|Ichapore / Ichapur / Ishapore|
|District||North 24 Parganas|
|Elevation||12 m (39 ft)|
|• Official||Bengali, English|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Telephone code||91 33|
Ichapore (also written as Ichapur) (Bengali: ইছাপুর) is a town, near the River Ganges, in Barrackpore subdivision of North 24 Parganas district in the Indian state of West Bengal. This town is famous for two ordnance factories, the Ishapore Rifle Factory (RFI) and the Metal and Steel Factory (MSF) of the gigantic Ordnance Factories Board. The town has a population of around 100,000 and is densely populated.
This town is also referred to as Ishapore with anglicized spelling. The majority of the population in Ichapore are Bengalis and they speak Bengali as their native language. The town is connected to Kolkata and nearby cities by railroad as well as paved highway. The distance between Ichapur and Sealdah Railway Stations is approximately 27 km. The various neighbourhoods in Ishapore are known as Indrapuri, Maniktala, Majherpara, Chandasaheb More, Mayapally, Prantik, Debitala, Doltala, Anandamath, Mathpara, Nawabganj, Northland, Eastland, Kanthadhar and Badamtala.
Nawabganj, by the river, has one of the oldest residential buildings of the city. As the name implies, the Nawabs (local Kings) had their residence in this area. There are still relics from the old days in this part of the city. In the adjoining Park area, Cannons from the 18th century can still be found. One of the most popular fair in this area is Jhulan Mela that takes place in Nawabganj during the month of August–September. This tradition is more than hundred years old and draws thousands of people and businesses to this fair. Rows of businesses set up their stalls along the main road of Nawabganj. The fair ends on the day of Janmashthami. Nawabganj is also the place where traditional Durga idols are immersed in the river Ganges on Dashami ending Durga Puja celebration.
There are numerous schools which caters to the need of the residents viz., Nawabgunj High School, Rifle Factory High School, Anandamath Vidyapith, Northland High School, Bibhukinkar High School and Sridhar Banshidhar High School, two exclusively Girl's schools and two Kendriya Vidyalayas (under CBSE board). There are trade schools run by the ordnance factories. Some neighbourhoods like Anandamath and Nawabganj run their own public libraries. As for place of worships, there are few Hindu Temples, one Mosque (Muslim) and one Gurudawara (Shikh). The nearest Christian Church is in Barrackpore.
The two Ordnance factories, the lifeline of the city, have been a model of "corporate responsibility" for over a hundred years. They provide excellent amenities for their workers including quality housing and extensive recreational facilities. The Metal and Steel Factory (MSF) is a unique facility that supplies metallic parts to other Ordnance factories throughout the nation. The Rifle Factory (RFI) makes rifles and guns for the Defense sector and for recreational purposes. Weapons tested and later produced here for the Indian Army included the Vickers-Berthier light machine gun, turned down by the British Army in favour of the Bren gun on performance grounds. The largest production was of the Indian version (in various guises and marks) of the Lee Enfield rifle. The recent model from the stable of Ishapore Rifle Factory is famous INSAS which is the mainstay in Indian Army as well as other security forces of India. Hotels are few in numbers though guest houses are available for business visitors.
Ichapore is located at . It has an average elevation of 12 m (39 ft).
Banks and Financial Houses
There are few Banks and financial houses that serve the people living in Ishapore and nearby areas. While State Bank of India is the busiest of all, other banks like Allahabad Bank, Punjab National Bank, Canara Bank also have their presence here. SBI Branch opposite Northland Bazar, PNB near Badamtala and Axis Bank in Kanthadhar & Store Bazar have ATM facilities. Allahabad Bank at Kanthadhar and Canara Bank near Badamtala are also easily accessible. United Bank of India has now opened a new branch in Charaktala and have ATM facility located at Anandamath. The Private institutions do business mainly in the investment area.
Ichapur is well connected to the nearby city Kolkata by various means of transportation. The most common transport link is through the Sealdah-Ranaghat Line of the suburban railway system which is also the efficient of all. Other available local train options are: Sealdah-Naihati, Sealdah-Kalyani, Sealdah-Gede, Sealdah-Krishnanagar, Sealdah-Katwa, Sealdah-Barddhaman, Majherhat-Naihati & BudgeBudge-Naihati. Frequency of each sub urban train is of 5–10 minutes depending on the time of the day. The railway station provides basic amenities to the commuters such as Drinking water, Washroom and overhead sheds.It is also well connected to other cities by roadways and frequent buses(route no. 85 and other private buses) and autorickshaws are available for commuters.Cycle rickshaws are also in numbers to cover shorter distances. Though there are shortages of hired cabs but that hardly effects the transport communications.There is a petrol pump near maniktala to serve the vehicles plying on GB Mondal road which is the main arterary of transport. A newly built highway has been set up on the eastern front of the town which connects the town to the airport on one end and another major town, Kalyani, on the other.
Culture and Festivals
Almost 80% of the population consists of Bengalis, most of them from East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) who had crossed the border during partition. Local Bengalis are also found in numbers. Being a place with two huge factories, people from various parts of the country also came and got settled here. While majority of migrants are from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, a decent number of people can be found from other parts of the country too. Though the population is diversified in nature but still there are no instance of communal violence. People are very hospitable and live in peace and harmony. As majority of the city population belong to Hindu faith, Durga Puja is the most visible of all festivals. Other notable festivals are Diwali/Kalipuja,Jagaddhatri Puja, Saraswati Puja, Dol jatra/Holi, Rakhi, Eid and Christmas.
- "Ichapore, India Page". West Bengal. Falling Rain Genomics. Retrieved 2008-08-19.
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