Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
Dhaka or Dacca (both: dăkˈə), city (2021 est. pop. 10,356,500), capital of Bangladesh, on a channel of the Dhaleshwari River, in the heart of the world's largest jute-growing region. It is the industrial, commercial, and administrative center of Bangladesh, with trade in jute, rice, oilseeds, sugar, and tea. The city comprises three distinct sections: an old area of narrow streets and bazaars; a modern part, called Ramna, with government, tourist, and cultural facilities; and a residential and industrial community N and W of Ramna. Between Dhaka and its nearby river port of Narayanganj lies Bangladesh's greatest industrial concentration. The surrounding district is a very densely populated and fertile agricultural region that is subject to heavy monsoon floods. Dhaka's manufactures include textiles, cotton saris, jute products, rope, string, baskets, and boats. Dhaka is famous for its cottage industries (especially confectioneries) and handicrafts (particularly filigree work, embroidery, and shell carving). In the late 19th cent., competition from British cloth virtually ended the manufacture of Dhaka's world-renowned muslins.
Dhaka's history dates back to c.A.D. 1000, but the city achieved glory as the 17th-century Mughal capital of Bengal. English, French, and Dutch industrialists set up factories there in the 17th and 18th cent., and Dhaka passed under British rule in 1765. It became the capital of East Pakistan in 1947. The city was surrendered by the Pakistani army to Indian troops in Dec., 1971, and a few days later became capital of the provisional government of Bangladesh. Landmarks include the Dhakeshwari [“hidden goddess”] temple, from which the city's name probably derives; the Bara Katra palace (1644); the Lal Bagh fort (1678); several beautiful mosques; and the monumental National Assembly complex (1983) designed by Louis Kahn. The Univ. of Dhaka (founded 1921) and other higher educational facilities and agriculture research institutes are also in the city.
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.