A Mirror of Bangladesh
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18 Jul 2018

SURMA RIVER


Surma River rises as the barak on the southern slopes of the Naga-Manipur watershed. The Barak splits into two branches within Cachhar district of Assam in India. Surma, the northern branch, flows west and then southwest to Sylhet town. Beyond sylhet, it flows northwest and west to Sunamganj town; from there to southwest and then south to Madna, where it meets the kushiyara, the other branch of the Barak. It receives several rivers and streams flowing south from Meghalaya Plateau. From east to west they are the Lubha, Hari (Kushia), Goyain Gang (Chengar Khal), piyain, Bogapani, Jadukata, Shomeshwari and kangsa.

The Surma is flood-prone in the monsoon. The flood season is generally from the last week of May to the middle of October, the mean discharge in this period being about 30,000 cusec. Between 1950 and 1958 the maximum and minimum discharge recorded were 53,008 cusec (15 August 1958) and 487 cusec (21 March 1954) respectively. The Surma is bifurcated in the south of mohanganj, and soon after it receives the Kangsa and further to the south the Mogra., The western channel is known as the Dhanu in its upper course, the Baulai in the middle and the Ghorautra lower down. It joins the meghna near kuliarchar. The southern branch of the Barak, as the Kushiyara, receives the Manu on the north of Maulvi Bazar town and is bifurcated into a northern channel, the Bibiyana, and a southern one, which resumes the name of the original river, the Barak. The Bibiyana changes its name to Kalni, lower down its course and joins the Surma near ajmiriganj. The Barak (western) receives the Gopla and the khowai from the Tripura hills, and falls into the Surma at Madna.

The way these rivers change their names is indeed confusing. To make matters worse, it seems that there is no general agreement as to identify a river course by a single name, rather the entire course of the river may bear different names along its path. The Surma from Ajmiriganj downstream is often referred to as the Meghna. The matter would be simple but for the fact that from Madna downstream for about 26 km (in a straight line) one of the two channels of the Surma-Meghna is known as the dhaleshwari. Northern Dhaleshwari has the behaviour of changing courses. The change takes place south of Austagram, where both channels meet and come to be known as the Dhaleshwari. To avoid confusion the main channel from Ajmiriganj down to the confluence of the Dhanu-Ghorautra is referred to as the Surma. This confluence is 5 km east of Kuliarchar. Downstream from there, the river is referred to as Meghna. Most of the Surma system falls into the Haor Basin, where the line of drainage is not clear and well defined. In the Piedmont tract from durgapur to jaintiapur, the network of streams and channels overflows in the rainy season and creates vast sheets of water which connect the haors with the rivers. In the haor basin too, the rivers overflow and inundate the haors in the early part of the rainy season and get back much of the water as soon as the monsoon rains slacken.

18 Jul 2018

Saint Martin Island Bangladesh


St. Martin’s Island

St. Martin’s Island is a small island (area only 8 km2) in the northeastern part of the Bay of Bengal, about 9 km south of the tip of the Cox’s Bazar-Teknaf peninsula, and forming the southernmost part of Bangladesh. There is a small adjoining island that is separated at high tide, called Chhera island. It is about 8 km west of the northwest coast of Myanmar, at the mouth of the Naf River. The first settlement started just 250 years ago by some Arabian sailors who named the island ‘Zajira’. During British occupation the island was named St. Martin Island. The local names of the island are “Narical Gingira”, also spelled “Narikel Jinjira/Jinjera”, which means ‘Coconut Island’ in Bengali, and “Daruchini Dwip”. It is the only coral island in Bangladesh.

From 1989 to 2004, non-residential Bangladeshis and foreigners were the only people permitted on the island; however, this has changed and now residential Bangladeshis are allowed. St. Martin’s Island has become a popular tourist spot. Currently, five shipping liners run daily trips to the island, including Shahid Sher Niabat, L C T Kutubdia, Eagle, Keari Cruise & Dine and Keari-Sindbad. Tourists can book their trip either from Chittagong or from Cox’s Bazar. The surrounding coral reef of the island has an extension named Chera Dwip. A small bush is there, which is the only green part of Chera Dwip, enhancing the beauty of this island. People do not live on this part of the island, so it is advisable for the tourists to go there early and come back by afternoon.

In the past five years St. Martin’s visitor population has increased dramatically. While this situation has proven to be lucrative for the islanders, it is causing the natural beauty of the island to deteriorate. Presently there are many efforts being put forth to preserve the several endangered species of turtles that nest on the island, as well as the corals, some of which are found only on Narikel Jinjera. Pieces of the coral reef are being removed in order to be sold to tourists. Nesting turtles are sometimes taken for food, and their hatchlings are often distracted by the twinkling lights along the beach. Species of fish, a few just recently discovered, are being overfished. Every year the fishermen must venture further out to sea to get their catch. Most of them use motorless boats.

