Editor's note: We are continuing to monitor reports on power failures in Bangladesh. According to unsourced reports from the @dailystarnews, power supply has resumed in parts of Dhaka, Chittagong, Sylhet and Rajshahi. - Aaron
Update: Bangladeshi ferry with around 200 passengers on board capsized in river near the capital Dhaka; police report at least 6 bodies recovered with a rescue vessel still on its way to site - @Reuters
Dhaka (Bengali: ঢাকা, pronounced: [ˈɖʱaka]; English /dɑːkə/, /dækə/; also known as Dacca, especially formerly) is the capital city of Bangladesh. It is the headquarters of Dhaka Division and Dhaka District. Dhaka is the most populous city in Bangladesh and the tenth-largest city in the world, with a population of over 15 million inhabitants. It is the center of the Greater Dhaka conurbation. Standing on the east bank of the Buriganga River, Dhaka is the political, economic and cultural heart of Bangladesh. It is one of the major cities of South Asia. Historically known as the City of Mosques, it is also nicknamed as the Rickshaw Capital of the World, with its daily traffic of over 500,000 cycle rickshaws.
Under Mughal rule in the 17th century, the city was known as Jahangir Nagar (named after the erstwhile emperor Jahangir). It was the capital of Mughal Bengal and a centre of the worldwide muslin trade. The modern city, however, developed chiefly under British rule in the 19th-century. Between 1905 and 1911, it served as the capital of the short lived British province of Eastern Bengal and Assam. With the Partition of British India in 1947, the city became the administrative capital of East Pakistan, and in 1971, the capital of an independent Bangladesh.
Dhaka plays a central role in the Bangladeshi economy, alongside the port city of Chittagong. The city constitutes the political, cultural and scientific heart of the nation. It is home to acclaimed national landmarks, including the Jatiyo Sangshad Bhaban, the University of Dhaka, the Liberation War Museum, the National Museum, the Shaheed Minar and the Lalbagh Fort.
In recent decades, Dhaka has been experiencing an influx of people from across the nation, making it one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the world. The city has been attracting greater volumes of foreign investment and trade; and has been witnessing the modernization of transport and communications, with the Dhaka Metro and the Dhaka Elevated Expressway under construction. However, the city continues to face substantial challenges of congestion, poverty, overpopulation and pollution.