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 West Bengal
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  Map of West Bengal



 West Bengal

West Bengal was created as a constituent state of the Indian union on 15 August 1947 as the result of partition of the undivided British Indian province of Bengal into West Bengal. West Bengal is a state in the northeast of India. Neighbouring regions are Nepal and Sikkim to the northwest, Bhutan to the north, Assam to the northeast, Bangladesh to the east, the Bay of Bengal to the south, Orissa to the southwest and Jharkhand and Bihar. It has therefore, three international frontiers. The state lies between 27o13'15" and 21o25'24" north latitudes and 85o48'20" and 89o53'04" east longitudes. The state is long and narrow, running from the Delta of the Ganges River system in the Bay of Bengal to the south, up through the Ganges plain to the heights of the Himalayas and Darjeeling in the north. South of Kolkata on the Bay of Bengal is the area known as Sunderbans, one of the largest deltas in the world and home to the elusive Royal Bengal Tiger. To the north lie the flourishing mango plantations and jute fields of the fertile river plains. West Bengal is a land of passion, culture, literature, sports and natural beauty. The alluvial plain in the south is watered by the legendary River Hooghly and its tributaries, while the Himalayan north is watered by the swift flowing Tista, Torsa, Jaldhaka and Ranjit rivers. The terrain varies from the northern highlands at the feet of the Himalayas to the tropical forests of Sunderbans. West Bengal has two natural divisions. The Himalayan north comprising the districts of Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri and Cooch Bihar and the alluvial plain that lies south of it. There are 18 districts in this state. Famous for its Roshogulla and the equally sweet Robindra Shongeet, West Bengal is one of the most culturally and ethnically diverse states of India. A state which has produced the most number of Nobel Prize winners from India till date. Its capital city is Kolkata. The primary language of West Bengal is Bengali. The climate of West Bengal is tropical.

Forests


Forests of three distinct areas exist in the state. These are the forests of the north which include the mountain temperate forests and the tropical forests of the Duars, the deciduous forests of the plateau fringe and the mangrove forests of Sunderbans. Of these the northern forests are the most important. The Hooghly river estuary that covers the entire southern portion, nearly a fourth of the total area of twenty four Parganas district consist of the remarkable tropical forest called the Sunderbans. The major portion of this forest is located in the adjoining Bangladesh district of Khulna and Barisal. The Sunderbans are abound in royal Bengal tiger, leopard, rhinoceros, wild hog, deer, monkeys, python, different species of Cobra and other snakes and many varieties of birds. The rivers are abound in Crocodile, shark and many kinds of fish. This area is called the Moribund Delta.

Industry

West Bengal is known for its position among the leading industrialized states of India. There are over 10000 registered factories in the state and the state government has opened 'Shilpa bandhu', a single window agency for providing investors with all kinds of assistance in setting up and running industrial units. Calcutta city is noted as a major centre for industries including the jute industry. There are a number of Steel plants in the state apart from the alloy steel plant at Durgapur. The centre has set up a number of industries in the areas of tea, sugar, chemicals and fertilizers. Good natural resources like tea and jute in and near Bengal made West Bengal a major centre for the jute and tea industries.The manufacturing industries play a vital role in the economic life of the state.

Agriculture

Agriculture is the chief occupation of the people of the state. The Majority of the population are cultivators and agricultural labours. Rice is the Principal food crop of West Bengal. Other food crops include maize, pulses, oil seeds, wheat, barley, potatoes and vegetables. The state supplies about 66% of the jute requirements of the country and its soil and heavy rainfall are suitable for jute cultivation. Tea is another important cash crop. Darjeeling tea is famous for its high quality. Tobacco and sugarcane are also grown in the state.

Sports & Adventure

West Bengal and specially Calcutta have famous Football & Hockey Clubs, Cricket Clubs and centres of Table Tennis, Lawn Tennis, Polo and Golf. Eden Gardens is often used for holding world-class cricket matches. Calcutta is a city of sports lovers. There is Yuba Bharati Krirangan, the biggest sports stadium in Asia. Apart from the Netaji Indoor Stadium in Calcutta, there are good stadiums at Durgapur, Kharagpur and Siliguri as well. Water Sports have acquired a remarkable position besides cricket and football. Efforts are being made to develop Golf Villages of international standard in the Dooars and in the outskirts of Calcutta to make Calcutta city the gateway to South-East Asia, a centre of big business and the headquarters of big industries and a paradise for golfers and to give a boost to the hotel industry in the city.

