Dinajpur District

Dinajpur is a district located on the northern part of Bangladesh under the jurisdiction of Rangpur division. The district lies in between 25°10′ and 26°04′ north latitudes and in between 88°23′ and 89°18′ east longitudes. Dinajpur is bounded by Thakurgaon and Panchagarh districts on the north, Gaibandha and Joypurhat districts on the south, Nilphamari and Rangpur districts on the east and West Bengal of India on the west. Dinajpur district was established in 1786. It has an area of 3,444.30 sq. km. (1,329.85 sq. mi). The district consists of 13 Upazilas, 9 municipalities and 103 Union Parishads. According to the 2011 Bangladesh Census, Dinajpur district has a population of 2,990,128. Males constitute 51.61% of the population and females 48.39%. Density of the population is 870 inhabitants/sq. km.

The history of Dinajpur is rich in literary and cultural heritage.  According to experts, the soil of Dinajpur is similar to the soil of millions of years old places like Chhota Nagpur, Vindhya Parbat etc. in India.  Dinajpur is the heart of the Barind land, which was born a long time ago as a sister of the Himalayas.  According to folklore, Dinaj or Dinaraj was the founder of the Dinajpur royal family. The district was previously known as Ghoraghat. Later, the British rulers abolished the Ghoraghat government and formed a new district named Dinajpur in honor of the king.

The Human Development Index (HDI) of Dinajpur is 0.614 which is 7th 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 52.4% for the population 7 years and above. Another educational board of Bangladesh was established in Dinajpur in 2007 which was tenth in serial. Dinajpur is situated on the bank of the river Punarbhaba. Atrai, Jamuna,. Tulsiganga, Tangon, Karotoa and Dipa are the main rivers of the district. The average high temperature is 33.5°C and the average low temperature is 10.5°C. Annual rainfall averages 2536 millimetres. Numerous daily and weekly newspapers are published from Dinajpur. Daily Uttarbanga, Daily Tista and Daily Janamat  are notable among them. Bhawaya, kirtan, panchali, Meyeli geet, songs of Gorokshanath, Charak song, Baul song, proverbs, rhymes, puzzles, jarigan etc. are notable folk culture prevailing in Dinajpur. Palanquin, horse carriage, bullock cart 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 the district is mostly dependent on agriculture. Major sources of income comprises of agriculture with 63.90%, non-agricultural laborer 3.29%, industry 0.90%, commerce 12.89%, transport and communication 3.35%, service 6.58%, construction 3.37%, religious service 0.17%, rent and remittance 0.23% and others 5.32%. Dinajpur is well known for rice production. ‘Katarivog’ rice grown in Dinajpur is one of the best produced rice in Bangladesh. Dinajpur produces huge amount wheat also. The litchi of Dinajpur is very popular and known as the best of Bangladesh. Dinajpur is also popular for mangoes, specifically the “Kosba” mango. A plenty of vegetables and seasonal fruits are also grown here. The major agricultural crops of Dinajpur are rice, wheat, maize, brinjal, potato and tomato. The common fruits found in this area are litchi, mango, jackfruit, black berry, guava and banana. 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.

Non-farm activities also play important role in the economy of Dinajpur. The district is highly rich with natural resources like Coal, hard rock, silica sand and copper. Coal and hard rock are most notable mineral resources of the district. In total five coal mines have been discovered in Bangladesh till date, three of them are in Dinajpur. The name of these coal mines are Barapukuria, Phulbari and Dighipara coal field. Coal is commercially being produced only from the Barapukuria underground coal mine at present. Present production rate is near 1500 tons per day. There was a plan to establish an open-pit mine near Phulbari. It was aborted in 2006 due to mass protest by the inhabitants. The coal obtained from the Barapukuria Coal Mine are being used in the Barapukuria Power Station.

