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Atwari (আটওয়ারী) is the second smallest upazila of the district in respect of both area and population. Nothing is definitely known about the origin of the “Atwari” name. There is hearsay that the bordering Atwari was once attacked by the robbers eight times in succession. In Bengali eight means aat and attack means Awar in local language. It is generally believed that the Thana might have originated its name from the combination of the above two words.

Area and Location: Atwari occupies an area of 209.92 sq. km. It is located between 26.3083° N and 88.4583° E. Atwari is bounded by west Bengal (India) on the north, Panchagarh Sadar on the north-east, Boda on the east, Thakurgaon Sadar and Baliadangi on the south, and Indian border on the west. See Atwari Map

Main rivers of Atwari upazila are Tangon, Nagor and Pathraj.

Administration: Atwari established as a Thana under Jalpaiguri district of west Bengal in 1903, was included in Dinajpur district after the partition of 1947 and had been an upazila under Panchagarh sub-division since 1980. Atwari upazila has 6 Unions/Wards, 61 mauzas/mahallahs, and 64 villages.

Tourism: As tourist spot, Atwari has the three domed mosque at Mirzapur, Chhaprajhar (Pahar-bhanga) and Sardarpara, which bears the relics of Mughal architecture; remains of the ruined the “Zamindar Bari” of Aloakhoa.  The Bara Awliyar Majar is another notable place in the upazila.

Atwari has the marks of War of Liberation of 1971. These are 2 mass graves, 1 twin grave and 1 martyr memorial monument.

The historical events “Tebhaga Movement” was originated from Atwari in 1946.

Population: According to the population census 2001 the total population of Atwari is 1,14,938 of which 59,376 are males and 55,562 are females. The sex ratio of the area is 107 males per 100 females as against 106 males per 100 females as of 1991.The decadal population growth rate is 10.62% and annual compound growth rate is 1.01%. Growth rate of population, 1951-2001 is as follows:

Decade

Growth Rate

* 1961-1974 period shown as decennial precise 1971 census postponed until 1974 due to war of liberation.

1951-1961

20.6

1961-1974*

51.6

1974-1981

21.7

1981-1991

19.3

1991-2001

10.6

Atwari consists of 6 unions, 61 mauzas and 64 villages. The average population size of each Union, mauza and village are 19,156, 1,884 and 1,796 respectively.

Literacy and Education: In Atwari it is found that 50.7% population aged 7 years and over is literate. Literacy rates by gender and locality of three consecutive censuses are as follows:

Locality

2001

1991

1981

Both

Male

Female

Both

Male

Female

Both

Male

Female

Thana

50.7

59.6

41.4

37.8

50.6

24.1

20.0

30.1

9.1

Rural

49.8

58.7

40.4

36.6

49.3

23.1

19.6

29.6

8.9

Urban

60.4

69.3

51.1

50.2

63.6

35.2

34.1

45.7

20.5

* Literacy rate in 1981 is calculated for population 5 years and above.

In Atwari, the literacy rate is the highest i.e. 55.4% in Radhanagar union and the lowest i.e. 48.4% in dhamor union. School attendance of boys and girls between ages 5 to 24 years are (as of 2001):

Locality

5 – 9 Years

10 - 14 Years

15 – 19 Years

20 – 24 Years

5 – 24 Years

Male

Female

Male

Female

Male

Female

Male

Female

Male

Female

Thana

66.2

64.8

77.9

78.9

54.3

49.6

23.5

6.8

60.4

52.9

Rural

66.2

64.6

77.8

78.9

53.8

49.2

23.0

6.5

60.3

52.7

Urban

66.8

67.1

79.1

78.7

59.6

53.8

28.4

9.3

62.2

54.8

The number of educational institutions in Atwari is: colleges 4, High schools 36, Madrasha 13, Primary school (gov.) 51, (non-gov.) 51.

