Narayanganj, the second largest river port of Bangladesh was formed in 1882. Narayangani was named after Bicon Lal Panday popularly known as Luxmi Narayan Thagure. He took lease of the territory in 1766 from British East India Company by the Battle of Plassey. Then he announced the marketplaces on the banks of the Shitalakshya river as gifted property to pay for expenditure for the worship of the God Narayan. Hereafter, the area was named as Narayanganj.
The total area of the district is about 684.47 sq kilometers positioned between 90°27′ to 90°59′ East Longitude and between 23°34’ to 24°15′ North Latitude. The district of Narayanganj is bounded by Munshiganj district to the south, Narsingdi and Brahmanbaria to the north, Dhaka district to the west and Comilla district to the East. Narayanganj is popularly known as the ‘Dandy of East’ because of the presence of a lot of jute mills in the area. Dandy was the first industrialised “Juteopolis” in the world. The district of Narayanganj is just 16 Km away from the capital city of Dhaka. Shitalakha, Dhaleshari, Meghna, Buriganga, Old Brahmaputra, Balu are the main rivers of Narayanganj. Narayanganj Munacipality is established in September 08, 1876 and later graced as a subdivision in 1947. In 15 February, 1984 Narayanganj is turned into a district in. The post office in the region was established in 1866. The telegraph service between Dhaka–Narayanganj was established in 1877 while Telephony was announced in 1882 by the Bank of Bengal.
Narayanganj is under the jurisdiction of the Dahaka division in central Bangladesh. The weather of the region is fairly moderate. Summer and winter are in the interval in the area. 17.5° F is the average temperature of the district and the annual average rainfall is 183 CM. Narayanganj city is the main centre of the district. Narayanganj is not only one of the oldest industrial districts of the country but also a centre of economy. The jute trade, the textile sector and processing plants of the country made it the number one district for economy of Bangladesh. Most of the areas of Narayanganj district place on the meander flood plain which is now flooded only by rain-water. A wide variety of soils can be seen in this district. Indian pipistrelle (Pipistrellus coromandra) can easily be found in the area. Muslims are the majority population in terms of religion which is 2057398 along with 115151 Hindu, 695 Buddhist, 385 Christian and 319 others. Narayanganj district is consist of 3080 mosques, 269 temples, 10 churches and 4 Buddhist temples. The population of Narayanganj is about 29,48,217 divided by 15,21,438 Male and 14,26,779 Female. The ratio between Male and Female is 107:100. The district’s Annual Growth Rate is 3.05% and the population density of the district is 4308 per Sq Km. The Literacy Rate of the district is 57.10% and the parcentages of Male and Female Literacy are 59.50% and 54.60%.
Narayanganj was a area of importance in ancient period which grew importance in the seventeenth and eighteenth century. Because of the inportation of the British and the Portuguese it became an economic zone. The west bank of Shitalakshya was the first to develop. In the nineteenth century the Rally Brothers began a company. The company started in 1830 which was used for exporting jute to the west and it was aided by another company from Assam. It was the starting of significant centuries for Narayanganj. By 1908, the number grew upto 20. In that time, 18 European companies, and two Indian companies that were trading jutes in the region.
In 1971, during the War of Liberation Narayanganj district was under Sector 2. After starting their violences the Pakistani army operated a surprise attack on 28 March at Uttar Chasara of Narayanganj sadar which killed a number of people. On 3 April 54 people were brutally killed by the Pakistani army at the playground of Sirajuddowla Club under Bandar upazila. On 29 November, 139 persons were killed by the Pakistani army shot at a place on the bank of the Buriganga in Dikri Char area which is a place under Narayanganj Sadar upazila. The Pakistani army conducted mass killing at different villages such as Sanmandi, Pirojpur and Chilarbagh of Sonargaon upazila. The freedom fighters fought many battle with the Pakistani army and killed many soilders and razakars. During several encounters Muktibahini also lost their many members.
Narayanganj city corporation was formed on 5 May 2011. Selina Hayat Ivy, the first Mayor of Narayanganj City Corporation is also the first Female mayor of Bangladesh. Narayanganj consist of 05 Municipality named Kanchon, Sonargaon, Shiddhirgonj, Kadamrasul, Tarabo,and 05 Upazilas named Narayangonj Sadar, Araihazar, Bandar, Rupgonj and Sonargaon. Among those five upazilas Araihazar is the largest upazila with a area about 183.35 sq km and Bandar is the smallest upazila with a area about 55.84 sq km. The district also contains 1204 villages, 41 unions and 619 Maujas outside of the city corporation.
After the partition in 1947, economy of the territory started to depend on jute productions. Due to this, a number of mills established in and around Narayanganj that caused a great boost to the local economy. Narayanganj is the district that broke the ground in trading yarn and dyeing items. The district is overflowed by the cottage industries such as weaving. Many job oppurtunaties has been created through International trading, import and export business, shipyard brickfield, etc. Increasing number of cotton industries are also creating job market to the rural people. The rural economy of the district mostly depends on agriculture. Jute, Paddy, Wheat, Oil seeds, Vegetables, Mango, Banana, Guava, Banana etc. are the main agricultural product produced in the area. The district is positioned third in nation as for Gross National Income (GNI) and possession of wealth on the basis of a survey done by Bangladesh Bank. Network marketing is making its own position now a days. Narayanganj, in consequence of its suitable location and natural gift has become an significant place for textile and garments sectors. It contributes to the economy of the country through creating employment and exporting earnings. Narayanganj cathed the eye of many local and foreign investors due to its great profile which came up with several problems along with blessings for the residents also. Indutrialisation, swift urbanisation and Growth of Population are creating challenges for people.
The city of Sonargaon is standing as a significant archeological site of Narayanganj. Sonargaon has been an vital historical place from olden period. During the rule of Isa Khan, a medieval ruler of Bengal Sonargaon was the capital of Bengal. The city is also well known for its prouduction of ‘Muslin’. ‘Muslin’ is a cotton made cloth famous for its, fineness and coushiony softness.
Narayanganj comprises different folk culture such as, Murshidigan, Jarigan, Palagan, Mystic Song, Meyeli geet etc. of the country. Alongside, some cultural institutes such as Bangladesh Folk Art and Crafts Foundation at Sonargaon organize various folk festivals amidst the year.
|At a Glance of Narayanganj
(263.76 sq mi)
|15 February 1984
|Seats in the Parliament
|Sector in Liberation War
- Sonargaon Upazila
- Bandar Upazila
- Narayanganj Sadar Upazila
- Rupganj Upazila
- Old Brahmaputra
- Hazigonj Fort
- Kadam Rasul Dargah
- Graveyard of Sultan Gias Uddin Azom Shah, Pach Bibi Mazar
- Narayanganj Riverport
- Marine Academy
- Adamjee EPZ
- Sonakanda Fort
- Mary-Enderson Floating Restaurant
- Rashel Park of Murapara
- Jinda Park of Rupgonj
- Hasan Hafiz (Poet)
- Joti Basu (Politician)
- General Shafiullah (Freedom Fighter & Politician)
- Shamim Osman (Politician)
- Selina Hayat Ivy (First femal mayor of Bangldesh)
- Shakib Khan (Film Actor)
- Mohammad Waly Faysal (Soccer Player)
- Jahangir Alam (Cricketer)
Written & Edited by Shaima Akter Sethu.