Bangladesh is a large delta laden with bounties of nature. The borderland along the north-east, east and the south-east is evergreen forested hills with wondrous wildlife.
All her six seasons vibrate with fairs and festivals, mirth and merriment.
Though Bangladesh is one of the world's smallest countries, she has the world's longest sandy sea-beach along the Bay of Bengal at Cox's Bazar and the Sundarbans, the largest mangrove forest, the home of the Royal Bengal Tiger, sentinel of the south.
Bangladesh is heir to a rich cultural heritage. The archaeological treasures of Mahasthangarh, dating back to 3rd century B.C., the 8th century Paharpur Buddhist Vihara, a world heritage site and Salbana Vihara at Mainamati of the same period and the 15th century sixty-domed grand mosque at Bagerhat, also a world heritage site, the Hindu temples of Chandranath at Sitakund, Adinath at Moheshkhali and Dhakeshwari Temple in Dhaka bear testimony to its devotional past.
Location and physical Features
Located in the north-eastern part of South Asia, Bangladesh lies between 20°34' and 26°36' north latitude and 88°0 I' and 92 °41' east longitudes. The mighty Himalayas is to the north, while the southern frontier is guarded by the Bay of Bengal. To the west lies the expansive Gangetic plains (west Bengal) of India and on the eastern frontier lies the forest of Myanmar and India (Tripura & Assam Hills). These picturesque geographical boundaries delineate a low lying plain of about 1,47,570 sq. km. criss-crossed by innumerable brooks, rivulets and streams and rivers like the Padma (Ganges), the Brahmaputra Oamuna), the Meghna, the Karnaphuli.
Much of the country's land area has been built up from alluvial deposits brought down by the major rivers. The country is mostly flat except for a range of hills in the south-east. It is characterized by wooded marshy lands and jungles with deep forest regions in Sylhet, Rangamati, Khagrachhari and Bandarban Hill Districts, Sundarbans (the world Heritage site), Mymensingh and Tangail.
Bangladesh has a variety of attractions for visitors, tourists and holidaymakers including archaeological sites, historical mosques and monuments, resorts, beaches, anthropological communities, forests, flora and fauna. Bangladesh offers tourists ample opportunities for angling, rowing, jungle trekking, sun and seabathing and above all for being in pristine Nature.
Bangladesh has a population of 147.4 million making it the most densely populated country of the world. 85% of the population lives in rural areas. Density of population is about 900 per sq. km. There are about 2 million people of 23 tribes. They dwell mostly in Rangamati, Khagrachhari, Bandarban and in parts of northern districts.
The state language and mother tongue is Bangia. English is widely spoken and understood with some young people learning other languages like French, German, Spanish, Japanese etc. for utilizing in their professional fields.
Bangladesh is a land of religious freedom, harmony and tolerance. People of all castes and creeds live here in perfect harmony. The percentage distribution of population to religions is as follows:
Muslim 88%, Hindus 10%, Christians, Buddhists and others 2%.
The country is officially known as The People's Republic of Bangladesh and has a parliamentary form of Government. The president is the head of the state while the Prime Minister is head of the Government. The country is divided into 6(six) divisions namely Dhaka, Chittagong, Rajshahi, Barisal, Sylhet and Khulna. There are 64 districts, 464 Upazilla (small administrative unit) and 85,650 villages under the six divisions.
Bangladesh has a 345-seat parliament called Jatiya Sangsad. Three hundred members of Jatiya Sangsad are directly elected by the electoral college and 45 seats are reserved for women, nominated proportionately by the members of different parties in parliament. They are designated as Member of the Parliament.
The economy is characterized by a large subsistence agricultural sector, which contributes to some 85% of the country's population and a small modern industrial sector. The total cultivable area is around 24 million acres and there are a little more than 15 million cultivators. Tea, leather, readymade garments, frozen shrimp, jute and jute products are major foreign exchange earners. Export of handicrafts is booming fast. Remittances from Bangladeshis employed abroad are also contributing significantly towards foreign exchange earnings.
Clothes: Tropical in summer and light woolen in winter.
Currency: Taka (Tk.) is the unit of currency. The Taka has 100 Paisa (smallest unit) in it. Notes of I, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 Taka and coins of 25, 50 Paisa and Taka 1.2 and 5 are in circulation. US$ I = Taka 68.9 (Approx.)
Banking Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Sundays to Thursdays and closed on Saturdays and Fridays.
Time Deviation: +0600 hrs GMT.
Working Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. from Sundays to Thursdays. Saturdays and Fridays are closed.
Newspapers: Dailies both in Bangia and English are published from Dhaka. Chittagong and other important cities and towns.
Radio Stations: Dhaka, Chittagong, Rajshahi, Sylhet, Rangpur, Khulna, Rangamati, Comilla.News is broadcast in Bangia and English.
Television Stations: Dhaka and Chittagong.
Electricity: 220 volts A.c.
Airports: Zia International Airport, Dhaka, Shah Amanat International Airport. Chittagong and Osmany International Airport, Sylhet.
Domestic Airports: Dhaka, Chittagong. Cox's Bazar, Jessore. Saidpur, Rajshahi, Barisal and Sylhet.
Seaports: Chittagong and Mongla.
River-ports: Dhaka, Chandpur, Barisal, Khulna.Patuakhali Baghabari. Serajganj, Narayanganj and Bhairab Bazar.
Best Tourist Seasons: October to March for winter-loving tourists. June to September for Monsoon-loving tourists.
Public Holidays: The following holidays are observed nationally- February: Amar Ekushey-21 February also known as 'Shaheed Day' or the National Mourning Day. It is now observed as "International Mother Language Day" across the world after the declaration of UNESCO. March: Independence Day-26 March. May: May Day - 1 May. June: Bank Holiday-30 June. December: Victory Day-16 December, Christmas Day-25 December, Bank Holiday, 31st December. Other holidays include Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist religious festivals, dates of which are subject to appearance of the moon.