Cox’s Bazar is a city, fishing port, tourism centre and district headquarters in southeastern Bangladesh. The beach in Cox’s Bazar is sandy and has a gentle slope and with an unbroken length of 155 km (96 mi) it is often termed the “longest natural unbroken sea beach” in the world. It is located 150 km (93 mi) south of the divisional headquarter of Chittagong. Cox’s Bazar is also known by the name Panowa, which translates literally as “yellow flower”. Another old name was “Palongkee”.
The modern Cox’s Bazar derives its name from Captain Hiram Cox, an officer of the British East India Company. Cox was appointed Superintendent of Palongkee outpost after Warren Hastings became Governor of Bengal. He embarked upon the task of rehabilitation and settlement of the Arakanese refugees in the area. Captain Cox died in 1799 before he could finish his work. To commemorate his role in rehabilitation work, a market was established and named Cox’s Bazar after him. Unlike many locations in the Indian Subcontinent where place names dating from the colonial period have been changed, Cox’s name is still retained in the city he founded.
Today, Cox’s Bazar is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Bangladesh, although not a major international tourist destination. In 2013, the Bangladesh Government formed the Tourist Police unit to protect local and foreign tourists better, as well as to look after the nature and wildlife in the tourist spots of Cox’s Bazar.