Sylhet
Overview
 
Sylhet is a major city in north-eastern Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

. It is the main city of Sylhet Division
Sylhet Division
Sylhet Division , also known as Greater Sylhet or Sylhet region, is the northeastern division of Bangladesh, named after its main city, Sylhet...

 and Sylhet District
Sylhet District
The district of Sylhet consists 6754 mosques, 453 temples, 96 churches and four Buddhist temples.-Places of Interests:-Historical:#The Shrine of Hazrat Shah Jalal#The Shrine of Hazrat Shah Paran#Shahi Eidgah#Gour Govinda Fort#Kean Bridge...

, and was granted metropolitan city status in March 2009. Sylhet is located on the banks of the Surma Valley
Surma River
The Surma River is a major river in Bangladesh, part of the Surma-Meghna River System. It starts when the Barak River from northeast India divides at the Bangladesh border into the Surma and the Kushiyara rivers. It ends in Kishoreganj District, above Bhairab Bazar, where the two rivers rejoin to...

 and is surrounded by the Jaintia, Khasi and Tripura
Tripura
Tripura is a state in North-East India, with an area of . It is the third smallest state of India, according to area. Tripura is surrounded by Bangladesh on the north, south, and west. The Indian states of Assam and Mizoram lie to the east. The capital is Agartala and the main languages spoken are...

 hills. The city is approaching a population of 500,000 people while also having a high population density. It is one of the largest cities in Bangladesh. The Sylhet region is well known for its tea garden
Tea garden
Tea garden may refer to:* Roji, gardens surrounding Japanese tea houses and which form part of the architecture associated with Japanese tea ceremony* Tea plantations, where tea bushes are cultivated...

s and tropical forests The city is also known for its business boom; being one of the richest cities in Bangladesh, with new investments of hotels, shopping malls and luxury housing estates, brought mainly by expatriates living in the United Kingdom
British Bangladeshi
A British Bangladeshi is a person of Bangladeshi origin who resides in the United Kingdom having emigrated to the UK and attained citizenship through naturalisation or whose parents did so; they are also known as British Bengalis...

.

Sylhet has a history of conquests and heritage from different types of cultures.
Encyclopedia
Sylhet is a major city in north-eastern Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

. It is the main city of Sylhet Division
Sylhet Division
Sylhet Division , also known as Greater Sylhet or Sylhet region, is the northeastern division of Bangladesh, named after its main city, Sylhet...

 and Sylhet District
Sylhet District
The district of Sylhet consists 6754 mosques, 453 temples, 96 churches and four Buddhist temples.-Places of Interests:-Historical:#The Shrine of Hazrat Shah Jalal#The Shrine of Hazrat Shah Paran#Shahi Eidgah#Gour Govinda Fort#Kean Bridge...

, and was granted metropolitan city status in March 2009. Sylhet is located on the banks of the Surma Valley
Surma River
The Surma River is a major river in Bangladesh, part of the Surma-Meghna River System. It starts when the Barak River from northeast India divides at the Bangladesh border into the Surma and the Kushiyara rivers. It ends in Kishoreganj District, above Bhairab Bazar, where the two rivers rejoin to...

 and is surrounded by the Jaintia, Khasi and Tripura
Tripura
Tripura is a state in North-East India, with an area of . It is the third smallest state of India, according to area. Tripura is surrounded by Bangladesh on the north, south, and west. The Indian states of Assam and Mizoram lie to the east. The capital is Agartala and the main languages spoken are...

 hills. The city is approaching a population of 500,000 people while also having a high population density. It is one of the largest cities in Bangladesh. The Sylhet region is well known for its tea garden
Tea garden
Tea garden may refer to:* Roji, gardens surrounding Japanese tea houses and which form part of the architecture associated with Japanese tea ceremony* Tea plantations, where tea bushes are cultivated...

s and tropical forests The city is also known for its business boom; being one of the richest cities in Bangladesh, with new investments of hotels, shopping malls and luxury housing estates, brought mainly by expatriates living in the United Kingdom
British Bangladeshi
A British Bangladeshi is a person of Bangladeshi origin who resides in the United Kingdom having emigrated to the UK and attained citizenship through naturalisation or whose parents did so; they are also known as British Bengalis...

.

Sylhet has a history of conquests and heritage from different types of cultures. The city is described as a City of Saints, with the mausoleum of the great saint Hazrat Shah Jalal, who brought Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 to Bengal during the 14th century, being located here. During the next few centuries it was part of the state of Assam
Assam
Assam , also, rarely, Assam Valley and formerly the Assam Province , is a northeastern state of India and is one of the most culturally and geographically distinct regions of the country...

 during the rule of British India. After independence between India and Pakistan, Sylhet was then part of East Pakistan
East Pakistan
East Pakistan was a provincial state of Pakistan established in 14 August 1947. The provincial state existed until its declaration of independence on 26 March 1971 as the independent nation of Bangladesh. Pakistan recognized the new nation on 16 December 1971. East Pakistan was created from Bengal...

 based on a referendum
Referendum
A referendum is a direct vote in which an entire electorate is asked to either accept or reject a particular proposal. This may result in the adoption of a new constitution, a constitutional amendment, a law, the recall of an elected official or simply a specific government policy. It is a form of...

, and is now part of Bangladesh. It played a major role in the Bangladesh Liberation War
Bangladesh Liberation War
The Bangladesh Liberation War was an armed conflict pitting East Pakistan and India against West Pakistan. The war resulted in the secession of East Pakistan, which became the independent nation of Bangladesh....

 during the 1970s.

History

Historians believe that Sylhet was an expanded commercial center from the ancient period, which explains its original namesake. During this time, Sylhet was probably inhabited by Indo-Aryan
Indo-Aryans
Indo-Aryan is an ethno-linguistic term referring to the wide collection of peoples united as native speakers of the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-Iranian family of Indo-European languages...

 Brahmins, though ethnically the population would also have traces of Assamese
Assamese people
The Assamese people are a well-defined subgroup of People of Assam. Though sometimes they are defined as the Assamese-speaking Indo-Aryans of the Brahmaputra valley,, this definition is not legally binding...

, Dravidian
Dravidian peoples
Dravidian peoples is a term used to refer to the diverse groups of people who natively speak languages belonging to the Dravidian language family. Populations of speakers of around 220 million are found mostly in Southern India. Other Dravidian people are found in parts of central India, Sri Lanka,...

s of Bengal, Arabs, Persian
Persian people
The Persian people are part of the Iranian peoples who speak the modern Persian language and closely akin Iranian dialects and languages. The origin of the ethnic Iranian/Persian peoples are traced to the Ancient Iranian peoples, who were part of the ancient Indo-Iranians and themselves part of...

s and Turks
Turkic peoples
The Turkic peoples are peoples residing in northern, central and western Asia, southern Siberia and northwestern China and parts of eastern Europe. They speak languages belonging to the Turkic language family. They share, to varying degrees, certain cultural traits and historical backgrounds...

. It has also been suggested that the Ancient Kingdom of Harikela was situated in modern Sylhet.

In the ancient and early medieval period, Sylhet was ruled primarily by local chieftains as viceroy of the kings of Pragjyotishpur. There is evidence to suggest that the Maharaja Sri Chandra, of northern Bengal
Bengal
Bengal is a historical and geographical region in the northeast region of the Indian Subcontinent at the apex of the Bay of Bengal. Today, it is mainly divided between the sovereign land of People's Republic of Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal, although some regions of the previous...

