Comilla District

Comilla (Bengali: কুমিল্লা) is a city in south-eastern Bangladesh, located along the Dhaka-Chittagong Highway. It is the administrative center of the Comilla District, part of the Chittagong Division.



[edit] History

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.

[edit] Historical events

Peasants Movement against the king of Tripura in 1764 under the leadership of Samsher Gazi is a notable historical event. Born in an ordinary peasant family Shamsher Gazi became the ruler of the entire Chakla Raushanabad which was spread over the south of Comilla and the north of the Noakhali districts. Gradually he brought the whole of the Comilla district under his control. Later he conquered Nizampur Pargana, thus making himself the uncrowned king of the region between the Meghna, the Muhuri and the Manuganga rivers.[1]

Shamsher Gazi was born of a poor Muslim peasant family in the year 1712 at Kungura village under Dakshin Shik pargana north of Chittagong which formed part of Tripura's Manikya kingdom. While working as 'Tehshildar' in the local landlord Nasir Mohammed's office Shamsher is said to have received divine blessing of a 'Pir'.[2]

Presently a part of Comilla's Court Road, the photographed street has been once an extension of historic Grand Trunk Road, to communicate with the port facilities of Chittagong.

From his very boyhood, Shamser Gazi was intelligent and brave. Chakla Raushanabad was at that time under the jurisdiction of the state of Tripura. Its zamindar was Nasir Mahmud. Nasir Mahmud brought Shamser up with love and care. Young Shamser was ambitious. Shamsher Gazi came to grief after his proposal to marry the landlord's daughter was rudely rejected and he was ordered to be nabbed. Shamsher Gazi organized an armed force. He soon captured Nasir Mohammed's domain in 1745.

Towards the beginning of the British Raj, zamindari oppression had made the life of the peasants and farmers miserable. Shamsher Gazi was wise, efficient, kind and a bountiful ruler. He granted rent exemption to poor peasants, managed the economy well and this led to the reduction of the prices of essential commodities. He granted freeholds to many Hindus and Muslims. He dug numerous ponds and built many schools in and outside his capital Jagannath Sonapur. Of the ponds he dug, 'Kaiyar Sagar' was the largest.[3]

Having consolidated his position as landlord of Dakshin Shik and Meherkul parganas Shamsher turned his attention to Tripura and ousted King Krishna Manikya after a brief conflict in the year of 1748. He encountered serious opposition from the tribal subjects in the hilly interiors of the state who fought behind the king of Tripura.[4]

The king of Tripura Krishna Manikya sent two expeditions of the powerful Kuki armies against Shamser Gazi. Both failed before Shamser's extraordinary military acumen and heroism. Shamser Gazi conquered Udaypur, the capital of Tripura. The king fled to Agartala and sought the protection of Nawab MIR QASIM. Shamsher Gazi was killed in 1760 when he responded to a false invitation for a dialogue with the nawab. Thus Krishna Mainkya was able to regain his lost Kingdom.

Communal tension spread over Comilla when a Muslim was shot in Comilla town during the partition of bengal in 1905. During the preparation of a countrywide hartal on 21 November 1921, Kazi Nazrul Islam composed patriotic songs and tried to awaken the town people by protesting the Prince of Wales's visit to India. During this time, Avay Ashram, as a revolutionary institution, played a significant role. Poet Rabindranath Tagore and Mahatma Gandhi visited Comilla at that time. In 1931, approximately four-thousand peasants in Mohini village in Chauddagram upazilla revolted against a land revenue tax. The British Gurkha soldiers fired indiscriminately on the crowd, killing four people. In a huge peasant gathering, the police fired at Hasnabad of Laksham Upazila in 1932. Two people were killed and many were wounded.

In 1931, on 14 December Sunity Choudhuri and Shanti Ghosh from Faizunnesa Girls School shot dead Magistrate Mr. Stevens. This was the first time that women come to the forefront in armed struggle for freedom.

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.

[edit] Geography and climate

Comilla is located at 23°27′0″N, 91°12′0″E, and has a total area of 280 square kilometers. It is bounded by Burchiganj and Tripura on the north, Laksham and Chauddagram on the south, and Barura on the west. The major rivers that pass through Comilla include Gumti and Little Feni.

The Tropic of Cancer (23°5') crosses Comilla town on the south side just over the Thomson Bridge.

