Location of West Bengal in India
|Established||26 January 1950|
|• Body||Government of West Bengal|
|• Governor||Keshari Nath Tripathi|
|• Chief Minister||Mamata Banerjee (AITC)|
|• Legislature||Legislative Assembly (295)|
|• High Court||Calcutta High Court|
|• Total||88,752 km2 (34,267 sq mi)|
|• Density||1,029/km2 (2,670/sq mi)|
|• Total||₹10.49 lakh crore (US$150 billion)|
|• Per capita||₹108,372 (US$1,500)|
|• Additional official||Nepali in two sub-divisions of Darjeeling|
|Time zone||UTC+05:30 (IST)|
|ISO 3166 code||IN-WB|
|HDI (2015)||0.620 (medium) · 21st|
|Sex ratio (2011)||950 ♀/1000 ♂|
|^* 294 elected, 1 nominated|
West Bengal (//) is an Indian state, located in Eastern India on the Bay of Bengal. With over 91 million inhabitants (as of 2011), it is India's fourth-most populous state. It has an area of 88,752 km2 (34,267 sq mi). A part of the ethno-linguistic Bengal region of the Indian subcontinent, it borders Bangladesh in the east, and Nepal and Bhutan in the north. It also borders the Indian states of Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar, Sikkim, and Assam. The state capital is Kolkata (Calcutta), the seventh-largest city in India. As for geography, West Bengal includes the Darjeeling Himalayan hill region, the Ganges delta, the Rarh region, and the coastal Sundarbans. The main ethnic group are the Bengalis, with Bengali Hindus forming the demographic majority.
The area's early history featured a succession of Indian empires, internal squabbling, and a tussle between Hinduism and Buddhism for dominance. Ancient Bengal was the site of several major Janapadas (kingdoms), while the earliest cities date back to the Vedic period. The region was part of several ancient pan-Indian empires, including the Mauryans and Guptas. It was also a bastion of regional kingdoms. The citadel of Gauda served as the capital of the Gauda Kingdom, the Buddhist Pala Empire (eighth to 11th century) and Hindu Sena Empire (11th–12th century). From the 13th century onward, the region was ruled by several sultans, powerful Hindu states, and Baro-Bhuyan landlords, until the beginning of British rule in the 18th century. The British East India Company cemented their hold on the region following the Battle of Plassey in 1757, and Calcutta served for many years as the capital of British India. The early and prolonged exposure to British administration resulted in an expansion of Western education, culminating in developments in science, institutional education, and social reforms in the region, including what became known as the Bengali Renaissance. A hotbed of the Indian independence movement through the early 20th century, Bengal was divided during India's independence in 1947 along religious lines into two separate entities: West Bengal, a state of India, and East Bengal, a province of Pakistan which later became independent Bangladesh. Between 1977 and 2011 the state was administered by the world's longest elected Communist government.
The economy of West Bengal is the sixth-largest state economy in India with ₹10.49 lakh crore (US$150 billion) in gross domestic product and a per capita GDP of ₹108,000 (US$1,500). The state's cultural heritage, besides varied folk traditions, includes authors in literature, such as Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore. Kolkata is known as the "cultural capital of India". West Bengal is also known for its enthusiasm for the sport of association football, as well as cricket.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 History
- 3 Geography and climate
- 4 Flora and fauna
- 5 Government and politics
- 6 Districts
- 7 Economy
- 8 Transport
- 9 Demographics
- 10 Culture
- 11 Education
- 12 Media
- 13 Sports
- 14 See also
- 15 Notes
- 16 Further reading
- 17 External links
The origin of the name Bengal (Bangla and Bongo in Bengali) is unknown. One theory suggests that the word derives from "Bang", a Dravidian tribe that settled the region around 1000 BCE. The Bengali word Bongo might have been derived from the ancient kingdom of Vanga (or Banga). Although some early Sanskrit literature mentions the name Vanga, the region's early history is obscure.
At the end of British rule over the Indian subcontinent, the Bengal region was partitioned in 1947 along religious lines into east and west. The eastern part came to be known be as East Pakistan, the eastern wing of newly born Pakistan and the western part came to be known as West Bengal, which continued as an Indian state.
In 2011 the Government of West Bengal proposed a change in the official name of the state to PaschimBanga (Bengali: পশ্চিমবঙ্গ Pôshchimbônggô). This is the native name of the state, literally meaning western Bengal in the native Bengali language. In August 2016 the West Bengal Legislative Assembly passed another resolution to change the name of West Bengal to "Bengal" in English, and "Bangla" in Bengali. Despite the Trinamool Congress government's efforts to forge a consensus on the name change resolution, the Indian National Congress, the Left Front, and the Bharatiya Janata Party opposed the resolution. However, the central government has turned down the proposal stating that the state should have one single name for all languages instead of three and also the name should not be the same as that of any other territory (pointing out that the name 'Bangla' may create confusion with neighboring Bangladesh).
Ancient and classical period
Stone Age tools dating back 20,000 years have been excavated in the state, showing human occupation 8,000 years earlier than scholars had earlier thought. The region was a part of the Vanga Kingdom, according to the Indian epic Mahabharata. Several Vedic realms were present in the Bengal region, including Vanga, Rarh, Pundravardhana, and the Suhma Kingdom. One of the earliest foreign references to Bengal is a mention by the Ancient Greeks around 100 BCE of a land named Gangaridai, which was located at the mouths of the Ganges. Bengal had overseas trade relations with Suvarnabhumi (Burma, Lower Thailand, the Lower Malay Peninsula, and Sumatra). According to the Sri Lankan chronicle Mahavamsa, Prince Vijaya (c. 543 – c. 505 BCE), a Vanga Kingdom prince, conquered Lanka (modern-day Sri Lanka) and gave the name Sinhala Kingdom to the country.
The kingdom of Magadha was formed in the 7th century BCE, consisting of the regions now comprising Bihar and Bengal. It was one of the four main kingdoms of India at the time of the lives of Mahavira, founder of Jainism, and Gautama Buddha, founder of Buddhism. It consisted of several janapadas, or kingdoms. Under Ashoka, the Maurya Empire of Magadha in the 3rd century BCE extended over nearly all of South Asia, including Afghanistan and parts of Balochistan. From the 3rd to the 6th centuries CE, the kingdom of Magadha served as the seat of the Gupta Empire.
Two kingdoms – Vanga or Samatata, and Gauda – are mentioned in some texts to have appeared after the end of the Gupta Empire although details of their ascendancy are uncertain. The first recorded independent king of Bengal was Shashanka, who reigned in the early 7th century. Shashanka is often recorded in Buddhist annals as an intolerant Hindu ruler who is noted for his persecution of the Buddhists. Shashanka murdered Rajyavardhana, the Buddhist king of Thanesar, and is noted for destroying the Bodhi tree at Bodhgaya, and replacing Buddha statues with Shiva lingams. After a period of anarchy,:36 the Pala dynasty ruled the region for four hundred years starting in the 8th century. It was followed by a shorter reign of the Hindu Sena dynasty.
Some areas of Bengal were invaded by Rajendra Chola I of the Chola dynasty between 1021 and 1023. Islam made its first appearance in Bengal during the 12th century when Sufi missionaries arrived. Later, occasional Muslim raiders reinforced the process of conversion by building mosques, madrasas, and khanqahs. Between 1202 and 1206 Muhammad bin Bakhtiyar Khilji, a military commander from the Delhi Sultanate, overran Bihar and Bengal as far east as Rangpur, Bogra, and the Brahmaputra River. Although he failed to bring Bengal under his control, the expedition defeated Lakshman Sen, whose two sons moved to a place then called Vikramapur (present-day Munshiganj District), where their diminished dominion lasted until the late 13th century.
Medieval and early modern periods
Subsequent Muslim conquests helped spread Islam throughout the region. The region was ruled by dynasties of the Bengal Sultanate and feudal lords under the Delhi Sultanate for the next few hundred years. The Bengal Sultanate was interrupted for a period of twenty years by a Hindu uprising under Raja Ganesha. In the 16th century, Mughal general Islam Khan conquered Bengal. Administration by governors appointed by the court of the Mughal Empire gave way to semi-independence under the Nawabs of Murshidabad, who nominally respected the sovereignty of the Mughals in Delhi. Several independent Hindu states were established in Bengal during the Mughal period, including those of Pratapaditya of Jessore District and Raja Sitaram Ray of Bardhaman. The Koch dynasty in northern Bengal flourished during the 16th and 17th centuries; it weathered the Mughals and survived until the advent of the British colonial era.
Several European traders reached this area late in the 15th century. The British East India Company defeated Siraj ud-Daulah, the last independent Nawab, in the Battle of Plassey in 1757. The company gained the right to collect revenue in Bengal subah (province) in 1765 with the signing of the treaty between the East India company and the Mughal emperor following the Battle of Buxar in 1764. The Bengal Presidency was established in 1765; it later incorporated all British-controlled territory north of the Central Provinces (now Madhya Pradesh), from the mouths of the Ganges and the Brahmaputra to the Himalayas and the Punjab. The Bengal famine of 1770 claimed millions of lives due to tax policies enacted by the British company. Calcutta, the headquarters of the East India company, was named in 1773 as the capital of British-held territories in India. The failed Indian rebellion of 1857 started near Calcutta and resulted in a transfer of authority to the British Crown, administered by the Viceroy of India.
The Bengal Renaissance and the Brahmo Samaj socio-cultural reform movements significantly influenced the cultural and economic life of Bengal. Between 1905 and 1911 an abortive attempt was made to divide the province of Bengal into two zones. Bengal suffered from the Great Bengal famine in 1943, which claimed 3 million lives during World War II. Bengalis played a major role in the Indian independence movement, in which revolutionary groups such as Anushilan Samiti and Jugantar were dominant. Armed attempts against the British Raj from Bengal reached a climax when news of Subhas Chandra Bose leading the Indian National Army against the British reached Bengal. The Indian National Army was subsequently routed by the British.
Indian independence and afterwards
When India gained independence in 1947, Bengal was partitioned along religious lines. The western part went to the Dominion of India (and was named West Bengal), while the eastern part went to the Dominion of Pakistan as a province called East Bengal (later renamed East Pakistan in 1956). The latter became the independent nation of Bangladesh in 1971. In 1950 the Princely State of Cooch Behar merged with West Bengal. In 1955 the former French enclave of Chandannagar, which had passed into Indian control after 1950, was integrated into West Bengal; portions of Bihar were also subsequently merged with West Bengal. Both West and East Bengal experienced large influxes of refugees during and after partition in 1947. Refugee resettlement and related issues continued to play a significant role in the politics and socio-economic condition of the state.
During the 1970s and 1980s, severe power shortages, strikes, and a violent Naxalite movement damaged much of the state's infrastructure, leading to a period of economic stagnation. The Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971 resulted in the influx of millions of refugees to West Bengal, causing significant strains on its infrastructure. The 1974 smallpox epidemic killed thousands. West Bengal politics underwent a major change when the Left Front won the 1977 assembly election, defeating the incumbent Indian National Congress. The Left Front, led by the Communist Party of India (Marxist), governed the state for the next three decades.
