:"This article is about the city. For the upazila or district or the administrative division, see Sylhet Sadar Upazila or Sylhet District or Sylhet Division"] [cite web|url=|title=Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics|publisher=Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics|accessyear=|format=PDF]
population_total =369425
population_density_km2 =5488
population_metro =339368
population_density_metro_km2 =11936
population_urban =53114
population_density_urban_km2 =951
timezone = BST
utc_offset = +6
timezone_DST =
latd=24 |latm=32 |lats=0 |latNS=N
longd=91 |longm=52 |longs= |longEW=E

Sylhet (Sylheti: সিলট "Silôţ" Bengali: সিলেট "Sileţ"), previously Shilhat, Sreehatta, and Jalalabad, is a major city in north-eastern Bangladesh. It is the capital of Sylhet Division and Sylhet District. Located on the northern bank of the Surma River and surrounded by the Jaintia, Khasi and Tripura hills, Sylhet is nestled among picturesque tea plantations and lush green tropical forests.


Historians believe that Sylhet (or Shilhat, as it was known in ancient times), was an expanded commercial center from the ancient period, which explains its original namesake. During this time, Sylhet was probably inhabited by Indo-Aryan Brahmins, though ethnically the population would also have traces of Munda, Assamese, and Dravidian ancestry. It has also been suggested that Ancient Kingdom of Harikela was situated in modern Sylhet.Fact|date=March 2008

In the ancient and early medieval period, Sylhet was ruled primarily by local chieftains as viceroy of the kings of Pragjyatispur. There is evidence to suggest that the Maharaja Sri Chandra, of northern Bengal, conquered Bengal in the 10th century, although this is a much disputed topic amongst Bangladeshi historians and archaeologists. This was a period of relative prosperity and there is little evidence to suggest this was marred by wars or feuds. Sylhet was certainly known by the rest of India, and is even referred to in the ancient Hindu sacred Tantric text, the Shakti Sangama Tantra, as 'Silhatta'. The last chieftain to reign in Sylhet was Govinda of Gaur, also known as Gaur Govinda.Fact|date=March 2008

The 14th century marked the beginning of Islamic influence in Sylhet. A messianic Muslim saint, Hazrat Shah Jalal Yamani, commonly known as Shah Jalal, arrived in Sylhet in 1303 from Mecca via Delhi and Dhaka (Sonargaon) with the instructions for aiding Sikhander Khan Ghazi in defeating Govinda of Gaur. Sikhander Khan Ghazi was the direct nephew of sultan Firoz Shah of Delhi. Under the spiritual leadership of Hazrat Shah Jalal and his 360 companions the local pagans were brought under control and they began to spread Islam. He died in Sylhet in or around the year 1350. His shrine is located inside the parameter of the mosque complex known as Dargah-e-Shah Jalal. Even today Shah Jalal remains revered; visitors arrive from all over Bangladesh and beyond to pay homage.Fact|date=March 2008

Saints such as Shah Jalal Yamani, Shah Farhan, locally known as Shah Paran, Shah Kamal Qattani, locally known as Shah Kamal and Syed Nasiruddin Sipahsalar, locally known as Syed Nasiruddin were responsible for the conversion of most of the populace from native religion or paganism to Islam. Shortly thereafter, Sylhet became a centre of Islam in Bengal. During this era of Muslim rule, Sylhet was often referred to as Jalalabad in official documents and historical accounts.

In the late 18th century, the British East India Company became interested in Sylhet and saw it as an area of strategic importance in the war against Burma. Sylhet gradually was absorbed into British control and administration and was governed as a part of Bengal. After the British administrative reorganization of India, Sylhet was eventually incorporated into Assam. It remained a part of Assam for the rest of the era of British rule. In 1947, following a referendum, almost all of erstwhile Sylhet became a part of East Pakistan, barring the Karimganj subdivision which was incorporated into the new Indian state] of Assam. [ [ Karimganj - District in Assam, India ] ] In 1971, Sylhet became part of the newly formed independent country of Bangladesh.

Important historical places include the Stone Monument of Jaintapur, Mound of Gharduara, Gaiyabi Mosque, tombs of Shah Jalal, Shah Farhan, Shah Kamal Qattani and [Syed Nasiruddin] , Abu Torab Mosque, Nawabi Masque, Shahi Eidgah, Mughal Mosque at Akhalia, temple of Sri Chaitannya Dev in Dhaka Dakshin, the Thin Mandir (trio temple) and the ancient Pargana of Kanihati.

