Ranaghat

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Ranaghat
রাণাঘাট
City
Ranaghat Junction Railway Station
Ranaghat Junction Railway Station
Ranaghat is located in West Bengal
Ranaghat
Ranaghat
Location in West Bengal, India
Coordinates: 23°11′N 88°35′E / 23.18°N 88.58°E / 23.18; 88.58Coordinates: 23°11′N 88°35′E / 23.18°N 88.58°E / 23.18; 88.58
Country  India
State West Bengal
District Nadia
Government
 • MP Tapas Mandal
Elevation 8 m (26 ft)
Population (2011)
 • Total 235,583(suburban only)
Languages
 • Official Bengali, English
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 741201
Telephone code 91-3473-2xxxxx
Vehicle registration WB-52
Lok Sabha constituency Ranaghat
Vidhan Sabha constituency Ranaghat Uttar Paschim

Ranaghat is a city in the district of Nadia, West Bengal, India. It is situated 74 kilometres north of Calcutta.It situated by river 'Churni'. It is known for its handloom industry, various types of flowers and sweet dishes especially "Pantooa" made by famous "Jagu Maira". The town has spread up along its borders in all corners recently.It is the Capital of Mahakumas of Nadia district.Total population is around 20lakhs in 2011. People from the nearby places do come here for living. It is one of the most important railway junctions in the Sealdah-Murshidabad railway section.International Train "Maitree Express" is passing over from here.

History[edit]

Ranaghat town has existed since the British invaded India. A myth is still prevalent that the name of the town came from the bandit 'Rana Dacoit', who used to pillage this area 500 or 600 years back and he used to give pujas to the goddess Kali to thank Her. A more likely origin for the name of the town comes from Rani (Queen) or Rana (a Rajput warrior) and Ghat (steps leading to the river).

A large percentage of the population are the families of Hindu refugees from Bangladesh, who fled during the 1971 war with Pakistan. There are also many families who had extensive ties to foreign investments in the town.

The Pal-Chaudhuri (Palchowdhury) family, descended from the heroic Krishna Panti, they founded numerous charitable schools (one of the most famous school is Pal Chowdhury High School (HS) established in 1853) and hospitals, and donated much land to the Happy Club.

The Deychowdhury family is well known throughout the district for its prestigious "rathayatra" and for its "Durga puja". Purohit Para Durga Puja famous in Nadia

The town is home to the famous Bengalipeople. Yesteryears film actress Raakhee was born and brought up in a refugee colony in Ranaghat.[1] Athlete Soma Biswas hails from Ranaghat. Poet Joy Goswami born & brought up in the town near Chotobazar area.[2]

Geography[edit]

The town is exactly 74 kilometres north of Calcutta and 26 kilometres south of Krishnanagar, Nadia District headquarters. The Bangladesh border is very close to this town. Ranaghat is located on the banks of River Churni.

Demographics[edit]

In the 2011 census, Ranaghat Urban Agglomeration had a population of 235,583, out of which 119,578 were males and 116,005 were females. The 0–6 years population was 18,575. Effective literacy rate for the 7+ population was 86.10 per cent. Male literacy stands at 89.77% and female literacy at 82.33%[3]

As of 2001 India census,[4] Ranaghat had a population of 68,754.[5] Males constitute 51% of the population and females 49%. Ranaghat has an average literacy rate of 84%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 87%, and female literacy is 80%. In Ranaghat, 8% of the population is under 6 years of age.

Places of interest[edit]

Churni Bridge
Siddeshwari Temple

The following places might be of interest to visitors.

  1. Pal-Chaudhuri House -- The Pal-Chaudhuri House at Ghatak Para is a historical marvel and a beautiful reminder of the historical importance of the Zamindars of Nadia. The house was built over 250 years ago by Krishna Panti, a hero born in a mud hut, who rose to become one of the greatest merchants of Bengal, through his pious good works and honesty. He was given the title Pal-Chaudhuri and became Zamindar over a huge area of Nadia. He built this house with over 300 rooms for his descendants, employing Scottish architects. The buildings, temples and gardens have intricate terra cotta work, and is one of the only such buildings remaining mostly intact.
  2. Churni Nodir ghat -- The bank of River Churni is a pleasant break from the scorching heat of summer months. The recently built bridge over the Churni connects Ainshtola (on the west bank of Churni) to Chotobazar on the east bank.
  3. Siddheshwari Temple -- Temple situated in the heart of the town, Siddheshwaritala, that has existed for over 150 years. Devotees, especially women, pray here regularly.
  4. The Church -- One of the most beautiful churches in West Bengal, ranks very close to the Bandel Church. The fabric works inside the prayer-room and the aesthetic design of the outside wall are remarkable. More about it in the Culture section.
  5. Nistarini Temple -- Another temple near the Happy-Club maidan.
  6. Ranaghat Forest -- Located outside the main township, Ranaghat Forest is a popular picnic spot.
  7. The Dey Chowdhury house is also a very beautiful ancient piece of architecture and is well-kept.
Pal Choudhury Building

