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West Bengal
West Bengal ...
West Bengal is a state in eastern India. West Bengal is a land of aesthetes and political activities and since long considered as the cultural center of India and it is famous for its eminent Writers, Poets, Artists, Spiritualists, Social Reformers, Freedom Fighters, and Revolutionaries.

Nobal prize winner Ravindra Nath Tagore was formed Bengal as well as Subhash Chandra Bose too. Bengal Tigers are concentrated in the forests of West Bengal. World known `Shantiniketan' institute is also present here. The Himalayan mountains and their lush foothills make their home in northern West Bengal.

From late 1990s, economic rejuvenation led to a spurt in the state's economic and industrial growth. An agriculture-dependent state, West Bengal occupies only 2.7% of the India's land area, though it supports over 7.8% of Indian population, and is the most densely populated state in India.

West Bengal has a long history predating the Aryan invasions of India. In 3rd century, Bengal was a part of Moryan empire and then overrun by Guptas. Then around 9th century AD, Bengal was controlled by Pala Dynesty, including parts of Orissa, Bihar, and modern Bangladesh. Later, Bengal was brought under control of Muslims by Qutb-Ud-Din first sultan of Delhi, by the end of 12th century. After death of Auranzeb in 1707, Bengal became independent Muslim state.

Siraj-Ud-Daula, nawab of Bengal was defeted by Robert Clive at the battle of Plassy with the help of Mir-Jafar, commander of Nawab's Army. Then Mir Jafar became Nawab, but after battle of Buxar in 1764, the British took full control of Bengal.

During British regime, Bengal was divided. Subsiquently the present `West Bengal' is the outcome (on 15th August 1947) as a result of partition of India into India and Pakistan (Eastern part of Bengal became Eastern part of Pakistan - finally "Bangladesh" as an independent Muslim state).

Geographically state West Bengal has a position on east-end, on the border of present Bangladesh - with a coridor in North, which connects to the Assam - Arunachal provinces of India. In the southern part, there is Bay of Bengal, in North is Himalaya, and in the west Bihar, Orissa, and Jharkhand. The northern side of the state is in contact of Nepal, Sikkim, Tibet, and Bhutan.

The climate of West Bengal varies from tropical savannah in the southern portions to humid subtropical in the north. The main seasons are summer, 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 day temperature ranging from 37C to 46C. At nights, 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. Monsoons bring rain to the whole state from June to September. West Bengal receives the Bay of Bengal branch of the Indian ocean monsoon that moves in a northwest direction. Winter starts in December till January, is mild over the plains with average minimum temperatures of 16C. A cold and dry northern wind blows in the winter, substantially lowering the humidity level. However, the Darjeeling Himalayan Hill region experiences a harsh winter, with occasional snowfall at places.

Transportation in West Bengal is having its own importance. The total length of roads in West Bengal is over 92,023 kms national highways comprise 2,377 kms and state highways 2,393 kms. Total railway length is 3,825 kms. Kolkata is the headquarters of two divisions of the Indian Railways - Eastern Railway and South Eastern Railway. The Northeast Frontier Railway plies in the northern parts of the state. The Kolkata Metro is the Indias first underground railway. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (NFR) - Toy Train is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport at Dum Dum is the only international airport, in Kolkata. The Kolkata Port Trust manages both the Kolkata docks and the Haldia docks. There are 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. 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 state government organisations operates bus services in West Bengal, which includes the Calcutta State Transport Corporation, the North Bengal State Transport Corporation, the South Bengal State Transport Corporation, and the West Bengal Surface Transport Corporation. There are also private bus service operators. Hired forms of mechanised transport include metered taxis and Auto Rickshaws which often runs on specific routes in cities.

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