Habiganj, formally known as Habibganj, which was named after its founder Syed Habib Ullah of Taraf Kingdom, is located in the Sylhet Division. It is in the north-eastern part of Bangladesh. Habiganj was part of the state of Nasirabad (Present Mymensingh) between the 13th and early 17th centuries. Founder of Habiganj Syed Habib Ullah set up a bazar (market) on the bank of Khowyai river which later known as Habibganj. Syed Habib Ullah was the grandson of the founder of the famous ‘Sultanis Haveli’, Syed Sultan. During the british period, Habiganj was declared as ‘Mahokuma’ in 1867 and was launched in 1878. Habiganj Thana was founded in 1893 according to provincial notification 273 by the government of Assam province. Later, in 1 March of 1984 it was turned into a district. With the time being Habibganj became Habiganj which administrative centre was in Court Andar, Laskarpur.
Habiganj, a district under the jurisdiction of the daughter of nature Sylhet. The district uphold a area of 2,636.58 km² which declared as a sub-division in 1867.The natural harbour is bounded by Sunamganj District to the north, Tripura of India and Maulvibazar District to the east, Balaganj Upazila of Sylhet to the north-east, Brahmanbaria and Kishoreganj districts to the west. The district consist of nine sub-districts named Ajmiriganj, Baniachang, Bahubal, Chunarughat, Habiganj Sadar, Lakhai, Madhabpur, Nabiganj, Sayestaganj along with 6 municipalities, 54 wards, 78 union parishads, 124 mahallas, 1241 mouzas and 2076 villages.
In line with census 2011, the total population of Habiganj is 2,089,001 splited into 926,531 male which is 50.6% and 904,022 female which is 49.4% of the total population. Majority of the area follows Islam in terms of religion. The parcentages of religion of the area are 80.23% Muslim, 19.12% Hindu, 0.05% Buddhist, 0.13% Christian and 0.47% others. Habiganj contains more than 1,300 mosques and 176 temples, as well as two churches. About 2% of the population covered by some indegenous groups like Biharis, Khasias, Meiteis and Twipras while 98% of the population are Bengalis. The indegenous group Twipra or Tipperah are the original inhabitants of the state of Tripura. More than 2000 years ago, the Royal family of the Debbarma ruled the state of Tripura. In 1949, the kingdom was joined with India. Manipur is the original homeland of Meitei group. Earlier Manipur was called in different names such as Kangleipak, Kangkleipang, Kanglei, Meitrabak, and Mekhali. Meiteis arrived in the Habiganj area during the reign of Maharaj Garibniwaz (1709–1748). The Khasia, Mongolite ethnic group migrated to Habiganj from Assam. The Beharis have a history three million years of history. The Biharis travelled from their state in Uttar Pradesh in northern India during the 19th century. The descendants of Biharis have settled in Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh, Trinidad and Tobago, Fiji, Mauritius and South Africa. Beharis have their unique customs which still are followed by then and they also have a original native tongue.
Habiganj played a significant role during the war of liberation. The first guerrilla movement against the cruelty of the Pakistani Army started in Habiganj. The supreme commander of the war of liberation Col. Mohammad Ataul Ghani Osmani along with some officers of the 2nd and 4th East Bengal Regiment round up together in the Teliapara Tea Garden Dakbungalow to discuss war situation on 4 April 1971. Freedom fighter Jagat Jyoti along with 11 more villagers embraced martyrdom on 16 November during an direct encounter of 18 hours between the Mukti Bahini and the Pakistani army at Ajmiriganj Upazila in Habiganj.
Alluvial plains distinguished the land of Habiganj from rest of the area of Bangladesh. The district is dissected by various crisscrossed rivers, streams and lakes. Among them, Kushiyara, Kalni, Khowai, Sutang, Korangi, Barak are notable. Though its fertile alluvial soils make the district devoted to agricultural, it is defenceless against both flood and drought also. As a consequence, Habiganj produces as well as exports many aagricultural products, with one of its main crops being the internationally enjoyed beverage, tea.
