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Dhaka is the capital and most populous city of Bangladesh in southern Asia. The urban area had 15.391 million people as of 2011. Set beside the Buriganga River, it’s at the center of national government, trade and culture. The 17th-century old city was the Mughal capital of Bengal, and many palaces and mosques remain. American architect Louis Khan’s National Parliament House complex typifies the huge, fast-growing modern metropolis.
Dhaka is the financial, commercial and the entertainment capital of Bangladesh, and accounts for up to 35% of Bangladesh's economy. Since its establishment as a modern capital city the population, area, social and economic diversity of Dhaka have grown tremendously, the city is now one of the most densely industrialized regions in Bangladesh. Dhaka is a major beta-global city, as it hosts the headquarters of several international corporations. By the 21st century, it emerged as a megacity. The Dhaka Stock Exchange has over 750 listed companies. The city hosts over 50 diplomatic missions and the headquarters of BIMSTEC. The city's culture is known for its cycle-rickshaws, cuisine, art festivals and religious diversity. The old city is home to around 2000 buildings from the Mughal and British periods, including notable structures such as the Bara Katra and Choto Katra caravansaries.
Etymology[edit | edit source]
The origins of the name for Dhaka are uncertain. Once dhak trees were very common in the area and the name may have originated from it. Alternatively, this name may refer to the hidden Hindu goddess Dhakeshwari, whose temple is located in the south-western part of the city. Another popular theory states that Dhaka refers to a membranophone instrument, dhak which was played by order of Subahdar Islam Khan I during the inaugurating of the Bengal capital in 1610.
Some references also say it was derived from a Prakrit dialect called Dhaka Bhasa; or Dhakka, used in the Rajtarangini for a watch-station; or it is the same as Davaka, mentioned in the Allahabad pillar inscription of Samudragupta as an eastern frontier kingdom. According to Rajatarangini written by a Kashmiri Brahman, Kalhana, the region was originally known as Dhakka. The word Dhakka means watchtower. Bikrampur and Sonargaon—the earlier strongholds of Bengal rulers were situated nearby. So Dhaka was most likely used as the watchtower for the fortification purpose.
References[edit | edit source]
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