After India and Pakistan declared their independence from the United Kingdom in August 1947, Pakistan was divided into West Pakistan and East Bengal. In 1955, East Bengal became East Pakistan and proclaimed war on West Pakistan. The country declared its freedom and became the People’s Republic of Bangladesh in 1971.
Even before the war, Bangladesh was using banknotes issued by the State Bank of Pakistan. At the time of the civil war, Bengalis would stamp their banknotes with “Bangla Desh” as an act of protest until the Pakistani government withdrew these notes on June 8, 1971. After the war, emergency notes in taka denominations were issued in 1972 which replaced the Pakistani rupee. These notes that feature an outline map of Bangladesh and first president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman were printed by Currency Note Press which is based in India. Two other series were printed.
Subsequently, the Government of Bangladesh issued a set of notes highlighting the country's coat of arms that depicts the country’s national flower “Shapla” on the water with a stalk of rice and stars on both sides, and three leaves of jute at the top. Two other sets of banknotes with entirely different designs and more enhanced security elements were also printed by Wilkinson & Company and Thomas De La Rue in London.
After Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was assassinated on August 15, 1975, new notes were released featuring the Tara Masjid or the Star Mosque instead of his portrait. In the 1980s, there were few different designs released including a new denomination of 2 Taka and in the 1990s, denominations of 10,50, and 500 takas were printed with new designs. On its 2000 - 2001 issues, the portrait of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was added back on the obverse design. Additionally, banknotes from this series were the first to bear a date.
The most recent issues of the Bangladesh Taka carry all-new designs and improved security features. The family of notes features on their obverse a portrait of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Furthermore, they’re the first ones to bear the taka symbol.