Barisal, officially known as Barishal, (Bengali: বরিশাল Bengali Pron: [boɾiʃal]) is a major city that lies on the bank of Kirtankhola river in south-central Bangladesh. It is the largest city and the administrative headquarter of both Barisal district and Barisal Division. It is one of the oldest municipalities and river ports of the country. Barisal municipality was established in the year 1876 during the British Raj and upgraded to City Corporation on 25 July 2002. The city consists of 30 wards and 50 mahallas with a population of 328,278 according to the 2011 national census. The area of the city is 58 km².
Barisal was a semi-independent area in the Mughal period because of heavy fighting between them and Hindu chiefs. In course of time, it fell under the Bengal Nawabs, the last being Raja Ramranjan Chakravarty and then colonial British India, later passed to East Pakistan at independence and finally Bangladesh.
The ancient city of Barisal was known as Bacola in Europe. Ralph Fitch, the first ever Englishman, a leather merchant, known to have visited Bengal in the mid 1580s, described Barisal in his journal as, “From Chatigan in Bengal, I came to Bacola; the king whereof is a Gentile, a man very well disposed and delighted much to shoot in a gun. His country is very great and fruitful, and hath store of rice, much cotton cloth, and cloth of silk. The houses are very fair and high built, the streets large, and people naked, except a little cloth about their waist. The women wear a great store of silver hoops about their necks and arms, and their legs are ringed with silver and copper, and rings made from elephants’ teeth.”
The central city of this region is the city of Barisal. It is one of the biggest river ports in Bangladesh. It is a city with nearly 0.38 million people and a divisional headquarters, medical college, cadet college, some pharmaceutical industries, textile industries and the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority's head office. Barisal is fast growing city of the country stands on the Kirtankhola River. Country's first short landing and take off airport has been completed in Barisal and a private Airlines named Air Bengal has begun its regular air flight between Dhaka Hazrat Shahjalal Airport and Barisal.
The city is called the "Venice of the East" or the "Venice of Bengal" and the "Paradise of Bengal". "Barisal guns" is a natural phenomenon named after Barisal; it is kind of a booming sound heard near lakes and rivers which is due to seismic activity under water, first heard in this region by the British in the 19th century.
According to provisional results of the 2011 national census, the population of Barisal (areas under the jurisdiction of the Barisal city corporation) stands at 328,278. By gender, the population was 51.63 male and 48.37 percent female.
The literacy rate among the urban people of Barisal is 75.3%. which is significantly higher than the national average of 56.5%.
Most of the people in Barisal are the Bengali people, as is the case in most of Bangladesh. The long-standing inhabitants of the city are known as Barisaliya and they have a distinctive dialect. Apart from them.The city population is composed of people from neighboring Upazilas and districts (Patuakhali, Bhola, Pirojpur, Jhalakati, Barguna).
There are four major languages spoken in Barisal
- Standard Bengali, which is the administrative language and thus mainly used in academia and offices.
- Barisali dialect, which is commonly spoken by almost all the native peoples of Greater Barisal region (Barisal Division), is considered as a dialect of Bengali which does not have a written form.
- English, which is held in high esteem and is used by the educated elite.
- Marginalised Bengali, a cocktail language of Northern Bengali dialects spoken by migrant workers such as service holders, domestic servants, rickshaw peddlers and other menial labourers from different parts of Bangladesh living and working in Barisal.
|Religion in Barisal City in 2011|
The majority of Barisal's people are Muslims (89.30%), mainly Sunni Islam Hanafi. Other religious groups include Hindus (9.7%), and very few numbers of other religions, mainly Christians (.98%) and Buddhists (0.01%).
Since end 2015, the Catholic minority has its own Roman Catholic Diocese of Barisal.
Barisal City Areal view
Barisal city occupies an area of 58 km2.
Barisal District, with an area of 2790.51 km2, is bounded by Madaripur, Shariatpur, Chandpur and Lakshmipur districts on the north, Patuakhali, Barguna and Jhalokati districts on the south, Bhola and Lakshmipur districts on the east, Jhalokati, Pirojpur and Gopalganj districts on the west. Several rivers flow across Barisal including the Kirtankhola, Arial Khan, Khoyrabad, Kalijira and Sandha.