Sylhet and Sylhetis all over the world have been contributing to society in their countries and causes far and wide. Sylhetis everywhere have formed Sylheti associations in different parts of the world. In India major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bangalore have formed Sreehatta Sammelans, thereby bringing their own people closer and maintaining cultural links and integrity.

There is a friendship link with the Sylhet region of Bangladesh rather than full town twinning. The link was established in 1988 when the District Council supported a housing project in Sylhet as part of the International Year of Shelter for the Homeless. Sylhet was chosen because it is the area of origin for the largest ethnic minority group in St Albans. [cite web|url=|title=Town Twinning-Sylhet|publisher=|accessyear=|format=html]

Geography and Climate

Sylhet is located in north-eastern Bangladesh at 24°32′0″N, 91°52′0″E, on the northern bank of the Surma River.

The physiography of Sylhet comprises mainly of hill soils, [ Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) :: Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh ] ] encompassing a few large depressions known locally as "beels" which can be mainly classified as oxbow lakes, caused by tectonic subsidence primarily during the earthquake of 1762.Sylhet experiences a hot, wet and humid tropical climate. The city is within the monsoon climate zone, with annual average highest temperatures of 23°C (Aug-Oct) and average lowest temperature of 7°C (Jan). [cite web|url=|title=Sylhet weather forecasts||accessyear=|format=html] Nearly 80% of the annual average rainfall of 3,334 mm occurs between May and September.

Civic administration

Sylhet (City) consists of 27 wards and 210 mahallas. The area of the town is 57.64 km² [cite web|url=|title=Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics|format=PDF] . It has a population of 369425; male 54.68%, female 45.32%; density of population is 11,936 per km². Literacy rate among the town people is 66.9%. The rapid growth and expansion of Sylhet occurred during the colonial period. Sylhet Municipality was established in 1878. A devastated earthquake demolished almost the entire town on 12 June 1897. On the wreckage a modern and European model new town was built later on. Many new roads were constructed in late 1890s. Sylhet became really connected to the other parts of the country with the establishment of an extension line of Assam-Bengal Railway in 1912-15. From the very beginning of the 20th century, importance of Sylhet city increased with the establishment of tea industry. In 1950s and 1960s, rapid urbanisation took place in the town by the expatriate Syletis and still the process is going on. At present, Sylhet is the district-headquarter as well as the divisional headquarter of the districts of Sunamganj, Habibganj, Moulvibazar and Sylhet.cite web |url= |title=About Sylhet | | accessdate=2007-05-19]

Land and Economy

The city is noted for its picturesque rolling hills, such as the Jaintia and Khasia hills. Sylhet is also famed for its tea gardens, pineapple gardens and orange gardens most notably those in the Moulvibazar area.

Demographics & Culture

The Sylheti language ("Silôţi" or "Sileţi") is spoken throughout Sylhet Division, with some minor dialectal variations. Sylheti is an Eastern Indic language closely related to Bengali (Bangla), Chittagonian and Assamese (Ôxômiya) languages. Most Sylhetis are at least bilingual to some degree, as they are taught Bengali at all levels of education in Bangladesh. Sylheti is also the dominant dialect of Bengali among the inhabitants of the Barak Valley in India, centered around Cachar district in Assam. The largest Sylheti-dominated city in India is Silchar, with significant Sylheti-speaking populations in Agartala, Delhi, Guwahati, Mumbai, Shillong and Kolkata.Fact|date=March 2008

Sylhet is the home of most Bangladeshi migrants to the United Kingdom and the rest of the world. Certain parts of the United Kingdom are heavily populated with people from Sylhet, most notably the East End of London, especially the boroughs of Newham and Tower Hamlets, which includes Brick Lane, a famous street dubbed "Banglatown" for its large Bangladeshi, almost entirely Sylheti, population. Fact|date=March 2008