, conquered Bengal in the 10th century, although this is a much disputed topic amongst Bangladeshi historians
History of Bangladesh
The history of Bangladesh as a nation state began in 1971, when it seceded from Pakistan. Prior to the creation of Pakistan in 1947, modern-day Bangladesh was part of ancient, classical, medieval and colonial India....

 and archaeologists
Archaeology
Archaeology, or archeology , is the study of human society, primarily through the recovery and analysis of the material culture and environmental data that they have left behind, which includes artifacts, architecture, biofacts and cultural landscapes...

. This was a period of relative prosperity and there is little evidence to suggest this was marred by wars or feuds. Sylhet was certainly known by the rest of India, and is even referred to in the ancient Hindu sacred Tantric text, the Shakti Sangama Tantra, as 'Silhatta'. The last chieftain to reign in Sylhet was Govinda of Gaur. Sylhet was previously a Brahmin
Brahmin
Brahmin Brahman, Brahma and Brahmin.Brahman, Brahmin and Brahma have different meanings. Brahman refers to the Supreme Self...

 kingdom, controlled by the raja
Raja
Raja is an Indian term for a monarch, or princely ruler of the Kshatriya varna...

s. Brahmin kingdoms of ancient Sylhet declined and tribal people of mongoloid origin established their chiefdoms in most parts of Sylhet. One of such chieftains was Gavinda of Gaur, commonly known as Gaur Gavinda, who was defeated in 1303 by Hazrat Shah Jala Yamani and his 360 Sufi disciples.

The 14th century marked the beginning of Islamic influence in Sylhet, with the arrivals of Sufi disciples to the region. In 1301, Sylhet was conquered by Shamsu'd-Din Firuz, a Bengali enterprising governor. Sikander Shah rallied his army against Raja Gaur Gobind, because the Raja ordered a man to be killed for sacrificing a cow for his son. But Sikander Shah was defeated by the Raja. A messianic Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 saint, Shah Jalal, arrived in Sylhet in 1303 from Mecca
Mecca
Mecca is a city in the Hijaz and the capital of Makkah province in Saudi Arabia. The city is located inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of above sea level...

 via Delhi
Delhi
Delhi , officially National Capital Territory of Delhi , is the largest metropolis by area and the second-largest by population in India, next to Mumbai. It is the eighth largest metropolis in the world by population with 16,753,265 inhabitants in the Territory at the 2011 Census...

 and Dhaka
Dhaka
Dhaka is the capital of Bangladesh and the principal city of Dhaka Division. Dhaka is a megacity and one of the major cities of South Asia. Located on the banks of the Buriganga River, Dhaka, along with its metropolitan area, had a population of over 15 million in 2010, making it the largest city...

 with the instructions for aiding Sikhander Khan Ghazi in defeating Govinda of Gaur. Ghazi was the direct nephew of Sultan Firoz Shah of Delhi
Delhi
Delhi , officially National Capital Territory of Delhi , is the largest metropolis by area and the second-largest by population in India, next to Mumbai. It is the eighth largest metropolis in the world by population with 16,753,265 inhabitants in the Territory at the 2011 Census...

. Under the spiritual leadership of Shah Jalal and his 360 companions, many people converted to Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 and began spreading the religion to other parts of the country. Shah Jalal died in Sylhet in or around the year 1350. His shrine is located in the north of the city, inside the perimeter of the mosque complex known as Dargah-e-Shah Jalal. Even today Shah Jalal remains revered and visitors arrive from all over Bangladesh and beyond to pay homage. Saints such as Shah Jalal Shah Paran
Shah Paran
Shah Paran was a renowned Sufi saint of the Suhrawardiyya and Jalalia order. It is said that he was the son of a sister of Hazrat Shah Jalal and was born in Hadramaut, Yemen. He was an accomplice of his uncle, Shah Jalal, with whom he arrived in India. In 1303 AD, He took part in the expedition...

 and Shah Kamal Qahafan were responsible for the conversion of most of the populace from the native religion of Hinduism
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

 or Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

 to Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

. Shortly thereafter, Sylhet became a center of Islam in Bengal
Islam in Bangladesh
Islam is the largest religion of Bangladesh, the Muslim population is approximately 148.6 million, which is the third largest Muslim population in the world, constituting 90.4% of the total population as of 2010. Religion has always been a strong part of identity, but this has varied at different...

. In the official documents and historical papers, Sylhet was often referred to as Jalalabad during the era of the Muslim rule.

British rule in the Indian subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
The Indian subcontinent, also Indian Subcontinent, Indo-Pak Subcontinent or South Asian Subcontinent is a region of the Asian continent on the Indian tectonic plate from the Hindu Kush or Hindu Koh, Himalayas and including the Kuen Lun and Karakoram ranges, forming a land mass which extends...

 began in the 17th century. During the period the British East India Company
British East India Company
The East India Company was an early English joint-stock company that was formed initially for pursuing trade with the East Indies, but that ended up trading mainly with the Indian subcontinent and China...

 employed Indian lascars which included Sylhetis. In the late 18th century, the British East India Company became interested in Sylhet and saw it as an area of strategic importance in the war against Burma. Sylhet was gradually absorbed into British control and administration and was governed as a part of Bengal. In 1778, the East India Company appointed Robert Lindsay
Robert Lindsay
Robert Lindsay may refer to:*Robert Lindsay of Pitscottie , Scottish chronicler*Robert Lindsay , English actor*Robert Lindsay , British Olympic track and field athlete...

 of Sylhet, who started trading and governing the region, making fortune. He was disregarded by the local Sylhetis and other Muslims. In 1781, a devastating flood struck the region which wiped out crops and killing a third of the population. The locals blamed the British for not preventing the greatness of the event, which led to an uprising, led by Syed Hadi and Syed Mahdi (known as the Pirzada). Lindsay's army was defiant and defeated the Piraza in battle in Sylhet. The numbers of lascars grew during the wars, some ending up on the docks of London and Liverpool
Liverpool
Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough of Merseyside, England, along the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary. It was founded as a borough in 1207 and was granted city status in 1880...

 temporary, other however established themselves in the communities and married English women. In the next few years during the World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, many fought in the war and some were serving in ships in poor conditions, which led to many escaping and settling in London, opening Indian curry cafes and restaurants.

After the British administrative reorganization of India, Sylhet was eventually incorporated into Assam
Assam
Assam , also, rarely, Assam Valley and formerly the Assam Province , is a northeastern state of India and is one of the most culturally and geographically distinct regions of the country...

. It remained a part of Assam for the rest of the era of British rule. In 1947, following a referendum, almost all of erstwhile Sylhet became a part of East Pakistan
East Pakistan
East Pakistan was a provincial state of Pakistan established in 14 August 1947. The provincial state existed until its declaration of independence on 26 March 1971 as the independent nation of Bangladesh. Pakistan recognized the new nation on 16 December 1971. East Pakistan was created from Bengal...

, barring the Karimganj subdivision
Karimganj district
Karimganj District is an administrative district in the state of Assam in India. The district headquarters are located at Karimganj.-Early period:...

 which was incorporated into the new Indian state of Assam
Assam
Assam , also, rarely, Assam Valley and formerly the Assam Province , is a northeastern state of India and is one of the most culturally and geographically distinct regions of the country...

. The referundum was held on 3 July 1947, there were a total of 546,815 votes cast on 239 polling stations, a majority of 43.8 per cent voted in favour of being part of East Bengal
East Bengal
East Bengal was the name used during two periods in the 20th century for a territory that roughly corresponded to the modern state of Bangladesh. Both instances involved a violent partition of Bengal....