Barisal has a tropical wet and dry climate.
|Climate data for Barisal (1981–2010)
|Average high °C (°F)
|Daily mean °C (°F)
|Average low °C (°F)
|Average precipitation mm (inches)
|Average precipitation days
|Average relative humidity (%)
|Source: Bangladesh Meteorological Department
Barisal is a rice producing center of Bangladesh. Balam (a kind of basmati) is the most popular rice in Barisal. It is also famous for Betel Leaf, a typical south Asian chewing item. As Barisal is surrounded by river so fish is plenty in there. A Bengali saying states, "Dhan, nadi, khal ai tin e Barisal" which translates to "paddy, river and canal are these three things that make Barisal".
Coconut is a common fruit as the city is located near the coast. Barisal is also known for its hog plum.
Exports: Agricultural products, Hilsha fish, Medicine, Empty Gelatine Capsules, Anchor Cement etc.
Points of interest
Durgasagar: with an area of about 2,500 hectare, is the largest pond or dighi of southern Bangladesh. It is located at Madhabpasa village of babuganj upazila, about 11 km away from Barisal town. Locally it is known as Madhabpasha Dighi. According to a desire of Rani Durgavati, mother of Raja Joynarayan, the dighi was dug in 1780 (1187 BS). There are coconut trees around the dighi which together with the dighi are bounded by brick-walls. In the middle of the dighi, there is an island with bushes. Migratory birds usually come here during winter. The surrounding areas of the dighi has now been turned into a picnic spot.
Madhabpasha was a capital of the kingdom of Chandradvipa.
- Durga Sagar
- Baitul Aman Jame Masjid Complex
- Oxford Mission Church
- Bell's Park aka Bangubandhu Udyan
- 30 Godown
- Planet World
- Muktijoddha Park
- Narikel Bagan & Horticulture (Agriculture Training Institute)
- Lakhutia Zamindar Bari
- Korapur Miah Bari Masjid
- Shankar Math
- Town Hall
- Sher-e-Bangla Museum
- Bir Sreshtho Captain Mohiuddin Jahangir Library and Museum
- Jibanananda Das Museum
- Dapdapia Bridge
- Bibir Pukur
- Shahid Shukkur-Gafur Memorial Park, Amanatganj
- Taltali Bridge, Amanatganj
- Padma Pukur (Pond of Lotus)
- Kali Mandir founded by the Poet Mukunda Das
- BadhyaBhumi Monument (বধ্যভূমি স্মৃতিসৌধ)
- Bangladesh Rice Research Institute Regional Centre (Coconut Garden)
Miah Bari Mosque in Karapur, Barisal
Barisal's buildings are too diverse to be characterised by any particular architectural style, and have been built over a long period of time.
Some well known heritage buildings are:
- Guthia Baitul Aman Jame Mashjid Complex
- Rammohan Samadhi Mandir
- Sujabad Kella
- Sangram Kella
- Sharkal Fort
- Girja Mahalla
- Bangabondhu Uddyan
- Ebadullah Mosque
- Kasai Mosque
- Oxford Mission Church
- Shankar Math
- Kali Bari of Mukunda Das
- Joint Mosque at Bhatikhana
- Aswini kumar town hall
- Durgasagar Dighi
- One domed Mosque (Kasba)
- Fakir Bari jamee Mosjid
- Housing Estate Jame Mosjid
- Barisal Zilla School Building
Cricket and football are the two most popular sports in Barisal while tennis and kabaddi are also popular. There is a national stadium in the city known as Barisal Divisional Stadium (also known as Abdur Rab Serniabad Stadium). It is a multi-purpose stadium and has a capacity of 15,000 spectators. It is currently used mostly for cricket matches. It is also used for football and other sports. Besides different organization share to stage a show there occasionally. Notable players from Barisal who have played for the national team include Shahriar Nafees, Sohag Gazi and Fazle Mahmud.
There is a regional sports training center under Bangladesh Krira Shiksha Pratisthan (BKSP) situated at Rahamatpur in Barisal Barisal is also home to the Bangladesh Premier League franchise Barisal Bulls.
