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03:47, Monday, May 4, 2015 (UTC) • 9:47, Monday May 4, 2015 (BST) • Boishakh 21

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Flag of Bangladesh

Emblem of Bangladesh
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Bangladesh, officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh, is a country in South Asia. It is bordered by India on three sides and Myanmar to the southeast; the Bay of Bengal forms the southern coastline. Together with the Indian state of West Bengal, it comprises the ethno-linguistic region of Bengal. The name Bangladesh means "The land of Bengal" and is written in Bengali as বাংলাদেশ and pronounced [ˈbaŋlad̪eʃ]. The exact origin of the word Bangla or Bengal is unknown.

The borders of Bangladesh were set by the Partition of India in 1947, when it became the eastern wing of Pakistan (East Pakistan), separated from the western wing by 1,600 km (1,000 miles). Despite their common religion, the ethnic and linguistic gulf between the two wings was compounded by an apathetic government based in West Pakistan. This resulted in the independence of Bangladesh in 1971 after a bloody war, supported by India. The years following independence have been marked by political turmoil, with thirteen different heads of government, and at least four military coups.

The population of Bangladesh ranks seventh in the world, but its area of approximately 144,000 km2 is ranked ninety-third. It is the third largest Muslim-majority nation, but has a slightly smaller Muslim population than the Muslim minority in India. It is also one of the most densely populated countries in the world. Geographically dominated by the fertile Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta, the country has annual monsoon floods, and cyclones are frequent. Bangladesh is one of the founding members of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), BIMSTEC, and a member of the OIC and the D-8.

Selected article

edit Dhaka (previously Dacca; Bengali: ঢাকা Đhaka [ɖʱaka]) is the capital of Bangladesh and the Dhaka District. Located on the banks of the Buriganga River, Dhaka and its metropolitan area have a population exceeding 9 million, making it the largest city in Bangladesh and one of the most populous cities in the world.

Under Mughal rule, the city was also known as Jahangir Nagar. The modern city was largely developed by British authorities and soon became the second-largest city in Bengal after Kolkata. With the partition of India, Dhaka became the administrative capital of East Pakistan before becoming the capital of an independent Bangladesh in 1972. During this period Dhaka witnessed extensive political turmoil, including many periods of martial law, the declaration of Bangladesh's independence, military suppression and devastation from war and natural calamities.

Modern Dhaka is the centre of political, cultural and economic life in Bangladesh, enjoying the highest literacy rate amongst other Bangladeshi cities and a diverse economy. While the urban infrastructure is the most developed in the country, Dhaka suffers from severe challenges such as pollution, congestion, supply shortages, poverty and crime. In recent decades Dhaka has seen a modernisation of transport, communications and public works. The city is attracting considerable foreign investment, greater volumes of commerce and trade and an increasing influx of people from across the nation. (more...)

Bangladesh News


  • Apr 5: Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus loses his final appeal in the Supreme Court of Bangladesh against his dismissal from his own Grameen micro-finance bank; the bank thought him too old for the job. (BBC)

Archive of old items

Where in Bangladesh...


Evidence of the rise of Mahayana Buddhism in Bengal from the 7th century onwards, Somapura Mahavihara, or the Great Monastery, was a renowned intellectual centre until the 12th century. Ruins of this Buddhist Vihara has been inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985. Do you know where in Bangladesh is Somapura Mahavihara?
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Somapura Mahavihara
Somapura Mahavihara is located in the Paharpur village in Naogaon District under Rajshahi Division in the North-east part of Bangladesh.

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Saint Martin's Island.jpg
St. Martin's Island is a small island in the northeast 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. It is the only coral island in Bangladesh. This picture features the dead corals of The Saint Martin's Island.
Photo credit: Mirza Salman Hossain Beg
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Somapura Mahavihara

  • ... that while mainly charged with maintaining law and order, Bangladesh Ansars are also assigned to help in schemes promoting local development?

Selected biography


Emperor Babur from a Mogul Miniature Painting

Zāhir ud-Dīn Mohammad, commonly known as Bābur (February 14, 1483 – December 26, 1530) (Chaghatay/Persian: ﻇﻬﻴﺮ ﺍﻟﺪﻳﻦ محمد بابر‎; also spelled Zahiruddin, Zahiriddin, Muhammad, Bobur, Baber, Babar, etc.), was a Muslim Emperor from Central Asia who founded the Mughal dynasty of South Asia. He was a direct descendant of Timur, and believed himself to be a descendant also of Genghis Khan through his mother. Following a series of set-backs he succeeded in laying the basis for the Mughal Empire.

The Mughal Empire was an important imperial power in the Indian Subcontinent from the early sixteenth to the mid-nineteenth centuries. At the height of its power, around 1700, it controlled most of the subcontinent and parts of what is now Afghanistan. Its population at that time has been estimated as between 100 and 150 million, over a territory of over 3 million square km. Following 1720 it declined rapidly. Its decline has been variously explained as caused by wars of succession, agrarian crises fueling local revolts, the growth of religious intolerance and British colonialism. The last Emperor, whose rule was restricted to the city of Delhi, was imprisoned and exiled by the British after the Indian Rebellion of 1857. (more...)