Capital of Bangladesh since 1971 following the war of independence from Pakistan, in Dhaka region, west of the River Meghna on the Ganges delta; population (2001 est) 4,255,000. It is served by the river port of Narayangani which lies 16 km/10 mi to the south, and trades in rice, oilseed, sugar, and tea. The area between Dhaka and Narayangani is the leading industrial zone of Bangladesh and industries include jute-processing, tanning, and the production of textiles, chemicals, glass, and metal products, as well as the more traditional craft trades of embroidery, jewelry, and silk and muslin goods.
A former French, Dutch, and English trading post, Dhaka was capital of the Mogul province of East Bengal from 1608 to 1704. It became capital of East Pakistan in 1947, and was handed over to Indian troops in December 1971 to become capital of the new country of Bangladesh.
The city has many buildings from different eras: the 17th-century Lal Bagh Fort; several mosques; the early 20th-century supreme court and university; and the more modern parliament buildings and railway station. Dhaka is also a major centre of higher education: it is the home of the University of Dhaka (1921), Jahangirnagar University (1970), and a technological university, as well as a training and research centre for nuclear science.