According to some traditional accounts, the name Chittagong is a phonetic corruption of original Caittyagram (cetiyagāma the village of cetiyas or pagodas) made by English speaking government officials during the colonial period for the convenience of pronunciation. From this account, we may get some idea about the enormous number of Buddhist pagodas that existed in Chittagong. Most of them are now destroyed, converted to Muslim mosques, or used for some other purposes. During the rule of Buddhist kings in Bengal many great internationally famous Buddhist monasteries and educational centres were built. These exist at present, but, only in ruins with heaps of dark bricks. Although not equivalent in glory or prominence like the ancient ones, there are still a good number of modern Buddhist temples in Bangladesh. According to a survey conducted in 2005 by a local Buddhist Organization known as ‘Bangladesh Bouddho Dharmiyo Kalyan Trust’, there are around 1290 Buddhist monasteries scattered in different districts and Thanas of Bangladesh. Most of them are in Chittagong and Chittagong hill tracts. Following is the statistical record of this survey reproduced here from Samyak (a Buddhist quarterly in Bengali, July 2005). This will also give some clue about the geographical distribution of Buddhist population in Bangladesh.
|No.||Districts and Thanas||Number of Temples|
|11.||Hat Hazari Thana||10|
|15.||Boal khali Thana||18|
|23.||Central Cox’s bazaar||15|
|49.||Roang chari Thana||47|