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Details of Rajshahi District

Background, Geographic Area and Location: Rajshahi was a sub-division of the former greater Rajshahi district. There are different views about the origin of the name of the district. There is a general belief that in the 15 century Raja Kans or Ganesh conquered this area ousting the Sultan of Gaur and assumed the title Raja Shah. It is generally believed that the name of the district might have derived from that name Raja Shah. It is bounded on the north by Naogaon district, on the east by Natore district, on the south by Kushtia district and India and on the west by Chapai Nawabganj district. It lies between 24° 07' to 24° 43' north latitudes and between 88° 17' to 88° 58' east longitudes. The total area of the district is 2,425.37 sq.km (936.00 sq.miles).

Annual Average Temperature and Rainfall: Maximum 37.8°C, minimum 11.2°C and rainfall 1862 mm.

Main Rivers: PADMA (Ganges), MAHANANDA, BARAL and Barnai.

Rajshahi (Town) stands on the bank of the river Padma. The area of the Rajshahi Town is 96.69 sq km. Rajshahi, which is both a district and a divisional town, was flourished, in the seventeenth century. The district head quarters were transferred to Rajshahi Town from Natore in 1825. Its ancient name was Rampur Boalia. The tomb of Hazrat Shah Makhdum (established in 1634) is located at Dargahpara of the town. Many European traders were attracted to this town because of its being a centre of silk production and location by the side of the river Padma; subsequently the Dutch, the French and the English EAST INDIA COMPANY established business houses in the town in phases. The Silk Factory Building established by the Dutch is now known as Barakuthi. Later the East India Company purchased the Kuthibhaban from the Dutch. The head quarters of the European Voluntary Regiment was established in the Barakuthi during the SEPOY REVOLT in 1857. At the end of the nineteenth century the zamindar of Medinipur purchased the building from the British. After 1947 it was being used as the godown of the civil supply department. When the Rajshahi University was established in 1953, the Barakuthibhaban was turned into the residence of the Vice Chancellor with other office establishments. There are 14 graves of European persons in a cemetery in front of the Kuthibhaban. A flood protection embankment was established in 1855 to save the town. Shahib Bazar is the main business centre of the town. The old areas of the town are Shahib Bazar, Rani Bazar, Reshampatti, Boalia, Ghoramara, Hatemkhan, Dargahpara and Kumarpara. Because of flourishing silk industry Rajshahi is also called the City of Silk. Rajshahi municipality was established in 1876 and was turned into a City Corporation in 1991.

Administration: Rajshahi district was established in 1772. Maldaha, Bogra, Pabna, Natore and Nawabganj districts were established in phases dividing this district. The district consists of 13 upazilas/thanas, 71 unions, 1718 mauzas, 1914 villages, 1 City Corporation, 14 paurashavas, 54 wards and 129 mahallas. The upazilas are Bagha, Bagmara, Charghat, Durgapur, Godagari, Mohanpur, PabaPuthia and Tanore. The thanas are BOALIA, RAJPARA, MATIHAR, SHAH MOKHDUM.

Archaeological Heritage and Relics: Two domed Kismat Madia Mosque (eighteenth century), one domed Ruipara (Durgapur) Jami Mosque (sixteenth century), Bagdhani Mosque at Paba upazila, three domed Bhagna Jami Mosque at Tanore upazila (1223 AH), tomb of Hazrat Shah Makhdum (R), tomb of Hazrat Shah Sultan at Godagari upazila (fourteenth century), Bara Kuthi (eighteenth century), Talando Shiva Mandir (1860), Rajbari, Govinda Mandir, Shiva Mandir, Gopal Mandir, and Dolmancha (Putia).

Historical Events: Rajshahi district was a part of Pundruvardhana of the ancient Vanga. The capital of Vijoy Sen was located 9 miles on the west of Rajshahi town. INDIGO RESISTANCE MOVEMENT spread over Rajshahi during 1859-60. Seven communist activists were killed at the Khapra ward of Rajshahi Jail when police fired indiscriminately on 24 April 1950. During the mass upsurge in 1969 Dr. Shamsuzzoha of Rajshahi University was killed.

Marks of War of Liberation: Mass grave 6, mas killing site 1, memorial monument 4.

Main Crops: Paddy, wheat, jute, sugarcane, turmeric, oil seed, onion, garlic, potato, betel leaf and mulberry plant. Extinct or nearly extinct crops are Linseed, sesame, indigo, mustard seed, sweet potato, kaun, bajra, arahar and aus paddy.

Main Fruits: Mango, jackfruit, banana, lichi, black berry, coconut, palm and papaya.

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