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Location of Faridpur in Bangladesh
|• Total||2,072.72 km2 (800.28 sq mi)|
|Population (2011 census)|
|• Density||920/km2 (2,400/sq mi)|
|Time zone||BST (UTC+6)|
Faridpur (Bengali: ফরিদপুর জেলা, Faridpur Jela also Faridpur Zila) is a district in central Bangladesh. It is a part of the Dhaka Division. Faridpur District has a population of over 1.7 million people and is situated on the banks of the Padma river (Lower Ganges). Once a subdivision, the original area of the district comprised what is today the Greater Faridpur region, which includes the present-day districts of Rajbari, Gopalgonj, Madaripur, Shariatpur and Faridpur.
It is notable for its jute fields, which are considered to produce the finest raw jute, and aristocratic landlord families. The district had numerous leaders who took part in political movements in Bengal during the rule of the British Empire and the early days of the Pakistan era. It produced some of the most prominent politicians and cultural figures of Bengal.
Faridpur is located in central Bangladesh under Dhaka division. The area of this district is 2072.72 km². The district is bounded by the Padma river to the north and east; across the river are the Manikganj, Dhaka and Munshiganj districts. It is bordered by Madaripur to the east, Gopalgonj to the south and Rajbari, Narail and Magura to the west.
The soil is highly fertile as the district lies in the floodplain of the Padma river, also called the Lower Ganges. Smaller rivers in the district include Old Kumar, Arial khan, Gorai, Chandana, Bhubanshwar and Modhumoti. The main depressions are Dhol Samudra, Beel Ramkeli, Shakuner Beel and Ghoradar Beel.
The region was ruled by local Muslim sultans and Hindu rajas until the Mughal conquest of Bengal in the 16th century, after which many nobles and merchants from North India settled in the area. In 1582 in the reign of Emperor Akbar, the province of Bengal was formed into 33 sarkars or financial sub-divisions, and Faridpur area appears to have been included within the sarkar of Muhammad Abud. During the Emperor Shah Jahan, these divisions were carried onto such an extent as to cause in a falling of the imperial revenue. In 1721 a new partition of the country was made the province of Bengal being formed into 13 large divisions (chaklas) instead of sarkars.
In 1765 the English took over the financial administration of Faridpur, together with the rest of Bangal. In 1790 they gave the collectors of taxes magisterial authority, as part of the criminal administration of the country. In 1793 the collectors were relieved of their magisterial duties. Separate officers were appointed who united Judicial and Magisterial power together. The greater portion of Faridpur was then comprised within Dacca Jalalpur.
In 1811 Faridpur was separated from Dacca collectorate. The district was initially known as Fatehabad. In 1840 the Faridpur Zila School was established, and it is one of the oldest schools in modern-day Bangladesh. Under British rule in 1860, the district was named as Faridpur after 12th-century Sufi saint, Shah Sheikh Fariduddin. The British administration declared Faridpur town as a municipality in 1862, and a District Prison was set up in 1865.
The original district stretched out across central Bengal, comprising what is, today, the Greater Faridpur region. A politically important district during the British Raj, Faridpur became a sub-division of Dhaka Division after the creation of Pakistan in 1947.
In 1971 Bangladesh became independent. In 1984, with the Decentralization Program of the Bangladesh government, Faridpur district was broken into five separate districts: Rajbari, Gopalgonj, Madaripur, Shariatpur and Faridpur.
Faridpur is notable for its rich zamindari history. They included the Senguptas (dewanji) of Dhamaron, the Basu Roy Chowdhurys of Ulpur (Shahapur), the Sikdars of Kanaipur, The Golam Imam Chowdhury of Kabirazpur,Rajoir, The Bhawal Rajas of Pangsha, the Lords of Choddo and Baish Roshi estates of Bhanga. Muslim zamindaris included the Chanpur Estate and the Boalmari Estate in present-day Faridpur, Golam Ali Chowdhury of Idilpur pargana and the Padamdi Nawab Estate in present-day Rajbari. The most powerful Muslim landlords were Nawab Abdul Latif, Golam Imam Chowdhury, Habibunessa Chowdhurani, Chowdhury Moyezuddin Biwshash and Lehajuddin Matubbar of C&B Ghat the last Jamindar of Faridpur.
Faridpur district is divided into the following upazilas:
- Faridpur Sadar Upazila
- Boalmari Upazila
- Alfadanga Upazila
- Madhukhali Upazila
- Bhanga Upazila
- Nagarkanda Upazila
- Charbhadrasan Upazila
- Sadarpur Upazila
- Shaltha Upazila
Minister M.P: Engineer Khandker Mosharraf Hossain, Ministry of Expatriates' Welfare & Overseas Employment
Deputy Commissioner (DC): Moyeen Uddin Ahmed
- Government Rajendra University College
- Faridpur Medical College
- Faridpur Polytechnic Institute
- Faridpur Zilla School
- Govt. Girls High School
- Govt. Yasin College
- Sardoda Shundori Mohila College
- Faridpur Diabetic Association Medical college
- Grassroots College of Technology
- Tarar Mela Ishan Memorial Adhunik Shishu Biddalaya
- Baptist Charch School
- Faridpur City College
- Kazi Mahbubullah College, Bhanga
- Kadirdi Degree College
- Govt. Kamarkhali Birshresth Munshi Abdur Rauf Degree College
- Modhukhali Govt. College
- Faridpur Muslim Mission
- Govt. Boalmari College
- Domrakandi High School
- Domrakandi Ideal Government Primary School
- Sharifabad High School & College, Bhanga
The district has mainly aggro-based economy. The main crops are jute and paddy. Other crops include peanut, wheat, oilseed, pulse, turmeric, onion, garlic and coriander. Many fruits are also produced, notably mango, jack fruit, blackberry, palm, coconut, betel nut, kul, tetul, bel, papaya, banana, and guava. The main exports are jute, Helsa fish and sugarcane.
