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Backergunje, or Bakarganj was a former district of British India in the Dacca division of Eastern Bengal and Assam, and is now mostly in Bangladesh. With an area of 4,542 sq mi (11,760 km2), it forms part of the joint delta of the Ganges and the Brahmaputra rivers.



The general aspect of the district is that of a flat even country, dotted with clusters of bamboo and betelnut trees, and intersected by a perfect network of dark-coloured and sluggish streams. There is not a hill or hillock in the whole district, but it derives a certain picturesque beauty from its wide expanses of cultivation, and the greenness and freshness of the vegetation. This is especially true immediately after the rains, but at no time of the year does the district present a dried-up or burnt appearance. The villages, which are always walled by groves of bamboo and betelnut palms, have often a very striking appearance; and Backergunje has many beauties of detail which strike a traveller in passing through the country.

The level of the country is low, forming as it does, a part of the great Gangetic delta; and the rivers, streams and water-courses are so numerous that it is very difficult to travel, except by boat at any season of the year. Every natural hollow is full of water, around the margin of which, long grasses, reeds and other aquatic plants grow in the greatest profusion, often making it difficult to say where the land ends and the water begins. Towards the north-west, the country is very marshy and nothing is to be seen for miles but tracts of unreclaimed swamps and rice fields, with a few huts scattered here and there raised on mounds of earth. In the south of the district, along the coast of the Bay of Bengal, lie the forest tracts of the Sundarbans, the habitation of tigers, leopards and other wild beasts.


The principal rivers of the district are the Meghna, the Arial Khan and the Haringhata or Baleswar, with their numerous offshoots. The Meghna represents the accumulated waters of the Brahmaputra and Ganges. It flows along the eastern boundary of the district in a southerly direction until it debouches into the Bay of Bengal. During the latter part of its course the river expands into a large estuary containing many islands, the principal of which is that of Dakshin Shahbazpur. The islands on the seafront are regularly exposed to devastation by cyclonic storm-waves.

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