|• Mayor||Gangotri Dutta (Congress)|
|• City||48.3 km2 (18.6 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||644 m (2,113 ft)|
|Lowest elevation||122 m (400 ft)|
|Population (2011 census)|
|• City||5,09,709 (Not at all 19,09,709. Please check)|
|• Metro||7,01,489 (Not at all 17,01,489. Please check)|
|• Official||Bengali, English, Hindi language|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Vehicle registration||WB 74 / WB 73 2|
|Lok Sabha constituency||Siliguri|
|Vidhan Sabha constituency||Siliguri, Dabgram-Phulbari|
1The coordinates given here are in metric system and based upon the Microsoft Encarta Reference Library Map Center 20052 The Vehicle Code given here based upon the Siliguri Sub Divisional Court documentations.
Siliguri ( pronunciation (help·info), Bengali: শিলিগুড়ি Nepali: सिलीगुड़ी ) also known as Gateway of North East India is a city in the Indian state of West Bengal. Siliguri is located on the banks of the Mahananda River and the foothills of the Himalayas, it is a principal commercial, tourism, transportation, and educational center of North Bengal. As of 2011, the city had 5 Lakh residents; the urban agglomeration, which comprises the city and its suburbs, was home to approximately 7 Lakhs. Based on Census data of 2011, the city agglomeration had a population of 7,01,489 (Not at all 19,01,489. Please check) making it the most populous city in North Bengal. The city has become an important trade center of West Bengal. The town hosts over 20,000 domestic and 15,000 foreign visitors annually. Siliguri being a commercial hub for the North Bengal, it draws migrants from other states who come in search of livelihood. It is also the transit point for air, road and rail traffic to the neighboring countries of Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh, and to the North East. It is famous for its four 'T's i.e.; Tea, Transport, Tourism and Timber. As of 2011, Siliguri has been witnessing an economic boom in the organized retail, hospitality and real estate industries due to population growth and its strategic geographical location.
The antiquity of Siliguri is shrouded in mystery. According to Sailen Debnath, Siliguri means a heap of stones or pebbles; and in the nineteenth century often the area was called Silichaguri. Before the Treaty of Sagauli in 1816 between British India and Nepal, Siliguri played as a transit point between Nepal and the hilly areas of Darjeeling (Doreje-liang) and ‘Karseong’. Sailen Debnath points out that before the rise of Nepal as an expanding power under Prithvi Narayan Shah (1769-1775), Siliguri area, as belonged to trans-Morang zone (i.e. at the meeting ground of western and eastern Morang), was a part of the southernmost fringe of the kingdom of Sikkim. Just to the south of Siliguri, at Phansideoa there was a river port having trade relations with Malda and Jalpaiguri, thereby with other areas of West Bengal and Bihar. It is known as the Twin city to Jalpaiguri.
Siliguri is located in the Siliguri Corridor or Chicken's Neck - a very narrow strip of land linking mainland India to its north-eastern states. The total area of Siliguri City is 48 km2, most of which lies in Darjeeling district, however a part of the city spreads over neighboring Jalpaiguri district. Siliguri being situated in the plains at the base of the Himalaya mountains, it connects the hill stations such as Gangtok, Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Kurseong and Mirik and North East to the rest of India. It is the largest city of North Bengal. The Mahananda River bifurcates the city. The city is surrounded by Forest ranges, which is why it is very much prone to wild animal entrance. It has the unique and unforgettable geographical feature, Nepal lies in the west of the city 10 km from Bagdogra, Bhutan on the North East about 40 km, Bangladesh in the south 0 km from Fulbari.
Siliguri has three distinct seasons: summer, winter and monsoon. In summer the temperature reaches 35 degree Celsius. Winters are generally chilled and cool when temperature goes down to 2 to 3 degree Celsius. During the monsoons (between June and September), the city is lashed by moderate to heavy rains often cutting access to the hill stations and Sikkim. The city is blessed with natural beauty of flora and fauna. The city has several fault line or uplands nearby it is the reason for most frequent earth quakes. The most dangerous earth quake was recorded in the region on 7 July 1988 which was recorded as 9.7 Richter scale followed by the Earth quake of 19th Sept 2011 which last for 4minutes 17 seconds as per North Bengal University. The climate is suitable for growing tea and the surrounding regions have many tea gardens. The winters are becoming shorter year by year due to urbanization. The city has expanded towards hills which leads to destruction of vegetation, due to which the summers are becoming hot and winters are losing their coldness.
