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Metropolitan City
Agrabad Commercial Area, Zia Memorial Museum, Port of Chittagong, Commonwealth War Cemetery
Agrabad Commercial Area, Zia Memorial Museum, Port of Chittagong, Commonwealth War Cemetery
Nickname(s): The Gateway of Bangladesh, Commercial Capital of Bangladesh
Chittagong is located in Bangladesh
Location of Chittagong in Bangladesh
Coordinates: 22°22′0″N 91°48′0″E / 22.36667°N 91.80000°E / 22.36667; 91.80000
Country Bangladesh
DivisionChittagong Division
DistrictChittagong District
Granted city status1863[2]
 • TypeMayor–Council
 • BodyChittagong City Corporation
 • City MayorM. Manzur Alam
 • Metropolitan City168.07 km2 (64.89 sq mi)
Population (2011)
 • Metropolitan City6,500,000
 • Metro4,009,423
 • DemonymChittagongians
Time zoneBST (UTC+6)
Postal code4000
Calling code31
WebsiteChittagong City Corporation
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This article is about Chittagong as a city in Bangladesh. For other uses, see Chittagong (disambiguation).
Metropolitan City
Agrabad Commercial Area, Zia Memorial Museum, Port of Chittagong, Commonwealth War Cemetery
Agrabad Commercial Area, Zia Memorial Museum, Port of Chittagong, Commonwealth War Cemetery
Nickname(s): The Gateway of Bangladesh, Commercial Capital of Bangladesh
Chittagong is located in Bangladesh
Location of Chittagong in Bangladesh
Coordinates: 22°22′0″N 91°48′0″E / 22.36667°N 91.80000°E / 22.36667; 91.80000
Country Bangladesh
DivisionChittagong Division
DistrictChittagong District
Granted city status1863[2]
 • TypeMayor–Council
 • BodyChittagong City Corporation
 • City MayorM. Manzur Alam
 • Metropolitan City168.07 km2 (64.89 sq mi)
Population (2011)
 • Metropolitan City6,500,000
 • Metro4,009,423
 • DemonymChittagongians
Time zoneBST (UTC+6)
Postal code4000
Calling code31
WebsiteChittagong City Corporation

Chittagong /ɪtəɡɒŋ/ (Bengali: চট্টগ্রাম; Porto Grande De Bengala; Mughal Islamabad) is the second-largest city and busiest seaport of Bangladesh. It is located on the banks of the Karnaphuli River in the south-eastern region of the country. It is the capital of Chittagong District and Chittagong Division. The Chittagong Metropolitan Area has a population of over 6.5 million.[4] It is administered by the Chittagong City Corporation and the Chittagong Development Authority.

Chittagong is an ancient and historic gateway of Bengal. It is the premier port and industrial centre of Bangladesh; hosting its most diversified industries; the Port of Chittagong; the headquarters of many of the oldest and largest Bangladeshi companies; the Chittagong Stock Exchange; and the Chittagong Tea Auction. It is also one of the fastest-growing cities in the world.[5]

Chittagong has major public educational and research institutions, including the University of Chittagong, CUET and the Chittagong Medical College. It is home to the Asian University for Women. Prominent landmarks include the colonial Divisional Court, Circuit House, the Commonwealth War Cemetery, the Ethnological Museum of Chittagong, the Anderkilla Imperial Jame Mosque, historic Sufi shrines, the Chittagong Buddhist Monastery and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Chittagong. Chittagonian cuisine features the widely popular Mezbahan curries. The port city is also known for its controversial ship-breaking yards; located on its outskirts; which have been criticized for poor labour conditions.


The anglicised name Chittagong probably emerged from a mixture of the Bengali (Chattagram and Chatgaon) and Arakanese (Tsi-tsi-gong) names of the city. Medieval Arab traders referred to the port as Shetgang, which evolved from the term Shatt al-Ganga, meaning "Mouth of the Ganges". Ma Huan, who accompanied Zheng He's voyage to Bengal in the 14th century, transliterated it into Chinese as Cheh-ti-gan.[6] Jean Bernoulli, in his book Description Historique et Geographic de L'Inde (1786), explains that the anglicised name Chittagong came from the Arabic word "Shetgang", which evolved from the term Shatt al-Ganga, meaning "Mouth of the Ganges". For centuries, Arab traders referred to the settlement as the main port of the Ganges delta and Bengal,[7] whence the medieval practice of calling the city itself Bengala.[6]

The Bengali names of the city are Chatgaon and Chattagram. The origins of these words are unclear; however, several theories do exist. More than six hundred years ago, an Islamic preacher Hazrat Badar Aawlia arrived in this city from the seas and chose Cheragi Pahar as his vantage point to spread the message of Islam among the locals. It was at the apex of this hill that he lit a chati (lamp) and called out (ajaan) for people to join him in saying prayer to God. Chittagong's etymology can then be traced unmistakably back to "chati". And the hills are at the core of Chittagong's mythology.[8] Another theory is that the first group of brahmins to have settled in this region were "chatt-upadhyays". Hence, this region came to be known as chatto-gan or Chattan Gaon (Chatto/Chattan=Rock or stone) (gan or gaon is the prakrit/Bengali term for village). A fact confirming this theory is that the majority of the kayastha of this region were of the kashyap gotra, which is also the gotra of the Chattopadhyays. The Arakanese name comes from the phrase tsi tsi gong, which means "the war that should never be fought".


