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This article is about the municipality in West Bengal, India. For its namesake district, see Purulia district.
Purulia is located in West Bengal
Location in West Bengal, India
Coordinates: 23°20′N 86°22′E / 23.34°N 86.36°E / 23.34; 86.36Coordinates: 23°20′N 86°22′E / 23.34°N 86.36°E / 23.34; 86.36
Country  India
State West Bengal
District Purulia
Population (2011)
 • Total 126,894
 • Official Bengali, English
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
Telephone code 91 (0)3252
Sex ratio 955 female/1000 male /
Literacy 81.53 per cent%
Lok Sabha constituency Purulia
Vidhan Sabha constituency Purulia
Website purulia.gov.in

Purulia (Pron: ˈpʊru:ˌlɪə), also known as "Manbhum City", is a city located in West Bengal state, India, and was constituted in 1876. It is the location of the district headquarters of Purulia district. Purulia is located on the north of the Kasai river and is a major road and railway junction. It has an area of 6,259 km2. It is famous for the Chhau dance.



Purulia is located at 23°20′N 86°22′E / 23.33°N 86.37°E / 23.33; 86.37.[1] It has an average elevation of 228 metres (748 feet). Summers are hot and dry with temperatures ranging from lows of 23 °C to highs above 45 °C. The temperature reached the highest level in the country on June 18, 2005 at 51.1 °C.[2] Winters are dry and cool with daily temperatures ranging from 5 °C to 20 °C. Most of the rainfall occurs during the wet monsoons.

It has many major rivers such as the Damodar, Subernarekha, Kangsabati, and Kumari, along with many dams including Kangsabati dam, Panchet dam, Maithon dam, Murguma dam, and Baghmundi dam. It has a varied landscape consisting of plains, plateaus and hills. Most of the major land forms can be found here.

Purulia soil is red and it is said that the soil has the most iron in it compared to other soil in India.

The portion of the Ajodha range located in Purulia is the starting point of the Chottanagpur plateau.

Beauty of Purulia[edit]

Purulia district has many natural beauties, such as picnic spots. Some of the famous are the deer park near Kangsabati dam, Ajodha hills, Joychandi pahar etc. It has many waterfalls also. The Pakhi pahar (bird hill) is very beautiful. In this hill birds are drawn on the rocks of the hill. The district has two big reservoirs, the Kangsabati reservoir and the Panchet reservoir. There are also tiger reserves, elephant reserves, and deer reserves. Besides these there are many tourist spots and picnic spot in the southern part of the Purulia named as "Jangalmahal". Duarsini is one of them, it is nearer to village Kunchia 10 km from bandwan town. The area is very beautiful surrounded by hills and waterfalls. Kunchia is also a nice place to visit in winter.

The city is also beautifully landscaped. There is the Saheb bandh, a large pond where boating and fishing take place. There is also Subhas Park and an educational park called as District Science Centre. It has a small island in the center of it where many beautiful birds come during the year from different parts of the world. Nearby Garh Panchakot is also worth visiting, for its natural beauty.

    • Joy Chandi Pahar & Resort situated at Raghunathpur (a Hill City) is one of the most beautiful tourist place in Purulia. About 50km from Asansol and 40km from Purulia Town. **

The Australian architect William Hardy Wilson named his own home after Purulia. A heritage-listed home, Purulia was a major influence on the design of homes in Sydney.


In 2011, Puruliya had population of 2,927,965 of which male and female were 1,497,656 and 1,430,309 respectively. There was change of 15.43 percent in the population compared to population as per 2001. In the previous census of India 2001, Puruliya District recorded increase of 14.02 percent to its population compared to 1991.

The initial provisional data suggest a density of 468 in 2011 compared to 405 of 2001. Total area under Puruliya district is of about 6,259 km2.

Average literacy rate of Purulia in 2011 were 65.38% compared to 55.57% of 2001. If things are looked at gender wise, male and female literacy were 78.85% and 51.29% respectively, compared to 73.72% and 36.50% in 2001. Total literate in Purulia District were 1,656,940 of which male and female were 1,021,455 and 635,485 respectively. In 2001, Puruliya District had 1,182,284 in its total region.

With regards to the sex ratio in Puruliya, it stood at 955 per 1000 male compared to 2001 census figure of 954. The average national sex ratio in India is 940 as per latest reports of Census 2011 Directorate.


