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Chinese traveler Xuanzang described the area as "a sleeping beauty rising from mist and water" in the 7th century. It was the principal maritime gateway to the kingdom, which was reputed as one of the wealthiest states in the Indian subcontinent.Medieval Chittagong was a hub for maritime trade with China, Sumatra, the Maldives, Sri Lanka, the Middle East and East Africa.
As part of the rich seafaring tradition of the Bengali people, coastal Chittagong was settled and ruled by Indian and Bengali kingdoms.
Modern Chittagong is an important economic hub in South Asia.
It is home to the Chittagong Stock Exchange and many of Bangladesh's oldest and largest companies.
Rapid industrialization followed the war, as Chittagong became part of East Pakistan.
During Bangladesh’s liberation war in 1971, Chittagong was site of the country’s declaration of independence.