West Bengal Information
West Bengal, relatively a small and narrow state, was created on August 15, 1947, following the partition of undivided pre-Independence Province of Bengal into West Bengal and East Pakistan, now Bangla Desh. Calcutta is its capital, area about 88,752 sq.km., population around 8,02,21,171. Its principal language is Bengali and the best season to visit is October to March. Being the Capital of the erstwhile British Raj and the second largest city of the British Crown, Calcutta dominates the entire region. Naturally Calcutta has most of the centers of tourist interest. The prominent tourist spots of the region are described below.
West Bengal Tourism
Calcutta: The Pearl of the Crown
Believed to have been founded by Job Charnok by late 17th century, it shot into prominence during the British Raj Calcutta is the kernel of the whole region is a city of rich and poor simultaneously. Although each section of this vast metropolis has some history to relate, some outstanding monuments are being described in brief.
The lush green sprawling stretch, 3 sq.km. in area is one of the three lungs of this city. The other being Rabindra Sarovar and the river Hooghly. The maidan in and about, abounds in the major landmark of the British Raj. It remains a centre of many zestful activities, both political and social and it is a treat to watch in the morning and evening when a sea of humanity waves in its vast confines.
Now renamed as Jawahar Lal Nehru Road, Chowringhee is Calcutta’s famous promenade. Here can be seen palatial buildings and garden houses. pillard verandahas built during the British Raj along with modern sky scrappers, hotels, restaurants, shopping arcades, night clubs and cinem theatres. East to the Maiden, Chowringhee, the city’s main thoroughfare truly reflects the cosmopolitan flavor of Calcutta.
Named after William of Orange, king of Britain, For William was completed in 1712 for the protection of East India Company’s trading post. But in 1756 Calcutta was captured by the Nawab of Murshidabad Sirj-ud-Daula. It was in 1757 that Calcutta was recaptured by Clive. Then the British desiring to replace the original Fort William with a massive and impregnable fort laid its foundation in 1758 and completed in 1781, after spending two million pounds. Around the fort the dense jungle was cleared to provide field of fire for the Fort William and to prevent the possibility of a surprise attack. This for can be visited with special permission.
At the northern end of the Maidan, stands this grand monument of 48 meter high column built originally in the honor of General David Ochterlony who is credited with bringing the Nepal war (1814-16) to successful conclusion. Built in 1841, the Minar combines in itself the Turkish, Syrian and Egyptian style of architecture. It has an Egyptian base, Syrian column and a Turkish done. Now it is know as Sahid or Shaheed Minar. It offers a fine view from its top hut special permission is to be obtained to ascend it.
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