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Malda district

Coordinates: 25°00′N 88°09′E / 25.00°N 88.15°E / 25.00; 88.15
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Clockwise from top-left: Tomb of Fateh Khan, Malda Town Railway Station, Ramkeli, Adina Mosque, Baraduari Masjid, Lukachuri gateway in Gaur
Location of Malda in West Bengal
Location of Malda in West Bengal
Country India
State West Bengal
 • M.PAbu Hasem Khan Choudhury, Khagen Murmu
 • Lok Sabha constituenciesMaldah Dakshin, Maldah Uttar
 • Vidhan Sabha constituenciesHabibpur, Gazole, Chanchal, Harishchandrapur, Malatipur, Ratua, Manikchak, Maldah, English Bazar, Mothabari, Sujapur, Baisnabnagar
 • Total3,733 km2 (1,441 sq mi)
 • Total3,988,845
 • Density1,100/km2 (2,800/sq mi)
 • Urban
 • Literacy62.71 per cent
 • Sex ratio939
Time zoneUTC+05:30 (IST)
Major highwaysNH 12 NH 131A
Notable PeopleA.B.A. Ghani Khan Choudhury

Malda district, also spelt Maldah or Maldaha (Bengali: [malda], [maldɔɦ], often [maldɔɦo]), is a district in West Bengal, India. It lies 347 km (215 miles) north of Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal. Mango, jute and silk are the most notable products of this district. The special variety of mango, Fazli, produced in this region is popularly known by the name of the district and is exported across the world and is internationally acclaimed. The folk culture of gombhira is a feature of the district, being a unique way of representation of joy and sorrow in daily life of the common people, as well as the unique medium of presentation on national and international matters. According to the National Investigation Agency Malda is believed to be a hub of a fake currency racket.[1][2][3] It is reported that 90 per cent of the fake currency that enters India originates in Malda.[4][5]

The headquarters of Malda district is in English Bazar, also known as Malda, which was once the capital of Bengal. The district maintains the traditions of the past in culture and education. Old Malda, the town which lies just east of the confluence of the Mahananda and Kalindi rivers, is part of the English Bazar metropolitan city. The town rose to prominence as the river port of the old capital of Pandua. During the 18th century, it was the seat of prosperous cotton and silk industries. It remains an important distribution centre for rice, jute, and wheat. The area between the historical monument of Jame Masjid (1566) and the landmark of Nimasarai Tower across the river Mahananda, constituted a municipality in 1867. Rice, jute, legumes, and oilseed are the chief crops in the surrounding area. Malda is the largest producer of excellent quality jute in India. Mulberry plantations and mango orchards also occupy large areas; mango trade and silk manufacture are the main economic activities.


Pre-Gour Era[edit]

Pāṇini mentioned a city named Gourpura, which by strong reason may be identified as the city of Gouda, ruins of which are situated in this district. Examples are legion of the relics of a predecessor kingdom being used in the monuments of the successor kingdoms.

It had been within the limits of ancient Gour and Pandua (Pundrabardhana). These two cities had been the capital of Bengal in ancient and medieval ages and are equidistant, north and south, from English Bazar town (once known as Engelzavad established by the British rulers).

The boundary of Gour was changed in different ages since the fifth century BC, and its name can be found in Puranic texts. Pundranagara was the provincial capital of the Maurya Empire. Gour and Pundravardhana formed parts of the Mourya empire as is evinced from the inscriptions, Brahmi script on a seal discovered from the ruins of Mahasthangarh in the Bogra District of Bangladesh. Xuanzang saw many Ashokan stupas at Pundravardhana.

The inscriptions discovered in the district of undivided Dinajpur and other parts of North Bengal, along with the Allahabad pillar inscriptions of Samudragupta, clearly indicate that the whole of North Bengal as far east as Kamrup formed a part of the Gupta Empire.

