Cox’s Bazar (Bengali: কক্সবাজার, pronounced [kɔksbadʒaɾ]) is a city, fishing port, tourism centre and district headquarters in southeastern Bangladesh. The beach in Cox’s Bazar is sandy and has a gentle slope; with an unbroken length of 120 km (75 mi). It is located 150 km (93 mi) south of the divisional headquarter of Chittagong. Cox’s Bazar is also known by the name Panowa, which translates literally as “yellow flower”. Another old name was “Palongkee”.
The modern Cox’s Bazar derives its name from Captain Hiram Cox, an officer of the British East India Company. Cox was appointed Superintendent of Palongkee outpost after Warren Hastings became Governor of Bengal. He embarked upon the task of rehabilitation and settlement of the Arakanese refugees in the area. Captain Cox died in 1799 before he could finish his work. To commemorate his role in rehabilitation work, a market was established and named Cox’s Bazar after him. Unlike many locations in the Indian Subcontinent where place names dating from the colonial period have been changed, Cox’s name is still retained in the city he founded.
Today, Cox’s Bazar is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Bangladesh, although not a major international tourist destination. In 2013, the Bangladesh Government formed the Tourist Police unit to protect local and foreign tourists better, as well as to look after the nature and wildlife in the tourist spots of Cox’s Bazar.
Cox’s Bazar Town was constituted in 1869, eventually becoming a B-grade municipality in 1989. Located along the Bay of Bengal in South Eastern Bangladesh, Cox’s Bazar Town is a health resort. But it is famous mostly for its long natural sandy beach. The municipality covers an area of 6.85 km2 (2.64 sq mi) with 27 mahallas and 9 wards and has a population of 51,918. Cox’s Bazar is connected by road and air with Chittagong.
The greater Chittagong area, including Cox’s Bazar, was under the rule of Arakan kings from the early 9th century until 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 its scenic and captivating beauty. He commanded his forces to camp there. His retinue of one thousand palanquins stopped 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 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. He succeeded Warren Hastings, who became the Governor of Bengal following the British East India Company Act in 1773. The Captain rehabilitated many refugees in the area, but died in 1799 before he could finish his work. To commemorate him, a market was established and named after him, called Cox’s Bazar. Cox’s Bazar then was first established in 1854 and became a municipality in 1869.
After the Sepoy Mutiny (Indian Rebellion of 1857) in 1857, the British East India Company was highly criticised and questioned on humanitarian grounds, specially for its opium trade monopoly over the Indian Sub-Continent. However, after its dissolution on 1 January 1874, all of the company’s assets including its Armed Forces were acquired by the British Crown. After this historic takeover, Cox’s Bazar was declared a district of the Bengal Province under the British Crown.
Geography and climate
Cox’s Bazar town with an area of 6.85 km2 (2.64 sq mi), is located at 21.583333°N 92.016667°E and bounded by Bakkhali River on the north and East, Bay of Bengal in the West, and Jhilwanj Union in the south.
The climate of Bangladesh is mostly determined by its location in the tropical monsoon region: high temperature, heavy rainfall, generally excessive humidity, and distinct seasonal variations. The climate of Cox’s bazar is mostly similar to the rest of the country. It is further characterised by the location in the coastal area. The annual average temperature in Cox’s Bazar remains at about a maximum of 34.8 °C (94.6 °F) and a minimum of 16.1 °C (61.0 °F). The average amount of rainfall remains at 3,524 mm (138.7 in).