Bandarban, home of more than 15 ethnic minorities, is one of the three hill districts of Bangladesh established in 1981. Bandarban (meaning the dam of monkeys), or in Marma or Arakanese language as “Rwa-daw Mro” is also known as Arvumi or the Bohmong Circle.Bandarban is the most remote district of Bangladesh located in the southeastern region. The total area of Bandarban is 4,479 km2 and it is a part of Chittagong Hill Tracts. Bandarban is considered to be the most beautiful district blessed by nature. Some distinguishable features make it more attractive to the visitors. Bandarban is the least populous district of the country with the population of 292,900. It consists of 7 upazilas (Alikadam Upazila, Bandarban Sadar Upazila, Lama Upazila, Naikhongchhari Upazila, Rowangchhari Upazila, Ruma Upazila, Thanchi Upazila), 32 unions, 140 mouzas, 1482 villages, 1 municipality, 10 wards and 62 mahallas.
Marma, who are the descendants of Arakanese, Rakhine, Mru (also known as Murong), Bawn, Tripura or Tipra, Lushei, Khumi, Chak, Kuki, Chakma, Tanchangya, Kaibarta and some other indigenous groups are part of Bandarban. The indigenous groups of the district are divided in hundreds of clans or sects. Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism and Animism are the four dominating religious threads.
The British rulers declared Bandarban as a forest zone because of its vast forest area devoid of human settlement. The Arakanese were permanently settled in Bandarban after the British ascendancy in Arakan.Bandarban hill district was once known as Bohmong Htung. Bohmong Htung was ruled by Bohmong Rajas(kings) who were the subordinates to the Arakanese kings. The present king of the Bohmong Circle is U Cho Prue Marma, who lives in Bandarban town. During the Pakistan Period the region was declared as a subdivision in 1951. After the liberation of Bangladesh, formerly Lama Subdivision including seven sub districts started its journey as a district in 18 April 1981.
The center of the Bandarban Hill District is the town of Bandarban. Here there is a harmonious mixture of the Moghs, devout Buddhists, and the Murangs who lure visitors with their legendary dances and traditional music. As with most of the tribes in the area, residents are friendly and peace loving – very fitting for the peaceful and calm surroundings that bring beauty and tranquility to the region.Bandarban town, which is the Administrative headquarters of Bandarban district, contains a Tribal Cultural Institute, Bandarban Town Hospital, Bandarban Government College, the District Stadium. It also features two Royal Palace, each for both of the 11th and 13th royal line along with a Royal Cemetery.
Jhum cultivation, also known as shifting cultivation, is a local name for slash and burn agriculture practiced by the indigenous communities in mountainous areas which provides them stocks for two-thirds of a year.
Fruits cultivated in hilly areas like, pine apple, almonds, orange, banana, jack-fruit, lemon, tobacco,jackfruit, papaya along with spices i.e. ginger, turmeric, cotton and tribal textile are the major exports of the district. Tourism is growing fast as a source of revenue for the district. Of the various kinds of tribal cuisine, Bandarban’s bamboo chicken, Tricky Rice are very famous.
Shankha (Sangu), Matamuhuri and Bakkhali are the rivers flowing through Bandarban. Raikhiang Lake, the highest lake in Bangladesh along with the three highest peaks of Bangladesh – Tajindong (1280 meters, also known as Bijoy), Mowdok Mual (1052 meters), and Keokradong (883 metres) – are located in Bandarban district. Just outside the town, in Balaghata, is the Buddha Dhatu Jadi Temple, which happens to be the largest of its kind in Bangladesh. Other attractions, in close proximity to Bandarban include the Buddha Statue, the Shoilo Propat Waterfall, Prantik Lake and the Rajvihar.
|At a glance Bandarban|
(1,729.36 sq mi)
|03||Founding Year||18 April 1981|
|03||Density||87/km2 (220/sq mi)|
|05||Seats in the Parliament||1|
Upazilas There are Seven Upazilas in Bandarban
- Bandarban Sadar
- Boga Lake
- Nafakhum Waterfall
- Chimbuk Hill
- Buddha Dhatu Jadi
- Bandarban-Thanchi Road
- Neelachal Road
- Meghla Parjatan Complex
- Tajindong Peak
- Bamboo Chicken
- Thicky Rice
- Koarsha ong Marma
- Mongsha Pru
- Dr Mang Usha
- Thoai Marma
- Dr Prushanu Marma
- U K Ching (Bir Bikram
Written & Edited by Shaima Akter Sethu