Friday, July 24, 2020

In search of a millenium-old higher-learning centre



A photograph of The Paschimbagh copperplate inscription, whreabouts of which are currrently unknown. Photo: Courtesy

Archaeology department to start looking for Chandrapur; historians say it hosted an educational complex with nine mathas



Ancient Bengal was a land of knowledge where institutional education flourished through vihara (monastery), mahavihara (monastic complex of viharas) and matha (cloister, institute or college). Thousand-year-old heritages like Nalanda, Shalban, Somapura, Vikramshila, Jagaddala and many others stand tall as a testament to our glorious past.
These ancient higher-learning institutions eventually laid the foundation of what later came to be known as universities.
Srihatta (present day Sylhet division) is home to such an institution, which is older than Jagaddala, as disciplined as Nalanda and was built in the early 10th century, according to historians.
King Srichandra of Chandra dynasty of south-eastern Bengal patronised constructing nine mathas at Chandrapur of Srihatta.
Details of these mathas were inscribed in a copperplate grant (historical legal records engraved on copper plates) found in Paschimbhag of Rajnagar upazila in Moulvibazar in 1958, which was later decoded and translated.
And after 62 years of this historical finding, the Department of Archaeology is all set to explore and excavate the long-lost heritage of the land, which lies beneath the ground -- once known as Chandrapur.
........

CHANDRAPUR, 9 MATHAS, CONCEPT OF UNIVERSITY

Following his study and research, Kamalakanta Gupta believed that Chandrapur was a town in the Chandrapura Vishaya (subdivision) of Srihattamandala or Srihatta and the vishayapati (ruler) used to live there and the mathas were situated in the town.
The Chandra dynasty was of Buddhist monarchy and most Buddhist kings granted land for vihara in the name of Buddha.
Srichandra granted all land in the name of Buddha; these lands were granted to Brahmans and mostly to study Brahmanya (devoted to sacred knowledge) based on Chaturveda (collection of religious texts).
As a Buddhist monarch, he included only the grammar of Chandragomin and the main matha's upadhyaya was the teacher, as mentioned in the inscription, decoded by historians.
"The inscription and all the evidence lead us to believe that there was a large educational institute in the land, which was mainly a religious education centre, like Nalanda or Odantapuri," said Dr Zafir Setu.
"The educational concept, the land grant structure based on the level of labour distribution of around 25 types of professionals point that this was a planned and disciplined institute -- functioning almost like a modern university," he added.
"It makes me wonder how such an institution could be forgotten from history," he said.

WHERE IS CHANDRAPUR?

Many say the place is situated in the Dighirpar area of Juri upazila in Moulvibazar. The archaeology department is planning to start their survey works from the spot.
Historians, however, never agreed on a specific spot till to date.
According to the "Paschimbhag Copperplate", Chandrapur Vishaya was bounded by the Mani-Nadi (present day Monu river) in the south, Kosiyara-Nadi (present day Kushiyara river) in the north, large Kouttali in the east and Jangakhataka-Kastanyakhataka-Betraghanginadi in the west.
Kalamakanta Gupta believed that the Kouttali is a large garh or fort in the east and the west's Betraghanginadi is present day Ghungi river and he always gave emphasis to the original location where the copperplate was found.
Writer and researcher Prof Nripendralal Das said, "There are many possibilities where the town and the educational institute might be."
"The copperplate was found in Rajnagar upazila but there are many other places nearby like Nidhanpur or Kalapur where copperplates of other dynasties were found. It proves that the land holds many histories and mysteries, waiting to be unearthed."
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SEARCH FOR CHANDRAPUR BEGINS FINALLY

On July 15, the archaeology department asked the regional director of Sylhet-Chattogram to look into the matter and file a detailed report after visiting the possible location at Juri upazila in Moulvibazar.
The regional director said, "Following the instruction, I've already started studying about the matter and am very excited to look for the historical educational institute."
Hannan Miah, director general of the department said, "If we find the heritage, it could be one of the greatest archaeological findings of recent decades in the country. Now, we're planning for research and survey at the first phase; if the result is promising, we will start a large scale excavation soon." 

