||This article may require copy editing for grammar, style, cohesion, tone, or spelling. (October 2013)|
|District||North 24 Parganas|
|• Municipality Chairman||Uttam Das|
|• Total||25 km2 (10 sq mi)|
|Elevation||15 m (49 ft)|
|• Density||6,200/km2 (16,000/sq mi)|
|• Official||Bengali, English|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Lok Sabha constituency||Barrackpore|
|Vidhan Sabha constituency||Barrackpore, Naihati, Jagatdal, Noapara, Khardaha|
Barrackpore or Barrackpur (Bengali: ব্যারাকপুর) is headquarters of Barrackpore subdivision in North 24 Parganas district in the Indian state of West Bengal. The town was a military and administrative center under British rule, and was the scene of several acts of rebellion against Britain during the 19th century. It is a part of the area covered by Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority.
Origin of name
The name Barrackpore may have originated from the word the English word barracks as the site of the first cantonment of the British East India Company. Barrackpore was known as `Chanak` and is mentioned by that name in the `Manasa Vijay` written by Bipradas Pipilai (1495). According to another source which is most acceptable, the name originates from " BARBAKPUR". This is mentioned in "Ain-e-Akbari" written by Abul Fazal (1596–97).
The earliest references to the Barrackpore region are found in the writings of the Greek navigators, geographers, chronicles and historians of the 1st century BC to the 3rd century A.D. These authors generally referred to the country of a people variously called the Gangaridae, Gangaridai, Gandaritai etc.
By the 15th and 16th century, Chanak and the other towns in the region became populous river towns. The Statistical Account of Bengal by W.W. Hunter in 1857 mentions the towns and villages of this subdivision on the banks of the Hooghly river as chief trading and marketing centres: "On The Hugli- Calcutta, the chief seat of commerce in India. Baranagar, Dakhineswar, Agarpara, Panihati, Sukchar- Khardah, Barrackpur, Nawabganj, Ichapore, Shyam Nagar, Naihati and Halisahar contain large bazaars for sale of miscellaneous goods."
Under the Mughal Empire, Bengal was divided into Circars, or administrative subunits, each of which was ruled over by a Mahal. The name "Barbuckpur", another name for Barrackpore, is associated with a Mahal in the Ain-e-Akbari. From the 17th century, the area was ruled over by a line of Zamindars from the Nona Chandanpukur, Barrackpore.
The first British barrack or cantonment in India was built here in 1772, providing the town with its name. After the British crown assumed direct control of India, the sprawling Government House and the Government Estate were built in Barrackpore to provide the viceroy with a suburban residence 15 miles (24 km) outside of Calcutta.
Two rebellions against British authority took place in Barrackpore in the 19th century. The first of these was in 1824, led by Sepoy Binda Tiwary. In this rebellion, the mostly high-caste Hindu 47th Bengal Native Infantry refused to board boats to cross the polluting "dark waters" to Burma in the First Anglo-Burmese War. Consequently, British-manned artillery fired upon and "erased" them. In 1857, Barrackpore was the scene of an incident that some credit with starting the Indian rebellion of 1857; an Indian soldier, Mangal Pandey, attacked his British commander, and was subsequently court-martialled. His regiment was disbanded, an action which offended a number of sepoys and is considered to have contributed to the anger that fueled the rebellion. In order to commemorate his sacrifice, a park named 'Sahid Mangal Pandey Udyan' was opened in the serenity of river Hoogly. The Army cantonment of Barrackpore also houses another significant historical landscape, called RCTC area, now populated by the defence quarters.
Barrackpore is located at  It has an average elevation of 15 metres (49 feet). It is located in the Ganges-Brahmaputra delta region in the North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal state. The city is about 23 km from Kolkata (previously Calcutta), and 115 km from the border with Bangladesh. The city is on the eastern bank of the river, Ganges..
The subdivision is served by road, rail and air transport. Moreover, it enjoys the benefit of the Hooghly river, which flows through the western part of this subdivision. The presence of the river paved the way for the establishment of a large number of industries on its banks early in India's industrial development, including jute, engineering, paper, and cotton mills. Barrackpore has also traditionally had a strong small scale cottage industry and handicraft sector. The Army/airforce cantonment is the biggest landscape of the town of Barrackpore. While their Agriculture is the main base of the subdivision's economy, with a variety of crops being produced. Floriculture, pisciculture and horticulture have also flourished to a large extent. Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute has been established at Barrackpore to promote production of fishes mainly in ponds and rivers. A well-developed irrigation system has been constructed in the subdivision to promote agriculture. Low interest loans have also been used to encourage the expansion of farming and the development of agricultural infrastructure.
