Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Pabna; a City in Bangladesh

Pabna Town, Bangladesh
Pabna (Bengali: পাবনা Pabna) (Urdu and Punjabi: پبنہ) is a town in Rajshahi Division of Bangladesh and the administrative capital of eponymous Pabna District. It is located on the north bank of Padma river (Ganges) and has a population of about 138,000. 

  • According to the historian Radharaman Saha, Pabna is named after Paboni, a branch of the Ganges. 
  • Archeologist Cunningham wrote that the name came from "POTH",a totem folk lived long ago in this region (Poundrabardhan). A survey map from 1850 depicts a Mouza(medium size village) named Padeh Pabna in the Nazirpur Pargana (pargana can be considered as a cluster of villages) 
  • Haraprasad Shastri, the renowned author & historian regarded that Pabna originated from Podubomba, a small feudal kingdom,which was established by a king named Shom, during the Pal dynasty period. 
  • Historian Durgadas Lahiri, in his book Prithibir Itihash, used a map from the ancient period there a village named Pabna can be seen. 
  • A legend: There was robber (like Robin Hood) named Pobana lived here long ago. He became a legendary hero for his good deeds. People honored him by giving the name of his river Pabna. 
  • And most probably from the Persian word "PANMBAH", which means cotton. Once a number of inhabitants here were weavers.
Lolan Shah Bridge

Pabna Municipality comprises a mayor and 15 councillors and 5 female councillors. Each councillor represents a ward of the town. All of them are elected by popular vote. 


All major parties of Bangladesh has a branch in Pabna town.Majority of the voter seems to be floating, as general election result keep swinging. 


Dhaka is about five hours by road, through the Jamuna Bridge. Cities and towns of Dhaka Division, Chittagong Division and Sylhet Division are also connected though it. Kushtia District and other parts of Khulna Division and Barisal Division is connected through Lalon Shah Bridge. 

Pabna Bus stand
River crossing (ferry ghaat) at Nogorbari on the Jamuna River is the old route to Dhaka and the eastern part of Bangladesh. It requies three to four hours to cross only the Jamuna from Nogobari to Aaricha river port in Manikgonj District. Najirgonj river crossing on the Padma River connects Pabna town with neighbouring Rajbari District as well as Faridpur, Madaripur, Shariatpur and Gopalganj Districts, and Barisal Division. Pabna is also well connected to all the districts and towns of Rajshahi Division by road. 

Pabna town has no rail network. Nearby railway stations are situated at Iswardi and Chatmohar Upazila. Nearby airport is at Ishwardi Upazila. Biman Bangladesh Airlines used to operate twice- weekly services to Ishwardi from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, Dhaka. However, no airlines is operating to and from Ishwardi at the moment. 

Several Dhaka bound private bus services are available such as Pabna Express,Shyamoli,Shorkar Travels,Raja Badsha,Badol,Mohanagar,Shorkar Travels, Ishurdi Express, Night Star, Kings, Esha, Capital Service, etc. Government owned Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) provides bus services to Rajshahi and Bogra cities. 

Jubli Tank, Pabna
Water transport is important as the Padma and other rivers, and Chalan Beel are situated in Pabna. In Pabna district ride by Nosimon, rickshawvan and Korimon are pleasure worthy. 


Pabna has fledgeling knitted fabric and handloom related textile industries. There are also several consumer and pharmaceutical producing factories. Square (Bangladesh) is the largest pharmaceutical company in Bangladesh. Majority of its factories are situated near Jubilee Tank area of the town. One of the country's oldest pharmaceuticals Edruc has a plant at Ononto neighbourhood. Consumer food producer Universal Food Limited and POROB Foods are also situated there. Gas-based Al Amin Biscuit and Food Limited is the largest of its kind in Rajshahi Division.
Pabna Zilla School

Educational institutions include the Pabna Science and Technology University, Pabna Zilla School, Pabna Cadet College, Polytechnic Institute, Edward College, Govt. Shaheed Bulbul College, Government Women's College, Pabna college, Imam Ghazzali School and College, Pabna Government Girls' School, Pabna Central Girls' School and the [R.M. Academy school]. Recently some English medium schools have been set up; Rainbow Kindergarten, Pathfinder School and Square School are note worthy. In 2008, Pabna Science and Technology University has been established in Pabna. Admission of the academic year 2009-2010 has been completed. Pabna Medical College has also re-opened. A laboratory high school and a collegeate school is under construction. There is also a Textile engineering college in Pabna which already got a good demand in the country. 


Pabna has the largest mental hospital in Bangladesh. It also has a big general hospital, and numerous medical centers and small private clinics. Pabna Medical College and Hospital is under construction. 

Pabna Medical College
In healthcare, Pabna Community Clinic, a division of Dhaka Community Clinic, established and lead by Prof. Dr. Quazi Qumruzzaman, has made a great contribution in development and mitigation of arsenicosis. There is a General Hospital and a Mental Hospital at Pabna. The nine Upazilas under Pabna District holds an upazila health complex each. Government doctors get appointment through Bangladesh Civil Service commission. 250-bed government owned general hospital is situated at Shaalgaariya, and a 450-bed mental hospital is at Hemayetpur. Rrecently government owned Pabna Medical College has been set up near the Mental Hospital, Pabna premise. 


The remains of Hindu temple Jor Bangla (recently renovated) is situated in Jor Baangla Paara of the town. Jagannath Temple at Chatmohar Upazila is considered one of the most beautiful Hindu temples in Northern Bangladesh. A wonderful Mughal-era mosque Varara Moshjid (Bengali: ভাঁড়াড়া মসজিদ) is situated some 10 km south-east of the town. People are famous for their hospitability. 

Asif Hussain Khan
Notable Persons
  • Suchitra Sen, actress of Kolkata film industry in the 1950s through 70s. 
  • Rajanikanta Sen, famous 19th century Bengali poet and philosopher. 
  • Abdul Karim Khondokar Air Vice Marshal (Rtd.), first chief of staffs of Bangladesh Air Force (1971–1975), now Planning Minister 
  • Samson H. Chowdhury, Chairman of Square (Bangladesh) group of industries 
  • Tapan Chowdhury, managing director of Square (Bangladesh) group of industries, and former president of YMCA, Bangladesh, former adviser of Caretaker Government of Bangladesh (2007) 
  • Asif Hossain Khan, Gold winning shooter of Dhaka SAF Games 2010.

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