Main article: History of Chittagong


Ibn Battuta visited Bengal in 1443
In the 7th century, Chinese scholar and traveler Xuanzang described the region as a "a sleeping beauty emerging from mists and water"
Dutch painting of Chittagong port in 1702
Ships moored off the coast in the 1820s

The excavation of Neolithic fossils and tools in Sitakunda, Chittagong District indicate the presence of Stone Age settlements in the region as early as the third millennium BCE.[9] The earliest historical records of the Port of Chittagong date back to the 4th century BC, when sailors from the area embarked on voyages to Southeast Asia. The 2nd century Graeco-Roman geographer Ptolemy mentioned the port on his map as one of the finest harbours in Asia and the eastern frontier of the Indian subcontinent.[10] The 7th century traveling Chinese scholar and poet Xuanzang described it as "a sleeping beauty emerging from mists and water".[11][12]

The region was part of the ancient Bengali Buddhist kingdoms of Harikela and Samatata. According to Tibetan chronicles, the area was the capital of the Buddhist king Govindachandra and the site of a major monastery called Pandit Vihara. Arab and Persian traders arrived in the 8th century, and the region emerged as a major trading centre on the maritime silk route, renowned for its pearls, rice, and textiles.[13] Chittagong also attracted many Sufi missionaries who settled in the region and played an instrumental role in the spread of Islam.[7][11] In 1231, Chittagong was seized by the Deva dynasty under the reign of Damodaradeva.[14]

Sultan Fakhruddin Mubarak Shah of Sonargaon conquered Chittagong in 1340.[15] He constructed a highway from Chittagong to Chandpur and ordered the construction of lavish mosques and tombs.[16] The Moroccan explorer Ibn Battuta visited the city in 1443 and sailed from the port to Canton in China.[17] The Italian merchant Niccolò de' Conti visited the city around the same time as Battuta.[18] In the mid-15th century, the Chinese Treasure Fleet of Admiral Zheng He anchored in the port during numerous imperial missions to the Sultanate of Bengal.[19] The Ottoman Empire utilized the shipyards of Chittagong to build its naval forces.[20] After the defeat of Mahmud Shah at the hands of Sher Shah in 1538, the Arakanese Kingdom of Mrauk U conquered Chittagong. The Portuguese established merchant communities on the banks of the Karnaphuli in 1528. In collusion with Magh pirates and the Arakanese, Portuguese traders dominated the area for more than a century.[21][22] The Mughal commander Shayestha Khan and his son Buzurg Umed Khan expelled the Arakanese from the area in 1666 and established Mughal rule there. After the Arakanese expulsion, Islamabad, as the area came to be known, economically progressed. This can mainly be attributed to an efficient system of land-grants to selected diwans or faujdars to clear massive areas of hinterland and start cultivation. The Mughals, similar to the Afghans who came earlier, also built mosques having a rich contribution to the architecture in the area.[clarification needed] What is called Chittagong today also began to have improved connections with the rest of Mughal Bengal.[18][21][22][23][24][25][26][27][28]

In 1685, the British East India Company sent out an expedition under Admiral Nicholson with instructions to seize Chittagong and fortify it on behalf of the English but the expedition proved abortive. Two years later, the Court of Directors, determined to make Chittagong the headquarters of their Bengal trade, sent out a fleet of ten or eleven ships to seize it under Captain Heath. However, after reaching Chittagong in early 1689, they found the city too strongly held and abandoned the attempt. The city remained under the possession of the Mughals until 1760 when it was ceded to the East India Company by Mir Qasim, the Nawab of Bengal.[29][30]

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 rebelled and released all the prisoners from jail but were suppressed by the Kuki scouts and the Sylhet Light Infantry (10th Gurkha Rifles).[7]


A mid 20th century commercial building in the Agrabad financial district
Ayub Khan, military dictator of East and West Pakistan, with industrialist A. K. Khan in Chittagong, 1960

On 22 June 1863, the Chittagong Municipality was founded and J. D. Ward appointed as an administrator. The initial area of the municipality was only 6 square miles (16 km2).[31]

The Port of Chittagong was developed from the 19th-century, alongside the development of the Assam Bengal Railway. The port was jointly administered with railway authorities, and it became an important trading point for the exports of jute, rice, tea and oil.

