Dhaniakhali (community development block)

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Community development block
সমষ্টি উন্নয়ন ব্লক
Dhaniakhali is located in West Bengal
Location in West Bengal, India
Coordinates: 22°58′N 88°06′E / 22.97°N 88.10°E / 22.97; 88.10Coordinates: 22°58′N 88°06′E / 22.97°N 88.10°E / 22.97; 88.10
Country  India
State West Bengal
District Hooghly
 • Type Community development block
 • Total 353.44 km2 (136.46 sq mi)
Elevation 16 m (52 ft)
Population (2011)
 • Total 320,534
 • Density 910/km2 (2,300/sq mi)
 • Official Bengali, English
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 712302 (Dhaniakhali)
712303 (Gurap)
712301 (Bhandarhati)
Telephone code +91 3213
Vehicle registration WB-15, WB-16, WB-18
Literacy 75.66%
Lok Sabha constituency Hooghly, Arambag
Vidhan Sabha constituency Dhanekhali, Tarakeswar
Website hooghly.gov.in

Dhaniakhali (also spelt Dhanekhali) is a community development block that forms an administrative division in Chinsurah subdivision of Hooghly district in the Indian state of West Bengal. The place has lent its name to the tant (handloom) sari it produces.



Hooghly district forms a part of the flat alluvial plains of the lower Gangetic delta. It lies on the western bank of the Hooghly, a distributary of the Ganges. The river bank of the Hooghly is heavily industrialised. The Dwarakeswar, in the western part of the district, forms the dividing line between the uplands and the plains. It is subsequently joined by the Shilabati to form the Rupnarayan, flowing along the western boundary of the district. The Damodar intersects the district. Human intervention in the form of construction of roads and railways and flood control measures have affected the topography. Urbanisation and industrialisation has altered land use pattern of the district. With a very high density of population (1,601 per sq km), about 66% of the population live in the rural areas. In 2001, Hindus formed 83.63% of the population followed by Muslims, who formed 15.14% of the population. The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes together constituted 43% of the population.[1]


Dhanekhali is located at 22°58′N 88°06′E / 22.97°N 88.10°E / 22.97; 88.10.

Dhaniakhali CD Block is bounded by Pandua CD Block, in a part of the north and a part of the east, Polba Dadpur CD Block in a major portion of the east, CD Block in the east, Haripal and Tarakeswar CD Blocks, in the south and Pursurah CD Block and Jamalpur CD Block, in Bardhaman district, in the west.[2][3]

It is located 36 km from Chinsurah, the district headquarters.[2]

Area and administration[edit]

Dhanekhali CD Block has an area of 353.44  km2.[4] Dhaniakhali police station serves this CD Block. Dhaniakhali panchayat samity has 18 gram panchayats. The block has 214 inhabited villages.[5] Headquarters of this block is at Dhaniakhali.

Gram panchayats[edit]

Gram panchayats of Dhaniakhali block/ panchayat samiti are: Belmuri, Bhanderhati I, Bhanderhati II, Bhastara, Dasghara I, Dasghara II, Dhaniakhali I, Dhaniakhali II, Gopinathpur I, Gopinathpur II, Gurap, Gurbari I, Gurbari II, Khajurdaha-Milki, Mandra, Parambua-Sahabazar, Somaspur I and Somaspur II.[6]



As per 2011 Census of India Dhaniakhali CD Block had a total population of 320,534, all of which were rural. There were 160,789 (50%) males and 159,745 (50%) females. Population below 6 years was 31,228. Scheduled Castes numbered 105,811 and Scheduled Tribes numbered 45,715.[7]

As per 2001 census, Dhaniakhali block had a total population of 293,305, out of which 148,265 were males and 145,040 were females. Dhaniakhali block registered a population growth of 13.86 per cent during the 1991-2001 decade. Decadal growth for Hooghly district was 15.72 per cent.[4] Decadal growth in West Bengal was 17.84 per cent.[8]

Large and other villages[edit]