After the Guptas at the beginning of seventh century AD Sasanka, the king of Karnasubarna, as well as the king of Gauda, ruled independently for more than three decades. From the middle of the eighth century to the end of the 11th century the Pala dynasty ruled Bengal, and the kings were devoted to Buddhism. It was during their reign that the Jagadalla Vihara (monastery) in Barindri flourished paralleling with Nalanda, Vikramshila and Devikot.[6]

Gour Era[edit]

The Pala empire yielded to the emergence of the Sen Dynasty. The Sen rulers were orthodox Hindus, and in the habit of moving from place to place within their kingdom. During this time, Buddhism went on the defensive. It eventually disappeared from the demographic map of Bengal. At the time of Gaudeshwara Lakshman Sen, Goud was known as Lakshmanabati.[citation needed] During his reign Bengal was attacked by the Turkic force of Bakhtiyar Khilji. King Lakshman Sen defeated Khilji in battle and successfully resisted Turkic invasion in his empire.[citation needed] After him Keshava Sen, Biswarup Sen, Madhava Sen etc. many Sena dynasty rulers ruled Gauda and hold the title Gaudeshwara Then Deva dynasty kings of Chandradwip ruled Bengal. Deva dynasty king Danujmardandeva and Mahendra Deva both hold the title Gaudeshwara.[citation needed]

The name Mal Daha was coined (from Mal meaning riches and Daha meaning lake). Sultans Ilyas Shah, Firuz Shah, Sikandar Shah, Raja Ganesha, Alauddin Hussain Shah and Nasiruddin Nasrat Shah were the notable rulers of the medieval age. Afghan warrior Sher Shah Suri conquered Gour[7] and was repelled by Mughal emperor Humayun. Humayun, loving the mango of Gour, named the place Jannatabad (garden of heaven). Firuz Shah Tughlaq, Ghiyasuddin and the Mughal army invaded Gour to suppress rebellion several times.

Relics of Islamic architecture structures are present in Malda district, such as Firuz minar, Adina Mosque (the largest mosque of South Asia at the time), and Qutwali Gate. During the Mughal rule, the capital was removed to Dhaka due to a course change of the river Ganges. Muslim rule ended in 1757. Koch army invasion increased during the downfall of Gour.[6][8]

Post-Gour Era[edit]

1779 map of the Jungle Terry District.

After the war of Palassy, the British rule started in 1757. The English traders settled in the southern bank of the river Mahananda. Some indigo plant chambers, trade centre, and offices were established. William Carey worked here. But the glory days were gone.[opinion]

1907 Map of Bengal with Sikkim

This district was formed out of some portions of outlying areas of Purnia, Dinajpur and Rajshahi districts in 1813. At the time of Dr. B. Hamilton (1808–09), the present thanas of Gazole, Malda, Bamongola, and part of Habibpur were included in the district of Dinajpur and the thanas of Harischandrapur, Kharba, Ratua, Manikchak, and Kaliachak were included in the district of Purnia. In 1813, in consequence of the prevalence of serious crimes in the Kaliachak and Sahebganj thanas and also on the rivers, a Joint Magistrate and Deputy Collector were appointed at English Bazar, with jurisdiction over a number of police stations centering that place and taken from the two districts. Thus the district of Malda was born. The year 1832 saw the establishment of a separate treasury and the year 1859 the posting of a full-fledged magistrate and collector.

Up to 1876, this district formed part of Rajshahi Division and between 1876 and 1905, it formed part of Bhagalpur Division. In 1905, it was again transferred to Rajshahi Division and until 1947, Malda remained in this division. During the first Partition of Bengal of 1905, this district was attached to the newly created province of Eastern Bengal and Assam. Malda has a history of the Indigo movement led by Rafique Mondal. The Santhals got insurgent and captured historic Adina Mosque in support of Jeetu. Again in August 1947, this district was affected by partition. Between 12–15 August 1947, the fate of the district as to which side it should go, to Pakistan or to India, was undecided because the announcement of the partition award of Sir Radcliffe did not make this point clear. During these few days, the district was under a Magistrate of East Pakistan due to Muslim majority (1941 British India census). When the details of the Radcliffe Award were published, the district came over to West Bengal on 17 August 1947. However, the sub-division of Nawabganj was severed from Malda and was given to East Pakistan as a sub-division of the Rajshahi district.[6]


The latitude range is 24°40’20" N to 25°32’08" N, and the longitude range is 87°45’50" E to 88°28’10" E. The district covers an area of 3,733.66 square kilometres (1,441.6 sq mi). The total population (as of 2001 Census) was recorded as 3,290,160.

