80 Interesting Facts About West Bengal

Facts About West Bengal: West Bengal is a state located on the Bay of Bengal in the eastern part of India. According to the 2011 census, it is the fourth most populous state in India with a population of over 50 million. Its area is 3 sq. Km (4 sq. Miles). A part of the ethnic linguistic Bengal region, Bangladesh is to its east and Nepal and Bhutan to the north; It shares borders with five Indian states: Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar, Sikkim and Assam.

Kolkata is the capital of the state of West BengalIs one of the first four metros in India. Geographically, West Bengal consists of the Darjeeling Himalayan mountain range, the Ganges estuary, the Rarah region and the coastal Sundarbans. The main language is Bengali. The main ethnic group is the Bengalis, of which the Bengali Hindus constitute the majority of the population.

Ancient Bengal was home to many major Janpadas. In the second century BC, the region was conquered by Emperor Ashoka. In the 4th century BC, in the Gupta EmpireWas absorbed. The area was ruled by a number of sultans, powerful Hindu kingdoms and landlords from the 19th century until the beginning of British rule in the 19th century. The British East India Company consolidated its hold on the territory following the Battle of Plassey in 1917, and Calcutta remained the capital of British India for many years.

Early and prolonged exposure to the British administration led to the expansion of Western education, the development of science, institutional education, and social reform in the region, which became known as the Bengali revival. Bengal was a major venue for India's independence movement in the early 20th century, with Bengal being divided along religious lines after India's independence in the 19th century. Between 19 and 2011.

As a major agricultural producer, West Bengal ranks sixth in terms of contribution to India's GDP. The cultural heritage of the state, in addition to various folk traditions, includes notable writers in literature including Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore as well as musicians, filmmakers and artists. Kolkata is known as the "Cultural Capital of India".

80 Interesting Facts About West Bengal

Amazing Facts About West Bengal

  • In its south lies the Bay of Bengal.
  • Kolkata and Haldia are two main ports of West Bengal.
  • Bengalis’ believe fish symbolizes fortune and good luck.
  • Chhau and Rabindra Nritya are the main dances of state.
  • West Bengal is surrounded by landforms on all three sides.
  • On a clear day, Mount Everest also can be seen in the distance.
  • The district of Cooch Behar was merged with the state on January 1, 1950.
  • Murshidabad and Baluchari silk sarees are famous products of west bengal.
  • Agricultural Products of West Bengal – Rice, Wheat, pulses, oilseed, potato
  • The state accounts for 66.5 % country’s jute production which is highest of all Indian states.
  • Mineral Resources of West Bengal – Coal and China clay are two important minerals of the state.
  • Bengali women were the first Indian women to go to school, pursue higher studies and start working.
  • This state was ruled by democratically elected Communist government for 34 years starting from 1977.
  • South 24 Pargana district of West Bengal is largest by area. North 24 Pargana is largest by population.
  • North of the Duars, the Himalayan mountain ranges rise abruptly along the northern boundary of the state.
  • Kolkata’s Metro rail project which was first of its type in India, was opened for public service in 1984.

Historical Facts About West Bengal

  • The National Song of India, “Vande Mataram”, was written by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay, another Bengali.
  • Bhagirathi, called Hooghly in its lower reaches is a branch of Ganga which provided kolkata its link to sea.
  • Kolkata is the only city in India where the trams service exists and is a highly popular public transport system.
  • The AITC’s founder and leader, Mamata Banerjee, became the state’s first female chief minister (head of government).
  • The prosperity and the importance of the state increased largely when the British East India Company took over the place.
  • Durga Puja and Kali puja are the most important festivals. Diwali, Vasant panchami, Lakshmi puja, Holi etc are also celebrated.
  • Kolkata was the capital of British India from 1756 to 1911, because of which you find British monuments in every part of the city.
  • Mount Kanchenjunga, actually located in adjacent Sikkim, dominates the landscape of the area, particularly in Darjiling (Darjeeling).
  • Digha is a seaside resort and tourist town lying in Purba Medinipur district. It is most popular sea resort and known for its beaches.
  • It was a widespread Bengal province until under the terms of the Indian Independence Act, 1947, the province of Bengal ceased to exist.
  • Once infested with malaria, the area is now well drained and cultivated. Some of the finest tea plantations of India are situated there.
  • The Indian National Congress (Congress Party) dominated the West Bengal government during nearly all of the state’s first three decades.
  • The foot hill of the Himalayan region is known as the Terrain region in West Bengal. This region is famous the world over for tea plantation.

