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___ Satellite View and Map of West Bengal (পশ্চিমবঙ্গ), India


Cooch Behar Palace in Cooch Behar, West Bengal, India
Cooch Behar Palace (Victor Jubilee Palace) was built in 1887 during the reign of Maharaja Nripendra Narayan of Cooch Behar State. The building, also called the Victor Jubilee Palace, was modeled after the Buckingham Palace in London.
Image: Amartyabag

About West Bengal


Seal of West Bengal
The satellite view and the map show West Bengal. The state is located in eastern India; it borders Bangladesh in the east, Nepal to the northwest, and Bhutan in the north. The Indian states of Assam and Sikkim are situated to the north and northeast, Odisha in the southwest, Jharkhand and Bihar in the west. West Bengal extends for 620 km (385 mi) from the foothills of the Himalaya mountains in the north to the Ganges Delta in the south. West Bengal covers an area of 88,752 km², compared, the state is somewhat smaller than Portugal, or slightly smaller than the US state of Maine.




Dakshineswar Kali Temple in Dakshineswar, West Bengal
Dakshineswar Kali Temple, the Hindu temple with shrines to Krishna and Vishnu is located at the Hooghly River (Ganga) in Dakshineswar, north of Kolkata.
Image: Asis K. Chatterjee


In 1947, Bengal, the geopolitical, cultural and historical region north of the Bay of Bengal, was partitioned along religious lines, the eastern part became the Islam dominated Dominion of Pakistan (now Bangladesh), the western part became a part of India.

The territory of West Bengal has two natural geographic regions. At its border to Sikkim in the north, are the mountainous landscapes of the Himalaya and the Himalayan foothills. Major rivers in this region are the Teesta, the Jaldhaka, and the Torsha, all tributaries of the Jamuna River (Brahmaputra); the Mechi river forms sections of India's border with Nepal.

In the south, there is the fertile Gangetic Plain, watered and drained by many rivers and their tributaries and distributaries. Major rivers are the Damodar, the Hooghly (Ganga), and the Ajay river. The Ganges flows through the narrow middle part of the state and forms further downstream a short section of India's border with Bangladesh.

Population
West Bengal has a population of about 95 million people. Kolkata is the capital, the main (river) port, and the primate city of the state with a population of 5.2 million inhabitants. The city was known until 2001 as Calcutta. Other major cities in West Bengal are Asansol, Siliguri, Durgapur, Malda (English Bazar) and Bardhaman (Burdwan).
Spoken languages are Bengali 85%, and Hindi 7%, Nepali is the official language in three Hill Sub-divisions of the Darjeeling District. Main religions are Hinduism (71%) and Islam (27%).


West Bengal Points of Interest

Howrah Bridge (Rabindra Setu) over the Hooghly River, seen from Chotelal Ki Ghat in Kolkata
Howrah Bridge (Rabindra Setu) over the Hooghly River, seen from Chotelal Ki Ghat in Kolkata.
Image: Bernard Gagnon

Kolkata is considered to be India´s cultural capital; it offers many attractions making a visit worthwhile.

Dakshineswar Kali Temple is a Hindu temple with shrines to Krishna and Vishnu located at the Hooghly River (Ganga) in Dakshineswar north of Kolkata.

140 km northwest of Kolkata is Bishnupur; the town is famous for its terracotta temples built in the 17th and 18th centuries. The Temples at Bishnupur official website are on the World Heritage tentative list of the UNESCO.

Santiniketan, part of Bolpur-Santiniketan, is home to the Visva-Bharati University, one of India's most renowned places of higher learning. Poush Mela is an annual fair and festival marking the harvest season, held in Santiniketan, a small university town founded by the father of Rabindranath Tagore, Bengal's famous poet and Nobel laureate.
Gauḍa (Gaur) is a ruined city on India's border to Bangladesh. The former citadel is located near the town of Farakka in the Malda district.


In the North
Darjeeling Himalayan Railway
Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, also known as the "Toy Train". The train runs between New Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling, the railway was opened in 1879.
Image: Sheep"R"Us

Darjeeling, Happy Valley Tea Estate is a tea garden and Darjeeling's second oldest tea estate.

Bengal Dooars is West Bengal's portion of the alluvial floodplains in northeastern India, the grassy landscape of the Terai is a lowland at the foothills of the eastern Himalayas close to the border with Bhutan. Within the fertile plains are several national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, like Gorumara National Park, Chapramari Wild Life Sanctuary, and the Buxa Tiger Reserve along the Jayanti River. The Gorumara National Park in the Dooars region is known for its population of Indian rhinos.

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, also known as the "Toy Train." Three Mountain Railways of India are listed in UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites, the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway was the first and is still the most outstanding example of a hill passenger railway.

Neora Valley National Park is a pristine undisturbed natural habitat in the Kalimpong hills, just southeast of Sikkim, home to many birds, the Red Panda, and the elusive Clouded leopard. The park is in large parts inaccessible, making it an adventurous place for the nature lovers. The nearest town is Kalimpong, a hill station at an elevation of 1,250 m. The Neora Valley National Park official website is on UNESCO's tentative list.

Pyramid of Rasmancha in Bishnupur, West Bengal, India
The pyramid of Rasmancha is one of the famous terracotta buildings in Bishnupur north west of Kolkata. The former temple was built in the beginning of the 17th century by Bir Hambir, the 49th ruler of the Malla dynasty.
Image: Arpan.chottu


Sandakphu (3636 m; 11,930 ft), is the highest peak in West Bengal, situated on the border with Nepal. The summit offers a view of four of the five highest mountains in the world, Everest, Kanchenjunga, Lhotse, and Makalu.

Cooch Behar Palace is an Italian Renaissance style palace in Cooch Behar; it was the residence of Nripendra Narayan (1862 – 1911), Maharaja of Koch Bihar.



In the South
The Ganges Delta and the Sundarbans
The Sundarbans in the delta of the Ganges, Brahmaputra, and Meghna rivers are the world's largest area of mangrove forests. The delta is a complex network of river distributaries, tidal waterways, mudflats, swampland, and many small deltaic islands. Sundarbans National Park, official website is the Indian portion of the World Heritage Site, more than half of the mangrove forests are in India, the rest is in Bangladesh. Bangladesh has its own World Heritage Site named The Sundarbans official website.

Sea Beaches can be found at the coastal strip of West Bengal, like the seaside resort village of Mandarmani.

The laid back delta islands of Bakkhali and Sagar (Ganga Sagar) are a religious spot for Hindu pilgrims (be aware of snakes).

Digha, the seaside resort town at the northern end of the Bay of Bengal is the most popular sea resort in West Bengal. To the east of Digha lies Tajpur, a coastal town which is still relatively underdeveloped.

Happy Valley Tea Estate,  Darjeeling, West Bengal, India
A view of Darjeeling and the Happy Valley Tea Estate, it is Darjeeling's second oldest tea estate.
Image: Michael Janich


The map shows West Bengal with borders, cities, and towns, expressways, main roads, and streets, and the location of Calcutta's Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport (IATA code: CCU) and the location of Bagdogra Airport (IATA code: IXB) in North Bengal.

To find a location use the form below.



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Google Map: Searchable map and satellite view of West Bengal, India.

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External Links:
West Bengal
Official government website.

West Bengal Tourism
Official website.

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Local news.

Banglapedia
National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh.

Wikipedia: West Bengal
Wikipedia entry West Bengal.
 
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