Dhaka (Bengali: ঢাকা; ) is the capital of Dhaka Division of Bangladesh and the principal city. Dhaka city is a megacity and one of the major cities of South Asia. It is located on the banks of the Buriganga River. Dhaka, along with its metropolitan area, has an estimated population of over 12 million in 2008, making it the largest city in Bangladesh.It is the 9th largest city in the world and also 28th among the most densely populated cities in the world. Dhaka is known as the City of Mosques and with 400,000 cycle rickshaws running on its streets every day, the city is also described as the Rickshaw Capital of the World.
Dhaka city is served by the port of Narayanganj, located 16 km (10 mi) to the southeast. The city is within the monsoon climate zone, with an annual average temperature of 25 deg C (77 deg F) and monthly means varying between 18 deg C (64 deg F) in January and 29 deg C (84 deg F) in August. Nearly 80% of the annual average rainfall of 1,854 mm (73 in) occurs between May and September.
Dhaka city is located in one of the world's leading rice- and jute-growing regions. Its industries include textiles (jute, muslin, cotton) and food processing, especially rice milling. A variety of other consumer goods are also manufactured here. The Muslim influence is reflected in the more than 700 mosques and historic buildings found throughout the city. Dhaka is divided into an old city and the new city, and many residential and industrial communities.
Dhaka city was founded during the 10th century. It served as the Mogul capital of Bengal from 1608 to 1704 and was a trading center for British, French, and Dutch interests before coming under British rule in 1765. In 1905 it was again named the capital of Bengal, and in 1956 it became the capital of East Pakistan. The city suffered heavy damage during the Bangladesh war of independence (1971). The romanized spelling of the Bengali name was changed from Dacca to Dhaka in 1982.
Under Mughal rule in the 17th century, the city was known as Jahangir Nagar. It was a provincial capital and a centre of the worldwide muslin trade. The modern city, however, was developed chiefly under British rule in the 19th century, and became the second-largest city in Bengal, after Calcutta . After the Partition of Bengal in 1905, Dhaka became the capital of the new province of Eastern Bengal and Assam but lost its status as a provincial capital again after the partition was annulled in 1911. After the partition of British India in 1947, Dhaka became the administrative capital of East Pakistan, and later, in 1971, the capital of an independent Bangladesh. During the intervening period, the city witnessed widespread turmoil; this included many impositions of martial law, the declaration of Bangladesh's independence, military suppression, devastation during war, and natural calamities.
Modern Dhaka is the centre of political, cultural and economic life in Bangladesh. Although its urban infrastructure is the most developed in the country, Dhaka suffers from urban problems such as pollution and overpopulation. In recent decades, Dhaka has seen modernisation of transport, communications and public works. The city is attracting large foreign investments and greater volumes of commerce and trade. It is also experiencing an increasing influx of people from across the nation, which has reportedly made Dhaka the fastest growing city in the world.
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