Rajbari is a district located on the central part of Bangladesh under the jurisdiction of Dhaka division. The district lies in between 22°40′ and 23°50′ north latitudes and in between 89°19′ and 90°40′ east longitudes. Rajbari is bounded by Pabna district on the north, Faridpur and Magura districts on the south, Manikganj district on the east, Kushtia and Jhenaidah districts on the west. Rajbari was established as a district in 1984. It has an area of 1,118.8 sq. km. (432 sq. mi). The district consists of 5 Upazilas, 3 Municipalities and 42 Union Parishads. According to the 2011 Bangladesh Census, Rajbari has a population of 912,969. Density of the population is 908 inhabitants/sq. km.
There is no doubt that the place was named after a influential king. In 1796, Nawab Shaista Khan became the Subedar of Dhaka. He sent Sangram Shah as Nawara chief to suppress the Portuguese pirates in the region at that period. He started to live in Banibaha of this region parmanently and built a fort at a place called Lalgola. Sangram Shah and his family later became known as Nawara Chowdhury of Banibaha. According to many, the district was named after them out of respect. However, many others firmly believe that it was named by the renowned ruler Raja Surjoprashad Sen who established his palace (Locally called “Rajbari”) in this district.
Rajbari was a part of Jessore district in the past. Later, it was included into Faridpur district in 1811. The present upazilas under Rajbari district were also attached to different districts at that time. For example, Pangsha Thana was then attached to Pabna district. Later, Pangsha and Baliakandi were attached to the newly formed Kumarkhali sub-division in 1859. Pangsha and Rajbari were then attached to Goalanda sub-division after its formation in 1871. Goalanda finally got the status of district in March 1984 and it was then renamed as Rajbari District.
The Human Development Index (HDI) of Rajbari is 0.596 which is 11th 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 52.30% for the population 7 years and above. The district is situated on the bank of the river Padma. Jalangi, Kumar, Garai, Madhumati, Harai, Chandana and Chitra are the main rivers of the district. In the past, this district was filled with many bills and the soil in the floodplain of the Padma was fertile. Even till date, most of the areas of Rajbari are composed of alluvial soil of river Padma. The average high temperature of the district is 35.8°C and the average low temperature is 12.6°C. Annual rainfall averages 2105 millimetres.
Numerous daily and weekly newspapers are published from Rajbari. Daily Matrikantha, Daily Rajbari Shangbad and Daily Shahoshi Shomoy are notable among them. Rhymes, riddles, proverbs, Murshidi song, Marfati song, Kavigan, Jarigan, Sarigan, Bichargan etc. are notable folk culture prevailing in Rajbari. Dariabandha, boat racing, Ha-du-du and cock fighting are also popular folk games there. Palanquin, horse carriage, bullock and buffalo carts were the traditional transports in the rural areas of the 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.
The economy of Rajbari is mostly dependent on agriculture. Major sources of income comprises of agriculture with 60.84%, non-agricultural laborer 3.19%, industry 1.59%, commerce 14.36%, transport and communication 4.41%, service 6.67%, construction 2.03%, religious service 0.16%, rent and remittance 0.6% and others 6.15%. Out of total 216579 holdings of the district, 59.96% holdings are farms that produce varieties of crops namely local and HYV paddy, sugarcane, wheat, vegetables, spices, jute, pulses, and other minor cereals. Various fruits like mango, banana, jackfruit, guava, coconut etc. are grown in the district. Almost all kinds of vegetables are cultivated, particularly bitter guard, pumpkin, potato and brinjals are abundantly grown. Pisciculture and rearing of livestock and poultry adds an additional income to the rural households. Fishes of different varieties abound in Rajbari. Varieties of fish are caught from rivers, tributary channels, even from paddy field during rainy seasons. Some valuable timber and forest trees are also grown in this district. Out of total 1119 sq. km. Of the total area of the district, organized forestry is almost absent but riverine areas occupy about 107.64 sq. km. (9.62%) of the total area.
Rajbari was always a place of pilgrimage for many movements. Fakir-Sannyasi Resistance took place in the region during the early part of the British rule. The Farayeji movement also spread widely in this district. The local people took active part in Indigo Movement. The people of Rajbari played a strong role in the language movement of 1952, the election of the United Front in 1954 and above all in the Liberation War of 1971. Many direct encounters were held between the freedom fighters and the Pakistan army in Rajbari during the nine months of war. There are 4 mass graves at Goalanda, Khankhanapur, char lands of Habaspur under Pangsha upazila and Baliakandi of the district as marks of Liberation War.
The district is predominately Muslims with a population of 847616. There are 103664 Hindus, 173 Buddhists and 453 people practicing other religions. There are 1235 mosques, 105 temples, 4 churches and some tombs in Rajbari. Some people from ethnic communities such as, Buno, Bindi, Behara, Bagdi and Kol also reside in the district.
|At A Glance Of Rajbari|
|01||Area||1,118.8 sq. km. (432 sq. mi)|
|03||Founding Year||March 1984|
|05||Seats in the Parliament||2|
|07||Sector in Liberation War||8|
- Rajbari Sadar
Padma, Jalangi, Kumar, Garai, Madhumati, Harai, Chandana, Chitra
Daily Matrikantha, Daily Rajbari Shangbad, Daily Shahoshi Shomoy
- Kallyan Dighi
- Godar Bazar bank of Padma River
- Tomb of Mir Mosharraf Hossain
- Baharpur Amusement Centre
- Goalanda Ferryghat
- Sawdagar Dighi
- Tomb of kamal Shah Awlia
- Tomb of the shufi Devotee Shah Jui
- Maulavi Tamizuddin Khan
- Kazi Motahar Hossain
- Mir Mosharraf Hossain
- Kangalini Sufia
- Satish Chandra Vidyabhusan
- Raja Surjo Kumar Guho
- Dr. Abul Hossain
- Salma Chowdhury
Written & Edited by Sadia Siddika Zitu.