West Bengal

West Bengal Howrah Bridge

West Bengal state of eastern India region is a hotbed of tourism with Kolkata (cultural and cosmopolitan city), Sunderban Wildlife Sanctuary (home of Royal Bengal tiger), Darjeeling (Himalayan hill station famous for tea gardens) and religious places like Kalighat & Belur Math.

West Bengal is one of the prime states of India. The fourth most populous state of India and the 6th largest contributor in India's net GDP, West Bengal province is the birth place of poet Rabindranath Tagore, who composed the national anthem 'Jana Gana Mana'. Bordered by the countries of Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan and touched upon by Indian states of Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar, Sikkim, and Assam; Bengal (West as well as East), an ancient site of several Vedic kingdoms, is also the birth place of other well-known personalities like Ramakrishna Paramahansa, Swami likeVivekananda, Jagdish Chandra Bose (scientist), Subhash Chandra Bose (freedom fighter) and others.

The history of West Bengal dates back to Vedic age. West Bengal was part of Mauryan Empire in 200 BC and Gupta Empire in 400 AD. Successively, the region has been ruled by rulers of Pala and Sen dynasties. After that Muslim invaders established their Sultanate here till the advent of the British. After the Battle of Plassey in 1757, the region, succumbed to the British and remained under British rule till 1947. Calcutta was the then capital of India under the British till 1914, when the capital of colonial India shifted to New Delhi.

East Bengal now is an independent country called Bangladesh after partition of Pakistan. Kolkata, being the largest city, is capital of West Bengal. Spread over 88,750 square km, the state of West Bengal is long and narrow, running from the delta of the Ganges river (called Hoogly in West Bengal) system at the Bay of Bengal in the south, to Darjeeling in the Himalayas in the north. The main language spoken here is Bengali. Agriculture is the main occupation of about 60% of the population of West Bengal. The crops grown here are pulses, oilseeds, barley, betel leaves, tobacco, sugarcane etc. About 13.5% of total area is forest.

The Bengal had been first occupied by the British and remained under their control till 1947. As a result, prolonged exposure to the British rule, West Bengal became most pronounced centre of scientific proclivity, institutional education and social reforms against the maladies in Hindu society due to religiously tormenting Islamic rule and oppressive British rule. The Bengal Renaissance contributed a lot in Indian freedom struggle.

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