. The referendum was acknowledged by Article 3 of the India Independence Act of 18 July 1947. In 1971, Sylhet became part of the newly formed independent country of Bangladesh.

Sylhet has a "Friendship Link" with the city of St Albans
St Albans
St Albans is a city in southern Hertfordshire, England, around north of central London, which forms the main urban area of the City and District of St Albans. It is a historic market town, and is now a sought-after dormitory town within the London commuter belt...

 in the United Kingdom. The link was established in 1988 when the District council supported a housing project in Sylhet as part of the International Year of Shelter for the Homeless. Sylhet was chosen because it is the area of origin for the largest ethnic minority group in St Albans. In July 1996, the mayor of Sylhet, Badar Uddin Ahmed Kamran, signed the Twinning accord between Sylhet and the London Borough of Tower Hamlets
London Borough of Tower Hamlets
The London Borough of Tower Hamlets is a London borough to the east of the City of London and north of the River Thames. It is in the eastern part of London and covers much of the traditional East End. It also includes much of the redeveloped Docklands region of London, including West India Docks...

 (home to around 40,000 Sylhetis at the time), with the mayor of Tower Hamlets late Albert Jacobs in London.
In March 2009, the Mayor of Sylhet, Badar Uddin Ahmed Kamran, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to form another Friendship Link between Sylhet and the Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale
Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale
The Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale is a metropolitan borough of Greater Manchester in North West England. It is named after its largest town, Rochdale, but spans a far larger area which includes the towns of Middleton, Heywood, Littleborough and Milnrow, and the village of Wardle.The borough was...

 (home to around 8,000 Sylhetis at present), with the Mayor of Rochdale Cllr Keith Swift at the Sylhet City Corporation

Geography and climate

Sylhet is located at 24.8917°N 91.8833°E, in the north eastern region of Bangladesh within the Sylhet Division, within the Sylhet District and Sylhet Sadar Upazila. The climate of Sylhet is humid subtropical with a predominantly hot and humid summer and a relatively cool winter. The city is within the monsoon climatic zone, with annual average highest temperatures of 23 °C (Aug-Oct) and average lowest temperature of 7 °C (Jan). Nearly 80% of the annual average rainfall of 3,334 mm occurs between May and September.

The city is located within the region where there are hills and basins which constitute one of the most distinctive regions in Bangladesh. The physiography of Sylhet consists mainly of hill soils, encompassing a few large depressions known locally as "beel
Beel
A beel or a bheel is a term for a pond with static water , in the Ganges - Brahmaputra flood plains of the Eastern Indian states of West Bengal, and Assam and in the country of Bangladesh...

s" which can be mainly classified as oxbow lake
Oxbow lake
An oxbow lake is a U-shaped body of water formed when a wide meander from the main stem of a river is cut off to create a lake. This landform is called an oxbow lake for the distinctive curved shape, named after part of a yoke for oxen. In Australia, an oxbow lake is called a billabong, derived...

s, caused by tectonic subsidence primarily during the earthquake of 1762. It is flanked by the Indian states of the Meghalaya
Meghalaya
Meghalaya is a state in north-eastern India. The word "Meghalaya" literally means the Abode of Clouds in Sanskrit and other Indic languages. Meghalaya is a hilly strip in the eastern part of the country about 300 km long and 100 km wide, with a total area of about 8,700 sq mi . The...

 in the north, Assam
Assam
Assam , also, rarely, Assam Valley and formerly the Assam Province , is a northeastern state of India and is one of the most culturally and geographically distinct regions of the country...

 in the east, Tripura
Tripura
Tripura is a state in North-East India, with an area of . It is the third smallest state of India, according to area. Tripura is surrounded by Bangladesh on the north, south, and west. The Indian states of Assam and Mizoram lie to the east. The capital is Agartala and the main languages spoken are...

 in the south and the Bangladesh districts of Netrokona, Kishoregonj and Brahmanbaria in the west. The area covered by Sylhet Division is 12,569 km², which is about 8% of the total land area of Bangladesh.

Geologically, the region is complex having diverse sacrificial geomorphology; high topography of Plio-Miocene
Miocene
The Miocene is a geological epoch of the Neogene Period and extends from about . The Miocene was named by Sir Charles Lyell. Its name comes from the Greek words and and means "less recent" because it has 18% fewer modern sea invertebrates than the Pliocene. The Miocene follows the Oligocene...

 age such as Khasi
Khasi Hills
The Khasi Hills are part of the Garo-Khasi range in the Indian state of Meghalaya, and is part of the Patkai range and of the Meghalaya subtropical forests ecoregion...

 and Jaintia hills and small hillocks along the border. At the centre there is a vast low laying flood plain of recent origin with saucer shaped depressions, locally called Haor
Haor
A haor is a wetland ecosystem in the north eastern part of Bangladesh which physically is a bowl or saucer shaped shallow depression, also known as a backswamp...

s. Available limestone deposits in different parts of the region suggest that the whole area was under the ocean in the Oligo-Miocene. In the last 150 years three major earthquake
Earthquake
An earthquake is the result of a sudden release of energy in the Earth's crust that creates seismic waves. The seismicity, seismism or seismic activity of an area refers to the frequency, type and size of earthquakes experienced over a period of time...

s hit the city, at a magnitude of at least 7.5 on the Richter Scale, the last one took place in 1918, although many people are unaware that Sylhet lies on the earthquake prone zone of Bangladesh.

Civic administration

Sylhet consists of 27 wards and 210 mahallas, it is a small city with an area of 26.50 km². The rapid growth and expansion of Sylhet occurred during the colonial period
Colonial Period
Colonial Period may generally refer to any period in a country's history when it was subject to administration by a colonial power.*Korea under Japanese rule*Colonial history of the United States...

. Sylhet Municipality
Municipality
A municipality is essentially an urban administrative division having corporate status and usually powers of self-government. It can also be used to mean the governing body of a municipality. A municipality is a general-purpose administrative subdivision, as opposed to a special-purpose district...

 was established in 1878. A devastating earthquake demolished almost the entire town on 12 June 1897 following which a modern and European model new town was built on the wreckage. Many new roads were constructed in the late 1890s and Sylhet became really connected to the other parts of the country with the establishment of an extension line of Assam
Assam
Assam , also, rarely, Assam Valley and formerly the Assam Province , is a northeastern state of India and is one of the most culturally and geographically distinct regions of the country...

Bengal
Bengal
Bengal is a historical and geographical region in the northeast region of the Indian Subcontinent at the apex of the Bay of Bengal. Today, it is mainly divided between the sovereign land of People's Republic of Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal, although some regions of the previous...

 Railway in 1912-15. From the very beginning of the 20th century, the importance of Sylhet increased with the establishment of the tea
Tea
Tea is an aromatic beverage prepared by adding cured leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant to hot water. The term also refers to the plant itself. After water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world...

 industry. In the 1950s and 1960s, rapid urbanisation took place in the town, fostered by the expatriate Sylhetis and the process is still ongoing.

On 9 April 2001, Sylhet was changed to a city corporation from a municipal board, and currently the city is administrated by the Sylhet City Corporation. At present, Sylhet is the district-headquarters as well as the divisional headquarters of the districts of Sunamganj, Habiganj, Maulvi Bazar and Sylhet District
Sylhet District
The district of Sylhet consists 6754 mosques, 453 temples, 96 churches and four Buddhist temples.-Places of Interests:-Historical:#The Shrine of Hazrat Shah Jalal#The Shrine of Hazrat Shah Paran#Shahi Eidgah#Gour Govinda Fort#Kean Bridge...

