27TH JANUARY, CHITTAGONG'S OFFICIAL BIRTHDAY: HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU FROM CANADA!
When was Chittagong city founded? What is Chittagong's birthday? Can we honor this great city by finding out its birthday? Is there really a birthday? What is the date? These are the questions asked by the people of Chittagong over and again. Among other things, celebrating the birthday no doubt will also bring the blessing of Chittagong's increasing prosperity. It is about time that we begin the celebration, but again what is the birthday? Let's start with some research to find out the exact date of its birth, so that we can duly honor this city without any delay.
"Chittagong has been a seaport since ancient times. Arabs traded with the port from the 9th century AD. The Chittagong region was under the Vesali Hindu Chandra kingdom of Arakan (which is the coastal area of Burma) in the 6th to 7th century. "
Chakrosals of Patya in Chittagong has been the capital of ancient Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms in this area.
8th Century AD Chittagong began to be the major center of trade for Arab merchants.
Beginning from the 9th century there has been pockets of small Muslim sultanates all over Chittagong both in the Northern and Southern Chittagong.
957 AD the Chandra Deve of Arakan was defeated by the Mongoloid king and the kingdom was shifted to Chittagong, the palace, on Dev pahar of Chittagong.
Fakhruddin Mubarak Shah, Sultan of Sonargaon, occupied Chittagong in 1340 AD. He ruled Chittagong from Fotheabad of Northern Chittagong.1300 AD( Approximately) Badar Awlia founded his center of devotion on Charagir Pahar in the corner of now Jamal Khan lane. Thus derived the name Chittiga. He also helped the Gaur army to occupy Chittagong. There was another Badar seat in Bader Patti on jail road. The exact dates of the foundation of these spiritual centers are not known.
1430 AD Bengal Gaur Sultan's army led by General Wali Khan occupied Arakan. The Arakanese king also returned the twelve towns (twelve small feuds), which most likely be the the whole of southern Chittagong with perhaps twelve small sultanates by then came under Arakanese Mogh rule.
In 1538, Sher Khan attacked Bengal and defeated Ghiyashuddin Shah which led to the weakening of Gaur, the Bengal capital city.
1459 Basau Pieu or Kolima Shah the Arakanese Mogh king occupied Southern Chittagong.
1538 AD, the Mogh king conquered the entire Chittagong. It settled the Portuguese in the Firinghi Bazar and in Diang Hill and exterminated the Muslim rulers from Chittagong. The area remained under the occupation of the Portuguese and the Maghs until1666 AD when the Moghuls conquered Chittagong. Under the Mogh and Portuguese rule it was a city used to capture Bengali slaves from lower Bengal and put them to work in agricultural works in Chittagong and Arakan which made life miserable to its Bengali people.
1666 AD Mughal army led by Shaista Khan and his General Bujurgo Umed Khan drove out the Mogh and Portuguese pirates and founded Chittagong as a district.
Until the Moghul occupation, Chittagong was a sleepy town lived by Mogh and Portuguage pirates . It seems after the conquest, Moghuls brought life, security, prosperity and vigor to the city.
Chittagong continued to keep Moghul influence till our times. "The place names such as Jamal Khan, Ghat Farhad Beg, Rahmalganj, Fidai-Khan were places where Mughal officers settled. The mahallat now under the iurisdicrion of Kotwali. Korwal, the lord of a kot or fort) was the chief vigilance officer in the Mughal urban administration. Therefore, the area under the Kotwali must have formed the substantial portron of the Mughal city of Chittagong "The traces of residential quatters ol the faujdal and other grandees for example diwans, bakhshls, naibs, deroghao and the people of rank and file cannot be satisfactorily located. Most probably,their quarters were located within the fort and its adjoining area.It was a practice of that time that the qanungog either lived personally in the town or stationed their agents. As Chittagong was a strategrc frontier town of the Mughal Empire, a large number of soldiers had to be garrisoned in the town area. The chief residential areas in the town during the Mughol period were as follows: Pathantooly suggests the area inhabited by the Pathana, Mughalpura was named atter the residential area ol some Mughal offrcers." "Holisahar is a Bengali corruption of Persian haveli-i-sahar or district headquarters. Hazaritola has been named after a hazari munsabdar whose residential quarter was situated there. Medieval religious edilces throw light on the settled areas of the city at that time. Most of these buiidings are found within a radius of one and half miles from Andarkilla. The existence of a large number of the Mughal religious structures in Chawkbazar area testifies to the fact that the area grew to be one of the most crowded residential areas of the city during the late Mugnal period. The principal mosque in the town during rhe Mughal period were Oadam Mubarak mosque, Oli Khans mosque, Chandanpura Mosque. The Edgah or the place of offering Eid prayer in the town was situatad at Agrabad, the foundation of which is ascribed to Nawab Hasan Ouli Khan. lt maybe imagined that merchants of distant places anchored their ships in the river and gathered in this placa for purchase of and sale of commodities. Native retailers erected stalls in this place and exposed their merchandise for sale. Market places for the daily necessaties can be recognlzed by the places surnamed as ganj, bazar, hat, chawk, sulrog, bandar ctc. market places show their origin to the Mughal period.."