The state's economic recovery gathered momentum after economic liberalisations were introduced in the mid-1990s by the central government. This was aided by the advent of information technology and IT-enabled services. Starting in the mid-2000s, armed activists conducted minor terrorist attacks in some parts of the state while clashes with the administration took place at several controversial locations over the issue of industrial land acquisition, which became a decisive reason behind the defeat of the ruling Left Front government in the 2011 assembly election. Although the economy was severely damaged during the unrest in the 1970s, the state has managed to revive its economy, steadily throughout the years. The state has shown improvement regarding bandhs (strikes) and educational infrastructure. Significant strides have been made in reducing unemployment. Though the state suffers from substandard healthcare services, a lack of socio-economic development, poor infrastructure, unemployment, and civil violence.
Geography and climate
West Bengal is on the eastern bottleneck of India, stretching from the Himalayas in the north to the Bay of Bengal in the south. The state has a total area of 88,752 square kilometres (34,267 sq mi). The Darjeeling Himalayan hill region in the northern extreme of the state is a part of the eastern Himalayas mountain range. In this region is Sandakfu, which, at 3,636 m (11,929 ft), is the highest peak in the state. The narrow Terai region separates the hills from the North Bengal plains, which in turn transitions into the Ganges delta towards the south. The Rarh region intervenes between the Ganges delta in the east and the western plateau and high lands. A small coastal region is in the extreme south, while the Sundarbans mangrove forests form a geographical landmark at the Ganges delta.
The main river in West Bengal is the Ganges, which divides into two branches. One branch enters Bangladesh as the Padma, or Pôdda, while the other flows through West Bengal as the Bhagirathi River and Hooghly River. The Farakka barrage over the Ganges feeds the Hooghly branch of the river by a feeder canal, and its water flow management has been a source of lingering dispute between India and Bangladesh. The Teesta, Torsa, Jaldhaka, and Mahananda rivers are in the northern hilly region. The western plateau region has rivers such as the Damodar, Ajay, and Kangsabati. The Ganges delta and the Sundarbans area have numerous rivers and creeks. Pollution of the Ganges from indiscriminate waste dumped into the river is a major problem. Damodar, another tributary of the Ganges and once known as the "Sorrow of Bengal" (due to its frequent floods), has several dams under the Damodar Valley Project. At least nine districts in the state suffer from arsenic contamination of groundwater, and as of 2017, an estimated 1.04 crore people were afflicted by arsenic poisioning
West Bengal's climate varies from tropical savanna in the southern portions to humid subtropical in the north. The main seasons are summer, the rainy season, a short autumn, and winter. While the summer in the delta region is noted for excessive humidity, the western highlands experience a dry summer like northern India, with the highest daytime temperature ranging from 38 °C (100 °F) to 45 °C (113 °F). At night, a cool southerly breeze carries moisture from the Bay of Bengal. In early summer, brief squalls and thunderstorms known as Kalbaisakhi, or Nor'westers, often occur. West Bengal receives the Bay of Bengal branch of the Indian Ocean monsoon that moves in a southeast to northwest direction. Monsoons bring rain to the whole state from June to September. Heavy rainfall of above 250 centimetres (98 in) is observed in the Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri, and Cooch Behar district. During the arrival of the monsoons, low pressure in the Bay of Bengal region often leads to the formation of storms in the coastal areas. Winter (December–January) is mild over the plains with average minimum temperatures of 15 °C (59 °F). A cold and dry northern wind blows in the winter, substantially lowering the humidity level. The Darjeeling Himalayan Hill region experiences a harsh winter, with occasional snowfall.
Flora and fauna
As per the India State of Forest Report 2017, recorded forest area in the state is 16,847 km2 (6,505 sq mi), while in 2013, forest area was 16,805 km2 (6,488 sq mi), which was 18.93% of the state's geographical area, compared to the then national average of 21.23%. Reserves and protected and unclassed forests constitute 59.4%, 31.8%, and 8.9%, respectively, of forested areas, as of 2009. Part of the world's largest mangrove forest, the Sundarbans is located in southern West Bengal.
|State animal||Fishing cat|
|State bird||White-throated kingfisher|
|State flower||Night-flowering jasmine|
|State tree||Devil tree|
From a phytogeographic viewpoint, the southern part of West Bengal can be divided into two regions: the Gangetic plain and the littoral mangrove forests of the Sundarbans. The alluvial soil of the Gangetic plain, combined with favourable rainfall, makes this region especially fertile. Much of the vegetation of the western part of the state has similar species composition with the plants of the Chota Nagpur plateau in the adjoining state of Jharkhand. The predominant commercial tree species is Shorea robusta, commonly known as the sal tree. The coastal region of Purba Medinipur exhibits coastal vegetation; the predominant tree is the Casuarina. A notable tree from the Sundarbans is the ubiquitous sundari (Heritiera fomes), from which the forest gets its name.
The distribution of vegetation in northern West Bengal is dictated by elevation and precipitation. For example, the foothills of the Himalayas, the Dooars, are densely wooded with sal and other tropical evergreen trees. Above an elevation of 1,000 metres (3,300 ft), the forest becomes predominantly subtropical. In Darjeeling, which is above 1,500 metres (4,900 ft), temperate forest trees such as oaks, conifers, and rhododendrons predominate.
3.26% of the geographical area of West Bengal is protected land, comprising fifteen wildlife sanctuaries and five national parks – Sundarbans National Park, Buxa Tiger Reserve, Gorumara National Park, Neora Valley National Park, and Singalila National Park. Extant wildlife include Indian rhinoceros, Indian elephant, deer, leopard, gaur, tiger, and crocodiles, as well as many bird species. Migratory birds come to the state during the winter. The high-altitude forests of Singalila National Park shelter barking deer, red panda, chinkara, takin, serow, pangolin, minivet, and kalij pheasants. The Sundarbans are noted for a reserve project devoted to conserving the endangered Bengal tiger although the forest hosts many other endangered species such as the Gangetic dolphin, river terrapin, and estuarine crocodile. The mangrove forest also acts as a natural fish nursery, supporting coastal fishes along the Bay of Bengal. Recognising its special conservation value, the Sundarbans area has been declared a Biosphere Reserve.
Government and politics
West Bengal is governed through a parliamentary system of representative democracy, a feature the state shares with other Indian states. Universal suffrage is granted to residents. There are two branches of government. The legislature, the West Bengal Legislative Assembly, consists of elected members and special office bearers such as the Speaker and Deputy Speaker, who are elected by the members. Assembly meetings are presided over by the Speaker or the Deputy Speaker in the Speaker's absence. The judiciary is composed of the Calcutta High Court and a system of lower courts. Executive authority is vested in the Council of Ministers headed by the Chief Minister although the titular head of government is the Governor. The Governor is the head of state appointed by the President of India. The leader of the party or coalition with a majority in the Legislative Assembly is appointed as the Chief Minister by the Governor, and the Council of Ministers are appointed by the Governor on the advice of the Chief Minister. The Council of Ministers reports to the Legislative Assembly. The Assembly is unicameral with 295 Members of the Legislative Assembly, or MLAs, including one nominated from the Anglo-Indian community. Terms of office run for five years, unless the Assembly is dissolved prior to the completion of the term. Auxiliary authorities known as panchayats, for which local body elections are regularly held, govern local affairs. The state contributes 42 seats to the Lok Sabha and 16 seats to the Rajya Sabha of the Indian Parliament.
The main players in the politics of the state are the All India Trinamool Congress, the Indian National Congress, and the Left Front alliance (led by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPI(M)). Following the West Bengal State Assembly Election in 2011, the All India Trinamool Congress and Indian National Congress coalition under Mamata Banerjee of the All India Trinamool Congress was elected to power (getting 225 seats in the legislature). Prior to this, West Bengal was ruled by the Left Front for 34 years (1977–2011), making it the world's longest-running democratically elected communist government. Banerjee was re-elected as Chief Minister in the 2016 election in which Trinamool Congress won an absolute majority.
|District||Population||Growth rate||Sex ratio||Literacy||Density per square Kilometer|
|North 24 Parganas||10,009,781||12.04||955||84.06||2445|
|South 24 Parganas||8,161,961||18.17||956||77.51||819|
- Bardhaman was bifurcated into Purba Bardhaman and Paschim Bardhaman in 2017. Thus no demographic information was available as of January 2018
- Was created after the 2011 Census
Each district is governed by a district collector or district magistrate, appointed by either the Indian Administrative Service or the West Bengal Civil Service. Each district is subdivided into sub-divisions, governed by a sub-divisional magistrate, and again into blocks. Blocks consists of panchayats (village councils) and town municipalities.
The capital and largest city of the state is Kolkata – the third-largest urban agglomeration and the seventh-largest city in India. Asansol is the second-largest city and urban agglomeration in West Bengal after Kolkata. Siliguri is an economically important city, strategically located in the northeastern Siliguri Corridor (Chicken's Neck) of India. Other cities and towns in West Bengal with 2011 populations over 250,000 are Durgapur, Bardhaman, English Bazar, Baharampur, Habra, Kharagpur, and Shantipur.
|Net State Domestic Product at Factor Cost at Current Prices (2004–05 Base)|
|Year||Net State Domestic Product|
As of 2015[update], West Bengal has the sixth-highest GSDP in India. GSDP at current prices (base 2004–2005) has increased from Rs 2,08,656 crores in 2004–05 to Rs 8,00,868 crores in 2014–2015, reaching Rs 10,21,000 crores in 2017-18. GSDP percent growth at current prices has varied from a low of 10.3% in 2010–2011 to a high of 17.11% in 2013–2014. The growth rate was 13.35% in 2014–2015. The state's per capita income has lagged the all India average for over two decades. As of 2014–2015, per capita NSDP at current prices was Rs 78,903. Per capita NSDP growth rate at current prices has varied from 9.4% in 2010–2011 to a high of 16.15% in 2013–2014. The growth rate was 12.62% in 2014–2015.
In 2015–2016, percentage share of Gross Value Added (GVA) at factor cost by Economic Activity at constant price (base year 2011–2012) was Agriculture-Forestry and Fishery – 4.84%, Industry 18.51% and Services 66.65%. It has been observed that there has been a slow but steady decline in the percentage share of industry and agriculture over the years. Agriculture is the leading economic sector in West Bengal. Rice is the state's principal food crop. Rice, potato, jute, sugarcane, and wheat are the top five crops of the state.:14 Tea is produced commercially in northern districts; the region is well known for Darjeeling and other high quality teas.:14 State industries are localised in the Kolkata region, the mineral-rich western highlands, and the Haldia port region. The Durgapur–Asansol colliery belt is home to a number of steel plants. Important manufacturing industries are engineering products, electronics, electrical equipment, cables, steel, leather, textiles, jewellery, frigates, automobiles, railway coaches, and wagons. The Durgapur centre has established a number of industries in the areas of tea, sugar, chemicals, and fertilisers. Natural resources like tea and jute in and nearby parts has made West Bengal a major centre for the jute and tea industries.
