With an area of 954.96 sq km, is bounded by Dhaka and Narayanganj districts on the north, Madaripur and Shariatpur districts on the south, Comilla and Chandpur districts on the east, Dhaka and Faridpur districts on the west. Main rivers are the Padma, Meghna, Dhaleshwari, Ichamati and Shitalakshya. The southern and eastern parts of the district often fall victim to erosion caused by the mighty Padma and the Meghna respectively. Main depression is Arial Beel covering an area of 4,330 hectare. Annual temperature- maximum 36°C and minimum 12.7°C; total rainfall 2,376 mm.

Munshigonj : (Town) consists of 9 wards and 42 mahallas.The area of the town is 14.17 sq km. The population of the town is 52071; male 51.62% and female 48.38%; density of population is 3674 per sq km. Literacy rate among the town people is 49.3%. The town has two dakbungalows.

Administration : Munshigonj district, formerly a subdivision under Dhaka district, was established in 1984. It consists of 6 upazilas, 67 union parishads, 662 mouzas, 906 villages, 18 wards, 73 mahallas and 2 municipalities. The upazilas are Gazaria, Tongibari, Serajdikhan, Lohajang, Sreenagar and Munshiganj sadar.

Archaeological heritage : Idrakpur Fort (1660) in Munshiganj town, Panditer vita (birth place of atish Dipankar Srijnan) at Bajrayogini, Baba Adam’s Mosque, Dighi of Raja Haris chandra, home stead of Raja Ballal Sen, home stead of Raja Sreenath at Rampal, Rampal Dighi, Kodal Dhoar Dighi, Shyamsiddhi Math at Sreenagar, Hasara Dargah, Sholaghar Math, Bhagyakul Rajbari, residence of Jagadis Chandra Basu at Radhikhal, Jora Math at Sonarang, Kalibari at Tongibari, Taltala Pancha-shikhara Mahadeva Temple, Talukdarbari Mosque at Kusumpur, Tajpur Mosque, Patharghata Mosque, Kazishal Mosque, Pulghata Bridge, Panch Pir Dargah, marble statue of Ashutosh Ganguly inside the library room of Haraganga College.

Historical events : The area comprising the districts of Munshiganj stretching on the west of the Meghna and Dhaleshwari had been included in the kingdom of vikramapur in the ancient period. During the Sena rule Vikramapur in East Bengal had been the second capital of the Senas in addition to their capital at Nadia. After the fall of Nadia in the hands of bakhtiyar khalji (1204) the Sena King lakshmanasena fled to Vikramapur and began to rule East Bengal. After the death of Lakshmanasena (1206) his descendants Visvarupasena and Kesavasena ruled in Vikramapur till at least 1223 AD. Some historians postulate that the sons of Lakshamanasena ruled in Vikramapur up to 1243-45 AD. Raja Dasarathadeva Danujmadhava (Danuj Rai), the Deva king of Chandradvipa, ousted the Senas from Vikramapur in the third quarter of the thirteenth century and ruled the south-eastern Bengal till the end of the thirteenth century.

During the Mughal rule the present Munshigonj town including the outlying areas was known as Idrakpur which was named after the then Mughal faujdar Idrak. A village on the outskirts of Munshigonj town is still known as Idrakpur. During the British rule Idrakpur was renamed as Munshigonj after the name of Munshi Enayet Ali, the local zamindar and the inhabitant of the village Kazi Kasba in Rampal.

During the war of liberation of 1971 the Pak army raided Munshigonj and Kewar on 9 and 14 May respectively and killed some youths there. They launched an attack on the innocent villagers at Gazaria upazila on 5 May and killed about four hundred villagers by gun-shot. The people of Narayanganj in alliance with youths of Munshigonj resisted an attack of the Pak army on Narayanganj on 31 March. Hundreds of youths were recruited as freedom fighters and were given military training at Dhalgaon area in the month of July and they took part in various operations against the Pak army. The freedom fighters raided Sreenagar police station on August 11, Lauhajang police station within a few days and the Tongibari police station at the end of September, procured huge arms and ammunitions and Lohajang police station was set on fire. The freedom fighters attacked the motor-launches of the Pak-army on 24 September at Galimpur and Goalimandra and killed more than one hundred Pak soldiers. On the night of Shab-e-Qadr the freedom fighters numbering only 115 launched a combined attack on the Pak army stationed at Munshigonj and captured the town.