Ranaghat has a handful of restaurants & hotels which remain very busy during festivals.A historic restaurant named "Adarsha hindu hotel" carries the taste of all sort of foods of Ranaghat & moreover Bibhutibhusan Bandopadhyay,a famous writer of bengal used name of this hotel for his book.The town is famous for sweets like Pantua, goja, sandesh etc.There are several other good restaurants like Adarsha sweets,Shiba hotel,Parampara dhaba,Heaven restaurant,Mirch Masala etc.Recently a lumpful of roadside Biryani hotels are in vogue.

Economy[edit]

A farmland in Shankarpur, Ranaghat outskirt

Ranaghat is a place of business. Small traders from nearby towns and villages purchase goods from Ranaghat Town Bazar. Both Wholesale and Retail business have developed here. The Economy of Ranaghat and its surrounding region is mostly based on agriculture. Paddy (rice), flour, wheat and fruits are produced by farmers outside the main township. Various dairy products are transported to Kolkata every morning.There is a big market at Nokari only for flowers of various colours.A cold storage had been renovated by former chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya at Nokari,located on east half of the town.

The Department of Food Processing Industries of India is planning to set up a market complex exclusively for flowers in Ranaghat.[6] Ranaghat has one of the capturing market of flowers in West Bengal.[7]

Another industry which is not receiving the government's patronage is handicraft and boutiques. At least 1000 people depend on this for their livelihood. Aishtala (situated on the west bank of river Churni) is a famous place for textile weaving. Moreover ready-made garments are trendy clothes of late became very popular among the teens and youths.[8]

IT infrastructure is getting popularised lately. All the banks in town have been computerised. The town now boasts several ATM counters. ICICI Prudential are setting up an office at Rathtala. Investment banking is creeping into the town at a turtle's pace. Fullerton India has set up an office in the town recently.[9] HDFC Bank has set up a full-fledged branch at Ranaghat very recently.[10]

The land prices in Ranaghat have soared up hugely in last 4 years. Many new ATM centers have come up recently, two of ICICI Bank, and the five of State Bank of india and many more.

Couple of enthusiasts have started a web development company, Innovative Technology Solutions based at Ranaghat. The company provides web solutions to the schools, colleges, and SMEs in the district of Nadia.[11]

Education[edit]

Pal Chaudhary High School
Bharathi High School
Ranaghat College Entrance
St Mary's English School

The town boasts a large number of primary and high-schools and a reputed college for higher education.

Higher-Secondary schools
  • Pal Choudhury High School
  • Brajabala Girls' High School
  • Lalgopal High school - separate sessions for boys and girls
  • Bharati High School
  • Rathtala Colony H.S. School
  • Nasra High School
  • Debnath High School
  • Hemnalini Girls' School
  • Ranaghat Yusuf Instituition
  • Ramnagar Milan Bagan Siksha Niketan
  • St. Mary's English School (ICSE Affiliated)
  • Convent of Jesus and Mary (ICSE Affiliated)
  • Ramakrishna Vedanta Society Vidyapith / Shakti Empowerment Education Program (SEEschool.org)
Primary schools
  • Vivekananda Primary School,Estd-1963,2 no. Mahaprabhu Para.
  • Brajobala girls' primary school
  • kshiroda Sundori Primary School,Mahut Para.
  • Kendriya Vidyalaya, Ranaghat] - Set up in the year 2007, in the outskirt of Churni river
  • Ramakrishna Vedanta Society Vidyapith / Shakti Empowerment Education
  • Malancha Vidyapith
  • Holy Child school
  • Nivedita Academy
  • Anandamohan Prathamik Vidyalaya
  • Dayal Nagar Primary School
  • Mangobindao Primary School
  • Chhobi Memorial
  • Binapani Academy KG School
  • Maa Sarada sishu shikhha niketan
Colleges
  • Ranaghat College
  • St. Mary's College, run by Ranaghat Mandakini educational society
Other
  • 'NIIT Ranaghat' Center 68,Rabindra Sarani, Kamarpara, Ranaghat