. The Sylhet City Corporation is responsible for the services that are provided within the city which includes traffic, roads, garbage collection, water supply, registrations and many others. The corporation consists of the Chairman and 22 other Commissioners, and focuses on the development of the city.

Economy

Remittance has been the key element of the economic growth of the city and also the region. The money is mainly sent by expatriates of Sylhet living abroad, particularly the United Kingdom, majority of the community originate from Sylhet. These foreign Bangladeshis are now looking to invest in the city. During the fiscal year of 2005-06, the flow of remittances
Remittances
A remittance is a transfer of money by a foreign worker to his or her home country. Note that in 19th century usage a remittance man was someone exiled overseas and sent an allowance on condition that he not return home....

 increased by 25 % to $4.8 billion, mostly from expatriates of Sylheti origin living in the United Kingdom with significant contributions from expatriates in the United States. That amount was expected to increase to $5.5 billion in 2007, with the government's attention toward supervising and monitoring banks. The amount of idle money lying with the commercial banks in Sylhet as deposits is about 4,000 crore
Crore
A crore is a unit in the Indian number system equal to ten million , or 100 lakhs. It is widely used in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Pakistan....

 taka, which is not common in the rest of Bangladesh.

Although Sylhet is a small city in comparison to the capital, it has been transformed drastically over the years. The construction industry in Sylhet is currently booming, with many shopping centres and apartments being built to luxurious standards. It has been described as one of the wealthiest cities in the country . The skyline of the city is mainly dominated by large buildings of western-style shopping malls, which has been the largest investments made by the expatriates. There are many new restaurant
Restaurant
A restaurant is an establishment which prepares and serves food and drink to customers in return for money. Meals are generally served and eaten on premises, but many restaurants also offer take-out and food delivery services...

s and stores, often themed on those found in London, which have been established to cater to the visiting Sylheti expatriate population and the growing Sylheti middle classes. These include, Garden Tower in Uposhohor, the London Mansion, Sylhet Millennium, Blue Water (named after Bluewater Shopping Complex in the UK), London Fried Chicken (from Perfect Fried Chicken) and Tessco (misspelt from the original Tesco
Tesco
Tesco plc is a global grocery and general merchandise retailer headquartered in Cheshunt, United Kingdom. It is the third-largest retailer in the world measured by revenues and the second-largest measured by profits...

). New hotels have been established, the Rose View Hotel and the first Apartment-Hotel and resort in Bangladesh, called Grand Sylhet, are both the only five-star
Star (classification)
Stars are often used as symbols for classification purposes. They are used by reviewers for ranking things such as movies, TV shows, restaurants, and hotels. For example, one to five stars is commonly employed to categorize hotels.-Restaurant ratings:...

 hotels in the city. Large multinational
Multinational corporation
A multi national corporation or enterprise , is a corporation or an enterprise that manages production or delivers services in more than one country. It can also be referred to as an international corporation...

 companies have also started to invest in Sylhet, one of these being HSBC Bank
HSBC
HSBC Holdings plc is a global banking and financial services company headquartered in Canary Wharf, London, United Kingdom. it is the world's second-largest banking and financial services group and second-largest public company according to a composite measure by Forbes magazine...

, which started its service in 2006 with 6,000 customers, and opened a Customer Service Center in 2008 in the Upashahar area. The Sylhet area contains several important natural gas fields, which make an important contribution to the energy balance of Bangladesh.

The government has taken steps to create a Special Economic Zone
Special Economic Zone
A Special Economic Zone is a geographical region that has economic and other laws that are more free-market-oriented than a country's typical or national laws...

 (SEZ) in Sylhet. It is the first SEZ to be created in Bangladesh, after research conducted showed that the region is the best place, which will protect the human and natural resources, including the infrastructure of foreign investment, and to create strong economic development with domestic and international markets. The new zone only allows public-private partnership, without the interference of government finance. The SEZ was created due to the demands of the British-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce, which is an economic forum of British Bangladeshis. The plan comes as an initiative toward stimulating the ongoing investment that has already taken place in Sylhet as well as providing a basis towards long-term investment to turn Sylhet into a major economic hub. Investments by British Bangladeshi
British Bangladeshi
A British Bangladeshi is a person of Bangladeshi origin who resides in the United Kingdom having emigrated to the UK and attained citizenship through naturalisation or whose parents did so; they are also known as British Bengalis...

s led the way for two additional privately owned airlines, Royal Bengal Airlines and United Airways, to launch services in 2007. The investment is regarded to serve the Sylheti population living in the UK.

However with the growth of new businesses being based in the city, there are criticisms for the lack of sustainability
Sustainability
Sustainability is the capacity to endure. For humans, sustainability is the long-term maintenance of well being, which has environmental, economic, and social dimensions, and encompasses the concept of union, an interdependent relationship and mutual responsible position with all living and non...

 of the economy of the city. There are relatively few industries developed and is also lacking the levels of agricultural production, which is very low in comparison to other districts due to lack of interest in agriculture. Large numbers of remittance and investment is being spent in the city, but the first and second generation
Generation
Generation , also known as procreation in biological sciences, is the act of producing offspring....

 British Bangladeshis have not considered whether these investments will create new jobs
Job (role)
A job is a regular activity performed in exchange for payment. A person usually begins a job by becoming an employee, volunteering, or starting a business. The duration of a job may range from an hour to a lifetime . If a person is trained for a certain type of job, they may have a profession...

 for the people in order to create a sustainable developing economy. It has created a prosperity
Prosperity
Prosperity is the state of flourishing, thriving, good fortune and/or successful social status. Prosperity often encompasses wealth but also includes others factors which are independent of wealth to varying degrees, such as happiness and health....

 type of society
Society
A society, or a human society, is a group of people related to each other through persistent relations, or a large social grouping sharing the same geographical or virtual territory, subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations...

, where school children believe that London will only provide success. Studies have shown that 70% of the community rely on remittance sent from relatives abroad, shopping malls are mainly created because it is recognised as being safe, and these investments may have reached to the point of saturation.

Demographics

The population of Sylhet within the city corporation, was approximately 427,265 as of 2007 and estimated 463,198 in 2008 (density population is 17,479 per km²). Together with the metropolitan area it has a population of 2,675,346 as of 2001, constituting 2.06% of the national population. The population growth rate of the city is 1.73%, which has reduced from 1.93% in 1991. As of 2001, It had average literacy rate of 69.73%. The highest literacy rate was 84.24% in Ward 22 and the lowest was 48.15% in Ward 10 (2001). The total number of households in the city was 55,514.

The Sylheti language
Sylheti language
Sylheti is the language of Sylhet, which is also known as the Surma Valley and is located in the north-eastern region of Bangladesh, and also spoken in parts of the Northeast Indian states of Assam and Tripura...

 is the main language spoken in the city as well as throughout the division, and is considered as a dialect of Bengali, which contains a separate written form that is not widely known, where in this case Bengali is written, and sometimes spoken. It is often accepted that Sylheti is a separate language on its own right, however it has not been given an official status
Official language
An official language is a language that is given a special legal status in a particular country, state, or other jurisdiction. Typically a nation's official language will be the one used in that nation's courts, parliament and administration. However, official status can also be used to give a...

 by the government. There is much debate to whether it should be recognized, for example there is greater differences of Sylheti to Bengali, than Assamese
Assamese language
Assamese is the easternmost Indo-Aryan language. It is used mainly in the state of Assam in North-East India. It is also the official language of Assam. It is also spoken in parts of Arunachal Pradesh and other northeast Indian states. Nagamese, an Assamese-based Creole language is widely used in...

 to Bengali, which is recognised as separate. Most Sylhetis are at least bilingual to some degree, as they are taught Bengali at all levels of education in Bangladesh.