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Into the nuances of history: The Battle of Plassey

Sudeep Chakravarti is an eminent commentator and author whose narrative non-fiction and fiction have been translated into Bangla, Hindi, Spanish, Portuguese, German and more. In January 2020, his book—Plassey: The Battle That Changed the Course of Indian History (Aleph Book Company, India)—sought to parse through the history and the myths surrounding the topic. This week we brought together the author and our Commercial Supplements Editor Shamsuddoza Sajen to discuss the book and the battle, fought 263 years ago on June 23.
Shamsuddoza Sajen (TDS): Why did the British want to capture the throne of Bengal? Was the Battle of Plassey inevitable?
Sudeep Chakravarti: Bengal was a major Asian trade hub. Here cottons and silks were legendary, there was jute, lac, saltpetre for making gunpowder and preserving foods. Finance was relatively easy. The rivers and waterways ensured excellent transportation and communication networks. And Bengal was rich: its revenues helped to sustain Mughal coffers and armies. Even with the disintegration of the Mughal Empire, both French and British Company sources verify as to how Bengal sustained their Indian trade. The
British East India Company couldn't afford to lose Bengal, and they couldn't afford French
ascendancy in Bengal and India either. Siraj and the French were both perceived as great threats. The British wanted both to be removed from the chessboard.
A make-or-break conflict with Siraj-ud-daulah became a priority for John Company in early 1757. Robert Clive and Charles Watson had already helped recover Calcutta from Siraj's forces in January. Meanwhile, the Seven Years' War was breaking out in Europe, in which Britain and France were the main combatants. That hostility carried over to Bengal, and weakened the so-called 'Neutrality of the Ganges', a tenuous understanding by which Europeans attempted to insulate the Bengal trade. When Siraj's outreach to the French began to increase from February, the die was cast.
First the French settlement of Chandannagar north of Calcutta was attacked and destroyed by the British in March 1757. The elites of Murshidabad who had meanwhile been conspiring against Siraj now formally conspired with John Company against the nawab. The stage was set for what came to be called the Battle of Plassey, fought on June 23, 1757. But the outcome of the battle was far from certain. Indeed, despite his bravado Clive was a nervous wreck, and Company officials in Calcutta were fully prepared to dump Clive if the gambit went wrong—and Clive knew it! It's all in my book.
Click here to read the original story from The Daily Star of 25th June 2020 published from Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

FELIDAE Cats



Copyright: Tiger Tours Limited

Panthera pardus (Linnaeus, 1758) Synonym: Felis pardus Linnaeus, 1758. English name: Leopard. 

Local names: Chitabagh, Goolbagh, Gechobagh, Lamchita. 

Description: A typical Panther from the Indian peninsula is a sleek short-haired animal. A large, powerfully built cat, with an elongated body, a long tail, and short, stout legs. Head is rather small and convex. Ears rounded, backside black, with a conspicuous white spot. Coat above is short and soft. Colour: general ground-colour of upper side bright, but varying a little in intensity from nearly golden to ochreous or orange-tawny, darker on back than on flanks. There are many solid black spots on head and for a short distance behind it, on outer side of limbs and on belly, which is heavily spotted, but elsewhere in body pattern of black spots mostly consists of definite rosettes which appear to result from coalescence of four or five small solid spots to form definite but irregularly shaped rings surrounding an area of darker tint. A fulvous or bright fulvous coat marked with small close-set black rosettes. Rosettes on mid-dorsal and loins are more elongated and show a tendency to run in longitudinal stripe-like lines. On the tail the pattern is less regular and less rosettes-like, individual rosettes being coalesced towards the end above, whereas the underside is almost unspotted. Underparts and the inner side of limbs are white. Melanistic or black panthers are also known. It is a genetic error, called melanism, that lets these animals appear black, while the animal actually is not simply black, but extremely dark in colour. If anybody carefully checks the coat of melanistic leopards, he will discover that it is more brownish than black and the rosettes-and spots-pattern still can be seen. As a very general rule, a leopard is either black or normally coloured, and cubs of the two types will be found in the same litter. Size: head-body length 160 cm; tail 100 cm; hind foot 20-27 cm (Pocock, 1939; Prater, 1980; Ghosh, 1994). 