Chittagong grew at the beginning of the twentieth century after the partition of Bengal and the creation of the province of Eastern Bengal and Assam.[32] The construction of the Assam Bengal Railway to Chittagong facilitated further development of economic growth in the city. However, revolutionaries and opposition movements grew during this time. Many people in Chittagong supported Khilafat and Non-Cooperation movements.

In 1930, revolutionary Surya Sen formed the secret Republican Army and set up camps for revolutionary youths to train in guerrilla tactics against the British occupation of India.[33] He devised the strategy of capturing the two main armouries in Chittagong and then destroying the telegraph and telephone office, followed by capital punishment of the members of the "European Club", the majority of whom were government or military officials involved in maintaining British Raj in India.

Firearms retailers were also to be raided and rail and communication lines were scheduled to be disrupted. On 18 April 1930 the armoury of the police was captured by the group of revolutionaries led by Ganesh Ghosha, and another group of ten, led by Lokenath Baul, took over the Auxiliary Force armoury. A total of sixty five revolutionaries took part in the raid, which was undertaken in the name of the Indian Republican Army, Chittagong branch. After the successful raids, all the revolutionary groups gathered outside the police armory where Surya Sen took a military salute, hoisted the National Flag, and proclaimed a Provisional Revolutionary Government. The revolutionaries left Chittagong town before dawn and marched towards the Chittagong hill ranges, looking for a safe place.[34]

On 22 April 1930 over 80 British troops and 12 revolutionaries were killed in the ensuing gunfight in the Jalalabad hills on the outskirts of Chittagong. Surya Sen decided to disperse into neighbouring villages in small groups, and the revolutionaries escaped accordingly. Very few revolutionaries fled to Calcutta while some revolutionaries were arrested in Chittagong.

The "first armoury raid case" filled by British Government concluded in January 1932 and the judgement was delivered on 1 March 1932. The sentences were deportation for life for twelve and three years' imprisonment for two, and the rest of a total of 32 persons on trial were acquitted. Surya Sen was arrested on 16 February 1933 from Gairala village because of a tip-off from a traitor in the revolutionary group. The traitor Netra Sen, was stabbed to death at his home by the revolutionaries before he could collect his Rupee 10,000 reward. Masterda Surya Sen was tried and was hanged on 12 January 1934[35] after immense torture. His body was thrown into the Bay of Bengal by the British instead of being cremated.

During World War II, chitta cantonment as well as air and sea ports served as important military camps for Allied Forces fighting in the Burma Campaign. The Japanese Air Force raided the city in April and May 1942.[36][37] The war had a major negative impact on the city, with the growth of refugees and unevenness in fortune, reflected in the Great Famine of 1943.[7]

After the war, rapid industrialization saw the city grow beyond its previous municipal area, particularly in the southwest up to Patenga, where the Chittagong International Airport is now located. The former villages of Halishahar, Askarabad, and Agrabad became integrated into the city. The Chittagong Development Authority was established in 1959 and drew up master plans for the city's urban expansion.[7] However, the Pakistani central government focused more on the development of Karachi in West Pakistan and long neglected the development of Chittagong in East Pakistan; despite the East being more populous than western regions and generating the largest share of foreign exchange earnings.[38]

In 1971, during the Bangladesh Liberation War, Chittagong was under sector 1, which suffered massive losses in people and buildings given that they denied the occupation army access to the port. The first public announcement was made over the radio from the Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra located at Kalurghat, Chittagong. Following the independence of Bangladesh, the city underwent a major rehabilitation and reconstruction programme and regained its status as an important port within a few years.[7]

Geography and climate[edit]

Foy's Lake
Patenga beach

Chittagong has a total area of 168.07 square kilometres (64.89 sq mi). The city is known for its vast hilly terrain that stretches throughout the entire district and eventually into India.[citation needed] The city is located at 22°22′0″N 91°48′0″E / 22.36667°N 91.80000°E / 22.36667; 91.80000 on the banks of the Karnaphuli River.

Under the Köppen climate classification, Chittagong has a tropical monsoon climate (Am).[39]

Chittagong faced the deadliest cyclone of 1991 which killed 138,000 people and left as many as 10 million homeless.[40]

Climate data for Chittagong
Record high °C (°F)31.7
Average high °C (°F)26
Daily mean °C (°F)20
Average low °C (°F)13.9
Record low °C (°F)5.2
Precipitation mm (inches)5.6
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm)0126111719171372196
 % humidity70677175788486878582787778
Source #1: Weatherbase (normals, 30 yr period)[41][unreliable source]
Source #2: Sistema de Clasificación Bioclimática Mundial (extremes),[42] BBC Weather (humidity and sun)[43]

Civic administration[edit]

The Chittagong city areas are divided into several wards and mahallas, under the jurisdiction of the Chittagong City Corporation. The corporation is governed by the city mayor, who is an elected representative for a five-year term along with 41 male general ward councillors and 14 female ward councillors. The male ward councillors are elected from the 41 general wards in the city where the residents vote and elect their ward councillor as their elected representatives. The female ward councillors are elected by only the female voters of the 14 female wards to represent the city's female dwellers.[44] The Chittagong Development Authority (CDA) is responsible for implementing the city's Master Plan.

