Cox's Bazar District is a district in the Chittagong Division of Bangladesh. It is named after Cox's Bazar, which is one of the world's longest natural sea beaches (120 km) including mud flats. It is located 150 km south of Chittagong. Cox's Bazar is also known by the name "Panowa", the literal translation of which means "yellow flower". Its other old name was "Palongkee". The modern Cox's Bazar derives its name from Captain Cox (died 1798), an army officer serving in British India. It is also one of the fishing ports of Bangladesh.
Often termed as "World's longest beach", Cox's Bazar is yet to become a major tourist destination in Asia allegedly due to conservative attitude of local people.
The history of Cox's Bazar begins in the Mughal period. On his way to Arakan, when the Mughal Prince Shah Shuja passed through the hilly terrain of the present day Cox's Bazar, 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 derived from the name of Captain James Cox of the East India; who was in charge of the naval base (near 1800 AD.) After Independence it remained as part of East Pakistan. Captain Advocate Fazlul Karim (father of Pilot Officer Waleed Ehsanul Karim), the first Chairman (after independence from the British) of Cox's Bazar municipality established the Tamarisk Forest along on the beach to draw tourist attention in this town and also to protect the beach from tide. He also donated many of his father in law's (Akbar Ahmed Chowdhury, son of Fazlul Karim Kwik of Manikpur) and his own lands for establishing a Public Library and Town Hall. In 1971, the 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 the Bangladesh Liberation War.
Cox's Bazar, mostly famous for its beautiful sea beach and the sunset, has several other attractions, including:
* Aggmeda Khyang, a large Buddhist monastery, and a place revered by around 400,000 Buddhist people of Cox's Bazar; and the Chittagong Hill Tracts.
* Himchari, located about 32 km south of Cox's Bazar, is a picnic spot and famous for its waterfalls and provid sufficient security for the tourists.Road to Himchari run by the open sea in one side and hills in othes make the journey to Himchari a path of Heaven.
* Inani, also 32 km south of Cox's Bazar offers sea bathing.
* Laboni Beach 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.
* Maheskhali 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.
* Ramu, about 16 km from Cox's Bazar, is a village with sizeable Buddhist population. The village is famous for its handicrafts and homemade cigars.
* Sonadia Island, a small island of only 9 square kilometers
* Teknaf, a place situated by the side of Naaf river is the southernmost part of Bangladesh. The place is home to several birds and wild animals.
Map of Cox's Bazar
Cox's Bazar district with an area of 2491.86 sq km, is located at 21°35'0"N, 92°01'0"E and bounded by Chittagong district on the north, Bay of Bengal in the South, Bandarban district on the east, and the Bay of Bengal on the west. Major rivers include matamuhuri, bakkhali, Reju Khal, Naf, Maheshkhali channel and Kutubdia channel. The official area of the city of Cox's Bazar is 6.85 sq km.
The annual average temperature in Cox's Bazar remains at about a maximum of 34.8 °C and a minimum of 16.1 °C. The climate remains hot and humid with some seasons of temperate weather. The average amount of rainfall remains at 4285 nm.
"Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's troublesome."