Sonatala Upazila

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Sonatala Upazila (bogra district) area 156.75 sq km, located in between 24°55' and 25°04' north latitudes and in between 89°26' and 89°41' east longitudes. It is bounded by saghatta and gobindaganj upazilas on the north, gabtali and sariakandi upazilas on the south, Sariakandi upazila on the east, shibganj (Bogra) and Gabtali upazilas on the west.

Population Total 186778; male 92306, female 94472; Muslim 177674, Hindu 8968 , Christian 1, Buddhist 5 and others 49.

Water bodies Main rivers: jamuna, bangali, Bhimti, Lohagara; Mohicharan, Neagan and Gobarchanpa beels are notable.

Administration Sonatala Thana was formed in 1881 and it was turned into an upazila in 1984.

Municipality Union Mouza Village Population Density (per sq km) Literacy rate (%)
Urban Rural Urban Rural
1 7 94 125 24720 162058 1191 49.6 42.2
(sq km)
Ward Mahalla Population Density
(per sq km)
Literacy rate (%)
12.46 9 16 24720 1984 49.6
Name of union and GO code Area (acre) Population Literacy rate (%)
Male Female
Jorgachha 42 7580 16820 17537 47.8
Tekani Chukainagar 84 3916 6645 6600 32.5
Digdair 31 6460 14293 14515 48.0
Pakulla 81 5959 12422 12535 37.9
Balua 10 5426 12293 12592 45.0
Madhupur 52 3796 9988 10374 36.5
Sonatala 73 2521 7637 7807 36.3

Source Bangladesh Population Census 2001, Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics.

Archaeological heritage and relics Pakulla Ahle Hadith Jami Mosque, ancient fort at Garh Fatehpur.

War of Liberation On 28 April 1971 the Pak army set many shops of Sonatala Railway Station Bazar on fire and killed three persons. On 6 May the Pak army conducted heavy plundering at the Bazar adjacent to the Sonatala Port and killed three persons and wounded a number of people by gunshot; they also set many houses and shops of the Bazar on fire. On 14 May the Pak army killed one person at village Baiguni under Sonatal upazila. Freedom fighters carried out operations at Chakchake Bridge near Velurpara Railway Station, Harina Railway Bridge near Chamurpara, Sonatala PTI camp and other places of the upazila. There is a mass grave at Hariakandi.

For details: see সোনাতলা উপজেলা, বাংলাদেশ মুক্তিযুদ্ধ জ্ঞানকোষ (Encyclopedia of Bangladesh War of Liberation), বাংলাদেশ এশিয়াটিক সোসাইটি, ঢাকা ২০২০, খণ্ড ১০।

Religious institutions Mosque 249, temple 11, tomb 2, sacred place 1. Noted religious institutions: Station Jami Mosque, Pakulla Jami Mosque, Ghorapir Mazar, Sonatala Durgabihani Narayan Mandir.

Literacy rate and educational institutions Average literacy 43.2%; male 47.4%, female 39.1%. Educational institutions: college 4, primary training institute 1, secondary school 25, primary school 118, madrasa 60. Noted educational institutions: Nazir Akhtar College (1967), Sonatala Pilot High School (1908), Sukhan Pukur High School (1914), Amlitala Model Primary School (1938).

Newspapers and periodicals Weekly: Natun, Durjoy Sahittya; irregular: Tarunna; defunct: Surja Sarathi, Sonatala Bulletin, Sonatala Barta.

Cultural organisations Library 4, social and cultural' organisation 1, theatre group 3, playground 30, cinema hall 2.

Main sources of income Agriculture 62.57%, non-agricultural labourer 2.52%, industry 0.61%, commerce 15.01%, transport and communication 3.66%, service 6.22%, construction 1.13%, religious service 0.20%, rent and remittance 0.42% and others 7.66%.

Main crops Paddy, mustard, jute,' maize, potato, ginger, vegetables.

Extinct or nearly extinct crops Barley, sugarcane, khesari, sesame, sweet potato, kaun.

Main fruits Mango, jackfruit, litchi, banana, papaya.

Fisheries, dairies and poultries Fishery 125, dairy 12, poultry 16.

Communication facilities Pucca road 106 km, semi-pucca road 15 km, mud road 300 km; railway 14 km; waterway 24 km.

Extinct or nearly extinct traditional transport Palanquin, horse carriage, bullock cart, soari.

Noted manufactories Match factory 1, bidi factory 2, ice factory 1, auto rice mill 5, food and soft drinks 330, metallic work 67, welding factory 8.

Cottage industries Goldsmith 15, blacksmith 25, potteries 10, weaving 63, wood work 55, bamboo work 75, tailoring 125, furniture 111.

Hats, bazars and fairs Hats and bazars are 11, fairs 6, most noted of which are Sonatala Hat, Kachari Hat, Balua Hat, Sayed Ahmed College Hat, Pakulla Hat, Ghorapir Mela, Bura Mela, Gosai Bari Mela at Thakurgaon, Lohagara Mela, Aksay Taya Mela and Maghi Saptami Snan Mela.

Main exports Banana, potato, matches, bidi, vegetables.

Access to electricity All the unions of the upazila are under rural electrification net-work. However 29.4% of the dwelling households have access to electricity.

Sources of drinking water Tube-well 97.3%, tap 0.4% and others 2.3%.

Sanitation 49.7% of dwelling households of the upazila use sanitary latrines and 34.6% of dwelling households use non-sanitary latrines; 15.7% of households do not have latrine facilities.

Health centres Upazila health centre 1, satellite clinic 1, family planning centre 6, clinic 1. Natural disasters The cyclone of 1864 caused heavy damages to settlements, and crops of the upazila. Besides, the floods of 1987-1988 submerged the locality and caused damages to animals and crops of the area.

NGO activities Operationally important NGOs are brac, proshika, asa, thengamara mahila sabuj sangha. [Md. Harun-or-Rashid]

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