Chittagong Metropolitan Police is the main law enforcing agency in the metropolis. Established in 1978, it employs around 5,000 personnel, having 30 police stations under it. Rapid Action Battalion-7 is present in Chittagong

Commerce & Industry[edit]

Main article: Economy of Chittagong
Chittagong Port is one of the busiest ports on the Bay of Bengal

Chittagong is a premier commercial, financial and industrial hub and the principal maritime gateway of Bangladesh. It accounts for 12% of the national economy- generating 40% of heavy industrial output, 85% of foreign trade and 60% of revenue.[4][45][46][47] The Port of Chittagong, which handled an estimated $60 billion of annual trade in 2011, is one of the busiest seaports in South Asia and one of the 100 largest ports in the world.[48][49] The city is also one of the twin financial centers of Bangladesh, being home to the Chittagong Stock Exchange, which has a combined market capitalization of $26.6 billion as of 2013.[50]

Endowed with the largest and most diversified industrial base in the country,[51] Chittagong is the centre of industries in steel, petroleum, chemicals, shipbuilding, ship-repair and scrappage, glass manufacturing, cement, ceramics, fertilizer, automotive components and motor vehicle assembly. It hosts numerous light industrial zones which specialize in garments, leather products, food processing, tea, sports goods and jute products. The Chittagong Export Processing Zone, which is the largest export processing zone in Bangladesh, was ranked by the Financial Times as one of the world's best special economic zones. The Karnaphuli Export Processing Zone in North Patenga is also one of the largest manufacturing hubs in Bangladesh. The billion dollar under-construction Korean EPZ, being set up by investors from South Korea, will feature the world’s largest garments and shoe factories.

The major companies based in Chittagong include M. M. Ispahani Limited,[52] A K Khan & Company,[53] BSRM,[54] the Habib Group,[55] the PHP Group, Western Marine Shipyard, the T K Group of Industries,[56] the KDS Group,[57] Clewiston Group <>, James Finlay Bangladesh and the Bangladesh Shipping Corporation.[58] There are over 50 banks and financial institutions in Chittagong, including HSBC,[59] Standard Chartered[60] and Citigroup.[61] Chittagong is also home to the three main petroleum distribution companies of Bangladesh, including the Jamuna Oil Company, the Padma Oil Company and Meghna Petroleum.[62] Founded in 1959, the Chittagong Chamber of Commerce & Industry serves as the main chamber of commerce in the city.

The textile industry in Chittagong exported $4.5 billion worth of garments in the fiscal year 2011-12.[63] Chittagong has also led the Bangladeshi shipbuilding boom, exporting ocean-going vessels worth $400 million as of 2012. It hosts several major pharmaceutical companies and their manufacturing plants.

The port city is home to many of the oldest and largest conglomerates in Bangladesh, including some of the oldest corporate houses in the country. Several conglomerates are owned by wealthy Muslim immigrant families from Persia and India.

The region was a centre of the medieval shipbuilding industry in Asia; and was the site of the construction of Mughal and Ottoman naval fleets. The shipbuilding industry also flourished under colonial rule. Sailing ships built in Chittagong include the Betsey, the Argo, and the Mersey.

Chittagong is the centre of the commodity trade in Bangladesh. The vibrant wholesale bazaars in Khatunganj, Asadganj and Chatkai are the main supply point for imported commodities and raw materials for the entire Bangladeshi market. These bazaars are dominated by traditional Chittagonian traders who are known as swadagars. The Chittagong Tea Auction was set up by Commonwealth investors in 1949. With the growth of tea exports from East Pakistan and later Bangladesh, it became one of the leading auction houses of the international tea trade. Today, however, the auction mainly caters to the domestic market.

Many major banks, both international and local, are present in Chittagong; most of them being located in Agrabad, the chief commercial district of the city. Numerous investments have allowed for a construction boom similar to Dhaka.[citation needed] Over the years numerous hotels, shopping malls, and other commercial buildings have been constructed. Ongoing developments include various multi-story shopping malls and the World Trade Centre Chittagong.[64]

Among major British businesses with a strong heritage in Chittagong include Lloyds, Standard Chartered Bank (formerly the Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China), Burmah Oil (present-day Padma Oil Company), Unilever Bangladesh (formerly Lever Brothers), British Oxygen, the P&O Group (formerly Mckenzie and Mckenzie), British American Tobacco, and Royal Dutch Shell. Historic trading companies of the British Empire with their roots in Chittagong include James Finlay, Duncan Brothers, Turner Morrison, James Warren, and Raleigh Brothers.