Habits: Being more tolerant of the sun they frequently hunt by day, particularly if they have failed to secure food at night. The Panther kill and eat anything it can overpower safely including cattle, deer, hare, wild boar, langur and monkeys, the smaller beasts of prey, and larger rodents, like porcupines. Panthers living near human settlement, particularly outside forest areas, prey mainly domestic animals, calves, sheep, and goats; on ponies and donkeys, and quite commonly on dogs. It seizes its quarry from the ground or leaps on it from a height such as an overhanging branch (Prater, 1980; Arivazhagan et al., 2007). The most typical vocal communication among leopards would be the 'sawing', which sounds much like law-a-haw-ahaw', hence as if someone would be sawing a piece of wood. This soiund tends to occur early in the morning and shortly before dawn, apparently when the animal is moving. Leopards also use a wide range of facial expressions and body postures to communicate with each other, which are of importance in interaction and cooperation within a young family as well as in territorial issues. For tactile communication they perform the cattypical social licking and head rubbing (Estes, 1991; Fumagalli, 2008). Breed all the year round. In captivity, female produces the first litter when 21/2 to 4 years of age. Gestation period varies from 87 to 94 days. Normally 2 cubs per litter are born, occasionally 3 or 4. Eyes open between the 4th and 8th day after birth. Weaned at about 4 months. (Prater 1980). The females of this species tend to take care of the young but there have been reports of males helping the nursing mother and child, by bringing them kills for example (Guggisberg, 1975). Habitat: Panthers are able to live and thrive almost anywhere. They are not restricted to forests or heavy cover and thrive as well in open country as among rocks and scrub. 


Distribution: Occurs in mixed evergreen forests in Bangladesh (IUCN Bangladesh, 2003). The leopard is found across most of sub-Saharan Africa, as. remnant populations in North Africa, and then in the Arabian peninsula and Sinai/Judean Desert (Egypt/Israel/Jordan), south-western and eastern Turkey, and through Southwest Asia and the Caucasus into the Himalayan foothills, India, China, and the Russian Far East, as well as on the islands of Java and Sri Lanka (Nowell and Jackson 1996; Sunquist and Sunquist, 2002). Out of nine subspecies, Panthera pardus fusca occurs in the Indian subcontinent. 

Status: A Critically Endangered species in Bangladesh (IUCN Bangladesh, 2003). Included on CITES Appendix I. Classified as Near Threatened (NT) on IUCN Red List (Breitenmoser et al., 2008). Protected in Bangladesh by Schedule 1 of Bangladesh Wildlife (Preservation) (Amendment) Act, 1974. 

Remarks: Greek leopardos, from leon = lion; pardos = male panther. The animal was thought in ancient times to be a hybrid of these two species. In Bangladesh, leopards are feared for their attacks on people. 

[Ghazi S M Asmat] 

Copy from
Encyclopedia of flora and fauna of  Bangladesh

Friday, March 20, 2020

Pyramid-shaped stupa sheds new light on our rich past



The site of the 1,000-year-old Buddhist stupa discovered by archaeologists in Nateshwar. 
Photo: Collected

For the first time, a group of archaeologists have unearthed a pyramid-shaped stupa in the country.
The discovery was made at the Nateshwar archaeological site in Bikrampur. Archaeologists deduce the stupa to be from 780-950 AD, following carbon-14 dating from an American lab.
This rare pyramid-shaped stupa is not only markedly different from the usual egg-shaped variety of the Buddhist religious monuments, but also carries deep significance for understanding the region's history.
On top of this, the 44X44m stupa, which is almost 2,000 square metre in area, is Bangladesh's largest stupa, comparable in size to the globally exalted great stupas of Sanchi, Bharhut, Amaravati, Sarnath and more.
The above came to light following an almost complete uncovering of the structure's southern wing from excavations made this year.

