Sunday, January 27, 2013

Bogra; a City in Bangladesh

Bogra Sathmatha (Heart of Bogra) Bangladesh
Bogra (Bengali: বগুড়া) (Urdu and Punjabi: بوگرہ) is a town, and one of the oldest towns in northern Bangladesh. It is a centre of commerce and trade within the Bogra District and located under the Rajshahi Division. Bogra is sometimes described as the nerve centre of Northern Bangladesh, it is also a bridge between Rajshahi Division and Rangpur Division. The area of the town is approximately 71.56 km2 (27.63 sq mi), and after becoming a municipality (first ever Mayor of the municipality is Adv. Mahabubar Rahman), it consists of 21 wards (after the recent greater extension). Among many notable activities, it has been hosting cricket test matches in Shaheed Chandu Stadium. Bogra is also the battle honour of 5/11 Gorkha Rifles of Indian Army which fought a fierce battle with Pakistani army here during the Liberation war of Bangladesh in 1971 along with Muktibahni. 

Bogra town also has an importance in terms of transport in northern Bangladesh, as it's situated at the centre. Very close to the town there is a place called Mahasthangarh which was the earliest capital city of Bangladesh, formerly known as Pundravardhana. This place is considered to be sacred by Buddhists, Muslims and Hindus alike and is visited by tourists from all over Bangladesh throughout the year. 

Sherpur Road, Bogra Sadar
1971 War Hero, Sector Commander, Head of the "Z-Force", Former President of Bangladesh, Maj. Gen. Ziaur Rahman, founder of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) was born in the Gabtoli Thana under Bogra District. Former Diplomat and Prime Minister of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Bogra was also born in Bogra. 


The history declares it the oldest city of Bengal in the Great Emperor Ashoka's India. He conquered the Bengal (Bongo) and founded this old city called Pundra Bardhan. It was famously written in famous ancient travelers of that time. An ancient engraved stone believed to be of Gupta era was discovered from the bank of a pond near Sura Masjid at Ghoraghat Upazila in Dinajpur in October 2008. 

Map of Bogra and its Location in Bangladesh
In the Bangladesh Liberation War, the area witnessed a fierce battle - Battle of Bogra - between the Mukti Bahini with the help of Indian Army (together/combined) which defeated the Pakistan Army. 


Bagura or Bogra was a town and district of British India, in the Rajshahi division of eastern Bengal and Assam. The town is situated on the right bank of the river Karatoya. But the present District Of Bogra, was first formed in 1821. It contains an area of 1,359 sq mi (3,520 km2). In 1901, the population of the town was 7,094 and the district (on a reduced area) was 854,533, showing an increase of 11% in the decade. The district stretches out in a level plain, intersected by numerous streams and dotted with patches of jungle. The Karatoya flows from north to south, dividing it into two portions, possessing very distinct characteristics. The eastern tract consists of rich alluvial soil, well watered, and subject to fertilizing inundations, yielding heavy crops of coarse rice, oil-seeds and jute. The western portion of the district is high-lying and produces the finer qualities of rice.
Korotoa River, Bogra- Bangladesh
The principal rivers are formed by the different channels of the Brahmaputra, which river here bears the local names of the Konai, the Daokoba and the Jamuna, the last forming a portion of the eastern boundary of the district. Its bed is studded with alluvial islands. The Brahmaputra and its channels, together with three minor streams, the Bangali, Karatoya and Atrai, afford admirable facilities for commerce, and render every part of the district accessible to native cargo boats of large burden. The rivers swarm with fish. The former production of indigo is extinct, and the industry of silk-spinning is decaying. There is no town with as many as 10,000 inhabitants, trade being conducted at riverside marts. Nor are there any metaled roads. Several lines of railway (the Eastern Bengal, &c.), however, serve the district. 