People and culture[edit]

Further information: Culture of Bangladesh
Kazi Nazrul Islam in Chittagong in 1926
A section of the Anderkilla Imperial Mosque, commissioned by the Mughal emperor Aurangazeb in 1677. There are civic plans for a restoration of the original mosque.

Chittagong has attracted people from around the world.[7] The various waves of settlements left a lasting impact on the language and culture of the city.[7] The origins of the people of the city are diverse and multi-ethnic. The majority of the urban people are involved in the import-export, trade-commerce, and various industrial and business activities along with many other private and government sector occupations like other port cities of the globe.[7] Mezbaan is a traditional feast that originated in this region[65][66][67] and is usually hosted by rich people mainly on the occasion of the observance of the birth and death of Islamic prophet Muhammad. Other occasions include the death anniversary of an individual, the birth of a child, any special achievement by someone, inauguration of a new business or celebration of the entrance to a new residence.[68][69][70] Lungi or punjabi-pajama is the most common costume for men and Saree for women. Rice and fish is the staple food of the people. Because of close affinity to the sea, seafood is quite popular. Vegetables commonly found in the market are gourds, pumpkins, various legumes, etc. Fruits include jackfruits, ice apples, coconuts, bananas, custard apple, etc. Shutki mach/dried fish is a specialty.[71][72][73]

Being home to some of the oldest and most popular bands of the country including Souls,[74] LRB etc.,[75] Chittagong is often regarded as the "birthplace of Bangladeshi rock music".[76][77][78]

Chittagong is the home town of Mohammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank, the pioneer of Microcredit, who won the Nobel Prize in Peace in 2006.


Many Chittagong natives speak Chittagonian (চাটগাঁইয়া Chaţgaiã), a Bengali-Assamese language of the Indo-European group.[79]

A good number of Arabic words are used in this dialect.[80] This is because of the arrival of traders and missionaries from the Arabian Peninsula hundreds of years ago.[80] Many speakers consider their language to be a dialect of standard Bengali,[81] the official language of Bangladesh. However, the two languages are not mutually intelligible,[81] meaning that those who know how to speak only Standard Bengali will not understand Chittagonian speakers, and vice versa - normally the metric for languagehood among linguists. There is, however, a dialect continuum between Chittagonian and neighbouring dialects of Bengali, meaning that speakers of each neighbouring dialect can largely understand each other, while speakers of more distant dialects cannot.[citation needed]

Chittagonian has approximately 13 million speakers. According to the number of persons who speak it as their first language, Ethnologue ranked Chittagonian 69th in the world in 2009.[82]


Further information: Architecture of Bangladesh


Religions in Chittagong City
The Patharghata Cathedral traces its origins to Portuguese influence in the early 18th-century; it is the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Chittagong

Chittagong has a population of 6.5 million.[83] with the Metropolitan Area having a population of 4,009,423.[84] By gender, the population was 54.36 male and 45.64 percent female.[83] The literacy rate in the city is 60 percent.[83] Muslims form 83.92 percent of the population. Other major religions are Hinduism (13.76 percent), Buddhism (2.01 percent), Christianity (0.11 percent), and others (0.2 percent).[7]

Bengalis constitute the largest ethnic group, followed by adivasi ethnicities such as the Chakmas and Marmas.[citation needed] The Bengali-speaking Theravada Buddhists, known as Baruas, are one of the oldest communities in Chittagong and one of the last remnants of Buddhism in the sub-continent.[85][86][87][88] Many Ismailis and Indo-Iranians settled in the city during the 1940s and 1950s. The descendants of Portuguese settlers, who are often known as Firingis, also live in Chittagong, as Catholic Christians, in the old Portuguese enclave of Paterghatta.[7] There is also a small Urdu-speaking Bihari community living in the ethnic enclave known as Bihari Colony.[89][90]

Chittagong has experienced a rapid reduction in urban poverty. In 2005, the poverty rate was estimated at 27.8 percent. In 2010, the rate dropped to 11.8 percent, as compared to the national average of 31.5 percent.[91] Like other major urban centers in South Asia, Chittagong has also experienced a steady growth in its slum settlements as a result of the increasing economic activities in the city and emigration from rural areas. A study conducted by CUS in 2005 stated that there were 1,814 slums within the city corporation area, inhabited by about 1.8 million slum dwellers, the second highest in the country after the capital Dhaka.[91] The slum dwellers often face eviction by the local authorities, charging them with illegal abode on government lands.[92][93]

