Pabna District

Pabna, situated on the north bank of Padma River, is one of the most significant and economically important districts of Rajshahi in Bangladesh. Along with the latitude and longitude coordinates of 24.0129°N and 89.259°E, this district covers an area of about 2,371.50 square kilometers and has almost 22,60,540 people (according to the census of 2011) living in it. The area is surrounded by Natore and Sirajganj from the North, Rajbari and Kushtia from the South, Manikganj and Sirajganj from the East and Ganges River and Kushtia from the West. With a tropical weather, this district has an average maximum temperature of 36.8 °C and minimum temperature of 9.6 °C with annual rainfall of 1872 mm. Characteristically, the soil of the district is divided into four, due to the flood plains of the Ganges, Karatoya, Jamuna, and Barind Tracts.

Based on four different flood plains of the Ganges, Karatoya, Jamuna and Barind Tracts, there are four different characteristics in soil of Pabna district. This district is intersected by mainly the Padma and the Jamuna and their offshoots and tributaries. The main rivers inside the Pabna Sadar upazila fall into a tributary of the Jamuna which is known as Hurasagar.

There are few proofs that can expose approximate origin of the name ‘Pabna’. According to an archaeologist named Cunningham, the name might have come from ‘Pundra’ or ‘Pundravardhana’. Another belief is found about its origin which says that the area of this district was named after a river called ‘Pabni’. Initially, in 1827, Pabna was recognized as an independent district, but due to indiscipline and incompetence of police and harassment by robbers especially in Chalanbeel area, the administrative formation received several modifications including newly appointed magistrate, allocation of ‘thanas’ or police stations etc. in 1828. This district was directly involved in Indigo movement in 1859-61. In 1873, another protest referred as ‘Pabna Disturbances’ was led by Agrarian league (comprised of Banerjees and Dwijendranath Tagore) against the then feudal lords to resist their high demands of increased rents. Pabna was documented as a district with a separate judgeship in 1879 and by 1890, the district was included in the Rajshahi Division.

During the Liberation war of Bangladesh in 1971, Pabna being a place of gratitude has been marked an area for several significant events that glorified our war of independence. The residents of Pabna prepared themselves to fight against the Pakistan army with an out loud spirit just after Bangabandhu’s announcement on March 7. The experience of massacres from April to December led the commander of Pabna Muktijudhha Sangshad to address this district to be a place of heroic resistance.

Pabna district is regarded as one of the remarkable economic centers of Bangladesh because of numerous farms, industries and cottage industries situating here. There are 1069 dairy farms, 88 fisheries, 714 poultry farms, 37 hatcheries, EPZ (Export Processing Zone) in Ishwardi, paper mill in Pakshey, cotton mill, sugar and jute mill, edible oil mill, biscuit factory, pharmaceuticals, rice and flour mills, ice factory and so on. The establishment of EPZ and the factories of pharmaceuticals, spices, food, toiletries and textiles by the SQUARE Group of Industries has turned Pabna into an economically self-sufficient district. Along with prominent cottage industries including hand loom, bamboo and cane works, potteries, woodworks etc., Pabna also exports rice, jute, betel leaf, hosiery goods and cotton fabrics.  Like other Northern districts of Bangladesh, Pabna has also varieties of fruits such as mango, jackfruit, lychee, banana, papaya, guava, coconut and pomegranate. Pabna has also a great acknowledgement for being a place of wonderful sweetmeats. Curd, sweets, different kind of ‘ pithas’ (cakes) made from rice and scratch are mostly popular .

The 1970’s and ‘80s has been glorified by numerous achievements in the field of sports in Pabna. The enthusiasm and patronization of Aftab Uddin towards playing football has led Pabna to win many ‘Cups’, ‘Medals’ and ‘Shields’ in the 1980s. The district has 44 playgrounds and fields for encouraging various sports and sportsmen playing football, cricket, volleyball, kabadi, handball, chess, swimming and athletics.

This district is also a place where people from various ethnic communities have been living together for a long time managing their own culture and tradition. One of the biggest community is known as ‘Paharia’ that belongs to Pabna in a narrow way but significant enough to be mentioned. This community has been acknowledged as a neglected ethnic community amongst all. Some other notable ethnic communities in this district are the Mahato, Munda, Singh, Rajbanshi, Bagdi, Pahan, Buno and Oraon who are carefully maintaining their own ethnic identity and cultural differences.

