The land of art, culture, poetry and spirituality, West Bengal is an Eastern state of India with Kolkata as its capital. It extends from the Himalayas in the North to the Bay of Bengal in the South. It lies nestled between Bangladesh on its East, Jharkhand and Bihar on its West, Assam, Sikkim and Bhutan to its North and The state of Orissa to its South. West Bengal occupies an important place in the Freedom movement of India. Kolkata in West Bengal was the capital of the British Empire in India for a long time. West Bengal is a primarily agricultural state and is one of the most densely populated states of India. During 1947 Bengal was partitioned between East and West Bengal on the basis of religion. The Muslim dominated areas of East Bengal went to Pakistan and the Hindu dominated areas of West Bengal were retained as an Indian state. West Bengal is a vibrant place a rich history and heritage, culturally rich and diverse people a wonderful cuisine and a breathtaking and varied landscape to boast.
Bengal was earlier part of the powerful Magadh Empire and was home to the people who spoke Bangla as their local language. This land was ruled by the Gupta Empire from the 3rd to the 6th century AD. Later rulers included the Buddhist Pala dynasties and the Hindu Sena dynasties until the Muslim conquerors established their stronghold here.In the sixteenth century the Mughals spread their wings here. European traders arrived in the late fifteenth century and after the battle of Plassey in 1757 they established their rule here. The first struggle for Indian independence started in Barrack pore in West Bengal in the year 1857.This lit the fire for the struggle for freedom of India. Even during the Indian independence movement Bengal played a great part and was home to great leaders like Subhash Chandra Bose and freedom fighters like Khudiram Bose, Benoy, Badal, Dinesh and Matangini Hazra.
The state of West Bengal has a total area of 88752 square kilometers and has a varied landscape which includes parts of the Himalayan ranges, the mangrove forests of Sunderbans,the forests of Jaldapara and Gorumara and the beaches of Digha,Bakkhali and Shankarpur.The Ganges which is known as the Hooghly here is the main river of west Bengal. The climate in West Bengal is generally hot and humid with pleasant winters.
There are 19 districts in West Bengal and Kolkata is the capital. Kolkata is also referred to as the cultural capital of India. Siliguri, Durgapur, Haldia, Malda, Burdwan and Howrah are other important cities. The major occupation of the people in West Bengal is architecture although the cities are home to various industries .Bangla is the major language spoken in West Bengal. The natives of Bengal are known as Bengali, West Bengal has a unique mix of people from different cultural backgrounds such as Marwaris, Nepalis, Biharis and even tribes like the Santhals and Rajbangshis.Durga Puja celebrated in Late September or October is the most important festival of the state. Dol Jatra, Poila Boishakh, Kali puja and Saraswati puja are other major festivals celebrated here. Bengal is famous for its sweets more specifically the Rosogolla which enjoys a fan following the world over.
Bengal is also home to great literature and art.Rabindranath Tagore, Kazi Nazrul Islam, Bankim Chandra Chatterjee and Michael Madhusudhan Dutt are some of the major poets of Bengal. Great spiritual leaders Like Chaitanya Mahaprapbhu,Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Ma Sarada Devi, Swami Vivekanada,Paramhansa Yogananda,Rishi Aurobindo and Srila Prabhupada of ISKCON also have their roots in Bengal. Another unique feature of Bengal is its obsession with football. East Bengal and Mohun Bagan are the two major football clubs and the rivalry between the teams and supporters is legendary.
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