Jhalokati a district under Barisal division which ranked top considering literacy rate amongst all 64 in 2014 according to the annual report of Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (2014) is a district with an area of 758.06 square kilometers and lots of green fields, rivers, canals and blessed with natural beauty. Due to commercial significance, Jhalokati was called the ‘Second Kolkata.’ In ancient times, the district was known as Moharajagonj.
Despite being located near the coastal region, Jhalokati has some distinct characteristics of its own.
Two Branding slogan exists for the representation of Jhalokati district. (Pyara r shitolpathi, ei niye Jhalokati) ; (Amra r shitolpathi, ei niye Jhalokati), In English, these slogans stand like (Guava and rug make Jhalokati hug), (Hearthrug and hog plum, Jhalokati makes you calm). Famous rivers like Suganda, Bishkhali, and Dhansindri flow through the fertile chest of Jhalokati.
Jhalokati district geographically is positioned between 200-20 ‘to 22.48 north latitude and 90-01’ to 90-23 ‘east longitude. Jhalokati is surrounded on the north-east by Barisal, on the south by Barguna and Bishkhali river, and the west by Lohagarah and Pirojpur districts. According to the 2011 consensus, the total population of Jhalokati district is 6,82,669, and the same agreement exposed the literacy rate of Jhalokati as well what is 66.7%.
Jhalokati appeared as a sub-division of the Barisal district in 1972. It was later ameliorated to a district on February 1, 1984. Once a group of people associated with the fish business (jele) established a settlement here by defuncting and vanishing the local forest area. The name of the district is conceptualized to have been gleaned from the mingling amalgamation of the above words, Jelay and Cutting. Jhalokati district is located on the bank of sugandha. Jhalokati is extremely canonized with other rivers as well.
In Jhalokati Bhatiali songs, Dhua songs, folk songs, Baromasi songs, Kabi songs, kirtan, Jari songs, roof beating songs are prevalent. Various types of dances, including Kathak dance, can also be discerned in this particular district. And all such entities reinforces diversity undoubtedly in Jhalokati.
Jhalokati, which once was only a portion of Barisal, at present, possesses two parliamentary constituencies,4 Upazilas, four police stations, two municipalities, 32 unions, 400 Mouza, and 449 villages two hospitals, four Upazila health complex and 22 Union health and family planning center. There exist 2 mass killing sight, two memorial plates, and one memorial sculpture in the district as the marks of the liberation war movement. Jhalokati Town Committee was found in 1875, and it was turned into a municipality in 1913. It consists of 9 wards and 47 mahallas.
During the British reign, 17 Muslims were killed in an encounter with the British army at Kulkatia. The maritime transportation facility spearheaded accessible and secured business communication in the area what in the past attracted Europeans, especially the East India Company, the Dutch, and the French to establish their trade centers in phases in the area. Because of its commercial importance, Jhalokati was formerly known as the ‘Second Kolkata.’ During the Liberation War, Rezaul Karim of village Besain Khan (Jhalokati Sadar Upazila) formed the Manik Bahini consisting of 24 members to resist the Pak army. On June 16, 1971, the Pak army collaborated with some local Razakars, captured and killed them. On April 27, the Pak army set on fire in Jalokhati Town and caused substantial damages.
Transplanted Aman is the major rice crop preceded by Aush and boro on more than half the area. Other crops include khesari, Masur, mong, sesame, chilies, gram, jute, sweet-potato, turmeric, onion, garlic, mustard, potato, and betel leaf. Palanquin, boat, and bullock-cart are the traditional transports found in the rural area of Jhalokati district. These mediums of transport are either extinct or nearly extinct. Nowadays, all the Upazilas are connected with the district headquarters with metaled roads and Bus, minibus, three-wheelers ply over the district according to the District statistics 2011.
Though it’s nearly impossible to say exactly when the settlements began in the Jhalakati area, the name suggests that the Kaivarta fishing community was the first to start farming in the very beginning. The Kaivarta fishermen were accustomed to others as Jhalo, and the area they used to live was called Jhalopara. Many people firmly believe that the name Jhalakathi derives from Jhalopara. Poet Vijaygupta also mentioned the fishing community as Jhalo in his famous historic mythical poem Manasamangal. When the locals quarreled with the fishermen of Mehedipur, they cut down the Katabakhari forest on both the banks of Basanda and Dhanhata canals and settled there. In the past, most of the Jhalakati port citizens were members of the Kaivartadas or Jale community (a group of people associated with the fish business). On the west bank of the present Jhalakathi, fishers used to wipe jungles out and build houses: Jhalakathi is named after the fisherman + stick = net + stick. The name Jhalakathi originates from the sticks of this fisherman and forest. Similarly, Chandkathi, Krishnakathi, Charkathi, Binoykathi, etc., which is as wide as Swaramanapakathi. The names of Jhalakathi and Naikathi are also written in one of the copperplates of Bishwaramnappa Sen. The ancient name of Jhalokati district was Maharajganj.
|At a glance Of Jhalokati|
|1||Area||2784.52 Square Kilometer|
|4||Literacy rate||66.70% (2011)|
|5||Density||920/km2 (2,400/sq mi)|
- Jhalokati Sadar Upazila
- Kathalia Upazila.
- Razapur Upazila.
- Nalchity Upazila.
- Su Shujabad Kellah (fort),
- Remnants of the Ghosal Rajbari,
- Old Municipal Building, Civil Court Building (1781),
- Surichora Jami Mosque,
- Madabar Mosque.
- Kamini Roy
- Shamsuddin Abul Kalam.
Written & Edited by Niaz Mahmud Sakib.