Malda is called the gateway of North Bengal. It was once the capital of Gour-Banga with its 3,733 square kilometres (1,441 sq mi) lay of the land classified into Tal, Diara, and Barind.

To the south is Murshidabad district, to the north are North Dinajpur district and South Dinajpur district. To the east is the international border with Bangladesh. To the west is Santhal Parganas of Jharkhand and Purnea of Bihar.

Malda City[edit]

Malda, the district headquarters which lends its name to the district, during its early days grew up only near the side of the river Mahananda, and now the place is known as Phulbari. Some of the oldest houses can be found here. The city started to grow from 1925 to 1930. Now nearly a half-million people live in this city, and it is one of the biggest cities of West Bengal. It was a part of the historic city of Gour. Malda is recognised as the Old Malda municipality and the English Bazar municipality. Its notable railway station is named as Malda Town.

Mahadipur international border crossing[edit]

The Mahadipur international border crossing is on the Malda-Rajshahi route at Mahadipur town in Malda district.

Local newspapers[edit]

The first monthly periodicals published from Malda was Kusum, edited by Radhesh Chandra Seth, a noted personality of the then Malda. Though the exact date of its first publications is not known, it has been assumed by the informed sources that Kusum was first published in the 1890s. In 1896, Radhesh Chandra published two weekly newspapers Gourdoot and Gourbarta.[9] In 1897 Maldaha Samachar edited by Kaliprasanna Chakrabarty began to be published. Maulavi Abdul Ganikhan published 'Malda Akhbar' in 1914. In the same year, another periodical Gambhira' edited by Krishna Charan Sarkar was published. Damru, Adina and Minar—three weekly newspapers were published in 1941. The editors were Nanda Gopal Chowdhury, Akbar Munshi and Abdur Rahaman respectively.

The most important among them was Gourdoot which was first published on 1896 by Radhesh Chandra Seth. But within a short period, the publication of the newspaper came to an end as the editor faced a serious financial loss. The 'Gourdoot' again began to be published from 1912 under the editorship of Lalbihari Majumdar. Majumdar was a great scholar and his literary sense was appreciated by Benoy Kumar Sarkar and Radhesh Chandra Seth. In this endeavour, the editor was greatly supported by them and financed by Sarat Chandra Roy Chowdhury, Maharaja of Chancal. The Gourdoot was used to be published on Thursday of each week. The paper contained 6 pages and the price is one anna in 1944. The political outlook of the newspaper is pro-congress. Moreover, Lalbihari Majumdar, its editor took a pioneering role in organising the congress movement in Malda. He has for a long time been the vice-president of the district Congress. The periodical had an implied antipathy towards Gandhian ideology.

In modern times there are also some local newspapers published in Malda, the most prominent among them are Maldaha Samachar, Rupantorer Pothe, Gour Malda Sambad Aamader Malda, etc. 'Rupantorere Pothe' is published in every Sunday in each week. Maldaha Samachar and Gour Maldaha Sambad are published every Wednesday and Friday respectively.

Popular movements in Malda[edit]

The most important among the popular movement is the one led by Jitu Santhal in 1932. Historians like Tanika Sarkar observes Jitu's movement was rooted in the rich tradition of tribal struggle in Malda. The early form of Santhal resistance was migration, which Professor Ashim Sarkar thinks amounted to a kind of passive resistance. Active struggle between the Santhals and their landlords began about 1910.

