Narayanganj is a district in central Bangladesh. It is a part of the Dhaka Division. The main city of the district is also called Narayanganj.
Narayanganj District was a subdivision of Dhaka district until it was upgraded in 1984. Narayanganj, the oldest and most prominent river port in the country, became more important with the arrival of the Portuguese and the English traders during the early parts of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries respectively. Though the west bank of Shitalakshya was an important commercial centre since the rule of Mir Jumla in the mid-seventeenth century, Narayanganj was not very busy until the beginning of the nineteenth century. The first foreign company to start trading jute in the area was the Rally Brothers, which, with the help of an Assamese company, started to export the fiber from the port to the western countries in 1830. There were 20 firms at Narayanganj in 1907-08 engaged in the purchase, bailing and supply of raw jute to Calcutta mills. Of these, 18 were in European and two in Indian ownership. With formation of Pakistan in 1947, things changed overnight.
Narayanganj, which was simply a jute market, had to be converted into an industrial centre of jute. All the jute mills and presses in and around Calcutta fell to the share of India. East Pakistan was rich in the golden fibre but had no jute mill and had a very small baling capacity, which had to be increased within a short time to meet the overseas demand. The business community took up the required initiative. The Adamjees of West Pakistan came into the field at this stage and established the biggest jute mill in the world at Narayanganj. This followed establishment of a number of mills in and around Narayanganj that gave the local economy a great boost.
The ancient city of Sonargaon was the capital of Isa Khan, a medieval ruler of Bengal. Sonargaon is also famous for producing muslin, a delicate and fine cloth made from cotton. The Dhaka-Narayanganj-Demra (DND) embankment surrounds Narayanganj district and protects it from flooding. Narayanganj is also home to the Bangladesh Engineering and Ship Building Corporation, established in 1925 at Sonakanda on the east bank of the Shitalakshya River.
Map of Narayanganj
Narayanganj District is bounded by Gazipur and Narsingdi Districts on the north, Brahmanbaria and Comilla Districts on the east, Munshiganj District on the south, and Dhaka District on the west. Geologically, the area lies on the edge of the Madhupur Tract and Holocene floodplain deposits form the aquifer. The total area of the district is 759.57 kmē, of which 48.56 kmē. is riverine and 0.60 kmē is under forest. The district lies between 23°33' and 23°57' north latitude and between 90°26' and 90°45' east longitude.
The city of Narayanganj has a population of 1.5 million and is located some twenty kilometers southeast of Dhaka, the national capital, on the flat Ganges Delta and alluvial plain. The Shitalakshya River divides the town into two parts, the Narayanganj Municipal Area and Kadam Rasul Municipal Area. This area is crossed by many small artificial canals fed by monsoon rain. Average annual rainfall is 2550 mm, 80 to 90% of which occurs between May and October.
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