Panchagarh Sadar (পঞ্চগড় সদর)
Panchagarh Sadar (পঞ্চগড় সদর), is the most populous area of Panchagarh district. Nothing is definitely known about the origin of Panchagarh. It is learnt that in the past there existed five Jungles in the locality. In Bengali the word panch means five & garh means jungle. It is generally believed that the name might have originated from the combination of the above two words.
Area and Location: The upazila occupies an area of 347.08 sq. km. including 4.85 sq. km. forest area. It is located between 26.3347° N 88.5583° E. Panchagarh sadar is bounded by Jalpaiguri district of west Bengal (India) on the north and east, Boda upazila on the south and Atwari upazila and Chapra thana of Purnea district (India) on the west.
Main rivers are Karatoya, Talma, Tangon and Chawai.
Maps of Panchagarh Sadar
Administration: Panchagarh upazila was established under Jalpaiguri district of west Bengal during the British rule; it came into existence in 1909 as Thana. It was under the Thakurgaon subdivision of Dinajpur District at the time of the partition of 1947 and had been an upazila under Panchagarh subdivision since 1980. The upazila consists of 1 municipality, 10 unions, 9 wards, 75 mauzas, 32 mahallahs and 196 villages.
Tourism: Maharaja Dighi (Pond) at Bhitargarh is well known tourist attraction of the sadar upazila. Bhitrar Shalmara is a notable beel (Lake). Shal forest of Bhitargarh and the government forest on the banks of the Chawai and Karatoya are notable.
During the War of Liberation in 1971 the guerilla fighters demolished the bridge on the Chawai near the Amarkhana camp thereby obstructing the advance of the Pak-army towards the north. At the initial stage of the war Maqbul Darji & the Badi Howladar (EPR) were killed in an encounter with the Pak army which however lost eighteen of its soldiers.
The Shaheed Farooque Ahmad memorial monument at Dhakka-mara in Panchagarh town is the marks of War of Liberation. Also the grave of the martyr freedom fighter Sakimuddin at Jagdal-hat in front of the Baital Aman mosque is another Mark of the war.
Population: According to the population census 2001 the total population of the upazila is 2,29,237, of which 1,18,226 are males and 1,11,011 are females. The sex ratio of the upazila is 106 males per 100 females as against 105males per 100 females in 1991. The average population of each union/word, mauza/mahallah and village are 12,065, 2,142 and 1,170 respectively. Muslims are 93.08%, Hindus 6.78%, others 0.14% of the total population.
The decadal population growth rate of the Panchagarh sadar is 18.65 and annual compound growth rate is 1.72%. The decadal growth rates over the last half century are shown below:
|Decade||Growth Rate||*1961-1974 period shown as decennial precise 1971 census postponed until 1974 due to war of liberation.|
Literacy and Education: In Panchagarh Sadar 45.7% of population aged 7 years & over are literate. Literacy rates by sex and locality of three consecutive censuses are shown below:
|Both Sexes||Male||Female||Both Sexes||Male||Female||Both Sexes||Male||Female|
|* Literacy rate in 1981 is calculated for population 5 years and above.|
School attendance of boys and girls between age 5 to 24 years are presented here:
5 – 9 Years
10 – 14 Years
15 – 19 Years
20 – 24 Years
5 – 24 Years
In the Panchagarh Sadar Upazila, the literacy rate is the highest i.e.71.4% in ward no. 03 of Panchagarh Paurashava (municipality) & the lowest i.e. 34.2% in Satmara union.
The number of educational institutions are college (gov.) 2, (non-gov) 3, high school (gov) 2, high school (non-gov) 48, Junior High School 13, madrasha 57, Primary school (gov) 77, (non-gov) 376, Satellite school 3.
Economic Activity: Agriculture 40.38%, commerce 9.33%, agricultural laborer 27.13%, wage laborer 4.45%, service 7.42%, transport 2.22%, others 9.07%.
