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Dacca,Bangladesh: see DhakaDhaka
, city (1991 pop. 6,844,131), capital of Bangladesh, on a channel of the Dhaleswari River, in the heart of the world's largest jute-growing region.
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the capital of Bangladesh. Located on the Burhi-Ganga River near the confluence of the Padma (Ganges) and the Meghna. A political, economic, and cultural center. Population, 829,000 (1969, including suburbs). An important transportation junction, the city has an international airport. Dacca and its suburbs, including the city of Narayanganj, form the basic industrial region of the country. The cotton, jute, and food industries are concentrated there, as well as chemical, metalworking, and machine-building enterprises. Glass and leather goods are produced. Dacca is the most important center of muslin weaving, silver filigree, and other handicrafts. Its university was founded in 1921.
One of Bengal’s oldest cities, Dacca was its capital from 1608 to 1717. In the 17th and early 18th centuries it was one of the most important centers of trade and commerce in the world. (Muslins, embroidery, and gold and silver articles made in Dacca were highly prized in many parts of the world, including Europe.) The British conquest of Bengal in the 18th century and the subsequent importation into India of fabrics manufactured in England destroyed Dacca’s trade and commerce. In the early 20th century the city became one of the centers of the national liberation movement. The Muslim League was founded there in 1906. After the formation of Pakistan, Dacca was the administrative center of East Pakistan (East Bengal) from 1947 to 1971. In December 1971 it became the capital of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, which was formed as a result of the liberation struggle in East Bengal.
The old part of Dacca includes the Lai Bagh Fortress with the mausoleum of Bibi Peri, the mosque of Sat Gambuz, the Great Market (all 17th-century structures), and the Starry Mosque (18th century). Along the quay on the Buckland Bank are late 19th- and early 20th-century buildings in the late Mogul style of architecture. Among these buildings are a bank and a courthouse. The secretariat building, the university, a new mosque, an institute of art, the National Bank, and a stadium are located in the Ramna area, which began to be built in 1911. South of it is a region of villas and comfortable private residences. In 1964, Dacca began to construct a new administrative and cultural center designed by L. Kahn.