||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (December 2012)|
|City / Urban Agglomeration|
The historical entry gate to Gaur
|Nickname(s): Mango City|
|Elevation||17 m (56 ft)|
|• City / Urban Agglomeration||216,083|
|• Official||Bengali, English|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Lok Sabha constituency||Maldaha Dakshin|
|Vidhan Sabha constituency||English Bazar|
1The coordinates given here are metric and based upon the Microsoft Encarta Reference Library Map Center 20052
English Bazar or Ingrāj Bäzär, better known as Malda, called the "Mango City", is a city and municipality in Malda district in the Indian state of West Bengal. It serves as the district headquarters. It is the seventh largest city in West Bengal. Malda is nominated for becoming a municipal corporation (both English Bazar municipality and Old Malda municipality).
In 2013, Malda became the first Indian city to have a women's court.
As in much of Bengal, the weather is usually extremely humid and tropical. Temperatures can reach as high as 46 °C during the day in May and June and fall as low as 4 °C overnight in December and January.
The district of Malda formed in 1813 out of the outlying areas of Purnia, Dinajpur, and Rajshahi districts. In 1832 a separate treasury was established, and in 1859 a magistrate and collector were appointed.
Up to 1876 this district formed part of Rajshahi Division, and from 1876 to 1905 it formed part of Bhagalpur Division. In 1905, it was again transferred to Rajshahi Division, and until 1947 Malda remained in this division.
In August 1947 this district was affected by the Partition of India. Between 12 to 15 August 1947 whether the district would become part of India or Pakistan was unknown, as the announcement of the Radcliffe Line did not make this point clear. During these few days the district was under a magistrate of East Pakistan; after the details of the Radcliffe award were published, the district became part of West Bengal on 17 August 1947.
There are two municipalities in Malda: the municipality of English Bazar and the municipality of Old Malda.
The municipality of English Bazar is divided into 29 wards. The Trinamool Congress with 15 councilors holds power (as of 2015).
Major religious festivals celebrated in the region include the Hindu festivals of Durga Puja, Kali Puja, and Guru Nanak Jayanti; the Islamic festivals of Id-ul-Fitr and Id-uz-Zoha; and the Christian festival of Christmas. A unique feature of Malda is that it, with parts of Uttar Dinajpur and Dakshin Dinajpur, celebrates holi a day later than the entire world does.
Public transport includes cycle rickshaws, auto rickshaws, and local buses. There is no metered vehicular transport. Six-seat city autos shuttle between English Bazar and Old Malda at a rate fixed by the municipal authorities.
Malda is well connected by rail. Its notable railway station is Malda Town. It is the Divisional Headquarters of Eastern Railway's Malda Division; about 70% of this division is in Bihar and Jharkhand. Financial department officials have offices there. Almost all trains bound for North Bengal and the North Eastern States of India pass through Malda Town station. Many long distance trains pass through Malda, making it a railway hub for North Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand. Much of Malda's development as a major railway station is due to the efforts of the former minister of railways, government of India, late A. B. A. Ghani Khan Choudhury.
The city is on National Highway 34, the north-south arterial road of West Bengal some 347 km north of Kolkata and 256 km south of Siliguri. It is connected to National Highway 81, which links Kora in Bihar to Malda in West Bengal. A central bus terminal has been set up. North Bengal State Transport Corporation buses connect Malda to the rest of West Bengal.
Malda Airport (IATA: LDA, ICAO: VEMH) was closed in 1972 due to the Bangladesh War. Before that there were direct daily flights from Malda to Kolkata, Delhi, and Guwahati. The Indian government is[when?] relocating the airport several kilometers from the town. In 2014 direct hHelicopter services were started between Malda and Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal, by the government of West Bengal.
As of the[update] 2011 census, English Bazar municipality had a population of 216,083 and the urban agglomeration had a population of 324,237. The municipality had a sex ratio of 877 females per 1,000 males and 14.9% of the population were under six years old. Effective literacy was 84.69%; male literacy was 85.44% and female literacy was 83.86%.
Communities that inhabit Malda includes the Bengalis, Gorkha, Marwaris, Biharis, Shershahbadhia and Rajbangsis. Some local forms of Bengali, Maithili, Rajbangsi, Hindi and Urdu are spoken along with local dialects. Commonly spoken languages include Bengali and Hindi. Regional languages include Pabnai, Nawabgangi, Kamtapuri, Shershahabadia, Santali, and Khotta. Old Malda has a Sikh population who suffered in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
Colleges and universities
Several colleges and universities are in and around English Bazar. The largest is the University of Gour Banga, established in 2008. Almost all the 28 colleges in Malda, Uttar Dinajpur and Dakshin Dinajpur districts, except for Raiganj University College, are affiliated with it.
Other notable institutions include Malda College, established on 23 July 1944, the oldest higher educational institution in the city; and Malda Women's College, the only women's college in the city. English Bazar has three engineering colleges: IMPS College of Engineering and Technology, established in 2003; and Malda Polytechnic, one of the oldest polytechnic colleges in West Bengal; and the recently established Ghani Khan Institute of Engineering and technology. GKCIET is a centrally funded engineering college (Ministry of HRD Government of India)
The Malda Medical College and Hospital, established in 2011 in the heart of the town, is the only medical college in the region
Malda Zilla School is the oldest school of the city, set up in the mid 19th century. Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda Vidyamandir has the reputation of being one of the best in the region. Barlow Girls' High School was set up in before 1900.
Other schools include Acrurmani Coronation Institution (A.C. Institution), Lalit Mohan Shyam Mohini High School, Malda Town High School, Umesh Chandra Bashtuhara Vidyalaya, Maheshmati D.N. Saha Vidyabhaban, Malda Girls' High School, Malda Railway High School, etc.
The city has many schools affiliated to the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations, including Holy Child English Academy, the St. Xavier's School, the North Point English Academy and St. Mary's School. The city has two Central Board of Secondary Education schools: Usha Martin School and the Kendriya Vidyalaya.
- "Provisional Population Totals, Census of India 2011; Cities having population 1 lakh and above" (pdf). Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. Retrieved 27 March 2012.
- "Urban Agglomerations/Cities having population 1 lakh and above" (PDF). Provisional Population Totals, Census of India 2011. Retrieved 2011-10-10.
- "Malda gets India's first women's court". The Times of India.
- "Maps, Weather, and Airports for Ingraj Bazar, India". fallingrain.com.
- "Provisional Population Totals, Census of India 2011; Urban Agglomerations/Cities having population 1 lakh and above" (pdf). Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. Retrieved 27 March 2012.
Gour-Pandua travel guide from Wikivoyage