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The Chuadanga District of Bangladesh

Forming part of the Khulna administrative division in southwest Bangladesh, Chuadanga district is located within the vast Ganges Delta, with its main city resting on the bank of River Mathabhanga. Other rivers flowing through the district include the Bhairab, Chitra, Bhairab and Nabaganga. Home to almost a million people, and covering an area of more than 1,100 square kilometers, Chuadanga district has the Kushtia district of Bangladesh on it northeastern border, with Meherpur to the northwest, and Jhenaidaha to the south and southeast. The Nadia district in the state of West Bengal lies on the southwest border of Chuadanga district.

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The Historic State of Gangaridai

Believed to have been established around 300 BCE, the state of Gangaridai and its capital city of Gange, was located in the historical and geographical region referred to as Bengal – an area including present day Bangladesh and India's West Bengal State. The ruins of the city of Gange have not yet been discovered, but it has been suggested by scholars that either the Wari-Bateshwar ruins in the Belabo Upazila of Bangladesh, or the Chandraketugarh archeological site on the banks of the Bidyadhari River in India may be the lost city of the state of Gangaridai.

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Bengal Renaissance – An Era of Progress

Referred to as the Bengal Renaissance, the 19th century is considered to have been a time of transition from medieval to modern in a number of fields, including literature, religion, social reform, political leanings and scientific discoveries. During this time Bengal formed part of undivided India under British rule, and the Renaissance is said to have begun with Indian religious, educational and social reformer Raja Ram Mohan Roy (22 May 1772-27 September 1833) who pushed the boundaries of traditional Hindu culture and advocated progress for Indian society even though under the rule of the British. Together with Dwarkanath Tagore of the influential Tagore family of Kolkata, as well as other prominent Bengalis, Ram Mohan Roy established the Brahmo Sabha in 1828, which later become the societal aspect of Brahmo religion referred to as Brahmo Samaj. It is generally agreed that the Bengal Renaissance period ended with the death of Rabindranath Tagore in 1941, but it is also acknowledged that many staunch supporters of the Renaissance continued to encourage progress in different fields.

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Muzharul Islam – Designer of Enduring Landmarks

Seen as the pioneer of Bengali modernism and architecture, Bangladeshi architect Muzharul Islam has designed many notable buildings at various locations in Bangladesh. His early works include the Art Institute in Shahbag, the Public Library and National Archives, all located in Dhaka. He designed the housing at Azimpur Estate in Dhaka, and was involved with the design of other landmark buildings in the city including the Headquarters for the Agricultural Development Corporation, the BCSIR Laboratory Buildings, and the World Bank Office Buildings, as well as Chittagong University and the Jahangirnagar University. This talented and innovative Bangladeshi architect collaborated with American architect in the design of polytechnic institutes in the cities of Rangpur, Pabna, Bogra, Sylhet and Barisal.

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Bhabanipur Shaktipeeth Pilgrimage Site

Located along the Karatoya River, about 28 kilometers from the Sherpur Upazila of the Bogra District in the Rajshahi Division of Bangladesh, Bhabanipur Shaktipeeth is a place of worship dedicated to the Hindu goddess Shakti, also referred to as Durga, Sati or Parvati. As one of the Shakti Peethas, Bhabanipur is historically a pilgrimage destination for adherents to this particular denomination of Hinduism which worships Shakti as their Divine Mother. The numerous temples at the site and the holy Shakha-Pukur pond are visited by devotees from all around Bangladesh and beyond its borders.

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Chalan Beel: Vital for Biodiversity

Spreading across eight upazilas of three districts of Bangladesh, Chalan Beel is a series of wetlands connected by channels of water in the lower Atrai basin. During the rainy season, these wetlands become a single body of water with dense aquatic vegetation supporting diverse wildlife. The banks of Chalan Beel are covered in a variety of fauna, which is inhabited by at least twenty-seven species of mammals, and thirty-four species of reptiles, with amphibians including seven species of frogs and toads. Reptiles include turtles, tortoises, lizards and a number of snake species.

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The Hay Festival – Promoting Bengali Literature

With the goal of bringing together Bangladeshi and British authors to share ideas and promote the benefits of reading, the Hay Festival of Literature and Arts recently took place in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The event was held in the grounds of the British Council in Dhaka and was well attended. This is the first time that the festival has taken place in Bangladesh and organizers used every opportunity to promote Bangladeshi literature to the many delegates and visitors in attendance. The Hay Festival originated in Hay-on-Wye, Wales, in 1988 and has since been hosted in a number of venues around the world, including Kerala, Nairobi, Segovia, Xalapa, Beirut and Cartagena.

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Zainul Abedin Museum – Tribute to a Modern Art Pioneer

Viewed as a pioneer of the Bangladeshi modern art movement, Zainul Abedin Sangrahashala (1914-1976) used art to express his views on a range of subjects, focusing primarily on scenes of rural Bengal, as well as the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971 and the Bengali famine of 1943, encouraging people to fight against oppression. A collection of his artworks and mementos of his life are displayed in the Zainul Abedin Museum, established in 1975 and situated on the banks of the Old Bramaputra River in the city of his birth, Mymensingh, Bangladesh.

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