In the Panchagarh Sadar, 29.53% of the populations are below 10 years of age. Among the population of age 10 years and over 26.94% are not working, 1.39% are looking for work, 33.49% are engaged in household work and the remaining 38.18% are working. The distribution of working people shows in agriculture 23.51%, industry 0.43%, business 3.82%, services 0.32%, construction 0.54%, transport & communication 1.45% and others 8.11%.
In Panchagarh Sadar, 59.73% of the dwelling households depend on agriculture as the main source of household income with 36.59% on cropping, livestock, forestry and fishery and 23.14% as agricultural labor. Other sources of household income are non- agricultural labor (6.44%), business (11.85%), employment (8.15%), industry (0.63%), construction (0.84%), religious service (0.16%), rent and remittance (0.19%), transport and communication (4.63%) and others (7.38%). In urban area main sources of household income are employment (29.01%), construction (2.29%), rent and remittance (0.77%), industry (0.63%), religious service (0.24%), transport and communication (6.51%), business (29.64%), non-agricultural labor (6.23%) and others (25.04%). In rural area the main sources of household income are agriculture (69.26%) of which cropping, livestock, forestry and fishery (42.58%) and agriculture labor (26.68%). Other sources are non-agricultural labor (6.48%), business (8.33%), transport and communication (4.25%), employment (4.01%), industry (0.63%), construction (0.56%), religious service (0.14%) and others (6.34%).
Urbanization: Panchagarh paurashava (municipality) is the only urban area of the Panchagarh Sadar. It consists of 9 Wards, 32 mahallahs and only one adjoining mauza as other urban area which altogether occupies an area of 20.72 sq. km. Panchagarh district headquarters is located here.
Institution: Among the cultural organizations Panchagarh Sadar upazila has 2 Public libraries, 3 clubs, 4 cinema halls, 1 art institute, 1 auditorium, 1 circuit house, 1 stadium. Religious institutions of this upazila are 44 Mosques and 8 temples.
Health Centers: The Sadar hospital of the district is in the Panchagarh Sadar upazila. The other health centers are the upazila health complex, 3 satellite clinics, 8 family planning centers, the diabetic hospital, and leprosy hospital.
Industry and Commerce: The Panchagarh Sugar Mills Ltd. is the main industry of this Sadar upazila, along with the recently growing Tea industry. “Gemcon” & “Khamba” are the other 2 electric pole manufacturing industries. Panchagarh Sadar has Distillery 1, Husking mill 55, Saw mill 20, Homeo laboratory 1. Also among cottage industries this upazila has Bamboo work 300, Goldsmith 35, Blacksmith 80, Potteries 30, Wood work 120. Main exports Tea, Paddy, Jute, Betel nut, Watermelon, Wheat, Sugar, Electric pole, Alcohol, Bamboo and Bamboo mat.
Shops and Markets: Panchagarh Sadar has the total 35 hats and bazaars. Notable hats and bazaars are Rajnagar, Jagdal, Jhalai, Harivaya, Model, Futkibari, Magura dalua, Chakla, Goleha, Talma, Mirgarh, Ziabari, Tunir hat, Dewan hat and Kazir hat.
Communication: In this Sadar upazila total roads and highway is 30 km, paka 45.8 km, semi paka 10.25 km and mud road 1050 km. Panchagarh Sadar also has 8 km railway. Traditional transports are Horse, Palanquin, and Bullock cart. These means of transport are either extinct or nearly extinct.
Panchagarh Sadar has 8 hours journey by Bus from the capital city Dhaka. See Travel Tips
Cultivation: Main crops of Panchagarh Sadar are Paddy, Jute, Wheat, Sugarcane, Potato, Chilli, and Onion. Extinct and nearly extinct crops are Savory, Millet, Tobacco, Arahar (pulse), Aus paddy, Dhemsi. Main fruits are Mango, Jackfruit, Guava, Banana, Pomegranate, Pineapple, Custard Apple, Betel nut, and watermelon.
Land Distribution: In Panchagarh Sadar, 53.43% of the dwelling households own and 46.57% do not own agricultural land. Percentage of ownership of agricultural land is 39.47% in urban area as against 56.20% in rural area.
[Source: Banglapedia, Wikipedia]