As the barind (barindra) area began to be transformed into a developed agricultural zone, the zamindars of barind began to enhance the rent and curb the rights so far enjoyed by the Santhal from 1910 onwards. M.O Carter mentions cases were commonly found in which the lands cultivated by the adhiars, which were previously their occupancy holdings but had been sold up in rent or mortgage sales. This caused friction among zamindars and Santhals. The friction took an alarming proportion as early as 1910 when a zamindar of Bulbulchandi tried to enhance the rent. The Santhal tenants rose into protest. The gravity of the situation compelled Mr. Vas, the District Magistrate, to interfere and fix the rent. It was in this backdrop of oppression, exploitation and injustice. Jitu Santhal of Kochakandahar village of Habibpur began to mobilise the Santhals for a widespread movement. In 1926 Jitu became the leader of the Santhals by converting them to Manuvadi Hinduism. In the same year 'Jitu's Sanyasi Dal' defied police order to perform a Kali puja to assert its new Hindu status. In September 1928 Santhals under Jitu's leadership looted the autumn crop of Sikharpur which had recently been taken away from them in barind region. The District Magistrate and the Superintendent of the Police rushed to the spot with armed police. After much skirmishes, Jitu along with his sixty followers arrested at the hand of the police.[10]


In 2006 the Ministry of Panchayati Raj named Malda one of the country's 283 most backward districts (out of a total of 640).[11] It is one of the eleven districts in West Bengal currently receiving funds from the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme (BRGF). No notable industry is made here. Most of the people of the district are agricultural labourer and unskilled labourer. [11][12]


Administrative subdivisions[edit]

The district comprises two subdivisions: Chanchal and Malda Sadar. Chanchal consists of six community development blocks: Chanchal–I, Chanchal–II, Ratua–I, Ratua–II, Harishchandrapur–I and Harishchandrapur–II. Malda Sadar subdivision consists of Old Malda municipality, English Bazar municipality and nine community development blocks: English Bazar, Gazole, Habibpur, Kaliachak–I, Kaliachak–II, Kaliachak–III, Manickchak, Old Malda and Bamangola.[13] English Bazar is the district headquarters. There are 12 police stations,[14] 15 development blocks, 2 municipalities, 146 gram panchayats and 3,701 villages in this district.[13][15]

Other than municipality areas, each subdivision contains community development blocs, which in turn, are divided into rural areas and census towns.[16] In total there are 10 urban units, 2 municipalities and 3 census towns. English Bazar and Old Malda form an urban agglomeration.

Chanchal subdivision[edit]

Malda Sadar subdivision[edit]

Assembly Constituencies[edit]

S No. Name Lok Sabha Constituency MLA Party
43 Habibpur (ST) Maldaha Uttar Joyel Murmu Bharatiya Janata Party
44 Gazole (SC) Chinmoy Deb Barman Bharatiya Janata Party
45 Chanchal Nihar Ranjan Ghosh All India Trinamool Congress
46 Harishchandrapur Tajmul Hossain All India Trinamool Congress
47 Malatipur Abdur Rahim Boxi All India Trinamool Congress
48 Ratua Samar Mukherjee All India Trinamool Congress
49 Manikchak Maldaha Dakshin Sabitri Mitra All India Trinamool Congress
50 Maldaha (SC) Maldaha Uttar Gopal Chandra Saha Bharatiya Janata Party
51 English Bazar Maldaha Dakshin Sreerupa Mitra Chaudhury Bharatiya Janata Party
52 Mothabari Sabina Yeasmin All India Trinamool Congress
53 Sujapur Md. Abdul Ghani All India Trinamool Congress
54 Baisnabnagar Chandana Sarkar All India Trinamool Congress



Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.