The economy of the people of Habiganj mostly depends on 24 Tea Gardens which cover 15,703.24 hectare of total area. About 4204 acres covered by 3 rubber gardens which are Rupaichhara-Bahubal (1981), Shaigaon (1971) and Shahjibazar-Chunarughat (1978) are also play important role to build the economical structure of the area. Beside that, Rashidpur gas field (1960), Bibiana gas field (1998) and Habiganj gas field (1963) which stock approximatly 5.5 Trillion Cubic Feet of gas are notable. Among them Habiganj gas field at Madhabpur Upazila was discovered by Pakistan Shell Oil Company in 1963. Habiganj gas field started producing gas commercially gas production in 1968 and total 1,364.474 billion cubic feet (3.86376×1010 m3) or 35.42 percent of reserves has been recovered till 31 August, 2006.
The district of Habigang upholds different kinds of folk culture. Spiritual songs are one of varities of folk culture. Habigang is famous for this kind of song which is sung in different kinds of situations. For instance, Fakirali song and Marshia songs are sung on the occasion of Urs in different shrines. Boat races during the rainy season are celebrated with Sarigan. Holi is special varity of songs usually sang by the tea garden workers. Dhamail song and dance, Gazir Geet, Kirtan, Brata song, Pala and Jari gan are also notable folk culture of the area. Beside that, Mahuya Sundarir Pala and Dhupur Path are important and notable folk literature of the district. Now a days, many organizations are promoting cultural and social activities in Habiganj include social organization and clubs, many libraries, theater groups, women’s societies and literary societies.
Similar to other part of the Sylhet division, Habiganj is very rich in terms of natural beauties and tourist spots.Along with some archaeological structures Sultanshi Habeli built by the great poet Syed Sultan at Habiganj Sadar upazila, Bibiana Gas Field (Nabiganj), Shahjibazar Power Plant (Madhabpur, Baniachong Rajbari, ancient dighi of Syed Gaous (R) at Mashajan (Habiganj Sadar), Sagardighi (Baniachong), Tea garden in Madhabpur Upazila are the prominent tourists attractions.
|At a glance of Habiganj|
|03||Founding Year||1 March 1984|
|05||Seats in the Parliament||3|
|07||Sector in Liberation War|
- Habiganj Sadar
- Ancient dighi of Syed Gaous (R) at Mashajan (Habiganj Sadar)
- Baniachong Rajbari
- Bibiana Gas Field (Nabiganj)
- Sagardighi (Baniachong)
- Shahjibazar Power Plant (Madhabpur)
- Sultanshi Habeli built by the great poet Syed Sultan at Habiganj Sadar upazila
- Tea garden in Madhabpur Upazila.
- Bipin Chandra Pal (nationalist leader)
- Chowdhury Fazlul Bari (Former Additional DG of RAB)
- Dewan Farid Gazi (Veteran politician)
- Enamul Haque Mostafa Shahid, (Veteran politician)
- Hemango Biswas (Nationalist Leader, poet and singer)
- Jagat Joity Das (Bir Bikrom)
- Major General Chitta Ranjan Dutta (Bir Uttam)
- Major General Mohammad Abdur Rab (Bir Uttam)
- Mudabbir Hossain Chowdhury (Former Inspector General of Police)
- Mukhlesur Rahman Chowdhury (Former advisor to the President of Bangladesh and minister)
- Professor( Col) Mushahid Thakur.
- Shah Kibria (Former Minister of Bangladesh)
- Sir Fazle Hasan Abed KCMG (Founder and Chairperson, BRAC)
- Sirajul Hossain Khan (Formar Minister)
- Subir Nandi
- Syed A. B. Mahmud Hossain (Chief Justice)
- Syed Husain (Chief Justice)
- Syeda Rizwana Hasan (Environmentalist)
Written & Edited by Shaima Akter Sethu.