Chittagong is one the biggest division of Bangladesh by area and a major coastal seaport city and financial center of southeastern Bangladesh. The city has a population of more than 2.5 million in the area of 33,908.55 square kilometers. The city is located on the banks of the Karnaphuli River between the Chittagong Hill Tracts and the Bay of Bengal. Much of Chittagong Division is located within the ecological Indo-Burma zone on the boundary of the India Plate and Burma Plate. The port city is known by different names in history, including Chatigaon, Chatigam, Chattagrama, Islamabad, Chattala, Chaityabhumi and Porto Grande De Bengala.The natural harbor of the division is a medieval gateway to the region of Bengal. It was noted as one of the largest Eastern ports by the Roman geographer Ptolemy. As part of the rich seafaring tradition of the Bengali people, coastal Chittagong was ruled by the kingdom of the subcontinent. Arab traders saw well-developed currency, banking and shipping in Chittagong during the 9th century. Early cosmopolitan Muslims established dominance over the port. WhileArakan, Bengal and Tripura competed for control of the wider hinter land, Muslim conquest took place in the 14th century. Chittagong became the principal port of the Bengal Sultanate. Several ancient global explorers, including Ibn Battuta and Niccolò de’ Conti visited the port area of Chittagong. The Mughal conquest of Chittagong reestablished Bengali control from Portuguese trading posts and ushered an era of stability and trade. The city was renamed as Islamabad. The Chittagong dialect of Bengali is included nearly 50% Arabic-origin vocabulary, as well as Persian and Portuguese loanwords.During the British period Chittagong became the chief port and the hub of railway of Eastern Bengal and Assam. A notable anti-colonial uprising took place in 1930. It was an important base for Allied Forces during the Burma Campaign during the World War II. Rapid industrialization followed the war, as Chittagong became part of East Pakistan. During Bangladesh’s liberation war in 1971, Chittagong was site of the country’s declaration of independence.Modern Chittagong is an important economic hub in South Asia. It is home to the Chittagong Stock Exchange and many of Bangladesh’s oldest and largest companies. The Port of Chittagong is the largest international seaport on the Bay of Bengal.
Chittagong has been a seaport since ancient times. The area was home to the ancient Bengali Buddhist. It later gone under the reign of the Gupta Empire, the Pala Empire and the Vesali kingdom of Arakan till the 7th century.The Arabianstraded with the port from the 9th century AD. It came to know that a Buddhist king Gopichandra had his capital at Chittagong in the 10th century, and according to Tibetan tradition. 10th century Buddhist Tantric Tilayogi was born in Chittagong. In the Fourteenth Century, explorer Ibn Battuta passed through Chittagong during his travels.Sultan Fakhruddin Mubarak Shah of Sonargaon conquered Chittagong in 1340 AD and Sultan Giasuddin Mubarak Shah constructed a highway from Chittagong to Chandpur. He also constructed many lavish mosques and tombs. After the defeat of Mahmud Shah to Sher Shah in 1538, the Arakanese Kingdom of Mrauk U regained Chittagong. Until the Mughals, this region was under the control of the Portuguese and the Maghpirates.TheArakanese was expelled by the Mughal commandarShayestha Khan and his son BuzurgUmed Khan and Mughal rule was established there. After the Arakanese expulsion, the area came to be known as Islamabad, made great strides in economic progress. The Mughals, similar to the Afghans who came earlier, started to cultivation, built mosques having a rich contribution to the architecture in the area. The city was occupied by Burmese troops shortlyand the British increasingly grew active in the region and it fell under the British Empire. The people of Chittagong made several attempts to gain independence from the British, notably on 18 November 1857 when the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th companies of the 34th Bengal Infantry Regiment stationed at Chittagong rose in rebellion and released all the prisoners from jail but were suppressed by the Kuki scouts and the Sylhet Light Infantry. During the liberation war in 1971 Chittagong experienced a heavy fighting that resulted a huge loss and damage to the buildings and infrastructures.
Chittagong generates 50% of its governmental revenue. The Chittagong Stock Exchange has more than 700 listed companies, with a market capitalization of US$32 billion till 2015. The Port of Chittagong handled the 3rd trade in South Asia after the Port of Mumbai and the Port of Colombo.Top trading companies are Jamuna Oil Company, BSRM, Padma Oil Company, Meghna Petroleum, GPH Ispat, Aramit Cement, Western Marine Shipyard, RSRM, Hakkani Pulp & Paper.
The Agrabad area is the main central business district of the city and many major companies headquartered in Chittagong including M. M. Ispahani Limited, BSRM, A K Khan & Company, PHP Group, James Finlay Bangladesh, the Habib Group, the S. Alam Group of Industries. The Chittagong EPZ (Export Processing Zone) was ranked by the UK-based magazine, Foreign Direct Investment, as one of the leading special economic zones in the world, in 2010.Other industrial sectors include petroleum, steel, shipbuilding, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, textiles, jute, leather goods, vegetable oil refineries, glass manufacturing, electronics and motor vehicles etc. The port city aims to develop as aneconomical center and regional transshipment hub, given its proximity to North East India, Burma, Nepal, Bhutan and Southwest China.
The Chittagong Division is known for its rich biodiversity. There are 2000 flowering plants grow in the region among 6000. Its hills and jungles are laden with waterfalls, fast flowing river streams and elephant reserves. St. Martin’s Island, within the Chittagong Division, is the only coral island in the country. Chittagong is home to one of the world’s longest natural beachesCox’s Bazaar. The region has numerous protected areas, including the Teknaf Game Reserve and the Sitakunda Botanical Garden and Eco Park.
Transport system in Chittagong is similar to Dhaka. Chittagong is accessible by rail and air too. Popular educational institutions are included Chittagong Medical College, Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology, University of Information Technology and Sciences and the University Of Science & Technology Chittagong Etc. the notable persons from Chittagong are Muhammad Yunus, Nobel laureate, Jamal Nazrul Islam, Mathematical physicist and cosmologist, TamimIqbal, Cricketer.