Years after independence, West Bengal is dependent on the central government for help in meeting its demands for food; food production remained stagnant, and the Indian green revolution bypassed the state. However, there has been a significant increase in food production since the 1980s, and the state now has a surplus of grains. The state's share of total industrial output in India was 9.8% in 1980–1981, declining to 5% by 1997–1998. In contrast, the service sector has grown at a rate higher than the national rate. The state's total financial debt stood at ₹1,918,350 million (US$27 billion) as of 2011.
The economy of West Bengal has witnessed many twists and turns. The agricultural sector in particular rose to 8.33% in 2010–11 before tumbling down to −4.01 % in 2012–13. Many major industries such as the Uttarpara Hindustan Motors car manufacturing unit, the jute industry, and the Haldia Petrochemicals unit experienced shutdowns in 2014. In the same year, plans for a 30,000 crore Jindal Steel project was mothballed. The tea industry of West Bengal has also witnessed shutdowns due to financial and political reasons. The tourism industry of West Bengal took a hit in 2017 due to the Gorkhaland agitation.
However, over the years due to effective changes in the stance towards industrialisation, ease of doing business has improved in West Bengal. Steps are being taken to remedy this situation by promoting West Bengal as an investment destination. A leather complex has been built in Kolkata, smart cities are being planned closed to Kolkata and major roadway projects are in the offing to revive the economy. West Bengal has been able to attract 2% of the foreign direct investment in the last decade.
As of 2011, the total length of surface road in West Bengal is over 92,023 kilometres (57,180 miles);:18 national highways comprise 2,578 km (1,602 mi) and state highways 2,393 km (1,487 mi).:18 As of 2006, the road density of the state is 103.69 kilometres per square kilometre (166.87 miles per square mile), higher than the national average of 74.7 km/km2 (120.2 mi/sq mi).
As of 2011, the total railway route length is around 4,481 km (2,784 mi).:20 Kolkata is the headquarters of three zones of the Indian Railways – Eastern Railway and South Eastern Railway, and the Kolkata Metro, which is the newly formed 17th zone of the Indian Railways. The Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) serves the northern parts of the state. The Kolkata metro is the country's first underground railway. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, part of NFR, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport at Dum Dum, Kolkata, is the state's biggest airport. Bagdogra Airport near Siliguri is a customs airport that offers international service to Bhutan and Thailand, besides regular domestic service. Kazi Nazrul Islam Airport, India's first private sector airport, serves the twin cities of Asansol-Durgapur at Andal, Bardhaman.
Kolkata is a major river port in eastern India. The Kolkata Port Trust manages the Kolkata and the Haldia docks. There is passenger service to Port Blair on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and cargo ship service to ports in India and abroad, operated by the Shipping Corporation of India. Ferries are a principal mode of transport in the southern part of the state, especially in the Sundarbans area. Kolkata is the only city in India to have trams as a mode of transport, and these are operated by the Calcutta Tramways Company.
Several government-owned organisations operate bus services in the state, including the Calcutta State Transport Corporation, the North Bengal State Transport Corporation, the South Bengal State Transport Corporation, the West Bengal Surface Transport Corporation, and the Calcutta Tramways Company. There are also private bus companies. The railway system is a nationalised service without any private investment. Hired forms of transport include metered taxis and auto rickshaws, which often ply specific routes in cities. In most of the state, cycle rickshaws, and in Kolkata, hand-pulled rickshaws and electric rickshaws, are used for short-distance travel.
|Source:Census of India|
According to the provisional results of the 2011 national census, West Bengal is the fourth-most-populous state in India with a population of 91,347,736 (7.55% of India's population). Bengalis, consisting of Bengali Hindus, Bengali Muslims, Bengali Christians and a few Bengali Buddhists, comprise the majority of the population. The Marwari, Maithil and Bhojpuri non-Bengali minorities are scattered throughout the state; various indigenous ethnic Buddhist communities such as the Sherpas, Bhutias, Lepchas, Tamangs, Yolmos, and ethnic Tibetans can be found in the Darjeeling Himalayan hill region. Native Magahi speakers are found in Malda district. Surjapuri; a language that is considered to be a mix of Maithili and Bengali, is spoken across northern parts of the state. The Darjeeling district also has a large Nepali immigrant population, making Nepali a widely spoken language in this region. West Bengal is also home to indigenous tribal Adivasis such as Santhal, Munda, Oraon, Bhumij, Lodha, Kol, and Toto tribe. There are a small number of ethnic minorities primarily in the state capital, including Chinese, Tamils, Maharashtrians, Odias, Assamese, Malayalis, Gujaratis, Anglo-Indians, Armenians, Jews, Punjabis, and Parsis. India's sole Chinatown is in eastern Kolkata.
As per West Bengal government the official languages are Bengali, Hindi, Kamtapuri, Kurmali, Odia, Punjabi, Rajbanshi, Santali and Urdu. Nepali also has an official status in the three subdivisions of Darjeeling district. As of 2001, in decreasing order of number of speakers, the languages of the state are: Bengali, Hindi, Santali, Urdu, and Nepali.
West Bengal is religiously diverse, with regional cultural and religious specificities. Although Hindus are the predominant community, the state has a large minority Muslim population. Christians, Buddhists, and others form a minuscule part of the population. As of 2011, Hinduism is the largest religion, with adherents representing 70.54% of the total population, while Muslims comprise 27.01% of the total population, being the second-largest community as well as the largest minority group. Sikhism, Christianity, Buddhism, and other religions make up the remainder. Buddhism remains a prominent religion in the Himalayan region of the Darjeeling hills, and almost the entirety of West Bengal's Buddhist population are from this region.
The state contributes 7.8% of India's population. The Hindu population of West Bengal is 64,385,546 while the Muslim population is 24,654,825, as per the 2011 census. The state's 2001–2011 decennial population growth rate was 13.93%, lower than the 1991–2001 growth rate of 17.8%, and also lower than the national rate of 17.64%. The gender ratio is 947 females per 1000 males. As of 2011, West Bengal had a population density of 1,029 inhabitants per square kilometre (2,670/sq mi) making it the second-most densely populated state in India, after Bihar.
The literacy rate is 77.08%, higher than the national rate of 74.04%. Data of 2010–2014 showed the life expectancy in the state was 70.2 years, higher than the national value of 67.9. The proportion of people living below the poverty line in 2013 was 19.98%, declining from 31.8% a decade ago. Scheduled castes and tribes form 28.6% and 5.8% of the population, respectively, in rural areas, and 19.9% and 1.5%, respectively, in urban areas.
In September 2017, West Bengal achieved 100% electrification, after some remote villages in the Sunderbans became the latest to be electrified.
As of September 2017, out of 125 towns and cities in Bengal, 76 have achieved Open Defecation Free (ODF) status. All towns in the districts of Nadia, North 24 Parganas, Hooghly, Burdwan and East Midnapore are ODF zones, with Nadia becoming the first ODF district in the state in April 2015.
A study conducted in three districts of West Bengal found that accessing private health services to treat illness had a catastrophic impact on households. This indicates the importance of public provision of health services to mitigate against poverty and the impact of illness on poor households.
The latest Sample Registration System (SRS) statistical report shows that West Bengal has the lowest fertility rate among Indian states. West Bengal's total fertility rate was 1.6, way below Bihar's 3.4, which is the highest in the entire country. Bengal's TFR of 1.6 roughly equals that of Canada.
The Bengali language boasts a rich literary heritage that it shares with neighbouring Bangladesh. West Bengal has a long tradition of folk literature, evidenced by the Charyapada, a collection of Buddhist mystic songs dating back to the 10th and 11th centuries; Mangalkavya, a collection of Hindu narrative poetry composed around the 13th century; Shreekrishna Kirtana, a pastoral Vaishnava drama in verse composed by Boru Chandidas; Thakurmar Jhuli, a collection of Bengali folk and fairy tales compiled by Dakshinaranjan Mitra Majumder; and stories of Gopal Bhar, a court jester in medieval Bengal. In the 19th and 20th centuries, Bengali literature was modernised in the works of authors such as Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay, whose innovative works marked a departure from the traditional verse-oriented writings prevalent in that period; Michael Madhusudan Dutt, a pioneer in Bengali drama who introduced the use of blank verse; and Rabindranath Tagore, who reshaped Bengali literature and music. Indian art saw the introduction of Contextual Modernism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Other notable figures include Kazi Nazrul Islam, whose compositions form the avant-garde genre of Nazrul Sangeet, Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay, whose works on contemporary social practices in Bengal are widely acclaimed, and Manik Bandyopadhyay, who is considered one of the leading lights of modern Bengali fiction. In modern times, Jibanananda Das has been acknowledged as "the premier poet of the post-Tagore era in India". Other writers include Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay, best known for his work Pather Panchali; Tarashankar Bandopadhyay, well known for his portrayal of the lower strata of society; Manik Bandopadhyay, a pioneering novelist; and Ashapurna Devi, Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay, Saradindu Bandopadhyay, Buddhadeb Guha, Mahashweta Devi, Samaresh Majumdar, Sanjeev Chattopadhyay, Shakti Chattopadhyay, Buddhadeb Basu, Joy Goswami, and Sunil Gangopadhyay.
Music and dance
A notable music tradition is the Baul music, practiced by the Bauls, a sect of mystic minstrels. Other folk music forms include Gombhira and Bhawaiya. Folk music in West Bengal is often accompanied by the ektara, a one-stringed instrument. Shyama Sangeet is a genre of devotional songs, praising the Hindu goddess Kali; kirtan is devotional group songs dedicated to the god Krishna. Like other states in northern India, West Bengal also has a heritage in North Indian classical music. "Rabindrasangeet", songs composed and set into tune by Rabindranath Tagore, and "Nazrul geeti" (by Kazi Nazrul Islam) are popular. Also prominent are Dwijendralal, Atulprasad and Rajanikanta's songs, and "adhunik" or modern music from films and other composers. From the early 1990s, there has been an emergence of new genres of music, including what has been called Bengali Jeebonmukhi Gaan (a modern genre based on realism). Bengali dance forms draw from folk traditions, especially those of the tribal groups, as well as the broader Indian dance traditions. Chhau dance of Purulia is a rare form of masked dance.
Cinema of West Bengal is mostly shot in studios in the Kolkata neighbourhood of Tollygunj, and the name "Tollywood" (similar to Hollywood and Bollywood) is derived from that name. The Bengali film industry is well known for its art films, and has produced acclaimed directors like Satyajit Ray who is widely regarded as one of the greatest filmmakers of the 20th century, Mrinal Sen whose films were known for its artistic depiction of social reality, Tapan Sinha who was one of the most prominent Indian film directors of his time, and Ritwik Ghatak. Some contemporary directors include veterans such as Buddhadev Dasgupta, Tarun Majumdar, Goutam Ghose, Aparna Sen, and Rituparno Ghosh, and a newer pool of directors such as Kaushik Ganguly and Srijit Mukherji.