Culture[edit]

Festivals[edit]

A pandal during durga-puja
A glimpse of Rathyatra Utsav'09 at night

The town is inhabited mostly by Bengali Hindus. Durga-puja, like in all other Bengali communities, is the largest and most colourful festival and is celebrated throughout the town. Pujas belonging to the old families of Ranaghat are a few hundred years old.Sadu Bauni & Sharmabari are the oldest of pujas,they are of 700years or older,both started by Raja Krishnachandra Rai. The Durga idol at Ghatak Bari is made of cement, a permanent structure which is one of the first of its kind in the region.The big budgeted and grand theme pujas are mainly done by Dey Chowdhury Para Sharbojonin , Panthapara , Talpukrpara & Nabarun sangha.East side of this town is famous for Kali puja.There are several clubs like Friends' club, coopers camp,Mahaprabhu sporting club,Beltala club, Sanghamitra club, Netaji sangha, D.L Roy institute organizing such pujas.other major Hindu pujas are celebrated as well. Rath-yatra is another big festival of the town. Every year millions of people from the town and nearby places come to see the rath, enjoy various rides and have fun during the month of June–July at the happy club maidan & swasthyonnati Math rath-yatra-utsav.Recently some local clubs are started celebrating Jagaddhatri puja. A hindu festival called 'Dol yatra' is celebrated everywhere at the town. A village named 'Harinagar' is famous for 'kirtan',a gathering of hindu religious people in a motive to know God Krishna, is very popular.

The Christan community celebrates Christmas at Begopara Church outside the main township. It is one of the most beautiful churches of Bengal(probably 3rd largest). During Christmas, people from all religions join the party. Moreover, there is a famous mosque at Nasra-para, outskirt of the town.Hindu-Muslim-Christians are living together in good harmony and peace.


A popular cinema hall
RABINDRA BHABAN

Entertainment and sports[edit]

There are two theatres in the city. They are Surendra, Ranaghat Talkies (Dolby-DTS).

Cultural programmes are mostly held in the following places.

  1. Najrul Mancha also known as Aheli. Last time it came in the news when it held the Junior. P.C. Sorcar Magic show.
  2. Rabindra-Bhavan - Mostly used by schools and colleges for their annual function. Some renovation is being carried out with this place. The same was scheduled to reopen in the beginning of 2008. But it didn't happen for multiple reasons. The earlier Rabindra-Bhavan have been demolished, now the Geetanjali cinema hall has been renovated and renamed as the 'Rabindra Bhavan'.

There is a 'Mukta Mancha'(Open Air Stage) of Milan Mandir Club at Harinagar which is a small village in Ranaghat.

Each winter one large cultural program(better known as Melas) takes place in Ranaghat. It is known as 'Ranaghat Utsav'. One more similar event 'Nadia Mela' used to take place earlier. But thaat 'Nadia Mela' doesn't take place anymore."Nadia Hastashilpa Mela" & "Krishi Mela" of West Bengal government also took place for few years now.that was very Popular those Day. Eminent Bengali social and cultural exponents such as Lopamudra Mitra, Arati Mukherjee, V. Balsara and Rupankar have performed at these shows. Now 'Ranaghat Utsav' is considered as the most popular cultural festival in the town.'Ranaghat Book Fair' is started as an inspiration of 'Kolkata Book Fair' for a few years now.

A new branch of L'oreal cosmetics has been renovated near Mahabir super market.

Attempts have been made by the Ranaghat Municipality for regular Blood Donation Camps and active propagation of the Eradicate Illiteracy movement.

Cricket and football are the most popular sports. Karate has been a great interest amongst the youth of Ranaghat since the 1980s. Since then many boys and girls have excelled in this field and brought laurels for Ranaghat even from national and international arena. There are several nature parks cum small playing grounds for toddlers such as Green Park, Happy club, Paikpara park, Coopers park, nasra park etc.

Transportation[edit]

Station
Railway Station

The city is well connected to the Sealdah railway station through the Sealdah-Ranaghat Line. Local and passenger trains are available every half-an-hour. But due to the commuter population explosion in intermediate stations like Chakdaha and Kalyani, don't expect to find a seat during daytime-hours. The Railway Minister recently passed a bill for running an express train in the Sealdah-Lalgola route which would reduce the current 2 hour journey by at least one hour. This project requires significant funding which may prevent it from materializing.

