Lesser whistling duck in Santragachhi lake
|• Official||Bengali, English|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|ISO 3166 code||ISO 3166-2:IN|
Santragachhi or Santragachi is a neighbourhood of Howrah city in West Bengal, India. It has a railway station which serves as a railway junction for the South Eastern Railway. Santragachi is mostly a residential locality with a sizeable railway colony with some industries including a hll, a privately owned railway goods wagon making unit. Santragachi is also popular for its large lake known as Santragachhi Jheel which attracts migratory birds such as lesser whistling duck in the winter months. Recent development of new Bus stand and Bus routes from Santragachi is making it a preferred change over point for prople travelling by railways to Kolkata, specially South Kolkata, via Vidyasagar Setu.
In the early twentieth century, Santragachhi was a large village, with a part within Howrah municipality. According to a legend, the principal family there, the Chaudhuris, who were Barendra brahmins, started staying here 300 years from now. Inspired by them, other Barendra families moved to the place. The railway station of Santragachhi was named after this place, though this place is closer to another railway station at Ramrajatala. Ramrajatala area was considered a quarter of the area under this village.
First vernacular school of the Howrah district was established in Santragachhi in 1857 with the help of a Government grant. For Indian girls, the first girls' school of the Howrah district with Indian management was established in Santragachhi in 1863, with a small grant from the Government.
Santragachhi produced good quality of arums (ol: Bengali: ওল). There is a variety of Amorphophallus paeoniifolius (elephant-foot yam of arum family) which is named Santragachhi after this place.
Earstwhile Bengal Nagpur Railway, now known as South Eastern Railway, was connected to Howrah station in 1900. This time, the 3-mile-long (5 km) short branch from Santragachhi to Shalimar Station was also created for redirecting heavy traffic of export goods, for further carrying them to Kidderpore dock in Kolkata via large ferry steamers. Santragachhi railway station is now a railway junction. There are plans of developing Santragachhi junction into a full fledged terminal, with more trains originating and departing from here, over next 3–4 years to reduce congestion on Howrah Station.
Santragachhi is also close to Kona Expressway, which connects to Kolkata via Vidyasagar Setu and towards rest of the NH 6 and to the NH 2. Santragachhi is the main Railway coaching yard of South Eastern Railway's Kharagpur Division. Maintenance of more than 50 long or short-distance trains has been done here. The class-one flat yard consists of a diesel locomotive shed, an electric locomotive shed, washing and sick lines and a railway turntable.
Kolkata Central Bus Terminus, spread over 12.38 acres (5.01 ha) of land, the Central Bus Terminus- is the fructification of the joint efforts by the state transport department, HRBC and the KMDA. While Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority has chipped in handing over a vast 12.38 acres of land to install the facility, Hooghly River Bridge Commissioners (HRBC) remained the implementing authority. Chief minister Mamata Banerjee inaugurated the terminus on 27 May 2015. The terminus have a parking capacity for 169 buses, 100 for other vehicles and space for 85 two wheeler.
There are several secondary and higher secondary schools for boys and girls. Santragachi Kedarnath Institution, Santragachi Kedarnath Institution (For Girls), Surendranath Girls High School, Jagacha Girl's High School, Buxarah High School, Betore Sikhayaton for girls, Dharsa Mihirlal Khan Institution, S.E. Railway Mixed Higher secondary School, St. Marys Convent School. There is also a Kendriya Vidyalaya. Colleges include D.R Kanai Lal Bhattachariya College, Dinabondhu Mitra College, Howrah Girls College.
Santragachhi Jheel is a large lake, located next to the Santragachhi railway station. This lake attracts large number of migratory birds in the winter months, particularly in December and January. The number has increased in recent years, as migratory birds have started to avoid destinations like the lakes in Alipore Zoo, Kolkata. Birds like sarus crane from North America and Australia, gadwall, northern shoveller, northern pintail, garganey from north of the Himalayas, and many other local migratory birds such as cotton pygmy goose, knob-billed duck etc. are spotted here during this season. However, the lesser whistling duck is the most dominant species visible here.
