Comilla District (chittagong
division) with an area of 3085.17 sq km, is bounded by brahmanbaria
districts on the north, noakhali
districts on the south, Tripura (state of India) on the east, munshiganj
districts on the west. Annual average temperature maximum 34.3°C,
minimum 12.7°C; annual rainfall 2551 mm. Main rivers are meghna,
Comilla (Town) stands on
the bank of the Gumti river. It consists of 18 wards and 46 mahallas. It has
an area of 11.47 sq km and a population of 168378; male 52.56%, female
47.44%. Literacy rate among the
town people is 60.3%. In the suburb there exists the Commonwealth War
Cemetery Memorials, Muktajuddha Museum at Mainamati Cantonment and bangladesh
academy for rural development, Mainamati Museum, Comilla Cadet
College at Courtbari. Comilla Town is blessed with the memories of
national poet Kazi Nazrul Islam. Nazrul Islam married twice in life, one at Daulatpur of Muradnagar upazila
of the district and the other at Comilla
Town. Those places have been marked with memorial plates.
Poet Rabindranath Tagore visited Comilla twice. Ustad Muhammad Hussain,
Fazle Nizami and Kulendu Das have enriched the cultural heritage of the
town. Ustad Ayet Ali Khan established a musical institute here.
Administration The Comilla region was once under
ancient Samatat and was joined with Tripura State. This district came
under the reign of the kings of the Harikela in the ninth century AD.
Lalmai Mainamati was ruled by Deva dynasty (eighth century AD), and
Chandra dynasty (during tenth and mid eleventh century AD). It came under
the rule of East India Company in 1765. This district was established as
Tripura district in 1790. It was renamed Comilla in 1960. Chandpur and
Brahmanbaria subdivisions of this district were transformed into
districts in 1984. Comilla district has 5 municipalities, 54 wards, 148
mahallas, 12 upazilas, 1 thana, 180 union parishads, 2704 mouzas and 3624 villages. The upazilas are comilla
muradnagar and nangalkot; the municipalities are Comilla Sadar, Barura,
Chandina, Daudkandi and Laksham.
Archaeological heritage and relics Marks of rich
ancient civilization have been found in Lalmai Mainamati hills. In these
hills there are plenty of archaeological sites including Shalvan Vihara,
Kutila Mura, Charandra Mura, Rupban Mura, Itakhola Mura, Satera Ratna
Mura, Ranir Banglar Pahar, Ananda Bazar Palaces, palaces of Bhoj King,
Chandi Mura, etc. Various archaeological relics including images and
metalled utensils discovered from these viharas, muras and palaces are now
preserved in the Mainamati Museum. Other archaeological heritage and
relics include Saptaratna Mandir (Jagannath Mandir), Shah Suja Mosque,
Dharmasagar, Chandimata Mandir (on the top of Lalmai Hill of Barura),
Chandala Shiva Mandir (Brahmanpara, eighteenth century), Saitshala Jami
Mosque (Brahmanpara, 1719), Mazars of Panch Pir (five saints) at Shashidal
(Brahmanpara, 1815), Harimangal Math (Brahmanpara, 1822), Ramnagar
elongated Math (Brahmanpara, 1705), Saitshala Rammahan Mandir (Brahmanpara,
1805), Hasnabad Math and Hatiabhanga Fort (Daudkandi).
Historical events Peasants Movement against the
king of Tripura in 1764 under the leadership of Samsher Gazi is a notable
historical event. Communal tension spread over Comilla when a Muslim was
shot at Comilla town during the partiition
of bengal in 1905. During the preparation of a countrywide hartal
on 21 November 1921, protesting the visit of India by Prince of Wales,
Kazi Nazrul Islam composed patriotic songs and tried to awaken the town
people. During this time Avay Ashram, as a revolutionary institution,
played significant role. Poet Rabindranath Tagore and Mahatma Gandhi
visited Comilla at that time. In 1931, the British Gurkha soldiers fired
indiscriminately and killed four persons of village Mohini of Chauddagram
upazila when about four thousand peasants of this village revolted against
paying land revenue. In a huge peasant gathering the police fired at
Hasnabad of Laksham Upazila in 1932. Two persons were killed and many
wounded in this firing.
Marks of the War of Liberation Mass killing
site: 5, Laksham, Comilla Cantonment, Homna, Beltali and Rasulpur; mass
graves at Betiara, Muzaffarganj, Nagaripara, Cantonment, Krishnapur,
Dhananjay, Dilabad and Laksham Bidi Factory; memorials at Comilla Victoria
College, Betiara, Police Line, Cantonment, Laksham, Polytechnic
Institution and Haratali.
Population 4586879; male 49.33%, female 50.61%;
Muslim 93.85%, Hindu 5.9%, Buddhist 0.13%, Christian 0.03% and others
0.09%. Ethnic nationals: Tipra and Rishi (characteristically Mongalite),
on the border of Tripura State.
Religious institutions Mosque 5802, temple 178,
church 2 and buddhist vihara 5, most noted Shahsuja Mosque, Tomb of Hazrat
Ainuddin Shah, Chandi Mura (Hindu sacred place).