Geographical Facts About West Bengal

  • The CPI-M remained in power as the world’s longest-serving democratically elected communist government until it was voted out of office in 2011.
  • The sub-Himalayan tract, known as the West Bengal Duars, or Western Duars, is a part of the Tarai lowland belt between the Himalayas and the plain.
  • It shares boundaries with Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan, Assam, Bangladesh, Jharkhand and Bihar. The northern part of West Bengal touches the Himalayan range.
  • In 1977, however, the Communist Party of India (Marxist; CPI-M) won a majority of seats in the state legislative elections and became the ruling party.
  • Undivided Bengal was the first place in India where Sati, polygamy and child-marriage were abolished and widow-remarriage was established by the British laws.
  • Bengali is the only language which takes pride in gifting two countries their national anthems; India and Bangladesh. Both were written by Rabindranath Tagore.
  • Industries of West Bengal – Engineering, automobiles, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, aluminium, ceramics, jute, cotton textiles, tea, paper, leather, footwear etc.
  • The hill stations lying in this geographical region are the favourite tourist destinations in India. The climate of this part remains more or less cold through-out the year.
  • Bengal state was divided on communal lines by Lord Curzon, the then viceroy of India in 1905. This caused great resentment among the masses and it was reunited back in 1911.
  • When India got freedom in 1947, the Bengal was divided East Bengal and West Bengal in between India and Pakistan. East Bengal came in pakistan while west Bengal came in India.
  • West Bengal is the only Indian state which has The Himalayas, The Duars Forests, the vast beaches of The Bay of Bengal, and innumerable rivers. This is called “Accident of Geography”.

Facts About West Bengal Culture

  • When India got freedom in 1947, the Bengal was divided again as East Bengal and West Bengal in between India and Pakistan. East Bengal came in Pakistan while west Bengal came in India.
  • The Muslim-dominated districts, namely, Chittagong, Dacca and part of Presidency and Rajshahi division went to present-day Bangladesh and the state of West Bengal came into existence in 1947.
  • The winner of the legislative elections that year, the All India Trinamool (or Trinamul) Congress (AITC), had been an ally in what was then the Congress Party’s national ruling coalition government.
  • West Bengal was formerly known as Vanga and was spread over a vast area. Ruled by several dynasties from ancient times, the actual history of this region is, however, available from the Gupta period.
  • West Bengal borders with 5 states – Sikkim in north, Assam in east, Odisha in southwest, Bihar and Jharkhand in west. It also shares international boundary with three countries – Nepal ,Bhutan and Bangladesh.
  • The National Museum of Kolkata founded in 1814 is the largest and oldest museum in India and the Asia-Pacific region of the world. The National Library of India, also located in Kolkata is the largest in the country.
  • The former Chandernogor came within the state on October 2, 1954, and the state got its present political boundary when, according to the States Reorganization Act, part of the state of Bihar was transferred to West Bengal.
  • Tourist spots of West Bengal – Victoria Memorial, Indian Museum, Zoological garden, Pareshnath Temple, Kalighat temple, Nakhoda mosque, Jorasanko Thakurbari (birth place of Rabindranath Tagore) and Howrah Bridge (Rabindra setu).
  • Victoria Memorial hall is a popular museum of Kolkata which is made up of white marble. Queen Victoria died in year 1901 and it was built in her memory by Lord Curzon, the then Viceroy of India. It was opened for public in year 1921.

Economic Facts About West Bengal

  • Belur Math was envisaged and founded by Swami Vivekanand. It was designed by Swami Vijnananda who was not only a disciple of Ramkrishna Parmhans but also a civil engineer. Its construction was completed in year 1938. It is also the headquarters of Ramkrishna Mission.
  • The Great Banyan Tree of Botanical Garden Howrah is more than 250 years old. The size of the tree can be understood from the fact that 330 meter long road is built along its circumference. Total area covered by the tree is 18,918 Sq meters (4.67 Acres). The tree still continues to expand.
  • Battle of Plassey was fought on this land between the Nawab of Bengal, Siraj-ud-daula, supported by French allies and the British in 1757. The decisive victory of British not only gave the taxation rights to British in Bengal but it also paved the way to solidify their position in whole North India.
  • West Bengal has second longest international border among all other Indian states. West Bengal shares 2216.7 Km border length with Bangladesh, 197 Km with Bhutan and 96 Km length with Nepal. Thus total international border length of West Bengal is 2509.7 Km which is second longest of all Indian states.
  • West Bengal is a leading state in the domain of rice cultivation. India is one of the largest rice producers, it gets most of its rice production from West Bengal. The presence of the Ganges delta and high temperature and heavy rainfall in the summer as well as the monsoon season provide ideal conditions for rice cultivation in West Bengal.
  • Bandhan Express, an international train runs between Kolkata to Khulna of Bangladesh. This train covers distance of 172 Km in 4-1/2 hrs. The first inaugural journey was on 9th Nov 2017. Besides Bandhan Express, there is one more international train between India and Bangladesh – Maitree Express between Dhaka and Kolkata running since 2008.
  • Howrah bridge which is a cantilever suspension type bridge was built in year 1943. At the time of construction it was third longest bridge of world and now it is sixth longest cantilever type bridge. This bridge is the iconic face of West Bengal. It was renamed as Rabindra setu in 1965. About 1 lakhs vehicles and 1.5 lakhs pedestrians pass through this bridge daily making it busiest bridge of world.
  • Ghum railway station in the hilly region of West Bengal’s northern part of Darjeeling is famous for being the highest railway station in India. The Darjeeling toy train service spreads across from Siliguri to Darjeeling and is operated by Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. It is one of the greatest tourist attractions in the Darjeeling region as it offers a slow train ride along with the scenic beauty of Kanchenjunga.

