Background, Geographic Area and Location: Bhola zila, the largest riverine delta island of the world became a sub-division in 1845 bearing the name of South Shahbazpur. At that time it was a part of Noakhali zila which was then transfered to Barisal zila in 1869. The sub-division was renamed as Bhola in 1876 when itsheadquarter was shifted from Daulatkhan to Bhola. It was upgraded to a zila in 1984. It is bounded on the north by Barisal zila, on the east by Lakshmipur and Noakhali zilas, on the south by the Bay of Bengal and on the west by Barisal and Patuakhali zilas. It lies between 21°54 and 22°52 north latitudes and between 90°34 and 91°01 east longitudes. The total area of the zila is 3403.48 sq.km (1314.08 sq.miles) of which 1456.87 sq.km. is under forest.
Bhola Zila (BARISAL division) an offshore island with an area of 3403.48 sq km, is bounded by LAKSHMIPUR and BARISAL zilas on the north, BAY OF BENGAL on the south, Lakshmipur and NOAKHALI zilas, MEGHNA (lower) river and Shahbazpur Channel on the east, PATUAKHALI zila and TENTULIA river on the west. Zahiruddin, Patila, Dhalchar, Kukri-Mukri and such other chars of different sizes have formed at the river mouths.
Annual Average Temperature: Highest 32.7°C and lowest 11.6°C and annual rainfall 2360 mm.
Noted Rivers: Kalabador, Lower Meghna, Tetulia, Ilisha.
Administration: Bhola sub-division was established under Noakhali zila in 1845. At that time its administration centre was at Amania of Daulatkhan. The sub-division was included in Barisal zila in 1869. The sub-division was then consisted of Daulatkhan and Burhanuddin Hat Thanas and three outposts such as Taltali, Gazipur and Tazumuddin. The sub-divisional head quarters was shifted from Daulatkhan to Bhola in 1876. It was elevated to a zila on 1 February 1984.
Bhola Municipal town was established in 1920. The zila consists of 7 upazilas, 68 unions, 314mauzas, 438 villages, 5 paurashavas, 45 wards and 68 mahallas. The upazilas are Bhola Sadar, Borhanuddin, Charfassion, Daulatkhan, Lalmohan, Monpura and Tazumuddin.
Historical Events: Many people of the zila, especially of Charfasson and Tazumuddin, lost their lives in a devastating cyclone and tidal bore in 1970. During the WAR OF LIBERATION a battle between the freedom fighters and the Pak army was fought at Ghuigarhat (Bhola Sadar) in which 121 freedom fighters were killed. In another encounter at Bangla Bazar about 80 members of the Pak army were killed.
Marks of War of Liberation: Memorial sculpture at Char Jangla.
Educational Institutions: Government college 3, Non-government college 32, polytechnic & vocational institute 12, Government high school 6, Non-government high school 256, junior high school 63, government primary school 424, registered primary school 526, Non-government primary school 25, madrasah 241, kawmi madrasah 89, kinder garten school 45, Government technical institution 1, Non-government technical institute 1.
Cultural Organizations: Club 133, public library 11, cinema hall 21, literary society 26, women's organisation 65, theatre group 10, co operative society 301, auditiorium 8, women's club 2, shilpakala academy 1, literary academy 1.
Locally Published Newspapers and Periodicals: Ajker Bholabani, Daily Banglar Kantha, weekly 1 (Dvipabani), Weekly Lalsurya (extinct), monthly 1.
Religious Institutions: Mosque 3473, Eid-Gah 239, temple 194, tomb 4, math 5, akhra 1.
Mineral Resources: A gas field has been traced at Kachi Union under Burhanuddin Upazila. It has been named Shahbazpur Gas Field. Quantity of gas 0.5938 TCF of which 0.3340 TCF gas is procurable.
Main Crops: Paddy, potato, onion, chilli, garlic, mustard seed, nut, betel leaf, betel nut. Extinct and nearly extinct crops Tobacco, linseed.
Main fruits: Coconut, jackfruit, papaya, amra, banana.
Traditional Transports: Bullock cart.
Manufacturing Industries: Rice mill, ice factory, saw mill, flour mill, oil mill, soap factory, bread and biscuit factory, welding, lathe machine.
Cottage Industries: Weaving, goldsmith, blacksmith, potteries, bamboo work, wood work, mat work, tailoring.
Hats, Bazars and Fairs: Hats and bazars are 241, most noted of which are Bank Hat, Deola, Ramnewaz, Charfasson, Goldar, Letorganj, Chairman Bazar, Daulatkhan Hat, Bangla Bazar, Ramaganj, Hariganj, Nazirpur, Yasinganj, Tazumuddin, etc; fair 6, most noted of which are Bhuban Thakur Mela (Tazumuddin) and Krishna Prasad Mela (Manpura).
Main Exports: Paddy, betel nut chilli and fish.
NGO Activities: ASA, BRAC, PROSHIKA, CARITAS, ACTION AID, Vision, Char Development Project, Bandhujan Parishad, RASA, Coast, Social Development.
Health Centres: Zila Hospital 1, Upazila Health Complex 7, Non Government Health Complex 09, Clinic Diagnostic Private 09 ,Union Health and Family Planning Centre 68, Satellite Clinic 11.
Economic Situation: The economy of Bhola is predominantly agricultural. Out of total 347,515 holdings of the zila, 64.01 % holdings are farms that produce varieties of crops namely local and HYV rice, wheat, vegetables, jute, spices, cash crops, pulses, and others. Various fruits like banana, mango, guava, jackfruit, black berries, coconut, papaya, palm, lichi, dates etc. are grown. Fish of different varieties abound in this zila which enjoys the advantages of marine fishing . More varieties of fish are caught from rivers, tributary channels and creeks and from paddy fields during rainy season. Hilsa, a popular fish of the country, is abundantly available in the zila. Dry fish is an important source of income to the fishermen. In the fresh water the popular species are ruhi, katla, marigale, kalabous, airh, ghania, shaol, boal, gagar, gulsha, kai, shing, magur etc. Besides crops livestock and fishery are the main sources of household income.