Bangladesh – Land of the Bengals
Bangladesh is a small and densely populated country in South Asia. It was born only in 1971. Before that it was called East Pakistan and was part of the country of Pakistan. Bangladesh is surrounded by India and Myanmar. The Bay of Bengal lies to the south. The area of the country is 147,570 square kilometers. The official name is People’s Republic of Bangladesh.
Almost 98 percent of the people are Bengalis. They speak Bengali, the state language. Most of the people are of the Islamic faith, though a number are Hindu.
The Ganges and the Brahmaputra are two major rivers.
Bangladesh has a tropical monsoon climate. Damaging floods occur every two or three summers. In 1991 a cyclone killed more than 100,000 people.
Dhaka is the capital of Bangladesh and it is divided into Old and New Dhaka.
The Bengal tiger is the country’s best-known animal. It is larger than all the big cats except the Siberian tiger. People are trying to save the Bengal tiger by saving its habitat.
Bangladesh is a poor country. Most of the people live in rural areas and make their living by farming. The main crops are rice, sugarcane, potatoes, wheat, jute, bananas, sweet potatoes, oilseeds, mangoes, and tea.
Bangladesh is one of the world’s largest producers of jute fibers. It is used to make fabric and twine.
Bangladesh is part of a historic region called Bengal. From the 700s to the 1100s Buddhist and Hindu kings ruled Bengal. Muslims invaded in about 1200. The region remained largely independent until the 1600s. Then the Mughal Empire made Bengal one of its provinces. The British took control of all of India in the 1700s. They ruled the area as a colony until 1947. After the British left, the colony of India was divided into two independent countries: India and Pakistan. Pakistan’s two provinces were East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) and West Pakistan (now Pakistan). The war between provinces broke out in 1971. As a result, East Pakistan became the independent country of Bangladesh.
– The highest point on mainland is Reng Mountain (Keokradong, 1230 meters).
– The largest lake, Kaptai Lake, is artificial. It covers an area of 655 square kilometers.
– The longest river in Bangladesh is the Brahmaputra River, also commonly known as the Jamuna River once it enters Bangladesh. It has a total length of 2,900 kilometers.
– People in Bangladesh celebrate New Year on April 14.
– Cox’s Bazar Beach is the longest in the world. It is 120 kilometers long.
– Somapura Mahavihara in Paharpur, built in the VIII century, is one of the largest archaeological sites in South Asia. The complex is spread over an area of more than 11 hectares.
– Water lily is the national flower and royal Bengal tiger is the national animal.