There are significant examples of fine arts in Bengal from earlier times, including the terracotta art of Hindu temples and the Kalighat paintings. Bengal has been in the vanguard of modernism in fine arts. Abanindranath Tagore, called the father of modern Indian art, started the Bengal School of Art, one of whose goals was to promote the development of styles of art outside the European realist tradition that had been taught in art colleges under the British colonial administration. The movement had many adherents, including Gaganendranath Tagore, Ramkinkar Baij, Jamini Roy, and Rabindranath Tagore. After Indian Independence, important groups such as the Calcutta Group and the Society of Contemporary Artists were formed in Bengal and came to dominate the art scene in India.
The capital, Kolkata, was the workplace of several social reformers, including Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar, and Swami Vivekananda. Their social reforms eventually led to a cultural atmosphere that made it possible for practices like sati, dowry, and caste-based discrimination, or untouchability, to be abolished. The region was also home to several religious teachers, such as Chaitanya, Ramakrishna, Prabhupada, and Paramahansa Yogananda.
Rice and fish are traditional favourite foods, leading to a saying in Bengali, machhe bhate bangali, that translates as "fish and rice make a Bengali". Bengal's vast repertoire of fish-based dishes includes hilsa preparations, a favourite among Bengalis. There are numerous ways of cooking fish depending on the fish's texture, size, fat content, and bones. Most of the people also consume eggs, chicken, mutton, and shrimp. Panta bhat (rice soaked overnight in water) with onion and green chili is a traditional dish consumed in rural areas, Common spices found in a Bengali kitchen are cumin, ajmoda (radhuni), bay leaf, mustard, ginger, green chillies, and turmeric. Sweets occupy an important place in the diet of Bengalis and at their social ceremonies. Bengalis make distinctive sweetmeats from milk products, including Rôshogolla, Chômchôm, Kalojam, and several kinds of sondesh. Pitha, a kind of sweet cake, bread, or dimsum, are specialties of the winter season. Sweets such as narkol-naru, til-naru, moa, and payesh are prepared during the festivals such as Lakshmi puja. Popular street foods include Aloor Chop, Beguni, Kati roll, biryani, and phuchka.
Bengali women commonly wear the sari, often distinctly designed according to local cultural customs. In urban areas, many women and men wear western attire. Among men, western dress has greater acceptance. Particularly on cultural occasions, men also wear traditional costumes such as the panjabi with dhuti while women wear salwar kameez or sari.
West Bengal produces several varieties of cotton and silk saris in the country. Handlooms are a popular way of livelihood to the rural population of the state. Every district has weaving "clusters", which are home to artisan communities, each specialising in specific varieties of handloom weaving. Notable handloom saris include tant, jamdani, garad, korial, baluchari, tussar, and muslin.
Durga Puja is the biggest, most popular and widely celebrated festival in West Bengal. The five-day-long colourful Hindu festival witnesses intense celebration across the state. Pandals are erected in various cities, towns and villages throughout West Bengal. The whole city of Kolkata undergoes a transformation during Durga Puja, as it is decked up in lighting decorations and thousands of colourful pandals are set up where effigies of goddess Durga and her four children are worshipped and displayed. The idols of the goddess as brought in from Kumortuli, where idol-makers work round the year fashioning the clay-models of the goddess. Since independence in 1947, Durga Puja has slowly changed into more of a glamorous carnival than a religious festival, where people across diverse religious and ethnic spectrum partake in the festivity. On Vijayadashami, the last day of the festival, the effigies are paraded through the streets with riotous pageantry before being dumped into the rivers.
Rath Yatra is a Hindu festival which celebrates Jagannath, a form of Krishna. It is celebrated with much fanfare in Kolkata as well as in rural Bengal. Images of Jagannath are set upon a chariot and pulled through the streets.
Other major festivals of West Bengal include Poila Baishakh the Bengali new year, Dolyatra or Holi the festival of lights, Poush Parbon, Kali Puja, Nabadwip Shakta Rash, Saraswati Puja, Deepaboli, Lakshmi Puja, Janmashtami, Jagaddhatri Puja, Vishwakarma Puja, Bhai Phonta, Rakhi Bandhan, Kalpataru Day, Shivratri, Ganesh Chathurthi, Maghotsav, Kartik Puja, Akshay Tritiya, Raas Yatra, Guru Purnima, Annapurna Puja, Charak Puja, Gajan, Buddha Purnima, Christmas, Eid ul-Fitr, Eid ul-Adha, and Muharram. Rabindra Jayanti, Kolkata Book Fair, Kolkata Film Festival, and Nazrul Jayanti are important cultural events.
Christmas, called Bôŗodin (Great day) is perhaps the next major festival celebrated in Kolkata, after Durga Puja. Just like Durga Puja, Christmas in Kolkata is an occasion in which all communities and people across religions take part. The state tourism department organises the gala Christmas Festival every year in Park Street. The whole of Park Street is decked out in colourful lights, and food stalls sell cakes, chocolates, Chinese cuisines, momo, and various other items. Musical groups from Darjeeling and other states of North East India are invited by the state to perform choir recitals, carols, and jazz numbers. Buddha Purnima, which marks the birth of Gautama Buddha, is one of the most important Hindu/Buddhist festivals and is celebrated with much gusto in the Darjeeling hills. On this day, processions begin at each of the various Buddhist monasteries, or gumpas, and congregate at the Mall, Chowrasta. The Lamas chant mantras and sound their bugles, and students as well as people from all communities carry the holy books or pustaks on their heads. Besides Buddha Purnima, Dashain, or Dusshera, Holi, Diwali, Losar, Namsoong or the Lepcha New Year, and Losoong are the other major festivals of the Darjeeling Himalayan region.
West Bengal schools are run by the state government or by private organisations, including religious institutions. Instruction is mainly in English or Bengali, though Urdu is also used, especially in Central Kolkata. The secondary schools are affiliated with the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE), the Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE), the National Institute of Open School (NIOS), West Bengal Board of Secondary Education or the West Bengal Board of Madrasah Education.
As of 2016 85% of children within the age group of 6 to 17 years attend school (86% do so in urban areas and 84% in rural areas).School attendance is almost universal among the age group of 6 to 14 years, and then drops to 70 percent at the age group 15 to 17 years. There is a gender disparity in school attendance in the age group 6–14 years, more girls than boys are attending school. In Bengal, 71 percent of women aged 15 to 49 years and 81 percent of men aged 15 to 49 years are literate. Only 14 percent of women aged 15 to 49 years in West Bengal have completed 12 or more years of schooling, compared with 22 percent of men. Twenty-two percent of women and 14 percent of men age 15 to 49 years have never been to school. Only 14 percent of women aged 15 to 49 years in West Bengal have completed 12 or more years of schooling, compared with 22% of men.
Some of the notable schools in the city are La Martiniere Calcutta, Calcutta Boys' School, St. James' School (Kolkata), St. Xavier's Collegiate School, and Loreto House, Loreto Convent, Asansol some of which rank amongst the best schools in the country. Many of the schools in Kolkata and Darjeeling are colonial-era establishments housed in buildings that are exemplars of neo-classical architecture. The schools of Darjeeling include St. Paul's, St. Joseph's North Point, Goethals Memorial School, and Dow Hill in Kurseong.
West Bengal has eighteen universities. Kolkata has played a pioneering role in the development of the modern education system in India. It was the gateway to the revolution of European education during the British Raj. Sir William Jones established the Asiatic Society in 1794 for promoting oriental studies. People such as Ram Mohan Roy, David Hare, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, Alexander Duff and William Carey played leading roles in the setting up of modern schools and colleges in the city.
The University of Calcutta, the oldest public university in India, has 136 affiliated colleges. Fort William College was established in 1810. The Hindu College was established in 1817. The Lady Brabourne College was established in 1939. The Scottish Church College, which is the oldest Christian liberal arts college in South Asia, started its journey in 1830. In 1855 the Hindu College was renamed the Presidency College. In 2010 it was granted university status by the state government and was renamed Presidency University. Kazi Nazrul University was established in 2012. The University of Calcutta and Jadavpur University are prestigious technical universities. Visva-Bharati University at Santiniketan is a central university and an institution of national importance.
Other higher education institutes of importance in West Bengal include St. Xavier's College, Kolkata, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (the first IIM), Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Kolkata, Indian Statistical Institute, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur (the first IIT), Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology, Shibpur (the first IIEST), Indian Institute of Information Technology, Kalyani, National Institute of Technology, Durgapur, National Institute of Technical Teachers' Training and Research, Kolkata, National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, Kolkata, and West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences. In 2003 the state government supported the creation of West Bengal University of Technology, West Bengal University of Health Sciences, West Bengal State University, and Gour Banga University.
Jadavpur University (Focus area – Mobile Computing and Communication and Nano-science), and the University of Calcutta (Modern Biology) are among two of the fifteen universities selected under the scheme "University with Potential for Excellence". University of Calcutta (Focus Area – Electro-Physiological and Neuro-imaging studies including mathematical modeling) has also been selected under the scheme Centre with Potential for Excellence in a Particular Area.
Besides these, the state is home to Kalyani University, The University of Burdwan, Vidyasagar University, and North Bengal University all well as established and nationally renowned to cover education needs at the district level and an Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Kolkata. Apart from this there is a Deemed university run by the Ramakrishna mission named Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda University at Belur Math.
There are a number of research institutes in Kolkata. The Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science is the first research institute in Asia. C. V. Raman was awarded the Nobel Prize for his discovery (Raman Effect) done in IACS. The Bose Institute, Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, S. N. Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences, Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Central Glass and Ceramic Research Institute, Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute Durgapur, Central Research Institute for Jute and Allied Fibers, National Institute of Research on Jute and Allied Fibre Technology, Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute, National Institute of Biomedical Genomics (NIBMG), Kalyani, and the Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre are the most prominent.
Notable scholars who were born, worked, or studied in the geographic area of the state include physicists Satyendra Nath Bose, Meghnad Saha, and Jagadish Chandra Bose; chemist Prafulla Chandra Roy; statisticians Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis and Anil Kumar Gain; physician Upendranath Brahmachari; educator Ashutosh Mukherjee; and Nobel laureates Rabindranath Tagore, C. V. Raman, and Amartya Sen.
In 2005 West Bengal had 505 published newspapers, of which 389 were in Bengali. Ananda Bazar Patrika, published from Kolkata with 1,277,801 daily copies, has the largest circulation for a single-edition, regional language newspaper in India. Other major Bengali newspapers are Bartaman, Sangbad Pratidin, Aajkaal, Jago Bangla, Uttarbanga Sambad, and Ganashakti. Major English language newspapers include The Telegraph, The Times of India, Hindustan Times, The Hindu, The Statesman, The Indian Express, and Asian Age. Some prominent financial dailies such as The Economic Times, Financial Express, Business Line, and Business Standard are widely circulated. Vernacular newspapers such as those in Hindi, Nepali, Gujarati, Odia, Urdu, and Punjabi are also read by a select readership.
