Birpara

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Birpara
বীরপাড়া
Town
Nickname(s): BRP
Birpara is located in West Bengal
Birpara
Birpara
Location in West Bengal, India
Coordinates: 26°30′N 89°30′E / 26.50°N 89.50°E / 26.50; 89.50Coordinates: 26°30′N 89°30′E / 26.50°N 89.50°E / 26.50; 89.50
Country  India
State West Bengal
District Alipurduar
Population (2011)
 • Total 42,080
Languages
 • Official Bengali, English
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 735204
Telephone code +91 3563
Vehicle registration WB 70
Nearest city Siliguri
Lok Sabha constituency Alipurduars
Vidhan Sabha constituency Madarihat
Climate cool with adequate rainfall (Köppen)

Birpara is a small commercial town in the centre of the Dooars region of Alipurduar district. It is a hub for transportation and trade for the tea garden region of the area.

Etymology[edit]

Birpara got its name from the conjunction of two words. Bir stands for Veer (means brave) and para meaning place in Bengali. Initially there was no place called Birpara, and the place known as Birpara today was a part of another village called Dalgaon. This part was often visited by outlaws so people used to stay away from this place. However, gradually more and more people, who were initially mostly tea garden employees started to live here. They were called Bir people or brave people for daring to live in such place. Later on, it was given a separate identity.

People[edit]

Today, Birpara is predominantly inhabited by various ethnic groups such as Bengalis, Gorkhas, Marwaris, Adivasis, Muslims and Biharis. Other small ethnic groups are also represented such as Sikhs, Mizos and Anglo-Indians. Many languages are spoken in Birpara, with the main languages being Bengali, Gorkhali/Nepali, Hindi, Sadri, Marwari and English. The people of Birpara take keen interest in sports activities. An annual football competition is held at Jubilee Club between neighbouring towns. Since its origin, people here have lived in harmony. However, of late, there have been many instances of rifts between racial outfits, mainly due to the 'Gorkhaland' propaganda and the Bengali & Aadivasis opposing it. Other small religions have lived there such as Buddhist and Bodo.

Economy[edit]

Birpara, being surrounded by several tea gardens, developed a strong economy during the nineties, but now with the failure of the tea gardens, there has been a rapid and a severe setback in the economy of the place. It is now much more dependent on trade with Bhutan. The town is also crippled by strikes and bands every now and then, not to mention the outcries of racial outfits. Still, the local economy is doing well, thanks to the entrepreneurship of a few local Hindi speaking youths, who have put up factories in Ethelbari and generated employment to local educated and uneducated people.

Education[edit]

Birpara has several private schools and a college like Birpara College is affiliated with North Bengal University. Birpara Boys High School, Birpara Girls High School, Sri Mahabir Hindi High School, Nepali High school, Sunshine School (an English medium school situated just 3 km away from Birpara), Bhagat Ram Vidyapith, Birpara Biddya Ashram, Falakata Road Choupati, Daniel's School, Penwood academy, Baptist Mizoram Mission School, Birpara Academy . However St. James' School, Binnaguri located 13 km from Birpara is considered an ideal education temple for the students of Birpara and surrounding areas.

Transport[edit]

The town has an adequate network of roads. Asian Highway 48 passes through it. It connects not only the nearest larger cities, Siliguri and Jalpaiguri (on which the trade and commerce of the town is heavily dependent), but also with Thimphu (capital of Bhutan), via Phuentsholing

The town also has a rail station, called Dalgaon station, connecting the town with the rest of the country. There are frequent trains plying between Birpara and Siliguri. Trains like Kanchankanya Exp.(Sealdah to Alipurduar), Mahananda Exp. (New Delhi to Alipurduar), Capital Exp.(Kamakhya to Danapur), Jhajha Exp.(Jhajha to Guwahati), Kavi Guru Exp.(Jaipur to Kamakhya) connect it to main rail network. Intercity Express and Passenger Express connected Alipurduar Town & Siliguri City. Most of the people travel from Alipurduar to Siliguri by train. [1]

Places of interest[edit]

Among places of interest, Birpara has one park where people can go during daytime by paying ₹5 only. It witnesses heavy crowds during occasions like New Year and Valentine's Day.

People from surrounding areas like Ethelbari and Lankapara visit this place for shopping and other purpose. Ethelbari is famous for bricks manufacturing and is also a hub for large numbers of RCC Hume Pipe manufacturers and stone crushers, mainly due to the easy availability of raw materials. The town also boasts of a famous sweet shop called Lovely Sweets. It has been serving sweets for nearly 3 decades to the whole of Dooars region but the prices of the sweets are quite high. There are several picnic spots. A picnic site called Titi is located nearby on the border of Lankapara and Bhutan.

Himalayas nearby makes the place more attractive. The peak of Mt. Kanchenjunga (Sikkim) can also be seen from nearby Birpara which is covered with snow.

Politics[edit]

Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave a speech for the 2016 state elections at Birpara, which helped Manoj Tigga win the Madarihat seat.[2][3]

References[edit]