Sandwip Island is located north-eastern side of The Bay of Bengal, nearby the main port city of Chittagong. It is one of the most ancient islands of Bangladesh. Sandwip has a population of 292,773. The entire island is 50km long and 5 to 15km wide. It has been formed by silt deposits from the estuary of the Meghna river, thus resulting in fertile lands.
The island is located at a frequent passage of tropical cyclones and therefore extremely prone to storm induced floods and other associated natural hazards. Every year people in the Island face risks from cyclones and following storm surges threatening lives and households of the entire community. Coastal erosion is rapidly changing the living space for the community. It is one of the historical island of Bangladesh. It consists of 15 union parishad like Sarikait, Magdhara, Musapur,
Maitbhangha, Azimpur, Rahmatpur. Haramia, Harispur, Gachua, Bawria, Kalapania, Amanullah, Santospur, Dirgaphar and Urir char.
Sandwip is an oldest island. It is supposed that Sandwip was connected with Chittagong original land and disconnected by natural disasters. According to Noakhali Gazette, Sandwip is originated at 3000 years ago. Tansi reported on lower Gangas in which he included Sandwip (150). Sandwip is mentioned at The Baros Map (1560). Cesar Fredarich visited in Sandwip in 1565 and noted it as old island. Parcuch described 300 years old mosque in this area (1620). Scholars gave different idea about its name "Sandwip". Some scholars supposed that Portuguese people remarked it as "Sandheep" (Hasan, 1999).
Je the Baras remarked it as "Sundina" in his map (1550). Candel Broke mentioned it as ‘Sundiva’ in his map (1660). Major Ranel mentioned it as ‘Sundeep’ in his drawing map. It was a lucrative place for the foreigners. This is why the people from Arab, Portugal, Burma, etc came to the island and tried to take over the power to exploit the islandes and its wealth. About three hundred ships of salt per year were loaded for export from then Sandwip port. It was also a renown port for ship building industry .
Language and Religion:
The island people speak in Bengali language. 87.91% are muslims, 11.51% are Hindus and others 0.58%.(Banglapedia).
Agricultural labour 22.98%, service 20.32%, agriculture 17.23%, business 10.36%, wage labour 5.48%, fishing 2.65%, renting house 2.45%, transport 2.11%, and others 16.42% (Banglapedia). Nowadays many people are professionals such as doctor, engineers, lawyer, teacher, Banker etc.
The Sandwip people have an age-old tradition of their own social and cultural life. The muslims observe Eid-ul-fitr and Eid-ul- azha. Hindus observe Sarodio Durga Puja festival. Both of them observe ‘Pohela Baishak’ which is locally known as Harob or Ghatia. Boli khela is also occur in every year in different places of Sandwip.
They serve decorated pitthas (cakes) like Pakkan pitha, Chitol, Dui pitha, Palikkha pitha, Hankil pitha, Fua pitha, Luta pitha, Hocha pitha, Sanna pitha, Under luchi, Huli pitha, Jal bara pitha, Chai pitha etc.
Sandwip island has one government Degree college, four non-government college, two government high school, government primary school, non-government madrasas, high and primary schools.