KHULNA, a town and district of British India, in the Presidency division of Bengal. The town stands on the river Bhairab, and is the terminus of the Bengal Central railway, 109 m. E. of Calcutta. Pop. (1901), 10,426. It is the most important centre of river-borne trade in the delta.
The District of Khulna lies in the middle of the delta of the Ganges, including a portion of the Sundarbans or seaward fringe of swamps. It was formed out of Jessore in 1882. Area (excluding the Sundarbans), 2077 sq. m. Besides the Sundarbans, the north-east part of the district is swampy; the north-west is more elevated and drier, while the central part, though low-lying, is cultivated. The whole is alluvial. In 1901 the population was 1,253,043, showing an increase of 6% in the decade. Rice is the principal crop; mustard, jute and tobacco are also grown, and the fisheries are important. Sugar is manufactured from the date palm. The district is entered by the Bengal Central railway, but by far the greater part of the traffic is carried by water.
See District Gazetteer (Calcutta, 1908).