Doordarshan is the state-owned television broadcaster. Multi system operators provide a mix of Bengali, Nepali, Hindi, English, and international channels via cable. Bengali 24-hour television news channels include ABP Ananda, Tara Newz, Kolkata TV, News Time, 24 Ghanta, Mahuaa Khobor, CTVN Plus, Channel 10, and R Plus. All India Radio is a public radio station. Private FM stations are available only in cities like Kolkata, Siliguri, and Asansol. Vodafone, Airtel, BSNL, Jio, Reliance Communications, Uninor, Aircel, MTS India, Idea Cellular, and Tata DoCoMo are available cellular phone providers. Broadband internet is available in select towns and cities and is provided by the state-run BSNL and by other private companies. Dial-up access is provided throughout the state by BSNL and other providers.
Cricket and association football are popular sports in the state. West Bengal, unlike most other states of India, is noted for its passion and patronage of football. Kolkata is one of the major centres for football in India and houses top national clubs such as Mohun Bagan Athletic Club, East Bengal Club and Mohammedan Sporting Club.
West Bengal has several large stadiums. Eden Gardens was one of only two 100,000-seat cricket stadiums in the world; renovation before 2011 Cricket World Cup reduced the capacity to 66,000. The stadium is the home to various cricket teams such as the Kolkata Knight Riders, the Bengal cricket team, and the East Zone. The 1987 Cricket World Cup final was hosted in Eden Gardens. Calcutta Cricket and Football Club is the second-oldest cricket club in the world.
Salt Lake Stadium / Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan (VYBK), is a multipurpose stadium in Kolkata, with a current capacity of 85,000. It is the largest stadium in India by seating capacity. Before its renovation in 2011, it was the second largest football stadium in the world, having a seating capacity of 120,000. It has hosted many national and international sporting events like SAF Games of 1987 and the 2011 FIFA friendly football match between Argentina and Venezuela featuring Lionel Messi. In 2008 Legendary German Goalkeeper, Oliver Kahn played his last farewell match on this ground. The stadium hosted the final match of the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup.
Notable sports persons from West Bengal include former Indian national cricket captain Sourav Ganguly, Pankaj Roy, Olympic tennis bronze medallist Leander Paes, and chess grand master Dibyendu Barua.
- India – Wikipedia book
- Bengali alphabet
- Bengali Language Movement
- Bibliography of India
- Ghoti people, Bangal
- History of India
- Index of India-related articles
- List of colleges and universities in West Bengal
- List of Hindu festivals
- List of people from West Bengal
- Music of Bengal, Cinema of West Bengal, Architecture of Bengal
- Outline of India
- Outline of West Bengal
- Partition of Bengal (1905)
- Partition of Bengal (1947)
- Tourism in West Bengal
- Tourist attractions in West Bengal
- "Area, population, decennial growth rate and density for 2001 and 2011 at a glance for West Bengal and the districts: provisional population totals paper 1 of 2011: West Bengal". Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. Archived from the original on 7 January 2012. Retrieved 26 January 2012.
- "West Bengal Budget Analysis 2018–19" (PDF). Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability, India. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
- "Medium term fiscal policy statement & fiscal policy stratergy statement for 2018–19" (PDF). Finance Department, Government of West Bengal. January 2018. p. 6. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
- "Fact and Figures". www.wb.gov.in. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
- Roy, Anirban (28 February 2018). "Kamtapuri, Rajbanshi make it to list of official languages in". India Today.
- "Multi-lingual Bengal". The Telegraph. 11 December 2012.
- "Report of the Commissioner for linguistic minorities: 52nd report (July 2014 to June 2015)" (PDF). Commissioner for Linguistic Minorities, Ministry of Minority Affairs, Government of India. pp. 85–86. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 November 2016. Retrieved 16 February 2016.
- "Sub-national HDI - Area Database". Global Data Lab. Institute for Management Research, Radboud University. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
- "Sex ratio, 0–6 age population, literates and literacy rate by sex for 2001 and 2011 at a glance for West Bengal and the districts: provisional population totals paper 1 of 2011: West Bengal". Government of India:Ministry of Home Affairs. Archived from the original on 7 January 2012. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
- "Sex Ratio in West Bengal". Census of India 2011. Archived from the original on 27 February 2014.
- "Bangladesh: early history, 1000 B.C.–A.D. 1202". Bangladesh: A country study. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress. September 1988. Archived from the original on 15 June 2017. Retrieved 2 March 2012.
Historians believe that Bengal, the area comprising present-day Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal, was settled in about 1000 B.C. by Dravidian-speaking peoples who were later known as the Bang. Their homeland bore various titles that reflected earlier tribal names, such as Vanga, Banga, Bangala, Bangal, and Bengal.
- Marshman, John Clark (1865). Outline of the History of Bengal. John Clark Marshman. p. 1. Archived from the original on 4 December 2017.
- "West Bengal may be renamed PaschimBanga". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 19 August 2011. Archived from the original on 21 January 2012. Retrieved 7 February 2012.
- "Assembly drops West, renames State as Bengal". The Hindu. Special Correspondent. 29 August 2016. ISSN 0971-751X. Archived from the original on 25 December 2016. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
- "Foreign ministry turns down Mamata Banerjee's 'Bangla' for West Bengal". The New Indian Express. Archived from the original on 22 December 2017. Retrieved 20 December 2017.
- "West Bengal to send another proposal to Centre on changing its name". Hindustan Times. 8 September 2017. Archived from the original on 22 December 2017. Retrieved 20 December 2017.
- Sarkar, Sebanti (28 March 2008). "History of Bengal just got a lot older". The Telegraph. Calcutta, India. Archived from the original on 12 September 2011. Retrieved 13 September 2010.
Humans walked on Bengal's soil 20,000 years ago, archaeologists have found out, pushing the state's pre-history back by some 8,000 years.
- Sen, S. N. (1999). Ancient Indian History And Civilization. New Age International. pp. 273–274. ISBN 978-81-224-1198-0. Archived from the original on 1 January 2016.
- Chakrabarti, Dilip K. (2001). Archaeological Geography of the Ganga Plain: The Lower and the Middle Ganga. Delhi: Permanent Black. pp. 154–155. ISBN 81-7824-016-5.
- Prasad, Prakash Chandra (2003). Foreign trade and commerce in ancient India. New Delhi: Abhinav Publications. p. 28. ISBN 978-81-7017-053-2.
- Geiger, Wilhelm; Haynes Bode, Mabel (2003) . "Chapter VI: The Coming of Vijaya". Mahavamsa: Great Chronicle of Ceylon. New Delhi: Asian Educational Services. pp. 51–54. ISBN 81-206-0218-8.
- Sultana, Sabiha. "Settlement in Bengal (Early Period)". Banglapedia. Asiatic Society of Bangladesh. Archived from the original on 14 June 2015. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
- Pant, Ashok. "The Truth of Babri Mosque". iUniverse. pp. 25, 26. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015.
- Mookerji, Radhakumud (1959). The Gupta Empire. Motilal Banarsidass Publ. pp. 11, 113. ISBN 978-81-208-0440-1.
- Sen, Sailendra Nath (1 January 1999). Ancient Indian History and Civilization. New Age International. p. 275. ISBN 978-81-224-1198-0. Archived from the original on 31 December 2015.
- "Shashanka". Banglapedia. Asiatic Society of Bangladesh. Archived from the original on 14 June 2015. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
- Joseph, Tony. "Intolerance debate: How some historical brutalities are more special than others". Scroll.in. Archived from the original on 25 December 2015. Retrieved 25 December 2015.
- Bagchi, Jhunu (1993). The History and Culture of the Pālas of Bengal and Bihar, Cir. 750 A.D.-cir. 1200 A.D. Abhinav Publications. ISBN 978-81-7017-301-4. Archived from the original on 23 April 2016.
- Khan, Muhammad Mojlum (21 October 2013). The Muslim Heritage of Bengal: The Lives, Thoughts and Achievements of Great Muslim Scholars, Writers and Reformers of Bangladesh and West Bengal. Kube Publishing Limited. pp. 15–16. ISBN 978-1-84774-062-5. Archived from the original on 26 January 2018.
- Sengupta, Nitish K. (2011). Land of Two Rivers: A History of Bengal from the Mahabharata to Mujib. Penguin Books India. p. 45. ISBN 978-0-14-341678-4. Archived from the original on 1 January 2016.
- Banu, U. A. B. Razia Akter (January 1992). Islam in Bangladesh. BRILL. pp. 2, 17. ISBN 978-90-04-09497-0. Archived from the original on 1 January 2014.
- "Islam (in Bengal)". Banglapedia. Asiatic Society of Bangladesh. Archived from the original on 23 July 2015. Retrieved 26 October 2006.
- Lewis, David (31 October 2011). Bangladesh: Politics, Economy and Civil Society. Cambridge University Press. p. 44. ISBN 978-1-139-50257-3.
- Ganguly, Dilip Kumar (1994). Ancient India, History and Archaeology. Abhinav Publications. p. 41. ISBN 9788170173045.
- Chaudhury, S; Mohsin, KM. "Sirajuddaula". Banglapedia. Asiatic Society of Bangladesh. Archived from the original on 14 June 2015. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
- Fiske, John. "The famine of 1770 in Bengal". The Unseen World, and Other Essays. Adelaide: University of Adelaide Library Electronic Texts Collection. Archived from the original on 5 December 2006. Retrieved 26 October 2006.
- Arnold-Baker 2015, p. 504
- Baxter 1997, p. 32
- Bayly 1990, pp. 194–197
- Sarkar 1990, p. 95
- Baxter 1997, pp. 39–40
- Wolpert, Stanley (1999). India. Berkeley, California, USA: University of California Press. p. 14. ISBN 978-0-520-22172-7. Archived from the original on 9 May 2013. Retrieved 2 March 2012.
- Chandra 1989, p. 26
- Islam, Sirajul. "Partition of Bengal, 1947". Banglapedia. Asiatic Society of Bangladesh. Archived from the original on 2 July 2015. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
- Sailen Debnath, West Bengal in Doldrums ISBN 978-81-86860-34-2; & Sailen Debnath ed. Social and Political Tensions in North Bengal since 1947, ISBN 81-86860-23-1
- Hindle 1996, pp. 63–70
- Biswas, Soutik (16 April 2006). "Calcutta's colourless campaign". BBC. Archived from the original on 14 February 2012. Retrieved 15 February 2012.
- Ghosh Roy, Paramasish (22 July 2005). "Maoist on rise in West Bengal". VOA Bangla. Voice of America. Archived from the original on 12 December 2007. Retrieved 11 September 2006.
- "Maoist Communist Centre (MCC)". Left-wing extremist group. South Asia Terrorism Portal. Archived from the original on 12 August 2012. Retrieved 11 September 2006.
- "Several hurt in Singur clash". Rediff.com. 28 January 2007. Archived from the original on 11 December 2007. Retrieved 15 March 2007.
- "Red-hand Buddha: 14 killed in Nandigram re-entry bid". The Telegraph. Calcutta, India. 15 March 2007. Archived from the original on 17 March 2007. Retrieved 15 March 2007.
- Bhaumik, Subir (13 May 2011). "Defeat rocks India's elected communists". Rediff India Abroad. Archived from the original on 4 April 2014. Retrieved 29 July 2014.
- "Is West Bengal's economy actually reviving under Mamata Banerjee?". scroll.in. Archived from the original on 6 December 2016.
