Chittagong

About Chittagong:

Chittagong, is a city in southeastern Bangladesh and the capital of an eponymous district and division. Built on the banks of the Karnaphuli River, the city is home to Bangladesh's busiest seaport and has a population of over 4.5 million, making it the second largest city in the country.

Today, Chittagong is one of the fastest growing cities in the world. A major commercial and industrial centre, the city also has an emerging and globally competitive special economic zone. With the Port of Chittagong being expanded and developed, regional neighbors of Bangladesh have eyed Chittagong as a future regional transit hub. The port city is seen as crucial to the economic development of landlocked southern Asia, including Northeast India, Bhutan, Nepal, Southwest China and parts of Burma.

Etymology:

More than six hundred years ago an Islamic preacher Hazrat Badar Aawlia arrived in this city from the seas and chose Cheragi Pahar as his vantage point to spread the message of Islam among the locals. It was at the apex of this hill that the he lit a chati (lamp) and called out (ajaan) for people to join him in saying prayer to God. Chittagong's etymology can then be traced unmistakably back to "chati." And the hills are at the core of Chittagong's mythology.

Another theory is that the first group of brahmins to have settled in this region (after it was incorporated into Bengal from the Arakanese) were 'chatt-upadhyays'. Hence this region came to be known as chatto-gan (gan is the prakrit/bengali term for village). A fact confirming this theory is that the majority of the kayastha of this region were of the kashyap gotra, which is also the gotra of the Chattopadhyays.

Geography and Climate:

Under the Köppen climate classification, Chittagong has a tropical monsoon climate. Chittagong is located at 22°22?0?N 91°48?0?E on the banks of the Karnaphuli River. It has a total area of 157 square kilometres (61 sq mi). The city is known for its vast hilly terrain that stretches throughout the entire district and eventually into India. Chittagong does not contain any natural lakes, but it does have artificial lakes.

People and Culture:

Being a port city from early times, Chittagong attracted people from various regions of the world. These international contacts left a lasting impact on the language, religion and culture of the city. The people of the city are diverse and multi-ethnic, and the native Bengali and Tibeto-Burman populations have had significant influence from Arab, Afghan, and Mughal traders and settlers, all of whom had traveled in the city after arriving on its shores many hundreds of years ago. There are many Tibeto-Burman tribes that have been influenced by Bengali culture also living there, such as the Chakma tribe. The descendants of Portuguese settlers, known as the Firingi, also continue to live in Chittagong, as Catholic Christians, in the old Portuguese enclave of Paterghatta. Chittagong is home to many of the historic Christians of Bangladesh. In 1927, the city was made the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Chittagong. With the influx of foreigners, Chittagong became a melting pot of races. Here, majority of the urban people are involved in the import-export, trade-commerce and various industrial and business activities along with many other private and government sector occupations like other port Cities of the globe. The people of Chittagong are very enterprising and have always been found ready to leave their hearth and home in search of better opportunities. Chittagong is also home to several universities, Chittagong University (established in 1966), Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology (CUET), and the Asian University for Women.

Lungi or dhoti is the most common costume for men and Saree for women. Rice and fish is the staple food of the people. Because of close affinity to the sea, seafood is quite popular. Vegetables commonly found in the market are gourds, pumpkins, various legumes, etc. Fruits include jack fruits, ice-apples, coconuts, bananas, custard apple, etc.Shutki mach/dried fish is a specialty. Chatgaiya song is the most popular local song. Dance is another famous cultural sector of Chitttagong.

Chittagong is the home town of Dr. Mohammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank, the pioneer of Microcredit, who won Nobel Prize in Peace in 2006.

Tourism:

The city of Chittagong is a major tourist attraction in Bangladesh. Its green hills and forests, its broad sandy beaches and its fine cool climate always attract the holiday-markers. Described by the Chinese traveler poet, Huen Tsang (7th century AD) as "a sleeping beauty emerging from mists and water" and given the title of "Porto Grande" by the 16th century Portuguese seafarers. Chittagong is filled with dense green forests, endless rolling hills, a moderate climate and breathtaking beaches. Since the 7th century, Chittagong has been mentioned in many documents as a seaport of mystical beauty and magnificent charm. The bustling harbor stands in stark contrast to the tranquility and peaceful surroundings of the city.

Chittagong Hill Tracts: The Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) comprising an area of 13,180 km2 in south-eastern Bangladesh, is the only hill intensive area of Bangladesh. CHT consisting Rangamati, Khagrachari and Bandarban districts is home to country's largest concentration of at least 11 different ethnic groups and is a unique part of the country both in terms of landscape and its people. The ethnic groups are bound together by a shared history, years of peaceful cohabitation, and a common future. They differ from the majority Bengali population of Bangladesh in their physical features, culture and religion. However, nearly all the indigenous peoples also include traditional indigenous elements in their formal religious beliefs and practices.

Patenga Beach: Patenga Beach is a popular tourist spot. The beach lies approximately twenty kilometers outside the city of Chittagong, and located near to fascinating landmarks including the Shah Amanat International Airport and the BNS Isha Khan Naval Base. It is located at the 'Karnaphuli' River mouth and stretches to the Bay of Bengal which ensures a constant influx of travelers and visitors from home and abroad. The beach width is narrow and swimming in the seas is not recommended. Part of the seashore is built-up with concrete walls. Also large blocks of stones have been laid out to prevent erosion. During 1990s a host of restaurants and kiosks have sprouted out around the beach area. Lighting of the beach area has enhanced the security aspect of visiting in the evening. Vendors from the city flock to Patenga Beach to sell their selection of ice creams, cold drinks and food to the hundreds of tourists who come to Patenga Beach. The beach is lined with massive shady palm trees and fishing boats. It is quite sandy, with a few rocky patches here and there. Most visitors come to 'Patenga' Beach as it is known for having some of the most stunning sunsets and sunrises in Bangladesh.