|Climate data for Silguri|
|Average high °C (°F)||23
|Average low °C (°F)||3
|Precipitation mm (inches)||8
|Source: Siliguri Weather|
Siliguri is described as the gateway to the North East of India, Bhutan, Nepal and Bangladesh. The strategic location of the city makes it a base for essential supplies to the above regions. Siliguri has gradually developed as a profitable center for a variety of businesses. As a central hub, many national companies and organizations have set up their offices here. The Hong Kong market near Khudirampally is a chief hub for buying low cost Chinese goods and imported goods, nearby Seth Srilal Market, Sevoke Road and Hill Cart Road is a prominent place to buy daily use goods, and is very popular among people from nearby areas. The four "T"s - Tea, Timber, Tourism and Transport - are the main businesses of Siliguri. Recently many hotels had mushroomed up & a very good increment had been seen in this sector at past.
Bagdogra airport market is one of the shopping hubs in Siliguri. Another important market is at Matigara hut where people from Hills n plains comes for shopping. In recent times, the city has seen the establishment of a number of shopping malls and multiplexes to cater to the growing needs of the populace. The organized retail sector has created a large number of jobs in the region. The presence of Indian army, Border Security Force (BSF), CRPF, SSB and the Assam Rifles around the city have contributed to the growth of the local economy.
Being a tourist destination, the hospitality sector and tourism sector constitutes an important part of Siliguri's economy. Siliguri is the headquarters of FOCIN Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industry of North Bengal. The latest development is the development of malls like COSMOS and ORBIT. The city recently also witnessed the arrival of its first set of multiplexes, CINEMAX in early Dec'09 and INOX at ORBIT on Christmas of 2009.
With the growing economic transactions there has opened up some major banks in the city namely Standard Chartered, HDFC, ICICI, Allahabad, State Bank of India, Axis Bank, UCO, Vijaya, IDBI and UBKG bank. There are also some other banks such as Bank of Maharastra, Bank of Baroda, Canara Bank, Andhra Bank, Sonali Bank.
As a gesture of international co-operation and friendship, the road network of Siliguri is being used by the governments of Nepal and Bangladesh to facilitate easy transportation of essential commodities, such as food grains. The Silk Route of India, i.e. trade route between India and Tibet (China) is accessible only after crossing Siliguri through Nathula and Jelepla. There are also business routes to Bhutan.
In order to develop the city in a planned manner and to make arrangement for the exploding population of the city, new townships of Uttarayon. The Kanchanjunga Integrated park and Shushruta Nagar-Kawakhali township have been proposed to be built around the fringes of Siliguri.
Siliguri is one of the three satellite IT hub and township that the Government of West Bengal is developing. Some leading IT companies have shown interest and some of them have already started operating. Siliguri Jalpaiguri Development Authority has taken an initiative to develop Siliguri into an IT/ITES hub. A Software technology park is under construction which will be completed by December 2012. The likes of Acclaris Hinduza and Firstsource are in operation here since 2005.
Public transport includes cycle rickshaws, auto rickshaws, local buses and tempos. There is no metered vehicular transport. While 6-seater city autos ply between two fixed destinations of about 10–15 km, one can hire petrol-driven auto rickshaws from auto stands at a rate fixed by the municipal authorities. A total of 16,000 rickshaws licensed by the municipal corporation and an additional 55,000 illegal ones ply in this increasingly congested city.
Siliguri Urban Agglomeration has three important railway stations:
1. Siliguri Town - This is the oldest station in the area. Opened on 23 August 1880 during the British Raj, this station used to be the terminus for the trains coming from Kolkata, and the starting point for the world-famous Darjeeling Himalayan Railway for journey to Darjeeling. It is this station where such world-renowned personalities as Rabindranath Tagore, Chittaranjan Das and Subhash Chandra Bose set their feet on their way to Darjeeling and other places.
2. Siliguri Junction - This station was opened in 1949 and used to be the point of departure of all trains to the north-eastern states, until the broad gauge was extended to New Bongaigaon. Siliguri Junction is the only station in India with tracks of all the three gauges used in India.
3. New Jalpaiguri, Siliguri - Opened in 1964 as a totally greenfield project 2.5 km south of the Hasmi Chowk. Initially named New Siliguri (but later renamed New Jalpaiguri as it is located in Jalpaiguri District), this is now the most important station in the region. It is also known as NJP. This station connects Siliguri to every nook and corner of the country by railway. The city has now been expanded and included New Jalpaiguri as one of its ward of Siliguri Municipal Corporation. The Darjeeling Himalayan Toy train is the main attraction of this station. The station is the largest railway station in entire North East with wide parking area and has awarded as cleanest railway of India in the year 2011.