Pre Historic Times Tagged as one of the oldest known districts known in West Bengal. According to the Jaina Bhagavati-Sutra, the place existed as early as 5th century and was one of the 16 Mahajanapadas of its time. It is believed that Purulia was a part of the country known as Vajra-bhumi, in ancient times. Pre-Independence Era British East-India Company formed the Regulation XVIIII in 1805, a Jungle Mahals district, comprising 23 parganas and mahals - including the present Purulia, was formed. However, years later, in 1833, the Jungle Mahals district was ruled out and a new district, by the name of Manbhum, was constituted, with headquarters at Manbazar.

Manbhum was extremely large in size and constituted of Bankura and Burdwan (in the present West Bengal), apart from Dhanbad, Dhalbhum, Saraikela and Kharswan (in the present Jharkhand and Orissa). In the year 1838, the district headquarters was shifted from Manbazar to Purulia (as it is known today). With this, Purulia was withdrawn from regular administration and placed under an officer called Principal Assistant (better known as Deputy Commissioner today) to the agent of the Governor-General for South-Western Frontier.

Post-Independence Era It was in 1956, nine years after India received its independence, that the district of Manbhum was partitioned and the states of West Bengal and Bihar were formed, under the States Reorganization Act and Transfer of Territories Act. In the November of 1956, Purulia was formed as one of the districts in West Bengal. Located at the westernmost side of the state, Purulia boasts of a tropical location. It acts as a funnel, transferring tropical monsoon current from the Bay of Bengal to the subtropical parts of northwest India. Purulia also acts as a gateway to reach the industrial belts of West Bengal and the hinterlands in Orissa, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. [3]

Further information: Purulia arms drop case

Purulia entered the news in December 1995, when a Latvian aircraft dropped a consignment of arms in its vicinity. Several days later, when the plane re-entered Indian airspace, it was intercepted by a Mig21 of the Indian Air Force, and its crew were captured. It was believed that the arms were intended for the Hindu sect Anand Marg ("Happy Path"), but proof of this could not be established. The crew of the aircraft consisted of five Latvian citizens and Peter Bleach, a British citizen. They were arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment. Following the intervention of Russian authorities, the Latvian crew (ethnic Russians) were pardoned and released in 2000.

The Ramakrishna Mission Vidyapith is a residential school for boys with the calm environment of the ancient gurukul system which was the ideology of Swami Vivekananda. Sainik School is on Ranchi Road. GRK DAV is a residential school based on the ideologies of Arya Samaj, founded by Swami Dayananda. The Assembly of God Church School has a morning batch (Bhatbhandh) and a day batch (Ranchi Road). The oldest of the schools is Purulia Zilla which was established in 1853.

In Hindu religious belief, it is thought that when Lord Rama was coming back after 14 years of exile, he took rest in Ayodhya hills. To fulfill Sita's thirst Lord Rama made a pond by hitting his arrow in the hills. It is believed that the pond exists today, and is called Sitakund.


All the festivals are celebrated here with full of joy and happiness. The major festivals are like Durga Puja, Kali Puja, Manasa Puja, Saraswati Puja & Makar Parab. The whole city is decorated during diwali.

Tribe Saontal's major festival is Bandna or Bandana( it is called as "SAHARAI parab" by the Santals)which is celebrated in the bengalimonth of "kartik" or "Poush" month. In this festival they play music, dance together and eat meat based special dishes like "Manser Pitha". They also take local liquor as a part of their culture named "Hadia". The SAHARAI parab is celebrated during four days, like (a) UMM (1ST DAY) (b) Daka (2nd day) (c) KHUNTAU (3rd day) and (d) JALE (4th day).

'Bhadu' is another festival started by Panchakot Raj of Kashipur after the death of King's daughter named Bhadrabati and nowadays it is enjoyed by the local mass.

Karma is a tribe festival in Purulia where tribal people worship the tree whose local name is 'Karam'. Poila Baisakh (The first day of Bengali new year) is also observed in Purulia with full enthusiasm by the local people with religious culture and Chhou dance.

    • Tourism Festival (Porjoton Utsab) in Raghunathpur Joychandi Pahar is the most popular festival in Raghunathpur Subdivision as well as Purulia District during the last week of December. (28th Dec to 1st Jan).

