Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Noakhali; a Beautiful City in Bangladesh

Noakhali, Bangladesh
Noakhali (Bengali: নোয়াখালী জিলা) (Punjabi and Urdu: نواکھلی) is a district in South-eastern Bangladesh. It is located in the Chittagong Division. 


Noakhali District is located in Chittagong Division, Bangladesh. It has a land area of 3600.99 km2, and is bounded by the Comilla district in the north, the Meghna estuary and the Bay of Bengal in the south, Feni and Chittagong districts in the east, Lakshmipur and the Bhola districts in the west. The district's annual average temperature ranges from a maximum of 34.3 °C to a minimum of 14.4 °C; its annual rainfall is 3302 mm. Its main rivers are the Bamni and Meghna. 

Noakhali Gate

The ancient name of Noakhali is Bhulua. In the 1660s, the agricultural activities of the north-eastern region of Bhulua were seriously affected by floodwater of the Dakatia River flowing from the Tripura hills. To salvage the situation, a canal was dug in 1660 that ran from the Dakatia through Ramganj, Sonaimuri and Chaumuhani to divert water flow to the junction of the rivers Meghna and Feni. After excavating this long canal, Bhulua was renamed "Noakhali" after "Noa" (new) and "khal" (canal) in 1668. The Noakhali district was created in 1821. 

Since 1790, Noakhali district was seriously affected many times by natural disasters including high tidal bores, tornadoes, flooding, and cyclones. In 1970, a devastating tornado and tidal bore took the lives of about 3 hundred thousand people of the district. During the War of Liberation many direct and guerilla encounters took place between the Pakistani Armed Forces and the independence fighters. About 70 independence fighters were killed in a direct encounter with the Pakistan army on 15 June 1971, in front of the Sonapur Ahmadia School. Noakhali was liberated on 7 December 1971. 

Nijhum Dweep (Silent Island): Noakhali
The swift currents that course down from the Himalayas, does not only bring river erosion but also opportunity: a rich bath of fertile silt that, when it reaches the Bay of Bengal, settles along the coast, gradually forming new land called "chars." 

The district of Noakhali has actually gained more than 28 square miles (73 km2) of land in the past 50 years. 

The Bangladesh government is finishing up the largest phase of a decades-long effort to develop nearby chars as well as building a new dam to speed up the process of creating new land for settlers. 

Companygonj, Noakhali, Bangladesh

Noakhali district consists of eight(8) administrative units known as Upazilas or sub-districts. Historically the Upazilas are known as thanas or "police station", referring to the precinct covered by a police station. 

The Eight upazilas in NOAKHALI district are: 
  1. Sadar Upazila (সদর উপজেলা) 
  2. Begumganj Upazila (বেগমগঞ্জ উপজেলা) 
  3. Chatkhil Upazila (চাটখিল উপজেলা) 
  4. Shenbag Upazila (সেনবাগ উপজেলা) 
  5. Sonaimuri Upazila (সোনাইমুড়ি উপজেলা) 
  6. Suborno Char Upazila (সুবর্ণ চর উপজেলা) 
  7. Hatia Upazila (হাতিয়া উপজেলা) 
  8. Companyganj Upazila (কোম্পানিগঞ্জ উপজেলা)
Abdul Malek Ukil

The people of Noakhali District speaks in an informal Bangla dialect which has its own distinctive accent. The same dialect is also spoken in the districts of Feni and Laksmipur and in some parts of the districts of Chandpur, Chittagong and Comilla. Indian nationals of Bilonia area of Tripura State also speaks in this dialect. 

Notable People:
  • Shamser Ghazi, a famous warrior and ruler of Bhulua- the present day Noakhali, defeated the King of Tripura and established his kingdom briefly in the areas of present day Tripura State of India, greater Comilla and Noakhali. 
  • Muzaffar Ahmed Founder Member of All India Communist Party and later Secretary General of All India Communist Party. Also a co-founder of CPM(India). 
  • Abdul Malek Ukil Former Home Minister, Speaker of Bangladesh National Parliament and President of Bangladesh Awami League 
  • Abdur Rashid, a Muslim member of pre-1947 Bengal Civil Service and was later made a Secretary to the Governmen (Pakistan). 
  • Abdul Latif BA, BL, former General Secretary of SM Hall Students Union, Dhaka University (1930. He hailed from Chatkhil Upazilla.
Barrister Moudud Ahmed
  • Nurul Haque - Former Member of Pakistan National Assembly, Bangladesh Jatio Sangshad and central Awami League leader. He was also nominated as Governor of Noakhali. 
  • Ali Ahmed, Founder President of Noakhali District Chatra League and first elected General Secretary of Chowmohani(Govt S A) College Students Union. 
  • Sergeant Zohurul Haque - He was a co-accused in the Agartala Conspiracy Case and brutally killed while in military custody. 
  • Barrister Moudud Ahmed Former Vice President, former Prime Minister and a standing committee member of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP). 
  • Nurul Islam Former President of Bangladesh Ganatontri party. 
  • Achintya Kumar Sengupta - A renowned Bengali author
  • Major General Abul Manzur,Sector Commander during Bangladesh War of Independence and decorated with the award Bir Uttom. 
  • Gazi Masihur Rahma, Freedom fighter and Deputy commander of Formar Ramganj(Chatkhil+ Ramgnj upazila), Organizar of freedom fighting in 1971 and founder of Mollikerdighirpar High School, Founder president Chatkhil Thana Awamileague, 
  • General Moeen U Ahmed, Former Army Chief 
  • Ambassador Kamrul Ahsan, a career diplomat and is currently serving as High Commissioner of Bangladesh to Singapore.He is from Sonaimuri, Noakhali. He is an Engineer (BUET) by education. 
He is the new High Commissioner of Bangladesh to Canada and will join there soon. He speaks Bangla, English and Mandarin.

