Rajshahi (Bengali: রাজশাহী) is a city in western Bangladesh, and the divisional headquarters of Rajshahi Division as well as the administrative district that bears its name and is one of the seven metropolitan cities of Bangladesh. Often referred to as Silk City and Education City, Rajshahi is located in the north-west of the country and has an estimated population of 853,000 people. Its total area is 96.69 km2 (37.33 sq mi) and is situated on the northern banks of the river Padma (or Ganges which is one of the major rivers of the Indian subcontinent). Rajshahi consists of 4 Thanas, 35 Wards and 175 Mahallahs.
Rajshahi was formerly known as Rampur Boalia. An epigraphic record engraved on the Dargah (mausoleum) of the famous saint Hazrat Shah Makdhum (Rh.) indicates that the antiquity of Rajshahi goes back to at least 1634 A.D. The town was given importance in 1825, when the East India Company shifted the administrative headquarters of the district of Rajshahi from Natore to then Rampur Boalia, mainly for the ease of communication from Calcutta through the Hooghly River, Bhairab River and Padma River. Rajshahi Municipality, which was one of the first municipalities in Bangladesh, was established in 1876. Rajshahi Municipality was renamed as Rajshahi Pourashabha, and finally, Rajshahi Pourshava was declared Rajshahi City Corporation in 1991. Besides the City Corporation, a governing body named Rajshahi Unnayan Kortripokhkho (Rajshahi Development Authority-RDA) is there to plan the development of the city and to coordinate all the development related work.
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