Barisal Airport is a domestic airport. Biman Bangladesh Airlines, Novoair and US-Bangla Airlines use this port. Active air-route is Barisal-Dhaka-Barisal.
Barisal River Port is the second largest river port of Bangladesh. It's the most popular way of communication for the people of Barisal to Dhaka, the capital city. It is also a popular transport system with other districts like Bhola, Barguna, Lakshimipur.
Barisal is connected to most other regions of the country via the N8 national highway. There are two bus terminals in Barisal, Nathullabad Central Bus terminal and Rupatali Bus Terminal. Many Bus company connect Barisal to other districts.
Academic Buildings of the University of Barisal.
Barisal is home to many educational institutions. Govt. Brojomohan College is the oldest institution of higher education in the city, founded in 1889. There is a government medical college Sher e Bangla Medical College (SBMC), a public university University of Barisal and a textile engineering college Shaheed Abdur Rab Serniabat Textile Engineering College. There are also educational institutions like Barisal Zilla School, Barisal Cadet College, Govt. Syed Hatem Ali College, Government Women's College, Govt. Barisal College, Amrita Lal Dey College, Barisal Govt. Girls High School, Barisal Model School and College and Barisal Asmat Ali Khan Institution (A.K. School). Besides these there are three teacher training colleges, a Government Polytechnic institute, two technical institutes, a homeopathic college and a social welfare training centre. Barisal is under the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education, Barisal. This board varies the SSC and HSC standard.
Major institutions include:
Barisal is a center for the newspaper, periodical and book publishers. Some locally published newspapers and periodicals are:
- Daily Ajker Barta
- Daily Ajker Poribartan
- Daily Motobad
- Daily Shahnama
- Daily Banglar Bone
- Daily Dakkhinanchal
- Daily Barisal Pratidin
- Daily Barisal Barta
- Daily Satya Songbad
- Daily Bhorer Alo
- Daily Bhorer Angikar
- Daily Biplobi Bangladesh
- Daily Barisal er Ajkal
- Daily Ajker barisal
- Bakerganj Parikrama
- Chirantan Bangla
- Gournadi Parikrama
- Jago Nare
- A. K. Fazlul Huq, Bengali nationalist, politician, Prime Minister of Bengal and Governor of East Pakistan
- Abdul Gaffar Chowdhury, Bangladeshi author, newspaper columnist and lyricist of Amar Bhaier Rokte Rangano
- Altaf Mahmud Bengali film song composer and one of the martyred intelligentsia in 1971
- Major M. A. Jalil, commander of Sector 9 during Bangladesh War of Liberation in 1971
- Mohiuddin Jahangir (Bir Shreshto) Bangladesh army captain during the 1971 Liberation War
- Mostafa Kamal (Bir Shreshto), a freedom fighter
- Mohammad Ali Bogra, also sometimes known as Mohammad Ali of Bogra, was a Bengali politician, statesman, and a career diplomat who served as third Prime Minister of Pakistan, appointed in this capacity in 1953 until he stepped down in 1955 in favor of Finance Minister Muhammad Ali.
- Abala Bose, social reformer and wife of Jagadish Chandra Bose
- Kusumkumari Das, poet, She is the mother of Jibanananda Das
- Jibanananda Das, Bengali poet
- Abu Zafar Obaidullah, poet, former agricultural minister of Bangladesh
- Sufia Kamal, poet
- Hem Chandra Raychaudhuri, historian, known for his studies on ancient India.
- Ashwini Kumar Dutta, social reformer and philanthropist
- Aroj Ali Matubbar, Philosopher
- Abdur Rahman Biswas, former (11th) President of Bangladesh. Biswas represented Pakistan at the United Nations General Assembly prior to the independence of Bangladesh.
- Amal Kumar Raychaudhuri, physicist
- Anil Biswas, Hindi and Bengali film song composer
- Kamini Roy, poet and first woman graduate with honours in the subcontinent.
