Cox's Bazar

Cox's Bazar, Chittagong, 4700
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Cox's Bazar & the greater Chittagong area was under the rule of Arakan Kings from the early 9th century till its conquest by the Mughals in 1666 AD. When the Mughal Prince Shah Shuja was passing through the hilly terrain of the present day Cox’s Bazar on his way to Arakan, he was attracted to the scenic and captivating beauty of the place. He commanded his forces to camp there. His retinue of one thousand palanquins halted there for some time. A place named Dulahazara, meaning "one thousand palanquins", still exists in the area. After the Mughals, the place came under the control of the Tipras and the Arakanese, followed by the Portuguese and then the British.

The name Cox's Bazar/Bazaar was originated from the name of a British East India Company officer, Captain Hiram Cox who was appointed as the Superintendent of Palonki (today's Cox's Bazar) outpost after Warren Hastings became the Governor of Bengal following the British East India Company Act in 1773. Captain Cox was specially mobilized to deal with a century long conflict between Arakan refugees & local Rakhains at Palonki. The Captain made significant progress in rehabilitation of refugees in the area, but had died (in 1799) before he could finish his work. To commemorate his role in rehabilitation work a market / bazaar was established and was named after him as Cox's Bazaar (market of Cox). Cox's Bazar thana was first established in 1854 and a municipality was constituted in 1869.

After the Sepoy Mutiny (Indian Rebellion of 1857) in 1857, the British East India Company was highly criticized & questioned in humanitarian ground specially for its Opium trade monopoly over the Indian Sub-Continent. However after getting dissolved on January 1, 1874, all of company's assets including its Armed Forces were acquired by the British Crown. After this historic take over, Cox's Bazar was declared as a district of the Bengal Province under the British Crown.

After the end of British rule in 1945, Cox's Bazar remained as a part of East Pakistan. Captain Advocate Fazlul Karim, the first Chairman (after independence from the British) of Cox's Bazar municipality established the Tamarisk Forest along the beach to draw tourist attention in this town and also to protect the beach from tidal waves. He also donated the pieces of land required for establishing a Public Library and Town Hall. In 1959 the municipality was turned into a town committee. In 1961 the erstwhile Geological Survey of Pakistan initiated investigation of radioactive minerals like monazite around the cox's bazar sea-beach area and a number of precious heavy minerals were identified the same year.

In 1971, Cox's bazar wharf was used as a naval port by the Pakistan Navy's gunboats. This and the nearby airstrip of the Pakistan Air Force were the scene of intense shelling by the Indian Navy during Bangladesh Liberation War. During the war, Pakistani soldiers killed many people in the town including eminent lawyer Janendralal Chowdhury. The killing of two freedom fighters named Farhad and Subhash at Badar Mokam area is also recorded in history.

After the independence of Bangladesh Cox's Bazar started to get the administrative attention. In 1972 the town committee of Cox's Bazar was again turned into a municipality. In 1975, The Government of Bangladesh established a pilot plant at Kalatali, Cox's Bazar to assess the commercial viability of the heavy mineral content in the placer deposits of the area with the cooperation of the Australian Government.[8] In April 2007 Bangladesh got connected to the submarine cable network as a member of the SEA-ME-WE-4 Consortium, as Cox's Bazar was selected as the landing station of the submarine cable.


Tourists and accommodation

Cox's Bazar, arguably the best tourist spot in Bangladesh, is visited by a large number of tourist from Britain, America, Korea, Japan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and many more countries each year. Though there is no specific record in Bangladesh Porjatan Corporation (BPC) on how many people usually visit Cox's Bazar each year but an AFP report says that during the winter 10,000 available rooms in the beach area hotels usually remain occupied almost seven days a week[19]. Accommodation near the beach varies from an expensive range to a reasonable price. Many private hotels, BPC Motels and two Five Star hotels are located near the beach


Places of interest along the beach

Cox’s Bazar, mostly famous for its beautiful sea beach and the sunset, has several other attractions, including:
Inani Beach
Inani Beach

* Laboni Beach: This is the main beach of Cox's Bazar and is considered the main beach due to the fact that it is closest to the town. Close to the beach, there are hundreds of small shops selling souvenirs and beach accessories to the tourusts.

* Himchari: Located about 18 km south of Cox’s Bazar[13], this picnic spot is famous for its waterfalls. The road to Himchari runs by the open sea on one side and hills on the other which makes the journey to Himchari very attractive.

* Inani Beach: Located 35 km south of Cox’s Bazar, this white sandy beach is located within Ukhia Thana.[21] This beach is famous for its golden sand and clean shark free water which is ideal for sea bathing. Most tourists prefer to come down here for relaxing because it is free from the crowd of tourists that is usually seen at the Laboni beach.
Mineral content in beach sand

The sand at Cox's Bazar beach and surrounding areas is rich in heavy-metal mineral content. The heavy minerals of Cox's Bazar beach sands are dominated by hornblende, garnet, epidote, ilmenites (both unaltered and altered) with magnetite, rutile, pyrite and some hydroxides. Cox's Bazar beach alone is believed to have a deposit of 5.119 Mt of minerals @ 0.04% mon, while nearby Inani beach is expected to have another deposit of 0.729 Mt. of minerals @ 0.13% mon. Surrounding islands of Maheshkhali, Kutubdia and Nijhum Deep as well as mainland beach in Teknaf area are also believed to have similar large deposits.[22] The total deposit in these locations is about 20.5 million tons of raw sand, which contains 4.4 million tons of heavy minerals (sp gr > 2.9).

[edit] Other tourist attractions near Cox's Bazar
View from Naff river (near Teknaf)
View from Naff river (near Teknaf)

* Maheshkhali is a small island (268 square kilometres) off the Cox’s Bazar coast. The island offers panoramic scenic beauty and is covered by low hills and mangrove forests. Adinath, a temple of Shiva, and a Buddhist pagoda are also located on the island.

* Sonadia Island, a small island of only 9 square kilometers. The western side of the island is sandy and different kinds of shells are found on the beach. Off the northern part of the island, there are beds of window pane oysters. During winter, fisherman set up temporary camps on the island and dry their catches of sea fish. Sonadia Island supports the last remaining part of mangrove forest in southeast Bangladesh. Sonadia's mangroves are distinct from the well-known sunderbans, due to their development in a coastal lagoon setting rather than in a delta.[24]

* Teknaf, a place situated by the side of Naf river is the southernmost part of mainland Bangladesh. This also marks the end point of Cox's Bazar beach. Tourists usually come here to have a river cruise along beautiful Naf river, which flows between Bangladesh and Myanmar.

Dead corals at St. Martins Island.
Dead corals at St. Martins Island.
Kaptai Lake at Rangamati.
Kaptai Lake at Rangamati.

* St. Martin's Island, a small island in the northeast part of the Bay of Bengal, about 9 km south of the tip of the Cox's Bazar-Teknaf peninsula. It is the only coral island in Bangladesh. It is about 8 km west of the northwest coast of Myanmar at the mouth of the Naf River. The local name of the island is "Narical Gingira", also spelled "Narikel Janjina/Jinjera", translated from Bangla, meaning 'Coconut Island'. St. Martin's Island has become a popular tourist spot. Three shipping liners run daily trips to the island. They are Kutubdia, Sea-Truck and Keary-Sindbad. Tourists can book their trip either from Chittagong or from Cox's Bazar. The surrounding coral reef of the island has an extension named Chera Dwip. The island is home to several endagered species of turtles, as well as the corals, some of which are found only on this island.

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