In Search of a Settlement Pattern for Bengal Delta Through Theoretical Re-Interpretations


  • Masud Ur Rashid Department of Architecture, Southeast University, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh



Bengal Delta, Rice-Cultivation Culture, Settlement Formation, Settlement Evolution, Core pattern


The purpose of this study based on secondary source materials is to reinterpret and classify settlement
typology that has relevance to the Bengal Delta. The theoretical analysis were used to figure out the Delta Settlement typologies and to study commonalities or core issues related to settlement formation. This desktop study together with available literature shows that many studies were carried out on the evolution of settlements and also on patterns of settlements. Globally settlements were seen to be fundamentally classified into two broad groups on the basis of their historic origin, that is, hunters and gatherers settlements and settled agricultural settlements. Among the settled agricultural pattern, there is a sub-group of wet-rice cultivation culture. Studies show that Bengal Delta typology is situated in a special thread of ‘rain-fed rice cultivation culture’ in the ‘warm-humid’ Bengal Delta region. With this textual footing, several conceptual ideas were evaluated and finally, the five principles of Doxiadis regarding the universal settlement formulation specifying the core components have been found relevant and also Mowla’s hypothesis for settlement formation in the warm humid Bengal Delta has been found to be of relevance to explain the formation and evolution of the settlements model of the Bengal Delta found through the historic interpretation of old documents and subsequent studies.


Download data is not yet available.


Allison, M.A., Khan, S.R., Goodbred, S.L., & Kuehld, S.A. (2003). Stratigraphic Evolution of the Late Holocene Ganges-Brahmaputra Lower Delta Plain. Sedimentary Geology, 155(3-4), 317–342.

Aragones, J.I., Francescato, G., & Garling, T. (2002). Residential environments: Choice, satisfaction, and behavior. Westport, CT: Bergin & Garvey.

Baqee, A. (2011). Grameen Bashati (Rural Settlement: Characteristics, Development and Planning Issues), Sujaneshu Prokashani, Banglabazar, Dhaka.

Bertocci, P.J. (1969). Pattern of Rural Social Organization in East Bengal. In A. Lipski (ed.) Bengal: East and West. Asian Study Center, Michigan State University.

Bertocci, P.J. (1996). Elusive Villages: Social Structure and Community Organization in Rural East Pakistan, unpublished PhD thesis, Department of Anthropology, Michigan State University, 1970; cf. Peter J. Bertocci, The Politics of Community and Culture in Bangladesh: Selected Essays, Dhaka: Centre for Social Studies.

Chakrabarti, D.K. (1992). Ancient Bangladesh: A Study of the Archaeological Sources. Delhi: Oxford University Press.

Chowdhury, Quader, S., Hassan, & M., Qumrul (2012). Bengal Delta. In S. Islam & A.A. Jamal (Eds.), Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (2nd ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.

Chowdhury, S.I. (1988). Arthanitik Bhugol: Visva O Bangladesh (in Bangla), Dhaka University, Dhaka.

Chowdhury, S.I. (1992). Bangladeshe Grameen Bashatir Bikash: Suchona theke Anumanik Choturtho Shotabdi Porjonto, Bangladesh: Bhougolik Shomikkha, Department of Geography, Bangladesh.

Desai, A.R. (Ed.). (1966). Social Background of Indian Nationalism. Bombay: Popular Prakashan.

Doxiadis, C.A. (1968). Ekistics, An Introduction to the Science of Human Settlements. Oxford University Press.

Ericson, J.P., Vorosmarty, C.J., Dingman, S.L., Ward, L.G., & Meybeck, M. (2005). Effective sea-level rise and deltas: Causes of change and human dimension implications. Global Planetary Change, 50(1-2), 63-82.

Fazl, A. (1579). Akbar Nama, translated by Henry Beveridge, vol 3:427.

Hasan, D.M. (1985). A Study of Traditional House Forms in Rural. Unpublished M.Arch Thesis. Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, Dhaka.

Hudson, F.S. (1976). A Geography of Settlements (2nd Edition). Macdonald and Evans.

Hudson, J.C. (1969). A Location Theory of Rural Settlements. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 59(2), 365-381.

Hunter, W.W. (1885). Imperial Gazetteer of India (Vol. VI, pp. 24-28).

Kabir, S. & Mowla, Q.A. (2012). Climate Change Vulnerable Community: A case for Coastal Bangladesh. In S. Osman, G. Saha, N. Uddin, N. Islam, A. Islam & A. Alam (Eds.), Climate Change Impact and Adaptation (pp. 2-15). 3CSR-CE-DUET publication, Dhaka.

Kavas, K.R. (2009). Environmental Aesthetics of the Rural Architectural Tradition in the Mediterranean Highlander Settlement: The Case Study of Urunlu. Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis in Architectural History, Ankara, METU Graduate Institute of Social Sciences.

Khan, A.A. (1987). The Village in Bangladesh: A Survey. Bangladesh Journal of Public Administration, 1(1).

