Lalmonirhat is a district located on the northern border of Bangladesh under the jurisdiction of Rangpur division. The district lies in between 25°46′ and 26°33′ north latitudes and in between 89°01′ and 89’36’ east longitudes. Lalmonirhat is bounded by Kochbihar and Jalpaiguri of West Bengal on the north, Rangpur on the south, Kurigram on the east and Nilphamari on the west. Lalmonirhat was a sub-division of former Rangpur District. It was finally established as a separate district on 1 February, 1984. Lalmonirhat has an area of 1,247.371 sq. km (481.613 sq. mi). The district consists of 5 Upazilas, 2 municipalities and 45 Union Parishads. According to the 2011 Bangladesh Census, Lalmonirhat district has a population of 1,256,099. Males constitute 50.06% of the population and females 49.94%. Density of the population is 1000 inhabitants/sq. km. The length of the border between Bangladesh and India present in Lalmonirhat is 281.6 km.
There are many opinions about the origin of name of the district. According to some, the workers while digging the mud for the installation of rail line, found a red colored stone during end of 19th century. So, the locals added the words, “Lal” (meaning Red) and “Moni” (meaning Stone) and since then, the place was recognized as Lalmoni. Whereas another popular opinion goes that, the land for the construction of railway was donated by a lady named Lalmoni for which people kept the name of the place after her name as the recognition of her contribution. Another opinion is that, a woman named Lalmoni fought against the English soldiers and land lords along with Nuruldin during Peasant Movement in 1783 to establish the rights of general peasants and laid down her life against the atrocity of the rulers. The place was named after her name as a sign of respect. The word “hat”(meaning Market) was added to the name later.
The Human Development Index (HDI) of Lalmonirhat is 0.591 which is 15th among all districts of Bangladesh. It indicates moderate life expectancy, literacy Rate and per capita income of the inhabitants. The district has a literacy rate of 46.09% for the population 7 years and above. The average high temperature is 32.3°C and the average low temperature is 11.2°C. Annual rainfall averages 2931 millimetres. Hard rock and pebbles are notable mineral resources of Lalmonirhat. Numerous daily and weekly newspapers are published from Lalmonirhat. Daily Lalprovat, Weekly Lalmonirhat Barta and Weekly Janajani are notable among them. Bhawaiya song, Morsia, Meyeligeet, Mantra, Palligeeti, Baul song, Kirtan, Kavigan, folk tales, folk drama, proverbs, rhymes, riddle, etc. are notable folk culture prevailing in Lalmonirhat. Palanquin, horse carriage, bullock cart were the traditional transports in the rural areas of Lalmonirhat District, which are now either extinct or nearly extinct. Now-a-days, all the upazilas are connected with the district headquarters with metalled roads. Bus, minibus, three wheelers ply over the district.
Lalmonirhat Municipality was established in 1973 and named as “Lalmonirhat Paurashava” in 1977. The total area of the municipality is 17.62 sq km. Lalmonirhat Town is well known as a famous Railway Junction since the beginning of the 19th century. The headquarters of the western region of Bangladesh Railway are located here. Lalmonirhat can be called a district of enclaves. There are total 33 enclaves in the district. Among them, 27 enclaves are in Patgram upazila. The total area of the enclaves is 1807 hectares. The biggest and most important enclaves are Dahagram and Angarpota. The Tin-Bigha Corridor connects these two enclaves with the main land.
There are total 473.6 km of land under forest in Lalmonirhat of which 72 acres are protected forest area. The district is situated on the bank of the river Tista. There are total six rivers flowing through the district. Dharla and Saniajan are noteworthy among them. The river Saniajan originated from the Himalaya and has strong current. Sarnamati, Trimohoni, Ratnai and Sati rivers are almost silted. The amount of flood control dam in the district is 26 km. The biggest irrigation project of the country Tista Barrage Project (length 615 m) is located at Doani of Hatibandha upazila of Lalmonirhat.
