tirnoi, Chilka.

Panchagarh municipality was established in 1985. The area of the town is 11.36 sq km.

Administration: Panchagarh was a thana under Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal during the British rule. It was under Dinajpur district at the time of the partition of 1947. It was turned into a subdivision in 1980 consisting of Panchagarh, Boda, Debiganj, Atwari and Tentulia thanas. Panchagarh was elevated to a district in 1984. The district consists of 5 upazilas, 43 unions, 419 mauzas, 825 villages, 2 paurashavas, 18 wards and 64 mahallas. The upazilas are Atwari, Boda, DebiganjPanchagarh Sadar and Tetulia.

Archaeological Heritage and Relics: The existence of fifteen garhs (fortifications) has hitherto been traced of which the most noted are Bhitar Garh, Hosain Garh, Mir Garh, Rajan Garh and Deven Garh. Panchagarh is named after these five garhs. Archaeological relics include Nayani Burz (bastion), remains of Atwari zamindar-bari and that of katchari-bari of Raniganj Devottvar Estate and the temple therein, Mirzapur Shahi Mosque, Tomb of Bara Awliya, tomb of Arif Shah, Maharaja Dighi (pond) at Bhitargarh, Maidan Dighi, Mughali killah (fort) at Chandan-bari, Vadeswari temple and Boda temple.

Historical Eevents: Sannyasi and Fakir movements flourished during 1763-1800. Many of the rebel sannyasis were executed at a place named Sannyasi-kata near Bangla-bandha. Tebhaga movement originated from this district (1946).

Marks of the War of Liberation: Mass killing site in the char (pasture) area on the eastern bank of the Karatoya adjacent to the old Dakbungalow in Panchagarh town; mass grave on the bank of the Punna-dighi near Mirzapur and at Dangi in Atwari thana; a few graves of the martyrs at village Bamanpara in Bhajanpur; Shaheed Faruq Ahmad memorial monument at Dhakka-mara in Panchagarh town.

Main Crops: Paddy, jute, wheat, potato, sugarcane. Extinct and nearly extinct crops Barley, aus paddy, kaun.

Main Fruits: Mango, jackfruit, litchi, banana, black berry, papaya, guava, coconut and betel nut.

Traditional Transport: Palanquin, bullock cart. These means of transport are extinct or nearly extinct.

Main Exports Items: Paddy, jute, potato, sugar, methylated spirit, electric pole, pebbles, sand and timber.

Enclaves (Chhitmahal): The Indian enclaves in the district are Puthimari, Daikhat, Shalbari, Kajaldighi, Natak-toka and Nazirganj in Boda upazila; Behula-danga, Balapara Kotbhajani and Dahla Khagrabari in Deviganj upazila; Garati and Singimari in sadar upazila. Total area of the enclaves is 4837 hectare; population 23963.