Dhamrai Upazila

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Dhamrai
ধামরাই
Upazila
Dhamrai is located in Bangladesh
Dhamrai
Dhamrai
Location in Bangladesh
Coordinates: 23°54.5′N 90°13′E / 23.9083°N 90.217°E / 23.9083; 90.217Coordinates: 23°54.5′N 90°13′E / 23.9083°N 90.217°E / 23.9083; 90.217
Country  Bangladesh
Division Dhaka Division
District Dhaka District
Area
 • Total 307.5 km2 (118.7 sq mi)
Population (1991)
 • Total 312,777
 • Density 1,017/km2 (2,630/sq mi)
Time zone BST (UTC+6)
Website Dhamrai Upazila

Dhamrai (Bengali: ধামরাই) is an Upazila of Dhaka District in the Division of Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Geography[edit]

Dhamrai Upazila is located about 40 kilometers north west of the capital city of Dhaka. It is one of the six Upazilas of Dhaka district. The Upazila is surrounded by the Upazilas of Mirzapur and Kaliakair and Nagarpur on the north, Singair on the south, Savar in the east and Saturia on the west.[1]

Dhamrai is located within the coordinates of 90.02 - 90.14E and 23.50 - 24.02E. The total area of Dhamrai Upazila is 307.4 km². It has 57,297 units of households. The Upazila consists of one municipality (Pouroshova), 16 unions and 398 villages.[1]

Dhamrai Upazila is composed of the alluvium soil of the Bongshi and Dholesshori rivers. Other rivers are Kolmai and Gazikhali.[citation needed]

Dhamrai Night Panorama

Demographics[edit]

At the 1991 Bangladesh census, Dhamrai had a population of 312,777.[2] Males constituted 50.37% of the population, and females constituted 49.63%. The population of citizens 18 years and older was 163,449. Dhamrai had an average literacy rate of 29.5% (7+ years), lower than the national average of 32.4%.[2] The breakdown of Population is as follows:

  • Total Population: 312,777;
  • Male: 157,546;
  • Female: 155,231;
  • Density: 1,146/km2;
  • Population Growth Rate: 1.59;[citation needed]
  • Birth Rate: 2.0[citation needed]
  • Chapil Total Villager:10,000

Administration[edit]

Dhamrai has 16 Unions/Wards, 281 Mauzas/Mahallas/Mouzas, and 398 villages.[1]

Dhamrai was once under the Thana (now Upazila) of Savar. Dhamrai became a Thana itself in 1914 during the British rule; the same year Dhamrai Hardinge High School was established. In 1947 it was put under the district of Dhaka. On December 15, 1984 Dhamrai was upgraded into a full-fledged Upazila.

Naming of Dhamrai:

There are two versions of how the name of Dhamrai came about:- (1) During the time of Asoka the Great there was a Buddhist "Dharmarajika" and the name became truncated and in time came to be known as Dhamrai. The discovery of a prehistoric Buddhist "stupa" in Savar, about 10 miles away from Dhamrai lends credence to this opinion. (2) A famous Sufi saint, Hazrat Shahjalal, came to what is now Bangladesh, about eight hundred years ago with 360 companions. Legend has it that five of them (Tirmizi Al-Hussaini, Hazrat Hazi, Hazrat Gazi, Hazrat Zambahadur and Hazrat Shah Magdum)[3] came to Dhamrai area which was then sparsely populated and heavily forested. They settled and started leading a secluded life. Food supplies ultimately ran short and one day they found a stray cow wandering about. They slaughtered the cattle and used the meat to satisfy their hunger. After a few days a couple by the name of Dhama Gope and his wife Rai Goalini came and claimed that the cow was theirs. They demanded compensation for the cow. The Sufis learnt that the couple was childless. It is said that with their blessings a child was born to the couple and also they said that they would name the place so that their names would forever be remembered. Thus the name Dhamrai (Dham+Rai) came about.[citation needed]

Economy[edit]

The total cultivable land is 23,470 hectares.[3] Of the total cultivable land (in hectares):

Guti-Urea plant at SOJAG, Shailan, Dhamrai
Guti urea demonstration plot in Dhamrai
Paddy Thrasher at work
  • 1 Chapil Village crop: 2,050
  • 2 crop: 14,580
  • 3 crop: 6,740
  • More than 3 crops: 100
  • Intensity of Cultivation: 220.83%

Farmers by Land Occupancy:

  • Landless (less than 0.02 hectares): 11,755
  • Marginal (0.02 - 0.20 hectares): 10,670
  • Middle (1.01 - 3.0 hectares): 5,675
  • Big (more than 3.0 hectares): 535

Food Production:

  • Total demand (metric tons): 65,209
  • Actual production (metric tons): 75,023
  • Total Surplus (metric tons): 9,814

Culture[edit]

DHAMRAI ROTH JATRA AND FAIR: The annual Jagannath Roth Jatra is a famous Hindu festival attracting thousands of people. Dhamrai is well known for this annual festival all throughout Bangladesh. Roth jatra festival begins on around the 10 day of Bangla Calendar month of Ashar and "Ulto Roth" takes place one week after. A month-long Roth Maela (রথ মেলা) is held in Dhamrai for this occasion. This commemorates the annual journey of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balarama, and their sister Subhadra to their aunt's temple. During the festival, devotees help pull the Lords' chariot with ropes. They consider this a pious deed and risk their lives in the huge crowd. The huge processions accompanying the chariots play devotional songs with drums, tambourines, trumpets etc. Children line the streets through which the chariot will pass and add to the mass chorus. The Roth cart is approximately 45 feet (14 m) high and pulled by the pilgrims who turn up for the event.

