Bangladesh Information - Page 1
Bangladesh lies to the east of India, in the Bay of Bengal. Formerly East Pakistan, it also borders on Myanmar (Burma). The capital of Bangladesh is Dhaka; Chittagong is the main port.
Most of Bangladesh is flat and low lying river delta country. The Ganges and the Brahmaputra, two of Asia's greatest rivers, join together north of Dhaka and flow out to sea in the world's largest estuarine delta.
Away from the delta, the country is also flat though there are some hilly regions in the north-east and south-east corners. The coastal mangrove forests are the largest of their kind in the world.
The country lies on a major geological fault line and suffered seven significant earthquakes in the twentieth century.
Bangladesh has a subtropical and tropical climate. Humidity is high all year round especially in the June to September rainy season. On average the region is struck by a major cyclone every three years and the country also suffers regularly from substantial flooding caused by monsoon rains and melting snows from the Himalayas.
Bangladesh has a great variety of flora and fauna.
There are forested areas in Mymensingh, Rangamati, Sundarbans, Sylhet, Tangail and the Khagrachhari and Bandarban Hill Districts. Native trees include acacia, banyan, sundari and teak. Fruit trees, such as mango trees and date palms, are grown. The national flower is the water lily.
In the south the Sundarban mangrove forest is the home of the Bengal tiger. Other native species are elephants, bison, gibbons, rhesus monkeys, tortoises, lizards, snakes, turtles and crocodiles.
Many migrating birds pass through Bangladesh, some on their way to Malaysia, with others flying towards India and Sri Lanka. With all its rivers and delta lands the country is home to many different types of waterfowl.
Industrial pollution, waste disposal and the continuous demand for more of the land to be used for agricultural purposes are adversely affecting the environment and its wildlife.
Stone is scarce in Bangladesh. For this reason, together with the weather, few historical monuments survive. The oldest building type in the country, seen throughout the countryside, is thatched with bamboo, with a curved roof.
During the Muslim and Mughal periods many mosques were built, some of which remain. Under the British Raj the big regional landowners, known as zamindars, built mansions resembling Georgian and Victorian country houses. The public buildings are a mixture of Mughal and European styles.
The most famous twentieth century building in Bangladesh is the National Assembly Building in Dhaka which was designed by the American architect, Louis Kahn.
Bangladesh is a very densely populated country. The population was estimated at 156,050,890 in 2009.
The official language of Bangladesh is Bangla. English is widely spoken especially in commerce and government.
Bangladesh is predominantly a Muslim country; its separation from India as East Pakistan was mainly on religious grounds. Buddhists and Hindus are among the religious minorities.
Bengali food is similar to that of the rest of the Indian subcontinent. There are more fish recipes in the standard diet because of the availability of fish from the sea and the rivers. Sweet dishes, often milk-based, are very popular.
Fresh fruits include guavas, jackfruits, mangoes, oranges, papayas, pineapples and watermelons.
Tea is grown in the hilly region around Sylhet and the drink is popular throughout Bangladesh. As Bangladesh is a Muslim country, alcoholic drinks are not readily available.
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