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WEST BENGAL GUIDE

 
West Bengal is located in the northeastern part of the country. It is bounded on the north by Bhutan and the state of Sikkim, on the east by Bangladesh, on the northeast by the state of Assam, on the south by the Bay of Bengal, on the southwest by the state of Orissa, on the northwest by Nepal, and on the west by the state of Bihar. The alluvial plain in the south is watered by the legendary River Hooghly and its tributaries- Mayurakshi, Damodar, Kangsabati & the Rupnarayan.


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  WEST BENGAL INFORMATION

 
West Bengal is a land of natural beauty, The Capital of Kolkata exquisite lyrical poetry and enthusiastic people. Situated in the east of India, West Bengal is stretches from the Himalayas in the north to the Bay of Bengal in the South. This state shares international boundaries with Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal. Hence it is a strategically important place. The state is interlocked by the other states like Sikkim, Assam, Orissa and Bihar. Hooghly and its tributaries - Mayurakshi, Damodar, Kangsabati and the Rupnarayan, enrich the soils of Bengal. The northern districts of Bengal like Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri and Cooch Bihar (in the Himalayas ranges) are watered by the rivers Tista, Torsa, Jaldhaka and Ranjit. From the northern places (feet of Himalayas) to the tropical forests of Sunderbans, West Bengal is a land of incessant beauty.
 
   

  WEST BENGAL FACTS AND FIGURES

 

West Bengal at a Glance ...
  Area:     89,000 sq km
  Capital: Calcutta
  Languages: Begoli,Hindi,English
  No of District:   19
  Per Capita Income 5,901
  Religion Hindu
  Best Time to visit March to October
 
   

  WEST BENGAL HISTORY

 
Bengal finds a coveted place even in pre-historic times. At the time of Alexanderís 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.

After the Mughals, history of Modern Bengal began with advent of European and English traders. Battle of Plassey in 1757 changed the course of history when the English first gained a strong foothold in Bengal and India. In 1905 it was partitioned to achieve some political returns but peopleís growing movement under the auspices of the Congress led to the reunion in 1911. This triggered off hectic movement for freedom which culminated with Independence in 1947, and partition.

After 1947, the merger of native settlement began which ended with its final reorganization in 1956 (as per Recommendation of the States Reorganisation Act, 1956) when some Bengali speaking areas of a neighbouring state was transferred to West Bengal.
 
   

  WEST BENGAL TOURIST ATTRACTIONS

 
Howarah Bridge (Kolkata) » Fort Willian(kolkata) » Birla Mandir(Kolkata) » Dhakuria Lake(Kolkata) » Eden Gardens(Kolkata) » Marble Palace(Kolkata) » Raj Bhawan(Kolkata) » Saheed Minar(Kolkata) » Metro Railway(Kolkata) » Shatinikatan (Kolkata) » Faraka Dam (Faraka)
 
   

  WEST BENGAL FAIRS AND FESTIVALS

 
The most important of festival in West Bengal is Durga Puja, held in autumn. In the past era, it was organised and financed by the landlords and the business barons and was participated by all sections of people. Gangasagar Mela, Jalpesh Mela, Vasanta Utsav, Rathayatra, Jhapan, BeraUtsav, Deepavali, Rash Mela, Jagaddhatri Puja, Teesta Tea & Tourism Festival, Poush Mela, Vishnupur Festival.
 
   

  HOW TO REACH

 
By Air : West Bengal is very well connected with the national and international air network. The international (Netaji Subhash International Airport) and domestic airports of Calcutta are at Dumdum, located 15 km from the city center. The Bagdogra airport at Siliguri connects the state with places in and around the state. Three more airports, namely, Balurghat, Coochbehar and Malda also operate scheduled domestic flights.

By Rail : West Bengal runs a major railway network that connects the rest of the country. Kharagpur railway station has the longest railway platform in India. Moreover, the Howrah railway station is one of the most accessed railway heads in India. New Jalpaiguri railhead connects the rest of the country to Darjeeling by toy trains.

By Road : West Bengal is also well connected by means of national as well as state highways with major places of interest in and around the state. The state transport corporation runs regular buses connecting these places. There are also private tour operators that provide luxury coaches to access the nearby places of importance. 
 
   

  WEST BENGAL MAJOR CITIES

 
Kolkata » Darjeeling » Malda » Kalimpong » Kurseong » Mirik » Murshidabad » Pandua » Shatinikatan » Siliguri
 
   

  WEST BENGAL WILDLIFE AND BIRDS

 
West Bengal has the best of wildlife preservation centres. Sunderbans, Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary, Buxa Tiger Reserve, Raijang Bird Sanctuary are home to many endangered species of animals and birds. West Bengal has a distinction of sheltering more than 270 Royal Bengal tigers. The Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary hosts second highest number of Indian Rhinos in India, after the Kaziranga in Assam. West Bengalís wildlife offers a fascinating diversity of terrain, flora and fauna. It is a delight for nature lovers. The Sunderbans have been declared a world heritage site.
 
   

  WEST BENGAL ARTS AND CRAFTS

 
West Bengal has always played a prominent role in the field of art and culture, giving birth to a large number of modern movements in literature, painting, sculpture, theatre and cinema as well as in politics, science and industry. Kolkata is appropriately regarded as the cultural capital of India for the immense contribution and leadership of the state in the fields of literature, art, theatre and films in particular. The multifaceted art and culture of West Bengal find manifestation in various forms. Most worth mention are : -Songs of Bengal including Bhatiali, Bhauaiah, Baul, devotional Ramprasadi songs, Padabali Kirtan, Bhajan, Toppa, Baithaki, Adhunik, Rabindra Sangeet, songs ofAtulprasad and Dwijendralal, Najrul Geeti and the dhrupadi style of music Group Theatre, Art Film, Dance-drama of Rabindranath Tagore. Dance of different styles and art including the masked Chhau, Rava, Mech and Santali dances most of which are performed by tribals and ethnic groups, Jatra (traditional theatrical performance), Gombhira (satirical theatrical performance), Tarja and Kabigan (poetic contest presented in the form of song).Poetry, novels, short stories and essays published in innumerable periodicals and little magazines all over the state. Book Fairs are among the most passionate cultural events not only in Kolkata but at numerous places in the state. Painting and sculpture, exhibitions on which are regularly held in several Halls and Art galleries. Kabiguru Rabindranath Tagore's Santiniketan is famous all over the world as a seat of learning, art and culture based on Indian tradition and Tagore's philosophy. West Bengal boasts of a rich heritage of art & craft including Handicrafts made from brass, bell metal, conchshell, shola (pith), bamboo, jute, cane, cotton and grass. Terracotta figurines and horses of Bankura made of burnt clay or wood Dhokra figurines of Bankura-Birbhum-Puruliya Painted clay plaques of Kalighat Clay models ofKrishnanagar Leather bags of Sriniketan Wood carvings and semi- precious stone jewellery - Masks of Puruliya and Darjiling Handloom Sarees, Specially Jammdani Sarees of dhatrigram, Kalna, Samudragarh, Santipur - Phulia and Baluchari sarees of Vishnupur Kantha Stitch handiwork Bewitching range of gold, silver and diamond jewellery.