1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Dinajpur

DINAJPUR, a town (with a population in 1901 of 13,430) and district of British India, in the Rajshahi division of Eastern Bengal and Assam. The earthquake of the 12th of June 1897 caused serious damage to most of the public buildings of the town. There is a railway station and a government high school. The district comprises an area of 3946 sq. m. It is traversed in every direction by a network of channels and water courses. Along the banks of the Kulik river, the undulating ridges and long lines of mango-trees give the landscape a beauty which is not found elsewhere. Dinajpur forms part of the rich arable tract lying between the Ganges and the southern slopes of the Himalayas. Although essentially a fluvial district, it does not possess any river navigable throughout the year by boats of 4 tons burden. Rice forms the staple agricultural product. The climate of the district, although cooler than that of Calcutta, is very unhealthy, and the people have a sickly appearance. The worst part of the year is at the close of the rains in September and October, during which months few of the natives escape fever. The average maximum temperature is 92·3° F., and the minimum 74·8°. The average rainfall is 85·54 in. In 1901 the population was 1,567,080, showing an increase of 6% in the decade. The district is partly traversed by the main line of the Eastern Bengal railway and by two branch lines. Save between 1404 and 1442, when it was the seat of an independent raj, founded by Raja Ganesh, a Hindu turned Mussulman, Dinajpur has no separate history. Pillars and copper-plate inscriptions have yielded numerous records of the Pal kings who ruled the country from the 9th century onwards, and the district is famous for many other antiquities, some of which are connected by legend with an immemorial past (see Reports, Arch. Survey of India, xv.; Epigraphia Indica, ii.).