The majority of Sylhetis are Muslims
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 (85%), other religious groups include Hindus
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

 (15%), and very few numbers of other religions, mainly Buddhists
Buddhism in Bangladesh
Buddhism is the third largest religion in Bangladesh with about 0.7% of population adhering to Theravada Buddhism. Most of the practiconers are the tribal Jumma people who are found mainly in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, where they constitute about 45% of the area's population.- Demographic Overview...

 and Christians
Christianity in Bangladesh
Christianity arrived in what is now Bangladesh during the late sixteenth to early seventeenth century AD, through the Portuguese traders and missionaries. Christians account for approximately 0.3% of the total population. Christianity's first contact with the Indian subcontinent is attributed to...

 (less than 0.1%). The majority of the Muslims are mainly Sunni
Sunni Islam
Sunni Islam is the largest branch of Islam. Sunni Muslims are referred to in Arabic as ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah wa āl-Ǧamāʿah or ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah for short; in English, they are known as Sunni Muslims, Sunnis or Sunnites....

 Hanafi
Hanafi
The Hanafi school is one of the four Madhhab in jurisprudence within Sunni Islam. The Hanafi madhhab is named after the Persian scholar Abu Hanifa an-Nu‘man ibn Thābit , a Tabi‘i whose legal views were preserved primarily by his two most important disciples, Abu Yusuf and Muhammad al-Shaybani...

; though there are significant numbers of people who follow Sufi
Sufism
Sufism or ' is defined by its adherents as the inner, mystical dimension of Islam. A practitioner of this tradition is generally known as a '...

 ideals, the most influential is the teachings of Saheb Qibla Fultali
Saheb Qibla Fultali
Abdul Latif Chowdhury , widely known as Saheb Qiblah Fultali, was an Islamic scholar of theology, philosopher, qira'at/tajweed teacher, murshid/pir, spiritual esotericist, philanthropist, and spiritual leader.-Background:...

 who descends from the village of Fultoli, Zakigang
Zakiganj Upazila
Zakiganj is an Upazila of Sylhet District in the Division of Sylhet, Bangladesh. The town is famous in Sylhet, for being the home town of Quari Abdul Latif Chowdhury, the founder of the Latifia Muslim sect movement.-Geography:Zakiganj is located at...

. It is believed that the late leader is a descendant of Shah Kamal, one of the disciples of Shah Jalal. Research in Bangladesh found that 60% of Sylhetis pray daily as compared to 35% in the whole country.

Sylhet has high rates of power
Electric power
Electric power is the rate at which electric energy is transferred by an electric circuit. The SI unit of power is the watt.-Circuits:Electric power, like mechanical power, is represented by the letter P in electrical equations...

 shortage, including water shortage. According to the Power Development Board, Sylhet is only receiving 50MW, which is half than the demand of 100MW. The city corporation is also supplying only 22,500 gallons of water, far less than the demand of about 65,000. The major sources of water to the city is the tube wells and the Surma River. There are also high levels of arsenic
Arsenic
Arsenic is a chemical element with the symbol As, atomic number 33 and relative atomic mass 74.92. Arsenic occurs in many minerals, usually in conjunction with sulfur and metals, and also as a pure elemental crystal. It was first documented by Albertus Magnus in 1250.Arsenic is a metalloid...

 in the water in Sylhet than in most other regions, this is mainly due to the multiple depth screening in the tubewells. According to the World Health Organization
World Health Organization
The World Health Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations that acts as a coordinating authority on international public health. Established on 7 April 1948, with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, the agency inherited the mandate and resources of its predecessor, the Health...

 in 1997, about 61% are highly contaminated by arsenic, however in 1999, the percentage of boreholes tested where arsenic levels are above 50 micrograms per litre, was under 25%. There are about 331 registered restaurants in the city, only 15% maintain sanitary facilities and 85% have unhygienic conditions that are unsafe for the public.

Thousands of foreigners have origins in Sylhet. The largest numbers of people from Sylhet living abroad is in the United Kingdom, with a population of about 300,000 (95% of the Bangladeshi population). Over 150,000 people are Bangladeshi-born, who have migrated to the UK. They are highly concentrated in the east London boroughs, having established themselves within the communities, notably in Brick Lane
Brick Lane
Brick Lane is a street in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, in the East End of London. It runs from Swanfield Street in the northern part of Bethnal Green, crosses Bethnal Green Road, passes through Spitalfields and is linked to Whitechapel High Street to the south by the short stretch of...

 which has been dubbed as Banglatown. Sylheti foreigners are known as "Londoni" in Sylhet. Many have also immigrated to the United States—they are mainly spread out across the country, but have a large concentration in New York City and Hamtramck, Michigan. Tens of thousands of Sylhetis are also working as guest workers in the Middle Eastern Gulf states.

Culture

Given its unique cultural and economic development, and linguistic differences
Sylheti language
Sylheti is the language of Sylhet, which is also known as the Surma Valley and is located in the north-eastern region of Bangladesh, and also spoken in parts of the Northeast Indian states of Assam and Tripura...

 (Greater Sylhet region was a part of Assam
Assam
Assam , also, rarely, Assam Valley and formerly the Assam Province , is a northeastern state of India and is one of the most culturally and geographically distinct regions of the country...

 and Surma Valley State for much of the British Raj
British Raj
British Raj was the British rule in the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947; The term can also refer to the period of dominion...

 in comparison to the rest of Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

), and given that Sylhet has, for most of its recent history, been a region of a larger entity. As so many Sylhetis are resident abroad, Sylhet has a major flow of foreign currency from non-resident Bangladeshis. The major holidays celebrated in Sylhet include traditional and religious celebrations, Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 festivals of Ramadan
Ramadan
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, which lasts 29 or 30 days. It is the Islamic month of fasting, in which participating Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, smoking and sex during daylight hours and is intended to teach Muslims about patience, spirituality, humility and...

and then after, Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha. Colourful Hindu festivals celebrated by the Hindu community, are the Raspurnima, Jhulan Jatra and Roth Jatra. Cultural or nationalistic celebrations include the Language Movement Day
Language Movement Day
Language Movement Day or Language Revolution Day , which is also referred to as Language Martyrs' Day or Martyrs' Day , is a national day of Bangladesh to commemorate protests and sacrifices to protect Bangla as a national language during Bengali Language Movement of 1952.-Background:In 1952,...

, this is where wreaths are laid at the Shaheed Minar paying tribute to the martyrs, the Bangladeshi Independence Day
Bangladeshi Independence Day
March 26 is the National Day of Bangladesh.This day is celebrated as the Independence Day in Bangladesh. This commemorates the declaration of independence, and the start of Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971...

, Victory Day
Victory Day (Bangladesh)
Victory Day is a national holiday in Bangladesh celebrated on December 16.On this day in 1971, the Pakistani Army surrendered to the Indo-Bangladeshi High Command in Dhaka, ending the 9 month-long Bangladesh Liberation War and 1971 Bangladesh atrocities. General AAK Niazi, the Commanding officer...

 celebrated with parades by school and academies, and the Pohela Baishakh
Pohela Baishakh
Bengali New Year or Poyela Boishakh is the first day of the Bengali calendar, celebrated in both Bangladesh and West Bengal, and in Bengali communities in Assam and Tripura...

