Bangladesh, on the northern coast of the Bay of Bengal, is surrounded by India, with a small common border with Myanmar in the southeast. The country is low-lying
riverine land traversed by the many branches and tributaries of the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers. Tropical monsoons and frequent floods and cyclones inflict heavy
damage in the delta region.
Bangladesh has an area of 148,393 sq km and occupies the apex of the arch formed by the Bay of Bengal into which all the rivers flowing through the country drain.
Bangladesh has one of the most complex river systems in the world numbering about 230 with their tributaries having a total length of about 24,140 km. The climate of
Bangladesh is characterised by high temperature and high humidity, heavy rainfall and marked seasonal variation. Daily temperature ranges from 10ï¿½ C to 12ï¿½ C in
the cool months and in the other months it varies between 28ï¿½ C and 40ï¿½ C. Soil of Bangladesh may be divided into three main categories, namely hill soils
(Chittagong and Sylhet regions), terrace soils (Barind and Madhupur tracts) and alluvial and flood plain soils.
What is now called Bangladesh is part of the historic region of Bengal, the northeast portion of the Indian subcontinent. Bangladesh consists primarily of East Bengal
(West Bengal is part of India and its people are primarily Hindu) plus the Sylhet district of the Indian state of Assam.
The earliest reference to the region was to a kingdom called Vanga, or Banga (c. 1000 B.C.). Buddhists ruled for centuries, but by the 10th century Bengal was
primarily Hindu. In 1576, Bengal became part of the Mogul Empire, and the majority of East Bengalis converted to Islam. Bengal was ruled by British India from 1757
until Britain withdrew in 1947, and Pakistan was founded out of the two predominantly Muslim regions of the Indian subcontinent. For almost 25 years after independence
from Britain, its history was part of...