It is possible to walk around the island in a day because it measures only 8 km2 (3 sq. mile), shrinking to about 5 km2 (2 sq. mi) during high tide. The island exists only because of its coral base, so removal of that coral risks erosion of the beaches. Because of this, St. Martin’s has lost roughly 25% of its coral reef in the past seven years.

18 Jul 2018

TAJMAHAL


Since the Taj Mahal was completed in the mid-1600s, the world’s most famous monument to undying love has had to put up with an awful lot of meddling mortals.

In the 18th century, its bejewelled tomb was plundered, and by the 19th century, its formal garden had been lost under a thicket of trees. By the last century, the southernmost reaches of its enclosure were overrun by the teeming city of Agra.

Today’s Taj has been cleaned and repaired, although work continues. Its current difficulties are more cultural than physical.

India’s most iconic structure was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, a Muslim, a fact that sits uneasily in the psyche of a predominantly Hindu country.

18 Jul 2018

Madhobkundo Water fall in Bangladesh


Madhabkunda waterfall is one of the biggest waterfalls in Bangladesh. It is situated at Barlekha in Moulvibazar District of Sylhet Division. This waterfall is an admired tourist spot in Bangladesh. It has big boulders, adjacent forest and the bordering streams which attract tourists for day trips and picnic parties.

The height of the Madhabkunda Jarna is about two hundred feet approximately. It looks very gorgeous in the rainy season. A huge number of tourists visit in that exacting season. The beauty of the waterfall is unrivaled with any other tourist stain in Bangladesh. This place is supervised by Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation at present. The government has built a rest house for the expediency of the visitors.

Madhabkunda Waterfall has an Eco-park that amuses the visitors. Visitors will find charming nearby with different kinds of trees and a large carroty garden. Tribal Khashia people live in the Madhabkunda area. People will be able to discover the lifestyle of this tribe society. Apart from Khashia, Manipuri people also live here.

The scenery of the waterfall is just amazing and a pleasure to watch. Nestled amidst the lush green mountains Madhabkunda makes for an ideal tourist destination. The waterfall remains crowded all round the year though the most tourists come during the winter season. The journey to Madhabkunda itself is exotic. On the way you can see the greenish beauty of tea garden, the hills and the zigzag road through the hills will increase the joy of your journey.

How to reach
You can reach to Moulvibazar from Dhaka only via bus directly. If you want to travel by train, you need to get off at Sreemangal station. Then you need to take a local bus or CNG to reach Moulvibazar. In case, you would like to fly to Moulvibazar, you have to reach Sylhet first, and then you can take a direct bus to Moulvibazar.

18 Jul 2018

Nawabgonj Upazila Bangladesh

Archaeological heritage and relics Braja Niketan, Hasnabad Church, Bakshanagar Church, Baghmara Math, remnants of the residence of Zamindar Khelaram Dada.

Religious institutions Mosque 485, temple 195, church 6, tomb 2. Noted religious institutions: tomb of Hazrat Afaz Uddin Shah (R) (Galimpur).

Literacy rate and educational institutions Average literacy 54.4%; male 56.4%, female 52.6%. Educational institutions: college 7, secondary school 34, primary school 109, community school 13, madrasa 4. Noted educational institutions: Bandura Holy Cross High School (1912), Churain Tarini Bama High School (1923).

Cultural organisations Club 48, community centre 1, music academy 1, cinema hall 4, cultural organisation 3, women organisation 1, theatre group 2.

Main sources of income Agriculture 31.01%, non-agricultural labourer 3.07%, industry 3.68%, commerce 12.98%, transport and communication 1.95%, service 12.26%, construction 3.82%, religious service 0.13%, rent and remittance 19.36% and others 11.74%.

Ownership of agricultural land Landowner 42.42%, landless 57.58%; agricultural landowner: urban 25.62% and rural 43.32%.

Main crops Boro paddy, aman paddy, potato, jute, mustard, pulse.

Extinct or nearly extinct crops Aus paddy, tobacco.

Main fruits Mango, guava, papaya, jackfruit, coconut, litchi, banana.

Fisheries, dairies and poultries Fishery 250, dairy 240, poultry 165.

Communication facilities Pucca road 96.50 km, semi-pucca road 106 km, mud road 660 km; waterway 11 nautical miles; bridge 3, culvert 150.

Extinct or nearly extinct traditional transport Palanquin, bullock cart, horse carriage.

Cottage industries Goldsmith, blacksmith, weaving, embroidery, wood work, bamboo work.

Hats, bazars and fairs Hats and bazars are 41, fairs 4, most noted of which are Bairagi Paush Mela at Bandhanpara and mela of Hazrat Afaz Uddin Shah (R) at Galimpur.

Main exports Jute, cotton sari and lungi.

Access to electricity All the unions of the upazila are under rural electrification net-work. However 42.05% of the dwelling households have access to electricity.

Sources of drinking water Tube-well 93.41%, tap 0.36%, pond 1.31% and others 4.92%. The presence of arsenic has been detected in shallow tube-well water of the upazila.