Another area where Sylhetis have remained as a large group abroad is New York City in the United States. Although there are many of them living in Manhattan and Brooklyn, Sylhetis are mostly found in the borough of Queens. Most of them live in areas like Astoria, Long Island City, and Jackson Heights. Hillside Avenue in Jamaica, Queens has seen a tremendous amount of newly opened Bangladeshi restaurants mainly by Sylhetis and a great influx of such residents attracted by the real estate boom there.Fact|date=March 2008

As so many Sylhetis are resident abroad, Sylhet has a major flow of foreign currency from non-resident Bangladeshis; many Sylheti families' sole source of income comes from relatives abroad and this attracts influx migrant workers and families from other parts of Bangladesh, earning livings by peddling rickshows, working as servants and peasants, particularly people from Comilla, Noakhali, Mymensingh and Barisal are found lower denomination jobs in Sylhet. Fact|date=March 2008

Given its unique cultural and economic development, and linguistic differences (Greater Sylhet region was a part of Assam and Surma Valley State for much of the British Raj in comparison to the rest of Bangladesh), and given that Sylhet has, for most of its recent history, been a region of a larger entity (i.e., Assam, Bengal, Bangladesh), Sylheti's have a strong attachment to their regional and religious identity. [,,1832871,00.html] [,,1824456,00.html]

Many Sylhetis regard themselves as fiercely proud of their own language, family-orientated community culture and conservative practice of Islam, but it must be remembered that not all Sylhetis are Muslim. Indian Sylhetis are either Hindu or Christian. Hasan Raja , a Sylheti cultural icon, was depicted in a film as a lecherous fellow who forsakes his family and uses obscene language. Enraged Sylhetis took the makers of the film to court. Adding insult to injury, the film was also shot in Bengali rather than Hason Raja's native Sylheti language. Fact|date=March 2008 [] .Although Hason Raja was a practicing Muslim, he is revered even by Hindu and Christian Sylhetis.

Sylheti attachment to their regional identity also continues in the efforts of many Sylhetis to keep marital relationships within the same regional cultural background. []


Cycle rickshaws, auto rickshaws, busses, mini-buses and cars are the main mode of transport for the inhabitants of the city, with close to 80,000 rickshaws running each day.Sylhet is well connected by highways and railway links to Chittagong, Dhaka as well as other parts of Sylhet. Highway links to the India have been established though Asian highway.The Sylhet Railway Station is the main railway station providing trains on national routes operated by the state-run Bangladesh Railway.The city of Sylhet is served by Osmani International Airport. It is Bangladesh's third busiest airport and has flight services to Abu Dhabi, Dhaka, Doha, Dubai, Kuwait, and London. Work started in 2006 to upgrade the airport to international standards including a new terminal building, a jetway, a taxiway, and a new expansion project of the runway to allow for landing of wide-bodied aircraft.


Sylhet city is served by Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education,Sylhet and educational institutes like Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, ,M C College, Osmani Medical College, Govt. Pilot High School Sylhet, etc. Other notable educational institutions are Jalalabad Cantonment public School & College, Sylhet Cadet College, Sylhet Law College, Sylhet Polytechnic, Sylhet Aaliyah Madrasa, Sylhet Government College, Madan Mohon College, Sylhet Government Women College, Blue Bird School and college, The Aided High School, Charipara High School, Agragami Government Girls High School and some famous private English schools. Among them Scholarshome is one of the best English medium school & college in Sylhet city.

There are also 4 private medical colleges in Sylhet, namely Jalalabad Ragib-Rabeya Medical College & Hospital, North East Medical College & Hospital, Sylhet Women's Medical College and Durre Samad Red Crescent Medical College. Among them Jalalabad Ragib-Rabeya Medical College is the largest, established in 1995, founded by philanthropist Mr. Ragib Ali and her wife Mrs. Rabeya Khatun. The official web site is

Notable personalities


* Hason Raja
* Baul Shah Abdul Karim
* Kobi Dilwar Khan
* Syed Mujtaba Ali
* Abdul Ahad (astronomer)

Freedom Fighters

* Bangaveer M A G Osmani - Supreme Commander of Mukti Bahini (freedom fighters)
* Sirajul Islam (Bir Protik) [ [ the Scene] . Star Insight. 26 May 2007.]


