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Old Wednesday, October 19, 2005
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Default Dhaka the Capital of Bangladesh

Dhaka the Capital of Bangladesh

Dhaka or Dacca, city, capital of Bangladesh, in Dhaka Division, central Bangladesh. It is located on an arm of the Dhaleswari River in the populous and flood-prone Ganges-Brahmaputra delta and is a major commercial, cultural, and manufacturing center served by the nearby port of Nārāyanganj. Products include jute, silk, and cotton textiles; carpets; processed food; chemicals; jewelry; and rubber goods. The city's old section, a maze of crowded bazaars and narrow streets, is in marked contrast to Ramna Maidan, a modern well-planned area to the north, where most of the government buildings and educational institutions are located. More than 700 mosques in the city attest to the importance of Islam as the predominant religion. Other landmarks include Lal Bagh Fort and the tomb of Pari Bibi (the wife of a governor of Bengal), both built in the late 17th century, and the large Parliament building (dedicated 1982), designed by Louis I. Kahn. The University of Dhaka (1921), Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (1962), and Jahangirnagar University (1970) are located in Dhaka.

An ancient community of uncertain origins, Dhaka rose to importance in the 17th century when it was the Mughal capital of Bengal Province from 1608 to 1639 and again from 1660 to 1704. During that period it became known for the production of fine muslins. The city declined after the capital was moved to Murshidābād in 1704, and it came under British control in 1765. With the partition of British India in 1947, Dhaka became the capital of the Pakistan province of East Bengal, and in 1956 it was made the capital of East Pakistan. The city suffered considerable damage during the 1971 war for independence from Pakistan before becoming the capital of newly independent Bangladesh in late 1971. Population (1991) 3,368,940.
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