West Bengal : At a glance
(Govt. of West Bengal)
Country : India
Region : East India
Established: 1 November 1956
Capital : Kolkata
Largest City : Kolkata
Districts : 23 total Government
Governor : Keshari Nath Tripathi (July 2014)
Chief Minister : Mamata Banerjee (TMC)
Legislature : West Bengal legislative Assembly (295 Seats)
High Court : Calcutta High Court Area
Total : 88,752 Km (34,267 Sq Mi)
Rural : 85,427.26 Sq. Kms.
Urban : 3,324.74 Sq. Kms.
Population : (2011)Total : 91,347,736
Density : 100/Km (2,700/Sq Km)
Literacy : 77.08%
Official Language : Bengali, English and Nepali Climate
Temperature : Summer- 40°C – 24°C Winter : 26°C – 07°C Monsoons: June to September.
Rainfall : 175 cm Yearly Average •
Rivers : Hooghly, Ganga, Bhagirathi, Mayurakshi, Damodar.
Railway Rout Length : 3867 Kms.
National Highway : 2325 Kms
State Highway : 2418 Kms
Airports : Bagdogra, Kolkata
Major Crops : Rice, Wheat, Jute, Tea, Sugarcane, Pulses, Oilseeds, Fruit, Betal Leaf
Minerals : Coal, Iron, Ore, Silica, Manganese, Lime stone
Industries : Chemical, Coal, Cotton, Textile, Engineering, Iron Steel, Jute, Tea, Leather, Jewellery, I.T., Pharmaceuticals, Locomotive, Biotechnology.
Note : West Bengal is now divided into 23 districts which includes the newly formed . Jhangram, Alipurduar, Kalimpong, Paschim Bardhaman.
The name of the region Bengal (Bangla and Bongo in Bengali language) is of unknown origins. One hypothesis recommends that the word gets from “Bang”, a Dravidian clan that settled the district around 1000 BC. The word may have been gotten from the old kingdom of Vanga (or Banga). Albeit some early Sanskrit writing makes reference to the name, the district’s initial history is obscure.
At times of British Rule over the Indian subcontinent, the Bengal region was partitioned in 1947 along religious lines into east and west. The east came to be known as East Bengal (which later succeeded as an independent nation of Bangladesh) and the west came to known as West Bengal which remained as an Indian state. In 2011, the Government of West Bengal proposed a change in the official name for the state to Poschim Bongo.
History at a Glance West Bengal
Stone age tools geological dating back twenty,000 years are excavated within the state. The region was a section of the Vanga Kingdom, one in all ancient kingdoms of Epic India. the dominion of Magadha was shaped in seventh century B.C., consisting of the province and geographic area regions. it absolutely was one in all the four main kingdoms of India at the time of Mahavira and also the Buddha, and consisted of many Janapadas, or Vedic Realms/kingdoms.Several Vedic realms were present in Bengal region, including Vanga, Rarh, Pundra ans Sushma. During the rule of Maurya dynasty, the Magadha Empire Extended over nearly all of South Asia, including Afghanistan and parts of Persia under Ashoka the Great in the 3rd century BC.
One of the earliest foreign references to geographical area could be a mention of a land named Gangaridai by the traditional Greeks around a hundred B.C. The word Is speculated to have come from Gangakhed (Land with the Ganges in its heart) in reference to an area in Bengal. Bengal had overseas trade relations with Suvarnabhumi. ( Lower Thailand, Burma, the Sumatra, and Lower Malay Peninsula). According to Mahavamsa, Vijaya Singha, a Vanga prince, conquered Lanka (modern day Sri Lanka) and gave the name “Sinhala” to the country.
After a amount of anarchy, the Buddhist Pala dynasty dominated the region for four hundred years, followed by a shorter reign of the Hindu Sena dynasty. Some areas of geographical region were invaded by Rajendra Chola I of Chola kinsfolk between 1021 and 1023 Islam created its start in geographical region throughout the twelfth century once Sufi missionaries arrived. Later, occasional Muslim raiders reinforced the process of conversion by building mosques, madrassas and Sufi Khanqah. Between 1202 and 1206, Bakhtiar Khilji, a military commander from the Old Delhi country, overran province and geographic region as Far East as Citrus limonia, Bogra and therefore the Brahmaputra River.Although he didn’t bring geographic region underneath his management, the expedition managed to defeat Lakshman fractional monetary unit and his 2 sons affected to an area then referred to as Vikrampur (present-day Munshiganj District), wherever their diminished dominion lasted till the late thirteenth century.
