West Bengal- Long before Calcutta became a jewel of the east, this richly fertile Ganga delta criss crossed by innumerable rain swollen rivers was the cradle of many a flourishing civilization down history. Bengals’s heritage of many splendoured culture continues to this day. Calcutta has an exhilaratingly rich cultural life that nurtures and patronises young talent, be it in neo classical and classical music and dance, theatre, folk music, fine arts, literature or handicrafts.
The magapolis is also the centre of trade and commerce for the whole region as well as the gateway to the north eastern States. The Bengal landscape is extraordinary in its sheer range of diversity. The mighty Ganga completes its 2500 km long odyssey and tumbles into the bay of Bengal, fragmenting southern Bengal coast with innumerable estuaries, thus creating the dark, dance fen of the Sundarbans, one of the last few virgin mangrove forests left in the world and the home of the famed royal Bengal Tiger. The many rivers here not only nurture rich paddy lands, they are the arteries of trade transport. The state stretches all the way up to the foothills of the Himalayas, snuggling many delightful hill stations where the Kanchenjunga and other majestic peaks dominate the skyline.
Tourist Places in West Bengal
Calcutta– a 300 year old city, the seat of British administration until the capital was moved to Delhi. One of the largest cities in India, with British architecture still strong. Fort William, Victoria Memorial, St. Paul’s cathedral, Nehru children’s Museum, India Museum, Birla Planetarium, Kali temple, Radha Gobinda temple of ISKCON, Botanical Gardens, Academy of Fine Arts. Rabindra Sadan, Ramakrishna Mission Ashram, Zoological Garden. Airport: Calcutta.
Dakshineshwar – Kali temple near Belur, where the philosopher Ramakrishna Paramhansa lived and preached. Vivekananda because his disciple and founded the worldwide humanitarian Ramakrishna Mission also based nearby. Airport: Calcutta.
Shantiniketan – Tagore’s international university. Airport: Calcutta.
Vishnupur – famous for its 17th and 18th century terracotta temples.
Mirilk, Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Ghoom, Kurseong –hill resorts. Airport: Bagdogra.
Jaldapara, Sundarbans – Wildlife sanctuaries. Sundarbans is the biggest estuarine mangrove forest in the world and still quite primordial.
Nabadweep – built on a group of island in the Ganga, it is the seat of the’ bhakti’ cult of the Vaishnavaite Sri Chaitanya.
Murshidabad – Ruins of the last Nawabdom in Bengal.
Digha– beach resort.
List of Districts and Headquarters of West Bengal
|District||Headquarters||Area (km²)||Official website|
|Cooch Behar||Cooch Behar||3,387||www.coochbehar.gov.in/|
|North 24 Parganas||Barasat||4,095||www.north24parganas.nic.in/|
|South 24 Parganas||Alipore||9,955||www.s24pgs.gov.in/|
|States||Capital||Languages||Year of Establishment|
|Andhra Pradesh||Hyderabad||Telugu and Urdu||1951|
|Arunachal Pradesh||Itanager||Miji, Apotanji, Merdukpen, Tagin,Adi, Honpa, Bangini-Nishi||1972|
|Goa||Panaji||Marathi and Konkani||1961|
|Himachal Pradesh||Shimla||Hindi and Pahari||1948|
|Mizoram||Aizawl||Mizo and English||1972|
|Jammu & Kashmir||Srinagar (Summer),Jammu (Winter)||Kashmiri,Dogri, Urdu, Ladakhi,Pahari,Punjabi and Dadri||1948|
|Meghalaya||Shillong||Khasi, Jaintia and Garo||1970|
|Nagaland||Kohima||Ao, Konyak, Angami, Sema and Lotha||1963|
|Rajasthan||Jaipur||Rajasthani and Hindi||1948|
|Sikkim||Gangtok||Bhutia, Hindi, Nepali, Lepcha, Limbu||1975|
|Tripura||Agartala||Bengali, Tripuri, Manipuri, Kakborak||1956|
|Andaman & Nicobar||1956|
|National Capital Territory of Delhi||2001|
|Dadra and Nagar Haveli||1941|
|Daman and Diu||1987|