Amtali Upazila: A Beautiful Place in Southern Bangladesh

Amtali Upazila belongs to the Barguna District. Patuakhali Sadar Upazila is to the north. The Bay of Bengal is to the south.

Galachipa and Kalapara Upazilas of Patuakhali district are to the east. Finally, Barguna Sadar and Mirzaganj Upazilas of Patuakhali district are to the west.

The total population is 2,70,802, with 1,32,168 males and 1,38,634 females. The total families of this upazila are 63,212.

History

There were mango trees on the banks of Payra River in the distant past. Sailors used to tied their boats to that mango tree. The boat mooring place became Amtala, and from there, Amtali.

But, a stream of Payra River flows from north to south through the eastern side of Amtali port. It is famous as the Amtali River.

During the Pathan period, people established settlements on the banks of Payra. They also established trade centers there. The river was busy with navigation.

During the Mughal era, the safe Amtali River was the only hope. It was when the Portuguese plundered and oppressed the community more.

This Upazila was a deep forested and inaccessible area in the past. A Rakhine leader named Amparit from Arakan had started plantations in this area.

He leased the land from the British government. The area may also be famous as Amtali after the name of the Rakhine leader Amparit.

King Danujmardan Shahdev established an independent kingdom named “Chandradwip.” He established this kingdom during the expansion of Muslim rule in Southeast Bengal.

Amtali Upazila
Abid SikderCC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Until the 14th century, this region became famous as Chandradwip. The name Chandradwip appears in large letters on ancient foreign maps.

Till 1796, this district was famous as Bakla-Chandradwip. In 1797, they transferred the southern part of Dhaka district to Bakerganj. Barisal transferred to Bakerganj district in 1801.

In 1812, there were 15 police stations in this district. Barisal had a total of 6 sub-divisions during the Pakistan period. In 1969, the government formed a district in Patuakhali.

It combined Patuakhali and Barguna Mahakuma. Later, due to administrative reorganization, Barguna became a new district in 1984.

Gulishakhali Thana took formation in the year 1859 by the combination of Amtali, Barguna, and Kalapara. They established the headquarters in the village of Gulishakhali.

It is on the banks of the Payra River. When it became a subdivision in 1871, Patuakhali included Gulishakhali. The police moved their headquarters to the south side in 1901.

It was because of the erosion of the river. It is next to the present Amtali AK School. In 1944, they converted Gulishakhali into an Amtali Police Station.

In 1982, Amtali Thana became a separate upazila of Bangladesh. The most spectacular thing to see in this place is the bank of the Payra River.

More Information About Amtali Upazila

Freedom fighters controlled almost all areas of Amtali throughout the War of Liberation. The freedom fighters carried out only one major operation in the upazila.

They took control of the Amtali Police Station. The authority has established memorial plaques at three places in the upazila. The average literacy rate is 52.8%.

It is 54.9%, and for females, it is 49.9% for males. Noted educational institutions include Amtali Degree College. They founded it in 1969. Amtali AK Pilot High School is another.

They founded it in 1934. Cultural organizations include Club 26, Library 1, and theatre group 2. They also include Literary Organization 2, women’s Organization 2, and Cinema Hall 3.

Agriculture provides 70.46% of the income. Non-agricultural labor gives 4.01%. Commerce provides 9.42%. Service gives 4.27%. The construction gives 1.02%.

Religious service gives 0.18%. Rent and remittance provide 0.16%. Transport and communication provide 1.74%. Industry gives 0.26%. Other provides 8.48%.

Gazi Kalu Shrine

Gazi Kalu is the name of a famous legend. This story dates back to the distant past when these regions were full of deep forests.

Ghazi and Kalu Shah are famous for gaining dominion over all the wild animals and birds of the jungle. The ferocious animals would only attack people with their word or command.

This fact was famous to the honey, wax extractors, bawalis, and fishermen of Sundarbans. So before entering the forest, they take vows at the shrine to be safe from the wild animals.

This shrine of Gazi Kalu is in South Tepura Mauza of Amtali Upazila Haldia Union. It is famous that Gazi and Kalu were brothers.

Sometimes, they used to sit in the shrine of this Tepura. In their shrine house, there are two seats for the two to meditate. The authorities need to protect the area because it is inaccessible.

But every day, a large number of pilgrims come to this shrine. They hold 29 Magh and 29 Falgun Orsh here every year. The dense forest is gone.

There are no more fierce animals. But the shrine of Gazi Kalu remains, along with their legend. Still, the wood collectors of the forest remember the name of Gazi Kalu with utmost respect.

Payra River

It flows through Barabagi, Pachankodalia, Aparpangashia, Chawra, and Gulishakhali Unions. This Upazila borders the Payra River.

There are concrete blocks in the municipal area of this river. Here, you can see a beautiful landscape of natural beauty.

During the summer and winter, the banks of this river become crowded. People come from various places to have picnics here.

Gojkhali Shrine

There is a famous shrine in the Gojkhali village of this Upazila. It is the shrine of a saint who has many contributions in preaching religion.

Thousands of people gather in this shrine for a religious program every year. A big village fair also took place by centering it.

Conclusion

There are many things to explore in this southern part of Bangladesh, without any doubt. It has historical sites with beautiful river banks.

It is possible to have some memorable times on the banks of the Payra River. Many people who live in the municipality enjoy sunrise and sunset here.