Faridpur is famous for producing high quality raw jute. Once the principal earner of the country's economy, the jute industry has suffered a decline in recent years due to low prices on the international market, leading to many jute plants shutting down. However, Faridpur still has quite a few which are also some of the most prominent. They include notably Faridpur Jute Fibers and Sharif Jute Mills.
The district, being on the banks of the Padma, also accounts for a significant portion of exports of Helsa fish. The Helsa found in Padma are immensely popular at home and abroad and are called the Silver Helsa. The district has thriving fisheries and a growing poultry industry.
Manufacturing is moderate in the district although there are several industries. Kanaipur Industrial Area was set up in Faridpur town during the late 1980s. There are many sugar mills and jute plants as well. Some of the leading industries of the district are listen below:
- Faridpur Jute Fibers
- Pride Jute Mills
- Aziz Jute Fibers
- Aziz Pipes
- Faridpur Sugar Mills
- Khankhanapur Textile Mill
- Saiyed Jute Spinning
- Karim Jute Mill
- Faridpur Cold Storage
- Sharif Jute Mill
- BADC Cold Storage
- Rokeya Textile
- A H Jute Mills
- Altu Khan Jute Mills Ltd (Panna Group)
- J & J Jute Mills
In 2014, the Bangladesh government announced plans to construct the long demanded Padma Multipurpose Bridge. When completed in 2017, it will be the longest bridge in South Asia. The Padma bridge will greatly help in developing the greater Faridpur region as it would connect Dhaka with the districts.
Places of interest
- Kobi Jasimuddin's House, residence of the renonwed Bengali poet Jasimuddin
- Faridpur District Court, 19th century colonial styled court house
- Mazar of Dewan Saker Shah, mausoleum of the Dewan of the Boalmari Estate
- River Research Institute
- Moyez Manzil Palace, a mansion of the Chanpur Estate
- Baisrashi Babu Bari Palace, a mansion of the Baisrashi Estate
- Kamlapur, historic neighbourhood housing colonial buildings and zamindar mansions
- Dighir Par Masjid, a mosque in Bhanga built during the Mughal era
- Basudeva Mandir, famous Hindu temple
- Faridpur Zila School, one of the oldest schools in Bangladesh
- Bishwa Zaker Monjil, a mansion of the Aatroshi Estate
- Sri Angan, headquarters of the Mahanam Sampraday of Hindus
- Dholar Mor, place near Padma River.
- Alaol Ali Abbas Husaini, 17th-century poet and nobleman in the royal court of Arakan
- Haji Shariatullah, 18th-century Muslim leader
- Nawab Abdul Latif, 19th-century educationist
- Syed Abdur Rabb, 20th-century Bengali Muslim journalist and social worker
- Ambica Charan Mazumdar, President of the Indian National Congress (1916-1917)
- Munsi Muhammad Abdur Rouf, Bir Shrestho of the Bangladesh Liberation War
- Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, founder of Bangladesh
- Maulvi Tamizuddin Khan, Speaker of the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan
- Fazlur Rahman Khan, Bangladeshi-American architect and the "Einstein of structural engineering"
- Tareque Masud, award-winning independent film director
- Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, former Chief Minister of West Bengal
- Jasimuddin, renowned pastoral poet of Bengal
- Firoza Begum, eminent Nazrul sangeet exponent
- Sunil Gangopadhyay, Indian poet and novelist
- Altamas Kabir, 39th Chief Justice of India
- Yusuf Ali Chowdhury, controversial lawmaker and politician, sided with the Pakistani genocidaires in 1971 liberation war
- Mrinal Sen, Indian film maker
- Sigma Huda, Bangladeshi human rights activist and United Nations Special Rapporteur
- Fakir Alamgir, popular Bangladeshi folk singer
- Humayun Kabir, eminent Indian politician and Adviser to Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru
- Chowdhury Abdallah Zaheeruddin, former Pakistani central minister
- Geeta Dutt, Indian playback singer
- Goutam Ghose, Indian film maker
Jasim Polli Mela
Jasim Polli Mela, an annual fair, is held in Faridpur to commemorate the birth of renowned Bengali poet Jasimuddin. It is held on 1 January for a month and is arranged by the Polli Jasim Foundation at the premises of the poet's home by the river Kumar of Govindapur village in Faridpur. Handicrafts, everyday items used by the rural folk, tools and other items used in agricultural, literary works of Jasimuddin and more are on display at the fair. Other attractions include puppet show; circus; live performance of 'jari', 'shari', 'bhawaiya' and 'murshidi' songs; dance and recitation. Around two hundred stalls have been set up.