Dr Sufi Mustafizur Rahman, professor of archaeology at Jahangirnagar University, who is the research director of this project, and Dr Nuh-ul-Alam Lenin, chairperson of Agrasar Bikrampur Foundation and director of the excavation project, unveiled the information at a press conference.
The briefing was held at Nateshwar excavation site in Munshiganj's Tongibari upazila on Wednesday, said a press release signed by the two. This excavation and research project, which started in 2010, is being supervised by Bikrampur Foundation.
Nateshwar archaeological site bears witness to the Bengal region's thousand-year-old history. Ranging from biological remains of flora and fauna, to terracotta, metal and stone artefacts and unique architecture, the archaeological findings also paint the picture of an ancient civilisation that once dwelled on this land.
While this year's excavation uncovered the 44m wide southern wing of the stupa, digging for the past two years yielded parts of the northern and eastern wings.
But what makes the excavation of the southern wing important is that it sheds light on the shape of the structure and reveals critical clues about the architecture, such as wall length and area of the central terrace.
Additionally, this discovery helps put into perspective the timeline of the area.
After carbon-14 dating, two time periods of the Nateshwar Buddhist locale has been found. The first one dates from 780 to 950 AD, starting from the Deva dynasty (750-800 AD) and lasting till the early years of the Chandra dynasty rule (900-1050 AD).
The second period stretches from 950 to 1223 AD, spanning rules by Chandra, Varman, and Sena dynasties. According to some copper-plates (tamra-shasana), Bikrampur served as the capital of these three dynasties, the press release added.
Chronologically, this stupa dates before the time of Buddhist scholar Atish Dipankar Srigyan and is believed to be a part of ancient capital city of Bikrampur, referenced in writings by Atish Dipankar as well as Chinese historian Nacuo Cuichengjiewa.
The archaeologists and researchers hope this discovery of a rare pyramid-shaped stupa will attract the eyes of tourists the world over. Not just this stupa, from 2013 to 2019, around 6,000sqkm area was excavated and many significant cultural artefacts were discovered at the site, they added.
The archaeological site of Nateshwar has the potential to become a  centre of Buddhist culture in South Asia. There is also a temple made of  brick, three octagonal stupas with mandap, 51-metre long brick roads,  multiple rooms and hall rooms, and entryway.
In light of the numerous discoveries made in the area, Nateshwar is on the process of being announced a Unesco World Heritage Site, Prof Sufi told The Daily Star yesterday.
Before this, Bikrampur Foundation ran another project at Rampal union's Raghurampur village (ancient name "Bajrayogini") from 2010 to 2013.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Rose Garden: A history of passion and pride


At Kamini Mohan (K.M.) Das Lane in Tikatuli of Old Dhaka, there lies a majestic mansion called “Rose Garden”. Interestingly, it was built to host parties by one of the prominent zamindars of Dhaka, named Hrishikesh Das. He built the Rose Garden in 1931 on a 22-bigha plot along with a famous garden that had various species of rare roses. Thus the compound earned the name “Rose Garden”. The central piece of the garden is the elegant building. 
The story of Hrishikesh Das
In the early 1900s, Hrishikesh Das became one of the distinguished zamindars in Dhaka. He had his residence in the area known as Hrishikesh Das Road (at present near Tanti Bazar). He led a lavish lifestyle and had a knack for lofty things. During that time, “Baldha Garden” was the place for socialites to mingle. It became an important element of the social life of the city’s wealthier Hindus as most of the jalshas (parties) were arranged there. Unfortunately, as a member of the lower caste, Hrishikesh was not welcomed.
Rumour has it that while attending one of those parties, he was insulted for being a lower caste. Reportedly, the insult came from none other than the famous Narendra Narayan Roy Chaudhury who was the landlord of the estate of Baldha and owner of the Baldha Garden. That incident offended Hrishikesh Das in such a terrible way that he decided to build his own garden which would eclipse the Baldha Garden. Hence, he went on to build one of the most beautiful buildings with a garden, which we now know as the Rose Garden.
     *             *          *        *       *
This historic building was the site where the East Pakistan Awami Muslim League was formed on June 2, 1949. The word Muslim was dropped from the name of the party in 1953. The premises was declared a heritage site by the Department of Archaeology on 21st December, 1989. The property has been acquired by the Government of Bangladesh by paying lawful compensation to the present owners in August, 2018 to convert it into a museum.