* Humayun Rashid Choudhury
* Abdus Samad Azad
* M A Khan
* Shah M S Kibria
* Saifur Rahman
* Suranjit Sengupta
* Badar Uddin Ahmed Kamran
* M A Haque (abdul haque)
* Ilias Ali
* A.N.M Shafiqul Haq


* Shuvro Dev
* Shubir Nondi
* Salman Shah (actor)
* Sanjeeb Chowdhury


* Rani Hamid
* Kaiser Hamid
* Tapash Baisya
* Enamul Haque Jr
* Alok Kapali


* C. M. Shafi Sami
* Ragib Ali
* Govinda Chandra Dev
*Qajar Qub Ud-Din Ahmed Chowdhury

Places of interest

Sylhet has a number of interesting places to attract tourists. Sylhet is a major destination for tourists. Some important places are listed here.


#Kean Bridge & Watch Of Ali Amjad
#Shahi Eidgah
#Gour Gobinda Fort
#Raynogor Rajbari
#Manipuri Rajbari (Medical Road)
#Palace Of Jamindar Prosanna Takur

hrines & Masjid

#The Shrine of Hazrat Shah Jalal
#The Shrine of Hajrat Shah Paran
#The Shrine of Gazi Burhanuddin
#The Shrine of Shah Shundor
#The Shrine of Chasni Pir
#Manik Pir Tilla (The Shrine of Manik pir)
#The Shrine of Shah Taiab Coylani


#Osmani Museum
#Museum of Raja's


#Tilagorh Eco Park (Alutol)
#Lakkatura,Malnichara & Tarapur Tea Estates.
#Parjatan Corporation,Sylhet.(Resort)
#Kanishile River Bank


#Shahjalal University of Science and Technology
# M C College.
#Dream Land (Theme Park)
#Adventure World (Amusement Park)
#ZAK Estate (Park and Resort)
#Osmani Shishu Udyan (Park)
#Shindabad (Al Hamra Market)


ee also

* Sylhet division
* Sylhet district
* Jagannathpur Upazila
* Londoni (British Bangladeshi)


* [ The Virtual Sylhet]
* []
* [ Virtual Sylhet]
* [ Bishwanath]

External links

* [ Sylhet Social Network]
* []
* [ Sylhet Business Directory]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Sylhet — Administration Pays  Bangladesh …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Sylhet — (Srihatta), Distrikt der britisch ind. Provinz Assam, südlich an die Khasi und Dschaintiaberge (s. d.), nördlich und westlich an Bengalen grenzend, 13,396 qkm mit (1901) 2,241,848 Einw., darunter 1,180,324 Mohammedaner, 1,049,218 Hindu, 744… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Sylhet — es una ciudad situada al noreste de Bangladesh. La ciudad tiene 10.49 millas cuadradas de superficie y en 2001 contaba con 285308 habitantes. Es capital de la división del mismo nombre …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Sylhet —   [ sɪlhet], Stadt in Nordost Bangladesh, an der Surma, 114 300 Einwohner; Verarbeitung landwirtschaftlicher Produkte (Zuckerrohr, Tee, Öl), Papierindustrie; Verkehrsknotenpunkt (Straßen nach Indien) …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Sylhet — সিলট Sylhet …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Sylhet — ▪ Bangladesh originally  Srihatta   city, northeastern Bangladesh. It lies along the right bank of the Surma River. The most important town in the Surma River valley, it is connected by road and rail with Comilla, Chhatak, and Habiganj, by road… …   Universalium

  • Sylhet — Mapa de Sylhet Ciudad. Sylhet es una ciudad situada al noreste de Bangladesh. La ciudad tiene 27,17 kilómetros cuadrados de superficie y en 2001 contaba con 285308 habitantes. Es capital de la división del mismo nombre. Categoría: Localidades de… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Sylhet — Original name in latin Sylhet Name in other language Jalalabad, Rajnagar, Rjnagar, Silet, Sile Silhatas, Silhatta, Silkhet, Silot, Sil Sreehatta, Srihotto, Sriho, Sylhet, ZYL, shiretto, silahata, sileta, xi er he te shi, Силхет, Сілет State code… …   Cities with a population over 1000 database

  • Sylhet — Admin ASC 1 Code Orig. name Sylhet Country and Admin Code BD.86 BD …   World countries Adminstrative division ASC I-II

  • Sylhet Distrito — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Distrito de Sylhet সিলেট জেলা / Sylhet Zila Bandera …   Wikipedia Español

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