Large (4,000+ population) villages in Dhaniakhali CD Block (2011 census figures in brackets): Srikrishnapur (10,345), Shrirampur (4,170), Gopinagar (5,424), Mandara (7,610), Bhandarhati (6,928), Samaspur (4,113), Gurap (7,856), Bhastara (5,084) and Cheragram (4,328).[7]

Other villages in Dhaniakhali CD Block (2011 census figures in brackets): Dhaniakhali (3,738).[7]


As per 2011 census the total number of literates in Dhaniakhali CD Block was 218,902 (75.66% of the population over 6 years) out of which 119,539 (55%) were males and 99,363 (45%) were females.[7]

As per 2011 census, literacy in Hooghly district was 81.80%.[9] Literacy in West Bengal was 77.08% in 2011.[10] Literacy in India in 2011 was 74.04%.[10]

As per the 2001 census, Dhaniakhali block had a total literacy of 48.55 per cent. While male literacy was 68.42 per cent, female literacy was 46.07 per cent.[11]

See also – List of West Bengal districts ranked by literacy rate


Bengali is the local language in these areas.[2]


Religion in Dhaniakhali CD Block

In 2011 census Hindus numbered 259,152 and formed 80.85% of the population in Dhaniakhali CD Block. Muslims numbered 52,384 and formed 16.34% of the population. Others numbered 8,998 and formed 2.81% of the population.[12]

In 2011, Hindus numbered 4,574,569 and formed 82.89% of the population in Hooghly district. Muslims numbered 870,204 and formed 15.77% of the population. In West Bengal Hindus numbered 64,385,546 and formed 70.53% of the population. Muslims numbered 24,654,825 and formed 27.01% of the population.[12]

Human Development Report[edit]

Important Handicrafts of Hooghly District
  • Zari Work on Sari - Pandua, Pursurah, Jangipara, Tarakeswar and other blocks - 3,000 families involved
  • Chikon Embroidery – Babnan, Pandua, Singur - 2,500 families
  • Silk and Cotton Printing – Serampore (Chanditala) - 300 families
  • Brass and Bell Metal – Manikpat, Goghat, Arambagh - 250 families
  • Conch Shell – Pandua, Khanakul, Makla, Chandannagar
  • Jute Diversified Product – Baidyabati, Mogra
  • Terracota – Chinsurah, Chandannagar, Baidyabati, Mogra

Source:District Human Development Report 2010: Hooghly P. 67

The first wave of industrialisation (in Hooghly district, as well as the region) came with the establishment of jute mills along the banks of the Hooghly River long back in the British era. The district has moved from an overwhelmingly rural society with a mere 14.92% of the population living in urban areas in 1901 to a more urban society with 33.47% of the population living in urban areas in 2001. Increasing urbanisation has opened up a broader range of livelihood opportunities. However, in 12 out of the 18 community development blocks in the district the entire population continued to live in the rural areas in 2001. The district presents a unique picture of 12 municipalities surrounded by rural areas.[13]

In the rural areas of the district while 14.95% of the total workers were cultivators, agricultural labourers were 24.31%, thereby indicating the huge pressure on land that outstrips its ownership. In Dhaniakhali CD Block, while cultivators were 19.68% of the total workers, agricultural labourers formed 48.03%. Household workers formed 4.52% and other workers 27.77%. Up to 30.11.2006 a total of 5,260 hectares of vested agricultural land was distributed amongst 71,643 persons in Hooghly district. Amongst different categories of workers engaged in agriculture in Dhaniakhali CD Block 11.09% were bargadars, 7.62% patta (ownership document) holders, 4.75% small farmers, 18.21% marginal farmers and 58.34% agricultural workers in 2001.[13]

