Cooch Behar district

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This article is about the district. For its eponymous headquarters, see Cooch Behar.
Cooch Behar district
কোচবিহার জেলা
District of West Bengal
Location of Cooch Behar district in West Bengal
Location of Cooch Behar district in West Bengal
Country India
State West Bengal
Administrative division Jalpaiguri
Headquarters Cooch Behar
Government
 • Lok Sabha constituencies Cooch Behar
 • Assembly seats Mathabhanga, Cooch Behar Uttar, Cooch Behar Dakshin, Sitalkuchi, Sitai, Dinhata, Natabari, Tufanganj
Area
 • Total 3,387 km2 (1,308 sq mi)
Major highways NH 31
Average annual precipitation 3201 mm
Website Official website

Cooch Behar district ( Bengali: কোচবিহার জেলা, Rajbongshi/Kamatapuri: কোচবিহার, pronounced: [ˈkuːtʃ biˈɦaːr]) is a district of the state of West Bengal, India, as well as the district's namesake town. During the British Raj, the town of Cooch Behar was the seat of a princely state of Koch Bihar, ruled by the Koch dynasty.

As of 2011 it is the third least populous district of West Bengal (out of 19), after Dakshin Dinajpur and Darjeeling.[1]

Geography[edit]

Exclaves of India and Bangladesh in and around Cooch Behar district

Cooch Behar is a district under the Jalpaiguri Division of the state of West Bengal. Cooch Behar is located in the northeastern part of the state and bounded by the district of Jalpaiguri in the north, state of Assam in the east and by Bangladesh in the west as well as in the south. The district forms part of the Himalayan Terai of West Bengal.

A geopolitical curiosity is that there are 92 Bangladeshi exclaves, with a total area of 47.7 km² in Cooch-Behar. Similarly, there are 106 Indian exclaves inside Bangladesh, with a total area of 69.5 km². These were part of the high stake card or chess games centuries ago between two regional kings, the Raja of Cooch Behar and the Maharaja of Rangpur.[2]

Twenty-one of the Bangladeshi exclaves are within Indian exclaves, and three of the Indian exclaves are within Bangladeshi exclaves. The largest Indian exclave, Balapara Khagrabari, surrounds a Bangladeshi exclave, Upanchowki Bhajni, which itself surrounds an Indian exclave called Dahala Khagrabari, of less than one hectare (link to external map here [1]). See also Indo-Bangladesh enclaves.

Rivers and topography[edit]

Cooch Behar is a flat country with a slight southeastern slope along which the main rivers of the district flow. Most of the highland areas are in the Sitalkuchi region and most of the low-lying lands lie in Dinhata region.

The rivers in the district of Cooch Behar generally flow from northwest to southeast. Six rivers that cut through the district are the Teesta, Jaldhaka, Torsha, Kaljani, Raidak, Gadadhar and Ghargharia.

Divisions[edit]

Sub-divisions[edit]

The district of Cooch Behar comprises five sub-divisions:

Assembly constituencies[edit]

The district is divided into 8 assembly constituencies:[3]

  1. Sitalkuchi (SC) (assembly constituency no. 2),
  2. Mathabhanga (SC) (assembly constituency no. 3),
  3. Cooch Behar North (assembly constituency no. 4),
  4. Cooch Behar West (assembly constituency no. 5),
  5. Sitai (assembly constituency no. 6),
  6. Dinhata (assembly constituency no. 7),
  7. Natabari (assembly constituency no. 8) and
  8. Tufanganj (SC) (assembly constituency no. 9).

Mekliganj, Sitalkuchi, Mathabhanga and Tufanganj constituencies are reserved for Scheduled Castes (SC) candidates. Mekhliganj constituency is part of Jalpaiguri (Lok Sabha constituency), which also contains six assembly segments from Jalpaiguri district. Sitalkuchi, Mathabhanga, Cooch Behar North, Cooch Behar West, Sitai, Dinhata and Natabari constituencies form the Cooch Behar (Lok Sabha constituency), which is reserved for Scheduled Castes (SC). Tufanganj constituency is part of Alipurduars (Lok Sabha constituency), which also contains six assembly segments from Jalpaiguri district.

