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Town / Municipality
Statue of horses at the Nandikeshwari Temple complex
Statue of horses at the Nandikeshwari Temple complex
Nickname(s): Business City
Business Capital of Birbhum[1]
Sainthia is located in West Bengal
Location in West Bengal, India
Coordinates: 23°57′N 87°40′E / 23.95°N 87.67°E / 23.95; 87.67Coordinates: 23°57′N 87°40′E / 23.95°N 87.67°E / 23.95; 87.67
Country  India
State West Bengal
District Birbhum
Block (district subdivision) Sainthia (community development block)
Police station Sainthia
Former name Nandipur
Municipality 1987
 • Type Municipality
 • Body Sainthia Municipality
 • Chairman Biplab Dutta[2]
 • Vice Chairman Kazi Kamal Hosein[3]
 • Total 16 km2 (6 sq mi)
Elevation[5] 54.94 m (180.25 ft)
Population (2011)[6]
 • Total 44,601
 • Rank 4th, Birbhum District
 • Density 4,400/km2 (11,000/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Sainthian / Sainthiabashi
 • Official Bengali, English
 • Spoken Bengali, Hindi, English, Marwari, Nepali, Urdu, Bhojpuri
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 731234
Telephone code 03462[7]
Vehicle registration WB 54
Literacy 79.50%
Lok Sabha constituency Birbhum
Vidhan Sabha constituency Sainthia

Sainthia, formerly Nandipur, is a large town and a municipality in Suri Sadar subdivision of Birbhum district in the Indian state of West Bengal. The town is in the Jurisdiction of Sainthia police station. Sainthia is the fourth most populous town[8] in Birbhum district and 991th most populous town in India.[9] Known as business capital of Birbhum district. The town is famous for Nandikeshwari Temple, one of the Shakti Peethas in India. With the effort of the inhabitants of this urban locality, Sainthia has been turned into a commercial hub of the district. Now it is growing rapidly through all the development and service avenues to be a model municipality by taking good care of its inhabitants and the nature surrounding it. A prospectful Sainthia Town having all sorts of potentially in respect of employment, education, cultrual and social activities, health facilities with social & civic hazards. Sainthia Municipality has an area of 16 square kilometres.


The name Sainthia is derived from 'Sain', a Bengali term used to refer to an Islamic priest. Sainthia is also known as 'Nandipur', after the famous temple of Nandikeshwari.


About 160 years ago Sainthia was a small village. Urbanization of this area gained momentum in the recent past, when construction work of the Sahibganj loop line and a bridge over the Mayurakshi River started. Construction of the Khana-Rajmahal section of Sahibganj Loop was completed in October 1859. The first train ran from Howrah to Rajmahal via Khana Junction on 4 July 1860. Construction of the Sainthia railway station was done as part of building the entire line. This large project brought people from different corners of this country to assemble and settle here. Sainthia, an old village trade centre, a place of Pilgrimage has been emerged into a municipal town in the year 1987.[10]


On July 19, 2010, the Sainthia train collision occurred at the Sainthia railway station here, when Bananchal express was crashed by Uttarbanga express at Sainthia Station.[11]


Sainthia is located at 23°34′N 87°24′E / 23.57°N 87.40°E / 23.57; 87.40.[12] It has an average elevation of 54 metres (180 feet). The town is situated in the bank of Mayurakshi River. The soil is generally alluvial and fertile. There was a rich reservoir of groundwater but this stands somewhat depleted due to overuse. The temperature goes very high and it is terribly humid in summer and quite cold in winter.

Urban Structure[edit]

Hat Tala area of the town

The Sainthia municipality area spread over 16 km2 (6.18 sq mi) and comprises 16 wards. The north–south dimension of the town is comparatively narrow, stretching from the Mayurakshi River in the north to roughly Pariharpur Village in the south—a span of 2–3 km. The east-west distance is greater, and its axis is used to section the town into East, Central, and West Sainthia.


Census India 2001[edit]

As of 2001 India census,[13] Sainthia had a population of 39,244. Males constitute 51% of the population and females 49%. Sainthia has an average literacy rate of 66%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 73%, and female literacy is 59%. In Sainthia, 11% of the population is under 6 years of age.