- Ahsan Habib, poet and literary figure in Bengali culture
- Abul Hasan, poet, journalist and literary figure in Bengali culture
- Narayan Gangopadhyay, poet, academic, writer
- Kadambini Ganguly, first female graduate and first female physician in the entire British empire
- Hanif Sanket, TV presenter, entertainer, writer and producer
- Dhirendra Nath Ganguly, early film directors
- Nachiketa Chakraborty, Indian Bengali singer-songwriter and composer
- Ghulam Murshid, author, scholar and journalist, based on London
- Buddhadeb Guha, author
- Srabanti Chatterjee, Srabanti Chatterje is a Bengali actress who appears in Indian films and has also appeared in variousBangladeshi films.
- Sushmita Sen, Sushmita Sen is an Indian actress, model and beauty queen.
- Aparajita Auddy, Indian actress involved in Bengali language film and television.
- Jewel Aich, Bangladeshi magician
- Mosharraf Karim, actor
- Mir Sabbir, actor
- Hasan Masood, Bangladeshi actor. He is also a former journalist and military officer.
- Sohel Rana, Masud Parvez, is a Bangladeshi film actor, director and producer.
- Tania Ahmed, actress
- Golam Mustafa, film actor
- Suborna Mustafa, actress
- Manabendra Mukhopadhyay, singer and composer
- Mir Maswood Ali, mathematician and statistician
- Mithun Chakraborty, actor
- Pannalal Ghosh, musician and flautist
- Debaprasad Ghosh, Indian mathematician, linguist, lawyer, journalist, educationist and statesman.
- Partha Dasgupta, economist.
- Basudeb DasSarma, chemist.
- Gurudas Dasgupta, member of the Indian Parliament and a leader of the Communist Party of India.
- Nikhil Ghosh, was an Indian musician, teacher and writer, known his proficiency on the percussion instrument of tabla. He founded Sangit Mahabharati.
- Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi, ex-Minister of parliamentary affairs and information, India
- Shamsuddin Abul Kalam, was an actor and an author of Bengali literature in Bangladesh.
- A. M. Harun-ar-Rashid, Bangladeshi physicist and Bose Professor of Physics at the University of Dhaka.
- Sohag Gazi, Bangladeshi cricketer
- Asad Chowdhury, poet, writer, translator, radio, television personality and journalist, as well as a cultural activist in Bangladesh.
- Mehedi Hasan, Bangladeshi cricketer
- Shahriar Nafees, Bangladeshi cricketer
- Tapan Raychaudhuri, historian
- Tofazzal Hossain Manik Miah, founding editor of The Daily Ittefaq
- Utpal Dutt (29 March 1929 – 19 August 1993), actor, director and writer-playwright
- Jyotirmoy Guhathakurta, educator, humanist and a martyred intellectual in the Bangladesh Liberation War
- Matsyendra, a saint and yogi from either Chandradwip (Barisal) or sandwip in Bengal
- Arundhati Devi, actress
- Swadesh Bose, Bangladeshi economist and organiser of the Liberation War
- M Sakhawat Hossain, former Election Commissioner of Bangladesh (2007–2012) & brigadier general (retd) in Bangladesh Army
- Rashed Khan Menon, politician
- Abdul Jabbar Khan, Speaker of the National Assembly of Pakistan
- Sadek Khan, Bangladeshi journalist, columnist and filmmaker
- Selima Rahman, politician of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP)
- Rashed Khan Menon, Bangladeshi politician. He is the chairman of Workers Party of Bangladesh.
- Amir Hossain Amu, Bangladeshi politician and senior leader in the Bangladesh Awami League.
- Tofail Ahmed, Bangladeshi politician.
- Anwar Hossain Manju, Bangladeshi politician.
- Mainul Hosein, lawyer and the printer and publisher of daily newspaper The New Nation.
- Kamal Hossain, Bangladeshi jurist, statesman and freedom fighter.
- Delwar Hossain Sayeedi, Bangladeshi Islamic scholar, speaker and politician .
- Narayan Gangopadhyay, Nalso known as Narayan Ganguly, was a Bengali novelist, poet, essayist, and short story writer.
- Aruna Asaf Ali, born Aruna Ganguly, was an Indian independence activist. She was the first elected mayor of Delhi
- Parul Ghosh, was an Indian playback singer . Ghosh sang in Hindi and Bengali movies from 1935 to 1951.
- Jyotirmoy Guhathakurta, was a Bengali educator and humanist of the former East Pakistan, now Bangladesh.
