Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Details of Cox's Bazar District

Background, Geographic Area and Location: Cox’s Bazar, a coastal zila, was formerly a sub-division of Chittagong zila. It became a sub-division in 1854 and was upgraded to a zila in 1984. It is located at the fringe of the Bay of Bengal with an unbroken sea-beach which is the longest one in the world. It is bounded on the north by Chittagong zila, on the east by Bandarban zila and Myanmar, on the south and west by the Bay of Bengal. It lies between 20º 43' and 21º 56' north latitudes and between 91º 50' and 92º 23' east longitudes. The total area of the zila is 2,491.85 sq. km. (962.00 sq. miles) and 940.58 sq. km is under forest.

Temperature and Rainfall: Annual average temperature - maximum 34.8°C, minimum 16.1°C and rainfall 4285 mm.

The zila having been a coastal region often falls victim to sea storm, tidal bore, hurricane and cyclone.

Main Offshore Islands: Maheshkhali, Kutubdia, Matarbari, Sonadia, Shah Pari and St. Martin or Narikel Jinjira.

Main Rivers and Channels: The MATAMUHURI, BAKKHALI, Reju Khal, Naf, Maheshkhali channel and Kutubdia channel.

Main Forests Areas: Phulchhari Range, Bhumaria-ghona Range, Meher-ghona Range, Bak Khali Range. Cox's Bazar represents the longest sea beach of the world and charming forest belt.

Administration: Cox's Bazar Thana was established in 1854 and Cox's Bazar Subdivision was formed comprising of Cox's Bazar sadar, Chakoria, Maheskhali and Teknaf thanas. Afterwards three new thanas were constituted under this subdivision such as Ukhia, Kutubdia and Ramu. Under the decentralisation scheme the thanas were transformed into upazilas and the Cox's Bazar subdivision was elevated to a zila in 1984. The zila now consists of 8 upazilas, 71 unions, 177 mauzas, 989 villages, 4 paurashavas, 39 wards and 164 mahallas. The upazilas are COX'S BAZAR SADAR, CHAKORIA, MAHESKHALI, TEKNAF, RAMU, KUTUBDIA, UKHIA and PEKUA.

Archaeological Heritage and Relics: ADINATH TEMPLE (Maheskhali), Tomb of Shah Umar (Chakoria), Satgumbad Masjid of Fazl Quke at Manikpur, Hasher dighi, Bir Kamla dighi, (Teknaf) Well of Mathin, (Kutubdia) Kalarma Masjid, Tomb of Qutub Awliya, (Ramu) Ramkot Hindu Mandir, Ramkot Buddhist Keyang, Lamarpara Buddhist Keyang, (Ukhia) Patabari Buddhist Keyang, Kutupalang Buddhist Keyang, Kanabazar underground channel, (Cox's Bazar) Agvamedha Buddhist Keyang, Buddhist Pagoda, single domed mosque at Jhilanga.

Historical Events: The Arab traders and preachers came to the port of Chittagong and Akiab in the eighth century AD and consequently the Arab Muslims came in close contact with Cox's Bazar area situated between the two ports. The greater Chittagong including Cox's Bazar was under the rule of Harikela king Kantideva in the nineteenth century. The Arakan king Sulat Inga Chandra (930-975) captured Chittagong in 953 AD and since then Cox's Bazar had been a part of the kingdom of Arakan. Chittagong remained part of the kingdom of Arakan till its conquest by the Mughals in 1666 AD. The Mughal general Buzurg Umed Khan captured the Magh Fort on the southern bank of the Karnafuli and the Arakanise took shelter in the Ramu Fort, which was later surprised by the Mughals.

The company, with a view to establish settlement in Cox's Bazar area, took a liberal policy of distributing land to the cultivators and this encouraged people from different parts of Chittagong zila and from Arakan to settle in Cox's Bazar area. The Burmese king Bodhapaya (1782-1819) captured Arakan in 1784 AD. About thirty thousand Arakanese escaped the atrocities of the Burmese king to Cox's Bazar area in 1799 AD. The East India Company deputed one Captain Hiram Cox to arrange for the rehabilitation of the refugees (1799). Each refugee family was granted 2.4 acres of land and also granted food support for six months. Hiram Cox died (1799) before the completion of rehabilitation work. To commemorate his role in rehabilitation work a market was established and was named after him as Cox's Bazar (market of Cox) which originates the name of the place.

Marks of War of Liberation: Shaheed memorial monument 3, Mass killing site 1.

Main Crops: Paddy, potato, pulse, onion, garlic, ginger, betel leaf, betel nut, wheat, sugarcane, ground nut, tobacco, rubber and vegetables. Extinct and nearly extinct crops are sesame, linseed, mustard, cotton, jute, kaun, lentil, gram, arahar and sweet potato.

Main Fruits: Mango, jackfruit, pineapple, banana, papaya, coconut, plum, litchi, guava etc.

Traditional Transport: Boat, sampan and palanquin (nearly extinct), bullock cart and couch (extinct).

Mineral Resources: Natural gas, zircon, ilmenite, rutile, magnetite, monazite, coralline limestone.