Dhaka (Bengali: ঢাকা, pronounced IPA: [ˈɖʱaka]; formerly spelled Dacca, and Jahangirnagar, during Mughal era) is the capital of Bangladesh and the principal city of Dhaka Division. Dhaka is a megacity and one of the major cities of South Asia. Located on the banks of the Buriganga River, Dhaka, along with its metropolitan area, had a population of over 15 million in 2010, making it the largest city in Bangladesh. It is the 9th largest city in the world and also 28th among the most densely populated cities in the world. Dhaka is known as the City of Mosques and with 400,000 cycle rickshaws running on its streets every day, the city is also described as the Rickshaw Capital of the World.
Under Mughal rule in the 17th century, the city was known as Jahangir Nagar. It was a provincial capital and a centre of the worldwide muslin trade. The modern city, however, was developed chiefly under British rule in the 19th century, and became the second-largest city in Bengal after Calcutta (presently Kolkata). After the Partition of Bengal in 1905, Dhaka became the capital of the new province of Eastern Bengal and Assam but lost its status as a provincial capital again after the partition was annulled in 1911. After the partition of India in 1947, Dhaka became the administrative capital of East Pakistan, and later, in 1971, the capital of an independent Bangladesh. During the intervening period, the city witnessed widespread turmoil; this included many impositions of martial law, the declaration of Bangladesh's independence, military suppression, devastation during war, and natural calamities.
Modern Dhaka is the centre of political, cultural and economic life in Bangladesh. Although its urban infrastructure is the most developed in the country, Dhaka suffers from urban problems such as pollution and overpopulation. In recent decades, Dhaka has seen modernisation of transport, communications and public works. The city is attracting large foreign investments and greater volumes of commerce and trade. It is also experiencing an increasing influx of people from across the nation, this has reportedly made Dhaka the fastest growing city in the world.
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