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

Population : 1,388,605 (male 50.09%, female 49.91%), Muslim 90.78%, Hindu 8.01%, Christian 1.2%, Buddhist 0.01%. Ethnic nationals include Snake charmers, Cobblers (Rishi) and Scavengers of Munshir Hat.

Religious institutions : Mosque 1,478, Temple 108, Tomb 10, Church 9.

Literacy and educational institutions : Average literacy 35.8%; male 40.3%, female 31.1%.

Educational institutions : College 16, High School 82, Junior high school 11, Primary training institute 1, Technical Training Centre 3, Madrasa 87, Government Primary School 423, Non-Government primary school 78, Kindergarten 5, Mass-education centre 688.

Newspapers and periodicals Daily : Munshigonjer Kaghaz, Weekly Munshigonj, Weekly Munshigonj Sangbad, Monthly Vikrampur;

Defunct papers: Monthly Palli-Vijnan, Hindu Intelligencer, Mukti, Vikrampur Patrika (1920), Gramer Katha (weekly, 1962), Anusandhan, Chetana, Kaler Vela, Sangsaptak, Sarab, Kavitapatra, Vikrampur Mukhasri, Weekly Vikrampur Barta, Vikrampur.

Cultural organisations : Club 267, Public library 16, Various organisations 378, Women’s association 47, Theatre group 10, Jatra party 2, Drama stage 1, Cinema hall 15, Stadium 2, Museum 1, Musical Academy 2, Art School 1.

Main occupations : Agriculture 27.43%, agricultural labourer 21.96%, fishing 2.25%, hawker 1.02%, construction 1.57%, commerce 19.46%, service 9.28%, transport 1.67%, wage labourer 2.87% and others 12.49%.

Land use : Cultivable land 56,594 Hectares; Single crop 23%, Double crop 44%, Triple Crop land 33%. Arable land under irrigation 36%. Land control Among the peasants, 13.2% are landless, 27.06% marginal, 35.26% small, 18.65% intermediate, 5.83% rich; cultivable land per head 0.047 hectare. Value of land The market value of the first grade arable land is Tk 22,800 per 0.01 hectare.

Main crops : Potato, jute, rice, betel leaf, wheat, mustard, sesame, gram, lentil, pea, chilli, coriander, ground nut, maize, patal, karalla tomato, sweet pumpkin, vegetables. Extinct and nearly extinct crops Indigo, kaun, linseed, arahar (pulse), kalai (pulse).

Main fruits : Banana, mango, papaya, jackfruit, litchi, melon, watermelon, black berry, pomegranate, guava, wood apple, shaddock, plum, palm, coconut, elephant apple. Fisheries, poultries and dairies Livestock and dairy 309, poultry 237, fishery 179, hatchery 6. Communication facilities Roads: pucca 242.27 km, semi pucca 127 km, mud road 1339 km; launch ghat 29, ferry ghat 16, boat mahal 5.

Traditional transport : Palanquin (extinct), horse carriage and bullock cart (nearly extinct), boat. Manufactories Large industries 6, medium industries 20, ice mill and cold storage 60, rice mill 19, saw mill 27. Cottage industries Cottage industries of various categories 727. Hats, bazars and fairs Hats and bazars are 101, fair 34.

Main exports : Potato, banana, paddy, pathal, jute, betel leaf, sweet pumpkin, vegetables, milk, milk food, sack, cotton yarn, copper utensil, bamboo and cane materials.

NGO activities : Operationally important NGOs are asa, brac, grameen bank, caritas, World Vision, proshika, Samaj Parivartan Kendra, Country Mission, CARE, RSD, Vikrampur Ayn Sahajya Sangstha, Yuba Sangha, Mahila Angana.

Health centres : Hospital 1, Upazila Health Complex 5, Family Planning Centre 48, Satellite Clinic 22, Mother & Child care Centre 1, Charitable Dispensary 4, Private Clinic 4, Pathological Laboratory 3, Artificial Breeding Centre 1, Veterinary Hospital 7.

Leave a Reply