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West Bengal Travel Guide

Updated on : Oct 17, 2023 11:24 AM
West Bengal Travel Guide


West Bengal is the fourth most populated city if the country. It is located in the East of India near the Bay of Bengal. The state, land of 24 Parganas, is bordered by Bangladesh in the east, Nepal and Bhutan in the North. It also shares its boundaries with five Indian states, including Odisha, Bihar, Jharkhand, Sikkim and Assam. The third-largest city of the country, Kolkata is the capital of West Bengal. West Bengal is surrounded by Darjeeling Himalayan hill region in the North, delta of Ganges, the coastal Sundarbans and the Rarh region.

The official language is Bengali, but even other minor and tribal languages like Santali are spoken. All major languages of India are spoken in Kolkata.

West Bengal, before independence, was known as ‘Vanga’ and was a vast area spread across the deltas of Ganges. It has been ruled by several dynasties and the actual history of this land is recorded since the period of Gupta reign. The prosperity, recognition and importance of the state increased only after the British East India Company set foot on its soil.

In 1882, when Bankim Chandra Chatterjee composed “Vande Mataram”, he was primarily expressing all of West Bengal – its beauty, rich culture and tradition, roots of Indian values. The richness and uniqueness of essence that makes West Bengal, unites its population together, promoting unity in diversity and offers much geographical variety to tourists coming from all over the world.

The earth of West Bengal is rich in minerals, like phosphate, fire clay, limestone, copper, iron, silica, manganese, quartz, and sandstones. Due to this few industries have been established here. Steel and alloy plants in Durgapur and Burnpur are some of the important industries in the state. Settled near the deltas of Ganges, its highly fertile soil and is favourable for the cultivation of cotton, jute, tea, timber and other major crops.

Since West Bengal is located along the coast of Bay of Bengal, the fishery is one of the main occupations. The cuisines from this region are known all over for its varied taste and flavour. The fish preparation of Bengal makes for the culinary delight for non-vegetarian food lovers. Different varieties of fishes are prepared using mustard oil and seeds, and with curd as a marinating salve. West Bengal is famous for its desserts made from milk, which include rosgulla, Sandesh, malai somsom, chana mukhi and raj bhog.

All the festivals that appear on the Hindu Solar calendar are celebrated here, but Durga Puja holds the ultimate importance and attention. Durga Puja goes on for seven days, extravagantly, and the preparations a month prior. Besides Durga Puja, Saraswati Puja, Kali Puja, Laxmi Puja and Janmashtami hold special significance in Bengal.