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Dhaka, formerly spelled as Dacca in English, is the capital and one of the oldest cities of Bangladesh. The history of Dhaka begins with the existence of urbanised settlements in the area that is now Dhaka dating from the 7th century CE. The city area was ruled by the Buddhist kingdom of Kamarupa before passing to the control of the Sena dynasty in the 9th century CE. After the Sena dynasty, Dhaka was successively ruled by the Turkic and Afghan governors descending from the Delhi Sultanate before the arrival of the Mughals in 1608. After Mughals, British ruled the region for over 150 years until the independence of India. In 1947, Dhaka became the capital of the East Bengal province under the dominion of Pakistan. After the independence of Bangladesh in 1971, Dhaka became the capital of the new state.

----From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


In 1911, Dacca contained a population of 2,960,402. The principal town, Dacca, is situated   on the  north bank of the Buri Ganga river, and is not only the head-quarters of the division that bears its name, but was for a time  the capital of the Province of Eastern Bengal and Assam.

Several explanations have been offered of the origin of name Dacca (Dhaka). Some derive it from dhak[1] the name of a tree (Butea frondosa), others connect it with the goddess Dhakeswari [lit. the concealed goddess) whose shrine is situated in the western part of Dacca city. The famous Ballal Sen is said to have been the son of one of the wives of Adisura by the river Brahmaputra who visited his mother in the guise of a Brahman.  The woman and her child were banished to the jungle lying north of the Buri Ganga River, and here Ballal Sen discovered an image of Durga for whom, on his succession to his father’s throne, he built a temple, the goddess taking the name of Dhakeswari in consequence of the seclusion of the site.[2] A third account derives the name Dacca from dhak the Bengali for a drum. It is stated that in 1008 A.D. when Alauddin Islam Khan thought it expedient to move his capital eastwards from Rajmahal, he anchored on the Buri Ganga at the spot where Dacca now stands. Impressed by the advantages of the site he determined to make the place the head-quarters of the Province and fixed the   boundaries of the city by sending men to the north, east and west.  They were ordered to walk to the point where the drums beaten in the Governor’s camp first became inaudible, and all the land where the sound of the dhak could be heard became the city of Dacca.”

The district has the shape of a triangle with its apex to the south and a considerable protrusion towards the western end of the base. On the east and west it is bounded by great rivers. To the east by the Meghna which separates it from the district of  Tippera; to the west by the Brahmaputra or Jamuna which, after  its junction with the Ganges, is known as the Padma or Kirtinasa  and separates it from the districts of Pabna, Faridpur, and  Bakarganj. To the north lies the district of Mymensingh.


[1] One objection to this derivation is the fact that dhak trees are not at the present day common in Dacca.

[2] Taylor’s Topography and Statistics of Dacca, Calcutta, 1839, p. 66.


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