4. Bagdogra, Siliguri- Is situated at Bagdogra, 10km from the city is one important railway terminal in the city.
With the extension of broad-gauge railway track to the Siliguri Junction station, people can now travel directly to the heart of the city without having to alight at New Jalpaiguri. This new broad-gauge track extends to the old Dooars metre-gauge track up to Alipurduar and beyond.
5. Naxalbari, Siliguri- Is situated at further western part of the greater Siliguri city, in the heart of Naxalbari. The railway station has strategic importance as it facilitates not only the people of Naxalbari and Panitanki to connect with the other parts of the country but it also facilitates the people of Nepal(of places like Kakarvita, Dhulabari, Bittamore, etc.) to utilize the railway station as the means of communication with rest of India. The station is to be facilitated with computerized railway ticket reservation center very soon. The new broad gauge track that passes from Siliguri Junction to Aluabari Road (Islampur, Uttar Dinajpur) through Bagdora, Naxalbari, Thakurganj (Bihar) provides an impetus to travel and trade through this part of the country.
Bagdogra International Airport, Siliguri, situated about 15 km away from the city, is the only airport in the region. The airport is connected to Bengaluru, Chandigarh, New Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangkok, and Paro (Bhutan).
The Tenzing Norgay Central Bus Terminus situated next to the Siliguri Junction Railway Station is a major stop for most private and state-owned buses in the region. The Royal Government of Bhutan also operates buses from Siliguri to its border town Phuentsholing. Air conditioned sleeper coach bus service is available from Siliguri to Kolkata, Patna and Assam. Jeeps also link Siliguri to neighboring hill towns of Darjeeling, Gangtok, Kurseong, Kalimpong, Mirik, Jorethang, Namchi, etc.
The Sikkim Government buses run to various destinations of Sikkim from the Sikkim Nationalized Transport (SNT) bus station near the Tenzing Norgay Bus Terminus. There is another bus terminus named P.C. Mittal Bus Stand on Sevoke Road. All buses heading for the Dooars region via the Sevoke Coronation Bridge start from here.
The bus service from Siliguri Court More interconnects the different parts of the city such as Sivmandir, Bagdogra, Naxalbari, Panitanki, Medical, and Chatterhut. The Bus service from Howrah Petrol pump and Jalpaimore connects the city with lower parts of Jalpaiguri district and Cooch Behar district.
Siliguri has experienced a huge surge in population in recent times. Based on Census data of 2011, the city agglomeration had a population of 5,01,489 9Not at all 19,01,489. Please check) . Males constitute 51% of the population and females 49%. In Siliguri, 10% of the population is under six years of age. Siliguri has a majority Bengali population. Other minority communities include Gorkhas, Marwaris and Biharis. Bengali, Hindi, English, Nepali, Marwari, Bihari, Bhojpuri, Assamese, Punjabi, Gujrati, and Tibeten languages are spoken by the local people of Siliguri.
Siliguri has seen waves of massive immigration over the years, most prominent being the migrants from the erstwhile East Bengal during the Partition of India, Nepal and Bihar. In addition, people from Jharkhand and other parts of India have also come to the city in search of livelihood.
Major festivals observed at Siliguri include Durga puja, Chhath Puja, Ganesh puja, Laxmi puja, Saraswati puja, Dipawali, etc. Baishaki mela is one of the oldest mela in Siliguri. The fashion week during winters are celebrated for entertainment. Various concerts are organized by local clubs, which continues from mid-October to mid-December.
The city has a rich cultural exercise in it. Apaer from number group theatres, it hosts many music schools, clubs. In special interest section, there are Automobile club, Laughing club or Cine Club. The city hosts an active and well equipped astronomy club too, Sky Watchers Association of North Bengal
Siliguri has always been the hub of education in the Terai as well as the Dooars region. Apart from the residents of West Bengal, students from neighboring states of Sikkim, Bihar and Assam and neighboring countries of Bhutan, Nepal and Bangladesh come here to pursue education.
Siliguri's schools are run by the state government or private organizations, many of which are religious. Bengali and English are the primary languages of instruction; Nepali and Hindi are also used. Schools in Siliguri follow the "10+2+3" plan. After completing their secondary education, students typically enroll in schools that have a higher secondary facility and are affiliated with the West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Education, the ICSE, or the CBSE. They usually choose a focus on liberal arts, business, or science. Vocational programs are also available. Siliguri Boys High School (SBHS) is the oldest school of the city founded in 1918.
