Bengali: ঢাকা, pronounced
DAH-kə or /
DAK-ə; formerly romanized as Dacca)
 is the capital and largest city of
Bangladesh. It is one of the
world's largest cities, with a population of 18.89 million people in the
Greater Dhaka Area.
 It is also the
4th most densely populated city in the world. Dhaka is the chief economic, political and cultural center of Bangladesh. It is one of the major cities of
South Asia, the largest city in
Eastern South Asia and among the
Bay of Bengal countries; and one of the largest cities among
OIC countries. As part of the Bengal plain, the city is bounded by the
Dhaleshwari River and
Shitalakshya River. The city is located in an eponymous
The area of Dhaka has been inhabited since the first millennium. The city rose to prominence in the 17th century as a provincial capital and commercial center of the
Mughal Empire in South Asia. Dhaka was the capital of
Mughal Bengal for 75 years. As the center of the
muslin trade in Bengal, it was one of the most prosperous cities in the
Indian subcontinent. The medieval city was named in honor of the Mughal emperor Jahangir and hosted the seat of the Mughal
Naib Nazims and
Dewans (prime ministers). Medieval Dhaka's glory peaked in the 17th and 18th centuries, when it was home to merchants from across
Eurasia. The Mughals decorated the city with well-laid out gardens, tombs, mosques, palaces and forts. The city was once called the
Venice of the East.
 Under the
British Empire, the city saw the introduction of
railways, cinemas, Western-style universities and colleges and a modern water supply. It became an important administrative and educational center in
Eastern Bengal and Assam after 1905.
 In 1947, after ending of British rule, it became the administrative capital of the
East Pakistan. It was declared as the legislative capital of
Pakistan in 1962. In 1971, it became the capital of an independent Bangladesh. Article 5 of the
Constitution of Bangladesh declares Dhaka as the capital of the republic.
Since its establishment as a modern capital city, the population, area, and social and economic diversity of Dhaka have grown tremendously. Dhaka is now one of the most densely industrialized regions in the country.
 By the 21st century, it emerged as a
megacity. It is listed as a
beta world city. Dhaka is a major
financial center in the region, being home to many local and international companies. Its
stock exchange has over 750 listed companies. The city hosts over 50
diplomatic missions and the headquarters of
BIMSTEC. The city's culture is known for its cycle-rickshaws,
art festivals and religious diversity. The
old city is home to around 2000 buildings from the Mughal and British periods, including notable structures such as the
Bara Katra and
Choto Katra caravansaries. The city's modernist national assembly is one of the largest parliaments in the world.