Dinajpur was a part of the state of Pundravardhana in ancient time. The capital of Lakhnauti, Devkot was situated 18 kilometres (11 mi) south of present Dinajpur town. In recent time, an ancient engraved stone has been recovered from the bank of a pond near Sura Masjid in the Ghoraghat upazila of Dinajpur, which is believed to be from the Gupta era. Dinajpur is one of the early district towns formed at the beginning of the rule of East India Company. The British army conquered the area in 1765 AD, eight years after the battle of Palashi. It came under complete British administrative control in 1786. Dinajpur was the biggest administrative district of undivided Bengal. It included a greater portion of Bagura, Malda and parts of Rajshahi, Rangpur and Purnea at different times during 1833 to 1870. The Dinajpur Municipality was formed in 1856. It was one of the first 40 municipalities of Bengal. Indigo plantation started in the district in the last decade of the 18th century. The local people participated in the Indigo Movement. After partition of India in 1947, part of greater Dinajpur district was included in West Bengal and it was named West Dinajpur. People of the district actively participated in the Tebhaga Movement.

Dinajpur district was under Sector 7 during the Liberation War. On 29 March 1971, first battle was fought between the freedom fighters and the Pakistani army on the Dinajpur road of Phubari upazila. The Pakistani army killed many people from this district during war. They also set many houses of these areas on fire. The freedom fighters also participated in many front battles. On 4 December, the general public attacked a Pakistani military vehicle and killed many soldiers. About 30 freedom fighters were killed in an encounter with the Pakistani forces on 15 December at Bogulakhari. On the other hand, about 100 Pakistani soldiers were killed in an encounter with the freedom fighters at Bahabal Dighi of Biral upazila. There are 7 mass graves, 4 mass killing sites and 5 memorial monuments in the district of Dinajpur as marks of the Liberation War in 1971.

The district is predominately Muslims occupying 77.83% of the population. Hindus form 19.74%, Christians 1.09% and remaining 1.31% practice other religions. The district of Dinajpur has 4,036 mosques, 904 Temple, 97 churches, 16 pagodas and some shrines. Some tribal communities such as Santals, Oraon, Mahali, Malpahari and Kol belong to this upazila. Population of the indigenous people is 109518 all together.

At a glance of Dinajpur
01 Area 3,444.30 sq. km. (1,329.85 sq. mi).
02 Population 2,990,128
03 Founding Year 1786
03 Density 870/sq. km.
04 Literacy Rate 52.4%
05 Seats in the Parliament 6
06 Postcode 5200
07 Sector in Liberation War 7

Upazilas (13)

  • Biral
  • Birampur
  • Birganj
  • Bochaganj
  • Chirirbandar
  • Dinajpur Sadar
  • Fulbari
  • Ghoraghat
  • Hakimpur
  • Kaharole
  • Khansama
  • Nawabganj
  • Parbatipur

Main Rivers:

Punarbhaba. Atrai, Jamuna,. Tulsiganga, Tangon, Karotoa, Dipa

Main Newspapers:

Daily Uttarbanga, DailyTista, Daily Janamat

Notable Places

  • Ananda Sagar
  • Aowkora Mosque
  • Baraduari
  • Dinajpur Museum
  • Dinajpur Rajbari
  • Ghughu-danga Zamindar Bari
  • Gorashohid Boro-Moydan
  • Gour Gabindha
  • Habra Zamindar Bari
  • Hili Land Port
  • Kaliya jue Temple
  • Kantajew Temple
  • Korai Bill
  • Matasagar
  • Nayabad Mosque
  • Ramsagar
  • Shingha Darwaza
  • Shita Coat Bihar
  • Shopnopuri artificial amusement park
  • Shimanta Shikha Club
  • Shita Coat Bihar
  • Singra forest
  • Sita Kuthuri
  • Sukhsagar
  • The tomb of Chehel Gazi
  • Gor-e-Shahid Moydan

Highlighted Personalities

  • Narayan Gangopadhyay
  • Atmasthananda
  • Debojyoti Mishra
  • Begum Khaleda Zia
  • Khurshid Jahan
  • Haji Mohammad Danesh
  • Yousuf Ali
  • Muhammad Mahbubur Rahman
  • Abdur Rahim
  • Abdullah Al Kafi
  • Moinuddin Ahmed Chowdhury
  • Subhash Dutta
  • Nitun Kundu
  • Dhiman Ghosh
  • Liton Das
  • Lucas Marandi

Written & Edited by Sadia Siddika Zitu.

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