Sylhet is a major city in north-eastern Bangladesh. It is the main city of Sylhet Division and Sylhet District, and was granted metropolitan city status in March 2009. Sylhet is located on the banks of the Surma Valley and is surrounded by the Jaintia, Khasi and Tripura hills. The city is approaching a population of 500,000 people while also having a high population density. It is one of the largest cities in Bangladesh. The Sylhet region is well known for its tea gardens and tropical forests. The city is also known for its business boom; being one of the richest cities in Bangladesh, with new investments of hotels, shopping malls and luxury housing estates, brought mainly by expatriates living in the United Kingdom.
Sylhet has a history of conquests and heritage from different types of cultures. The city is described as a City of Saints, with the mausoleum of the great saint Hazrat Shah Jalal, who brought Islam to Bengal during the 14th century, being located here. During the next few centuries it was part of the state of Assam during the rule of British India. After independence between India and Pakistan, Sylhet was then part of East Pakistan based on a referendum, and is now part of Bangladesh. It played a major role in the Bangladesh Liberation War during the 1970s