Sunday, January 20, 2013

Kushtia; a City in Bangladesh

Kushtia Town, Bangladesh
Kushtia, Kushtia district or Kushtia Zila (Urdu and Punjabi: کشتیا) is a district in the Khulna administrative division of western Bangladesh. Kushtia has existed as a separate district since the partition of India. Prior to that, Kushtia was a part of Nadia District under Bengal Province of British India. Kushtia was home of many famous people, especially authors and poets. Present day Kushtia is known for the Islamic University, Shilaidaha Kuthibari and Lalon's shrine. 


The Shahi Mosque in Kushtia bears the sign of rich cultural heritage of the region from Mughal period. Kushtia is the birthplace of many historical figures including Mir Mosharraf Hossain (1847–1912), Bagha Jatin (1879–1915) and Lalon Fakir (1774–1890). Nobel laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore lived a part of his life at Shelaidaha in this district and created some of his memorable poems while living there. However, during the British rule Kushtia was not a separate district – it was a part of a part of the Nadia district (now in West Bengal) of undivided India. A municipality was established in Kushtia in 1869. 

A Tower, Kushtia, Bangladesh
Kushtia, however, is not an ancient township. A river port was developed in the district during the reign of Emperor Shahjahan. Although the British East India Company made extensive use of the port, it was not until indigo planters and traders settled that the township began to grow. A railway connection with Kolkata, capital of British India, made in 1860, made the town an alluring location for mills and factories, including the Jagneshwar Engineering Works (1896), Renwick and Company (1904), and the Mohini Mills (1919). 

In 1860, the Indigo revolt spread throughout the Bengal province. Shalghar Madhua in Kushtia district was one of the forerunners in this movement. It inspired all indigo farmers in Kushtia to refrain from paying government taxes. Subsequently, with the publication of the Indigo Commission Report an Act was passed prohibiting coercion of cultivators for indigo cultivation and the measure led to the end of the movement. 

During the Partition of India, Kushtia was made a separate district, consisting of Kushtia Sôdor, Chuadanga and Meherpur subdivisions, in 1947. The town once again became attractive for development with the establishment of the Ganges-Kobadak Project (also known as G-K Project) headquarters and a number of government offices in 1954. GK Project is a large surface irrigation system which was started in 1954, though the first corp under this project was not grown until 1962-63.
A Green Field in Kushtia, Bangladesh
The district of Kushtia had significant contribution to Bangladesh Liberation War. A 147 member company of the 27th Baluch Regiment of Pakistan army reached Kushtia on 25 March 1971 from its base at Jessore cantonment. Although they initially captured the local police station and settled an outpost there, soon they faced a considerable resistance from a group of police, ansars, students and local people. By April 1, the Pakistani army was completely overpowered and the muktibahini took control of Kushtia. Later on April 17, 1971 the Bangladesh Government in-exile formally announced Proclamation of Independence at Baidyanathtala. Subsequently direct encounters between the Pakistan army and the rebels were held at many places of the district including Bangshitala at Kumarkhali, Daulatpur. 

After the independence of Bangladesh several different development projects were undertaken in the district of Kushtia. On November 22, 1979 the foundation stone of The Islamic University was laid at Shantidanga - Dalulpur under the districts of Kustia-Jhenidah. However, in 1982 the University was shifted to Gazipur and admission of students began in the session of 1985-86. Later on 10 January 1990 the University re-shifted to its original site at Shantidanga Dulalpur. In 1984, two subdivisions of Kushtia: Chuadanga and Meherpur were named separate districts. 

Map and Location in Kushtia in Bangladesh Map

Kushtia District has an area of 1621.15 square kilometers and is bounded by Rajshahi, Natore, Pabna districts to the North, by Chuadanga, Jhenaidah districts to the South, by Rajbari District to the East, and by West Bengal and Meherpur District to the West. 

Ganges, Gôrai, Mathabhanga, Kaligônga, and Kumar are the main rivers flowing through the district. The average high temperature is 37.8 °C and the average low is 11.2 °C. Annual rainfall averages 1,467 millimeters. 

Concept of "Greater Kushtia"

Historically, Kushtia was a larger district consisting of three subdivisions, each of which has now become a district. However, the peoples of these three districts, Chuadanga, Meherpur and Kushtia, share more than just a common past. Most notably, the dwellers of these districts, as the past inhabitants of an undivided Nadia district, speak a dialect remarkably close to what is now considered "standard" Bengali in both West Bengal and Bangladesh. Because of the great commonality between the three districts, they are often referred to as the Greater Kushtia District. Several organizations, such as the "Greater Kushtia Association" and "Greater Kushtia Society", are concerned with the welfare of the entire region. 

A Park in Kushtia, Bangladesh
Administrative Divisions

Kushtia was created as a district in 1947 with the partitioning of India and the creation of Bangladesh. Initially, Kushtia consisted of the Kushtia, Chuadanga and Meherpur subdivisions. Each of these subdivisions was later converted to a separate district for ease of management. The Upazilas are Kushtia Sadar, Kumarkhali, Daulatpur, Mirpur, Bheramara and Khoksa . 

Demographics Kushtia District has a population of 13,324, of which 50.86% are male and 49.14% female. In terms of religion, 95.72% dwellers of Kushtia are Muslims, 4.22% follow Hinduism and others religions make up 0.06%. Religious institutions are mosques 3587, temples 185, and churches 32. 


The average literacy rate of the district is 25.8%, with 30.9% of males and 48.35% of females considered literate.
Kushtia Islamic University- Auditorium
Kushtia/Jhenaidah is home to the Islamic University; it also has the following educational institutions: 
  • University(Public): 1 
  • Medical college: 1 
  • Government colleges: 3 
  • Private colleges: 30 
  • Government high schools: 10 
  • Private high schools: 173 
  • Private junior schools: 38 
  • Polytechnic institute [government] : 1 
  • Government primary schools: 330 
  • Private primary schools: 275 
  • Kindergartens: 39 
  • Madrasas: 37 
  • Vocational training institutes: 2 
  • Law college: 1 
  • School for handicapped students: 1 
  • Teachers training institutes: 3
House of Poet Rabindranath Tagore in Kushtia
Places of Interest

The Rabindra Kuthibari of Shelaidaha is a beautiful mansion where the Noble Laureate Rabindranath Tagore's lived to administer his family Zamindari. The Kuthibari, located at Shilaidaha in Kumarkhali Upazila of the Kushtia district, is only 20 km from Kushtia town. He lived here for part of his life, and wrote many memorable poems there. Tagore built the Kuthibari as his office/residence, to collect revenue as a Zaminder, from local peasants. The Kuthibari is now a museum, and is cared for by the Archaeological Department of Bangladesh. 

The shrine of Lalon Fakir, the founder of the Baoul faith is located at Cheouria, about 2 km from the Kustia railway station. 


Kushtia produce a large number of rice in Khajanagor by Auto rice Mill (Rashid Auto Rice Mills), it has also a big commercial area named BISIC SHILPONOGORY, and BRB is one of its famous brand and a Tobacco Factory (British American Tobacco Company). Since 1986 few people (Mituli rice mill & Rajib rice mill) started rice producing business to take part in Kushtia economy and tod

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