- "West Bengal tax revenue up 19% on greater efficiency". The Indian Express. Archived from the original on 4 September 2017.
- "Revenue collection: Mamata Banerjee's West Bengal beats rest of India in growth". Financial Express. Archived from the original on 4 September 2017.
- "Bharat Bandh gets mixed response from India, West Bengal surprises with business-as-usual attitude". India Today. Archived from the original on 30 November 2016. Retrieved 5 September 2017.
- "No bandh in Bengal tomorrow : Mamata". Business Standard. Archived from the original on 4 September 2017.
- "Zero-strike work culture has resulted in no days loss: Moloy Ghatak". India Times. Archived from the original on 10 September 2017.
- "Silent Resurrection~I". The Statesman. Archived from the original on 28 August 2017.
- "Report on Fifth Annual Employment-Unemployment Survey (2015–16)" (PDF). Ministry of Labour and Employment. p. 120. Archived (PDF) from the original on 25 November 2016. Retrieved 24 November 2016.
- Shah, Mansi (2007). "Waiting for health care: a survey of a public hospital in Kolkata" (PDF). Centre for Civil Society. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 August 2011. Retrieved 31 January 2012.
- "West Bengal: health systems development initiative programme memorandum" (PDF). Government of West Bengal. 15 January 2005. Archived (PDF) from the original on 13 March 2012. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
- "Impact of social sector development in West Bengal – Midnapore and Birbhum districts". Planning Commission of India. Archived from the original on 7 March 2012. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
- Mukherjee, Rudrangshu (5 October 2008). "Murder, most foul – the people of Bengal created the darkness that envelops them". The Telegraph. Kolkata. Archived from the original on 18 January 2012. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
- "ADB pep pill for Bengal". The Telegraph. Kolkata. 13 June 2010. Archived from the original on 19 January 2012. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
- Ramesh, Randeep (12 November 2007). "Six killed as farmers and communists clash in West Bengal". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 1 September 2013. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
- "West Bengal political violence continues". The Economic Times. New Delhi. 8 August 2009. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
- Pal, Supratim (14 May 2007). "Top of world in kingdom of cloud". The Telegraph. Kolkata. Archived from the original on 31 July 2013. Retrieved 16 February 2012.
- "Impact of Climate Change on Natural Resource Management-west bengal". books.google.co.in. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
- Jayapalan, N (2001). Foreign policy of India. New Delhi: Atlantic Publishers and Distributors. p. 344. ISBN 81-7156-898-X.
- "Alarming rise in bacterial percentage in Ganga waters". The Hindu Business Line. Chennai. 4 August 2006. Archived from the original on 7 May 2013. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
- Reporter, Staff (19 March 2017). "1.04 cr hit by arsenic contamination in Bengal". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
- "Climate". West Bengal: Land. Suni System (P) Ltd. Archived from the original on 23 May 2006. Retrieved 5 September 2006.
- "kal Baisakhi". Glossary of Meteorology. American Meteorological Society. Archived from the original on 30 August 2006. Retrieved 5 September 2006.
- "Under 7-inch snow, Sandakphu a hot favourite among tourists now". Times of India. 12 March 2017. Archived from the original on 20 August 2017. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
- Mukherjee, Krishnendu (13 February 2018). "Bengal green cover up by just 21 sq km, aided by plantations". The Times of India. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
- "Forest cover" (PDF). India state of forest report 2013. Forest Survey of India, Ministry of Environment & Forests, Government of India. p. 17. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 21 July 2014.
- "Forest and tree resources in states and union territories: West Bengal" (PDF). India state of forest report 2009. Forest Survey of India, Ministry of Environment & Forests, Government of India. pp. 163–166. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 May 2013. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
- Islam, Sadiq (29 June 2001). "World's largest mangrove forest under threat". CNN. Archived from the original on 22 August 2007. Retrieved 31 October 2006.
- "State animals, birds, trees and flowers" (PDF). Wildlife Institute of India. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 June 2007. Retrieved 5 March 2012.
- Mukherji, S.J. (2000). College Botany Vol. III: (chapter on Phytogeography). Calcutta: New Central Book Agency. pp. 345–365.
- "Sundarbans National Park". World heritage list. UNESCO World Heritage Center. Archived from the original on 6 March 2012. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
- "Natural vegetation". West Bengal. Suni System (P) Ltd. Archived from the original on 23 May 2006. Retrieved 31 October 2006.
- "West Bengal: General Information". India in Business. Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry. Archived from the original on 19 August 2006. Retrieved 25 August 2006.
- West Bengal Human Development Report 2004, pp. 200–203, Ch. 10: Problems of Specific Regions
- "West Bengal legislative assembly". Legislative bodies in India. National Informatics Centre, India. Archived from the original on 13 March 2016. Retrieved 28 October 2006.
- Delimitation Commission (15 February 2006). "Notification: order no. 18" (PDF). New Delhi: Election Commission of India. pp. 23–25. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 August 2011. Retrieved 11 February 2012.
- "Composition of Rajya Sabha" (PDF). Rajya Sabha at work. New Delhi: Rajya Sabha Secretariat. pp. 24–25. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 15 February 2012.
- "Statewise results – West Bengal". Election Commission of India. Archived from the original on 16 May 2011. Retrieved 13 May 2011.
- "TMC registers strong wins in Bengal by-elections". The Hindu. 22 November 2016. ISSN 0971-751X. Archived from the original on 24 November 2016. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
- "Gorkhaland Territorial Administration Agreement signed". Outlook. 18 July 2011. Archived from the original on 3 June 2012. Retrieved 16 March 2012.
- "District Profiles". Archived from the original on 22 April 2017.
- "Section 2 of West Bengal Panchayat Act, 1973 – West Bengal Judicial Academy" (PDF). West Bengal Judicial Academy. Archived (PDF) from the original on 22 December 2016. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
- "Directory of district, sub division, panchayat samiti/ block and gram panchayats in West Bengal, March 2008". West Bengal Electronics Industry Development Corporation Limited, Government of West Bengal. March 2008. p. 1. Archived from the original (DOC) on 7 December 2013. Retrieved 15 February 2012.
- "Urban agglomerations/cities having population 1 million and above" (PDF). Provisional population totals, census of India 2011. The Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. 2011. Archived (PDF) from the original on 15 December 2011. Retrieved 26 January 2012.
- "Cities having population 1 lakh and above, census 2011" (PDF). Provisional population totals, census of India 2011. The Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. Archived (PDF) from the original on 7 May 2012. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
- Diplomat, Ankit Panda, The. "Geography's Curse: India's Vulnerable 'Chicken's Neck'". The Diplomat. Archived from the original on 21 October 2017. Retrieved 10 December 2017.
- "2011 Census of India" (PDF). censusindia.gov.in. Archived (PDF) from the original on 23 July 2013.
- "Net state domestic product at factor cost—state-wise (at current prices)". Handbook of statistics on Indian economy. Reserve Bank of India. 15 September 2011. Archived from the original on 9 March 2012. Retrieved 7 February 2012.
- "GSDP at current prices, 2004–05 series (2004–05 to 2014–15)". Archived from the original on 18 July 2016.
- "Centre accepts Bengal GDP has crossed Rs 10L cr". The Times of India. 3 August 2018. Retrieved 15 October 2018.
- "GSDP at current prices, Percent growth (2004–05 to 2014–15)". Archived from the original on 17 July 2016.
- "Per Capita NSDP at current prices, Percent growth (2004–05 to 2014–15) – NITI Aayog". niti.gov.in. Archived from the original on 16 July 2016. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
- "Economic Review 2015–16" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 August 2016.
- "West Bengal" (PDF). India Brand Equity Foundation. November 2011. Archived (PDF) from the original on 17 May 2012. Retrieved 6 February 2012.
- "Industrial infrastructure". West bengal Industrial Development Corporation. Archived from the original on 5 April 2012. Retrieved 5 March 2012.
- "About West Bengal State: Tourism, Industries, Agriculture, Economy & Geography". www.ibef.org. Archived from the original on 9 December 2016. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
- West Bengal Human Development Report 2004, pp. 4–6, Ch. 1: Introduction and Human Development Indices for West Bengal
- "Mamata seeks debt restructuring plan for West Bengal". The Economic Times. New Delhi. 22 October 2011. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
- "Figures matter". The Telegraph. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
- Dutta, Indrani (30 December 2014). "A year of shutdowns in Bengal's industry". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
- Sarkar, Debasis (26 June 2017). "Darjeeling fears continuing Gorkhaland agitation to hurt festive tourism business". The Economic Times. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
- "'Ease of doing business improves in West Bengal".
- "Business environment satisfactory in West Bengal: Survey".
- "West Bengal bags top spot in Ease of Doing Business; Here's the full ranking list".
- "Industrial Development in West Bengal, GSDP of West Bengal". www.ibef.org. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
- "The city that got left behind". The Economist. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
- "Statewise Length of national highways in India". National Highways. Department of Road Transport and Highways; Ministry of Shipping, Road Transport and Highways; Government of India. Archived from the original on 22 October 2012. Retrieved 9 February 2012.
- Chattopadhyay, Suhrid Sankar (January–February 2006). "Remarkable Growth". The Hindu; Frontline. Chennai, India. 23 (2). Archived from the original on 19 March 2012. Retrieved 15 October 2013.
- "Kolkata Metro is now the 17th zone of Indian Railways – The Times of India". The Times of India. 29 December 2010. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
- "Geography : Railway Zones". IRFCA.org. Indian Railways Fan Club. Archived from the original on 19 August 2007. Retrieved 31 August 2007.
- "About Kolkata Metro". Kolkata Metro. Archived from the original on 20 August 2007. Retrieved 1 September 2007.
- "Mountain Railways of India". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Archived from the original on 3 May 2006. Retrieved 30 April 2006.
- "Profile on Kazi Nazrul Islam International Airport". CAPA. Archived from the original on 8 August 2014. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
- Mishra, Mihir (18 May 2015). "Air India operates inaugural flight between Durgapur & Kolkata". The Economic Times. Archived from the original on 2 August 2017. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
- "Port info: cargo statistics". Kolkata Port Trust. Kolkata Port Trust, India. Archived from the original on 19 January 2012. Retrieved 9 February 2012.
- "Intra-city train travel". reaching India. Times Internet Limited. Archived from the original on 16 October 2007. Retrieved 31 August 2007.
- Pramanik, Ayan (2 May 2012). "Bengal transport dept to offer VRS to over 4,000 employees". The Hindu Business Line. Archived from the original on 26 January 2018. Retrieved 10 December 2017.
- "[IRFCA] Indian Railways FAQ: IR History: Early Days – 1". www.irfca.org. Archived from the original on 7 March 2005.
- Nilanjan, Ghosh (31 January 2014). Sustainability Science for Social, Economic, and Environmental Development. IGI Global. ISBN 978-1-4666-4996-5.
- "Language – India, States and Union Territories" (PDF). Census of India 2011. Office of the Registrar General. pp. 13–14.
- "Census Population" (PDF). Census of India. Ministry of Finance India. Archived (PDF) from the original on 26 August 2011. Retrieved 18 December 2008.
