Jhenaidah District

Jhenaidah is a district in the south-western part of Bangladesh under the jurisdiction of Khulna division. It was first established as a police outpost during British rule and then turned into a thana in 1793 under the district of Jessore. Later, the Jhenaidah Sub-division was established in 1862. It was finally turned into a district on 23 February, 1984 after the Liberation War of Bangladesh. Jhenaidah is bordered by Kushtia District to the north, Jessore district and West Bengal, India to the south, Rajbari and Magura District to the east, and Chuadanga district and West Bengal, India to the west. It has an area of 1964.77 sq. km. The district consists of 6 Upazilas, 5 municipalities, 67 Union Parishads, 981 Mouzas, 1152 villages, 54 wards and 136 mahallas. According to the 2011 Bangladesh Census, Jhenaidah District has a population of 1,771,304. Males constitute 50.04% of the population and females 49.96%. Density of the population is 901.5 inhabitants/km2.

Situated by the river Nabaganga, the name Jhenaidah has an interesting story to tell. It is said that a huge number of Oysters used to be found in the Nabaganga River and lime was produced by burning them. As the Oyster was interpreted as ‘Jhinuk’ and ‘Doho’ was interpreted as deep river bed in Bengali language, the name ‘Jhinukdoho’ was initially circulated. As Jhinuk is more popularly known as ‘Jhenai’, it was later changed into ‘Jhenaidah’.

Jhenaidah is home to many waterbodies. It has 13 rivers, 35 Baors and 104 bils in total. Nabaganga, Gorai, Kumar, Chitra, Bhairab, Kobadak, Betna and Kaliganga are the main rivers of this district. The temperature of Jhenaidah 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). The fertile soil and flood free elevated land made Jhenaidah an ideal destination to live and work. The fertile land is very much suitable for agricultural purpose. As a result, 66.50% of the inhabitants are involved in agriculture. Jhenaidah is famous for irrigation of paddy, jute, sugarcane, banana, betel leaf and date molasses. Many types of fruits are also harvested here.

Traces of human settlements from the early 2nd century were found in Jhenaidah. It was under “Banga/Shamatat” province during the middle of 6th century. Many people used to count this area as the extension of Shundarban as it was surrounded by Keya tree in the past. At that time, it was also known as ‘Surya Dip’ meaning Solar Island. The Ganga Dighi of this region was a famous port of India back in 13th Century. It has been mentioned in the Greek history that oysters and muslin were used to being exported from this port in the ancient time. Due to advanced communication system, it turned into an important city within a short time. Later in 1913-14, Rail line was also established here which added to the advancement of communication system, the establishment of highway was the continuation. As a result, Jhenaidah has been known as the “Entrance of south-western Bangladesh”.

Other than fertile land, rivers and communication system, Jhenaidah is also well-known for it’s education and culture. Jhenaidah has a literacy rate of 48.4% for the population 7 years and above. The Human Development Index (HDI) of Jhenaidah 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. Jhenaidah is home to many notable educationists like mathematical physicist and cosmologist Jamal Nazrul Islam, Abdur Rahman, Zillur Rahman and many others. Among them, Kalipada Basu is a world famous mathematician who made considerable contribution to the development of Algebra in the late 1800s. He investigated modern European Algebra and made it easier, his work was recommended by the Hunter Commission in the late 1880s. He also invented new mathematical proofs and elevated the standard of locally available Algebra books at that time. Jhenaidah also has many daily, weekly and monthly newspapers and periodicals. “Dainik Jhenaidah”, “Dainik Nabachitro”, “Shaptahik Nirban” are noteworthy among them.

The people of Jhenaidah are also very conscious and always fighting against oppression. Jhenaidah played a remarkable role in Anti-British Movement, Indigo Resistance Movement, Peasant Movement, Fakir-Sannayashi Movement, Language Movement and Liberation War. In the 1860s, Indigo Resistance Movement spread all over this area massively which contributed a lot in the victory. Jhenaidah is the birth place of Peasant Movement Activist and organizer Ila Mitra. It is also the place where Bagha Jatin had his 1st combat. In fact, the 1st combat of our Liberation war took place in Jhenaidah in April 1, 1971. 7 mass graves and 3 execution grounds were found in Jhenaidah after the Liberation War. There are 2083 freedom fighters in Jhenaidah and almost 250 freedom fighters died during war including Birshrestha Hamidur Rahman and Bir Pratik Shirajul Islam. Maheshpur Upazila was liberated first on 3 December, followed by Kotchadpur and Kaliganj on 4 and 5 December respectively and finally the whole district was liberated on 6 December, 1971.