Bengalis about 91% including Bengali Muslims and Bengali Hindus form the majority of the district population. Bengali Muslims about 51.27% form the majority of Malda district population whereas Bengali Hindus are the second largest community forming about 48% of District population. According to the 2011 census Malda district has a population of 3,988,845,[18] roughly equal to the nation of Liberia[19] or the US state of Oregon.[20] This gives it a ranking of 58th in India (out of a total of 640).[18] The district has a population density of 1,071 inhabitants per square kilometre (2,770/sq mi) .[18] Its population growth rate over the decade 2001-2011 was 21.5%.[18] Malda has a sex ratio of 939 females for every 1000 males,[18] and a literacy rate of 62.71%. 13.58% of the population live in urban areas. Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes make up 20.94% and 7.87% of the population respectively.[18]


Malda has a largely diverse range of population groups. People from adjoining regions like Bihar and Murshidabad district came here since centuries. People of various classes and tribes like Polia, Shershabadia, Khotta, Panjhra, Chain Mondal, Rajbanshi, and Santhal inhabit the district.[21]


Religion in Malda district [22]
Malda Percent
Other or not stated
Religion in present-day Maldah district
Religion Population (1941)[23]: 75  Percentage (1941) Population (2011)[22] Percentage (2011)
Islam 414,031 49.04% 2,045,151 51.27%
Hinduism 378,341 44.81% 1,914,352 47.99%
Tribal religion 51,462 6.10% 7,929 0.20%
Others [a] 481 0.06% 21,413 0.54%
Total Population 844,315 100% 3,988,845 100%

Muslims are the majority in the district, and are most dominant in the northwest and south along the Padma River. Hindus are in majority to the east of the Padma along the Bangladesh border, as well as in urban areas.[22]

Population by religion in CD blocks
CD Block Muslim Hindu Other
Harishchandrapur I 59.41% 40.31% 0.28%
Harishchandrapur II 73.65% 26.18% 0.17%
Chanchal I 71.22% 28.61% 0.17%
Chanchal II 71.25% 27.82% 0.93%
Ratua I 66.88% 32.97% 0.15%
Ratua II 78.71% 21.18% 0.11%
Gazole 23.60% 74.51% 1.89%
Bamangola 8.87% 89.96% 1.17%
Habibpur 1.28% 94.96% 3.76%
Old Malda 28.60% 70.00% 1.40%
English Bazar 51.49% 48.34% 0.17%
Manikchak 43.88% 55.96% 0.16%
Kaliachak I 89.29% 10.56% 0.15%
Kaliachak II 65.98% 33.88% 0.14%
Kaliachak III 50.72% 49.01% 0.27%
Area not under any Sub-district 11.66% 86.80% 1.54%


Languages of Malda District (2011).[24]

  Bengali (91.04%)
  Santali (4.18%)
  Khortha (2.27%)
  Hindi (1.06%)
  Other (1.45%)

The language spoken by the populace of Malda district is predominantly Bengali.[24] Khotta, Santali, Maithili and Hindi languages are also spoken by some minority population throughout the district.[25]


Malda has special cultural sorts like Gombhira, Alkap, Kavigan etc.


Almost all of the major religious festivals are celebrated, like


Some of the most reputed cultural fairs of the district are

  • Ramkeli Fair, Gour
  • Aiho and Bulbulchandi ' Kali Puja Fair
  • Debipur Haribasar 32 Prahar Mela.
  • Gobarjanna Kalipujo MelM
  • Charak Fair
  • Chobbish (24) Prahor at Shingabad and Rishipur
  • Dariapur Urush at Dariapur, Kaliachak
  • Gazole Utsab
  • Kahala Urush at Mothabari
  • Kahala Durga Puja Fair .
  • Kartik puja Fair
  • Moyna Bishohari Mela.
  • Eid Fair, Pirana Pir Dargah
  • Muharram Fair, at Sattari
  • Maha Shivratri Fair or Bhole Bam at Amrity
  • Christmas Carnival, Englishbazar, Malda
  • 32 praxhar harinam sankirtan at Debipur (Ratua 1,Malda)

Tourist attractions[edit]

Early 19th century lithograph of the Muslim ruins of Dakhil Darwaza at Gour
  • Adina Relics
  1. Adina Mosque
  2. Gol ghar
  3. Eklakhi mosque
  4. Adina deer park
  1. Firoz minar
  2. Chika Masjid
  3. Qutwali Gate
  4. 12-gated mosque
  5. Qudm-e-Rasul, dargah shrine believed to contain the footprint of the Prophet
Temple of Jahura Kali Bari, Malda
Debipur Haribasar Radhakrishna Mandir (Debipur, Ratua1, Malda)


