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Barlekha Upazila (maulvibazar district)  area 315.58 sq km, located in between 24°36´ and 24°50´ north latitudes and in between 90°01´ and 90°18´ east longitudes. It is bounded by beanibazar (sylhet) upazila on the north, juri upazila on the south, assam state of India on the east, kulaura, golapganj and fenchuganj upazilas on the west. This upazila is sharing a 20-km long international boundary with India. 

Population  Total 155221; male 77989, female 77232; Muslim 130416, Hindu 23483, Buddhist 1269 and others 53. Indigenous communities such as manipuri, khasia and santal belong to this upazila.

Water bodies  Main rivers: Sonai, Dhamai, Juri. hakaluki haor is the largest haor of the country and partly lies under the jurisdiction of this upazila. Area of Hakaluki Haor is 181.15 sq km, of which 72.46 sq km is within the territory of Barlekha Upazila. 

Administration  Barlekha Thana was formed in 1940 and it was turned into an upazila on 1 July 1983.

 

Upazila

Municipality

Union

Mouza

Village

Population

Density
(per sq km)

Literacy rate (%)

Urban

Rural

Urban

Rural

1

8

109

253

14365

140856

492

53.7

42.0

Upazila Town

Area
(sq km)

Mouza

Population

Density
(per sq km)

Literacy rate (%)

10.18

10

27453

2697

54.8

Union

Names of union and GO code

Area
(acre)

Population

Literacy rate (%)

Male

Female

Uttar Dakshinbhag 80

7711

6727

6806

39.19

Uttar Shahabajpur 85

11210

9331

9606

37.01

Talimpur 94

20658

8683

8718

41.12

Dakshin Shahabajpur 29

11554

10316

10206

34.85

Daser Bazar 39

5322

8650

7833

52.09

Nij Bahadurpur 63

6082

9387

9583

46.85

Barlekha 07

10067

18314

17394

48.55

Barni 15

3775

6581

7086

39.60

Source  Bangladesh Population Census 2001, Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics.

 

Archaeological heritage and relics  Khwaja Mosque at village Laghati of Daser Bazar union (16th century), Madhav Mandir adjacent to the Madhabkunda waterfall. 

Historical events  During the sepoy mutiny of 1857, a fierce battle was fought near Shahabajpur of the upazila in which 26 revolutionary sepoys were killed. During the British period Nankar Movement was held in the upazila. This upazila was under Sector 4 of the war of liberation. The resistance movement was held on 27 March 1971. During the War the agitated people of the upazila killed a number of Pak soldiers. Barlekha upazila was liberated on 6 December 1971.

 

 

Marks of the War of Liberation  Mass killing site 4 (Shahabajpur, Barlekha, Chhoto Lekha, Lakshmichhara).

Religious institutions  Mosque 352, temple 65, church 9. Noted religious institutions: Khaja Mosque, Chandgram Mosque, Shahabajpur Mosque, Madhabkunda Mandir.

Literacy rate and educational institutions  Average literacy 42.7%; Male 46.3%, female 39.1%. Notable educational institutions: Barlekha Degree College (1986), Ebadur Rahman Chowdhury Technical and Business Management College (2004), Siddique Ali High School (1927), PC High School (1933), Shahabajpur High School (1940), Bhagadahar Govt. Primary High School (1800), Bhattali Govt. Primary High School (1805), Barni Govt. Primary High School (1805), Suzaul Alia Madrasa (1890), Gangkul Madrasa, Chandgram Madrasa, Daulatpur Madrasa.

Newspapers  and periodicals  Weekly: Barlekha, Barkantha.

Cultural organisations  Club 13, library 2,  women’s organisation 6. 

Tourist spots  Madhabkunda Water Fall at Patharia Hill, Lake of Samanbhagh Tea Garden and Kakaluki Haor.

Main sources of income  Agriculture 38.74%, non-agricultural labourer 9.97%, industry 2.52%, commerce 10.57%, transport and communication 1.48%, service 4.94%, construction 1.60%, religious service  0.44%, rent and remittance 15.53% and others 14.23%.

Ownership of agricultural land  Landowner 47.31%, landless 52.69%. 

Main crops  Paddy, wheat, potato, vegetables, sesame, betel leaf, tea.

Main fruits  Mango, black berry, jackfruit, litchi, guava, shaddock, orange, plum, coconut, pineapple, banana.

Fisheries, dairies and poultries  This upazila has a number of fisheries, dairies and poultries. This upazila has a plenty of fresh water fish in the beels and Hakaluki Haor.

Communication facilities  Pucca road 132.22 km, semi-pucca road 9 km, mud road 422.54 km; railways 19 km; waterways 11 nautical miles.

Extinct or nearly extinct traditional transport  Palanquin, horse carriage.

Noted manufactories  Rice mill, ice factory, tea processing factory, incense factory, atar factory.

Cottage industries  Goldsmith, blacksmith, weaving, potteries, shitalpati, wood work, bamboo work, cane work.

Hats, bazars and fairs  Hats and bazars are 23, most noted of which are Old Barlekha, Hajiganj, Chandgram, Shahabajpur and Bhabaniganj bazars.

Main exports  Tea, essence atar, incense.

Access to electricity  All the wards and unions of the upazila are under rural electrification net-work. However 18.85% of the dwelling households have access to electricity.

Natural resources  In 1951 the BOC Oil field at Kathaltali had to be sealed with cement plug due to excessive pressure of oil. Besides, deposit of coal has been detected in the Patharia Hill and the distant area of Bobartal. The total area of forestry of the upazila is 9187.55 hectors.

Sources of drinking water  Tube-well 64.41%, tap 1.01%, pond 14.56% and others 20.02%.

Sanitation  31.50% (rural 30.55% and urban 33.16%) of dwelling households of the upazila use sanitary latrines and 61.26% (urban 66.20% and rural 59.40%) of dwelling households use non-sanitary latrines; 7.24% of households do not have latrine facilities.

Health centres  Upazila health centre 1, satellite clinic 1, family planning centre 6, clinic 2.

NGO activities  Operationally important NGOs are asa, brac, Heed, Janokallayan Kendra.  [Mustafa Salim]

References  Bangladesh Population Census 2001, Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics; Cultural survey report of Barlekha Upazila 2007. 

 

 

 

 

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