Media and communications[edit]

Further information: Media of Bangladesh

There are several newspapers, including daily newspapers, opposition newspaper, business newspapers based in Chittagong. Daily newspapers include Dainik Azadi,[94] Peoples View,[95] The Daily Suprobhat Bangladesh, Purbokon, Life, Karnafuli, Jyoti, Rashtrobarta and Azan. Furthermore, there are a number of weekly and monthly newspapers. These include weeklies are Chattala, Jyoti, Sultan and the monthlies are Sanshodhani, Purobi, Mukulika, Simanto. The only press council in Chittagong is the Chittagong Press Club. Government owned Bangladesh Television and Bangladesh Betar have transmission centres in Chittagong. Chittagong has been featured in all aspects of popular culture such as television, movies, journal, music and books. Almost all the TVs and radios of Bangladesh have coverage in Chittagong. Renowned Bollywood film director Ashutosh Gowariker directed a movie based on the 1930s Chittagong Uprising[96] where Abhishek Bachchan played the lead role.[97][98]


The southern zone of Bangladesh Power Development Board is responsible for supplying electricity to city dwellers.[99][100] The fire services are controlled by the Bangladesh Fire Service & Civil Defense department under the Ministry of Home Affairs.[101]

The water supply and sewage system is managed by the Chittagong Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Chittagong WASA).[102][103] Water is primarily sourced from Karnaphuli river before being purified in the Mohra Purification Plant.[104]

Chittagong has extensive GSM and CDMA coverage, served by all the major mobile operators of the country including Grameenphone, Banglalink, Citycell, Robi, TeleTalk and Airtel Bangladesh. The fixed line telephone services are done by the state owned Bangladesh Telegraph and Telephone Board (BTTB), as well as some private operators. BTTB also provides broadband Internet services, along with some private ISPs, including the 4G service providers Banglalion[105] and Qubee.[106]


The city has experienced many new hotels and guesthouses in recent years. Many high end hotels such have sprung up in the city, targeting businessman and tourists.[107] In the recent years more than 20 hotels have launched operation in the port city to meet standards of foreign businessman, clients, dealers and tourists. Most of these hotels are located in Agrabad Commercial Area, Nasirabad and CDA Avenue.

The Marriott, Radisson, Westin and Novotel are among the upcoming five-star hotels in Chittagong.[108][109][110][111]

Patenga beach[edit]

Main article: Patenga

Patenga Beach is one of the popular tourist spots for visitors in Chittagong. The beach lies approximately twenty-two kilometres away from the city of Chittagong, and is reachable by a straight, long road through a beautiful forest. It is located near landmarks which include the Shah Amanat International Airport and the BNS Isha Khan Naval Base. Patenga Beach is located at the 'Karnaphuli' River mouth and stretches across the Bay of Bengal. Another tourist attraction near Patenga beach is the Butterfly Park.[112]

Foy's Lake[edit]

Main article: Foy's Lake

Foy's Lake is a human-made lake in Chittagong, Bangladesh. The lake was once just a lake and spillway constructed by Assam-Bengal Railway engineer. It was dug in 1924 and was named after the English engineer Mr. Foy.[7] The lake is next to Batali Hill, the highest hill in Chittagong Metropolitan area. An amusement park, managed by the Concord Group, is located here which features usual theme park rides and attractions as well as boat rides on the lake, landscaping, restaurants, concerts with floating stages, scenic walking trails and many other fun activities. It also features a resort and a water park.[7]

Batali Hill[edit]

Batali Hill is the highest hill in the city of Chittagong, Bangladesh.[113] It is located near the Tiger Pass crossing, about 1 kilometres from the center of the city, and falls under the Pahartoli Thana. The hill is about 280 feet high.[114] Foy's Lake, the largest man-made lake in Chittagong city, is situated next to the hill. There is also an Eternal Flame ("Shikha Onirban") commemorating the Bangladesh Liberation War martyrs [115]

Shrine of Bayazid Bostami[edit]

Bayazid Bostami was a famous Persian Sufi born in Bostam, Iran. In Bayazid area of Chittagong, there is a shrine to his name, known as Bayazid Bostami Dargah Sharif, considered to be a holy place and attracted by a large number of visitors and pilgrims daily. It is a complex consists of a tomb surrounded by brick made structure along with an old mosque and a large pond. The large pond houses a large number of black soft-shelled turtles known as Bostami Turtle or Bostami Kachim (locally called Mazari) which are a very rare and critically endangered species. As of 2002, the IUCN classified the species as Extinct in the Wild.[116]

Heritage Park[edit]