Economic Activity: In Atwari, 26.19% of the population is below 10 years of age. Among the population of age 10 years and over 30.37% are not working, 1.37 % are looking for work, 30.32% are engaged in household work and the remaining 37.94% are working. The distribution of working people shows in agriculture 30.97%, industry 0.07%, business 2.12%, services 0.09%, construction 0.35%, transport and communication 0.95% and others 3.39%.

In Atwari 81.93% of the dwelling households depend on agriculture as the main source of household income with 57.96% cropping, livestock, forestry and fishery and 23.97% as agricultural labor. Other sources of household income are non- agricultural labor (2.20%), business (6.27%), employment (3.95%), construction (0.66%), religious service (0.07%), rent and remittance (0.21%), transport and communication (3.00%) and others (1.71%). In urban area, main sources of household income are employment 11.80%), construction (0.64%), rent and remittance (0.50%), religious service (0.14%), business (12.52%), non-agricultural labor (1.72%) and others (72.68%). In rural area the main sources of household income are agriculture (83.34%) of which cropping, forestry, livestock and fishery (59.27%) and agricultural labor (24.07%). Other sources are non-agricultural labor (2.24%), business (5.69%), transport and communication (3.03%), employment (3.22%), construction (0.66%), rent and remittance (0.19%) and others (1.63%).

Land control among the peasants 36% are landless, 37% small, 23% intermediate, and 4% rich.

Urbanization: Atwari headquarters is the only urban area of the upazila. It consists of 3 mauzas and occupies an area of 14.05 sq. km.

Mauza with Geo-code

Area Sq. km

Household

Population

Sex Ratio

Density

Literacy (7+yrs)

Both

Male

Female

260-Chhota Dap

4.40

909

3913

2094

1819

115

889

67.5

815 Radhanagar

8.81

1195

5281

2652

2629

101

599

55.5

538 Kismat Dhap

0.84

134

596

596

290

105

709

55.1

Total

14.05

2238

9790

5052

5052

107

697

60.4

Institution: Among the religious institutions Atwari has 130 Mosques, 36 Temple, 7 Church, and 1 Majar. Also there is 25 Culture club, 1 Public library, and 1 Cinema hall.

Health Centers: The “Thana Health Complex” is the main health center of the upazila. The others are 5 family planning centers, 7 satellite clinic 7 and 1 Islamic foundation hospital.

Industry and Commerce: The recently building “Tea industry” is main industry in Atwari. The others are basically cottage industries, their names and numbers are – Bamboo works 150, Goldsmith 25, Blacksmith 50, Wood works 75. Atwari has a number of husking mills. And this upazila has 13 farming poultries also.

Main exports are Tea, Paddy, Jute, Wheat and Potato.

Shops and Markets: The total number of hats and bazaars are 24 in Atwari. Noted Hats/Bazaars and Mela (fairs) are Fakirganj, Kismat hat, Raniganj hat, Bat tali hat, Aloakhoa Mela And the recent Atwari mela at Goaldighee near to Atwari upazila town.

Communication: Atwari has 46 km paka road. And total mud road is 650 km. Extinct or nearly extinct Traditional transport palanquin, bullock cart and buffalo cart. It has a paka road communication with all other upazilas of the District and with Thakurgaon. The nearest railway station is Ruhia. Direct Bus communication is available from Dhaka. See Travel Tips

Cultivation: Main crops are Paddy, Jute, Wheat, Potato, and Sugarcane. Extinct or nearly extinct crops are Barley, Aush paddy, Kaun, Arahar (pulse). Main fruits Mango, Jack fruit, litchi, Banana, Betel nut, Blackberry and Papaya. Recently Orange has been in production in some firms in Atwari.

Land Distribution: In Atwari 69.65% of the dwelling households own and 30.35% do not own agricultural land. Percentage of ownership of agricultural land is 68.65% in urban area as against 69.75% in rural area. Cultivable land 21009 hectare; and land under irrigation 8.74% in this upazila.

[Source: Banglapedia, Wikipedia]