Census India 2011[edit]

As of 2011, the Sainthia Municipality has a population of 44,601, of which 22,856 are males while 21,745 are females, as per the report released by Census India 2011. The population of children under age 6 is 4511, which is 10.11% of the total population of Sainthia. In Sainthia, the female sex ratio is 951, against the state average of 950. The child sex ratio is around 880, compared to the West Bengal state average of 956. The literacy rate of Sainthia is 79.50%, higher than state average of 76.26%. Male literacy is around 84.70% while female literacy is 74.08%. Out of the total population, 16,485 were engaged in work or business activity. Of this, 13,481 were males while 3,004 were females. In the census survey, a worker is defined as a person who does business, job, service, cultivator, or labour activity. Of the total 16,485 working population, 92.97% were engaged in main work while 7.03% were engaged in marginal work. Sainthia has over 10,229 houses.[14]

Religion in Sainthia[15]
Religion Percent
Not Stated

Ward number 16 is the most populous ward with population of 3814 and ward number 4 is the least populous ward with population of 1638.[16]


Sainthia is an economically important town and one of the busiest business hubs in the middle part of West Bengal. The economy of Sainthia Municipal area is the central place of Birbhum district. The economy is based on agricultural products and their allied businesses. Rice mills, mastered oil mills, bran oil mills, fried rice mills, galvanized wire product units and other businesses run here. The economy of Sainthia stands tall due to the sales of agricultural products. The town is very much famous for export and import Center for cottege industry and agricultural based different goods. The hinterland of business of Sainthia spreads up to the district of Jharkhand in the west and Kandi of Murshidabad district in the east. The town is well connected to Baharampur, Siuri, Rampurhat, Bolpur, Andal, Asansol, Durgapur and Kolkata through high roads and railroads. That makes the town the business center of all sorts of goods distribution and transportation. Its socio-economical status is quite strong and education ratio is steadily increasing.[17]

Sainthia is an important centre for banking and finance. This is a list of bank branches and financial service providers within the municipality of Sainthia.

  1. Axis Bank ( opposite to Saitnhia Municipality Office )[18]
  2. Allahabad Bank[19]
  3. Bank of India ( College Road )
  4. Bandhan Bank[20]
  5. Central Bank of India
  6. HDFC Bank ( Mayurakshi Sarani )[21]
  7. ICICI Bank ( R. K. Road )[22]
  8. Life Insurance Corporation of India ( Lowtore Road )[23]
  9. Muthoot Finance ( opposite to Saitnhia Municipality Office )[24]
  10. MoneyGram
  11. Oriental Bank of Commerce
  12. Paschim Banga Gramin Bank
  13. State Bank of India ( Sandhani More )
  14. State Bank of India ADB ( Lowtore Road )
  15. Union Bank of India
  16. United Bank of India ( Station Road )
  17. Uco Bank ( Station Road )
  18. Western Union.


Public transport systems in Sainthia include the Government and Private buses, electric rickshaws, taxis and auto rickshaws. Electric rickshaw services accounted for maximum of the passenger traffic in Sainthia.


The nearest domestic airport is Kazi Nazrul Islam International Airport. The airport is roughly 74 kilometers from central Sainthia.

The nearest international airport is Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport at Dum Dum in Kolkata. Which is 198 kilometers from central Sainthia.


Platform Number 1 of Sainthia railway station in 2013

The Sainthia railway station[25] served the entire town which is the most important and key railway station of Birbum district. This railway station is the 3rd busiest railway station in Birbhum district and an important railway station, having connectivity to several places. Almost all of the trains passing through Sainthia stop at the station. 4 important trains originating from this railway station. Daily 45 trains from Sainthia railway station connecting Kolkata's two busy rail terminals, Howrah railway station and Sealdah railway station.[26] Sainthia railway station's distance from Kolkata's Howrah railway station and Sealdah railway station by railway is 191 kilometers and 186 kilometers. Daily 10 trains from Sainthia railway station connecting district headquarter Suri town.[27]


Government Hospital[edit]

1 government hospital served this town.[28]

Private Hospital[edit]

The town has 8 private hospitals.[29]

Animal Hospital[edit]

There is 1 animal hospital in western fringe of the town.[30]

Overall, huge number of clinics and medicine shops served this town.


Sainthia is more famous for its temples which play a vital role in making it a famous tourist destination in West Bengal. Nandikeshwari Temple devoted to Goddess Nandikeshwari is loacted in this town.[31]



There are two colleges in Sainthia:

Main gate of Abhedananda Mahavidyalaya

Abhedananda Mahavidyalaya[32] is a general stream college under the University of Burdwan. It was established in 1964. With advice from Sri Sri Thakur Satyanandadev, the spiritual disciple of Swami Abhedananda, his disciple Dr. Krishna Das Ray [Dr. K. D. Ray]

Dr. K. D. Ray

founded the college under the affiliation of the University of Burdwan in the sacred memory of his spiritual guide. The college was established to fill the needs of higher education of the students of Sainthia and the vast rural areas. Dr. Ray built the college building and its two hostels, and was the first principal of the college.

