Magura is a district in the south-western part of Bangladesh under the jurisdiction of Khulna division. The district lies in between 23°15′ and 23°41′ north latitudes and in between 89°15′ and 89°42′ east longitudes. Magura is bounded by Rajbari district to the north, Jessore and Narail districts to the south, Faridpur district to the east and Jhenaidah district to the west. Magura sub-division was established in 1945 and it was turned into a district on 1 March, 1984. It has an area of 1048.61 sq. km (404.87 sq. mi). Magura consists of 4 Upazilas, 1 Municipalities, 36 Union Parishads, 537 mauzas, 700 villages, 9 wards and 61 mahallas. According to the 2011 Bangladesh Census, Magura district has a population of 918,419. Males constitute 50.56% of the population and females 49.44%. Density of the population is 880 inhabitants/km2. And Annual Growth Rate of the district is 1.07.
There are different opinions about the origin of name of the district. It is said that in the long past, large number of Magh pirates used to visit this area frequently for robberies. The people always remained terrified of the robbers. It is believed that the name of the district might have originated from the word Magh with some phonetic disruption. Some also say that the name Magura originates from the local word “Mar ga” for “Mara Gang” which means Dead river. However, it is also widely believed that a large number of Magura fish could be found in the Magura canal at ancient time. And from the fame of Magur fish, it has been named “Magura”.
The Human Development Index (HDI) of Magura is 0.622 which is 5th 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 50.6% for the population 7 years and above. Magura is situated on the bank of the river Kumar and Madhumati. Nabaganga, Chitra, Gorai, Fatki and Muchikhali are the main rivers that flow through the district. The average high temperature is 37.1°C and the average low temperature is 11.2°C. Annual rainfall averages 1467 millimetres. Numerous daily, weekly, fortnightly, monthly and literary newspapers and magazines are published from Magura. Daily Khedmat, Weekly Angikar, Weekly Grameen Bangla are notable among them.
Folk songs such as Jarigan, Sarigan, Bhatiali, Kavigan, Haloigan are sung in the rural areas of the district. Besides, Jatra, Pala are also performed during different occasion and festive ceremonies. Famous Horse Racing Competition is organized in Babukhali of Mohammadpur Upazila of Magura on 16th Magh in Bangla Calendar every year. This competition has been organized since 1898. A three-day fair is organized on occasion of this competition. Various cultural programs including Jarigan and Sarigan are held here then.
The economy of Magura is mostly dependent on agriculture. Main sources of income includes agriculture with 66.3%, non-agricultural laborer 2.65%, industry 1.29%, commerce 12.34%, transport and communication 3.59%, service 7.85%, construction 1.34%, religious service 0.14%, rent and remittance 0.43% and others 4.07%. Paddy, jute, wheat, oil-seed, cotton, sugarcane, chilli, onion, turmeric and varieties of pulse are the main crops of this district. Various fruits like pineapple, banana, mango, guava, coconut, papaya, palm, lichi, blackberry, dates etc. are also grown here. Jute, chilli, onion, betel leaf, vegetables, bamboo etc are the main export items of Magura. Out of a total of 189,589 holdings of the district 73.95% households are farms that produce varieties of crops namely local and HYV rice, wheat, jute, pulses, spices, cash crops, oil-seeds, and others. Fish of different varieties are caught from rivers, tributary channels and creeks and even from paddy fields during rainy season. Besides crops, livestock and fishery are the main source of household income.
Magura is a prosperous town in the south-west of Bangladesh. Jessore was the first district of Bengal to be formed during the British rule in 18 AD. But it became impossible for a district officer to control law, order and administration in this large district. At the same time, this area was turned into a terror for the frequent robbery by the Magh pirates. Magura was first made a sub-division of Jessore district in 1845 to protect the people of the northern part of the district from these Magh pirates. Before becoming a sub-division, Magura region was known as Bhusana and Mohammadpur. During the Pal reign, the northern and north-eastern parts of the region were known as Sreepur and Rajapur. The southern and south-eastern parts were known as Bhusana. Magura became a sub-division under Jessore district in 1945. After the independence of the country, Magura was upgraded from a sub-division to a district in 1984 as a part of administrative decentralization.
Magura participated actively in the Indigo Movement of 1859-60. The remnants of Neelkuthi at Hajrapur, Boroi, Amtail and Nahati are marks of extensive indigo cultivation. Magura was under Sector 8 during the Liberation War. About 16 encounters were held between the freedom fighters and the Pakistani army in Magura district. The Pakistani army buried alive 6 freedom fighters at a place near Shatakhali Road on the Magura-Jessore highway. Besides, 7 freedom fighters were killed by the razakars at Talkhari. The heroic role of Lutfunnahar Helena and her tragic death in the hands of the Razakars are proudly remembered by people. ‘Akbor Bahini’ of this area was also very famous for their great contribution during the Liberation War of 1971. There are 4 mass graves at Magura PTI compound, WAPDA Canal, Binodpur Bazar Ghat and Galakata Bridge at Chhaigharia in Magura. There is also a memorial monument at the PTI main gate adjacent to the Magura Bishwa Road.
The district is predominately Muslims with a population of 664937. There are 158685 Hindus, 342 Buddhists, 21 Christians and 326 others practicing other religions. Ghat of Nader Chand, Tomb of Pir Mokarram Ali, Tomb of Garib Shah, remnants of the Rajbari of Raja Sitaram Roy, Rajbari of Raja Satrujit Roy, remnants of the Rajbari of Birat Raja at Sreepur, fortification of Debal Raja, Siddheshwari Math at Athara Khada and Satdoha Ashram are notable among the archeological heritage and relics of the area.
|At a glance of Magura|
|01||Area||1048.61 sq. km (404.87 sq. mi)|
|03||Founding Year||1 March, 1984|
|05||Seats in the Parliament||2|
|07||Sector in Liberation War||8|
- Magura Sadar
Kumar, Madhumati, Nabaganga, Chitra, Gorai, Fatki and Muchikhali.
Daily Khedmat, Weekly Angikar, Weekly Grameen Bangla
- Ghat of Nader Chand
- Tomb of Garib Shah
- Remnants of the Rajbari of Raja Sitaram Roy
- Rajbari of Raja Satrujit Roy
- Remnants of the Rajbari of Birat Raja
- Fort of Debal Raja
- Bhater Vita
- Dargah of Mokarram Ali Shah
- Madan Mohan Temple of Satrujitpur
- Gorai Bridge
- Residence of poet Jatindra Mohan Bagchi
- Siddheshwari Math at Athara Khada
- Satdoha Ashram
- Farrukh Ahmed
- Syed Ali Ahsan
- Sohrab Hossain
- Shahid Sirajuddin Hossain
- Syeda Sufia Khatun
- Sheikh Habibur Rahman
- Lutfar Rahman
- Khalilur Rahman
- Kazi Kader Newaj
- Mir Hashem Ali
- Syed Ator Ali
- Yousuf Ali
- Shakib Al Hasan
- Gangadhar Sen Roy
- Jatindra Mohan Bagchi
Written & Edited by Sadia Siddika Zitu.