Canning, South 24 Parganas

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Canning Railway Station
Canning Railway Station
Canning is located in West Bengal
Location in West Bengal, India
Canning is located in India
Canning (India)
Coordinates: 22°18′37″N 88°39′28″E / 22.3104°N 88.6579°E / 22.3104; 88.6579Coordinates: 22°18′37″N 88°39′28″E / 22.3104°N 88.6579°E / 22.3104; 88.6579
Country India
StateWest Bengal
DistrictSouth 24 Parganas
 • Total12.97 km2 (5.01 sq mi)
4 m (13 ft)
 • Total47,801
 • Density3,700/km2 (9,500/sq mi)
 • OfficialBengali, Hindi, English
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
Telephone code+91 3218 255/256/257
Vehicle registrationWB-19 to WB-22, WB-95 to WB-99
Lok Sabha constituencyJaynagar (SC)
Vidhan Sabha constituencyCanning Purba, Canning Paschim (SC)

Canning is a city of South 24 Parganas district in the Indian State of West Bengal. It is situated on the southern banks of the Matla River. Canning is the gateway of Sundarban. It is the headquarters of the Canning subdivision and also the seat for the Sub-Divisional Court.


This city is named after Lord Canning, the former Governor General of India from 1856 to 1858, and Governor General and Viceroy from 1858 to 1862.[1]


H. E. A. Cotton writes, "The year 1864… It witnessed also the speculative mania over an unlucky scheme for the reclamation of the Sunderbans, of which nothing remains but the deserted wharves of Port Canning, but which resulted in ruin to many".[2] The idea of developing a major port at the city faded with the choking of the Matla River as a result of inadequate headwater supply.[3]

Lord Canning's Kuthi

Lord Canning had wanted to build a port that would be an alternative to Kolkata and a rival to Singapore. What no one heeded were the warnings of a lowly shipping inspector Henry Piddington, who had lived in the Caribbean and knew all about hurricanes and storms. He wanted the mangroves to be left alone, as they were Bengal’s defensive barrier against nature’s fury and absorbed the initial onslaught of cyclonic winds, waves and tidal surges. The settlement was built with a strand, hotels and homes, but in 1867 the Matla River surged and reduced the town to a "bleached skeleton".[4]

In 1862, the Calcutta and South-eastern Railway opened a southward line from what was then known as Beliaghata station to Port Canning. In the same year, the East Bengal Railway had opened its line from Sealdah to Kushtia. It also opened its own southern line to Diamond Harbour. The Railway was taken over by the government in 1863. East Bengal Railway was taken over by the government in 1887. Services on the eastern side of Hooghly River were unified under the Eastern Bengal State Railway and after further amalgamation in 1942, the Bengal Assam Railway.[5]


Canning city is located at 22°18′37″N 88°39′28″E / 22.3104°N 88.6579°E / 22.3104; 88.6579.[6] It has an average elevation of 4 metres (13 ft). It is gateway to the Sundarbans.[7] It is situated on the south bank of the Matla River. It is part of the Kolkata Suburban Railway system and is connected to Sealdah (South) station and is also connected to Kolkata by road. One can cross the Matla River and then proceed to Basanti for a boat to the interior of the Sundarbans or hire a motor launch for travel to Sundarbans at the city itself. The first watch tower at Sajnekhali is about 5 hours away.[8]

The Matla River is so silted up that during the dry season, boats cannot come to the jetties. They have to be stationed 500 yards away. During the monsoons, the river becomes so turbulent that boats cannot ferry people across the river. The Sunderban Development Authority decided to build a bridge on the River at an estimated cost of Rs. 290 million.[9]

Bridge over the Matla river on the way of Canning city to Jharkhali

The 644 m road bridge was inaugurated by Buddhadeb Bhattachajee, Chief Minister, in January 2011. It links the city with Basanti.[10][11]


General College[edit]


  • Canning Govt ITI


  • Dwarikanath Valika Vidyalaya
  • Raibaghini High School
  • St. Gabriel School
  • New integrated govt school
  • Ghutiari Sharif Bahadur Molla High school
  • Gourdaha Kuhukeka Primary School
  • Ghutiari Sharif Balika Vidyalay
  • De Paul School


Fish centre[edit]

Canning city is a major market for supply of fish to Kolkata. The fishermen of the area bring their catch to the all-night fish market at the city. Here the commission agents receive the fish and auction them. It is bought by the wholesalers and transported to Kolkata for sale to retailers, who sell it in the different markets.

Festivals and Fairs[edit]

Canning city is a host to many festivals and fairs.[citation needed] Most of them are timed during winter season. "Sunderban Mela" is the biggest fair of the city. This fair is conducted by the "Bandhumahal Club" from 3 to 12 January every year. Another festival is "Sunderban Utsav."


Canning city is well connected with state capital Kolkata by train and bus. EMU Trains run toward Canning city from Sealdah.


  1. ^ Edwardes, Michael, A History of India, paper back edition 1967, p.326, The New English Library.
  2. ^ Cotton, H.E.A., Calcutta Old and New, 1909/1980, p. 183, General Printers and Publishers Pvt. Ltd.
  3. ^ Ray, Animesh, The Calcutta Port, in Calcutta, the Living City, Vol. II, edited by Sukanta Chaudhuri, p. 124, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-563697-X.
  4. ^ Bhimani, Rita (16 July 2004). "Sunderbans shadow lines". The Telegraph. Calcutta, India. Retrieved 30 September 2007.
  5. ^ Sukanta Chaudhuri, The Railway Comes to Calcutta, in Calcutta, the Living City, edited by Sukanta Chaudhuri, Vol. I, p. 239, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-563696-3.
  6. ^ Falling Rain Genomics, Inc - Canning
  7. ^ Bandopadhyay, Raghab, Calcutta’s Markets, in Calcutta, the Living City, Vol. II, pp. 118-121.
  8. ^ "A Rendezvous with Sundarban". The Journey…. Chilli Breeze. Retrieved 30 September 2007.
  9. ^ "Bridge on the river Matla". The Statesman, 24 December 2005. Retrieved 30 September 2007.[dead link]
  10. ^ Saha, Sambit (9 January 2011). "Didi on Singur mind, not CM". See photo caption. Calcutta, India: The Telegraph, 9 January 2011. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
  11. ^ "Canning bridge inaugurated, CM rolls sops for locals". The Statesman, 9 January 2011. Archived from the original on 14 June 2012. Retrieved 30 September 2011.