Thursday, September 13, 2012

Faridpur; a Beautiful District in Bangladesh

Goalanda Ghat Faridpur Bangladesh
Faridpur (Bengali: ফরিদপুর জেলা) (Urdu and Punjabi: فرید پور) is a district in central Bangladesh. It is a part of the Dhaka Division. Faridpur District has a population of over 1.7 million people and is situated on the banks of the Padma river (Lower Ganges). Once a subdivision, the original area of the district comprised what is today the Greater Faridpur region which includes the present day districts of Rajbari, Gopalgonj, Madaripur, Shariatpur and Faridpur. 

Famous for its jute fields, which are considered to produce the finest raw jute, and aristocratic zamindar families, the district was a focal point for political movements in Bengal during the rule of the British Empire and the early days of the Pakistan era. It produced some of the most prominent politicians and cultural figures of Bengal. 

Map of Faridpur, Bangladesh

Faridpur is located in central Bangladesh under Dhaka division. The area of this district is 2072.72 km². The district is bounded by the Padma river to the north and east and across the river are Manikganj, 

Dhaka and Munshiganj districts. It is bordered by Madaripur to the east, Gopalgonj to the south and Rajbari, Narail and Magura to the west. 

The soil is highly fertile as the district lies on the banks of the mighty Padma river, also called the Lower Ganges. 

Other smaller rivers include Old Kumar, Arial khan, Gorai, Chandana, Bhubanshwar and Modhumoti. The main depressions are Dhol Samudra, Beel Ramkeli, Shakuner Beel and Ghoradar Beel.

British Colonial Edifice in Faridpur

In 1582 in the reign of Emperor Akbar, the province of Bengal was formed into 33 sarkars or financial sub-divisions, and Faridpur area appears to have been included within the sarkar of Muhammad Abud. During the Emperor Shah Jahan, these divisions were carried onto such an extent as to cause in a falling of the imperial revenue. In 1721 a new partition of the country was made the province of Bengal being formed into 13 large divisions (chaklas) instead of sarkars. In 1765 the financial administration of Faridpur, together with the rest of Bangal was captured by the English, and in 1790 the criminal administration of the country at the correctors were invested with magisterial powers. In 1793 the collectors were relieved of their magisterial duties and separate officers were appointed united Judicial and Magisterial power together. The greater portion of Faridpur was then comprised within Dacca Jalalpur. In 1811 Faridpur was separated from Dacca collectorate. 

Faridpur Zilla School
The district was initially known as Fatehabad. In 1860 the district was named as Faridpur after 12th Century Sufi saint Shah Sheikh Fariduddin. Faridpur town was declared a municipality in 1862 and a District Prison was set up in 1865. In 1840 the Faridpur Zila School was established and is one of the oldest schools in modern day Bangladesh. 

The original district stretched out across central Bengal, comprising what is, today, the Greater Faridpur region. A politically important district during the British Raj, Faridpur became a sub-division of Dhaka Division after the creation of Pakistan. In 1984, with the Decentralization Program of the Bangladesh government, Faridpur district was broken into five separate districts: Rajbari, Gopalgonj, Madaripur, Shariatpur and Faridpur. 

Maulvi Tamizuddin Khan
Faridpur is notable for its rich zamindari history. Most of the zamindar families were Hindus. 

They included the Basu Roys of Gopalgonj, the Basu Roy Chowdhurys of Ulpur (Shahapur), the Sikdars of Kanaipur, The Bhawal Rajas of Pangsha, the Senguptas (dewanji) of dhamaron, the Lords of Choddo and Baish Roshi estates of Bhanga. During the reign of the Nawabs of Bengal, several Muslim zamindaris were established. They included the Chanpur Estate and the Boalmari Estate in present day Faridpur, Golam Ali Chowdhury of Idilpur pargana and the Padamdi Nawab Estate in present day Rajbari. The most powerful Muslim landlords were Nawab Abdul Latif and Chowdhury Moyezuddin Biwshash. 

The Greater Faridpur region is also famous for producing some of the finest politicians of the Indian Subcontinent. They include Baba Ambika Charan Majumder, Maulvi Tamizuddin Khan, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Mohonmiah Yusuf Ali Chowdhury, Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, Humayun Kabir and many more. 

Moyez Manzil Palace, Faridpur
Faridpur hosted several key meetings of the Indian Independence movement. 

It was regularly visited by Subhash Chandra Bose, Chittaranjan Das, Rabindranath Tagore, and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. The annual conference of the Bengal Congress held on the grounds of the Moyez Manzil Palace in Faridpur in 1921 was attended by Mahatma Gandhi. 

After the creation of Pakistan, Bengali nationalists frequently held large rallies in Faridpur. Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy and Sher-e-Bangla A. K. Fazlul Huq would regularly visit the district. 

Prior to the elections of 1954 which brought Bengali nationalists to power in Faridpur, the Jukta Front coalition held a massive rally on the grounds of the Biwshash Bari zamindar mansion in the village of Chanpur, just outside Faridpur. 