As of 2009, there has been a significant development in town infrastructure. with new advanced urban planning. The town roads have been restructured and widened and telecommunications have greatly improved within the city. Gas connection through buried pipes has been set up. As of 2009, red chili production in Bogra has taken a large shape, for which many companies like Square, Acme, BD Food are collecting chili from as many as 12 centers of Bogra. The business turnover has crossed 100 crore. Often Bogra is also called the town of Banks with online banking facilities, credit cards, debit cards, money gram; most of the banks of Bangladesh have at least one or more branches in this town, some times also in the villages. 

Bangladesh Bank regional office, Bogra
Banking in Bogra has significantly expanded with the branch of Govt banks such as the Bangladesh bank (Central bank), Sonali Bank, Rupali Bank, Janata Bank, Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank, Bangladesh Development Bank Ltd., Uttara Bank Ltd, Agrani bank, on the other hand expansion of private and specialized banks like Pubali Bank, National Bank, IFIC bank Ltd., Citi Bank Ltd., AB Bank Ltd., Eastern Bank, Bangladesh Small Industries and Commerce Bank, Prime Bank, Al Arafa Islami Bang Ltd., Export Import Bank of Bangladesh Ltd., Dhaka Bank, United Commercial bank Ltd., National Credit & Commerce Bank Ltd. (NCC), Bank Asia Ltd., SouthEast Bank Ltd., One Bank, Islami Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Premier bank, Dutch Bangla Bank, Social Islami Bank Ltd., BRAC Bank, Standard Bank Ltd., Shahjalal Bank, First Security bank Ltd., Bangladesh Commerce Bank Ltd., Mercantile Bank are among the main banks in the town and rural areas of Bogra district. You can see lots of 24 hours ATM (Automated teller machine) boots with security guards, logo of money transfer, American Express Cards (AMEX), VISA Credit Cards, Master Cards, VISA debit cards almost every where in the town. Many of the branches are also permitted to open Foreign Currency account for Import, Export and Travel expense related matter. 

Famous Sat Matha, Bogra Bangladesh
Furthermore, There are many IT and software, technology and computer services companies in Bogra and more companies are launching business here. Grameen Group and Groupe Danone, a French company, entered into a joint venture named Grameen Danone and set up a yogurt project in Bogra in 2008. 

Bogra is also home to the Western Wing of Bangladesh Highway Police. The project aims to produce 500,000 pots of yogurt by the end of 2009. Bogra is home to country's largest foundry industry. Irrigation pump, tube-well and other metal castings produced in Bogra are exported to West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, Bihar, Bhutan and the amount of export is increasing. Most of the city's workforce is involved in agriculture (29.95%), agricultural (12.53%), commerce (18.11%), service (15.62%), transport (6.66%), wage laborer (2.2%) and others (14.93%). 

Ramparts of Mahasthangarh citadel, Bogra

Mahasthangarh, the earliest urban archaeological site so far discovered in Bangladesh is located in Bogra. The village Mahasthan in Shibganj thana of Bogra District contains the remains of an ancient city which was called Pundranagara or Paundravardhanapura in the territory of Pundravardhana. This place is considered to be sacred by Buddhists, Muslims and Hindus alike. "Behular Bashor Ghar" which is very near to Mahasthangar is a popular place for the tourists. Tourists from all over Bangladesh visit this place throughout the year. Nawab Palace (called Neelkuthi during the British period) and Jaina Temple are two eminent archaeological sights located in Bogra. 4 star hotel, Hotel Naz Garden, is situated at the heart of Bogra city. 


Bogra has a strong cultural affinity to Baul, Marfati, Lalon and Sufi music. There are a number of local newspapers and journals in Bogra. The Daily Bangladesh (one of the oldest published newspaper in the country, just after the liberation war of 1971), The Daily Koratoa, The Daily Bogra, The Daily Chandni-Bazar, The Daily Uttaranchal, The Mukto Barta, The Sokaler Anan-Do, The Daily Aaj-O-Agamikal, The Daily Uttarkon, The Daily Uttarbarta, The Daily Mahasthan-Gar are among the main local newspapers. 