Birbhum Vivekananda Homeopathic Medical College and Hospital is a homeopathic medical college. On 10 April 1972, on their way back after attending a convention on homeopathic science at Suri, Birbhum, a few enthusiastic homeopathic and social workers of Sainthia decided to form an organization. Their aim was to establish an ideal homeopathic institution to teach the educated youths and to propagate the laws of homeopathic science at a low cost.

Girl's hostel of the Medical College

Within a month, the organisation came into existence. To fulfill its object, while they were in search of land, and at its eventual moment the late Pradyut Kumar Ghoshal came forward and donated 0.67 acres of land. Unconditionally at sanitary site on the bank of the river Mayuraskhi, more acres of land were essentially required to build a medical college and hospital. The patrons then made an ardent and fervent appeal to Manish Gupta, the District Magistrate, Birbhum. Then the new D.M., Mr. Goswami, kindly offered 2.67 acres of land to the association, adjacent to the first plot, for establishing a homeopathic medical college.

The mission of Birbhum Vivekananda Homeopathic Medical College and Hospital is to extend facilities and offer humanitarian activities to ailing people in the remote rural areas of West Bengal through homeopathic medicine. The idea and ideology of trueness, the honest attempt to fulfill the desire of the great scientist Dr. Samuel Hahnemann who emphasized the need of carrying out the light of homeopathic education to serve the needy ailing humanity and uplifting the followers from the abyss of quackery.

High Schools[edit]

  • Sainthia High School
    One of the buildings of Sainthia High School
    is the oldest high school of Sainthia. It was started as a boys' high school but now it is co-educational in the 11th and 12th classes. It was founded by Panchanan Ghosh, among the leading personalities of Sainthia, who belonged to the famous Ghosh family.
  • Sainthia Town High School is a boys' only high school.
  • Shashibhushan Dutta Girls' High School was founded by the Dutta family of Sainthia in the memory of their father.
  • Jogeshwari Dutta Girls' High School was started by Sainthia Municipality as "Municipal Girls' Junior High School" up to 8th class. The Dutta family sponsored it to a high school in memory of their mother Jogeshwari Dutta. Now it is up to the 10th class.
  • Paharhi Baba Vidyapth is situated on the eastern fringe of the town and it enrolls many students from Sainthia. It is a co-ed school.
  • Gitanjali Public School[33] is situated in Daikota area of Sainthia. It was established in 2006. The school has been operating officially under the trust/society Gitanjali Foundation. It is an Independent and Co-educational Higher Secondary School institution affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on Provisional basis since 2006. It offers education in English medium.
  • Rastravhasa High School is a Secondary School located in Sainthia Municipality. Founded in 1955, it runs under the Department of Education. When it comes to medium of instruction & school type, it's a Hindi medium Co-educational school.

Primary Schools[edit]

The town has 17 primary schools.


There is one government-sponsored public library in Sainthia. It is situated beside Sainthia Town High School.

Notable People[edit]

People welcoming the scientist at Sainthia railway station in 2015

Ananda Mohan Chakrabarty is an Indian American microbiologist, scientist, and researcher from Sainthia.

Nandikeshwari Temple[edit]

Sainthia is famous for the well-known temple of Goddess Nandikeshwari,[34] which is one of the 51 Shakti Peethas of Indian subcontinent. The temple attracts a vast array of visitors and devotees from all over the region. The temple rests on an elevated platform, and contains many additional smaller shrines to many gods and goddesses of the Hindu pantheon. Puja is offered daily to the Goddess. The name of Goddess is derived from Nandi, the mascot and follower of Lord Shiva, and Ishwari (Goddess), meaning 'one who is worshiped by Nandi, the divine bull'. Wife to Lord Shiva, the Goddess is one of the many aspects of Goddess Sati or Parvati.

Main gate of Nandikeshwari Temple

Situated about 191 km from Howrah railway station and close to the Sainthia railway station, the temple is also a famous pilgrimage for visitors from Kolkata. Usually, a circular journey for pilgrimage is undertaken by visitors and devotees from Kolkata and other major cities in the Birbhum District, starting from Shantiniketan, through Tara Pith and Nandikeshwari and finally to Fullara Mahapith of Labhpur. Daily Prasad is offered to the devotees in the temple. Annual festival is held during the autumn season.