The rally was attended by Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy, Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani and Sher-e-Bangla A. K. Fazlul Huq.

Daulatdia (Now Rajbari) Ghat Port
Faridpur also saw many ruthless atrocities during the Bangladesh Liberation War. On April 26 the Pakistan army landed on Daulatdia river port (now in present day Rajbari) and began a massacre as soldiers went from village to village killing sleeping civilians during dawn. 


Faridpur has a population of 1,714,496 people according to the 2001 census. 50.55% of the people are male and 49.23% are female. The major religions are Islam and Hinduism. 88% of people are Muslims in the district. Although once a Hindu dominated district, after the partition of India, Hinduism has significantly declined with only 11% of the population being Hindu in Faridpur due to the ethnic cleansing by the Pakistani military and Rajakars (Bengali collaborators of Pakistan) before the independence of Bangladesh. The major ethnic group are the Bengali people, as is the case in most of Bangladesh. There is also a small Bihari and Oriya population. 

Darbar Mosque in Faridpur
Religious institution Mosques 3516, temples 251, Buddhist temples 21, churches 36. 


Faridpur district consists of 9 upazilas, 4 municipalities, 79 union parishads, 36 wards, 92 mahallas and 1859 villages. The town consists of 9 wards and 35 mahallas. The area of the town is 20.23 km². The population of the town is 99634; male 51.73%, female 48.27%. The density of population is 4925 per km². The literacy rate among the town people is 66.6%. The town has two dakbungalows. 

Faridpur district is divided into the following upazilas: 
  • Faridpur Sadar Upazila 
  • Boalmari Upazila 
  • Alfadanga Upazila 
  • Madhukhali Upazila 
  • Bhanga Upazila 
  • Nagarkanda Upazila 
  • Charbhadrasan Upazila 
  • Sadarpur Upazila 
  • Shaltha Upazila
Faridpur Medical College FMC

Educational institutes in Faridpur include:
  • Faridpur Medical College 
  • Government Rajendra University College 
  • Faridpur Diabetic Association Medical college 
  • Baptist Charch School 
  • Faridpur Zilla School 
  • Aijaddin Mattubbar Kandi Govt. Primary School 
  • Govt. Girls High School 
  • Faridpur High School 
  • Govt. Yasin College 
  • Faridpur City College 
  • Sardoda Shundori Mohila College 
  •  Govt. Polytechnic Institute
D.K. Ideal Syed Atahar Ali Academy and College
  • Moezuddin High School 
  • Kalkini Syed Abul Hossain University College 
  • D.K. Ideal Syed Atahar Ali Academy and College 
  • Sheikh Hasina Academy & Women's College 
  • Kazi Mahbubullah College, Bhanga 
  • Kadirdi Degree College 
  • Kamarkhali birshresth abdur rauf degrre college 
  • Modhukhali 
  • Dumain ram lal high school 
  • Faridpur Muslim Mission 
  • Bisha Zakar Monjil Alia Madrasha 
  • Adventist International Mission School 
  • Gerda A F Muzibur Rahman High School 
  • Police line high school
Kazi Sirajul Islam Mohila College
  • United high school (Khalil mondol Hat) 
  • Kazi Sirajul Islam Mohila College - Boalmari 
  • Boalmari Jorge Academy 
  • Tarar Mela Ishan Memorial Adhunik Shishu Biddalaya 

The district has mainly aggro-based economy. The main crops are jute and paddy. Other crops include peanut, wheat, oilseed, pulse, turmeric, onion, garlic and coriander. Many fruits are also produced, notably mango, jack fruit, blackberry, palm, coconut, betel nut, kul, tetul, bel, papaya, banana, and guava. The main exports are jute, Helsa fish and sugarcane. 

Raw Jute of Faridpur
Faridpur is famous for producing high quality raw jute. Once the principal earner of the country's economy, the jute industry has suffered a decline in recent years due to low prices on the international market, leading to many jute plants shutting down. However, Faridpur still has quite a few which are also some of the most prominent. They include notably Faridpur Jute Fibers and Sharif Jute Mills. 

The district, being on the banks of the Padma, also accounts for a significant portion of exports of Helsa fish. The Helsa found in Padma are immensely popular at home and abroad and are called the Silver Helsa. The district has thriving fisheries and a growing poultry industry.

Faridpur Cold Storage, Faridpur, Bangladesh
Manufacturing is moderate in the district although there are several industries. Kanaipur Industrial Area was set up in Faridpur town during late 1980s. There are many sugar mills and jute plants as well. Some of the leading industries of the district are listed below: 
  • Faridpur Jute Fibers 
  • Pride Jute Mills 
  • Aziz Jute Fibers 
  • Aziz Pipes 
  • Faridpur Sugar Mills 
  • Khankhanapur Textile Mill 
  • Saiyed Jute Spinning 
  • Karim Jute Mill 
  • Faridpur Cold Storage 
  • Sharif Jute Mill 
  • BADC Cold Storage 
  • Rokeya Textile 
  • A H Jute Mills 
  • Altu Khan Jute Mills Ltd (Panna Group)
House of poet Jasimuddin in Faridpur
In 2009, the Bangladesh government announced plans to construct the long demanded Padma Multipurpose Bridge. When completed in 2012, it will be the longest bridge in South Asia. The Padma bridge will greatly help in developing the Greater Faridpur region as it would connect Dhaka with the districts. 