Click here to read the original story from The Daily Star of 20th January, 2020 published from Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Bengal through Chinese eyes

                                       Copyright: Tiger Tours Limited
A 15th century account of Bengal by the famous Chinese traveller Ma Huan

Emperor Chengzu of the Ming Dynasty, hanging scroll, ink and color on silk, 220 x 150 cm. Located at the National Palace Museum, Taibei. Chengzu is commonly called the Yung-lo Emperor. This picture shows him sitting in the ‘Dragon’ chair. He ordered Cheng Ho to go as envoy to the kingdoms in the India Ocean including Bengal.

The following account of Ma Huan was written at the commencement of the fifteenth century. It is a chapter taken from a work, bearing the title Ying-yai-sheng-lan (a general account of the shores of the ocean) compiled by Ma Huan who was an interpreter attached to the suite of Cheng Ho who was sent to the various kingdoms of the Indian Ocean by the Chinese Emperor Yung-lo. This account was translated by Geo. Phillips. The translation was originally published in The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland in its July 1895 issue. The object of the expedition was that the Emperor feared that Hui-ti, his predecessor, whom he had driven out of the throne, was concealing himself in some country over the sea; he wanted to trace him, and at the same time display his military force in foreign countries, in order to show that China was rich and strong. In 1413 Ma Huan accompanied Admiral Chengo Ho, along with the other interpreter Guo Chongli, on the fourth voyage which took the fleet for the first time to Hormuz. After that, he went on the voyage during 1421-23 and on the last voyage in 1431-33 when he journeyed to Mecca with the mission. During these three voyages the Chinese missions came to Bengal and Ma Huan acquired first-hand knowledge about the country. Back in 1416, he had prepared the first draft of his work along with a foreword. It was given its final form in 1433. His colleague Guo Chongli could print the book only in 1451, as the foreword of that year by the imperial clerk Gu Po testifies.



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Sunday, September 8, 2019

The Food Ranger’s gastronomic adventures in Dhaka


Earlier this year, globally renowned vlogger Trevor James aka The Food Ranger visited Dhaka, exploring the city’s culinary gems. To no one’s surprise, videos featuring his food outings in Dhaka took social media by storm. After all, Trevor and his videos are immensely popular -- having travelled and filmed gastronomic adventures in many parts of the globe. In an exclusive interview with The Daily Star, the Canadian globetrotter and food connoisseur currently based in China, spoke about his Bangladesh trip and how he now reflects back on Dhaka. 


What were your expectations when you were planning the Dhaka trip?

Trevor: Before landing in Dhaka, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was curious about Dhaka and Bangladesh and didn’t really know what it would be like. I also wasn’t too sure about what the food would be like but was looking forward to tasting the local cuisine.

Before arriving, to be honest, I didn’t really feel it would be much different from other countries in the region. After exploring the streets and trying out food at local restaurants, I was completely blown away!

Having tasted food in so many cities, where do you put Dhaka on the culinary map? What’s unique about this city?


Trevor: To me, it was all about the incredible variety of spices and the vast array of fish dishes to try, and of course the flavour of mustard! After having the bhorta and fish dishes, I was taken aback by the intense and delightful flavours. Food-wise, Dhaka is definitely one of the favourite cities I’ve visited.
If you have to pick just one dish from Dhaka, what would that be?
TREVOR: That’s a tough call! But trying out bhorta for the first time at Nirob Hotel was an unforgettable experience. It made me realise how incredibly complex and delicious food in Dhaka is.
In the videos you shot in Dhaka, you’re frequently heard referring to people as “Mama”…how did that come about?
TREVOR: My friend Shimon, who was showing us around Dhaka, told me I could respond to people with “thank you, mama”. I tried it a few times and found that everyone reacted in a very positive way. So, I kept saying it more and more, and pretty soon it was part of all the videos we filmed!
Photo: Courtesy

What kind of vibe did you get from Dhaka while filming? How do you, and your wife and videographer Ting, reflect upon the trip?

TREVOR: I found Dhaka to be a really cool city -- modern in certain areas and traditional in others. We loved exploring the bustling back alleys of Puran Dhaka as well as the modern areas of Gulshan and checked out some of the trendy restaurants there too.

There were some areas that were so busy and crowded… for me that’s what made it so exciting because I love to capture lots of energy and action on camera.

