Bandarban District

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Nilachol, Bandarban, Bangladesh (06).jpg
Jadipai Jharna (6830526372).jpg
Boga lake 01.jpg
Keokradong 10.jpg
Buddha Dhatu Zadi01.jpg
Clockwise from top-left: Nilachol, Jadipai waterfall, Keokradong, Buddha Dhatu Zadi, Boga lake
Location of Bandarban in Bangladesh
Location of Bandarban in Bangladesh
Expandable map of Bandarban District
Coordinates: 21°48′N 92°24′E / 21.800°N 92.400°E / 21.800; 92.400Coordinates: 21°48′N 92°24′E / 21.800°N 92.400°E / 21.800; 92.400
Country Bangladesh
DivisionChittagong Division
As a District18 April 1981
 • MPBir Bahadur Ushwe Sing (Awami League)
 • Deputy CommissionerYasmin Parvin Tibriji[1]
 • District Council ChairmanKya Show Hla[2]
 • Chief Executive OfficerA. T. M. Kawser Hossain[2]
 • Total4,479.01 km2 (1,729.36 sq mi)
 (2022 census)
 • Total481,109
 • Density110/km2 (280/sq mi)
Literacy rate
 • Total43%
Time zoneUTC+06:00 (BST)
HDI (2019)0.574[3]
medium · 19th of 20

Bandarban (Bengali: বান্দরবান, Chakma: 𑄝𑄚𑄴𑄘𑄧𑄢𑄴𑄝𑄚𑄴, Marma: ဘန်ဒါဘန်) is a district in South-Eastern Bangladesh, and a part of the Chittagong Division.[4] It is one of the three hill districts of Bangladesh and a part of the Chittagong Hill Tracts, the others being Rangamati District and Khagrachhari District. Bandarban district (4,479 km2) is not only the most remote district of the country, but also the least populous (population 388,000).[5] There is an army contingent at Bandarban Cantonment.


Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
1974 116,426—    
1981 171,478+5.69%
1991 230,569+3.01%
2001 298,120+2.60%
2011 388,335+2.68%

According to the 2011 Bangladesh census, Bandarban district had a population was 388,335, of which 203,350 were males and 184,985 females. Rural population was 287,912 (74.14%) while the urban population was 100,423 (25.86%). Bandarban district had a literacy rate of 35.86% for the population 7 years and above: 40.29% for males and 30.93% for females.[6]

Tribal Mro people holding traditional pipes in their hands, Bandarban (1950)

As per the 2011 census, there were 215,934 Bengalis and 142,401 (36.67%) indigenous people in the district.[7] There are more than fifteen ethnic minorities living in the district besides the Bengalis, including: Marma, who are Arakanese descendants or Rakhine and are also known as Magh, Mru (also known as Mro or Murong), Bawm, Khyang, Tripura (also known as Tipra or Tipperah), Lushei (also known as Lushei), Khumi, Chak, Kuki, Chakma and Tanchangya (also spelt as Tenchungya).

Tribal children

The Mru, also known as Murong, who are famous for their music and dance. The Mru in major numbers have converted to the youngest religion in Bangladesh – Khrama (or Crama) – a religion that prohibits much of their old ways. They are proposed as the original inhabitants of Bandarban.[8][9]

Religious composition[edit]

Religion in Bandarban district (2011)[6]
Religion Percent
Religion in present-day Bandarban district[a]
Religion Population (1941)[10]: 104–105  Percentage (1941) Population (2011)[11] Percentage (2023)
Tribal[b] Sarna dhorom 2014-05-30 19-54.jpg 57,793 94.50% 15,726 4.05%
Islam Star and Crescent.svg 2,595 4.24% 197,087 50.75%
Hinduism Om.svg 369 0.60% 13,137 3.38%
Christianity Christian cross.svg 0 0.00% 39,333 10.13%
Buddhism Dharma Wheel (2).svg --- --- 123,052 31.69%
Others [c] 399 0.65% 0 0.00%
Total Population 61,156 100% 338,335 100%
Religion 1991 2001 2011 Perc 2011 PGR 91-11
Muslim 109,800 147,062 197,087 50.8% 79.5%
Hindu 8,105 10,796 13,137 3.4% 62.1%
Christian 16,769 28,546 39,333 10.1% 134.6%
Buddhist 87,613 103,997 123,052 31.7% 40.4%
Others 8,282 7,719 15,726 4.0% 89.9%
Total 230,569 298,120 388,335 100.0% 68.4%

The religious composition of the population in 2011 was 50.75% Muslim, 31.69% Buddhist, 10.13% Christian, 3.38% Hindu and 4.05% others.[12] Religious institutions is Mosque 2,070, Buddhist 900 (256 temples, 644 pagodas), Hindu temple 94 and Church 2.[13]


The India - Myanmar Sabroom - Cox's Bazar railway link has been proposed to connect Sabroom - Khargachari - Rangamati - Bandarban - Satkania - Cox's Bazar and another rail link connecting Bandarban to Tuipang, India.

