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Killa


Killa artificially built mounds or hillocks in the coastal regions traditionally used as cyclone shelter for cattle or even human beings. During pre British period, killas were also used for defence purposes. Usually, killas are 10 to 15m high. Their height depends on the distance from the sea or a river. The base of the mound may be 15 to 30m wide, but the width decreases with the altitude and at the top it is 9 to 25 meters. Thus the sloping structure of the killa at the opposite site of the sea or river allows cattle and the old people to climb them easily. But the seaward face is straight to resist/minimise the force of the cyclone or the tidal bore. The top of the killa is well vegetated. Sometimes accidents happen when broken trees fall on the people or cattle at the time of cyclone. People are not attracted to a killa and only take shelter in it when there is no alternative. In some cases, landless families build houses on these killas. [Md Mahbub Murshed]