We thoroughly enjoyed our rickshaw ride around Puran Dhaka. It was almost relaxing in a way to sit down, elevated above the foot traffic, watching the street scene and looking out for delicious food to try.

Moreover, we had no idea that we would be barely asked to pay for things. We would insist on paying, but to no avail.

Canadians are known to be polite, but I had no idea hospitality like what we experienced in Dhaka, exists.

My wife Ting fell in love with Bangladesh too. She was unsure about what to expect. Your country may not be that prominent on the tourism trail at the moment, but after leaving the airport and walking around, she kept saying how cool Bangladesh is and how safe she felt.

You also visited Chattogram. What was the culinary experience like in the port city?

TREVOR: The mezbani beef was unreal! The huge pots of beef curry over wood fire were a sight to behold!

Next time we come back, we want to visit Sylhet and also go down to Mawa Ghat to try ilish fried in mustard oil. We fell in love with Bangladesh and can’t wait to revisit!

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The Daily Star
Source Link
12:00 AM, September 07, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 06:43 AM, September 07, 2019

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Dendrocygna bicolour

                                                 Copyright: Tiger Tours Limited

014. Dendrocygna bicolour (Vieillot, 1816) Synonym: Anse' r bicolor Vieillot, 1816
English name: Fulvous Whistling Duck (Fulvous Treeduck, Large Whistling Teal)
Bangla name: Raj Shorali, Bada Sharal (SA)

Description: The Fulvous Whistling Duck is a bright fulvous duck with a prominent white rump-band (length 51 cm, weight 700 g, wing 22 cm,

bill 4.7 cm, tarsus 5.8 cm, tail 5.5 cm). It has brownish-black upperparts and chestnut to cinnamon underparts. Its head is rufous-orange with a dark rufous-brown crown. It has a dark black line down its hind-neck and dark streaks on its fore-neck. Its flank has prominent whitish streaks and rump has a  the tundra of Siberia in the summer. The nest is made of plant materials and down. The female lays 3-6 pale brown eggs. The female alone incubates. Incubation takes 22-28 days.

Distribution: It is a vagrant to Bangladesh. There is one sighting in the winter in a river in Dhaka Division. Its global range extends through North America, Europe and Asia.

Status: It is not considered a globally threatened bird. It is not protected by the Bangladesh Wildlife Preservation Act.

Miscellaneous: The scientific name Anser albifrons means a white-fronted goose (Latin: anser = a goose, albus = white, frons = the forehead).



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Copy from
Encyclopedia of flora and fauna of  Bangladesh -BIRDS-Volume 26- Page: 14-15.

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Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Elephas maximus Linnaeus, 1758

Synonyms: Elephas maximus Holmre, 
1766; Elephas indicus Kelaart, 1852; 
Elephas sumatranus Schlgel 1861. 
English names: Asian Elephant, Indian Elephant. Local names: Hati, Hosti, Oirabot. 
                                                  Copyright: Tiger Tours Limited


Description: Largest and haviest land mammal of Bangladesh, with long trunk and very broad ears. Looks grey with thick loose, sparsely covered hairy skin. Male larger than female. Long trunk, sail-like ears that make it an easily recognized animal. Head very large, neck short, body bulky. Limbs thick and very straight and are about equal in length (Finn,1999). Double-domed forehead and ears triangular (Menon, 2003). Eyes tiny but vision keen. Nostril and upper lip elongated into a proboscis, which is powerful and sensitive organ specialised as prehensile, food gathering structure. Ers large, triangular; skin thick and loose, sparsely covered with hairs. The niale elephant has modified incisor teeth known as tusks while the females have small dental protuberance known as tusks. The tusk may grow up to 1.8 m and a pair may weigh 72-73 kg (Prater, 1971). Tusk may have up to 27 ridges across the crown (Khan, 1985). 
Upper incisors in male protrude from the mouth on either side of the trun as tusks. Tail includes a row of long coarse hairs before behind and around the tip. Tail comparatively short with tassel of bristles (Kabir, 2002). Legs pillar-like . All the five toes jointed into cine pad , but the circular sole on soft padded, and palm each has 4 and 5 nails respectively (Khan, 1985). Some males, known as makhnas, are tuskless and are distinguished from adult females by the penis that bulges under the tail. Colour: deep grey. Size: length 6.5 m, shoulder height 2.4-2.7 m and weight 3 tones (Menon, 2003). 