Narrow street of Ranaghat. Not much changed here. Cycle Rikshas are still most common.The new means of communications are Battery operated TUMTUMs

The Railway station at Ranaghat has a long history. Sealdah-Ranaghat rail connection was made during the British Period. This main line was opened on September 1862, during formation of Eastern Bengal Guarantee Railway.[12] Ranaghat-Kalyani and Ranaghat-Shantipur sections were electrified in the financial year 1963-64.[13]

From Ranaghat railway station,[14] trains travel both north and south. Local trains are available to: Krishnagar, Shantipur, Gede, Bangaon and Sealdah. A handful of express passenger trains between Lalgola and Sealdah also stop at Ranaghat. An express train Bhagirathi express runs mainly for the office-goers in the morning. It departs from Ranaghat for Sealdah at 8:50 in the morning and in the evening leaves Sealdah station at 6:25pm for Ranaghat. It takes around 1 and half hour in comparison to the 2 hours taken by local trains. Couple of Ladies special trains; one from Krishnanagar via Ranaghat to Sealdah, another from Ranaghat to Sealdah to be inaugurated in the year 2010.[15]

A Bus at the Old Bus-stand depot

Railway ministries of India are taking steps to make Ranaghat Railway station as a station of national importance. Numerous plans have been considered for the modernization and improvement of the platforms and the surrounding area in the latest Railway Budget of India. But illegal hawkers and traders have occupied a lage portion of the platforms which is the main problem for getting the looks of a Model Station.

The town has three bus-stands, one at Rathtala,one near Ranaghat College and one over GNPC Road oppoaite police phari. CSTC buses plying from Kolkata going to North Bengal also has a stop at Ranaghat on NH-34. Buses ply to Krishnanagar, Hanskhali, Aishmali, Palassey, Bethua and other parts of Nadia district. Some long-distance night buses to north Bengal are also available. People in general, though prefer trains because of ready availability and more convenience.

Auto rickshaw service might be popular in other cities of West Bengal but it is not available here. There are very few private cars.

Newly introduced 'ToTo' car, a type of battery powered small e-rickshaw is gaining popularity in various routes of Ranaghat, especially in east side of the town. But it's not yet recognized by the transportation ministry.

Nearest airport from the town being the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport at Dum Dum, almost 80 km from the town.

Medical facilities[edit]

A nursing home in the town

There are a few government hospitals and private nursing-homes in the town. They are:

  • Ranaghat S.D Hospital,anulia
  • Ranaghat T.B. Hospital
  • Central Nursing Home
  • Life Nursing Home
  • Ranaghat Nursing Home
  • Radharani Sheba Sadan
  • Netrojyoti Eye Hospital

Also some organisations like Lions Club of Ranaghat operates dental clinic, Eye clinic with a minimal charge.

Also some quality diagonostic laboratories are there in the town. Monoroma Polyclinics, Dr. Lal's Patholab are two prominent names.

Irrespective of large number of clinics, hospitals and nursing homes allover, east side of the town lack medical facilities. There is no single nursing home, hospital or good diagnostic clinics on the east side. Traffic jam at two main railway gates of the town remains as problem for emergency patients who has to be admitted immediately to Ranaghat S.D. hospital or any nursing home situated in the heart of the city. Although a railway underpass project has been started near 'Boro Bridge' off late. That will reduce the journey time also will help emergency patients very much.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Story of Rakhee Gulzar Article from Boloji
  2. ^ Joy Goswami Joy Goswami
  3. ^ "Urban Agglomerations/Cities having population 1 lakh and above". Provisional Population Totals, Census of India 2011. Retrieved 2011-10-21. 
  4. ^ "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. 
  5. ^ City Population site estimate
  6. ^ Flower Complex at Ranaghat Food Processing and Horticulture Department
  7. ^ Flower Market in Ranaghat WBIDC Reference
  8. ^ Telegraph Article on Cloths' market at Ranaghat
  9. ^ Fullerton Ranaghat Office
  10. ^ HDFC Bank IFSC Code
  11. ^ Google Map
  12. ^ Station History Article from Rail-India
  13. ^ IRFCA reference History of Railways Electrification surrounding Ranaghat
  14. ^ Train-routes Article on India9.com
  15. ^ [1] Mamata Banerjee inaugurates new projects

External links[edit]

Ranaghat travel guide from Wikivoyage