Quick Basic Facts about West Bengal
- Capital – Kolkata
- Official Language – Bengali and English
- Area – 88, 752 Sq Km
- Area Rank – 14th
- Population – 9,13,47,736
- Population Rank – 4th
- Sex Ratio – 950 females per 1000 male
- Literacy Rate – 77.08 %
- No of districts – 20
- Assembly seats – 295 (Unicameral)
- Lok Sabha seats – 42
- Rajya sabha seats – 16
- Created On -15 Aug 1947
- First Chief Minister – Prafulla Chandra Ghosh
- First Governor – C Rajgopalachari
- Highest Peak – Sandakphu or Sandakpur in Darjeeling District, Height 3636 mt
Historical Facts about West Bengal
- 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.
- Bengal is also called as Land of Renaissance as many social reforms and awakening was inspired to the masses by several elites like Swami Vivekanand, Raja Ram Mohun Royand Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar. This awakening lead by social reforms ultimately paved the way for independence struggle in not only Bengal but also in India.
- 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.
- Up to 1912 Calcutta (now Kolkata) was the capital of India.
- 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.
Geographical Facts about West Bengal
- 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.
- 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.
- This state was ruled by democratically elected Communist government for 34 years starting from 1977.
- Bhagirathi, called Hooghly in its lower reaches is a branch of Ganga which provided kolkata its link to sea.
- 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.
- South 24 Pargana district of West Bengal is largest by area. North 24 Pargana is largest by population.
Social and Cultural Facts about West Bengal
- 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.
- 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.
- Chhau and Rabindra Nritya are the main dances of state.
- Durga Puja and Kali puja are the most important festivals. Diwali, Vasant panchami, Lakshmi puja, Holi etc are also celebrated.
- 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.
Economic Facts about West Bengal
- 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.
- Industries of West Bengal – Engineering, automobiles, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, aluminium, ceramics, jute, cotton textiles, tea, paper, leather, footwear etc.
- Murshidabad and Baluchari silk sarees are famous products of west bengal.
- Agricultural Products of West Bengal – Rice, Wheat, pulses, oilseed, potato
- Kolkata’s Metro rail project which was first of its type in India, was opened for public service in 1984.
- Kolkata and Haldia are two main ports of 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).
Popluar Persons from West Bengal
- Intellectuals and Authors– Swami Vivekanand, Iswar Chandra Vidyasagr, Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, Rabindranath Tagor, Pramathma Chaudhury, Ashutosh Mukherjee, Sharat Chandra Chatterjee, Rajshekhar Basu, Satyajit Ray, Jhumpa Lahiri, Amitav Ghosh, Sukumar Sen, Sumit Sarkar etc.
- Arts, Science, Technology – Satyendra Nath Bose, Jagdish Chandra Bose, Amartya Sen, Meghnad Saha
- Religion and Social Reform – Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Ramkrishna Paramhans, Shri Arubindo
- Freedom Fighters – Subhash Chandra Bose
- Music – Pandit Ravishankar (sitar), Ali Akbar Khan (Sarod), Pannalal Ghosh (flute), Pandit Shankar Ghosh (tabla)
- Film Directors – Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen, Tapan Sinha, Basu Bhattacharya, Rituparno Ghosh,
- Film Actors – Mithun Chakraborty, Joy Mukherjee, Rahul Roy, Tapas Pal, Soumitra Chatterjee
- Film Actresses – Aparna Sen, Devika Rani, Sharmila Tagore, Moon Moon Sen, Mousmi Chatterjee, Rakhi, Raima Sen, Rimi Sen, Riya Sen.