The district is predominately Muslims, 90.39% of the population. Hindus form 9.48%, Christians 0.06% and others 0.08%. Jhenaidah consists 2256 mosques, 191 temples, 16 Churches and some shrines and tombs. Galakata Mosque, Jorbangla Mosque, Satgachia Mosque, Pir Pukur Mosque, Nungola Mosque, Gorar Mosque, Pathaghar Mosque, Naldanga Temple Complex, Gunjanath Temple, Shiddheswary Kali Mandir, Ramgopal Temple, Shrine of Pagla Kanai, Tomb of Shiraj Shai, Vita of Lalon Shai, Mazar of Bulu Deouan, Mazar of Gazi Kalu Champabati represent the peaceful relation among the inhabitants of different religion.

Among the archeological heritage, Miyar Dalan, House of K.P Bashu, Jahajghata, the mosques, temples, shrines play important role. There is also a large Banyan tree known as the largest Banyan tree of Asia. Mobarakganj Sugar Mills,  Dattanagar Agricultural Project, Kolika Doha, Baro Bazar, Monohorpur Garh are famous tourist spots. On both sides of Shornokarpotti (old urban settlement of goldsmith community) of the Jhenaidah City, there are different types of souvenir shops selling pottery, hand-embroidered dresses, table cloths and floor mats. Taw bazar, the oldest market of the city is also nearby with separate vegetable market, stationery shops and shops of many essential products. The Debdaru Avenue (avenue of weeping willow tree) beside Castle Bridge is a place of scenic beauty and serenity. Not very far from the avenue, the old Nabaganga river ghat is a place for offering idols to the river for the Hindus. There used to be a traditional fair or Aarong held during the time of the festival in old days.

At a glance Of Jhenaidah
01 Area 1964.77 sq. km (758.60 sq. mi)
02 Population 1771304
03 Founding Year 23 February, 1984
03 Density 901.50/km2
04 Literacy Rate 48.40%
05 Seats in the Parliament 4
06 Postcode 7300

Upazilas (6)

  • Jhenaidah Sadar
  • Harinakundu
  • Shailkupa
  • Kotchandpur
  • Maheshpur
  • Kaliganj

Main Rivers:

Nabaganga, Chitra, Kumar.

Main Newspapers:

Dainik Jhenaidah, Dainik Nabachotra, Shaptahik Nirban.

Notable places

  • Harihar Garh
  • Monoharpur Garh
  • Nungola Mosque
  • Gorar Mosque
  • Pathaghar Mosque
  • Gunjanath Temple
  • Siddheswari Kali Mandir
  • Ram Gopal Mandir
  • Kharer Dighi Mosque
  • Jahajghata
  • Jor Bangla Mosque
  • Galakata Dighi and Mosque
  • Mazar of Ghazi Kalu Champabati
  • Dhol Samudra Dighi
  • Naldangha Rajbari and Mandir
  • Manasa Mandir
  • Krishna Balaram Dev Bigraha Mandir
  • Neel Kuthi
  • Miyar Dalan
  • House of KP Basu
  • Pir Pukur Mosque
  • Satgachiya Mosque
  • Mazar of Pagla Kanai
  • Mazar of Panju Shah
  • Vita of Fakir Lalon Shai
  • Banyan Tree, Mallikpur

Highlighted Personalities

  • Birshrestha Hamidur Rahman
  • Birpratik Shirajul Islam
  • Mobarak Ali Mia (Anti-British Activist)
  • Jatindranath Mukherjee
  • Ila Mitra
  • Abdul Hyee (member of parliament, freedom fighter and commander)
  • KalipadaBasu
  • Fakir Lalon Shah
  • Pagla Kanai
  • Golam Mostafa (Poet)
  • Panju Shah (Poet)
  • Shamsuddin Ahmed (Poet)
  • Jamal Nazrul Islam
  • Abdur Rahman (Speaker, World Youth Forum Egypt)
  • Mostofa Monwar (Artist)
  • Monir Khan (Singer)

Written & Edited by Sadia Siddika Zitu.

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