BARISAL, a town of British India, headquarters of Backergunje district in Eastern Bengal and Assam, situated on a river of the same name. Pop. (1901) 18,978. It is an important centre of river trade, on the steamer route through the Sun darbans from Calcutta to the Brahmaputra. It contains a first grade college and several schools. There are a public library, established by subscription in 1858; and a students' union, for helping the sick and poor and promoting the intellectual and physical improvement of boys. Barisal has given its name to a curious physical phenomenon, known as the "Barisal guns," the cause of which has not been satisfactorily explained. These are noises, like the report of cannon, frequently heard in the channels of the delta of the Brahmaputra, at the rising of the tide.
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