History

Today’s Cox’sbazar was named “Palonki” before it became Cox’sbazar. If we converge to a little 3-5 km south from Cox’sbazar town, there are some villages into that area and the entire locality over there is largely known as “Kolatoli” these days. Palonki was basically situated into that locality, where most of the residents where people from a tribe called “Rakhain”. [’Burmese Market’ in the town is very well known as a good part of Cox’sbazar tourism for many decades. Most of the merchants here & their employees are basically from this ‘Rakhain’ tribe]. This name ‘Palonki’ is closely related with the Mughal history. Mughal Prince Shah Shuja was passing through this area with his companions as well as troops. While passing this locality, Shuja was attracted to the scenic and captivating beauty of the place. He commanded his forces to camp there and the entire convoy halted onto this place. The entire convoy contained with thousands of ‘palki’/'palonki’s which were halted and kept after camping in that aria.

An 18th Century Palki/PalonkiThis break of Shah Shuja’s ‘palonki’ convoy has led this areas name to be ‘Palonki’. Another local expression of ‘palonki’ is ‘dula’. Thousands of ‘palonki’s were kept at once which was sounded as “Hazar Dula” or, “Dula Hazra” (means, Thousands of Palonkis). Following this, an area near Cox’sbazar called ‘Dulahazra’, kept this story into its name.

After the massive exodus of Arakan in 18th century, many of Arakan immigrants were likely to travel through these areas. These Arakans were pushed out from their habitat and after being homeless, they were sort of desperate to settle a place to live in areas around Palonki. Suddenly, Rakhains started loosing their territories as certain areas were becoming taken over by Arakans, where Rakhains were used to use them for cultivations. Several bloody conflicts held between them. Another problem which came to Rakhains was Arakan pirates. Pirates started attacking their home which they ended up through murder, burning homes, rape etc. Loss of territories & attacks from pirates took Rakhains into the situation of leaving their own habitat.

After the East India Company Act in 1773, Warren Hastings was given the charge of Bengal as Governor, as well as a new British Administrator was set in Chittagong. It was late 1770s, when the Palonki unrest between Rakhains & outsider Arakans were taken into consideration by British rule in Bengal. The growing power of outsider Arakans were taken as a threat and the British administrator felt this important to be resolved. In any time in 1780s, an army under command of a British East India Company officer, Captain Hiram Cox, was sent to take over Palonki and push Arakans out of that area. But Captain Cox came as another wave of trouble for Rakhains as he ordered his army to burn homes & arrest local residents randomly, where victims were mostly Rakhains than Arakans. But it took a year & Captain Cox succeeded to his objective as no Arakans were seen into that area from then. After this success Captain Hiram Cox was appointed as the Superintendent of Palonki Outpost. However, he was taken very positively by local Rakhains because he was the person who made Arakans flee from Palonki and this made Rakhains to get back their territories. Captain Cox lived two more years after muscling out Arakans. He was killed from malaria.

Captain Hiram Cox was buried somewhere by the bank of river ‘Bak-khali’. His grave was later never found. Before dying from malaria, Cox opened a market into that area. This market was later found largely helpful to local Rakhains. Notably, after British takeover, that area no more belonged to Rakhains fully. Many landless & homeless Bangalis where brought to that area by British. This area was also opened for common people to settle. Basically, East India Company were somehow interested to settle an urban administration into that are and succeeded. The main administrative locality was built centralizing the market once opened by Captain Hiram Cox. As, ‘Bazar’ is the Bangla form of the word ‘market’, this place was named Cox’sbazar (The Market of Cox) by local people.

After the Sepoy Mutiny in 1857, British East India Company rule over India was criticized and this was fully reconsidered by the Queen of British Crown, as it was withdrawn from India and all of its assets including its armed forces & territories were taken over by the British Crown. The British Crown declared Cox’sbazar as a district of British India. This is how our most favorite place of tourism got established.