Chuadanga District

Chuadanga is a district in the western part of Bangladesh under the jurisdiction of Khulna division. It is the 1st capital of Bangladesh (10 April, 1971). Chuadanga is located in between 23°22′ and 23°50′ north latitudes and in between 88°39′ and 89°00′ east longitudes. It is bounded by Kushtia and Meherpur districts on the north, Jhenaidah district on the south and east, Meherpur district and Nadia district of West Bengal, India on the west. Until the Partition of India, Chuadanga sub-division was within Nadia district. After partition in 1947, it was attached to Kushtia district. Chuadanga became a separate district on 26 February, 1984. It has an area of 1,174.10 sq. km (453.32 sq mi). The district consists of 4 Upazilas, 4 municipalities and 38 Union Parishads. According to the 2011 Bangladesh Census, Chuadanga district has a population of 1,129,015. Males constitute 50.03% of the population and females 49.97%. Density of the population is 960 inhabitants/km2.

According to Greek historians, the famous “Gangaridai” kingdom was situated in this region in ancient time. Another popular story tells about a city named “Gangeyo” to be situated here. There are also different opinions about the origin of the name of the district. There is a popular opinion that one Persian Businessman named ‘Chungo Mallik’ was very prominent in the area of Chuadanga district headquarters. The name of the district might have been derived from the name of that Persian Businessman. A record of 1897 mentions the name of this place as “Chungodanga”. The present name Chuadanga might have come from a distortion of pronunciation while translating from Persian to English.

The temperature of Chuadanga is in maximum 37.1 °C (98.8 °F), and in minimum 11.2 °C (52.2 °F). The Annual rainfall is 1,467 mm (57.8 in). In January 2018, the district had the lowest temparature in Bangladesh. Dainik Mathavanga, Dainik Pratham Rajdhani, Weekly Chaudanga Darpan, Weekly Chaudanga Samachar and Weekly Din Badaler Kagaj are locally published newspapers of Chuadanga district. Murshidi, Marfati, Baul songs, Jatra, Bhab song, Bhasan song, Kavigan, songs of Manik Pir, Peasants’ song, Gazir Geet, etc are notable among present folk culture.

The Human Development Index (HDI) of Chuadanga is 0.61 which is 9th 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 44.15% for the population 7 years and above. Chuadanga town is situated on the bank of the river Mathabhanga. Bhairab, Kumar, Chitra & Nabaganga are the main rivers of the district. The town was established as municipal town in 1960 and started functioning in 1965. It is an A-grade and the 2nd largest municipality of the country. Bangladesh Red Cross, presently known as Red Crescent Society was first formed in Chuadanga. Besides, the postal department and telecommunication system of independent Bangladesh were first established in Chuadanga also. Chuadanga Railway Station is the first railway station of Bangladesh. On 15 November 1862, the British launched the first railway in India (now Bangladesh) from Darshana in Chuadanga district to Jagati in Kushtia district.

Under British rule, Chuadanga was a sub-division within Nadia district. During partition in 1947, except Krishnanagar thana (still under Nadia in West Bengal), the rest of the region was attached to Kushtia district. History of Chuadanga can be found in Nadia District Gazetteer during British rule. Chuadanga witnessed a number of uprisings during the British rule of India. The uprisings included Wahabi Movement, Faraizi Movement, Sepoy Rebellion, Indigo Movement, Khilafat Movement, Swadeshi Movement, Non-cooperation Movement and Quit India Revolt. During the Liberation War of 1971, Chuadanga was the location of some early battles between the Pakistan Army and the Mukti Bahini pro-independence forces. Chuadanga was declared as the 1 capital of Bangladesh on April 10. The Oath-taking ceremony of the Mujibnagar government was scheduled for April 14 in Chuadanga. But the Pakistani military, upon learning of the ceremony, started firing continuously from a fighter jet at Chuadanga. Later, for security purpose, the capital was shifted to Baidanathtaala in Meherpur, presently known as Mujibnagar after April 16. On 26 March 1971, the first war command was set up in this area, under the leadership of Major Abu Osman Chowdhury and Dr. Ashabul Haque Joarder. The headquarter of EPR No. 4 at Chuadanga Sadar was the central  headquarter of Sector 8 during the Liberation War. Chuadanga was the location of more than 100 battles between the Pakistan Army and the freedom fighters. Chuadanga was liberated from the hands of occupying Pakistan Army on 7 December, 1971. Marks of the Liberation War in the district include a mass graveyard of the victims behind the Chuadanga Sadar Hospital. There are also 3 mass graves, placed on the back of the Natudaha High School, at village Dhopakhali near the Jibannagar border and on the bank of GK Canal near Alamdanga Railway Station. There are 2 memorial monument also.

