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About West Bengal
West Bengal is located in the Northeastern part of the country. It is bounded on its north by Bhutan and the state of Sikkim, on its east by Bangladesh, on its northeast by the state of Assam
|Facts on West Bengal|
|Date of Formation||Nov 1, 1956|
|Area||88,752 sq km|
|Males Population (2011)||46,809,027|
|Females Population (2011)||44,467,088|
|No. of District||20|
|Rivers||Hooghly, Teesta, Jaldhaka, Rupnarayan|
|Forests & National Park||Gorumara NP, Sundarbans NP, Ballavpur WS, Chapramari WS|
|Languages||Bengali, Hindi, English, Nepali|
|Neighbours State||Assam, Sikkim, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha|
|State Animal||Fishing cat|
|State Bird||White-throated Kingfisher|
|State Tree||Devil Tree|
|State Flower||Night-flowering Jasmine|
|Net State Domestic Product (2011)||48,536|
|Literacy Rate (2011)||86.43%|
|Females per 1000 males||947|
West Bengal Facts
Although in area, West Bengal ranks as one of the smaller states of India, it is one of the largest in population. The capital is Kolkata, India's third largest metropolitan city; other important cities and towns are Howrah, Asansol, Durgapur and Siliguri, Darjeeling, Kharagpur and Haldia. West Bengal has a single-chamber legislative assembly with 295 seats. The state sends 58 members to the Indian Parliament: 16 to the Rajya Sabha (Upper House) and 42 to the Lok Sabha (Lower House). Local government is based on 20 administrative districts.
West Bengal History
Bengal finds a coveted place even in pre-historic times. At the time of Alexander's invasion, a powerful kingdom called Gangaridai ruled over Bengal. Ascendancy of the Guptas and the Mauryas had somewhat little effect on Bengal. Later Sasanka became the king of Bengal and is said to have played an important role in the early half of the seventh century. He was succeeded by Gopala who founded the Pala dynasty which ruled for centuries and had created a huge empire. The Palas were followed by the Sena dynasty which was ended by Muslim rulers from Delhi. Bengal was ruled by various Muslim rulers and governors till the Mughal period in sixteenth century. More Details...
|Click to View large Map|
|West Bengal Industrial Map|
Economy and Infrastructure of West Bengal
Agriculture plays a pivotal role in the state's income, and nearly three out of four persons in the state are directly or indirectly involved in agriculture. The state accounts for high percentage of the country's jute production. It is also a major producer of tea. Important crops of the state include potatoes, oilseeds, betelvine, tobacco, wheat, barley and maize. The state also occupies a leading position among principal rice growing states of India. The state has a significant mineral output, including dolomite, limestone, and china clay. It has steel plants, an automobile-manufacturing plant, and numerous chemical, machinery-building, and light-engineering industries. Here's a profile of the state's infrastructure:
|Roads||Surfaces - 25984 Km, Un-surfaced - 32016 Km, National Highways - 1631 Km|
|Railways||3767 Km Eastern & South Eastern Railway Headquarters are in Calcutta.|
|Telecommunications||Basic Telephone - Working Lines - 797800 Waiting list - 150200 Express Demand - 1.4 per 100 population VSNL has its International Gateway and Earthstation in and around Calcutta. Mobile Cellular Services (GSM) is provided by Modi - Telstra and Usha Martin Telecom Malaysia within Greater Calcutta. Mobile Services proposed in the rest of the State by Reliance/NYNEX. Public Radio Paging Services provided by four operators E-mail Services available from a host of operators.|
|Major Ports||Calcutta, Haldia|
West Bengal Geography
The Geography of West Bengal is varied. The state is situated in the Eastern part of India; on its east lies Bangladesh. Sikkim and Bhutan lie on the north of West Bengal. The state of Assam is situated on the northeast of West Bengal. Bihar and Jharkhand are situated on the western side of the state. The geographical location of the state is 23 degree North latitude and 88 degree East longitude. The total area of West Bengal is 88,752 sq km. According to the census of 2011, the state has a population of 9,12,76,115. The population density of West Bengal per square kilometer is 1029. Out of the total population of the state, the ratio between males and females is 947. The population of West Bengal is predominated by the Bengali population. But immigration from different states of India has enriched the population diversity of West Bengal. More Details...