Siliguri has two engineering colleges, viz. Siliguri Institute of Technology & Surendra Institute of Engineering & Management. Siliguri College established in 1950, is the oldest higher educational institution in the city. Other colleges are Suryasen Mahavidyalaya, St. Xaviers College, Bagdogra College, Naxalbari College, Gyan Jyoti College.
The North Bengal Medical College, located in Sushrutanagar, is the sole medical college in the region and is connected to the main city through the 3rd Mahananda Bridge. The University of North Bengal was established in 1962, 10 km away from the main Siliguri city, in Raja Rammohanpur. Approximately 80 colleges are affiliated to the university, with approximately 36,000 and 1,500 students enrolled in graduate and post-graduate courses respectively, every year.
- Newspaper: English-language newspapers in Siliguri include the Times of India (Kolkata editions), The Economic Times, The Asian Age, The Statesman and The Telegraph are widely circulated. Several Bengali newspapers, including Uttarbanga Sambad, Bartaman, Ganashakti, Aajkaal and Pratidin are also available. Leading Hindi daily Prabhat Khabar is also being published from here. International news agencies like Reuters, AFP and AP also have correspondents here.
- Radio: In addition to All India Radio, Siliguri has four private FM radio stations in Nine FM 91.9 MHz, Radio High 92.7 MHz, Red FM 93.5 MHz and Radio Misty 94.3 MHz.
- Television : Siliguri receives almost all the television channels that are received by the rest of India. Apart from the state-owned terrestrial network Doordarshan, cable television serves most of the homes in the town, while satellite television is common in the outlying areas and in wealthier households. Besides mainstream Indian channels, the town also receives some Nepali and Bangladeshi Television Channels. Local news broadcasts, sporting events, and concerts are broadcast live or delayed via cable to many households. DTH services both by government and private companies are also available. Siliguri has three private channels - CCN, AMAR CABLE and HTV.
- Internet: Internet cafes can be easily found in the main market area, served through broadband services provided by BSNL and other private companies like MetroNET (Orange Networks) and Sinet (CCN).
- Mobile phone: The area is serviced by cell phone companies such as Idea, Vodafone, Airtel, Aircel, BSNL, Reliance Communications, Tata Indicom, MTS, Tata Docomo, Virgin Mobile and Uninor. And also has 3G network of BSNL, Reliance Communications, Vodafone, Bharti Airtel, and Aircel.
Table tennis, cricket, taekwon-do, chess and football are the most popular sports here. The Kanchenjunga Stadium is the city's only outdoor stadium and have hosted national and international level matches. The stadium houses the SAI sports hostel for athletes. There is an indoor stadium at Deshbandhupara in the southern part of the city. This new stadium has facilities for lawn tennis, badminton and table tennis as well as other indoor sports. However, the city is best known for being the training grounds for table tennis players. Siliguri has produced a number of national champions like Mantu Ghosh, the Gold Medal winner in the 1996 and 1999 SAF Games, Subhajit Saha and Nandita Saha. In recent years the close proximity of the Teesta river has made Siliguri a destination for the white water rafting enthusiasts. Indian international cricketer Wriddhiman Saha also hails from Siliguri.
- North Bengal Science Centre
- ISKCON Temple
- Salugara Monastery
- Savin Kingdom
- Madhuban Park
- Teesta canal
- Mahananda barrage
- Corronation bridge
- Suryasen park
- Mahananda wild life reserve
- Basil fun world
- North Bengal University
- Sailen Debnath, The Dooars in Historical Transition ISBN 9788186860441
- "IRFCA Trivia:Does any station have all three gauges present?".
- "Bangla immigrants to be pushed back". The Times Of India. 5 November 2001.
- "Lexpo". The Telegraph. Retrieved 15 January 2012.
- "Annual Report 2007–2008" (PDF). Department of School Education, Government of West Bengal. p. 69. Retrieved 10 December 2011.
- "List of schools in Kolkata". West Bengal Board of Secondary Education. Retrieved 10 December 2011.
- Siliguri Radio Stations
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|Quotations from Wikiquote|
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|Textbooks from Wikibooks|
- Siliguri Municipal Corporation
- Siliguri Jalpaiguri Development Authority
- Information on Siliguri at West Bengal Government website