Nageshwari Upazila

Nageshwari Upazila (kurigram district) area 417.56 sq km, located in between 25°59' and 26°13' north latitudes and in between 89°35' and 89°52' east longitudes. It is bounded by bhurungamari upazila and west bengal state of India on the north, kurigram sadar upazila on the south, assam state of India on the east, phulbari upazila on the west.

Population Total 394258; male 193444, female 200814; Muslim 375045, Hindu 19105, Buddhist 1, Christian 8 and others 99. Indigenous community such as Buno (a genre of the Santals) lives on the bank of the Naodanga River.

Water bodies Main rivers: brahmaputra, dudhkumar; Naodanga, Payradanga, Madaikhal and Gushalka beels are notable.

Administration Nageshwari Thana was formed in 1793 and it was turned into an upazila on 15 April 1983.

Municipality Union Mouza Village Population Density (per sq km) Literacy rate (%)
Urban Rural Urban Rural
1 14 73 350 62289 331969 944 49.7 36.5
(sq km)
Ward Mahalla Population Density
(per sq km)
Literacy rate (%)
42.00 9 81 62289 1483 49.7
Name of union and GO code Area (acre) Population Literacy rate (%)
Male Female
Kedar 50 6235 15150 14654 29.7
Kachakata 37 6525 9630 10988 27.9
Kaliganj 44 5679 9251 10127 33.0
Narayanpur 63 13774 13736 13701 23.0
Noonkhawa 75 8866 6950 7310 26.1
Newashi 69 4827 11310 11735 47.2
Ballabher Khas 11 8258 12732 13711 32.2
Bamandanga 12 5230 8951 9307 36.2
Berubari 18 5120 10581 11270 35.4
Bhitarband 25 4537 11313 12026 41.4
Ramkhana 88 6573 14554 15187 43.0
Royganj 82 5560 11279 11944 41.9
Santoshpur 94 7252 16156 16492 47.5
Hasnabad 31 4368 10830 11094 36.7

Source Bangladesh Population Census 2011, Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics.

Archaeological heritage and relics Remnants of Zamindar Bari at Bhitarband, Devi Chowdhurani Math at Payradanga.

Historical events Maulana Maulana abdul hamid khan bhasani organized a protest meeting against ‘Bangal Khadao’ (drive away Bengalis) at Royganj of the upazila in 1954.

War of Liberation On 2 September 1971, while attempting to destroy the Kumarpur Bridge freedom fighters Shamsher Ali Basunia, Rustom Ali, Abdul Khaleque, Jamshed Ali and Mizanur Rahman were arrested by the Razakars. On 19 November an encounter was held between the freedom fighters and the Pak army at a place near the Raiganj Bridge in which Lt. Col. Samad, Mizan and Ali Hossain were killed. During the war of liberation the Pak army killed 62 persons in Nilur Khamar Mouza under Santoshpur Union. Besides, the Pak army burnt alive 35 persons to death at a place on the northwest of Nageshwari Health Complex. There is a mass grave at a place adjacent to the Central Shaheed Minar and near the Dharka Beel and a memorial monument was built at Chandipur.

For details: see নাগেশ্বরী উপজেলা, বাংলাদেশ মুক্তিযুদ্ধ জ্ঞানকোষ (Encyclopedia of Bangladesh War of Liberation), বাংলাদেশ এশিয়াটিক সোসাইটি, ঢাকা ২০২০, খণ্ড ৫।

Religious institutions Mosque 850, temple 17, sacred place 2. Noted religious institutions: Nageshwari Bus Stand and Bazar Jami Mosque, Madaikhal Kali Mandir.

Literacy rate and educational institutions Average literacy 38.7%; male 42.7%, female 34.9%. Noted educational institutions: Nageshwari Degree College (1967), Madarganj High School (1961), Newashi Multilateral High School (1971), Purba Ramkhana Government Primary School (1900), Pagla Government Primary School (1900), Newashi Government Primary School (1903), Payradanga Government Primary School (1907), Nageshwari Alia Madrasa (1960), Newashi Alim Madrasa (1960), Bhitarband JD Academy (1945), Nageshwari Dayamoye Academy High School (1945), DM Academy (1946).

Newspapers and periodicals Irregular: Dudhkumar.

Cultural organisations Library 2, club 97, cinema hall 2, theatre group 2, literary society 3, sports organisation 1.

Main sources of income Agriculture 76.05%, non-agricultural labourer 3.59%, industry 0.38%, commerce 7.55%, transport and communication 2.32%, service 3.30%, construction 0.59%, religious service 0.13%, rent and remittance 0.04% and others 6.05%.

Ownership of agricultural land Landowner 58.92%, landless 41.08%; agricultural landowner: urban 49.95% and' rural 60.38%.'

Main crops Paddy, jute, wheat, mustard, sesame, linseed, kaun, onion, garlic, chilli, ground- nut.

Extinct or nearly extinct crops Barley, china, tobacco, arahar, mesta jute, sweet potato.

Main fruits Mango, jackfruit, banana, papaya, coconut, blackberry, litchi, watermelon, betel nut.

Fisheries, dairies and poultries Fishery 2, dairy 85, poultry 20, hatchery 3.

Communication facilities Pucca road 160 km, semi-pucca road 5 km, mud road 375 km; waterway 25 km.

Extinct or nearly extinct traditional transport Palanquin, bullock cart.

Noted manufactories Biscuit factory.

Cottage industries Goldsmith, blacksmith, manufacture of jute goods industry, embroidery, hand fan, mat, bamboo work, nakshi kantha.

Hats, bazars and fairs Hats and bazars are 26, fairs 4, most noted of which are Raiganj Bazar, Andharir Jhar Bazar, Newashi Bazar, Austami Snan Mela, Kali Puja Mela at Madaikhal and Baruni Mela at Berubari.

Main exports Paddy, jute, bamboo, rice, onion, garlic, ground-nut, betel nut.

Access to electricity All the wards and unions of the upazila are under rural electrification net-work. However 17.8% of the dwelling households have access to electricity.

Sources of drinking water Tube-well 96.9%, tap 0.1% and others 3.0%. The presence of arsenic has been detected in the shallow tube-well water of the upazila

Sanitation 57.9% of dwelling households of the upazila use sanitary latrines and 31.9% of dwelling households use non-sanitary latrines; 10.2% of households do not have latrine facilities.

Health centres Upazila health complex 2, satellite clinic 4, family planning centre 6, clinic 2.

Natural disasters The floods of 1988 and 1990 caused heavy damages to settlements, livestock and crops of the upazila.

NGO activities Operationally important NGOs are brac, asa, CARE, NBRDS. [Harchandra Barman]

References Bangladesh Population Census 2001 and 2011, Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics; Cultural survey report of Nageshwari Upazila 2007.