—celebration of the Bengali New Year.

There are large shopping malls in the city, cosmetics and confectionery is mainly available in Bondor Bazar, handicrafts and textiles stores can be found in Zinda Bazar, these include the Al-Hamra Shopping City, Bluewater, Sylhet Millenium, Sylhet Plaza, Shukria Market and many others. These malls sell many items in particular from a wide range of sarees. Majority of these shoppers are from the middle-class and visiting expatriates. Restaurants from different types of cuisines are available, such as the Agra Restaurant, Chinese and Thai food is also sold in Hamadan Restaurant or Royal Chef. The cuisine in Sylhet is quite similar to that shared across the country which is rice with chicken or meat curry
Curry
Curry is a generic description used throughout Western culture to describe a variety of dishes from Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan, Thai or other Southeast Asian cuisines...

, it does however have different staples of fish such as the Pabda fish, and the citrus fruit known as shatkora
Citrus macroptera
Citrus macroptera commonly called "Melanesian papeda", "wild orange", "cabuyao" or "satkara" is a semi-wild species of citrus native to Malesia and Melanesia.- Description :...

is used for flavour in curries, which is grown primarily in the Sylhet region.

All Bangladeshi television channels are available as in throughout the country via cable or satellite, such as Channel i
Channel I
Channel i is a privately owned Television network in Bangladesh. It is owned by the Impress Group, among the largest conglomerates in Bangladesh with interests in textiles, pharmaceuticals and media....

, NTV
NTV (Bangladesh)
NTV is a Bengali language satellite television channel based in Bangladesh. It started operation in 2003. It is one of the most popular Bengali TV channels in the country. In the anniversary of the channel, the founder expressed interest in creating NTV2 to satisfy the watchers further, however he...

 or ATN Bangla
ATN Bangla
ATN Bangla is a Bengali language digital cable television channel. It transmits from its studio in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The channel is transmitted in South Asia, the Middle-east, Europe, and North America. The channel offers a wide variety of programming including news, movies, dramas, talk shows,...

 in the Bengali language including many other Indian channels. There are no national television stations based in Sylhet or broadcasting programs in Sylheti, however the British-owned Channel S
Channel S
Channel S is a UK-based, free-to-air television channel targeting the British Bangladeshi community. The channel was established on 16 December 2004, by Mahee Ferdous Jalil - a Bangladeshi businessman in London. On Sky it had a timesharing deal with ATN Global, and then in 2005 it started to...

 has a team, correspondents and reporters based in the city and the region mostly with Sylheti programs. The main newspapers produced in the city includes Sylheter Dak, Jalalabad, Manchitra, Probasha Protidin, Daily Sylhet Sanglap, and Aajker Sylhet. The first Grameenphone
Grameenphone
Grameenphone , widely known as GP, is the leading telecommunications service provider in Bangladesh. With more than 32 million subscribers , Grameenphone is the largest cellular operator in the country...

 Centre opened in Sylhet on 20 May 2007, which was the first telecommunication centre in the city. The most celebrated personalities in Sylhet include Shah Jalal, who was one of the greatest saints in the region, credited for the conversion of people in the Bengal region. His tomb lies in the Shah Jalal Dargah Mazar Sharif in the north, which is still as used as a place of pilgrimage, M. A. G. Osmani
M. A. G. Osmani
General Muhammad Ataul Ghani Osmany, popularly referred to as Bangabir General M.A.G. Osmany was the Commander-in-Chief of Bangladesh Forces during the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971...

 was the commander-in-chief of the Bangladesh Forces during the Bangladesh Liberation War, and Abdus Samad Azad
Abdus Samad Azad
Abdus Samad Azad was a diplomat and politician from Bangladesh. Azad was elected to Bangladesh's parliament five times from 1970 to 2001. He was also elected Member of Lower Assembly in the Parliament of then East Pakistan...

, was the first politician from Sylhet to be a member of the cabinet in the government. Sylhet has also influenced much of the music in Bangladesh
Music of Bangladesh
Bangladesh is traditionally very rich in its musical heritage. From the ancient times, music documented the lives of the people and was widely patronized by the rulers....

, notable legends include Hason Raja
Hason Raja
Hason Raja , also known as Dewan Hason Raja, was a Bengali poet, mystic philosopher and folksongs writer and composer...

, Radha Romon
Radha Romon
Radha Raman Dutta , also spelt as Radharaman Dutta, was an influential Sylheti folk music composer and poet from the Sunamganj District in Sylhet, Bangladesh...

 and Shah Abdul Karim
Shah Abdul Karim
Shah Abdul Karim , was one of the most famous legends of Bangladeshi folk music. He specialized in Bengali Baul music. Born and brought up in the village of Ujan Dhol, in Derai Upazila of Sunamganj, he lived there until his death. He was awarded the Ekushey Padok in the year 2001 for his...

 who have produced Bangladeshi folk music
Folk music
Folk music is an English term encompassing both traditional folk music and contemporary folk music. The term originated in the 19th century. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted by mouth, as music of the lower classes, and as music with unknown composers....

.

Sylheti attachment to their regional identity also continues in the efforts of many Sylhetis to keep marital relationships within the same regional cultural background. Sylheti people are considered as a distinct ethnic group
Ethnic group
An ethnic group is a group of people whose members identify with each other, through a common heritage, often consisting of a common language, a common culture and/or an ideology that stresses common ancestry or endogamy...

 in Bangladesh; this is mainly because of language differences between the standard Bangla language
Languages of Bangladesh
Although there are 38 different languages of Bangladesh, Bengali is by far the most widely spoken language in the country – an estimated 98% of the population can speak it, and it enjoys the status of official language and the lingua franca of the nation. Arabic text is widely used in education...

, and the Sylheti language and they are fiercely protective of their language. There are also many cultural and customary differences between Bengalis and Sylhetis. Many Sylhetis only marry within the Sylheti-speaking community, and not people from other regions of Bangladesh
Divisions of Bangladesh
||Bangladesh is divided into seven major administrative regions called divisions . Each division is named after the major city within its jurisdiction that serves as the administrative capital of that division:...

. They are also more family-orientated and follow a community type of culture, and are more conservative Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

s. These stereotypes have led to some rivalry between non-Sylhetis and Sylhetis, due to differences of cultural customs. Marriages are practiced in a traditional Bengali Muslim style, with the gae holud ritual, and the prayers.

Tourism



Sylhet division has enormous tourism potential. There is a green carpet of tea plants on small hillocks. Natural reserved forests are great attractions. Migratory birds in winter, particularly in the haor areas, are also very attractive in this area.The major tourist destinations surrounding the city are Jaflong
Jaflong
Jaflong is a natural tourist spot in the Division of Sylhet, Bangladesh. It is located in Gowainghat Upazila of Sylhet District and situated at the border between Bangladesh and the Indian state of Meghalaya. It is just below the mountain range...

, Sripur
Sripur, Sylhet Division
Sripur is a tourist spot in Bangladesh's Sylhet district. It is well-known for its waterfalls, which span across the Bangladesh-India border....

, Habiganj, Madhabkunda waterfall
Madhabkunda waterfall
-Description:Madhabkunda is the largest waterfall in Bangladesh situated in Barlekha thana in Moulvi Bazar District, Sylhet Division. The waterfall is one of the most attractive tourist spots in Bangladesh. Lots of tourists and picnic parties come to Madhabkunda every day for their enjoyment....