Impact of delimitation of constituencies[edit]

As per order of the Delimitation Commission in respect of the delimitation of constituencies in the West Bengal, the district will be divided into 9 assembly constituencies:[4]

  1. Mathabhanga (SC) (assembly constituency no. 2),
  2. Cooch Behar Uttar (SC) (assembly constituency no. 3),
  3. Cooch Behar Dakshin (assembly constituency no. 4),
  4. Sitalkuchi (SC) (assembly constituency no. 5),
  5. Sitai (SC) (assembly constituency no. 6),
  6. Dinhata (assembly constituency no. 7),
  7. Natabari (assembly constituency no. 8) and
  8. Tufanganj (assembly constituency no. 9).

Mekliganj, Mathabhanga, Cooch Behar Uttar, Sitalkuchi and Sitai constituencies will be reserved for Scheduled Castes (SC) candidates. Mekhliganj constituency will remain part of Jalpaiguri (Lok Sabha constituency), which will also contain six assembly segments from Jalpaiguri district. Mathabhanga, Cooch Behar Uttar, Cooch Behar Dakshin, Sitalkuchi, Sitai, Dinhata and Natabari constituencies will continue to form the Cooch Behar (Lok Sabha constituency), which will be reserved for Scheduled Castes (SC). Tufanganj constituency will remain a part of Alipurduars (Lok Sabha constituency), which will also contain six assembly segments from Jalpaiguri district.

Demographics[edit]

According to the 2011 census Cooch Behar district has a population of 2,822,780,[1] roughly equal to the nation of Jamaica.[5] This gives it a ranking of 136th in India (out of a total of 640).[1] The district has a population density of 833 inhabitants per square kilometre (2,160/sq mi) .[1] Its population growth rate over the decade 2001–2011 was 13.86%.[1] Koch Bihar has a sex ratio of 942 females for every 1000 males,[1] and a literacy rate of 75.49%.[1]

Flora and fauna[edit]

The flora here includes among others palms, bamboos, creepers, ferns, orchids, aquatic plants, fungi, timber, grass, vegetable and fruit trees.

In absence of large forest area in the district, except at Patlakhawa, not many species of animal are found though there are many wildlife sanctuaries, national parks and animal reserves in the neighbouring Jalpaiguri district and Alipurduar subdivision of Jalpaiguri which are not very far from the district.

In 1976 Cooch Behar district became home to the Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary (now Jaldapara National Park), which has an area of 217 km2 (83.8 sq mi).[6] It shares the park with Jalpaiguri district.[6]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "District Census 2011". Census2011.co.in. 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-30. 
  2. ^ "A Great Divide". Time. 5 February 2009. 
  3. ^ "General election to the Legislative Assembly, 2001 – List of Parliamentary and Assembly Constituencies" (PDF). West Bengal. Election Commission of India. Retrieved 2008-11-16. 
  4. ^ "Press Note, Delimitation Commission" (PDF). Assembly Constituencies in West Bengal. Delimitation Commission. Retrieved 2008-11-16. 
  5. ^ US Directorate of Intelligence. "Country Comparison:Population". Retrieved 2011-10-01. Jamaica 2,868,380 July 2011 est 
  6. ^ a b Indian Ministry of Forests and Environment. "Protected areas: Sikkim". Retrieved 25 September 2011. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Moore, Lucy (2004) Maharanis: The Extraordinary Tale Of Four Indian Queens And Their Journey From Purdah To Parliament, Penguin, ISBN 0-670-03368-5

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 26°19′27″N 89°27′04″E / 26.32419°N 89.45103°E / 26.32419; 89.45103