Bogra Zilla School, Bogra, Bangladesh

Bogra contains numerous educational institutes, Bogra Zilla School is the most famous among them. Established in 1853, Bogra Zilla School is situated at the centre of Bogra. Cantonment Public School & College is one of the best educational institutions in Bangladesh is also located in Bogra Cantonment, students passed with very good results, and the standard of the school is very high. Bogra also houses the Govt. Girls' High School (famous as Victoria Memorial or VM School). Bogra also houses a large English medium school & college in the North Bengal region named Millennium Scholastic School & College, which was established in 1998. There are many other schools such as [B.I.A.M. Laboratory School, Yakubia School, S.O.S., R.D.A., Y.M.C.A., Coronation School & College, Pauro Bangla School, Pri-Cadet School, Bhandari Girls' School] and many more; some other special schools are organized by the Seventh-Day Adventist-Missionary Church and Seminary of Bangladesh the Adventist International Mission School (A.I.M.S.); a private Turkish educational organization organized the International Turkish Hope School, are among the best English Medium Schools in the town; which offers education in English medium. 

Govt Azizul Haque College, Bogra, Bangladesh
The Govt. Azizul Haque University College is one of the best educational institutions in this part with very good result, it is under the National University. Other higher educational Colleges are the Shah-Sultan Govt. College, Govt. Mujibur Rahman Women's College (which was founded by a prominent industrialist Mujibur Rahman Bhandari),National Academy for Computer Training and Research NACTAR Following the National Curriculum in Technical education. Bogra College, Police Line High School & College, Armed Police Battalion School & College are also among the good educational institutions in the town. Bangladesh Open University (University of Distance Education) also has a campus in Banani area, having class in the Shah Sultan College every week end. Following the National Curriculum in Technical education Bogra Polytechnic institute and Institute of Information Technology Bogra are one of the best polytechnic in institute in bogra. Bogra is also the home of V.T.T.I. (Vocational Teachers Training Institute), P.T.I., Govt T.T.C. for technical education. 

Shaheed Ziaur Rahman Medical College, Bogra
A very large medical college and hospital named Shaheed Ziaur Rahman Medical College and Hospital, equipped with many advanced facilities has been started in 1992 by the BNP Govt, Govt. Nursing Institute and College, Govt. Medical Institute, Govt. Medical Assistant Training School (MATS) are also there. Following the syllabus of the State Medical Faculty of Bangladesh under the Ministry of Health & Family Planning and Directorate of Health, the "Janata Institute of Medical Technology", JIMT established in the year 2000 is the oldest private Diploma Medical Institute outside of the Dhaka city is also located in Bogra town it provides fours years diploma course. 

Notable people
  • Maj. Gen. Ziaur Rahman (1936–1981), Bir Uttam, Sector Commander of Liberation War, Head of "Z-Force", former Chief of Bangladesh Army & President of Bangladesh, Founder of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP)
Muhammad Ali Bogra
  • Muhammad Ali Bogra (died 1969), Notable Diplomat, former Prime Minister of Pakistan (from 1953–1955) 
  • Khademul Bashar (1935–1976), Bir Uttam, Sector Commander of Liberation War & former Chief of Bangladesh Air Force. 
  • Prafulla Chaki (1888–1908) - Bengali revolutionary fought against the British occupation & British Rule in Bengal 
  • Akhteruzzaman Elias (1943–1997), Novelist and short story writer 
  • Tarique Rahman (b 1967)Bangladeshi politician. He is the Senior Vice Chairperson of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP). 
  • Gaziul Haque (1929–2009), Language movement veteran 
  • M. R. Akhtar Mukul (1929–2004), Writer & Journalist 
  • Mushfiqur Rahim, Famous Cricketer, National Team 
  • Romena Afaz (born 1926), Novelist

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