Sanitation 38.69% (rural 37.52% and urban 60.56%) of dwelling households of the upazila use sanitary latrines and 55.90% (rural 56.97% and urban 36.04%) of dwelling households use non-sanitary latrines; 5.41% of households do not have latrine facilities.

Health centres Upazila health complex 1, union health and family welfare centre 10, community clinic 26, satellite clinic 4, family planning centre 4.

NGO activities Operationally important NGOs are World Vision, thengamara mahila sabuj sangha, brac, asa, proshika. [Md. Abu Hasan Farooque]

References Bangladesh Population Census 2001, Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics; Field report of Nawabganj Upazila 2010.

18 Jul 2018

SREEMANGAL UPAZILA BANGLADESH

Archaeological heritage and relics Nirmai Shiva Bari (1454 AD), copperplate of Raja Marundanath (11th century) discovered in village Kalapur and statue of god Ananta Narayan (discovered during excavation atvillage Lamua).

Historical events During the Peasant Movement at Balishira in 1963 two peasants were killed by police firing. On 30 April 1971, having entered into Sreemangal the Pak army conducted violation of women, killing, torture, plundering; they also set many houses of the upazila on fire.

Marks of the War of Liberation Mass grave 2 (North Bharaura and South Bharaura); mass killing site 2 (BDR Camp and the backside of WAPDA office premises); memorial monument 1 (North Bharaura).

Religious institutions Mosque 164, temple 38, church 1, sacred place 1, ramkrishna seba ashrama 2, akhra 6.

Literacy rate and educational institutions Average literacy 39.6%; male 44.3%, female 34.6%. Educational institutions: college 4, technical training centre 1, secondary school 20, primary school 127, madrasa 7. Noted educational institutions: Sreemangal Government College, BTRI High School and College, The Birds Residential Model High School and College, Dashrath Multilateral High School (1896), Victoria High School (1924), Dobarhat Government Primary School (1882), Chandranath Government Primary School (1924), Chandranath Primary School (1934), Uttarsur Kulchandra Government Primary School.

Newspapers and periodicals Daily: Khola Chithi; weekly: Sreemangaler Chithi, Sreebhumi, Sree Bani, Pubali Barta, Pubali, Chaer Desh, Sreemangal Porikroma; fortnightly: Banni Shikha.

Cultural organisations Library 4, club 34, theatre stage 30, theatre group 6, cinema hall 4.

Tourist spots Basu Deva Mandir at village Bhunadeva, Hail Haor, Lawachhara National Park, Bangladesh Tea Research Institute, Mini Museum of Sitesh Ranjan Dev, Bharaura Lake, Magurchhara Khasia Punji and gas field, Denston Cemetery.

Main sources of income Agriculture 30.90%, non-agricultural labourer 20.16%, industry 1.83%, commerce 14.72%, transport and communication 2.94%, service 10.06%, construction 1.29%, religious service 0.36%, rent and remittance 1.49% and others 16.25%.

Ownership of agricultural land Landowner 33.21%, landless 66.79%; agricultural landowner: urban 39.46% and rural 32.38%.’

Main crops Tea, paddy, betel leaf, rubber, potato, vegetables.

Extinct or nearly extinct crops Kaun, sesame.

Main fruits Pineapple, jackfruit, lemon.

Fisheries, dairies and poultries Fishery 10, dairy 55, poultry 30, hatchery 2.

Communication facilities Pucca road 143 km, semi-pucca road 11 km, mud road 405 km; Rail Station 1.

Extinct or nearly extinct traditional transport Horse carriage, bullock cart.

Noted manufactories Tea factory 15, flour mill 4, cold storage 2, ice factory 3, engineering workshop 14, rubber processing plant 2, timber treatment plant 1, boiler rice mill 2.

Cottage industries Blacksmith, potteries, weaving, bamboo work.

Hats, bazars and fairs Hats and bazars are 23, fairs 4, most noted of which are Mirzapur Hat, Satgaon Hat, Sindurkhan Hat, Sreemangal Hat, Bhairab Bazar Hat, Shiva Chaturdashi Mela at Nirmmai Shiva Bari, Kal Bhairabi Mela at Gandarvapur, Uttarsur Charak Mela and Bhimsi Mela.

Main exports Tea, pineapple, lemon, betel leaf.

Access to electricity All the wards and unions of the upazila are under rural electrification net-work. However 35.33% of the dwelling households have access to electricity.

Natural resources Natural gas field 2.

Sources of drinking water Tube-well 72.05%, tap 4.93%, pond 4.12% and others 18.90%.

Sanitation 31.34% (rural 25.86% and urban 72.49%) of dwelling households of the upazila use sanitary latrines and 41.59% (rural 43.90% and urban 24.23%) of dwelling households use non-sanitary latrines; 27.07% of households do not have latrine facilities.

Health centres Upazila health centre 1, hospital 2, family planning centre 5, health and family welfare centre 1, satellite clinic 2.

NGO activities Operationally important NGOs are brac, caritas. [Gopal Dev Chowdhury]

References Bangladesh Population Census 2001, Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics; Cultural survey report of Sreemangal Upazila 2007.