METAL CASTING: The main center for metal casting in Bangladesh is in Dhamrai. For many generations, this place has produced handmade metal (Bronze)ware for markets throughout Bangladesh, using the lost wax casting (cire perdue) method and hollow casting method [4] that is over 2,000 years old. These methods are used to make items ranging from ornate Hindu and Buddhist statues to simple household objects such as pitchers (kolshi as is locally called) and also items include quality statues, decanters, bowls, spoons and plates. Over the past fifty years, many of the families in Bangladesh who have been involved in the metal casting trade have taken on other work. With stiff competition from inexpensive machine-made aluminum and plastic products coming in from India and other countries in the region, the market for hand-cast items has gradually dwindled away. As a result, the tradition of making handmade cast metal objects is in jeopardy. For example, there are only six people left in Bangladesh who are capable of making masterpiece-quality Hindu and Buddhist images using the lost wax method. Twenty years ago, there were over 30 craftsmen who knew this technique. If this trade is someday lost, an important part of Bangladesh's artistic tradition will vanish forever. Dhamrai is also well known for pottery.

NGOs working in Dhamrai:

  • SOJAG: Works throughout Dhamrai and adjoining Upazilas of Mirzapur, Shaturia, Kaliakoir and Singair. The headquarters is at village Shailan under Shombhag Union.
  • Grameen Choa: Located at Dhantara Bazar, Dhamrai
  • SDI: Located at Dhamrai Bazar, Dhamrai

Education[edit]

There are 139 Government Primary schools; 15 High Schools; 25 Junior High Schools; 109 schools run by NGOs; 11 Madrasahs, 6 Colleges and 1 Agriculture College in Dhamrai Upazila.

Dhamrai Hardinge High School
Afazuddin High School, Sharifbagh, Dhamrai
Dhamrai Central Eidgah

List of high schools in Dhamrai[edit]

  • Chapil Big Mosque,Dhamrai,Dhaka
  • Chapil Hafizia Madrasha
  • Haralal High School, Amta Established in 1887
  • Ruail High School: Established in 1857, is one of the oldest schools not only in Dhamrai but of India and Bangladesh. It is one of the four schools established in British India as early as 1857, the year of the Sepoy Mutiny;
  • Dhamrai Hardinge High School: Established in 1914 after the British Viceroy Lord Hardinge;
  • Jolshing Elokeshi High School: Established in 1924;
  • Jadavpur B M High School: Established in 1929;
  • Berosh Shibnath Shastri Institution: Established in 1936;
  • Suapur Nannar High School: Established in 1939;
  • Kushura Abbas Ali High School: Established in 1941;
  • Bhalum A.R. Khan High School: Established in 1957;
  • Balia Wadudur Rahman High School: Established in 1957;
  • Beliswar Mohini Mohon High School: Established in 1967;
  • Nikla Z. Haque High School: Established in 1970;
  • Bannol Lakkhu Haji High School: Established in 1969;
  • Jalsha High School: Established in 1972;
  • Shailan Surma High School: Established in 1973;
  • Afazuddin High School: Established in 1988
  • Bannol old scheme jounior Madrasha : Established in 1935.
  • Shailan Surma High School
  • Chapil Govt. Primary School
  • Rajapur Kohela Bahram Mallik High School, Established in 1985.

List of Colleges in Dhamrai[edit]

  • Dhamrai Govt. University College: is the highest educational institute of the locality.
  • Nobojug University College: Established in 1972 in Kushura;
  • Abul Bashair Krishi College: Established in 2003 in Mongolbari, Dhamrai;
  • Ataur Rahman School & College: Established in 1987, Bhalum, Kalampur;
  • Afaz Uddin School & College: Established in 1988 in Sharifbag, Dhamrai.

Gallery[edit]

Metal work by Dhamrai Artisan
Dhamrai Roth at Night
Old style building in Dhamrai
Dhamrai Twin-Towers
Dhamrai Cormorants
Dhamrai Police Station
Moqamtola Mazar
85-yr old mosque at Shailan
SOJAG Office at Shailan
Silver necklaces by Dhamrai Artisan
Old Buildings in Dhamrai
Majestic old building in Dhamrai
Old Dhamrai Roth burnt by Pakistani Army in 1971
Dhamrai Boishakhi Mela Pano
Shailan-school-mosque-panorama
Borat Nogor at dusk
ACME across Dhamrai Beel
Paach Peer Mazar at Pathantola
South end of Dhamrai Township
Potter at work in Dhamrai
Stalls in Dhamrai Roth Fair
Durga Puja in Dhamrai
Madhob Mondir, Jatrabari, Dhamrai
Drongas line up for insects

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Uddin, Md Ilias (2012). "Dhamrai Upazila". In Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A. Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh. 
  2. ^ a b "Population Census Wing, BBS". Archived from the original on 27 March 2005. Retrieved 10 November 2006. 
  3. ^ a b Booklet published by Dhamrai Upazila Krishibid Association; published June 2012; Edited by Dulal Chandra Sarkar and Mohammad Shahadat Hossain
  4. ^ http://archive.thedailystar.net/campus/2010/01/03/feature_metal.htm