, Golapganj Botanical Gardens.
  • Tamabil-Jaflong: Situated amidst splendid panorama, Tamabil is a border outpost on Sylhet-Shilong Road about 55 km. away from Sylhet town. Besides enchanting views of the area one can also have a glimpse of the waterfalls across the border from Tamabil. Jaflong is also a scenic spot nearby amidst tea gardens and rate beauty of rolling stones from hills. The natural view has been effected by rock quarrying. It is located on the Bangladesh-India border.

  • Kalibari @ Jaflog: Kalibari temple which is one of the 51 Sakthi peet is situated near Jaflong.

  • Greeva Peet - Mahalakshmi peet: South of Sylhet around 4 km from the city is place named Joinpur(Dakshin Surma - Surma is the river that flows through Sylhet). Sri Mahalakshmi temple is situated at this place. As every shakthi peet has its bhairav temple and for this peet Bhairav temple is situated 1 km away from this sakthi peet.

  • Sri Mangal: Sri Mangal is famous for the largest tea gardens of the world covered by lush green carpet. One can have a look into the spectacular tea processing at Tea Research Institute. Bangladesh produces and exports a large quantity of high quality tea every year. Most of the tea estates are in Sri Mangal. It is called "The land of two leaves and a bud". It is also called camellia, green carpet or Tea Mountain. There are a lot of tea estates including the largest one in the world. The terraced tea garden, pineapple, rubber and lemon plantations from a beautiful landscape. It is known as the tea capital in Bangladesh. Just offer entering into the tea estates the nice smells and green beauty will lead you many kilometres away.

  • Lawacherra Rain Forest: Lawacherra Rain Forest is one of the important & well-reserved forests in Bangladesh. Here visitor may see gibbons swimming through the trees and birds like bee-eater owls parrot. It is a good habitat for Deer, leopard, wild chicken, squirrel, and python. Don't miss it especially if you are bird watcher. The terrain is hilly and vegetation is fairly thick. Only one rare Chloroform tree of Asia is here and a prime attraction of travel

  • Madhabkunda: Madhabkunda surrounded by lush tea estates and full of waters lilies is a unique one. Magurchara ruined gas & Oil reserved field, which was inadvertently blown up while digging 3 years ago and was burning a 500-feet height for more than 3 months. A lot of burnt trees now show signs of this disaster. Everwhere rubber and lemon plantations form beautiful landscapes and visitors can see the Madhobkundo waterfall.

  • Tilagor: It is a place with small and large hills. There are poultry and dairy farms and houses on cut hills. There is also a Tea garden in Tilagor which is named as Lakkhachora Tea Garden. There is also an Eco Park in Tilagor which is known as Tilagor Eco Park Which is the beauty of nature. Many people can come here and can pass their vacation.".

Sports

The most popular Sport in Sylhet is cricket
Cricket
Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of 11 players on an oval-shaped field, at the centre of which is a rectangular 22-yard long pitch. One team bats, trying to score as many runs as possible while the other team bowls and fields, trying to dismiss the batsmen and thus limit the...

 and also Football. The largest team is the Sylhet Division
Sylhet Division cricket team
Sylhet Division is a first-class cricket team representing the Sylhet Division region in Bangladesh.-Honours:* National Cricket League 4 Day Matches - 3rd in 2010-11 * National Cricket League One-Day Format Champions - 2001-02...

, which plays its matches in the Sylhet Stadium
Sylhet Stadium
Sylhet Stadium, is a multi-purpose stadium in Sylhet, Bangladesh. It is currently used mostly for cricket matches. The stadium holds 20,000 people and was built in 1960....

 (M.A.G. Osmani Stadium), used for cricket-use (jointly with football) is the only stadium in the city, and one of the two in the division, it was created in 1965 and has a capacity of 15,000 people. In the National Cricket League
National Cricket League of Bangladesh
The National Cricket League is the domestic first class cricket competition in Bangladesh.The National Cricket League had in fact been inaugurated in the 1999–2000 season but was not then first-class...

 it hasn't won any titles however did win in the One-Day Cricket League
One-Day Cricket League of Bangladesh
The One-Day Cricket League is the principal domestic limited overs cricket competition in Bangladesh.Bangladesh became the tenth Full Member of the ICC in 2000 and the one-day league was inaugurated in the 2000–01 season.-One-Day Cricket League Winners:...

 in 2001–02 season. Notable players from Sylhet who have played for the national team include Rajin Saleh
Rajin Saleh
Khondokar Mohammad Rajin Saleh Alam is a Bangladeshi cricketer. He was the twelfth man of the inaugural Test that Bangladesh played against India on November 10, 2000. He then spent three years out of the national squad. He made his Test debut against Pakistan in 2003 when they made a trip to...

, Enamul Haque Jr
Enamul Haque Jr
Enamul Haque , known as Enamul Haque jr to distinguish him from Enamul Haque, who also played for Bangladesh, but was not related to him, is a Bangladeshi cricketer. He currently plays for his home team, Sylhet Division....

, Tapash Baisya
Tapash Baisya
Tapash Baisya is a Bangladeshi cricketer. Tapash Baisya is one of Bangladesh's best pace bowlers to date, having taken 36 Test wickets, although they have come at a bowling average of nearly 60. Nevertheless, he has taken the third-most wickets of any Bangladeshi fast bowler, behind Mashrafe...

, and Alok Kapali
Alok Kapali
Alok Kapali is a Bangladeshi cricketer. He is an allrounder who bats in the middle to lower order and bowls leg spin with a run-up similar to that of Shane Warne. He is the only Bangladeshi cricket player to take a Test hat-trick.-Test career:Kapali made his Test debut in 2002, against Sri...

.

Transport


The main transport systems used in the city are Cycle rickshaws
Cycle rickshaw
The cycle rickshaw is a small-scale local means of transport; it is also known by a variety of other names such as velotaxi, pedicab, bikecab, cyclo, becak, trisikad, or trishaw or, simply, rickshaw which also refers to auto rickshaws, and the, now uncommon, rickshaws pulled by a person on foot...

, auto rickshaws (mainly known as baby-taxis or CNGs), buses, mini-buses and cars. There are about 80,000 rickshaws running each day. Bus service prices have increased as of 2008, up to 30% higher, prices ranges from Tk4 to 15.95. Sylhet is well connected by highways and railway links to Chittagong and Dhaka, as well as other parts of Sylhet. Highway links to India have been established through the Asian highway. The Sylhet Railway Station is the main railway station providing trains on national routes operated by the state-run Bangladesh Railway
Bangladesh Railway
Bangladesh Railway is the state-owned rail transport agency of Bangladesh. It operates and maintains the entire railway network of the country...

.

The city of Sylhet is served by Osmani International Airport, located at the north of the city. It is Bangladesh's third busiest airport and became an international airport due to the demand of expatriate Bangladeshis and their descendants from the United Kingdom and the United States. The main frequent airlines of the airport are, Biman Bangladesh Airlines
Biman Bangladesh Airlines
Biman Bangladesh Airlines , partly transcribed from English into Bengali and the other way around) is the flag carrier airline of Bangladesh. Its main hub is at Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka, and also operates flights from Shah Amanat International Airport in Chittagong, earning revenue...