Bandarban lies, by bus, eight hours away from Dhaka, two hours from Chittagong and three hours from Cox's Bazar. It is also possible to get there by a six-hour bus ride from Rangamati. The Buddha Dhatu Jadi, the Buddhist temple in Bangladesh, located in Balaghata, 4 km from the town. This place attracts many tourists every year. This Theravada Buddhist temple is made completely in the style of South-East Asia and houses the second largest statue of the Buddha in Bangladesh. The waterfall named Shoilo Propat at Milanchari is another place tourists like to visit. The numerous Buddhist temples, known as kyang in local tongue, and bhihars in the town include the highly notable the Rajvihar (royal vihar) at Jadipara and the Ujanipara Bhihar. Bawm villages around Chimbuk, and Mru villages a little further off, are also lie within a day's journey from the town. Prantik Lake, Jibannagar and Kyachlong Lake are some more places of interest. Boat ride on the river Shangu is one of the main attractions here for tourists.

Starting on January 7, 2015 the Home Ministry has enforced the provision of "no free passes" for foreigners visiting the three Chittagong Hill Tracts districts – Rangamati, Khagrachhari and Bandarban. As a result, foreigners need to submit an application to the Home Ministry a month ahead for their scheduled visit.[14]

Notable Persons[edit]

  1. Ushwe Sing
  2. Saching Prue Jerry
  3. Maa Ma Ching Marma


  1. ^ Bandarban, Ruma, Lama and Nakhyngchari thanas of Chittagong Hill Tracts district
  2. ^ 'Tribal' was used as a blanket term for religious traditions of all tribes, and many of these tribes followed a more mainstream religion.
  3. ^ Including Jainism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Ad-Dharmis, or not stated


  1. ^ "List of Deputy Commissioners".
  2. ^ a b "Bandarban District Hill Council". Bangladesh National Portal. Retrieved 26 March 2021.
  3. ^ "Sub-national HDI – Area Database – Global Data Lab". Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  4. ^ Rahman, Atikur (2012). "Bandarban District". In Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A. (eds.). Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.
  5. ^ Chowdhury, Sifatul Quader (2012). "Chittagong Hill Tracts". In Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A. (eds.). Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.
  6. ^ a b c "Bangladesh Population and Housing Census 2011 Zila Report – Bandarban" (PDF). Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics.
  7. ^ "৪৭ জেলায় আদিবাসীর সংখ্যা কমেছে! - প্রথম আলো". Archived from the original on 14 August 2018. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  8. ^ Zaman, Mustafa (24 February 2006). "Mother Tongue at Stake". Star Weekend Magazine. 5 (83).
  9. ^ From the land of the sunrise – the New Age Archived 13 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ "Bangladesh Population and Housing Census 2011 Zila Report – Naogaon" (PDF). Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics.
  12. ^ "District Statistics 2011: Bandarban" (PDF). Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 November 2014. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
  13. ^ "Is this the Bangladesh we wanted? Analyzing the Hindu Population Gap (2001-2011)". 12 April 2014.
  14. ^ Tanzimuddin Khan, Mohammad (12 June 2015). "Securitisation of tourism in CHT – New Age". New Age. Retrieved 8 April 2016.

Further reading[edit]

  • Lonely Planet Bangladesh (Lonely Planet Bangladesh) by Richard Plunkett, et al.
  • "Lonely Planet".
  • Identity Politics in Central Asia and the Muslim World (Library of International Relations *Vol. 13) by Willem van Schendel (Editor), Erik J. Zurcher (Editor)
  • Deforestation, Environment, and Sustainable Development: A Comparative Analysis by Dhirendra K. Vajpeyi (Editor)
  • Minorities, Peoples And Self-determination: Essays in Honour of Patrick Thornberry by Nazila Ghanea (Editor)
  • Brauns, Claus-Dieter, "The Mrus: Peaceful Hillfolk of Bangladesh", National Geographic Magazine, February 1973, Vol 143, No 1

External links[edit]