Main idol in the temple is a black stone, which is now almost Red as devotees use Sindur to pray the Holy Stone as Nandikeshwari Goddess. Three eyes of Maa durga is marked on the stone. There are several temples within the boundary among Dashavatara, Lord Vishnu, Hanumana, Rama-Sita, Nabadurga, Lord Shiva, Saraswati temple, Laxmi Ganesha temple, Vishnu Laxmi temple, Radha Govinda temple deserves special mention. There is also an ancient old Banyan tree which is placed inside the temple area and devotees binds ropes with red color with a wish to Maa Durga in this holy place.


Cultural Centre[edit]

Entrance gate of Rabindra Bhaban

Rabindra Bhaban[35] is an iconic cultural centre in Sainthia. An architectural landmark, Rabindra Bhaban with its state-of-the-art galleries, compact auditorium with excellent acoustics, a conference centre with seminar and lecture rooms fills an important need in the town, which does not have comparable facilities. This venue is also available to others for holding of cultural programmes.

Above all Rabindra Bhaban enables this culturally vibrant town to appreciate a variety of national and international cultural events, which include art exhibitions, dance and musical performances, seminars, talks, workshops, and theatre.

Durga Puja[edit]

Durga idol of Saptarathi Club in 2014

Durga Puja is in the culture of Sainthia. Durga Puja is the most glamorous, most popular and largest festival in Sainthia. No other birbhum towns celebrates Durga Puja as enthusiastically as Sainthia. In Sainthia and its suburbs more than 70 pandals are set up, all clamouring for the admiration and praise of the populace. The town is adorned with lights and the vibrant nightlife is the most exciting thing to experience during the Puja. Streets, alleys, parks, houses and trees glitter with fairy lights. Popular movie songs as well as traditional music such as Rabindra Sangeet, 'Chandipath' are played on loudspeakers. Fairs are set up in numerous parks and public spaces, complete with merry-go-rounds, giant wheels and stalls. People from all over the country visit the town at this time, and every night is one mad carnival where thousands of people go 'pandal-hopping' with their friends, relatives and family. Thousands of temporary food-stalls which cater to massive crowds are installed on pavements and roadsides. Traffic comes to a standstill, and indeed, most people abandon their vehicles to travel by foot after a point. A special task force is deployed by Sainthia police station to control law and order. Sainthia municipality announce special awards for best pujas. Most of the clubs and housing complexes organise cultural programmes on each four evenings. Many people also come out to join adda at their neighbourhood pandals and festivities continue late into the night. Durga Puja in Sainthia is often referred to as the Durga Puja of the Eastern metropolis Kolkata. All throughout Sainthia, or rather, West Bengal, on the last day of Vijayadashami, people take earthen lamps called dhunachi which have lighted coconut husks in them and dance the traditional dhunuchi nritya in front of the goddess according to the ceremonial drumbeats (dhak). Married women smear each other with red vermillion powder which is known as 'sindoor-khela'

Sindoor Khela during Durga Puja in Agrani Samaj

while exchanges of Bijoya greetings and confectioneries take place. Then the idols are carried out in large processions from every corner of the town towards various ghats of the Mayurakshi River. The processions end with music, dance and maddening revelries. The idols are immersed into water amidst frenzied chantings and beatings of 'dhak'. Few notable pujas of Sainthia are Agrani Samaj, Arunodoy, Saptarathi Club, Netaji Sangha, Yubagosthi etc. Sainthia have seen sharp rise in the number of pandals and theme-pujas in recent years. Special pujas are held also in Nandikeshwari Temple. The Kumari puja on Astami is a spectacular event attended by a large number of people.[36]



Kamodakinkar Stadium

The Kamodakinkar Stadium[37] is a football and a cricket stadium at Vivekananda Palli, Sainthia. The stadium has all the facilities of a football and a cricket stadium. It is the home of the football and cricket teams of Sainthia. This stadium is operated by Sainthia Sports Association.

Abhedananda Mahavidyalaya college ground is used as second home ground of Sainthia.


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  6. ^ "Census of India Search details". Retrieved 10 May 2015. 
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  11. ^ "The Telegraph". 
  12. ^ Falling Rain Genomics, Inc - Sainthia
  13. ^ "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
  14. ^ May 2015
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External links[edit]

Sainthia travel guide from Wikivoyage