Literacy and educational institutions Average
literacy 33.1%; male 40.2% and female 26%. Educational institutions:
university college 4, private university 1, medical college 1, teacher's
training college 2, law college 1, government college 11, non-government
college 56, polytechnic institute 1, para medical institute 1, homeopath
college 1, cooperative college 1, government commerce college 1,
government high school 9, non-government high school 444, junior high
school 66, government primary school 1334, non-government primary school
799, survey institute 1, primary education training institute 1, nursing
training centre 1, blind and deaf school 1. Noted educational
institutions: Comilla Victoria University College (1899), Comilla Zila
School (1837), Comilla High School (1842), Fazilatunnesa Government Girls'
High School (1873), Comilla Cadet College, Shashidal Union High School
(1890), Chandana K B High School (1920), Madhavpur Sheikhlal High School
(1911), Burichang Ananda Pilot High School (1925), Chandina Pilot High
School (1916), Chauddagram H J Pilot High School (1921), Eliotganj R B
High School (1908), Raipur K C High School (1912), Barpara Girls' High
School (1919), Debidwar Reazuddin High School (1918), Homna Pilot High
School (1929), Bhangara High School (1887), Ramchandrapur High School
(1918), Sreekail College (1942).
Cultural organisations Club 4, museum 2, theatre
group 4, theatre stage 2, cultural group 4, literary society 10,
recitation organisation 6.
Locally published newspapers and periodicals
Daily Rupasi Bangla (1972), Weekly Amod (1955), Abibhadan (1994),
Natunpatra, Samayatra (1967), Daily Comilla Batra, Daily Bangladesh
Sangbad, Monthly Manan, Pathakbatra, Shiranam, Weekly Laksham Batra,
Weelky Nirakkhar. Extinct: Tripura Patrika (1876), Tripura (1932), Weekly
Hindu (1941), Tripura Guide (1934), Natun Alo, Pratinidhi, Tripura Hitoshi
(1883), Rayatbandhu (1921), Niamat (1940), Sabuj Bangla, Tripura Gyan
Prakashani (1860), Tripura Bandhav (1942), Kathak (1983), Rangdhanu, Najat,
Abahaman, Daradi (1938), Yogisammalani (1912), Comilla Sahitya Parishad
Patrika (1985), Mainamati (1965), Purbasha, Shikhak Sruida, Alo, Chirkut
(1974), Robi (1924), Tarun (1938), Samskriti (1940), Jagriti (1951), Apan
Main occupations Agriculture 43.28%, commerce
11.6%, service 10.78%, transport 3.36%, agricultural labourer 15.89%, wage
labourer 2.46%, construction 1.03%, and others 11.6%.
Land use Total cultivable land 243596.93
hectares; single crop 18.05%, double crop 63.99% and treble crop land
Land control Among the peasants 30% are
landless, 46% small, 20% intermediate and 4% rich.
Value of land The market value of the land of
the first grade is 13500 Taka per 0.01 hectare.
Main crops Paddy, jute, wheat, mustard seed,
Extinct or nearly extinct crops Linseed, sesame,
sweet potato, china and kaun.
Main fruits Mango, jackfruit, banana, coconut,
palm, guava and blackberry.
Fisheries, dairies, poultries Dairy 28, poultry
109, fishery 27, hatchery 69, nursery 200.
Communication facilities Roads: pucca 1219 km,
mud road 587 km; railways 108 km; airport 1.
Traditional transport Palanquin, horse carriage, bullock cart, dhuri and bhari.
means of transport are either extinct or nearly extinct.
Manufactories In the second half of the
eighteenth century east
india company established a large cotton mill at Charpata on
the south of the district. Cotton cloths were exported to other districts
in those days. At present Comilla Khaddar is famous in the country.
Manufactories include textile mills: Halima Textile Mills; iron and steel
factory: Mozaher Cooperative Mills, Radharani Manufacturing Works, Qayum
Steel Mills Ltd.; pharmaceuticals- Skylab, Comilla Ayurvedic Pharmacy,
Sharma Chemical (extinct), Arco Industry.
Cottage industries Comilla is noted for
potteries of Bijoypur. Other cottage industries include bamboo and cane
works, Shital Pati, hooka,
and madur (mat) made of murta tree.
Main hats, bazars and fairs Most noted hats,
bazars and fairs (Mela) are Dulalpur, Companyganj, Rajganj, Bibir Bazar,
Daulatganj, Chandina, Gunabati Bazar, Homna, Ramchandrapur, Bangshanagar,
Chauddagram, Govindapur, Monipur, Chandimura, Madhavpur, Mohanpur,
Rasulpur, Syedpur, Madhaya, Eliotganj, Baroikandi, Changini Bazar,
Chawkbazar, Mainamati Mela, Punra Mela, Chandala Mela, Baira Mela,
Main exports natural gas, khaddar cloth,
coconut, dry chilly, dry fish, egg, poultries and potteries.
Mineral resources natural gas (Bakharabad in Sreekail).
NGO activities Operationally important NGOs are brac,
bank, Sheba, Pages, adab.
Health centres Medical college hospital 1, zila
sadar hospital 1, police hospital 1, district hospital 1, upazila health
complex 12, military hospital 1, diabetic hospital 1, tuberculosis hospital
1, modern hospital 2, charitable dispensary 26, maternity and child welfare
centre 2, rural health centre 2, leprosy hospital 1. [Mamun Siddiqi]