Habits: A social animal and found in herds of 5-60 or more with closely relates individuals e.g., a mature bull, a number of cows and calves, and some younger bulls. The females and young are gregarious in habit, but the males are often solitary. Fond of bathing and wallowing during the hot weather and often take up dust etc., to cover their back while exposed to the sun. They also squirt water over themselves with the help of the trunk. They are restless, but remain quiet during the mid­ day. Migrate over along distances in search of food and water, or for security. Use the same forest corridors for many hundreds of years. If their corridor is blocked they enter human settlements. Feeds on grasses, banana plants, bamboo, tree barks, leaves, fruits, flowers, grass and other vegetations and also raid crops. Elephants use their dextrous trunk to pluck at grasses and pass them into their mouths, the aver_age daily intake of food is about 150 kg of vegetation (Animal Diversity Web, 2009). They need 80-200 litres of water a day. It produces sound with deep oonks by its trunk (Khan, 2008). The elephants breed mainly between March and June (Khan, 2008). The bull reaches sexual maturity at the age of 15, while cows mature earlier. The cow at the age of 9-15 years gives birth usually to a single young after a gestation period of 22 months. Twins are rare. The newborn, which may be 0.9 m tall weighing about 90 kg grows rapidly (Kabir, 2002; Menon, 2003). The calf runs under its mother's body when quite small. The calf starts to eat grass when 6 months of age. Males have home ranges of about 15 sq km, and herds of females of about 30 sq km (larger in the dry season). When a The cow at the age of 9-15 years gives birth usually to a single young after a gestation period of 22 months. Twins are rare. The newborn, which may be 0.9 m tall weighing about 90 kg grows rapidly (Kabir, 2002; Menon, 2003). The calf runs under its mother's body when quite small. The calf starts to eat grass when 6 months of age. Males have home ranges of about 15 sq km, and herds of females of about 30 sq km (larger in the dry season). When a potential predator such as a lion or tiger threatens a calf, the adults form a defensive circle with the calf in the middle. Adult elephants are probably not susceptible to predation by any species other than humans. The Asian Elephant may live as long as 70 years. 

Habitat: Inhabits mixed deciduous forests and adjacent villages, evergreen, semi-evergreen forests, scrubs, tea states, grasslands, marshes, savannas and lowlands. 

Distribution: In Bangladesh the species occurs in mixed evergreen forests of Southeast and Northeast Bangladesh including Chittagong, Cox's Bazar, Teknaf Penninsula and the Chittagong Hill Tracts. It also lives n deciduous forests and adjacent villages in the northern border of Bangladesh. Although once elephants were found in the forests of Sylhet and Madhupur, now in Bangladesh they are available only in certain areas of Chittagong and the Chittagong Hill Tracts. Occasionally wild elephants from Indian territory enter in Balijpur and Durgaptl:F areas of Mymensingh, and Patharika areas of Sy,ett (Kabir, 2002). Its range extends through India Sri\ Lanka, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia and China (extinct in the wild), Brunei, Bhutan to Southeast Asia (Asmat and Hannan, 2007). Asian elephants were formerly widely distributed south of the Himalayas, throughout Southeast Asia, and in China as far north as the Yangtze River (Animal Diversity Web, 2008).

Copy from
Encyclopedia of flora and fauna of  Bangladesh

Wednesday, July 17, 2019


Tiger Tours Limited (TTL) and Meet Greet and Assist (MGA), a Partnership Company have signed a Memorandum of Understanding today, Wednesday  the 17th July, 2019 at TTL office at House#6, RD#7, Niketan, Block-C  Dhaka 1212. They will jointly promote INBOUND & DOMESTIC tourism in Bangladesh. The MoU includes special focus on river cruises using Tiger Tours' purpose built luxurious vessel MV TANGUAR HAOR.

The agreement was signed by Group Captain (Retd) Mohammad Salimullah, Managing Partner, MGA and Mr.Abdul-Muyeed Chowdhury  Founder & CEO of TTL.