,United Airways (BD) Ltd. and domestic flights with GMG Airlines
GMG Airlines
GMG Airlines is a largest private airline of Bangladesh with its head office in the AAA Tower in Nikunjo-2 Dhaka, Bangladesh. It is Bangladesh's largest and oldest private airline operating domestic, regional, and international services, upholding the image of Bangladesh to the world...

. The airport received its first international arrival on 3 November 2002, with Biman arriving from Kuwait
Kuwait
The State of Kuwait is a sovereign Arab state situated in the north-east of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south at Khafji, and Iraq to the north at Basra. It lies on the north-western shore of the Persian Gulf. The name Kuwait is derived from the...

 via Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi , literally Father of Gazelle, is the capital and the second largest city of the United Arab Emirates in terms of population and the largest of the seven member emirates of the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi lies on a T-shaped island jutting into the Persian Gulf from the central western...

 en-route to Dhaka
Dhaka
Dhaka is the capital of Bangladesh and the principal city of Dhaka Division. Dhaka is a megacity and one of the major cities of South Asia. Located on the banks of the Buriganga River, Dhaka, along with its metropolitan area, had a population of over 15 million in 2010, making it the largest city...

. Work started in 2006 to upgrade the airport to international standards, including a new terminal building, a jetway, a taxiway, and expansion of the runway to accommodate wide-bodied aircraft. It was confirmed that in May 2007, Biman will be operating Hajj
Hajj
The Hajj is the pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is one of the largest pilgrimages in the world, and is the fifth pillar of Islam, a religious duty that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so...

 flights directly from the airport later in 2007. British Bangladeshi-owned airlines, Air Sylhet
Air Sylhet
Air Sylhet plc was founded in early 2007, by British Bangladeshi businessmen from the Sylhet region of Bangladesh. Air Sylhet AG is a wholly owned Austrian airline and subsidiary of the plc which provided flights to Amritsar from Birmingham Airport with a technical stopover at Vienna....

 and Royal Bengal Airline
Royal Bengal Airline
Royal Bengal Airline is the trading name for R B Airline UK Ltd and Aviana Airways Ltd , a wholly owned company of R B Airline UK Ltd...

 are also seeking landing rights to the airport in order to provide a better service to the expatriate community in the UK.

Education

Sylhet city is served by Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education, Sylhet and educational institutes like Shahjalal University of Science and Technology
Shahjalal University of Science and Technology
Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, commonly known by its initials SUST, is a state supported public research university located in Sylhet, Bangladesh. It is the first specialized Science & technology University of the country. The medium of instructions is English...

, it is the first science and technology university established in Bangladesh and one of the popular in the country. There are also other prominent colleges such as Sylhet Engineering College, Murari Chand College
Murari Chand College
Murari Chand University College was the first college in Sylhet. It was established in 1892. Since then it has been playing important role in the education, cultural, and political spheres of greater Sylhet.- History :...

, and Osmani Medical College., Sylhet Polytechnic Institute
Sylhet Polytechnic Institute
Sylhet Polytechnic Institute or SPI is a state supported technical academic institute located in Sylhet, Bangladesh. It was established in 1955 by the then East Pakistan government.-History:...

.Other notable educational institutions are Jalalabad Cantonment Public School and College, Sylhet Cadet College
Sylhet Cadet College
Sylhet Cadet College is a military high school for boys situated 7 km north to Sylhet divisional City, east to the Osmani Air Port Road, beside Parjatan motel of Sylhet.-History:...

, Sylhet Agricultural University
Sylhet Agricultural University
-History:Officially the Sylhet Agricultural University has started its formal function on 2 November 2006 following issuance of a notification by the Government as per requirement of the “Sylhet Agricultural University Act 2006” which was passed in the National Parliament on 3 October 2006...

, Madan Mohan College, Women's College Sylhet, Government College Sylhet, and Sylhet Law College. There are also three private universities in Sylhet, namely Leading University
Leading University
Leading University or ' is a private university of Bangladesh. It was established in 2001 by the Private University Act 1992. The outreach campus of LU is located in Siddeshwari, Dhaka.-History:...

, Sylhet International University
Sylhet International University
Sylhet International University is a private university located at Shamimabad, Sylhet, Bangladesh. The university was established by The Private University Act 1992. SIU is affiliated by University Grants Commission Bangladesh. The vice chancellor is Professor Dr...

 and Metropolitan University. Many Muslim families also send their children to madrassahs to learn Arabic, such madrassahs includes the Jamia Tawakkulia Renga Madrasah
Jamia Tawakkulia Renga Madrasah
Jamia Tawakkulia Renga Madrasah is located in Mogla Bazar, about 13 km south of district Sylhet, Bangladesh.It is one of the largest Islamic institutions in Bangladesh and the biggest in Greater Sylhet district. It was founded in 1919 by Arkan Ali; later ran by his son Badrul Alam , a...

, one of the oldest institutions in the city.

There are also four private medical colleges in Sylhet, namely Jalalabad Ragib-Rabeya Medical College and Hospital, North East Medical College & Hospital, Sylhet Women's Medical College and Durre Samad Red Crescent Medical College. Jalalabad Ragib-Rabeya Medical College is the largest; established in 1995, founded by philanthropist Ragib Ali and his wife Rabeya Khatun.

Sister cities

Sylhet is Sister cities with:
  • Amman
    Amman
    Amman is the capital of Jordan. It is the country's political, cultural and commercial centre and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The Greater Amman area has a population of 2,842,629 as of 2010. The population of Amman is expected to jump from 2.8 million to almost...

    , Amman Governorate
    Amman Governorate
    Officially known as Muhafazat al-Asima , Amman Governorate is one of the governorates - locally known as muhafazat - in Jordan. This governorate's capital is the City of Amman, It is also Jordan's capital...

    , Jordan
  • London
    London
    London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

    , United Kingdom
  • City of Westminster
    City of Westminster
    The City of Westminster is a London borough occupying much of the central area of London, England, including most of the West End. It is located to the west of and adjoining the ancient City of London, directly to the east of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and its southern boundary...

    , Marylebone
    Marylebone
    Marylebone is an affluent inner-city area of central London, located within the City of Westminster. It is sometimes written as St. Marylebone or Mary-le-bone....

    , London, United Kingdom
  • Tower Hamlets
    London Borough of Tower Hamlets
    The London Borough of Tower Hamlets is a London borough to the east of the City of London and north of the River Thames. It is in the eastern part of London and covers much of the traditional East End. It also includes much of the redeveloped Docklands region of London, including West India Docks...

    , Greater London
    Greater London
    Greater London is the top-level administrative division of England covering London. It was created in 1965 and spans the City of London, including Middle Temple and Inner Temple, and the 32 London boroughs. This territory is coterminate with the London Government Office Region and the London...

    , United Kingdom
  • St Albans City & District Council
    St Albans
    St Albans is a city in southern Hertfordshire, England, around north of central London, which forms the main urban area of the City and District of St Albans. It is a historic market town, and is now a sought-after dormitory town within the London commuter belt...

    , Hertfordshire
    Hertfordshire
    Hertfordshire is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in the East region of England. The county town is Hertford.The county is one of the Home Counties and lies inland, bordered by Greater London , Buckinghamshire , Bedfordshire , Cambridgeshire and...

    , United Kingdom
  • Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council, Greater Manchester
    Greater Manchester
    Greater Manchester is a metropolitan county in North West England, with a population of 2.6 million. It encompasses one of the largest metropolitan areas in the United Kingdom and comprises ten metropolitan boroughs: Bolton, Bury, Oldham, Rochdale, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan, and the...

    , United Kingdom

External links

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