1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Chittagong

CHITTAGONG, a seaport of British India, giving its name to a district and two divisions of Eastern Bengal and Assam. It is situated on the right bank of the Karnaphuli river, about 12 m. from its mouth. It is the terminus of the Assam-Bengal railway. The municipal area covers about 9 sq. m.; pop. (1901) 22,140. The sea-borne exports consist chiefly of jute, other items being tea, raw cotton, rice and hides. There is also a large trade by country boats, bringing chiefly cotton, rice, spices, sugar and tobacco. Since October 1905 Chittagong has become the chief port of the new province of Eastern Bengal and Assam.

The District of Chittagong is situated at the north-east corner of the province, occupying a strip of coast and hills between the sea and the mountains of Burma. Its area is 2492 sq. m. In 1901 the population was 1,353,250, showing an increase of 5% in the decade. A few unimportant ranges rise within the north-eastern portion, the highest hill being the sacred Sitakund, 1155 ft. high. The principal rivers are the Karnaphuli, on which Chittagong town is situated, navigable by sea-going ships as far as Chittagong port, and by large trading boats for a considerable distance higher up, and the Halda and the Sangu, which are also navigable by large boats. The wild animals are tigers, elephants, rhinoceros, leopards and deer. The climate is comparatively cool, owing to the sea breeze which prevails during the day; but for the same reason, the atmosphere is very moist, with heavy dews at night and fogs. Chittagong was ceded to the East India Company by Nawab Mir Kasim in 1760. The northern portion of the district is traversed by the Assam-Bengal railway. Tea cultivation is moderately successful.

The Chittagong Hill Tracts formed an independent district from 1860 to 1891, were then reduced to the status of a sub-division, but were again created a district in 1900. They occupy the ranges between Chittagong proper and the south Lushai hills. The area covers 5138 sq. m. In 1901 the population was 124,762, showing an increase of 16% in the decade. The inhabitants, who are either Arakanese or aboriginal tribes, are almost all Buddhists. The headquarters are at Rangamati, which was wrecked by the cyclone of October 1897.

The Division of Chittagong lies at the north-east corner of the Bay of Bengal, extending northward along the left bank of the Meghna. It consists of the districts of Chittagong, the Hill Tracts, Noakhali and Tippera. Its area covers 11,773 sq. m.; the population in 1901 was 4,737,731.