Agricultural activities or cultivation is divided into two categories: crop cultivation and plantation (orchards). There is a general belief that plantations are more remunerative. In Dhaniakhali CD Block 82.92% of the land is used for crop cultivation and 8.78% for orchards. In Dhaniakhali CD Block 99.26% of the land is sown more than once. Dhaniakhali CD Block produced 48,880 tonnes of Aman paddy from 18,541 hectares, 26,200 tonnes of Boro paddy from 10,964 hectares, 51,620 tonnes of jute from 2,650 hectares and 183,030 tonnes of potatoes from 7,543 hectares in 2005-06. In Dhaniakhali CD Block out of the total cultivated area of 21,572 hectares 1,000 hectares is drought prone and 1,580 hectares is flood prone. The irrigation system in Hooghly district is based on five rivers: Bhagirathi, Damodar, Mundeswari, Darakeswar and Sankari. Erosion of the river banks of these rivers pose a problem in many areas, particularly the Khanakul area.[13]

Handloom saris of Dhaniakhali, Begampur, Jangipara and Rajbalhat areas, and dhutis of Haripal, Rajbalhat and Khanakul areas are familiar all over the country. However, in spite of Government support, the problems of adequate finance, raw materials and marketing persist. Low remuneration is forcing weavers to switch over to other professions. Dhaniakhali produces three varieties of saris – 100 counts (fine), 80 counts (medium) and 60 counts (general). A weaver’s wage for finishing a sari is Rs.47 for 60 counts, Rs.62 for 80 counts and Rs. 135 for 100 counts. It takes two days to complete a sari.[13]

Hooghly district has the distinction of all mouzas (villages) being electrified by 2005. In Dhaniakhali CD Block all 214 mouzas were electrified. However, in Dhaniakhali CD Block 33.34% of households owned houses with electricity and 34.25% households owned houses with toilets in 2001.[13]

In the rural areas of Hooghly district there are wide variations amongst the CD Blocks regarding families living below poverty line (BPL). The data provided in the table given below is based on a household survey for BPL list carried out by the state government in 2005.[13]



Dhaniakhali CD Block had 15,075 hectares of canals. In Dhaniakhali CD Block 2544.23hectares was the nett area under effective pisiculture and 7,353 persons were engaged in the profession. Approximate annual production in 2003-04 was 101,557.6 qtl. In 2003-04 Dhaniakhali had 92.72 km of surfaced roads under PWD, 103 km surfaced roads under Zilla Parishad and 371 km unsurfaced roads under Zilla Parishad.[14]


This is a rich agricultural area with several cold storages.[15] Though rice is the prime crop of the district, the agricultural economy largely depends on potato, jute, vegetables, and orchard products. Vegetable is a prize crop in the blocks of Haripal, Singur, Chanditala, Polba and Dhaniakhali being grown in a relay system throughout the year. Though potato is cultivated in all the blocks of this district Dhaniakhali, Arambagh, Goghat, Pursurah, Haripal, Polba-Dadpur, Tarakeswar, Pandua and Singur contributed much of its production of this district.[16]

Some of the primary and other hats or markets in the Dhaniakhali bloc area are at: Belmuri, Gopinagar, Hazipur, Kananadi, Bhastara, Chowghata, Sahabazar, Dashghara, and Gurap.[17]


Pailan Group's Ascon Agro has set up a Rs 500 million potato flakes plant at Dhaniakhali. The potato plant, built on 65 acres (260,000 m2), has a capacity of 3,600 tons per annum. The project, with Export Oriented Unit-Special Economic Zone status, used machinery imported from The Netherlands and would employ 1500 people.[18][19]


According to The Hindu Business Line, "The Bengal cotton sari is a fashion statement, wherever it is worn" and have a market all over the country.[20] The Times of India says that Dhaniakhali, Shantipur and Phulia are well–known for the traditional handloom saris of West Bengal. "In Dhaniakhali block every household has at least one loom. The sari produced here is named after the place".[21] The material for the Dhaniakhali sari is somewhat coarse and heavier than other textiles from Bengal but suits the middle class budget and as such is popular.[22][23] An ordinary Dhaniakhali sari takes a minimum of two days (10–12 hours each day), to be woven, and the weaver collects Rs. 50 for it. It sells for Rs. 100 in the market. The most exotic ones take four to five days to weave, fetches the weaver Rs. 450, and is sold for Rs. 800.[21]

