Gopalganj Distict

Gopalganj is a district located on the central part of Bangladesh under the jurisdiction of Dhaka division. The district lies in between 22°50′ and 23°01′ north latitudes and in between 89°40′ and 90°02′ east longitudes. Gopalganj is bounded by Faridpur district on the north, Pirojpur and Bagerhat districts on the south, Madaripur and Barisal districts on the east and Narail district on the west. Gopalganj was established as a district in 1984. It has an area of 1,468.74 sq. km. (567.08 sq. mi). The district consists of 5 Upazilas, 4 Municipalities and 68 Union Parishads. According to the 2011 Bangladesh Census, Gopalganj has a population of 1,172,415. Males constitute 53.27% of the population and females 46.73%. Density of the population is 787 inhabitants/sq. km.

In ancient times, this area belonged to the Banga kingdom. This region was ruled by Hindu kings during Sultanate and British period. At the time of the Permanent Settlement (1893), Muksudpur upazila of Gopalganj district belonged to Jessore district and the rest to Dhaka-Jalalpur district. In 1806, Muksudpur Thana was annexed to Faridpur district from Jessore. Gopalganj Sadar and Kotalipara also belonged to Jalalpur Pargana of Faridpur district. In 1872, a thana called Gopalganj was formed in Madaripur sub-division. Later in 1909, Madaripur sub-division was dissolved and Gopalganj sub-division was formed. Muksudpur thana along with Gopalganj and Kotalipara thanas was included in the newly formed Gopalganj sub-division under Faridpur district. It was then up-graded to a district on 1 February, 1984. The previous name of the district was Rajganj. In 1793, the local Zamindar renamed Rajgang to Gopalganj after the name of his grandson who was popularly known as Gopal.

The Human Development Index (HDI) of Gopalganj is 0.649 which is 3rd 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 58.10% for the population 7 years and above. It is situated on the bank of the river Madhumati. Garai, Kaliganga, Hunda, Ghagar and Old Kumar are the main rivers of the district. Borni Baor, Chandar beel and Baghyar beel are notable among other big waterbodies. The average high temperature of Gopalganj is 23.3°C and the average low temperature is 8.6°C. Annual rainfall averages 1885 millimetres. Numerous daily and weekly newspapers are published from the district. Daily Jugakatha, Daily Bhorer Bani and Daily Banglar Sanket are notable among them. Rhymes, proverbs, riddles, Sarigan, Murshidigan, Haloigan, Bratageeti, Gambhira song etc. are notable folk culture prevailing in Gopalgonj. 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 the district is mostly dependent on agriculture. Major sources of income comprises of agriculture with 61.75%, non-agricultural laborer 2.23%, industry 0.58%, commerce 13.92%, transport and communication 2.30%, service 11.14%, construction 1.60%, religious service 0.29%, rent and remittance 0.70% and others 5.49%. Out of total 230494 holdings of the district, 67.88 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 brinjal are abundantly grown. Fish of different varieties are caught from rivers, tributary channels and even from paddy fields during the rainy season. Besides crops, pisciculture and rearing of livestock and poultry adds an additional income to the rural households.

Gopalganj was always a place of pilgrimage for many movements.  A battle between Babor (the Mughal Emperor) and Nusrat Shah (Sultan of Bengal) was held on the bank of the river Ghargara (presently known as Ghagar) in this district. Fakir-Sannyasi Resistance took place in the region during the early part of the British rule. Mr. Dhirendra Nath Bishwas of Kotalipara was killed in Anti British Movement and Mr. Mahananda Bishwas Jalilpar was killed during the mass upsurge of 1969. The people of Gopalganj played a strong role in all the movements including the language movement of 1952, the election of the United Front in 1954 and the mass uprising of 1971 and above all in the Liberation War. Many direct encounters were held between the freedom fighters and the Pakistan army in Gopalganj during war. The district is the birthplace of the Father of the Nation, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as well as the present Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina Wajed. There are 3 mass graves, a mass killing site and 2 memorial monuments in the district as marks of Liberation War.

The district is predominately Muslims with a population of 779962. There are 371629 Hindus, 13401 Buddhists, 17 Christians and 264 people  practicing other religions. There are 356 mosques, 359 temples, 250 churches and 4 tombs in Gopalgonj.

At a glance of Gopalganj
01 Area 1,468.74 sq. km.

(567.08 sq. mi)

02 Population 1,172,415
03 Founding Year 1984
04 Density 787/sq. km.
05 Literacy Rate 58.10%
06 Seats in the Parliament 3
07 Postcode 8100
08 Sector in Liberation War 8


  • Gopalganj Sadar
  • Kotalipara
  • Kashiani
  • Muksudpur
  • Tungipara

Main Rivers:

Madhumati, Garai, Kaliganga, Hunda, Ghagar, Old Kumar

Main Newspapers:

Daily Jugakatha, Daily Bhorer Bani, Daily Banglar Sanket

Notable Places:

  • Bangabandhu Memorial Complex
  • Akramuzzaman Park
  • Orakandi Tagore House
  • Poet Sukant’s ancestral home
  • Joy Bangla Pond
  • Borni Baor
  • Baganbari (bird sanctuary) in Tungipara
  • Bill of Red Water Lilies

Highlighted Personalities:

  • Q. M. Jainul Abedin
  • Abdullah Baqui
  • Sukanta Bhattacharya
  • Habibur Rahman
  • Sheikh Hasina Wajed
  • Sheikh Mujibur Rahman
  • Nayeem Islam J Preenon
  • Shakib Khan
  • Shariff Enamul Kabir
  • Kazi Anowar Hossain
  • Sarbari Roy Choudhury
  • Sayera Khatun
  • Sheikh Lutfar Rahman
  • Wahiduzzaman
  • Dhirendra Nath Bishwas
  • Mahananda Bishwas Jalilpar

Written & Edited by Sadia Siddika Zitu.

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