The lake area is owned by South Eastern Railway, though the Forest Department of West Bengal also looks after the place. Every year before the migratory birds are expected to arrive, the Forest department cleans Water hyacinth from the lake, though leaving some portion of it which adds up to an environment suitable for the birds. Efforts are made by local residents, Forest Department and Railways to improve the environment for the birds.
Forest Ministry of the State Government of West Bengal intends to convert the lake to a 'wildlife conservation centre'.
Tibbati Baba Ashram
In the year 1929, in the month of November (2nd Agrahayana of Bengali calendar 1336), an ashram was established by Tibbetibaba on the earnest request of his devotees and disciples. This ashram was given the name of Tibbetibaba Vedanta Ashram by his devotees and disciples. Land for the ashram was bought by a man named Bishnupada Chattopadhyaya (later he came to be known as Bhooan Swami). The first brick for the ashram was laid by Tibbetibaba himself. Later, more land for the ashram was bought by a man from the Entally area of Kolkata.
At present this ashram is located at "76/3, Taantipara Lane, P.O. Santragachi, Howrah – 711 104, West Bengal, India." It is commonly referred as ‘Tibbetibaba (Tibbati Baba) Ashram’ by the common people of Dalal Pukur area.
- O'Malley & Chakravarti 1909, p. 172
- Barendra or Varendra was a region in northern Bengal.
- O'Malley & Chakravarti 1909, p. 140
- O'Malley & Chakravarti 1909, p. 141
- O'Malley & Chakravarti 1909, p. 73
- O'Malley & Chakravarti 1909, p. 74
- NIIR Board. Cultivation of Fruits, Vegetables and Floriculture. National Institute Of Industrial Research. p. 583. ISBN 81-86623-75-2. Retrieved 2009-01-05.
- "Yahoo maps location of Santragachhi". Yahoo maps. Retrieved 2009-01-05.
- O'Malley & Chakravarti 1909, p. 126
- "Santragachi to be developed into terminal in 3–4 years". Times of India. Times of India. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
- Jheel (Bengali: ঝিল) is a Bengali word for a lake.
- Romila Saha (2008-01-08). "Bird draw at jheel". The Telegraph, Kolkata. Retrieved 2009-01-06.
- "Migratory birds no longer keen to nest at Alipore Zoo". Indian Express. 2008-12-16. Retrieved 2009-01-05.
- Suchetana Haldar (2006-12-15). "Birds of many feathers flock to Santragachi". Indian Express. Retrieved 2009-01-06.
- Bhajan Ganguly (2004-12-08). "Welcome, winter friends on wing". The Telegraph, Kolkata. Retrieved 2009-01-06.
- "Protected Area Update: News and Information from protected areas in India and South Asia" (DOC). Wildlife Institute of India. February 2005. Retrieved 2009-01-06.
- Brahmachari, Akhandananda, Paramhamsa Tibbati Babar Smriti Katha, India: Tibbati Baba Vedanta Ashram, 76/3, Taantipara Lane, P.O. Santragachi, Howrah – 711 104, West Bengal (May, 2003), p. 1.
- Brahmachari, Akhandananda, Paramhamsa Tibbati Babar Smriti Katha, India: Tibbati Baba Vedanta Ashram, 76/3, Taantipara Lane, P.O. Santragachi, Howrah – 711 104, West Bengal (May 2003), p. 47.
- Chakravorty, Subodh, "Bharater Sadhak – Sadhika", India: Kamini Publication, 115, Akhil Mistry Lane, Kolkata – 700 009 (1997, Bengali calendar year 1404), Volume 1, p. 477.
- Misra, Kunjeshwar, Ramayan Bodh Ba Balmikir Atmaprakash, (2nd ed.) India: Tibbati Baba Vedanta Ashram, 76/3, Taantipara Lane, P.O. Santragachi, Howrah – 711 104, West Bengal (2006, Bengali calendar year 1413), p. 1.
- O'Malley, L.S.S.; Chakravarti, Monmohan (1909), Bengal District Gazetteers: Howrah, Bengal Secretariat Book Depot.
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