The weaving of Jamdani saris originated in Dhaka in Bangladesh. Dhakai jamdani was famous among the aristocratic ladies in olden days. Places like Shantipur, Dhaniakhali, Begampur and Farasdanga started producing the jamdani saris, after the partition of India.[24][25]

In earlier days Dhaniakhali also produced superfine dhotis but has switched over to saris as per changes in market demand.[26] Now, they also want to weave material for salwar-kurtas in order to cater to the needs of the changing market.[21]

The Times of India reports that the weavers of Dhaniakhali have been facing financial problems. More than half are members of a co-operative, Dhaniakhali Union Tant Silpi Samabaya Samity. The rest who operate through mahajans (middlemen or money-lenders) have a tough time. It is not that the saris are not selling, but the trouble is that they are not being paid in time by the state government-run emporia, who are the main buyers. It is difficult to function without cash since the raw material provided by the cooperative to the weavers cannot be bought on credit.[21]

Mamata Banerjee, the West Bengal chief minister, generally wears only Dhaniakhali tant saree and has become a popular 'brand ambassador'.[27]


Dhaniakhali station on the Howrah-Bardhaman chord was inaugurated in December 2003.[28] It is 49 kilometres (30 mi) from Howrah Station[29] and is part of the Kolkata Suburban Railway system.

Dhaniakhali CD Block has 5 originating/ terminating bus routes.[14]

There are two main bus stoppages, Madan Mohan Tala Bus stop and Cinematala Bus stop. Daily road transportation occurred through 17 number bus route which connects Dhaniakhali with Chinsurah - Tarakeswar - Haripal. It also connects with National Highway No 2 (NH -2) at Maheswarpur, 8 km towards Chinsurah.


Dhaniakhali area exchange with code 3213 serves: Belmuri, Bhandarhati, Boinchi, Dasghara, Dhaniakhali, Gajinadaspur, Guptipara, Gurap, Jirat, Khejurdaha, Khannan, Kuliapara, Mahanad, Pandua, Puinan, Rameshwarpur.[30]


Dhaniakhali panchayat samiti area had 190 primary schools, 23 secondary schools, 6 higher secondary schools and one degree college.[10] In 2003-04, Dhaniakhali CD Block had 195 primary schools with 28,543 students, 6 middle schools with 2,734 students, 26 high schools with 17,201 students and 11 higher secondary schools with 13,951 students. Dhaniakhali CD Block had 1 general college with 1,392 students and 157 institutions with 10,854 students for special and non-formal education.[14]

Sarat Centenary College was established at Dhaniakhali in 1978.[31] Dhaniakhali Mahamaya Vidyamandir is one of the best higher secondary schools in that area. It has Science, Arts as well as Commerce stream.

Little magazine-Lipika is one of the oldest little magazines published from Somospur.


Dhaniakhali CD Block had 2 hospitals, 6 health centres, 50 clinics and 6 dispensaries with 111 beds and 12 doctors in 2003.[14]