Shopping

Ace Bengali artisans work wonders with terracotta horses, conch shells, clay models, leather, batik and wood work.

Famous Personalities

A land of aesthetes and political activists, West Bengal is famous for its many eminent writers, poets, artists, spiritualists, social reformers, freedom fighters and revolutionaries. It's the birthplace of India's only Noble laureate in literature, Rabindranath Tagore. The world famous film director Satyajit Ray was also born here. Apart from this, Bengal gave birth to innumerable well known poets and writers who enriched the world literature ceaselessly. To name a few, Kazi Nazrul Islam, Michael Madhusudan Dutt, Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay and Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay. Also India's most beloved male singer in films,Kishore Kumar, and the world-famous sitarist Ravi Shankar were Bengali. Famous freedom fighter, Subhash Chandra Bose, who was belovedly called "Netaji"; Satyendra Nath Bose, from whom the boson particle and Bose-Einstein theory get their names were also Bengalis. Amartya Sen, who won Nobel Prize in Economics in 1998 is a Bengali. Mother Teresa, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979, had worked in Kolkata for most of her life. In the religious realm, Bengal gave birth to great Hindu sages and saints like Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (15th century major Vaishnava figure), Ramprasad Sen (a famous Kali Bhakta and poet) and Ramakrishna Paramhansa; others include Swami Vivekananda (the most renowned of Shri Ramakrishna's disciples), Sri Aurobindo Ghosh, and Prabhupada A.C. Bhaktivedanta the founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). Bengal is well known for its arts and sculptures. Nandalal Bose, Jamini Roy, Abanindranath Tagore, Gaganendranath Tagore, Jyotirindranath Tagore, Rabindranath Tagore, Ramkinkar Baize are just few of the famous modern artists. In fact Abanindranath Tagore is regarded as the father of the modern art in India. West Bengal has always produced people who have largely contributed in putting India on the world map. Bengal has produced 4 Nobel Laureates: Tagore, Mother Teresa, Satyajit Ray and Amartya Sen.

Climate

The southern parts of West Bengal actually sweat it out with humidity for most time of the year, while the northern and north eastern parts of West Bengal are chilly and cool. Monsoon plays havoc in the northern regions and the southern parts also receive considerable amount of rainfall every year. The annual rainfall varies in the sub-Himalayan region between 150- 210 inches and in the plains between 45-75 inches. There are three seasons: hot and dry (March to early June), hot and wet (mid-June to September), and cool (October to February). During the hot and wet season, rain-bearing monsoon winds blow from the southwest. Best time to visit is during September-October and December-January.

How to reach

The main entry point of West Bengal is Kolkata and this city is well connected by air to all the major cities of India as well as abroad. It is also well connected by rail and there are good motorable roads that connect it to all the major cities in India.

Tourism Centre, 3/2 BBD Bagh (East), Calcutta - 1 Ph: 033-2485917/5168

Tourism Centre (Head Office), Netaji Stadium Eden Gardens, Calcutta - 21 Ph: 033-2488242/8286 Fax: 033-2488290

Dy Director of Tourism 1, Nehru Rd Darjeeling - 734101 Ph: 0354-54050/54102

WB Tourism State Emporia Bldg (First Floor), A/2 Baba Karak Singh Marg New Delhi - 1. Ph: 011-3732840