- Arundhati Devi, was an Indian actress, director and writer who is predominantly known for her work in Bengali cinema.
- Uttam Kumar, Indian film actor, director, producer, singer, composer, and playback singer who predominantly worked in Indian Cinema.
- Sourav Ganguly, Former Indian cricketer and captain of the Indian national team.
- Golam Sarwar, journalist and Editor.
- Ziauddin Ahmed (Bangladesh), war hero, freedom fighter and sub-sector commander under Sector 9 of Mukti Bahini during Bangladesh liberation war in 1971.
- Shahjahan Omar, Bangladesh Nationalist Party politician and the former State Minister for law. He is retired Major of the Bangladesh Army and was awarded Bir Uttam. he was a sub-sector commander during Bangladesh liberation war in 1971.
- Jahangir Kabir Nanak, Bangladesh Awami League politician and the former state Minister of Local Government, Rural Development and Co-operatives. He is the joint secretary of Bangladesh Awami League.
- Naziur Rahman Manzur, was a Bangladesh Jatiya Party politician, founding chairman of the party, former government minister in the Cabinet of Hussain Mohammad Ershad and former Mayor of Dhaka.
- Andaleeve Rahman, president of Bangladesh Jatiya Party, a member of Parliament, and the principal of British School of Law in Dhaka.
- Ehsan Hoque, medical doctor, social entrepreneur and child rights activist. He is the founder and honorary Executive Director of Distressed Children & Infants International.
- Fazlul Karim (academician), was a scholar, academic, philosopher and essayist in Bangladesh.
- Nazia Khanum, Nazia Khanum, OBE, DL, Bangladeshi-born British management consultant, researcher, Director of Equality in Diversity, non-executive director for NHS Luton and chair of various voluntary community organisations.
- Khalid Hassan Milu, was a Bangladeshi singer.
- Sudhir Ray, Indian politician. He was elected to the Lok Sabha, he was a member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist).
- Amal Kumar Raychaudhuri, physicist, known for his research in general relativity and cosmology. and the eponymous Raychaudhuri equation, which demonstrates that singularities arise in general relativity and is a key ingredient in the proofs of the Penrose–Hawking singularity theorems.
- Manikuntala Sen, one of the first women active in the Communist Party of India, known for her Bengali-language memoir Shediner Kotha (published in English as In Search of Freedom: An Unfinished Journey).
- Hiranmay Sen Gupta, Bangladeshi physicist specialized in nuclear physics. He has published around 200 research journal papers. He is a fellow of Bangladesh Academy of Sciences since 1977.
- Nikhil Sen, Bangladeshi dramatist. He was awarded Ekushey Padak in 2018 by the Government of Bangladesh.
- Papia Sarwar, Bangladeshi singer. She is an exponent of Rabindra Sangeet. She earned Rabindra Award from Bangla Academy in 2013. She was awarded Bangla Academy Fellowship in 2015.
- Kaliprasanna Vidyaratna, was an Indian scholar of Sanskrit, academician and author. He was the principal of the Sanskrit College between 1908 and 1910. Vidyaratna played an important role in the revival of Sanskrit language.
- Abdul Jabbar Khan, was the 6th Speaker of the National Assembly of Pakistan. He was preceded by Fazlul Qadir Chaudhry.
- A.Z.M. Enayetullah Khan, A.Z.M., was a veteran journalist, former minister of Bangladesh. He founded the weekly newspaper Holiday and the daily newspaper New Age. He served as the Minister from 1977 to 1978.
- Sadek Khan, was a Bangladeshi journalist, columnist and filmmaker. In 2002, he was awarded Ekushey Padak by the Government of Bangladesh.
- Selima Rahman, Bangladesh Nationalist Party politician. She served as a State Minister at the Ministry of Cultural Affairs of the Government of Bangladesh during 2001–2006.
- Abdur Rab Serniabat, was a Bangladeshi Politician and former water resources minister. He was the brother-in-law of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
- Abul Hasanat Abdullah, Bangladesh Awami League senior politician and a member of Parliament.
- Mohiuddin Ahmed, was a Language Movement veteran and 1971 Liberation War organiser.
- Abdul Karim Khan, famous folk-singer.
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