[edit] Climate

Height about 6m / 19 feet above sea level. 24-hr Average Temperature Respectively :

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec °C 19.0 21.4 25.6 27.8 28.5 28.2 28.0 28.1 28.3 27.3 23.9 20.1

[edit] Administration & Development

Comilla, as a district, is generally administrated by a Deputy Commissioner (DC), who is a government official of the district. However, civil society is quite strong in voice and activity here. The DC office is situated at Fauzdari area of the town on the east side of Dharmasagar. The District of Comilla has been divided into sixteen Tanas, namely Comilla Adarsa Sadar, Comilla Sadar South, Hoamna, Laksham, Muradnagar, Devidwar, Daudkandi, Burichang, Barura, Chandina, Titas, Meghna, Chowddogram, Langolkot, Brahmanpara and Manohargonj.

The main town of Comilla is under the Sadar Tana. Comilla Cantonment is one of most important military bases and is the oldest in East Bengal. It was widely used by the British Indian Army during World War II. There is a war cemetery in Comilla that was established after the World War II to remember the Allied soldiers who died during World War I and II, mostly from Commonwealth states and the United States. There are a number of Japanese soldiers were buried there as well.

Comilla also has an Export Processing Zone (EPZ) at the east end of the town, established on the former site of an airport. Presently only the runway still exists, whereas other establishments have been converted to instruments of the EPZ. It is one of the first growing EPZ(s) in Bangladesh.Recently 2008 some occurrence by BEPZA GM , 4 Running Factory layoff.

Pourashabha Road. A main road of Comilla that enters the town from district's major bus terminal.

Comilla is well known as a city for education; educational institutions include Comilla University, Comilla Medical College, Comilla Victoria College, Comilla Cadet College (formerly Comilla Residential Model College). BARD at Kotbari is well known for research on rural development, which is a brain child of the eminent educationist Dr. Akhter Hamid Khan (formerly Principal of Comilla Victoria College, formerly Sub-Divisional Officer). His formula for Rural Development has four subdivisions, namely Cooperatives, Irrigation, Rural Works, and Plan Books. Based on this theme, a reputed government organisation, LGED, was formed, which is headed by an Executive Engineer in districts and holds three of the themes of Dr. Akhter Hamid Khan.

Natural gas is the main natural resource of this district. Bakhrabad Gas Company has its headquarters in Comilla.

[edit] Land and economy

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 17.96%.

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 135000 Taka per 0.01 hectare.

Main crops Paddy, jute, wheat, mustard seed, brinjal.

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.

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.

Manufacturers of popular Comilla sweetmeats are mostly based on this Manoharpur area of the town.

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,Nangalkot, Nimshar, 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, Betakhali Mela, Thanda Kalibari Mela, LAKSAM BAZAR,KHELA BAZAR, Tomsombridge,Easin market,EPZ Gate Ishaq Market,

Main exports khaddar cloth, coconut, dry chilly, dry fish, egg, poultries, Knitting Sweater, Denims,Under Garments, and potteries.

Mineral resources natural gas (Bakharabad in Sreekail. Bakhrabad gas field lies in the Muradnagar upazila under Comilla district some 40 km away to the east from capital city of Bangladesh, Dhaka. Like Titas & Habiganj fields Bakhrabad gas field was discovered by Pakistan Shell Oil Co. Ltd. in 1969. The Bakhrabad anticline, as defined by seismic, is a narrow, elongate almost symmetrical fold about 69 km long up to 10 km wide. Total recoverable gas reserves of this field re-estimated by Hydrocarbon Unit is 1,049 billion cubic feet (29.7 km3). Commercial gas production from this field was started in 1984 and till August 31, 2006 total 658.110 billion cubic feet (18.6356 km3) or 62.74 percent of reserves has been recovered.

[edit] Sub-divisions

Comilla district consists of the following upazilas:[5]

  1. Barura Upazila
  2. Brahmanpara Upazila
  3. Burichong Upazila
  4. Chandina Upazila
  5. Chauddagram Upazila
  6. Daudkandi Upazila
  7. Debidwar Upazila
  8. Homna Upazila
  9. Comilla Adarsa Sadar Upazila
  10. Laksam Upazila
  11. Monohorgonj Upazila
  12. Meghna Upazila
  13. Muradnagar Upazila
  14. Nangalkot Upazila
  15. Comilla Sadar South Upazila
  16. Titas Upazila

[edit] Demographics and culture

Comilla is famous for different types of sweets and Batik printed cloth. The people of Comilla are multiethnic. To some extent, there is more Afghan and British heritage in Comilla. Green or hazel eyes are more common in Comilla than in other parts of Bangladesh.