Foy's Lake: Foy's Lake is a human-made lake in Chittagong, Bangladesh. The lake was once just a lake and spillway constructed by Assam-Bengal Railway engineer. It was dug in 1924 and was named after the English engineer Mr. Foy. The lake is next to Batali Hill, the highest hill in Chittagong Metropolitan area. An amusement park, managed by the Concord group, is located here which features usual theme park rides and attractions as well as boat rides on the lake, landscaping, restaurants, concerts with floating stages, scenic walking trails and many other fun activities. The park includes a water theme park, resort and an amusement center. The Chittagong Zoo is next door. Chittagong is known as the land of saints, darwishes and fakirs. Several mosques and shrines bear testimony to their presence in the city.

Heritage Park: There is a heritage park called Shaheed Zia Memorial Complex and Mini Bangladesh at Chandgaon which reflects the most notable structures and instances of Bangladesh. This 71-metre tower in Mini Bangladesh in Chittagong has a restaurant on the top that rotates once every 90 minutes. The museum includes a revolving restaurant. One can perceive of the country's architectural beauty, ethnic traditions and archaeological inheritance through having a glimpse of the heritage park. Replica of major structures of the country, includes Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban (parliament building), National Memorial of Savar, Ahsan Manzil, Curzon Hall of Dhaka University, Paharpur Monastery, Kantajew Temple of Dinajpur, Lalbagh Fort and Sona Masjid. The park also has different rides for children.

Chittagong Ethnological Museum: The Chittagong Ethnological Museum, country’s lone ethnological museum, offers the visitors the chance to acquaint with the lifestyles and heritage of various ethnic groups of the country. It was established in 1965. The museum authorities had collected rare elements used in everyday lives of different ethnic groups, of which some had already become extinct while some were on the verge of extinction. The museum contains four galleries and a small hall. Three galleries of the museum feature diverse elements of 25 ethnic groups, including Chakma, Marma, Tongsinga, Khumi, Murang, Sautal, Garo, Chak, Monipuri, Palia, Tipra, Hajang, Lusai, Shimuji, and Bom while the rest gallery displays the lifestyles of some racial groups of India, Pakistan, and Australia. The sculptures of the people of different ethnic communities and a piece of broken Berlin Wall draw the visitors especially the children who can get impression of different festivals, livelihoods, and cultures of the communities from the murals set up at the hall room. These are reminiscent of the museum in the film 'Planet of the Apes'. People between 200 and 300 visits the museum every day in addition to a number of researchers from home and abroad.

The War Cemetery: The War Cemetery on Badshah Mia Road is another place of historic interest. It contains the graves of 755 soldiers of the Allied Forces who laid down their lives on the Indo-Burmese front during World War II. Most of the soldiers buried there were from Australia, Britain, Canada, East and West Africa, British India and New Zealand. The total area of the cemetery is eight acres and it is protected and maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Zia Memorial Museum:There are a number of museums in Chittagong. The most prominent is the Zia Memorial Museum which is housed in the old circuit house building. President Ziaur Rahman was assassinated there on 30 May 1981. This commemorative museum houses the Late President Ziaur Rahman's mementos and personal belongings. It was established in 1993 with 12 galleries.

Transport:
Transport in Chittagong is similar to that of Bangladesh's capital, Dhaka. There are various bus systems, taxis, and as well as smaller 'baby' or 'CNG' taxis, which are basically tricycle-structured motor vehicles. There are also traditional manual rickshaws, which are very common.

Chittagong has a station on the meter gauge eastern section of the Bangladesh Railway. The headquarters of this railway are located here. There are main two railway stations in Station road Chittagong. Trains are available traveling to the Bangladeshi cities of Dhaka, Shylhet, Comilla, and Bhairav.

Shah Amanat International Airport serves as Chittagong's international airport. It is the second busiest airport in Bangladesh. It has international service to destinations such as Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Jeddah, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Ras Al Khaimah, Kolkata, Yangon, Muscat, Bangkok and Kuala lumpur. It was formerly known as MA Hannan International Airport, but was renamed on April 2, 2005 by the Government of Bangladesh.

Chittagong City is connected with the rest of Bangladesh by a network of coastal water routes. Coastal vessels carry most of the bulk cargo from Chittagong to other important trading centres in the country. Among the important items carried are fuel oil, cement, food grains and salt. Passenger service along the coastal route was never very popular and safe.

Sports:
Chittagong has produced many cricketers, footballers and athletes. Tamim Iqbal, Akram Khan, Aftab Ahmed are some of the most prominent figures among them. Cricket is the most popular sport in Chittagong, while football, tennis, kabaddi are also much popular. A number of stadium are located in Chittagong. The MA Aziz Stadium is the main stadium in Chittagong. It is one of the most famous cricket grounds in Bangladesh. It has a seating capacity of 20,000 and hosts football matches as well as cricket. MA Aziz Stadium was the stadium where Bangladesh achieved its first test victory—which came against Zimbabwe in 2005. This stadium now doesn't host any cricket match and focuses only on football. Another stadium of Chittagong is Chittagong Divisional Stadium, currently known as Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, which was awarded the test status in 2006, now hosts both domestic and international cricket matches. Other stadiums include Women's Complex Ground. One of the major sporting club, Mohammedan Sporting Club is based in Chittagong. Another sporting club Abahani Sporting Club is also located here.

Emergency Contacts:

Accomodation Facilities:

Dining Facilities:

Share on Myspace
You are here: Cities & Towns Chittagong