- Hoddie, Matthew (2006). Ethnic realignments: a comparative study of government influences on identity. Lexington Books. pp. 114–115. ISBN 978-0-7391-1325-7. Archived from the original on 10 May 2013. Retrieved 16 February 2012.
- "International Encyclopedia of Linguistics: AAVE – Esperanto". Oxford University Press. 10 March 2018 – via Google Books.
- Hernández-Campoy, Juan Manuel; Conde-Silvestre, Juan Camilo (15 February 2012). "The Handbook of Historical Sociolinguistics". John Wiley & Sons – via Google Books.
- Banerjee, Himadri; Gupta, Nilanjana; Mukherjee, Sipra, eds. (2009). Calcutta mosaic: essays and interviews on the minority communities of Calcutta. Anthem Press. p. 3. ISBN 978-81-905835-5-8. Archived from the original on 9 May 2013. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
- Banerjee, Himadri; Gupta, Nilanjana; Mukherjee, Sipra, eds. (2009). Calcutta mosaic: essays and interviews on the minority communities of Calcutta. Anthem Press. pp. 9–10. ISBN 978-81-905835-5-8. Archived from the original on 9 May 2013. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
- "Population by religion community – 2011". Census of India, 2011. The Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. Archived from the original on 25 August 2015.
- B.P. Syam Roy (28 September 2015). "Bengal's topsy-turvy population growth". The Statesman. Archived from the original on 10 September 2016.
- "Could it take two to tango with Mamata?". Archived from the original on 29 February 2016.
- "Data on Religion". Census of India (2001). Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. Archived from the original on 12 August 2007. Retrieved 26 August 2006.
- Ling, Trevor; Axelrod, Steven (19 June 1980). Buddhist Revival in India: Aspects of the Sociology of Buddhism. Springer. ISBN 978-1-349-16310-6.
- Population of West Bengal (80,221,171) is 7.8% of India's population (1,027,015,247)
- Seni, Saibal (26 August 2015). "Bengal beats India in Muslim growth rate". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 21 July 2017.
- "Table 1: Distribution of population, sex ratio, density and decadal growth rate of population: 2011". Provisional population totals paper 1 of 2011 India: series 1. Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. Archived from the original on 12 February 2012. Retrieved 16 February 2012.
- "Table 2(3): Literates and literacy rates by sex : 2011". Provisional population totals paper 1 of 2011 India: series 1. Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. Archived from the original on 12 February 2012. Retrieved 16 February 2012.
- "Contents 2010–14" (PDF). OFFICE OF THE REGISTRAR GENERAL & CENSUS COMMISSIONER, INDIA. Archived (PDF) from the original on 13 November 2016. Retrieved 12 January 2017.
- "Abridged Life Tables- 2010–14" (PDF). OFFICE OF THE REGISTRAR GENERAL & CENSUS COMMISSIONER, INDIA. p. 5. Archived (PDF) from the original on 10 January 2017. Retrieved 12 January 2017.
- "Table 162, Number and Percentage of Population Below Poverty Line". Reserve Bank of India, Government of India. 2013. Archived from the original on 7 April 2014. Retrieved 20 April 2014.
- "Bengal is 100% electrified now". The Times of India, Kolkata. 3 November 2017.
- Chakrabarti, Suman (6 September 2017). "76 Bengal towns free of open defecation". The Times of India.
- Dutta, Saptarshi (7 September 2017). "With 76 Towns And Cities Already Open Defecation Free, West Bengal Aims To Reach The 100% Mark By The End Of This Year". NDTV. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
- Kanjilal, Barun; Swadhin Mondal; Moumita Mukherjee; Debjani Barman; Arnab Mondal (October 2008). "Catastrophic Health Care Payment: how much protected are the users of public hospitals?". FHS Research Brief (4). Archived from the original on 9 March 2013.
- "Why West Bengal is like Canada, and Bihar like Swaziland". Archived from the original on 24 July 2016.
- Georg, Feuerstein (2002). The Yoga Tradition. Motilal Banarsidass. p. 600. ISBN 3-935001-06-1.
- Clarke, Peter Bernard (2006). New Religions in Global Perspective. Routledge. p. 209. ISBN 0-7007-1185-6.
- "Bankim Chandra: The First Prominent Bengali Novelist". The Daily Star. 30 June 2011. Archived from the original on 6 September 2017. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
- Buckland, C. E. (1999). Dictionary of Indian Biography. Cosmo Publication. ISBN 9788170208976.
- "TagoreWeb". tagoreweb.in. Archived from the original on 28 June 2017. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
- "Islam, Kazi Nazrul – Banglapedia". en.banglapedia.org. Archived from the original on 6 July 2017. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
- "Remembering Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay, the 'Awara Masiha'". The Indian Express. 15 September 2015. Archived from the original on 12 June 2017. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
- "Manik Bandopadhyay Taking the road less travelled". The Daily Star. 22 May 2013. Archived from the original on 13 December 2017. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
- Mookerjea-Leonard, Debali (2008). R. Victoria Arana, ed. The Facts on File Companion to World poetry, 1900 to the Present. New York City: Facts on File, Inc. p. 128. ISBN 978-0-8160-6457-1.
- Sen, Sukumar (1979) . History of Bengali Literature (3rd ed.). New Delhi: Sahitya Akademi. p. 345. ISBN 81-7201-107-5.
- Datta 1988, p. 1213
- Datta 1988, p. 1367
- Bardhan 2010
- Openshaw, Jeanne (25 July 2002). Seeking Bauls of Bengal. Cambridge University Press. pp. 1–6. ISBN 978-0-521-81125-5. Archived from the original on 9 June 2016.
- Bhattacharyya, Sudip (26 December 2015). Over The Years. Educreation Publishing.
- Guha-Thakurta, P. (5 September 2013). The Bengali Drama: Its Origin and Development. Routledge. p. 26. ISBN 978-1-136-38553-7.
- Chaudhuri, Sukanta (1990). Calcutta, the Living City: The past. Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on 3 August 2017.
- "Folk & Culture : Purulia, Famous Folk Dance "Chau"". The Official Website of Purulia District. Archived from the original on 3 June 2017. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
- Tmh (2007). Book Of Knowledge Viii, 5E. Tata McGraw-Hill Education. ISBN 9780070668065. Archived from the original on 8 August 2016.
- "Master filmmaker Tapan Sinha dead". 16 January 2009. Retrieved 18 March 2013.
- Gooptu 2013, pp. 37–50
- Gooptu 2010, pp. 170–182
- Biswas, Premankur (31 October 2014). "'Chatushkone' director Srijit Mukherji: I have gained enough confidence as a director". The Indian Express. Archived from the original on 11 March 2017. Retrieved 27 September 2017.
- Raychaudhuri, Baidehi Chatterjee and Roshmi. "contemporaryart-india – Art History: Bengal Region". www.contemporaryart-india.com. Archived from the original on 7 May 2017. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
- Onians, John (2004). Atlas of World Art. Laurence King Publishing. p. 304. ISBN 978-1-85669-377-6.
- History of the Bengali-speaking People by Nitish Sengupta, p 211, UBS Publishers' Distributors Pvt. Ltd. ISBN 81-7476-355-4.
- Gertjan de Graaf, Abdul Latif. "Development of freshwater fish farming and poverty alleviation: A case study from Bangladesh" (PDF). Aqua KE Government. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 November 2006. Retrieved 22 October 2006.
- "Bengalis relish hilsa fish as imports of the Bangladeshi delicacy grow". Retrieved 10 December 2017.
- "Ferment rice for a healthy morsel". www.telegraphindia.com. Archived from the original on 4 August 2017. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
- Banerji, Chitrita (December 2006). Bengali Cooking: Seasons and Festivals. Serif. ISBN 978-1-897959-50-3.
- "Sweet Items | Bengal Cuisine". bengalcuisine.in. Archived from the original on 13 December 2017. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
- Saha, S (18 January 2006). "Resurrected, the kathi roll – Face-off resolved, Nizam's set to open with food court". Calcutta, India: The Telegraph (Kolkata). Archived from the original on 28 February 2006. Retrieved 26 October 2006.
- "Mobile food stalls". Bangalinet.com. Archived from the original on 21 October 2006. Retrieved 26 October 2006.
- Singh, Kumar Suresh; Bagchi, Tilak; India, Anthropological Survey of (2008). People of India: West Bengal. Anthropological Survey of India. ISBN 9788170463009.
- "Parinita – Handloom map of West Bengal". Archived from the original on 22 October 2015.
- "Durga Puja". Festivals celebrated throughout West Bengal. Department of Tourism, Government of West Bengal. Archived from the original on 16 January 2012. Retrieved 5 March 2012.
- "Durga Puja in India: Largest Open Air Art Expo". kolkata.china-consulate.org. Archived from the original on 25 December 2015. Retrieved 25 December 2015.
- "Foreign bloggers and travel writers soak in Kolkata's festive spirit – Times of India". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 1 January 2016. Retrieved 25 December 2015.
- Betts, Vanessa (30 October 2013). Footprint Focus-Kolkata and West Bengal. ISBN 1-909268-41-0.
- Chakrabarti, Kunal; Chakrabarti, Shubhra (22 August 2013). Historical Dictionary of the Bengalis. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-0-8108-8024-5.
- "West Bengal Tourism". www.westbengaltourism.gov.in. Archived from the original on 25 December 2015. Retrieved 25 December 2015.
- Choudhury, Angikaar. "In photos: Glimpses of a Bengali Christmas on Kolkata's Park Street". Scroll.in. Archived from the original on 25 December 2015. Retrieved 25 December 2015.
- "Boards of secondary & senior secondary education in India". Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India. Archived from the original on 20 March 2012. Retrieved 18 April 2012.
- "National Family Health Survey". rchiips.org. Retrieved 30 January 2018.(Select West Bengal to view the pdf format)
- "India's Best Schools, 2014". Rediff.com. Archived from the original on 22 July 2015.
- "Educational Institute". darjeeling.gov.in. Archived from the original on 6 July 2017. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
- "UGC recognised Universities in West Bengal with NAAC accreditation status". Education Observer. Archived from the original on 9 January 2007. Retrieved 26 October 2006.
- "West Bengal University of Health Sciences". West Bengal University of Health Sciences. Archived from the original on 21 December 2006. Retrieved 26 October 2006.
- Sridhar, M.; Mishra, Sunita (5 August 2016). Language Policy and Education in India: Documents, Contexts and Debates. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-134-87824-6.
- "List of Affiliated Colleges". University of Calcutta. Archived from the original on 1 February 2008. Retrieved 29 March 2008.
- Mitra, P (31 August 2005). "Waning interest". Careergraph. Calcutta, India: The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 5 January 2007. Retrieved 26 October 2006.
- "Visva-Bharati: Facts and Figures at a Glance". Visva-Bharati Computer Centre. Archived from the original on 23 May 2007. Retrieved 31 March 2007.
- NAAC. "NAAC accredited higher educational institution s in West Bengal" (PDF). www.naac.gov.in. Archived (PDF) from the original on 12 July 2017. Retrieved 7 January 2018.