The economy of the district is mostly dependent on agriculture. Major sources of income comprises of agriculture with 72.78%, non-agricultural laborer 3.46%, industry 0.5%, commerce 10.49%, transport and communication 2.38%, service 4.45%, construction 0.69%, religious service 0.19%, rent and remittance 0.2% and others 4.86%. Out of total 274,769 holdings of the district, 62.65 % holdings are farms that produce varieties of crops namely, local & HYV rice, wheat, vegetables, jute, spices, cash crops, pulses, oil-seeds etc. Various fruits like pineapple, banana, mango, guava, jackfruit, black berries, coconut, papaya, palm, litchi, dates etc. are also grown. The major agricultural crops of Lalmonirhat district are paddy, jute, wheat, potato, tobacco, cotton and ginger. Lin-seed, sesame, indigo, arahar, kaun, aus paddy etc. are extinct or nearly extinct crops. Paddy, potato, corn, tobacco and betel nut are main export items of this district. Fish of different varieties are caught from rivers, tributary channels and even from paddy fields during the rainy season. Besides crops, livestock and fishery are the main sources of household income. There are total 65 fish farms, 9 fish fry production farms and 23438 ponds under fish farming in Lalmonirhat. Non-farm activities are also significant in the district. There are total 8562 cottage industries and 842 small scale industries in Lalmonirhat.
Lalmonirhat was under Sector 6 during the Liberation War. The headquarter of Sector 6 was located at Burimari of the district. The Pakistani army killed a number of people after arriving at Lalmonirhat on 4 April, 1971. They entered Hatibandha upazila and killed many people on 8 April. They also set many houses on fire. The Pakistani forces killed many Bangali Railway officers and staff during the war. They left Hatibandha and took shelter in Kaliganj on 30 November. They were forced to leave Lalmonirhat district due to heavy attacks by the freedom fighters on 4 and 5 December. Finally, Lalmonirhat was liberated on 6 December. There are 10 mass graves of the martyrs, 8 memorial monuments and 7 mass killing sites which bear the testimony of the War of Liberation in Lalmonirhat district.
The district is predominately Muslims with a population of 941186. There are 166720 Hindus, 661 Buddhists, 59 Christians and 719 others practicing other religions. There are 2450 Mosques, 741 Temples, 13 churches, 11 shrines and some other religious institutions in Lalmonirhat. Lalmonirhat Central Jami Mosque, Thanapara Jami Mosque, Bara Dargah at Lalmonirhat Sadar Upazila, tomb of Hazrat Shah Sufi Muhammad Fazlur Rahman (known as Blind Hafez), Kali Mandir, Puran Bazar Church and Pateshwari Mandir are notable among them. Subadar Monsur Khan Mosque, Sindhumati dighi, Hussain Sarabor, Harano Mosque, Dharla Bridge, Tusharbandhar Zamindar Bari, Ijaradar Mosque, Kakina Rajbari and Kabi Bari are also notable archaeological heritages of Lalmonirhat.
|At A Glance Of Lalmonirhat|
|01||Area||1,247.371 sq. km (481.613 sq. mi)|
|03||Founding Year||1 February 1984|
|06||Seats in the Parliament||3|
|08||Sector in Liberation War||6|
- Lalmonirhat Sadar
Tista, Dharla, Saniajan
Daily Lalprovat, Weekly Lalmonirhat Barta, Weekly Janajani
- Lalmonirhat Central Jami Mosque Thanapara Jami Mosque
- Bara Dargah at Lalmonirhat Sadar
- Tomb of Blind Hafez
- Kali Mandir
- Puran Bazar Church
- Pateshwari Mandir
- Subadar Monsur Khan Mosque
- Sindhumati dighi
- Hussain Sarabor
- Dharla Bridge
- Tusharbandhar Zamindar Bari
- Ijaradar Mosque
- Kakina Rajbari
- Kabi Bari
- Air Base
- Mogalhat Zero Point
- Kutub Khana at Patgram
- Lalmonirhat District Museum
- Tin Bigha Corridor
- Burimari Land Port
- Zamindar Mahima Ranjan Museum
- Sheikh Fazlul Karim
- Kazi Sheikh Riazuddin Ahmed
- Ramani Mohan Roy Chowdhury
- Mahima Ranjan Roy Chowdhury
- Shafia Khatun
- Abid Ali
- Amulladhan Mukherjee
Written & Edited by Sadia Siddika Zitu.