Social and Cultural Facts About West Bengal

  • The oldest running electric tram system in India as well as the whole of Asia is in Kolkata which adds to the state’s rich culture and heritage. Since 1902, the tram services have been operated across the city, though many other cities such as Chennai, Mumbai, Kerala, Patna among others have shut down their tram services due to traffic congestion. Many tourists come to Kolkata to experience the ride of the heritage tram and relive the age-old charm of the snail-paced transportation which trails across the City of Joy.
  • Did you know the first underground metro railway of India was planned and operated in Kolkata, then Calcutta of West Bengal? The first metro city of India has advanced metro connectivity across the northern and southern parts of the city. Among all the metro cities, Kolkata provides the cheapest metro transportation since its inception. Recently, the state government has also announced the launch of East-West metro connectivity which helps the daily commuters as well as the tourists to reach their desired locations within a short time and with utmost comfort.
  • The oldest Banyan tree to exist in the world resides in the Shibpur Botanical Garden of Howrah, West Bengal. The Great Banyan Tree is believed to be almost 250 years old. Many travel books from the 19th century have had a reference to the tree. The large size of the tree and the great number of aerial roots that grow from the branches and spread vertically to the ground makes it appear like a dense forest rather than as an individual tree. The sight of this magnificent element of nature is an attractive point to many nature-loving tourists visiting West Bengal.
  • After Sardar Patel Stadium in Gujarat and Melbourne Cricket Ground in Australia, Kolkata’s Eden Gardens is the third largest cricket stadium in the world and the second-largest as well as the oldest stadium in India. This stadium has witnessed several iconic matches including the Cricket World Cup finals. These are some of the lesser-known amazing facts about West Bengal. The beautiful charm of heritage and history will be the perfect tourist destination for your next short trip. Besides all this, West Bengal is well-known for its variety of food and mouth watering sweets.
  • Kolkata (then Calcutta) was the first capital of British India. The first governor-general of colonial India, Sir Warren Hastings transferred all important offices to Calcutta from Murshidabad in 1772 after British Raj took over the Mughal in India. For the convenience of the Calcutta port and other favourable geographical locations that benefited the British rulers, the offices were shifted to Calcutta. Following that the construction of railways started and the Grand Trunk Road which connected Calcutta to Peshawar (now in Pakistan) was completed which resulted in the development of business and industry. Later, in 1911 the capital of India was moved to Delhi.
  • Bengal is called as the Land of Renaissance for its contribution to several social reformation and enlightenment of the masses. Many illustrious personalities belonged to Bengal who actively contributed to the freedom fights and brought about a social and cultural change in society for the better. Some of the eminent personalities are Subhash Chandra Bose, Swami Vivekananda, Raja Rammohun Roy, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar to name a few. Bengal was also considered the doorway to European education. The Asiatic Society in Calcutta founded by Sir William Jones in 1784 aimed at serving as a fountainhead to constitute all literary and scientific activities and also supported the promotion of Western culture in India.
  • West Bengal being a hub of educational reformation and an intellectual centre has the oldest colleges and universities in the state. For instance, Serampore University of West Bengal ranks first in the list of oldest universities in India. This 202-year-old institution was the first to be granted the status of a university in the country. The second oldest university in India also belongs to the state of West Bengal. Calcutta University is in the second rank in the list of the oldest universities in India which has garnered accreditation from several educational giants and is affiliated to UGC, NAAC, etc. Calcutta University has a list of notable alumni including Subhash Chandra Bose, Swami Vivekananda, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay, Jagadish Chandra Bose, and others. Nobel prize winner economist Amartya Sen has had been a student of the university himself. The first Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) of India was also founded in Kharagpur, West Bengal. IIT’s are known to be the leading institution in promoting science and technology, not only in India but around the world.

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