"The principal market of the town such as, Dewanbazar, Dewanhat (named after one or more dewans), Rahamatgani (either named alter or established by Faujdar Rahamatulah Khan), Bakhshirhat (either named after or established by an anonymous bakhshi). The chief streets ol the city were Dewan Bazar, Chandanpura street connecting Andarkilla and Chawkbrzar and Bandel-Firingi Bazar street connocting Andarkilla and the rivor bank. Tho exisience of some ghats or naval stopping places on the river bank goes back the the Mughal period. Ghat Farhad Beg commemorates the services ol Farhad Beg as a faujdar of Chittagong. This ghat in true sense of the term has now been extinct owing to the shrinking back of the liver. The existence of Chaktai ghat, situated near the confluence of the Chaktai Khal and the Karnaphuli dates back to the Mughal period. Patharghata has come into existence since ths Mughal period. The city had dhighis or resrvoirs of still water."
Dighis as charitable works: Laldighi, Ashkrrdhigi, Khansdighi, Kamaldaha (vulgarly callod Kaldah near Oli Khan's marjid etc. provided the city dweller with water for drinking and bathing. Two of the most noteworthy spots of the town were Jahan Numa and Bag Moniiam. The former spot has been referred to by poet Narrullah Khan. lt seems that this was the Mughal name of modern Fairy Hill. The poet states that the spot was erected by lhe governor of Chittaong on ths top of the hill from where constructed space of great extent could be seen by bare eye. Bag Moniiam was a garden or pleasurer spot built by Dewan Moniium adjacent to his residence. The gentle flowing rlver, the rushing streemlets, the emarald greenhills and man made gardens and reservoirs must have lent beauty and enchantment to this easternmost Mughal city. "
"The outer enclosure of the foil, according to Talishs narration,connected all the hills, high or low encircling the Laldighi tank.Talish writes that, the lower hills have been heaped over with earth, and raised to the level of the higher one's. He further narrates : "All these hills have been scarped cylindrically, fortified, and named the fort (of Chatoaon)." "It appeats from the narration of Talish that the outer wall, which was probably built by piling of earth, joined the modern Kotwali Hill, Badarpatti Hill,Jamal Khan Hill, Rangmahal Hilt, Paradise Hill, Tempest Hill, Fairy Hill and slowly descended in the plains near the river bank. Modern Bandel Road probably served as a passage that connected the rivel bank with the main entrance into the fort."
The Mughal province of Chittagong was exposed to the danger of attacks by the Arakanes and European pirate to defend the port town from the attack of the enemy, the Mughals erected a new fort and a palace called Rangmahal within the Anderkilla fort."
Historically speaking, unlike the rest of Bengal, Chittagong had varieties of influences from Buddhist, Hindu, Arab, Portuguese, Dutch, English and the Moghuls. It is due to that Chittagonian dialect is not comprehensible to the rest of Bangladeshis. It is especially because it is heavily influenced by Arabic, Persian and Turkish language and its people that settled in Chittagong. Among the many of its influences, Moghuls seems to have left its lasting influence by bringing Arab, Pathan, Turkish and Persian and Hindu, Sikh administrators and soldiers to defend the city shown in the city's names. Above all, Mughuls's biggest success was to get rid of the Mogh and Portuguese pirates.
The exact date when Chittagong city was originally founded is not known. However, the conquest of Chittagong by the Moghuls and its day of liberation is recorded. It is 27th January, 1666 AD.
On this day, under Moghul governor Shaista Khan direct supervision from Dhaka, his General Bujurgo Umed Khan entered Chittagong defeating the Mogh pirates and assured the people of Chittagong, the Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist and Christians that there will not be any looting or injustice done over the subjects. Thus began the new age in Chittagong. After the conquest people all over Bengal rejoiced at bringing the end to Portuguese and the Mogh rule. Thus the official birthday is 27th January 1966.
Happy Birthday Chittagong! Happy Birthday to You!- From Canada with Love!
Suniti BhuaHan Qanungo, A History of Chittagong. http://www.slideshare.net/kabarakhine/history-of-chittagong
Abid Bahar, History of Chittagong and ARAKAN: Burmese invasion of Arakan and the rise of non Bengali settlements in Bangladesh. Source: http://www.defence.pk/forums/bangladesh-defence189387-history-chittagong-arakan.html#ixzz2HgsYlLgd
Abdul Haque Chowdhury, Chattagramer Ithas Prosango, Chittagong, 1976.
Ahamed Sharif, Chattagramer Ithas. 2011.
Chowdhury Sripurna Devborma, Chattagramer Ithas. 2011.
LS.S. O' Malley, Eastern Bengal District Gazettier, 1908.