Most of this small district is dedicated to agriculture. Occupational distributions clearly show this with agriculture employing 65.14%, non-agricultural laborer 2.99%, industry 1.40%, commerce 14.24%, transport and communication 3.46%, service 5.57%, construction 1.28%, religious service 0.15%, rent and remittance 0.39% and others 5.38%. Total cultivable land amounts to 894.20 sq. km of which 99% is under any sort of irrigation. Paddy, jute, wheat, potato, sugarcane, brinjal, onion, garlic, pulses, betel leaf and pumpkin are the main cultivable crops. Extinct or nearly extinct crops of Chuadanga district are sesame, linseed, tobacco, mustard seed and indigo. Mango, jackfruit, litchi, papaya, guava, coconut and banana are main fruits of the district. Chuadanga holds the 1st position in the production of corn, betel leaf, vegetables and date molasses. Apart from this, it is the 2nd among the districts of Bangladesh in production of commercial flowers and mango. Cotton is another cash crop grown in the district. The Dattanagar Agriculture Farm, located in Jibannagar is known as the largest agricultural farm in entire Asia. Besides agriculture, the district is now experiencing industrial growth also. Among the manufacturing industries, cotton mills, sugar mills, bread and biscuit factory, spinning mills, textile mills, aluminum factory, pharmaceuticals, rice mill, oil mill, flour mill, ice factory, saw mill and welding are found. Major industries include Zaman Group of Industries, Bangas bread and biscuit, Tallu Spinning mills Ltd, Khatun Plastic Limited (KPL), and Carew & Co Bangladesh Limited. Carew & Company has a distillery also which is the lone spirit producing plant of Bangladesh.

In 1859, the Eastern Bengal Railway Company started construction of the Kolkata-Kushtia railway line. Chuadanga Railway Station was the first railway station in Bangladesh. It was built in 1860 at Chuadanga, the middle point of the two sub-divisions to connect Kolkata with the then Meherpur sub-division of Nadia district and Jhenaidah sub-division of Jessore district. When Chuadanga railway station was opened on 15 November 1862, Chuadanga emerged as an important sub-division and large business center of Nadia district. At present, Chuadanga is connected to four of its neighboring districts (Kushtia, Jessore, Jhenidah and Meherpur) through inter-district highways and connected to Jessore and Kushtia by railway. The district is connected to the rest of the country by three highways and railway. A total length of railway tracks of over 50 km connects the three railway stations inside the district with the country’s railway network. By 2013, five out of the ten stations in the district were shut down due to a lack of manpower, some stations were turned into markets later.

The district is predominately Muslims occupying 97.459% of the population. Hindus form 2.348%, Christians 0.141% and others 0.051%. Chuadanga consists 1417 mosques, 97 temples, some churches, shrines and tombs. Gholdari Jami Mosque, Chuadanga Bara Mosque, three domed Dhopakhali Mosque, Thakurpur Mosque, Mazar and Mosque of four pirs at Shibnagar, Mazar of Paresh Shah, Jamjami Mosque, Tiyorbeela Mosque, Sonatanpur Temple, Jagannathpur Temple, Gholdari Neelkuthi, Karpasdanga Neelkuthi are part of archeological heritage.

At a glance Of Chuadanga
01 Area 1174.10 sq. km (453.32 sq. mi)
02 Population 1129015
03 Founding Year 26 February, 1984
03 Density 960/km2 (2,500/sq mi)
04 Literacy Rate 44.15%
05 Seats in the Parliament 2
06 Postcode 7200
07 Sector in Liberation War 8

Upazilas (4)

  • Chuadanga Sadar
  • Alamdanga
  • Jibannagar
  • Damurhuda

Main Rivers

Mathavanga, Bhairab, Nabaganga, Chitra, Kumar.

Main Newspapers

Dainik Mathavanga, Dainik Pratham Rajdhani, Weekly Chaudanga Darpan, Weekly Chaudanga Samachar and Weekly Din Badaler Kagaj

Notable places

  • Gholdari Jame Mosque
  • Three domed Dhopakhali Mosque
  • Mazar and Mosque of four pirs at Shibnagar
  • Mazar of Paresh Shah
  • Jagannathpur Temple
  • Natudaha Aat Kobor
  • Karpasdanga Neelkuthi
  • Dattanagar Agricultural Farm
  • Carew & Co. Limited.

Highlighted Personalities

  • Atul Krishna Shaha (Anti-British Activist)
  • Amir Kumar Roy (Anti-British Activist)
  • Bir Uttam Akram Ahmed
  • Moslem Ali Biswas (Journalist)
  • Ashok Kumar (Actor)

Written & Edited by Sadia Siddika Zitu.

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