Notable educational institutions of the district include:


Engineering Colleges[edit]

General degree Colleges[edit]

Medical schools[edit]

Polytechnic Colleges[edit]


Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ Malda, gateway of fake currencies. (14 September 2015). Times of India. Retrieved 12 March 2021.
  2. ^ "Malda, India's fake currency capital, is feeling the demonetisation pinch". 14 November 2016.
  3. ^ "Why does all fake currency come from West Bengal?". 25 June 2015.
  4. ^ "Malda Violence Was 'BSF Vs People', Claims Mamata Banerjee".
  5. ^ "Fake currency seized from Malda".
  6. ^ a b c HISTORY AND SCOPE OF THE DISTRICT CENSUS HANDBOOK (PDF). p. 7. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  7. ^ "Malda: A spectacle of desolation in West Bengal". The Sunday Guardian Live. 30 May 2020.
  8. ^ "Malda: A spectacle of desolation in West Bengal". The Sunday Guardian Live. 30 May 2020. Retrieved 2 June 2020.
  9. ^ Sarkar, Ashim (2008). Changing Profile of Bengal District:Malda 1932-1950 (First ed.). 9, Radhanath Mallik Lane, Kolkata: Classique Books. pp. 10–12. ISBN 978-81-87616-34-4.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location (link)
  10. ^ Sarkar, Ashim Kumar (2008). Changing Profile of a Bengal District Malda:19 (First ed.). 9, Radhanath Mallik Lane, Kolkata-12: Classique Books. p. 35. ISBN 978-81-87616-34-4.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location (link)
  11. ^ a b Ministry of Panchayati Raj (8 September 2009). "A Note on the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme" (PDF). National Institute of Rural Development. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 April 2012. Retrieved 27 September 2011.
  12. ^ "District Portal of Malda".
  13. ^ a b "Directory of District, Sub division, Panchayat Samiti/ Block and Gram Panchayats in West Bengal, March 2008". West Bengal. National Informatics Centre, India. 19 March 2008. Archived from the original on 25 February 2009. Retrieved 10 November 2008.
  14. ^ "Census of India 2001, Final Population Totals, West Bengal, Rural Frame". West Bengal. Directorate of census operations. Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 10 November 2008.
  15. ^ "District Profile". Official website of the Malda district. Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 10 November 2008.
  16. ^ "Population, Decadal Growth Rate, Density and General Sex Ratio by Residence and Sex, West Bengal/ District/ Sub District, 1991 and 2001". West Bengal. Directorate of census operations. Retrieved 10 November 2008.
  17. ^ Decadal Variation In Population Since 1901
  18. ^ a b c d e f "District Census 2011 - Malda" (PDF). censusindia.gov.in. Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. 2011.
  19. ^ US Directorate of Intelligence. "Country Comparison:Population". Archived from the original on 13 June 2007. Retrieved 1 October 2011. Liberia 3,786,764 July 2011 est.
  20. ^ "2010 Resident Population Data". U. S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 28 October 2011. Retrieved 30 September 2011. Oregon 3,831,074
  21. ^ Mitra, A. (1954). West Bengal District Handbook: Malda. Calcutta: The Government of India Press. pp. 13–24.
  22. ^ a b c "Table C-01 Population by Religion: West Bengal". censusindia.gov.in. Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India. 2011.
  23. ^ "CENSUS OF INDIA, 1941 VOLUME VI BENGAL PROVINCE" (PDF). Retrieved 13 August 2022.
  24. ^ a b "Table C-16 Population by Mother Tongue: West Bengal". www.censusindia.gov.in. Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India.
  25. ^ Mitra, A. (1954). West Bengal District Handbook: Malda. Calcutta: The Government of India Press. p. 17.

External links[edit]

25°00′N 88°09′E / 25.00°N 88.15°E / 25.00; 88.15