Places of Interest
  • Kobi Jasimuddin's House: Residence of the renonwed Bengali poet Jasimuddin 
  • Faridpur District Court: 19th century colonial styled court house 
  • Mazar of Dewan Saker Shah: Mausoleum of the Dewan of the Boalmari Estate 
  • River Research Institute: a government research institute 
  • Moyez Manzil Palace: a mansion of the Chanpur Estate
Dighir Par Masjid in Faridpur
  • Baisrashi Babu Bari Palace: a mansion of the Baisrashi Estate 
  • Kamlapur, Faridpur: historic neighbourhood housing colonial buildings and zamindar mansions 
  • Dighir Par Masjid: a mosque in Bhanga built during the Mughal era 
  • Basudeva Mandir: famous Hindu temple 
  • Faridpur Zila School: one of the oldest schools in Bangladesh 
  • Bishwa Zaker Monjil : a mansion of the Aatroshi Estate 
  • Gerda Shaheb Para a beautiful place. 
  • Sri Angan headquarters of the Mahanam Sampraday of Hindus 
  • Kabir Bag: A beautiful mansion built during the 19th century and owned by the famous Kabir Family of Faridpur.
Sheikh Mujeeb Ur Rahman
  • Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman : First Head of State of Bangla Desh. 
  • Jasim Uddin: Country's only pastoral poet 
  • Munsi Muhammad Abdur Rouf: Bir Shrestho (valiant war hero of 1971) 
  • Ambika Charan Majumder: President of the Indian National Congress (1916–1917) 
  • Nawab Abdul Latif: renowned Muslim educator and social reformer during the 19th Century 
  • Chowdhury Moyezuddin Biwshash: renowned zamindar, politician and social reformer during the 19th Century 
  • Humayun Kabir: eminent Indian politician, educationist and former adviser to the Government of India under Jawaharlal Nehru
Alamgir M. A. Kabir
  • Buddhadeb Bhattacharya: Chief Minister of West Bengal 
  • Mohonmiah Yusuf Ali Chowdhury : Eminent Muslim League politician 
  • Chowdhury Abdallah Zaheeruddin: Former Central Minister of Labor, Federal Government of Pakistan. 
  • Chowdhury Kamal Ibne Yusuf: Ex- Minister Govt. of Bangladesh, Vice-President of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) 
  • Alamgir M. A. Kabir: Former Advisor to the Caretaker Government of Bangladesh, Former Inspector-General of Police & recipient of Independence Day Award 
  • Akber Kabir: Former Advisor to the Government of Bangladesh under President Ziaur Rahman & renowned philanthropist 
  • Fakir Alamgir: Popular folk singer
Sukanta Bhattacharya
  • Ashique Mostafa: Famous Film Maker (Notable Film: Phulkumar, and producer of Meherjaan), Poet and Writer (author of the books "Moger Mulluk" and "auteur"). 
  • Geeta Dutt: Indian playback singer 
  • Sigma Huda: human rights activist, former United Nations Special Rapporteur on human trafficking 
  • Khushi Kabir: Co-ordinator of Non-Government Organization, Nijera Kori & social activist 
  • Babar Kabir: renowned environmentalist 
  • Famous poet Sukanta Bhattacharya 
  • Advocate Sarwarzan Miah : Famous lawyer & Politician, Former MLA (East Pakistan), MP, Principal of faridpur LAW College, District President of Bangladesh Nationalist Party.
  • Shah Mohammad Abu Zafar:freedom Fighter, member of parliament 
Jasim Polli Mela in Faridpur
  • Shamsul Huq Faridpuri 
  • Syed Abul Hossain, Former Minster of Government of Bangladesh, Member of Bangladesh Awami League. 
  • Syeda Rubaiyat Hossain, Academic and Filmmaker (writer & director of Meherjaan) 
  • Mohammad Abu Yousuf, Former Editor, The daily Ajker Awaz, Ex-Director Multimidia Company Ltd(ATN Bangla). 
Jasim Polli Mela

An annual fair named Jasim Polli Mela is held in Faridpur to commemorate the birth of renowned Bengali poet Jasimuddin. It is held on 1 January for a month and is arranged by the Polli Jasim Foundation at the premises of the poet's home by the river Kumar of Govindapur village in Faridpur. Handicrafts, everyday items used by the rural folk, tools and other items used in agricultural, literary works of Jasimuddin and more are on display at the fair. Other attractions include puppet show; circus; live performance of 'jari', 'shari', 'bhawaiya' and 'murshidi' songs; dance and recitation. Around two hundred stalls have been set up.

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