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West Bengal
Info | Cities | Historical | Beaches | Hilstations | Adventure | Wildlife

Area: 87,853 sq. km
Capital: Calcutta
Population: 67,982, 732 (1991)
Languages: Bengali
Literacy: 57.72% (1991)
Roads: 57,539 kms
Railways: 3,800 kms
No. of Districts: 17
No. of Bank Branches:3,990
Airports: Calcutta, Bagdogra


West Bengal is India's 12th largest state. West Bengal is the gateway to the beautiful north eastern states of India where the visitor can only gaze in wonder at the pristine beauty. Its capital was once the capital of the british empire, that is Calcutta remains the cultural capital of India with a strong tradition in literature and fine arts. West Bengal's beautiful buildings haven't been eclipsed by high reises.

The total area of West Bengal is 88,853 sq kms. West Bengal covers the bottleneck of India in the east, stretching from the Himalayas in the north to the Bay of Bengal in the south. Countries that share international boundaries with West Bengal include Bhutan, Bangladesh and Nepal while Sikkim, Assam, Orissa and Bihar frame its domestic borders.

West Bengal is known for its fertility, which makes is it one of the largest producer of Jute. It is famous for its cotton and silk sarees, Filigree, Gold Jewellery. It's really a great time shopping here. In the heart of its city there is Fort William, surrounded by the maidan all around where sports club flourish. In this expanse of green is the victoria memorial "The British Taj Mahal" Built in the memory of Queen Victoria.

West Bengal is strategically placed with three international frontiers - Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan. From the coastal tropical rain forest at Sundarbans to the great Himalayas, and the green and fertile alluvial heart land in between, West Bengal has a lot to offer tourists. Calcutta the capital of West Bengal is also world's greatest cities and known as the gateway to the East.

Places of Interest
Asansol : Industrial centre. more
Bakreshwar : Hot springs. Hindu pilgrim centre, Temples.
Bethudahari : Wild life sanctuary.
Bishnupur : Temples, Ruins of ancient capital, Fort, Terracotta work.
Bok-khali : Beach.
Calcutta : Howrah bridge, Gardens, Museums, Hindu & Jain Temples, Churches, Mosques, Libraries. Cultural centre, Planetarium, Fort, Sporting centre, Monuments, Zoological gardens, Underground Metro Railway, Tramways, Memorials, Boating, Lakes.
Belur (11 kms) : Ramakrishna Mission Headquarters.
Dakshineshwer (11 kms) : Temples.

The confluence of the Ganga and the Bay of Bengal Sea where the biggest mela in West Bengal is held every year in Makar Sankranti (mid Jan). The Places in West Bengal are Youth Hostel Beach resort - Bakkhali, Dharamshala, Tourist Logues.

Bengalis pride themselves as being the cultural ambassadors of the country, for after all did they not give the world India's only Poet Laureate, Rabendranath Tagore and the famous film maker Satyajit Ray And Calcutta, the pulsating vibrant City of Joy? But there is more to West Bengal than its capital city.

Tucked away in the picturesque valleys of the eternal snow-capped Himalayas are the famous hill resort towns of Darjeeling and Kalimpong and down south at the mouth of the Bay of Bengal are the Sunderbans, home of the Royal Bengal Tiger.

The Lay of Land
A thin strip of land runs like a wedge between Bangladesh in the east and Bihar in the west connecting the northern Himalayan highlands with the plains in the south that reach down to the Bay of Bengal. In the north West Bengal touches the Indian states of Assam (north-east) and Sikkim (north) and shares international borders with Bhutan (north) and Nepal (north-west). To the south-west of the state is Orissa. The southern plains of the state are criss-crossed with a network of rivers, the major ones being Bhagirathi and its tributaries. The Bhagirathi itself, known as Hooghly in the lower reaches, is part of the Ganga. The two great rivers, the Ganga and the Brahmaputra, merge to form great deltas at the mouth of the Bay of Bengal before they drain out into the sea.

There are about 17 districts in West Bengal. They are -
Bankura, Birbhum, Barddhaman, Calcutta, Koch Bihar, Darjeeiling, Hughli, Howrah, Jalpaiguri, Maldah, Medinipur, Mushidabad, Nadia, Puruliya, North Parganas, South Parganas and West Dinajpur.

There are three distinct climatic zones, the coastal region, the interiors and the Himalayan highlands. Temperatures along the coastal belt are fairly hot and humid with no appreciable changes throughout the year. The inland plains experience wide fluctuations, getting to be chilly in winter and scorching in summer. The Himalayan highlands are cold in winter and wonderfully pleasant in summer. The state receives around 100 cm to 300 cm of rain each year.

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