Rajshahi Division is one of the eight first-level divisions of Bangladesh. It has a population of 18,484,858 on an area of 18,174.4 square kilometres. The Division consists of 8 districts, 70 Upazilas and 1,092 Unions. It has an excellent rail and road communication infrastructure. The rajshahi division is only six-seven hours road journey away from Dhaka, the capital city of the country. Until 2010 this Division has 16 administrative districts, but it was divided into two and the new Division was Rangpurformed out of the 8 northerly districts which had been the part of Rajshahi Division. Rajshahi was ruled by various Rajas, Maharajas and Zamindars.Modern Rajshahi lies in the ancient region of Pundravardhana. The foundation of the city was possibly made in 1634, according to records at the mausoleum of Sufi saint Hazrat Shah Makhdum (R). The area hosted a Dutch settlement in the 18th century. The Rajshahi municipality was constituted during the British Raj in 1876 which was a divisional capital of the Bengal Presidency. Rajshahihas been an important administrative, educational, cultural & business center of the country today. It is still the heart of silk production. The oldest of its kind, Varendra Research Museum in Bangladesh is located in the city. The city is home to many renowned educational institutions of Bangladesh.
Rajshahi district had been the part of the Pundra region of primal Bengal. To 14Km west of Rajshahi was the capital of Vijay Sen, the king who led military operations in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia. The capital of Vijay Sen, the king who led military operations in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia was located 9 miles (14 km) to the west of Rajshahi town. In ancient times, the region was known as “Rampur Boalia”. The history of naming the Rajshahi is debated among the schoolars. Most of the scholars say it was takes from Hindu kings Zamindars or Rajas and persianisedShahi both made Rajshahi, which means kingdom. It was the administrative headquarters of Rajshahi district in Eastern Bengal and Assam during the British Raj. It was originally chosen as a commercial factory for the historical silk trade. It had been officially encouraged by the agricultural department. The city has a government college, and an industrial school for sericulture. Most of the public buildings were severely damaged by the earthquake of 12 June 1897.During the earlier twentieth century there was a daily steamer service on the Ganges. It was connected to rail-heads that led to the provincial capital of Calcutta and the other cities in the province of Bengal. Rajshahi witnessed both great atrocities by the Pakistan army and heroic struggles by the freedom fighters during the liberation war in 1971. The largest mass grave in Bangladesh is located in Rajshahi University, which was used as an army camp during the war. Captain MohiuddinJahangir,died in a great battle and was awarded the highest honor (BirShrestho) by the government of the country after the war.
Rajshahi is known for its educational, literary and artistic heritage and famous for theRajshahi silk, which has a special status as clothing material in Indian subcontinent. Along with neighborliness ChapaiNababganj, Rajshahi is the home of the regions best mangoes and lichis. Rajshahi is also the location of Barendra Museum which is known for its collection of local sculpture and other artifacts dating from ancient times. It also has some important structures made by the British like The T Dam. Rajshahi has a vibrant cultural lifeAsan important city of Bangladesh. Annual celebrations for Independence Day (26 March), Language Martyrs’ Day (21 February) and Victory Day (16 December) are specially celebrated in the Division. The Bengali New YearPahelaBaishakh, on 14 April in every year is popularly celebrated across the city. There are widespread celebration of Muslim festivals of Eidul-Fitr, Eidul-Adha, and Muharram; Hindu festivals of Durga Puja, Buddhist festival of Buddha Purnima; and Christian festival of Christmas across the city.
Rajshahi is known as an educational center of the country as there is many prominent educational institutions like University of Rajshahi, Rajshahi university of science and technology, Rajshahi Medical College, Islami Bank Medical College, Varendra University, Rajshahi Government Collegiate School, Government Laboratory High School Rajshahi and others. Rajshahi College is the third oldest college in Bangladesh after Dhaka College and Chittagong College. Rajshahi Medical College is the 2nd oldest medical college in East Pakistan and now in Bangladesh. The University is one of the largest public universities in the country and the second oldest university of the country. Rajshahi Engineering College, now known as RUET was the second engineering college established in East Pakistan.
Apart from the usual agricultural products of Bangladesh, it isneighboring regions are specially suited from various crops such as Mango, Lichi, Sugarcane, Potato, Tomato & Watermelon. The mango and lychee is the most delicious in the whole country.Rajshahidivision is the home to number of jute, textile and sugar mills, pharmaceutical and mango based industries. There are many corporate branchs of banks and companies located in Rajshahi.