Khan, A.A. (1996). Discovery of Bangladesh. University Press Ltd., Dhaka

Khan, F.H. (1991). Geology of Bangladesh. Dhaka: University Press Limited.

Kher, N.N. (1973). Agrarian and Fiscal Economy in Mauryan and Post Mauryan Age, Delhi, Motilal Banrasidas.

Kosambi, D.D. (1965). The Culture and Civilization of Ancient India in Historical Outline. Routledge and Kegan Paul, London.

Lee, H.-J., & Parrott, K. (2004). Cultural Background and Housing Satisfaction. Housing and Society, 31(2), 145-158.

Majumdar, N.G. (1929). Inscriptions of Bengal (Vol. III). The Varendra Research Society, Rajshahi.

Majumdar, R.C. (Ed.) (1943). History of Bengal (Vol. 1). Dhaka, University of Dhaka.

Maloney (1984). Tribes of Bangladesh and synthesis of Bengali culture. In M.S. Qureshi (Ed.), Tribal cultures in Bangladesh (pp. 33-35). Rajshahi University: Institute of Bangladesh Studies.

Mandal, R.B. (2001). Introduction to Rural Settlement (Revised and enlarged edition). Concept publishing company, New Delhi, India.

Mowla, Q.A. (1990). Study of Urban Development Opportunities for Lalbagh / Kotewali zone and Urban Design Vision for the land to be vacated by Dhaka Central Jail located at the study area. Unpublished Master in Urban Design Dissertation, University of Hong Kong.

Mowla, Q.A. (1997). Settlement Texture: Study of a Mahalla in Dhaka. Journal of Urban Design, 2(3), 259-275.

Mowla, Q.A. (1999a). Urban Morphology: A Case of Dhaka and Khulna, Unpublished Research monograph with research grant from the Ministry of Science & Technology, GoB, 1998-1999, Dhaka.

Mowla, Q.A. (1999b) Spatial Manifestation of Societal Norms: A Case of Urban Design in Bangladesh, Khulna University Studies, 1(2), 177-186.

Mowla, Q.A., & Kabir, S. (2012). Response to Climate Change; Bangladesh Experience. In S. Osman, G. Saha, N. Uddin, N. Islam, A. Islam & A. Alam (Eds.), Climate Change Impact and Adaptation (pp. 62-73). 3CSR-CE-DUET publication, Dhaka.

Mowla, Q.A. (2019a, February 09). Disaster Risk Reduction Planning in the Heritage Management. International Seminar-Workshop on Climate Change Agenda for Cultural Heritage, KU; UGC-BD; UNESCO (BD); ICOMOS (BD) and DoArchaeology-GoB, Bangladesh.

Mowla, Q.A. (2019b). Exploring for the Roots of Buildings and Settlements in Bengal. SEU Journal of Science and Engineering, 13(2), 16-23.

Pertsemlidis, C.R. (2007). The foundations of ekistics An attempt to test the validity of Anthropocosmos model in the context of modern evolutionary theory Purpose: The Anthropocosmos, pp. 1–15.

Rahman, G. (1974). Rural Settlement in Bangladesh. Studies in Bangladesh Geography, BNGA.

Rahman, M.H. (1988). Gonga Hribdhi theke Bangladesh (in Bangla). Bangla Academy, Dhaka.

Rasheed, K.B.S. (2008). Bangladesh: Resource and Environmental Profile. AH Development Publishing House, Dhaka.

Rashid, H. (1991). Geography of Bangladesh (2nd ed.). University Press Limited, Dhaka.

Rashid, M. (2013). The Role of Rural Home-Based Enterprises on the Housing Transformation in Sirajganj. Unpublished M. Arch. Thesis. Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology, Dhaka,

Rashid, M. (2018). Adaptation to Climate Change in the Built Form: Post Sidr Experience in Bangladesh, International Journal of Architecture, Engineering and Construction, 7(2), 10-18.

Ray, N.R. (1993). Bangalir Itihash (2nd ed.), 1402 (B.S.)/1993.

Sarkar, A. (2010). Analysis of Human Settlement Patterns Using RS and GIS in the Plains of West Bengal. Indian Journal of Spatial Science, 1(1), 1-6.

Schendel, W.V. (2009). A History of Bangladesh. Cambridge University Press.

Sen, S. (1974). Pracheen Bangla O Bangali (in Bangla), Kolkata: Bishwa Bharati Library.

Steven, G.D. (1978). The Ganges in Myth and History. Honolulu: The University Press of Hawaii.

Sultana, S. (1993). Rural settlements in Bangladesh: Spatial pattern and development. Graphosman, Dhaka.

Trewartha, G.T. Robinson, A., & Hammond, E. (1967). Elements of Geography, MacGraw- Hill, NY.

Turner, J. (1976). Housing by people. Marion Boyars, London.




How to Cite

Rashid, M. U. (2020). In Search of a Settlement Pattern for Bengal Delta Through Theoretical Re-Interpretations. Creative Space, 8(1), 21–34.