There is a heritage park called Shaheed Zia Memorial Complex and Mini Bangladesh at Chandgaon which reflects the most notable structures and instances of Bangladesh. This 71-metre tower in Mini Bangladesh in Chittagong has a restaurant on the top that rotates once every 90 minutes.[117] The museum includes a revolving restaurant. One can perceive of the country's architectural beauty, ethnic traditions and archaeological inheritance through having a glimpse of the heritage park. Replica of major structures of the country, includes Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban (parliament building), National Memorial of Savar, Ahsan Manzil, Curzon Hall of Dhaka University, Paharpur Monastery, Kantajew Temple of Dinajpur, Lalbagh Fort and Sona Masjid. The park also has different rides for children.[118]

Ethnological Museum of Chittagong[edit]

Ethnological Museum of Chittagong
Commonwealth War Cemetery
Zia Memorial Museum

The Ethnological Museum of Chittagong located in Agrabad, established in 1965, is the only ethnological museum in the country. It offers the visitors the chance to acquaint with the lifestyles and heritage of various ethnic groups of the country. The museum authority had collected rare elements used in everyday lives of different ethnic groups, of which some had already become extinct while some were on the verge of extinction. The museum contains four galleries and a small hall. Three galleries of the museum feature diverse elements of twenty nine ethnic groups in Bangladesh, while the rest of the gallery displays the lifestyles of some ethnic groups of India, Pakistan and Australia.[119] The sculptures of the people of different ethnic communities and a piece of broken Berlin Wall attracts visitors, who can get impression of different festivals, livelihoods, and cultures of the communities from the murals set up at the hall room. Around 200-300 people visit the museum everyday.

Commonwealth War Cemetery[edit]

The Commonwealth War Cemetery on Badshah Mia Road contains the graves of 755 soldiers, and is protected and maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.[120] This cemetery was established to show the honor for the soldiers and others who died in World war II. The cemetery was created by the British Army, and there were originally about 400 burials. Graves have since been transferred to this cemetery from the Lushai Hills (Assam) and other isolated sites, and from Chittagong Civil Cemetery; Chandragona Baptist Mission Cemetery; Chiringa Military Cemetery; Cox's Bazar New Military and Civil (Muhammadan) Cemeteries; Chittagong (Panchalaish) Burial Ground; Dacca Military Cemetery; Demagiri Cemetery; Dhuapolong Muslim Burial Ground; Dhuapolong Christian Military Cemetery; Dohazari Military and R.A.F. Cemeteries; Jessore Protestant Cemetery; Khulna Cemetery; Khurushkul Island Christian and Muhammadan Cemeteries; Lungleh Cemetery (Assam); Nawapara Cemetery (Assam); Patiya Military Cemetery, Rangamati Cemetery; Tejgaon Roman Catholic Cemetery; Tumru Ghat Military Cemetery and Tumru M.D.S. Hospital Cemetery.

Circuit House[edit]

There are a number of museums in Chittagong. The most prominent is the Zia Memorial Museum which is housed in the old circuit house building. Former President Ziaur Rahman was assassinated there on 30 May 1981. This commemorative museum houses the Late President Zia's mementos and personal belongings. It was established in 1993 with 12 galleries.[121]


Chittagong University of Engineering & Technology, one of the four public engineering universities in Bangladesh

The education system of Chittagong is similar to that of rest of Bangladesh. There are mainly four forms of schooling. The general education system, conveyed in both Bangla and English versions, follows the curriculum prepared by the National Curriculum and Textbook Board under the education ministry.[122] Students have to go through four major board examinations, Primary School Certificate (PSC), Junior School Certificate (JSC), Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and Higher Secondary School Certificate (HSC) before moving to higher education. The Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education, Chittagong is responsible to govern the SSC and HSC examinations in the city.[123][124]

The Madrasah education system is primarily based on Islamic studies but other subjects are also taught. Students are prepared to qualify Dakhil and Alim examinations, controlled by the Bangladesh Madrasah Education Board, which are equivalent to SSC and HSC examinations of the general education system respectively.[125]

There are also several private schools, usually referred to as English medium schools[122] which follow the General Certificate of Education. The British Council supervises the O Levels and A levels examinations under Cambridge International and Edexcel examination boards, which are conducted twice a year.[126][127]

The Technical and Vocational education system is governed by the Directorate of Technical Education (DTE) and follow the curriculum prepared by Bangladesh Technical Education Board (BTEB).[128][129]

Chittagong College, established in 1869, is the earliest modern institution for higher education in the city.[130] Chittagong University, Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology & Chittagong Veterinary and Animal Sciences University are three public universities in Chittagong. Chittagong Medical College is the only government medical college in Chittagong. Chittagong is home to two of the nation's most prominent public universities, and is the site of one of Bangladesh's largest universities, the University of Chittagong, established in 1966. Chittagong University of Engineering & Technology is the only public Engineering University in Chittagong division and one of the four public engineering universities in Bangladesh, established in 1968.