Time to visit[edit]

The best time to visit Purulia is from September to November. During this time you can visit all the tourist places in Purulia and can also enjoy the major festivals celebrated there at that time. Tourism festival in Raghunathpur use to held by December Last week.


Purulia railway station is on the Asansol–Tatanagar–Kharagpur line.

Most of the long distance trains stop at the railway station like Purushottam Express, Samarsata Express, Guwahati-Chennai Express, Porbandar-Santragachi Express, etc. Purulia is one of the most important transport location. Major cities near Purulia are Ranchi, Bokaro Steel City, Dhanbad, Asansol, Burnpur, Kharagpur, Jamshedpur, Chakradharpur, Kolkata etc. There is a link railway to Kolkata via Bardhaman, Adra, Purulia and Tata. The station is a junction and is about 1.5 km from the town-centre. Rupashi Bangla, Lalmati Express, Purulia Express those trains runs between purulia and howrah via Kharagpur.

Purulia is connected to various parts of West Bengal as well as Jharkhand through long distance bus services run by both Government and private operators.


Purulia has an All India Radio Relay station known as Akashvani Purulia. It broadcasts on 101.1MHz FM frequency presently.


Purulia Zilla School (the district government school) is the state government boys school. The government girls high school and Santamoyee Girls' High School are the two major Girls' High School. Chittaranjan High School is a boys school. Other schools are Chittaranjan girls high school, Girish chandra vidyapith, Netaji high school. Purulia Zilla school was established in 1853.

Other schools affiliated to WBCHSE include Chittaranjan High School and Manbhum Victoria Institution (another centenarian school). The Assembly of God Church School here is a nursery to XII school which follows the CBSE syllabus pattern and is compositely affiliated to it. The St. Xavier's School is another ICSE pattern school from Nursery to XII. The Rajasthan school is another school of hindi medium. The Sainik School, Purulia belongs to the central government of India, where students are prepared for recruiting them to Indian Army. This school is affiliated to CBSE. The Ramakrishna Mission Vidyapith is 6 km from the town. The school is affiliated to West Bengal Board of Secondary Education and is run by the Ramakrishna Mission Authority. It includes the residential system of education. In Purulia there is a deaf and dumb school in Amdiha Para.

Purulia Polytechnic is a diploma engineering institute situated three km away from the railway station. J.K. College, Purulia[1] (co-ed) and Nistarini College (for girls only) offer undergraduate education, both were affiliated to University of Burdwan. But since 2011 all colleges are under Sidho Kanho Birsha University as it is the new University established in Purulia.

There are many I.C.S.E schools. The most famous of them all is the St. Xavier School Purulia. Kishore Bharati Ashram Vidyalaya is another school ,which situated at Baghmundi.Purulia Homoeopathic Pharmacy College- Jhunjka, situated fifteen km away from Purulia Bus Stand.

There are two degree colleges in the town- (a) J.K. College and (b) Nistarini College. There is a new University built in Purulia , Sidho-Kanho-Birsa University

Notable personalities[edit]

  • Atul Chandra Ghosh[4]
  • Dr. Sarat Chandra Sen (S.C Sen)
  • Dr. Jimut Bahan Sen (S/O Of Sarat Chandra Sen) ( Former Freedom Fighter)
  • Arun Chandra Chosh
  • Gobindo Mahato
  • Sindhubala Devi
  • Gambhir Singh Mura- Born at Pitikiri Bamni village at the foothills of Ajodhya Hills. His father was Jipa Mura.

Gambhir Singh Mura dedicated his life for spreading the “Chhau” - a traditional ritual dance of Purulia, West Bengal, India. This dance was originally performed during the Bengali New Year (February-March) to celebrate the new harvests. “Chhau” is performed solo or in groups at villages of Purulia district by dancers in elaborate masks and headgear. Gambhir Singh Mura was awarded the “Padmasree” in 1981 by the Government of India for introducing the world to “Chhau” form of Indian dance. He earned accolades from several countries like England, France, Japan, US etc. Gambhir Singh Mura was a top class exponent of Chhau dance who will remain in the world of fine arts forever.

Purulia arms drop[edit]

On December 18, 1995, a mysterious weapon consignment was dropped from the sky over Joypur Jhalda area under Purulia district of West Bengal. The consignment was discovered the next morning. The reasons are still not known.[5]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

  • Purulia travel guide from Wikivoyage