During the fourteenth century, the previous kingdom became referred to as the country of geographic region, dominated intermittently with the country of Old Delhi still as powerful Hindu states and land-lords-Baro-Bhuyans.The Hindu Deva Kingdom dominated over jap geographic region once the collapse Sena Empire.The country of geographic region was interrupted by Associate in Nursing struggle by the Hindus underneath Raja Ganesha.The Ganesha family began in 1414, however his successors regenerate to Islam.Bengal came once more under the control of Delhi as the Mughals conquered it in 1576. There were several independent Hindu states established in Bengal during the Mughal period like those of Maharaja Pratap Aditya of Jessore and Raja Sitaram Ray of Burdwan. These kingdoms contributed greatly to the economic and cultural landscape of Bengal. Extensive land reclamations in forested and marshy areas were carried out and trade as well as commerce were highly encouraged. These kingdoms also helped introduce new music, painting, dancing and sculpture into Bengali art-forms as well as many temples were constructed during this period. Militarily, they served as bulwarks against Portuguese and Burmese attacks. Koch Bihar Kingdom in the northern Bengal, flourished during the period of 16th and the 17th centuries as well as weathered the Mughals and survived till the advent of the British.
European traders arrived late in the fifteenth century. Their influence grew until the British East India Company gained taxation rights in Bengal subah, or province, following the Battle of Plassey in 1757, when Siraj-ud-Daulah, the last independent Nawab, was defeated by the British. West Bengal General knowledge
The Bengal Presidency was established by 1765, eventually including all British territories north of the Central Provinces (now Madhya Pradesh), from the mouths of the Ganges and the Brahmaputra to the Himalayas and the Punjab. The Bengal famine of 1770 claimed millions of lives. Calcutta was named the capital of British India in 1772. The Bengal Renaissance and Brahmo Samai socio-cultural reform movements had great impact on the cultural and economic life of Bengal. The failed Indian rebellion of 1857 started near Calcutta and resulted in transfer of authority to the British Crown, administered by the Viceroy of India. Between 1905 and 1911, an abortive attempt was made to divide the province of Bengal into two zones. Bengal suffered from the Great Bengal famine in 1943 that claimed 3 million lives.
Bengal played a major role in the Indian independence movement, in which revolutionary groups such as Anushilan Samiti and Jugantor we’ve dominant. Armed attempts against the British Raj from Bengal reached a climax when Subhas Chandra Bose led the Indian National Army from Southeast Asia against the British. When India gained independence in 1947, Bengal was partitioned along religious lines. The western part went to India (and was named West Bengal) while the eastern part joined Pakistan as a province called East Bengal (later renamed East Pakistan, giving rise to independent Bangladesh in 1971). In 1950, the Princely State of Cooch Behar merged with West Bengal. In 1955, the former French enclave of Chandannagar, which had passed into Indian control after 1950, was integrated into West Bengal; portions of Bihar were subsequently merged with West Bengal. Both West and East Bengal suffered from large refugee influx during and after the partition in 1947. Refugee settlement and related issues continued to play significant role in the politics and socio-economic condition of the state.
During the 1970s and 1980s, severe power shortages, strikes and a violent Marxist-Naxalite movement damaged much of the state’s infrastructure, leading to a period of economic stagnation. The Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971 resulted in the influx of millions of refugees to West Bengal, causing significant strains on its infrastructure. The 1974 smallpox epidemic killed thousands. West Bengal politics underwent a major change when the Left Front won the 1977 assembly election, defeating the incumbent Indian National Congress the Left Front, led by Communist Party of India (Marxist), governed for the state for the subsequent three decades.
Well known Dates of West Bengal History
320-480 AD : The rise of the Gupta dynasty witnessed the second era of conquest of Bengal.
9th Century : Bengal was ruled by the Palas who extended their kingdom upto Bihar, Orissa and Assam
11th Century : Bengal was ruled by the Senas who had their capital in Nadia
April 1757 : Ali Gauhar, a Mughal Prince, invaded Bengal enroute Patna but fled away on learning that clive had been marching to Confront him.
1757 : Battle of Plassey. Siraj-ud-Daulah, Nawab of Bengal was defeated by clive. The victory made the English supreme in Bengal and in a sense ensured their political rule over India.
1764: Battle of Buxar (Bihar). Mir Kasim was routed by the British in the battle of Buxar and the administration of Bengal passed into the hands of the British.
1770 : Bengal Famine.
1774-1785: Warren Hastings became the first Governor-General of Ben gal 1793 : Permanent Settlement of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa.
1854 : Telegraphic Communication set up near Kolkata.
1857 : Kolkata University established; First battle of Indian Independence (10th May). Bengal being the Premier Presidency, Kolkata as such, became the first important centre of National movement.
1861 : Birth of R. N. Tagore.
1863 : Birth of Swami Vivekananda.
1905 : The first partition of Bengal occurred in the period of Lord Curzon
1911 : Partition of Bengal revoked (December); Capital of India transferred from Kolkata to Delhi. 1941 : Death of R. N. Tagore; escape of Subhash Chandra Bose from Kolkata.
1943 : Bengal famine which caused great havoc; Indian National Army organized at Singapore by Subhash Chandra Bose.
1947 : Bengal was divided permanently and this partition of Bengal was carried out as a political division of the linguistic province in the name of West Bengal in India.
Get more important gk topic
in your mailbox
Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.