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Overview of Barishal

History of Barishal

Early Middle Ages In early times Barisal region was composed of an amalgamation of marshlands formed by the merging of islands brought into existence and built up by alluvial soils washed down the great channels of the combined Brahmaputra-Ganges-Meghna river systems. In the early 13th century, when Muhammad bin Tughluq completely conquered eastern Bengal, Hindu chieftains from northwest Bengal were dislodged from power and they dispersed over Barisal region and founded the kingdom of Bakla under The Chandra dwip Raj family (Bakla-Chandra dwip is the name used in their papers). Here Hindu chieftains reestablished themselves along the banks of the great rivers and forest islands, far from the reach of Turkish cavalry. During Mughal conquest in Bengal, Hindu societies were concentrated to northern and western Barisal, (region was known as Bakarganj instead of Barisal). Barisal's southern portion was still covered by forests and laced with lagoons. The northwest was also the only part of Bakarganj where the Hindu population exceeded Muslims in early British census.

Mughal period Barisal saw a second wave of immigration in the late 17th and early 18th centuries . This time, it was Muslim pioneers who assumed the leading role. Establishing of Dhaka as the provincial Mughal capital of the region, in the early 17th century Barisal region (known as Sarkar Bakla to Mughals) was more accessible to businessmen and developers than at any previous time. However, piracy in this region, along the coasts and rivers of southeastern Bengal by Arakanese and renegade Portuguese seamen inhibited any sustained attempts by Mughal governors to push into the Barisal forests. After 1666, when Mughal naval forces cleared the Meghna estuary of such external threats, the Barisal interior lay ripe for colonization. Land developers acquired grants of plots of land, taluq , from provincial authorities. Abundant and easily obtainable by purchase from the late 17th century these grants tended to be regarded by their possessors taluqdar . Taluqdars brought their taluqs into agricultural production, these men passed up the land revenue through a class of non-cultivating intermediaries, or zamindar . Zamindars typically resided in the provincial capital, where they had ready access to the chief provincial revenue officer dewan . In a second pattern of land development, Muslim pirs or Qazi went directly into uncultivated regions, organized the local population for clearing the jungles, and only later, after having established themselves as local men of influence, entered into relations with the Mughal authorities. relationship between the religious Muslim pirs and Mughal authorities was not always harmonious, since a pir’s natural ties of authority and patronage generally lay with the masses of peasants beneath him and not with the governors and bureaucrats. For example, in remote Jhalakati Thana in the eastern Bakarganj, an 18th-century p?r named Saiyid Faqir wielded enormous influence with the cultivators of the all-Muslim village of Saiyidpur, named after the p?r. But a difficulty arose, noted a 1906 village survey, because “the people of this part looked upon the Fakir as their guide and did not pay rent to the Nawab.” In this situation, one Lala Chet Singh, a captain in the employ of the governor, “succeeded in persuading the Fakir to leave the country.”

British rule In 1797 the area was established as Bakerganj District but later renamed as Barisal district. The district was upgraded into a municipality in 1876.

Bangladesh Greater Barisal region ( Barisal district along with some other neighbouring districts) together was declared Barisal division on 1 January 1993.

Description of Barishal

Barisal division is in the south west part of Bangladesh, has an area of 13297 sq. km and a population of 8.11 million. There are 6 districts and 22 municipalities under Barisal. It is a revering area. Barishal is a Division of rivers and canals. It is also famous for gardens of coconut trees. You will find thousands of coconut trees throughout Barishal Division. Kuakata is the main tourist spot in the division. In Barishal town you can visit Durga Sagor - a beautiful Dighi where lot of guest birds comes every winter season. This is also a beautiful park where you can spend your leisure time by roaming around the park and watching the birds.

Geography of Barishal

21º49’41” to 23º05’36” North , 89º53’18” to 91º01’ East.