  1. ^ "District Human Development Report: Hooghly". Chapter I / Page 1, 3 - Published 2011. Development and Planning Department, Government of West Bengal. Retrieved 22 May 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c "Tarakeswar Block". onefivenine. Retrieved 20 May 2016. 
  3. ^ "Map of Hooghly district". District Profile. Hooghly district administration. Retrieved 20 May 2016. 
  4. ^ a b "Provisional Population Totals, West Bengal. Table 4". Census of India 2001 – Hooghly district. Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 28 September 2011. Retrieved 2011-01-20. 
  5. ^ "District Statistical Handbook – 2008 – Hooghly" (PDF). Table 2.1. Bureau of Applied Economics and Statistics, Government of West Bengal. Retrieved 22 May 2016. 
  6. ^ "Directory of District, Subdivision, Panchayat Samiti/ Block and Gram Panchayats in West Bengal". Hooghly – Revised in March 2008. Panchayats and Rural Development Department, Government of West Bengal. Retrieved 16 May 2016. 
  7. ^ a b c d "C.D. Block Wise Primary Census Abstract Data(PCA)". 2011 census: West Bengal – District-wise CD Blocks. Registrar General and Census Commissioner, India. Retrieved 26 May 2016. 
  8. ^ "Provisional Population Totals, West Bengal. Table 4". Census of India 2001. Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 2011-01-20. 
  9. ^ "Hughli (Hooghly) Dustrict: Census 2011 data". 2016 Digital Trends. Census Population 2015 Data. Retrieved 22 May 2016. 
  10. ^ a b c "Provisional population tables and annexures" (PDF). Census 2011:Table 2(3) Literates and Literacy rates by sex. Registrar General and Census Commissioner, India. Retrieved 9 February 2016. 
  11. ^ "Dhaniakhali". Local Self-government. Hooghly Zilla Parishad. Retrieved 4 August 2011. 
  12. ^ a b "C1 Population by Religious Community". West Bengal. Registrar General and Census Commissioner, India. Retrieved 3 May 2016. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f "District Human Development Report: Hooghly". Pages - 31-40, 57, 60, 62-65, 68-69, 73, 82, 225, 226-227. Published 2011. Development and Planning Department, Government of West Bengal. Retrieved 24 May 2016. 
  14. ^ a b c d "District Statistical Handbook – 2004 – Hooghly" (PDF). Tables 3.1, 4.4, 4.5, 8.2, 18.2, 18.4, 21.1, 21.2. Bureau of Applied Economics and Statistics, Government of West Bengal. Retrieved 24 May 2016. 
  15. ^ "List of functioning Cold Storage of West Bengal District wise as on 18.01.07". West Bengal State Marketing Board. Retrieved 28 January 2009. 
  16. ^ "Intensive cropping with remarkable feature of Hooghly District". Retrieved 28 January 2009. 
  17. ^ "Primary Hats/Markets of District". Hooghly. West Bengal State Marketing Board. Retrieved 29 January 2009. 
  18. ^ "Pailan potato flakes unit launched". Business Standard, 8 October 2007. Retrieved 29 January 2009. 
  19. ^ "SPS Group acquires 55% of Pailan arm". Calcutta, India: The Telegraph, 9 April 2008. 9 April 2008. Retrieved 29 January 2009. 
  20. ^ "The itinerant saree seller". The Hindu Business Line, 5 November 2004. Retrieved 29 January 2009. 
  21. ^ a b c d "Bengal govt spins a woeful pattern for weavers". Times of India, 18 May 2001. 18 May 2001. Retrieved 29 January 2009. 
  22. ^ "Indiwo.in.com For the Indian woman Buying the Right Cotton ...". Retrieved 29 January 2009. 
  23. ^ "Bengal saree expo in the Capital". The Hindu Business Line, 26 March 2007. Retrieved 29 January 2009. 
  24. ^ "World Of The Indian Woman: Jamdani: The gorgeous saris of Bengal". Retrieved 29 January 2009. 
  25. ^ "Jamdani Sarees". Retrieved 29 January 2009. 
  26. ^ "Textiles of West Bengal, Craft and Artisans of India". Retrieved 29 January 2009. 
  27. ^ Mukherjee Pandey, Jhimli (30 May 2016). "The 'Mamata Saree' in hot demand". Times of India. 
  28. ^ "After fog, frenzy stalls trains - Mob blocks rail tracks with halt demand, schedules thrown awry". Calcutta, India: The Telegraph, 9 January 2004. 9 January 2004. Retrieved 28 January 2009. 
  29. ^ Eastern Railway local time table
  30. ^ "Adjacent Area Dialling Schemes". BSNL. Retrieved 29 January 2009. 
  31. ^ "Colleges". University Grants Commission. Retrieved 29 January 2009.