- "University Grants commission ::Centre with Potential for Excellence in Particular Area". ugc.ac.in. Archived from the original on 1 August 2016. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
- "University". www.ugc.ac.in. Archived from the original on 13 September 2017. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
- "Some of the distinguished alumni of the University of Calcutta". University of Calcutta. Archived from the original on 21 November 2011. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
- "Some of our distinguished teachers". University of Calcutta. Archived from the original on 21 November 2011. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
- Petitjean, Patrick; Jami, Cathérine; Moulin, Anne Marie (1992). Science and empires: historical studies about scientific development and European expansion. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers. p. 62. ISBN 978-0-7923-1518-6.
- Frenz, Horst, ed. (1999). Nobel Lectures, Literature 1901–1967. Amsterdam: World Scientific. p. 134. ISBN 978-981-02-3413-3. Archived from the original on 2 February 2012. Retrieved 3 February 2012.
- "Professor Amartya Sen". President and Fellows of Harvard College, Harvard University. Archived from the original on 31 January 2012. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
- "General Review". Registrar of Newspapers for India. Archived from the original on 31 December 2012. Retrieved 6 March 2012.
- "West Bengal Media" (PDF). FCCI. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 January 2018. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
- "Bengali News Channel took 5 months to reach no.1 position". News Center. Archived from the original on 18 September 2010. Retrieved 7 September 2006.
- "Calcutta : Television, Radio Channels". Calcutta Web. Archived from the original on 3 December 2006. Retrieved 7 September 2006.
- "The Indian Telecom Services Performance Indicator Report April–June 2017" (PDF). TRAI. Archived (PDF) from the original on 7 October 2017. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
- Dineo, Paul; Mills, James (2001). Soccer in South Asia: empire, nation, diaspora. London: Frank Cass Publishers. p. 71. ISBN 978-0-7146-8170-2.
- Bose, Mihir (2006). The magic of Indian cricket: cricket and society in India. Psychology Press. p. 240. ISBN 978-0-415-35691-6.
- Das Sharma, Amitabha (2002). "Football and the big fight in Kolkata" (PDF). Football Studies. 5 (2): 57. Retrieved 5 April 2012.
- Prabhakaran, Shaji (18 January 2003). "Football in India – A Fact File". LongLiveSoccer.com. Archived from the original on 23 October 2006. Retrieved 26 October 2006.
- "Kolkata-football infrastructure is from-the past century". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 28 January 2006.
- "India – Eden Gardens (Kolkata)". Cricket Web. Archived from the original on 31 May 2007. Retrieved 26 October 2006.
- "Eden Gardens". ESPN Cricinfo. Archived from the original on 8 July 2017. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
- Raju, Mukherji (14 March 2005). "Seven Years? Head Start". Calcutta, India: The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 26 October 2006.
- "Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan (VYBK), Kolkata". FIFA.com. Archived from the original on 28 March 2017.
- "Lionel Messi arrives in Kolkata for friendly match against Venezuela". India Today. 31 August 2011. Archived from the original on 22 January 2018.
- "King Kahn Bows Out in Kolkata". DW.com. 27 May 2008. Archived from the original on 7 January 2018.
- Pranab Chatterjee (2009). A Story of Ambivalent Modernization in Bangladesh and West Bengal: The Rise and Fall of Bengali Elitism in South Asia. Peter Lang Publishing; First printing edition. ISBN 978-1-4331-0820-4.
- Baxter, Craig (1997). Bangladesh: From a Nation to a State. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press. ISBN 1-85984-121-X.
- Gooptu, Sharmistha (November 2010). Bengali Cinema: 'An Other Nation'. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-136-91217-7.
- Bald, Vivek (2013). Bengali Harlem and the Lost Histories of South Asian America. Harvard University Press. p. 318. ISBN 978-0-674-07040-0.
- Sarkar, Sumit (1990). "Calcutta and the Bengal Renaissance". In Chaudhuri, Sukanta. Calcutta, the Living City: The past. 1. Oxford University Press.
- Bandyopadhyay, Sekhar (2004). Caste, Culture and Hegemony: Social Dominance in Colonial Bengal. SAGE Publications India. p. 256. ISBN 978-81-321-0407-0.
- Klass, L; Morton, S (1996). Community Structure and industrialization in West Bengal. University Press of America Inc. ISBN 0-7618-0420-X.
- Bandyopadhyay, Sekhar (2009). Decolonization in South Asia: Meanings of Freedom in Post-independence West Bengal, 1947–52. Routledge. p. 256. ISBN 978-1-134-01823-9.
- Chakrabarti, Ranjan (2013). Dictionary of Historical Places: Bengal, 1757–1947. Primus Books. p. 657. ISBN 978-93-80607-41-2.
- Bhargava, Ed.Gopal (2008). Encyclopaedia of Art And Culture In India (West Bengal) 20th Volume. Isha Books. p. 508. ISBN 978-81-8205-460-8.
- Datta, Amaresh (1988). Encyclopaedia of Indian Literature. Sahitya Akademi. ISBN 978-81-260-1194-0.
- Banerjee, Anuradha (1998). Environment, population, and human settlements of Sundarban Delta. Ashok Kumar Mittal. ISBN 81-7022-739-9.
- Tapan Raychaudhuri (2002). Europe Reconsidered: Perceptions of the West in Nineteenth-Century Bengal. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-566109-5.
- Chakrabarti, Kunal; Chakrabarti, Shubhra (22 August 2013). Historical Dictionary of the Bengalis. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-0-8108-8024-5.
- Impact of Social Sector Development in West Bengal. Planning Commission, Government of India. 2009.
- Inden; Ronald B.; Ralph W (2005). Kinship in Bengali Culture. The University of Chicago Press, 1977. ISBN 81-8028-018-7.
- Sen, Jyotirmoy (1988). Land Utilisation and Population Distribution: A Case Study of West Bengal, 1850–1985. Daya Books. p. 227. ISBN 978-81-7035-043-9.
- Hindle, Jane, ed. (1996). London Review of Books: An Anthology. Foreword by Alan Bennett. London: Verso. pp. 63–70. ISBN 1-85984-121-X.
- Bose, Sugata (1993). Peasant Labour and Colonial Capital: Rural Bengal Since 1770, Volume 3. Cambridge University Press. p. 203. ISBN 978-0-521-26694-9.
- Mukherjee, Bharati (1991). Political Culture and Leadership in India: A Study of West Bengal. Mittal Publications. p. 403. ISBN 978-81-7099-320-9.
- Sunny, C (1999). "Poverty and social development in west bengal" (PDF). India Rural Development Report, NIRD.
- Marvin, Davis (1983). Rank and rivalry: the politics of inequality in rural West Bengal. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. xxvii, 239. ISBN 0-521-24657-1.
- Arnold-Baker, Charles (30 July 2015). The Companion to British History. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 978-1-317-40039-4.
- Bardhan, Kalpana (2010). The Oxford India Anthology of Bengali Literature: 1941–1991. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-806461-9.
- Gooptu, Sharmistha (17 April 2013). "'Bengali' cinema: Its making and unmaking". In Gokulsing, K. Moti; Dissanayake, Wimal. Routledge Handbook of Indian Cinemas. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-136-77284-9.
- Roy, Ananya; AlSayyad, Nezar (2004). Urban Informality: Transnational Perspectives from the Middle East, Latin America, and South Asia. Lanham, Md: Lexington Books. ISBN 0-7391-0741-0.
- West Bengal Human Development Report, 2004 (PDF). Kolkata: Development and Planning Department, Government of West Bengal. May 2004. ISBN 81-7955-030-3.
- Amrita Basu, V. (1997). Two Faces of Protest: Contrasting Modes of Women's Activism in India. University of California Press ltd. ISBN 0-520-06506-9. Retrieved 16 June 2009.
- Jasodhara Bagchi, Sarmistha Dutta Gupta, V. (2000). The changing status of women in West Bengal, 1970–2000: the challenge ahead. Saga Publication India Pvt Ltd. ISBN 0-7619-3242-9. Retrieved 16 June 2010.
- Magnus Öberg, Kaare Strom, V. (2008). Resources, governance and civil conflict. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-41671-9. Retrieved 16 June 2004.
- Atul Kohli, I. (1987). The State and Poverty in India. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-37876-5. Retrieved 16 June 2007.
- Richard Maxwell Eaton, The rise of Islam and the Bengal frontier, 1204–1760, 1993, University of California Press, California, California,1993, ISBN 0-520-08077-7.
- Ross Mallick. (1955). Development Policy of a Communist Government: West Bengal Since 1977, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (Reprinted 2008) ISBN 978-0-521-43292-4.
- Harriss-White, Barbara, ed. (2008). Rural Commercial Capital: Agricultural Markets in West Bengal. Oxford University Press, USA. ISBN 0-19-569159-8.
- Raychaudhuri, Ajitava; Das, Tuhin K., eds. (2005). West Bengal economy: some contemporary issues. Jadavpur University Press, India. ISBN 81-7764-731-8.
- Government of West Bengal, Law Department, Lagislative Notification. No. 182- L – 24 January 2013. West Bengal Act XXXVI of 2012. The West Bengal Official Language (Second Amendment) Act, 2012.
- Chatterjee, Partha (1997). The Present History of West Bengal: Essays in Political Criticism. the University of Michigan: Oxford University Press. p. 223. ISBN 978-0-19-563945-2.
- Bandyopadhyay, Sekhar (2009). Decolonization in South Asia: Meanings of Freedom in Post-independence West Bengal, 1947–52. Routledge. p. 256. ISBN 978-1-134-01823-9.
- Chatterji, Joya (2007). The Spoils of Partition: Bengal and India, 1947–1967. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1-139-46830-5.
- Sen, Raj Kumar; Dasgupta, Asis (2007). West Bengal Today: 25 Years of Economic Development. Deep and Deep Publications. p. 380. ISBN 978-81-7629-984-8.
- Roy, Dayabati (2013). Rural Politics in India: Political Stratification and Governance in West Bengal. Cambridge University Press. p. 278. ISBN 978-1-107-51316-7.
- Samaddar, Ranabir (1999). The Marginal Nation: Transborder Migration from Bangladesh to West Bengal. the University of Michigan: SAGE Publications. p. 227. ISBN 978-0-7619-9283-7.
- Bayly, Christopher Alan (1987). Indian Society and the Making of the British Empire. Cambridge University Press. pp. 195, 196. ISBN 978-0-521-38650-0.
- Khan, Muhammad Mojlum (2013). The Muslim Heritage of Bengal: The Lives, Thoughts and Achievements of Great Muslim Scholars, Writers and Reformers of Bangladesh and West Bengal. Kube Publishing Ltd. p. 384. ISBN 978-1-84774-062-5.
- Chandra, Bipan; Mukherjee, Mridula; Mukherjee, Aditya; Panikkar, K. N.; Mahajan, Sucheta (9 August 2016). India's Struggle for Independence. Penguin UK. ISBN 978-81-8475-183-3.
- Official website
- West Bengal Tourism
- West Bengal Encyclopædia Britannica entry
- West Bengal at Curlie
- Geographic data related to West Bengal at OpenStreetMap