The city also hosts several other private universities and medical colleges. Asian University for Women, Begum Gulchemonara Trust University, East Delta University, International Islamic University, Premier University, Southern University, University of Science & Technology Chittagong are some of them.

Chittagong has public, denominational and independent schools. Public schools, including pre-schools, primary and secondary schools and special schools are administered by the Ministry of Education and Chittagong Education Board. Chittagong has government and non-government primary schools, international schools and English medium schools.


Chittagong Medical College and Hospital

Chittagong Medical College Hospital is the largest government-run health service provider. This huge medical has many wards, cabins and units. At present this facility also provides medical treatment of ICU and CCU for the serious patients. Other medical service institutes include General Hospital, Upazila Health Complex, Family Welfare Centre, TB Hospital, Infectious Disease Hospital, Diabetic Hospital, Mother and Children Hospital and Police Hospital. Many non government hospitals and clinics also belong to the city. Chittagong Metropolitan Hospital, Surgiscope Hospital, CSCR, Centre Point Hospital, National Hospital,Mount Hospital Ltd are some of the private hospitals and clinics.[131][132][133]


Transport in Chittagong is similar to that of the capital, Dhaka. Large avenues and roads are present throughout the metropolis. There are various bus systems, taxis, and as well as smaller 'baby' or 'CNG' taxis, which are basically tricycle-structured motor vehicles. There are also traditional manual rickshaws, which are very common. As the population of the city began to grow extensively, the Chittagong Development Authority (CDA) has undertaken some transportation master plans to ease the traffic congestion in Chittagong. Under this plan the CDA along with the Chittagong City corporation have constructed some flyovers and expanded the existing roads within the city. There are also some other major expressways and flyovers under-construction, most notably the Chittagong City Outer Ring Road along the coast of Chittagong city. This ring road includes a marine drive along with five feeder roads and is also meant to strengthen the embankment of the coast.[134][135][136][137][138] The government has also approved the construction of a 3.4 km under-water expressway tunnel under the Karnaphuli river to ensure better connectivity between the northern and southern parts of Chittagong, which is going to be the first of its kind in Bangladesh.[139][140][141][142][143]

The Dhaka-Chittagong Highway, a major arterial highway, is the only way to get in the city through land. It is a very busy and a risky highway, currently it is a 2-lane highway, with upgrading to 4 lanes being implemented.[144]

Chittagong can also be accessed by rail. It has a station on the meter gauge eastern section of the Bangladesh Railway. The headquarters of this railway are located here. There are two main railway stations in Station road and in Pahartali Thana. Trains are available traveling to the Bangladeshi cities of Dhaka, Sylhet, Comilla, and Bhairab. The Chittagong Circular Railway was introduced in 2013 to ease the traffic congestion as well as to ensure better public transport service to the commuters within the city. The railway includes high-speed DEMU trains with a carrying capacity of 300 passengers. These DEMU trains also ply on the Chittagong-Laksham route which connects the city with Comilla.[145][146]

Shah Amanat International Airport serves as Chittagong's only airport, located at South Patenga. It is the second busiest airport in Bangladesh, having international services to Asian destinations such as Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Jeddah, Muscat, Kuala Lampur and Kolkata. At present, Middle Eastern low-cost carriers like Flydubai, AirArabia, Oman Air operate flights to this destinations. It was formerly known as MA Hannan International Airport, but was renamed on 2 April 2005 by the Government of Bangladesh.


Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium is the main cricket venue of the city. It hosted two matches of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011.

Chittagong has produced numerous cricketers, footballers and athletes who have performed in national level. Tamim Iqbal, Akram Khan, Minhajul Abedin, Aftab Ahmed, Nafees Iqbal, Nazimuddin, Faisal Hossain are some of the most prominent figures among them. Cricket is the most popular sport in Chittagong, while football, tennis, kabaddi are also popular. A number of stadiums are located in Chittagong with the main stadium being the multipurpose MA Aziz Stadium. It has a seating capacity of 20,000 and hosts football matches in addition to cricket.[147] MA Aziz Stadium was the stadium where Bangladesh achieved its first ever Test cricket victory—which came against Zimbabwe in 2005.[148] The stadium now focuses only on football, and is currently the main football venue of the city. Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, is currently the main cricket venue of the city, which was awarded Test status in 2006, hosting both domestic and international cricket matches. The city hosted two group matches of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, both of them taking place in Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium.[149] Other stadiums include Women's Complex Ground. Major sporting clubs such as, Mohammedan Sporting Club and Abahani Sporting Club are also located here.

Chittagong is also home to the Bangladesh Premier League franchise Chittagong Kings.

Sister cities[edit]

See also[edit]



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External links[edit]

Chittagong travel guide from Wikivoyage

Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.  Coordinates: 22°22′N 91°48′E / 22.367°N 91.800°E / 22.367; 91.800