West Bengal

From Academic Kids

Capital Kolkata
Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi
Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya
Area 88,752 km
 - Total
 - Density
Ranked 4th in India

80,221,171 (2001)

Literacy rate:
 - Total
 - Male
 - Female

Urbanization: 28.03%

West Bengal (পশ্চিম বঙ্গ, Pścim Bng) is a state in the northeast of India. Neighbouring regions are Nepal and Sikkim to the northwest, Bhutan to the north, Assam to the northeast, Bangladesh to the east, the Bay of Bengal to the south, Orissa to the southwest and Jharkhand and Bihar.


History of West Bengal

For more on Bengal's history prior to 1947, see Bengal.

Bengal was ruled by the Hindu Pala dynasty from 750 to 1161. The Palas were eclipsed by the Sena dynasty, who ruled Bengal from 1095 to 1260. Bengal came under Islamic rule starting in the 13th century, and developed into a wealthy centre of trade and industry under the Mughal Empire during the 16th century. European traders had arrived in the late 15th century and eventually the British East India Company controlled the region by the late 18th century, from which the British extended their rule over all of India.

When Indian independence was achieved in 1947, Bengal was partitioned into predominantly predominantly Hindu West Bengal and predominantly Muslim East Bengal. East Bengal later became known as East Pakistan, and became the independent nation of Bangladesh in 1971. On 2 October 1955, Chandannagar, a former enclave of French India which had passed into Indian control after 1950, was integrated into West Bengal state.

West Bengal State

List of political parties in the state

The capital city of West Bengal is Kolkata. The primary language of West Bengal is Bengali. Since 1977, the state has been ruled by Left Front, who repeatedly won democratic elections.


West Bengal is composed of 18 districts


The climate of West Bengal is tropical. The land is mostly plains, except for the northern region, which is a part of Himalayan Mountain Range. Darjeeling, in the north is well known for its high quality teas. At the south of West Bengal the Sundarbans delta on Ganga is a part of the world's largest river delta (other portions lie in Bangladesh). This region is famous for the Bengal Tiger.


Bengal is one of the most important cultural hubs of India. There was a saying, "What Bengal thinks today, India thinks tomorrow". It is the birthplace of India's only Nobel laureate in literature, Rabindranath Tagore. The world famous film director Satyajit Ray was also born here. Apart from this, Bengal gave birth to innumerable well known poets and writers who enriched the world literature ceaselessly. Some prominent members include Kazi Nazrul Islam, Michael Madhusudan Dutt, Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay and Bibhutibhushan Bandapadhay. Also from West Bengal is the famous Indian singer in films, Kishore Kumar ( a Bengali by lineage but born in Khandwa, Madhya Pradesh, India), as well as the world-famous sitarist Ravi Shankar.

Famous People

During independence movement, Bengal took a leading and especially militant role. Subhash Chandra Bose, who was belovedly called "Netaji", is still considered an exemplar of courage for Indian youth. Satyendra Nath Bose, from whom the boson particle and Bose-Einstein theory get their names, was also a Bengali. Rabindranath Tagore also won the Nobel Prize in Literature for "Gitanjali" in 1913. Amartya Sen, who won Nobel Prize in Economics in 1998 is a Bengali.

In the religious realm, Bengal gave birth to great Hindu sages and saints like Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (a 15th century major Vaishnava figure), Ramprasad Sen (a famous Kali Bhakta and poet) and Ramakrishna Paramhansa; others include Swami Vivekananda (the most renowned of Shri Ramakrishna's disciples), Śrī Aurobindo Ghosh, and Prabhupada A.C. Bhaktivedanta the founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON).

Famous athletes from this state include the current Indian Cricket Captain, Sourav Ganguly and tennis star Arpon Ray.

See also


The vast majority of the people in West Bengal are the Bengalis. Minorities of Biharis are scattered throughout the country, and Sherpa and ethnic Tibetans can be found in regions bordering Sikkim. The Nepali-speaking Gorkhas of Darjeeling district campaigned for a separate state, and have now obtained autonomy within West Bengal as the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council.

External links

Template:Indiabn:পশ্চিমবঙ্গ da:Vestbengalen de:Westbengalen et:Lne-Bengal fr:Bengale occidental hi:पश्चिम बंगाल pt:West Bengal fi:Lnsi-Bengali lt:Vakarų Bengalija sv:Vstbengalen uk:Західний Бенгал zh:西孟加拉邦


Academic Kids Menu

  • Art and Cultures
    • Art (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Art)
    • Architecture (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Architecture)
    • Cultures (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Cultures)
    • Music (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Music)
    • Musical Instruments (http://academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/List_of_musical_instruments)
  • Biographies (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Biographies)
  • Clipart (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Clipart)
  • Geography (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Geography)
    • Countries of the World (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Countries)
    • Maps (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Maps)
    • Flags (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Flags)
    • Continents (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Continents)
  • History (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/History)
    • Ancient Civilizations (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Ancient_Civilizations)
    • Industrial Revolution (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Industrial_Revolution)
    • Middle Ages (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Middle_Ages)
    • Prehistory (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Prehistory)
    • Renaissance (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Renaissance)
    • Timelines (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Timelines)
    • United States (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/United_States)
    • Wars (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Wars)
    • World History (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/History_of_the_world)
  • Human Body (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Human_Body)
  • Mathematics (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Mathematics)
  • Reference (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Reference)
  • Science (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Science)
    • Animals (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Animals)
    • Aviation (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Aviation)
    • Dinosaurs (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Dinosaurs)
    • Earth (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Earth)
    • Inventions (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Inventions)
    • Physical Science (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Physical_Science)
    • Plants (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Plants)
    • Scientists (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Scientists)
  • Social Studies (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Social_Studies)
    • Anthropology (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Anthropology)
    • Economics (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Economics)
    • Government (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Government)
    • Religion (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Religion)
    • Holidays (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Holidays)
  • Space and Astronomy
    • Solar System (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Solar_System)
    • Planets (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Planets)
  • Sports (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Sports)
  • Timelines (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Timelines)
  • Weather (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Weather)
  • US States (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/US_States)


  • Home Page (http://academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php)
  • Contact Us (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Contactus)

  • Clip Art (http://classroomclipart.com)
Personal tools