Cox's Bazar BD

Cox's Bazar (Bengali: কক্সবাজার) is a town, a fishing port and district headquarters in Bangladesh. It is known for its wide sandy beach which is the world's longest natural sandy sea beach.[2][3][4] It is an unbroken 125 km sandy sea beach with a gentle slope. It is located 150 km south of Chittagong. Cox’s Bazar is also known by the name "Panowa", the literal translation of which means "yellow flower". Its other old name was "Palongkee". The modern Cox's Bazar derives its name from Captain Cox (died 1799), an officer serving in British India. In the 18th century, an officer of British East India Company, Captain Hiram Cox was appointed as the Superintendent of Palongkee outpost after Warren Hastings became the Governor of Bengal. Captain Cox was specially mobilised to deal with a century long conflict between Arakan refugees and local Rakhains. The Captain was a compassionate soul and the plight of the people touched his heart. He embarked upon the mammoth task of rehabilitating refugees in the area, and made significant progress. A premature death took Captain Cox in 1799 before he could finish his work. But the work he had done earned him a place in the hearts of the locals and to commemorate his role in rehabilitation work a market was established and named after him as Cox's Bazaar ("Cox's Market"). Although Cox's Bazar is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Bangladesh, it has yet to become a major international tourist destination, due to lack of publicity.

Located along the Bay of Bengal in South Eastern Bangladesh, Cox's Bazar Town is a very big port and health resort. But it is mostly famous for its long natural sandy beach. The municipality covers an area of 6.85 km² with 27 mahallas and 9 wards and has a population of 51,918.[1] Cox's Bazar is connected by road and air with Chittagong.[5]

[edit] History

The greater Chittagong area including Cox's Bazar was under the rule of Arakan Kings from the early 9th century till its conquest by the Mughals in 1666 AD.[6] When the Mughal Prince Shah Shuja was passing through the hilly terrain of the present day Cox’s Bazar on his way to Arakan, he was attracted to the scenic and captivating beauty of the place. He commanded his forces to camp there. His retinue of one thousand palanquins stopped there for some time. A place named Dulahazara, meaning "one thousand palanquins", still exists in the area. After the Mughals, the place came under the control of the Tipras and the Arakanese, followed by the Portuguese and then the British.
The name Cox's Bazar/Bazaar originated from the name of a British East India Company officer, Captain Hiram Cox who was appointed as the Superintendent of Palonki (today's Cox's Bazar) outpost after Warren Hastings became the Governor of Bengal following the British East India Company Act in 1773. Captain Cox was especially mobilised to deal with a century long conflict between Arakan refugees & local Rakhains at Palonki. The Captain made significant progress in rehabilitation of refugees in the area, but had died (in 1799) before he could finish his work. To commemorate his role in rehabilitation work a market / bazaar was established and was named after him as Cox's Bazaar (market of Cox). Cox's Bazar thana was first established in 1854 and a municipality was constituted in 1869.[6]
After the Sepoy Mutiny (Indian Rebellion of 1857) in 1857, the British East India Company was highly criticised & questioned on humanitarian grounds, specially for its Opium trade monopoly over the Indian Sub-Continent. However, after its dissolution on 1 January 1874, all of the company's assets including its Armed Forces were acquired by the British Crown. After this historic take over, Cox's Bazar was declared a district of the Bengal Province under the British Crown.

After the end of British rule in 1947, Cox's Bazar remained as a part of East Pakistan. Captain Advocate Fazlul Karim, the first Chairman (after independence from the British) of Cox's Bazar Municipality established the Tamarisk Forest along the beach to draw tourist attention in this town and also to protect the beach from tidal waves. He also donated many of his father in law’s and his own lands for establishing a Public Library and a Town Hall for the town. He was inspired to build Cox's Bazar as a tourist spot after seeing beaches of Bombay and Karachi, and one of the pioneers in developing Cox's Bazar as such. He founded a Maternity Hospital, the Stadium and the drainage system by procuring grants from the Ford Foundation and Rockefeller Foundation through correspondence. Mr. T. H. Matthews, the principal of the Dacca Engineering College (1949~1954) was his friend who had helped him in doing this. Engineer Chandi Charan Das was the government civil engineer who had worked on all these projects. In 1959 the municipality was turned into a town committee.[6] In 1961 the erstwhile Geological Survey of Pakistan initiated investigation of radioactive minerals like monazite around the cox's bazar sea-beach area and a number of precious heavy minerals were identified the same year.[7]

In 1971, Cox's bazar wharf was used as a naval port by the Pakistan Navy's gunboats. This and the nearby airstrip of the Pakistan Air Force were the scene of intense shelling by the Indian Navy during Bangladesh Liberation War. During the war, Pakistani soldiers killed many people in the town including eminent lawyer Jnanendralal Chowdhury. The killing of two freedom fighters named Farhad and Subhash at Badar Mokam area is also recorded in history.[8]
After the independence of Bangladesh Cox's Bazar started to get the administrative attention. In 1972 the town committee of Cox's Bazar was again turned into a municipality. In 1975, The Government of Bangladesh established a pilot plant at Kalatali, Cox's Bazar to assess the commercial viability of the heavy mineral content in the placer deposits of the area with the cooperation of the Australian Government.[7] Later, in 1984 Cox's Bazar subdivision was promoted to a district and 5 years later (in 1989) the Cox's Bazar municipality was elevated to B-grade.[6] In 1994 (jobs) the Marine Fisheries and Technology Station (MFTS) was established at Cox's Bazar. MFTS is a research station of Bangladesh Fisheries Research Institute (BFRI) headquartered in Mymensingh. The station covers a land area of 4 hactor and is equipped with 5 specialised laboratories, and one indoor and one outdoor cistern complex.[9] In April 2007 Bangladesh got connected to the submarine cable network as a member of the SEA-ME-WE-4 Consortium, as Cox's Bazar was selected as the landing station of the submarine cable.[10



 

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Anika Devi received her Bachelor’s degree in Media, Culture and Communication from New York University in 2012. She began freelancing for Business Solutions BD in 2010 and joined the team as a staff writer three years later. She currently serves as the assistant editor.
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