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West Bengal is a state in eastern India. With Bangladesh, which lies on its eastern border, the state forms the ethno-linguistic region of Bengal. To its northeast lie the states of Assam and Sikkim and the country Bhutan, and to its southwest, the state of Orissa. To the west it borders the state of Jharkhand and Bihar, and to the northwest, Nepal.
The region that is now West Bengal was a part of a number of empires and kingdoms during the past two millennia. The British East India Company cemented their hold on the region following the Battle of Plassey in 1757 CE, and the city of Kolkata, then Calcutta, served for many years as the capital of British India. A centre of the Indian independence movement through the early 20th century, Bengal was divided in 1947 into two separate entities, West Bengal - a state of India, and East Pakistan belonging to the new nation of Pakistan.
Following India's independence in 1947, West Bengal's economic and political theatres were dominated for many decades by intellectual Marxism, Naxalite movements and trade unionism. From late 1990s, economic rejuvenation led to a spurt in the state's economic and industrial growth. An agriculture-dependent state, West Bengal occupies only 2.7% of the India's land area, though it supports over 7.8% of Indian population, and is the most densely populated state in India. West Bengal has been ruled by the CPI(M)-led Left Front for three decades, making it the world's longest-running democratically-elected communist government. Many notable poets, writers, artists and performers are native to West Bengal.
is a hill station
(a hill town) in the Indian
state of West Bengal
. It is the headquarters of Darjeeling district
, situated in the Shiwalik Hills
(or Lower Himalaya
) at an average elevation of 2,134 m
above sea level
. Once ruled by the Kingdom of Sikkim
, the Darjeeling region was converted into a hill station by the British East India Company
in the 1800s, and came to be known as the "Queen of the Hills." It remained as a part of the state of West Bengal in independent India. The name Darjeeling is a composition of two Tibetan
words – Dorje
("thunderbolt") and ling
("place"). Hence, darjeeling
translates as "Land of the Thunderbolt".
Darjeeling is famous for its tea industry, which produces blends considered among the world's finest. Once used as a sanitarium for British troops and administrators, the town is now a popular tourist destination. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway connecting the town with the plains was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999. Darjeeling is noted for several western-style public schools attracting students from all over India and neighbouring countries. The town was a major centre of Gorkhaland separatism in the 1980s, resulting in a decrease in tourism-related commerce. Darjeeling has continued to grow in the recent years and the region's fragile ecology is threatened by a rising demand for environmental resources stemming from growing tourist traffic and rapid urbanisation.
Baul singers at Santiniketan during colour festival Holi. Bauls are a group of mystic minstrels from Bengal, which comprises Bangladesh and West Bengal. Bauls constitute both a syncretic religious sect and a musical tradition used as a vehicle to express Baul thought. They can be often identified by their distinctive clothes and musical instruments, like the ektara. Though Bauls comprise only a small fraction of the Bengali population, their influence on the culture of Bengal is considerable. In 2005, the Baul tradition was included in the list of "Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity" by UNESCO.
Ram Mohan Roy, also written as Rammohun Roy, or Raja Ram Mohun Roy (May 22, 1772 – September 27, 1833) was the founder of the Brahmo Samaj, one of the first Indian socio-religious reform movements. His remarkable influence was apparent in the fields of politics, public administration and education as well as religion. He is most known for his efforts to abolish the practice of sati, a Hindu funeral custom in which the widow sacrifices herself on her husband’s funeral pyre.
In 1828, prior to his departure to England, Rammohan founded, with Dwarkanath Tagore, the Brahmo Samaj, which came to be an important spiritual and refirmist religion movement that has borne a number of stalwarts of the Bengalee social and intellectual reforms. For these contributions to the society, Raja Ram Mohan Roy is regarded as one of the most important figures in the Bengal Renaissance.
- ...that the unimportance and consequent emptiness of Kalikata afforded the British room to settle there and establish Calcutta?
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