Distance from Kolkata to :
Agartala 1680
Agra 1258
Ahmedabad 1924
Aizawl 1547
Ajmer 1589
Akola 1374
Aligarh 1273
Allahabad 805
Ambala 1600
Amritsar 1855
Asansol 222
Aurangabad 1628
Bakhtiyarpur 545
Bangalore 1881
Barauni 549
Barddhaman 119
Bareilly 1239
Belgaum 2028
Bellary 1724
Bhagalpur 575
Bhavnagar 2111
Bhopal 1356
Bhubaneshwar 441
Bikaner 1810
Bilaspur 856
Chandigarh 1646
Chennai 1676
Chitradurga 1852
Coimbatore 2167
Cuttack 416
Dehra Dun 1562
Delhi 1461
Dhanbad 281
Dhule 1651
Dibrugarh 1520
Dimapur 1355
Dindigul 2071
Durgapur 182
Ganganagar 1841
Gangtok 720
Gaya 489
Ghaziabad 1389
Ghazipur 676
Gorakhpur 816
Gulbarga 1729
Guntur 1280
Gurgaon 1426
Guwahati 1081
Gwalior 1248
Haldia 128
Hassan 2068
Hissar 1597
Hubli 1934
Hyderabad 1516
Imphal 1565
Indore 1570
Jabalpur 1120
Jaipur 1462
Jaisalmer 2032
Jalandhar 1772
Jammu 1991
Jamnagar 2226
Jamshedpur 295
Jhansi 1192
Jodhpur 1793
Jorhat 1384
Kakinada 1028
Kandla 2289
Kanniyakumari 2359
Kanpur 1000
Kochi 2360
Kohima 1420
Kolhapur 2035
Kota 1516
Kozhikode 2236
Krishnagiri 1938
Kurnool 1567
Lucknow 980
Ludhiana 1713
Madurai 2120
Mangalore 2148
Meerut 1405
Moradabad 1335
Motihari 736
Mumbai 1987
Muzaffarnagar 1456
Muzaffarpur 652
Mysore 2020
Nagpur 1124
Nanded 1502
Nellore 1504
Nashik 1802
Panaji 2187
Paradwip 515
Pathankot 1884
Patna 556
Pondicherry 1841
Porbandar 2318
Varanasi 680
Purulia 328
Rajpur 846
Rajkot 2140
Rajeswaram 2268
Ranchi 409
Ranippettai 1788
Raurkela 529
Rohtak 1532
Sagar 1250
Saharanpur 1527
Salem 2002
Sambalpur 590
Siliguri 606
Shahjahanpur 1148
Shillong 1181
Shimla 1751
Shivpuri 1292
Silchar 1407
Solapur 1788
Srinagar 2284
Surat 2035
Thane 1944
Thiruvananthapuram 2384
Thanjavur 2018
Thrissur 2281
Tiruchchirappalli 1992
Tirunelveli 2274
Tirupati 1634
Tuticorin 2255
Udaipur 1867
Ujjain 1544
Vadodara 1893
Ulhasnagar 1942
Warangal 1376
Vijayawada 1248
Vishakhapatnam 866
Pune 2004
West Bengal at a glance :
Capital Kolkata
Area 88,752 sq.Km
Population 8.02 crores
Principal Languages Bengali, Hindi, Urdu, English, Bhutia and Nepali
Urbanization Ratio 27.39%
No. of District 19
Best Time to Visit September to March.
Literacy rate  
Total 69.22 %
Male 77.58 %
Female 60.22 %
Urbanization 28.03%
Density Ranked 4th in India
STD Codes :
Country Code for India 91
Alipurduar 03572
Asansol 0341
Bagdogra 03556
Baharampur 03482
Balurghat 03522
Bankura 03242
Bahula 3442
Barakar 03446
Bhatpara 3164
Bolpur 3463
Burdwan 342
Burnpur 3448
Calcutta 33
Chinsurah 3166
Coochbehar 3582
Darjeeling 354
Durgapur 343
Harishchandrapur 3513
Jamuria 3443
Jharia 326
Jorhat 376
Jowai 3652
Kalimpong 3552
Kharagpur 3222
Krishnanagar 3472
Malda 3512
Midnapur 3226
Neyamatpur 3445
Raniganj 3447
Roopnarainpur 3444
Siliguri 353
Suri 3462
Tribeni 3167
Districts :
Districts Area in Sq Km Population Headquarters
Bankura 6,882 28,05,065 Bankura
Bardhaman 7,024 60,50,605 Bardhaman
Birbhum 4,545 25,55,664 Suri
Kolkata 18,733 43,99,819 Kolkata
Darjeeling 3,149 12,99,919 Darjeeling
Howrah 1,467 37,29,644 Howrah
Hooghly 3,149 43,55,230 Chinsurah
Jalpaiguri 6,227 28,00,543 Jalpaiguri
Coochbehar 3,387 21,71,145 Coochbehar
Malda 3,733 26,37,032 English Bazar
Medinipur 14,081 83,31,912 Medinipur
Murshidabad 5,324 47,40,149 Berhampore
Nadia 3,927 38,52,097 Krishnagar
North 24 Parganas 14,052 72,81,881 Alipore
South 24 Parganas - 57,15,030 Barasat
Purulia 6,259 22,24,577 Purulia
Uttar Dinajpur 3,180 19,26,729 Raigunj
Dakshin Dinajpur 2,183 12,00,924 Balurghat





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