The primary industry in Barrackpore is jute processing, centered in a number of jute mills on the side of the river. Ishapore Rifle Factory is one of the most important arms factories of India, supplying the requirements of the security forces. Mulazore Thermal Power Plant at Shyamnagar was one of the oldest power plants in India, but was shut down in 2004. Dry cells produced by Exide, and cables produced by Nicco are other noteworthy industrial products.
Barrackpore is also famous for its oldest water treatment plant in the river banks of Hooghly viz., Palta water works spreading over a sprawling stretch of 480 acres (1.94 km2),was the first intake point constructed during 1864-1870 for generation and supply of water and lately due to high demand of water, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation commissioned Indira Gandhi Water Treatment Plant near the same locality to augment the capacity of supply of water to Tallah.
The subdivision also has a strong human resource connected with many colleges and technical institutions, universities. Barrackpore is one of the most developed regions in West Bengal. The literacy rate in the sub-division is above the average standard of the state and district.
As of 2001[update] India census, Barrackpur had a population of 144,331. Men constitute 53% of the population and women 47%. Barrackpur has an average literacy rate of 81%, higher than the national average of 59.5%. 8% of the population is under 6 years of age. Majority of the population is Bengali and Hindu.
The oldest cantonment in India and Police Training Academy in West Bengal are both located in Barrackpore. Barrackpore is also the seat for the Sub-Divisional Court of Northern 24 Parganas District. The Barrackpore Police Commissionerate is responsible for law enforcement in the city.
The Barrackpore sub-division is well connected by road, ferry and railways. With the two National Highways, NH-34 and NH-35, and several major State Highways passing through the area, most towns are well connected with Kolkata, its airport and port, and other important urban and commercial centres of the state. The main international airport in West Bengal, Netaji Subhas International Airport at Dum Dum, is located in the sub-division. Barrackpore is well connected with Shrirampur and Sheoraphuli in Hoogly District by ferry service from Dhobighat and Sheoraphuli ghat.
The Barrackpore Trunk Road (B. T. Road), one of the oldest metal roads in India, connects Barrackpore to Kolkata. From Shyambazar 45–50 minutes bus ride takes you to Barrackpore Chiriamore. The Ghoshpara Road connects the city of Barrackpore with Kanchrapara, a town on the boundary of the subdivision, and goes on to link Barrackpore with the adjacent district of Nadia. The bus terminus located near the sadar-bajar houses the bus-terminus. Several bus routes originate from Barrackpore such as 78 and 85. Route number 78, K9 and other state owned bus routes(JM8, S32) connect Barrackpore with Kolkata city. Route number 85 connects Barrackpore with Kanchrapara directly and JM8 up to Naihati. There are several auto services available for Barasat, Shyamnagar, Dunlop, Kamarhati which can be availed from Barrackpore station area or from Chiriamore on BT road (Near Jayanti Multiplex). With such immense connectivity, Barrackpore serves as the gateway to Kolkata and its suburbs. In a recent announcement Chief minister Mamata Banerjee announced the extension of metro-rail project to Barrackpore.
Barrackpore has been serviced by rail since 1862. It takes about 35–40 minutes by suburban train to reach Barrackpore from Sealdah. Located as they are in a suburban region of Kolkata, most municipalities of Barrackpore are connected by local train with Kolkata. The Sealdah-Ranaghat Line runs through this sub-division and connects to Bongaon, Dankuni, Howrah, Burdwan, Bandel. It is part of the Kolkata Suburban Railway system. The Circular and Metro Railways of Kolkata also offer an accessible means of transit to and from the sub-division.
Accessibility by road is currently being improved by the development of the Barrackpore-Dum Dum Expressway, a project to widen the Jessore Road and widen and strengthen the B. T. Road, and the widening of NH-34 under the North-South Corridor Project.In terms of rail transport, meanwhile, the Metro Rail has proposed to extend its operations to the airport from Dum Dum. Barrackpore has come under the extension planned by the Metro Rail governing body.
Heritage and culture
Barrackpore was home to a number of significant members of the Indian independence movement, many of whom have memorials in the subdivision. He has a memorial in the subdivision. Another significant leader of the movement who lived in Barrackpore is Rastraguru Surendra Nath Bandyopadhyay, who was called the father of Indian Nationalist Movement. The house of Surendranath at Monirampur of Barrackpore has now been converted to Rastraguru Surendranath Institute and Netaji Open University. Gandhi also spent time in the area, and the famous Gandhi Ghat is located on the east bank of the Hooghly. A Gandhi museum nearby has rare collection of books, articles used by Gandhi.
Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyaya, the author of India's national song "Vande Mataram", was born at Naihati, in Barrackpore subdivision. "Vande Mataram" is credited to him. Another noted literary figure of the post independence era, Samaresh Basu, also hailed from Naihati. His noted work 'Ganga' vividly depicts the life of the fishermen of the Hooghly (Ganges) rivers.
Earlier in the area's history, noted Bengali author Bharat Chandra Ray Gunakar lived at Mulajore. He is famous for his "Annadamangal Kavya" written in the medieval period. The subdivision is inhabited by people from a broad range of cultures, with people of various religions, customs, castes and states living together. Mandirs, Masjids, Gurdwara, ashrams and churches coexist there. The Durga puja a festival held annually in the autumn, is the major festival in the area. There is a month-long fair in December–January (Bengali month of Pousha) at the temple of goddess Kali at Shyamnagar on the bank of the Ganges.
A famous Kali Sadhak (Saint devoted to Kali), Ramprasad Sen, who authored many religious songs, was born at Halisahar in this subdivision. The towns of Panihati and Khardaha are also famous for having been visited by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu some 500 years ago. Annual festivals and melas are held at these places and draw large numbers of devotees. Later on these places were further enriched with presence of Sri Ram Krishna Paramahansa, Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, and Mahatma Gandhi.
Gallantry Award winner Army Captain Shekhar Ghosh, who gave his life for the sake of his country, is from Barrackpore.
For entertainments, there is one good theatre hall "Sukanta Sadan" (named after the revolutionary poet Sukanta Bhattacharya) in the main town Barrackpore. There are many cinema halls in Barrackpore and its adjacent localities. A new multiplex named Jayanti cinema has come up recently. There is a very beautiful park "Sahid Mangal Pandey Uddan"(Nishan Ghat) facing the Ganges at Barrackpore. The famous "Gandhi Ghat" is also situated in Barrackpore town, on the bank of the Ganges river. "Gandhi Ghat" and its adjacent "Jawahar Udhyan" are very popular place for picnics and short getaway trips.
Barrackpore is home to numerous schools, colleges and Madrasahs. The world famous schools of Ramkrishna Vivekananda mission, Barrackpore, Barrackpore Govt. High School are situated here. A number of high schools in the district have a history of performing well in All India Level such as Kendriya Vidyalaya Barrackpore(Army). Among the colleges located in Barrackpore are Barrackpore Rastraguru Surendranath College, Mahadevananda Mahavidyalaya,. The district also has two engineering colleges, several polytechnic institutes and an international boarding school, Adamas International School.
The most popular schools in Barrackpore are Kendriya Vidyalaya Barrackpore (Army), Assembly of Christ School, Barrackpore Govt. High School, Monirampur High School,Army Public School, Ramakrishna Vivekananda Mission Vidyabhawan, Debi Prasad Higher Secondary School, Barrackpore Cantonment Girls' High School, DAV Public School, Kendriya Vidyalaya Barrackpore Airforce station, Bholananda National Vidyalaya, Manmatha Nath High School, Barrackpore Girls High School, Assembly of Angels, St. Augustine's Day School, Modern School, Modern English Academy, Douglas Memorial Higher Secondary School, Barrackpore Central Model School, Air Force School, Sishu Angan, First Step Play School (Wireless Gate), Usha Martin School (CBSE) & Naba Nalanda School (CBSE), St. Claret school
There are two colleges within the town of Barrackpore, namely Barrackpore Rastraguru Surendranath College and Mahadevananda Mahavidyalaya, and few others like P.N. DAS College, Palta within the Barrackpore Sub-Division. A new university known as the West Bengal State University  is already operational at Barasat near Barrackpore Sub Hq. As a consequence of the opening of the new university, the famous Rashtraguru Surendranath College and many other colleges have come under its authority from erstwhile control under Calcutta University.
Festival in Barrackpoe are huge esteemed some of the common festivals are Durga Puja,Id and Kali puja. Chiriamore is famous for its Durga puja, Manirampore a sub town is famous for its Kali puja and part of Sadar bazar is famous for id
Barrackpore has one Government Hospital (B.N. Bose Hospital) along B T Road (B.T.- Barrackpore Trunk) and many other in the subdivisions. Major private hospitals in Barrackpore are BMRC, Panacea, Sarada Seva Sadan, Matri Sadan to name a few.
- Official District Administration site
- "Base Map of Kolkata Metroploitan area". Kolkata Metroploitan Development Authority. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-03.
- De, Barun. W.B. District Gazetteer, 24 Parganas ed. 1994.
- Wolpert, Stanley (2009). A New History of India (8th ed.). New York, NY: Oxford UP. p. 224. ISBN 978-0-19-533756-3.
- Falling Rain Genomics, Inc - Barrackpore
- "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Barrackpur.|
Media related to Barrackpore at Wikimedia Commons