Several NGOs including BRAC, CARE, ASA, Caritas, Shomota, Thengamaara Mohila Shobuj Shongho (TMSS), ASEAB, BOSS and Polli Proti are working in Pabna for encouraging male and female entrepreneurs, female students and developing different spheres incorporating Sustainable Development Goals. With people of diversified religion, indigenous characteristics and culture, Pabna is rich and glorified. Moreover, to ensure a remarkable literacy rate of 85% in Pabna, there are 445 non-government primary schools, 231 high schools, 34 colleges and 1 University of Science and Technology (PUST). The way Pabna is contributing greatly in economy and education of the country is admirable in all other districts of Bangladesh.

At a glance of Pabna
01 Area 2371.50 square kilometers
02 Population 22,60,540
03 Founding Year 1828
04 Density 1300/km2
05 Literacy rate 85%
06 Seats in the Parliament 5
07 Postal code 6600-6682
08 Municipalities 9
09 Sector in Liberation War


Pabna district consists of nine upazilas or sub-divisions and they are:

  • Atgharia Upazila
  • Bera Upazila
  • Bhangura Upazila
  • Chatmohar Upazila
  • Faridpur Upazila
  • Ishwardi Upazila
  • Pabna Sadar Upazila
  • Santhia Upazila
  • Sujanagar Upazila

Main Rivers

Ganges, Ichamati, Baral, Atrai , Chiknai , Jamuna , Kazipur, Karatoya, Gumani, Hurasagar, Rotnai , Badai, Kageshari, Sutikhali, Komla, Chondraboti , Barnai.

Main Newspapers

Daily: Dainik Ichamati, Dainik Nirvar, Dainik Uttar Janata.

Weeklies: Gayana Bikashini, Pabna Barta, Bibreti, Arshi.

Monthlies: Gayana Prava, Palli Darpan, Manasi, Amar Desh and Pabna, Tawhid, Chetana, Sachetan.

Notable places:

There are numbers of notable places in Pabna district: some of them are famous for consisting archeological values and some are notable for attracting tourists towards their glory and beauty. Here is a list of such notable places of Pabna:

  • Hardinge Bridge
  • Three domed Mosque at Bharara (1176 AH)
  • Three domed Kazipara Mosque at Bhangura
  • Pathanpara Khandokarni Mosque at Chatmohar (by Afghans)
  • Chatmohar Shahi mosque (989 AH)
  • Samaj Shahi Mosque (958 AH)
  • Three domed Jami Mosque at Juktitala
  • Khetupara zamindar bari
  • Anukul Chandra Satsang Ashram
  • Jor Bangla Mandir (18th century)
  • Jagannath Mandir
  • Seth Kuthi (1779)
  • Snana Mandir (1884)
  • Chalan Beel
  • Hemayetpur Mental Hospital
  • Iswardi railway station
  • Lalon Shah Bridge
  • Jubli Tank

Highlighted Personalities:

Numerous illustrious personalities have been born in Pabna who have illuminated the name of Pabna district with their remarkable performance as writers, actors, pilots, businessmen, intellectuals and so on. Some highlighted personalities of Pabna are:

  • Retired Air Vice Marshal K. Khandker
  • Mirza Abdul Halim (State Minister, Ministry of Shipping)
  • Mirza Abdul Awal (Chairman, Pabna District BNP)
  • Amulya Kumar Saha (Orthopedic Surgeon)
  • Amiya Bhushan Majumdar (Indian novelist)
  • Amjad Hossain (Lawyer & Politician)
  • Bande Ali Miah (Poet)
  • Retired Group CaptainSaiful Azam (former pilot)
  • General Joyanto Nath Chaudhuri
  • Pramatha Chaudhuri (Writer)
  • Samson H. Chowdhury (Businessman)
  • Suchitra Sen (Actress)
  • Rawshan Ara (Actress)
  • Thakur Anukulchandra (Physician and founder of Satsang Deoghar)
  • Mohammed Fazle Rabbee (Cardiologist & intellectual)
  • B. Mirza Azizul Islam
  • Pramatha Chaudhuri (Writer)
  • Priyamvada Devi ( Writer & Philanthropist)
  • Ras Sundari Devi (Autobiography writer)
  • Chanchal Chowdhury (Actor)
  • Arun Kumar Basak (Physicist)
  • Partha Pratim Majumder (Mime artist)

Written & Edited by Nushrat Ara

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