It is a highly Muslim dominated area and one can find many economically backward people. But it is home district of many educated Bangladeshis who have achieved great success in their career as Bangladeshi expatriates or in other parts of the Nation. The majority of the denizens lead an agrarian lifestyle, depending on their fields for their livelihood. A much smaller number of Hindus are present in this area. Every Muslim festival is celebrated in big way. Especially Eid and Ramzan. Most of the Muslims are Sunni and few are Shia. There is electricity in most of the area at present in Comilla.

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.

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.

[edit] Transport

Comilla has good communication network. It is known as the hub of road communication of eastern part of Bangladesh . One of the oldest highways of the Indian Sub-continent, 'The Grand Trunk Road' has approached through the city. At present, the most important Dhaka-Chittagong highway bypass the city from the cantonment to Poduar Bazar. Comilla is located at 97 kilometers from the capital city, Dhaka. This can be travelled by road or railway. The trains has to travel 197 kilometers and takes over 3 hours to Comilla, however buses take about 2 hours only. Hundreds of trucks & lorries travel to or from Comilla with goods. Prominent bus services to Comilla are Tisha, Asia Line, Prince etc.As Public Goods Carrier Messey ferguson Tractor Used last 30 years.Mr Hazi Mohiuddin one of pionear Transport Businessman who first started Machenery Cultivation Tractor & Rotavetor in 1981.

Comilla's highway at Elliotganj. Comilla is the transit point between Dhaka-Chittagong trade route.

Road networks are administered by RHD, LGED and Municipalitis. RHD and LGED have regional headquarters in Comilla. RHD is responsible for National Highways, Regional Highways and District Roads; LGED is responsible for Upazila Roads and Union Roads; where as Municipalities are responsible for municipal roads.

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. These means of transport are either extinct or nearly extinct.

[edit] Education

The Comilla Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education is located in Comilla. This is the central administration that conducts primary, secondary, and higher secondary education for several districts. Historically, Comilla Board administered the education system of the whole Chittagong Division, but recently, Chittagong and Sylhet Education boards were spun off.

Comilla is also the location for-


[edit] Closest Towns

[edit] Notable Personalities


Freedom Fighters


Social Activists and Philanthropists

  • Nawab Faizunnesa, poetess, pioneer in woman's education, founder of Faizunnesa Girls’ School
  • Maheshchandra Bhattacharya (1858-1944), munificent
  • Capt. Naren Dutta, physician and founder of Srikail College
  • Dr. Zobaida Hannan, physician (gynecologist), philanthropist and Ekushey Padak laureate.
  • Munshi Faruque Ahmed (b.1955), former Joint Secretary of Jatiyo Samajtantrik Dal, founder of numerous educational institutions and social development organizations in the region

Educationists and Scholars


  • Buddhadeb Bosu (1908-1974), legendary Bangla poet, novelist, translator, editor and essayist
  • Anis Chowdhury (1929-1990), novelist and dramatist
  • Mohammad Kasem (1905-1957), editor and publisher
  • Abdul Kadir (1906-1984), researcher, poet and editor
  • A.K.M. Ali Akbar Khan (1931-1999), poet, renowned teacher and scout master


  • Sachin Dev Burman (1906-1975), recognized as S.D. Burman, singer, composer and music director
  • Jan-e-Alam Chowdhury (1884-1967), tabla player
  • Ustaad Mohamed Husain Khasru (1903-1959), classical musician and composer
  • Himangsu Kumar Dutta (1908-1944), musician and composer
  • Shukhendu Chakrabarty (1928-1989), lyricist, musician and composer
  • Shoila Devi (1916-1944), singer
  • Rahul Dev Burman, recognized as R.D. Burman, son of S.D. Burman, composer and pioneer in Bollywood music direction
  • Fazle Nizami (1933-1984), music teacher & Rabindra sangeet singer
  • Badal Roy, USA based tabla player
  • Asif akbar ( most popular singer of Bangladesh new genaration )



  • Md. Aktar Hossain(journalist), A reporter of Daily Jaijaidin & Daily Ruposhi Bangla. Mr. Aktar Hossain is a Editor of COMILLAWEB, the first online newspaper of comilla district


[edit] References

  • The list of notable personalities is collected from the following:
  • 1. Bangla Academy Caritabhidhan ( Dictionary of Biography), 2nd ed, by Selina Hussain & Nurul Islam, Dhaka , 1997.
  • 2. Mahasthavir Shilabhadra by Shahidullah Mridha, 1st ed, Bangla Academy, Dhaka, 1994.
  • 3. Research by The Modifier.


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