West Bengal Government
The political scenario of the state comprise of the national parties like the Communist Party of India Marxist, CPI, All India Forward Block, Bahujan Samaj Party, the Indian National Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party, Samajwadi Party, National Congress Party and regional parties like the Trinamool Congress, SUCI, CPIML, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, PDS, JDS, JDU, RSP, etc.
West Bengal Judiciary
The state of West Bengal is blessed with a systematic and organised judiciary that helps in the quick delivery of justice. Unlike United States of America, India does not follow a Federal system of Government. India adheres to the Unitary System of governance under which the Supreme Court is the highest judicial authority that is supported by the High Courts of each state. More Details...
Society and Culture of West Bengal
About three quarters of the population lives in the villages. Of the different religions, Hinduism, with its substrata of castes and aboriginal tribes, claims the adherence of more than three-fourths of the population, most of the remainder being Muslim. West Bengal contains about 40 recognised communities of tribes--the better known among them being the Santals, Oraons, Munas, Lepchas, and Bhutias--that make up less than one-tenth of the total population. Bengali is the language of most of the people, with Hindi, Urdu, Nepali, and English as minority languages. English, however, is the language of administration and a lingua franca for business purposes. More Details...
Tourism in West Bengal
This state of East India attracts tourists from all over the country. The diversified physical features of the place make West Bengal a favourable tourist destination. Be it mountains or lush green forests, sea beaches or places of worship, the state has all. West Bengal hill stations are one of the major attractions of this state. From the breathtaking views of Darjeling to the quite retreats of Siliguri, from the stunning tea gardens to the woody forests, West Bengal hill stations have something for everyone. Some of these hill stations are also sites of historical and religious significance. But it is the tranquil and scenic beauty of the West Bengal's hill stations that attract the visitors from all over the world. Each hill station is different from the other and provides great opportunities for the visitors to lose themselves in the serene lap of nature. There are forests and valleys, picturesque settings and tranquil mountain walks. Some of West Bengal's hill stations are very old and date back to the ancient times of Indian history. They provide the perfect mountain experience to the visitors.
To name a few places which are worth visiting in this state are:
- Ayodhya Hill
- Bandel Church
- Cooch Behar Palace
- Curzon Gate
- Digha Beach
- Gandhi Ghat
- Indian Botanical Garden
- I. S. K. C. O. N. (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) Temple at Mayapur
- Kantanagar Temple
- Raiganj Bird Sanctuary
- Sunderbans National Park
West Bengal is well-connected through different modes of transport. By road, the state is covered by about 92,000 km area through national highways, state highways. These roads connect the cities as well as small towns and villages of the state. The state also has a well linked railway network. The capital city of West Bengal, Kolkata, is the headquarters for three different zones of the Indian railways in the state - Eastern Railway, South Eastern Railway and the Kolkata Metro. It is easy to reach the state via airways. Kolkata's Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport at Dum Dum is the biggest airport of the state. Bagdogra Airport and Kazi Nazrul Islam International Airport are few other airports in the state. Much government-owned organisations run their bus services in the state. Besides these organisations, many private companies also operate their bus service in the state.
The state government or the private organisations run schools in the state. The secondary schools are affiliated to West Bengal Board of Secondary Education, Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) and the National Institute of Open School (NIOS). There are many universities and affiliated colleges in the state. These universities offer courses in several fields such as arts, science, medical, technology, management etc. The state of West Bengal also has several well established medical institutes like the Calcutta Medical College, Calcutta National Medical College and the North Bengal Dental College. Instructions in law are meted out to students in many colleges like Hazra Law College, South Calcutta Law College, Surendranath Law College and Jogeshchandra Chaudhuri Law College. Along with these, there are institutes in engineering and film studies.
Bengali and English are the official languages of West Bengal. The National Language Hindi is also widely spoken in the state. The three subdivisions of the Darjeeling district have Nepali as their official language. Urdu, Oriya, Santali are some other languages spoken in the state. More Details...
West Bengal Media
In the modern world, newspapers are among the most easy and common ways to propagate information. West Bengal has over five hundred newspapers published daily out of which over three hundred are in Bengali. The state owned television broadcaster is Doordarshan and the public radio station is All India Radio. Private FM stations are only available in Asansol, Kolkata and Siliguri. Newspapers of West Bengal generally publish current news of the state, nation and the world. The news published in these newspapers is about political, social, criminal, cultural, business, sports events. They also publish editorials, cartoons focusing on contemporary issues in a comic way and articles by eminent scholarly people. More Details...
Last Updated on : December 19, 2014