The Indian province of West Bengal
West Bengal is located in eastern India. It has 75 million inhabitants and an area of 87853 km2. The capital of the state is Calcutta. Bengali is spoken there. North Bengal is dominated by the Himalayas while the south is made up of fertile plains.
The history of Bengal predates the arrival of the Aryans in India. The Mahabharata mentions some of its kings. Bengal is then known as “Gauda” or “Vanga”. Successively integrated into the Maurya and Gupta empires, Bengal also had its own dynasty of independent leaders, the Palas.
The Europeans in Bengal
The English had the last word!
In the 17th century, the first European settlers settled in the region. The English succeeded in establishing themselves better than the others and in the middle of the 18th century they took effective control of Bengal. Calcutta then became the capital of the British Raj.
West Bengal's independance
Being victim of a serious famine in 1943 and community clashes in 1946, Bengal was split in two at independence in 1947. . The West became West Bengal under Hindu domination, the East became East Pakistan under Muslim domination. The latter became Bangladesh in 1971.
Crossed by the Hooghly River, Calcutta is the capital of West Bengal. It has 12 million inhabitants, making it the second largest city in the country after Mumbai (Bombay).
Darjeeling, a large village at an altitude of 2134 metres, is synonymous with tea all over the world. Its mountainous climate allows you to escape the heat and humidity of the plain.
The city was founded by King Raghunath I of the Malla dynasty. It became the capital of the kingdom went and developed between the eighth and eighteenth centuries.
Tourism in West Bengal
Why go there?
A strip of fertile land stretching from the Himalayan foothills covered with tea trees with lush mangroves from the Gulf Bengal, West Bengal offers a remarkable variety of destinations and experiences. In the tropical South, the village of Mandarmani, by the sea, is worth a visit, as well as the superb Hindu brick temples and Bishnupur laterite.
Not to be missed!
Panoramic view of the mountains from the top of the ridges during the Singalila Ridge trek. A toy train ride in tea country, between Kurseong and Darjeeling. The bohemian atmosphere of the university town of Shantiniketan and the beautiful surrounding countryside. The tea plantations and the fantastic view from Darjeeling, a historic climate resort…
Art in West Bengal
West Bengal is not a place for Skullcand or Senheisser. It is a place so full of musical heritage that music is literally in the air. Baul the singers come in hordes to be part of Kenduli Mela and Paush Mela in West Bengal. With often braided hair, Tulsi (basil) pearl necklaces, saffron dresses and Iktaras, Baul’s singers are a fascinating lot.
When to visit?
Are you the type of person who likes to go out in the low season when there are fewer people? Or, in Calcutta – West Bengal, would you prefer the hustle and bustle of the high tourist season? Would you like to know when prices in Calcutta – West Bengal are lowest? They change throughout the year.
Tips for a West Bengal trip
Here, you can find the best travel tips and accessories for a West Bengal trip! We offer you useful ideas, tricks and gadget suggestions varying from a simple travel notebook to a pocket wifi like those available at My Webspot for instance…Geek or not, you’ll probably find an accessory that will seduce you within our articles!
More Indian treasures!
Now that we’re setting up your itinerary for India, you might as well pack your bags. For any suggestion, advice or other features, read our articles. Until then, happy journey!
India under the lights
In November, the country celebrates the Hindu New Year with the Festival of Lights or Diwali. Houses and streets are adorned with lamps, lanterns, candles and coloured garlands to celebrate King Rama's victory over the demon Ravana...
Agra, Uttar Pradesh
Every year, it attracts millions of visitors who come to admire the treasures it holds, starting with the famous Taj Mahal. Two other masterpieces of Mughal architecture are also on display: the Red Fort and the Baby Taj...
The discovery of India obviously involves exploring its wonderful cuisine. It is one of the richest (not only in fat!), most fragrant and subtle in the world. It's good to know that an Indian doesn't eat the same thing as his/her neighbour.