Dr. Abdul Matin Chowdhury
Personalities in the areas of Art, Culture and Education 
  • Professor Kabir Chowdhury - Taught in Dhaka University. Leading intellectual and writer. 
  • Professor Munir Chowdhury - Leading intellectual and a pioneer in modern theatre in Bangladesh. He was killed on 14 December 1971 by the Pakistani Army and their collaborators Razakar and Al Badar Bahini . 
  • Professor Ehtashem Haider Chowdhury - Leading intellectual who was killed on 14 December 1971 
  • Dr. Abdul Matin Chowdhury - An outstanding Professor of Physics who later became Vice Chancellor of the Dhaka University. He also held the Bose Professorship at Dhaka University. 
  • Azim - A leading romantic actor in Bangla movies of the sixty's and seventy's. He also produced and directed movies. 
Ramendu Majumder
  • Rosy Samad Noted Film Actress who dominated Bangla movie world in the 60's, 70's and 80's. 
  • Ramendu Majumder - Leading Intellectual in the areas of art, culture and drama 
  • Ferdousy Majumder - Leading actress in Theatre and TV drama. A pioneer in the Bangla TV drama. 
  • A T M Samsuzzaman - Leading Film and TV actor for nearly four decades. In films he sets up his own unique acting style 
  • Obaidul qader -awameligue leader 
  • Abdur rob – economist
Bozra Shahi Masjid Sonaimuri Noakhali Bangladesh

All the four major religions are represented in Noakhali.While Muslims comprises 96.84% of the district's population, Hindus, Christians and Buddhists form 2.16%, 0.77% and 0.23% respectively. Hinduism is the oldest faith practiced in the area. Buddhism came later in two phases - first through conversion in the early ages and then through forced settlement of the Burmese (Mogh) invaders by Moghul General Chuti Khan. Islam entered Noakhali by conversion - first by Arab traders and then by Muslim preachers coming with the Afghan and Moghul Rulers of Bengal. Christians in Noakhali are mostly direct descendants of Portuguese colonials and they still carry Portuguese family names. Under a truce with East India Company, Portuguese colonials were forced to leave Noakhali and Barisal coast and resettled in Goa, Domon and Dew of India. But they left behind the non-combatant Portuguese civilians. Most of the Portuguese Forts and Churches in the district were destroyed when Noakhali city submerged in the Meghna River. 

Gandhi Ashram, Noakhali, Bangladesh
Places of interest:
  • Nijhum Dweep - Nijhum Dweep is in the Southeast Side of Noakhali. 
  • Bazra Shahi Mosque - Bazra. 
  • Queen Lurther's Church - Sonapur. 
  • Gandhi Ashram - Joyag, Sonaimuri. 
Prominent Educational Institutions:
  • Noakhali University of Science and Technology 
  • Noakhali Medical College: It is a government medical college. It was established in 2008. It is temporaryly running in Noakhali General Hospital. It admits 50 students per year and offers MBBS degree. 
  • Begumgonj Textile Engineering College, Noakhali 
  • Noakhali Zilla School(Estd-1850)[One of the oldest high school in Bangladesh. Located in the heart of Noakhali town,Maijdee Court] 
  • Khilpara High School (Estd-1914)
Noakhali Government College
Colleges, Polytechnics & Institutes:
  • Noakhali Government University College 
  • Sonaimuri Degree College, Sonaimuri ( The college was founded in 1969-1970 by Mr. Abdul Latif, Mr Ali Ahmed, Mr Shamsul Haque and Mr Eshaque Miah) 
  • Khalilur Rahaman Degree College. Amisha Para. 
  • Noakhali Government College 
  • Noakhali Government Girls' College 
  • Chatkhil Pachgoan Government College 
  • Medical Assistant Training Institute, Maijdee, Noakhali 
  • Agriculture Training Institute (ATI), Begumganj 
  • Noakhali Law College
Noakhali Medical College Hospital
  • Govt.Mujib College, Companiganj 
  • Kabirhat Govt. College 
  • Chaumuhani S.A. College, Chaumuhani, Noakhali 
  • Sompara College 
  • Khowazer vithee Sr. Fazil (Degree) Madrasa 
  • Proshadpur Govt. Primary School 
  • Noakhali Medical College Hospital, Sadar Hospital Road, Maizdee, Noakhalai 
  • Diabetic Association Hospital, Noakhali

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