Location of Hooghly district in West Bengal
|• Lok Sabha constituencies||Arambagh (with 1 assembly segment in Paschim Medinipur), Hooghly, Serampore (with 2 assembly segments in Howrah district)|
|• Vidhan Sabha constituencies||Uttarpara, Sreerampur, Champdani, Singur, Chandannagar, Chunchura, Balagarh, Pandua, Saptagram, Chanditala, Jangipara, Haripal, Dhanekhali, Tarakeswar, Pursurah, Arambag, Goghat, Khanakul|
|• Total||3,149 km2 (1,216 sq mi)|
|• Density||1,800/km2 (4,500/sq mi)|
|• Sex ratio||961 females / 1000 males|
|Time zone||UTC+05:30 (IST)|
|Major highways||NH 2, NH 6, Grand Trunk Road,Iswar Gupta Setu|
|Average annual precipitation||1,500 mm|
The district of Hooghly derived its name from the town of Hooghly on the west bank of the Hugli River about 40 km north of Kolkata. This town was a major river port for trade in India before colonialism.
The district has thousands of years of rich heritage as part of the Bengali kingdom of Bhurshut. The first European to reach this area was the Portuguese sailor Vasco da Gama. In 1536 Portuguese traders obtained a permit from Sultan Mahmud Shah to trade in this area. In those days the Hooghly River was the main route for transportation and Hooghly served as an excellent trading port.
Within a few decades, the town of Hooghly turned into a major commercial centre and the largest port in Bengal. Later in 1579–80 Mughal emperor Akbar gave permission to a Portuguese captain Pedro Tavares to establish a city anywhere in the Bengal province. They chose Hooghly, and it became the first European settlement in Bengal. In 1599 the Portuguese traders built a convent and a church in Bandel. This is the first Christian church in Bengal known as ‘Bandel Church’ today.
The Portuguese traders started slave trading, robbery and converting natives into Christians by pressure. At one point they stopped paying taxes to the Mughal Empire. As a result, Emperor Shah Jahan ordered the then-ruler of Bengal province, Qasim Khan Juvayni, to block the city of Hooghly. This led to a war in which the Portuguese were defeated.
Among other European powers that came to Hooghly were the Dutch, the Danish, the British, the French, the Belgians and the Germans. Dutch traders centred their activities in the town Chuchura which is south of Hooghly. Chandannagar became the base of the French and the city remained under their control from 1816 to 1950. Similarly, the Danish establishment in settlement in Serampore (1755). All these towns are on the west bank of the Hooghly River and served as ports. Among these European countries, the British ultimately became most powerful.
Initially the British were based in and around the city of Hooghly like traders from other countries. In 1690 Job Charnock decided to shift the British trading centre from Hooghly-Chinsura to Calcutta. The reason behind this decision was the strategically safe location of Calcutta and its proximity to the Bay of Bengal. As a result, trade and commerce in the Bengal province shifted from the town of Hooghly to Calcutta. Hooghly lost its importance as Calcutta prospered.
Though the city of Hooghly is more than 500 years old, the district of Hooghly was formed in 1795 with the city of Hooghly as its headquarters. Later the headquarters shifted to the town of Chuchura. In 1843 the Howrah district was created from the southern portion of this district. And in 1872, the south-west portion of this district was merged into the Medinipur district. The last change in area occurred in 1966.
The Taraknath Temple, dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva worshiped as Taraknath, is a major pilgrimage spot in the town of Tarakeswar. Built in 1729, the temple is an ‘atchala’ structure of Bengal temple architecture with a ‘natmandir’ in front. Close by are the shrines of Kali and Lakshmi Narayan. Dudhpukur, a tank to the north of the Shiva temple is believed to fulfil the prayers of those taking a dip in it.
Pilgrims visit the temple throughout the year, especially on Mondays. Thousands of pilgrims visit Tarakeswar on the occasions of Shivaratri and ‘Gajan’, the former taking place in Phalgun (Feb-March) while the latter lasts for five days ending on the last day of Chaitra (mid-April). The month of Sravana (mid-July to mid-August) is seen to be auspicious for Shiva when celebrations are held on each Monday.
The district is flat, with no place having an elevation of more than 200 meters. The River Hooghly borders it to the east. Another major river is 'Damodar'.
The district is bordered by Howrah District to the south, Bardhaman District to the north, and to the east by the River Hooghly. Bankura District lies to the north-west, with Medinipur District to the south-west.
Hooghly is one of the most economically developed districts in West Bengal. It is the main jute cultivation, jute industry, and jute trade hub in the state. The jute mills are along the banks of the river Hooghly in Tribeni, Bhadreswar, Champdani and Sreerampur.
There are a number of industrial complexes including one of the largest car manufacturing plants in India, the Hindustan Motors plant in Uttarpara.
It was also home to the Singur Tata Nano controversy. Hindustan Motors plant was closed in 2014. Bandel Thermal power plant and Tribeni tissue plant (ITC) are running smoothly.
The district comprises four subdivisions: Chinsurah, Chandannagore, Srirampore and Arambagh.
- Chinsurah subdivision consists of two municipalities (Hugli-Chuchura and Bansberia) and five community development blocs: Balagarh, Chinsurah–Mogra, Dhaniakhali, Pandua and Polba–Dadpur.
- Chandannagore subdivision consists of Chandannagar municipal corporation and three municipalities (Bhadreswar, Champdani and Tarakeswar) and three community development blocs: Haripal, Singur and Tarakeswar.
- Srirampore subdivision consists of six municipalities (Serampore, Uttarpara Kotrung, Dankuni, Konnagar, Rishra and Baidyabati) and four community development blocks: Chanditala–I, Chanditala–II, Jangipara and Sreerampur Uttarpara.
- Arambagh subdivision consists of Arambag municipality and six community development blocks: Arambag, Khanakul–I, Khanakul–II, Goghat–I, Goghat–II and Pursurah.
Other than municipality area, each subdivision contains community development blocks that are divided into rural areas and census towns. There are 41 urban units: 12 municipalities and 32 census towns.
- Two municipalities: Hugli-Chuchura and Bansberia
- Balagarh community development block consists of rural areas with 13 gram panchayats and four census towns: Jirat, Sripur, Badhagachhi, Mirdhanga.
- Chinsurah–Mogra community development block consists of rural areas with 10 gram panchayats and eight census towns: Kodalia, Raghunathpur, Madhusudanpur, Amodghata, Shankhanagar, Chak Bansberia, Kulihanda, Simla.
- Dhaniakhali community development block consists of rural areas only with 18 gram panchayats.
- Pandua community development block consists of rural areas with 15 gram panchayats and three census towns: Boinchi, Pandua and Batika.
- Polba–Dadpur community development block consists of rural areas only with 12 gram panchayats.
- Chandannagar municipal corporation
- Three municipalities: Bhadreswar, Champdani, and Tarakeswar
- Haripal community development block consists of rural areas only with 15 gram panchayats.
- Singur community development block consists of rural areas with 16 gram panchayats and one census town: Singur.
- Tarakeswar community development block consists of rural areas only with 10 gram panchayats.
- Six municipalities: Serampore, Uttarpara Kotrung, Konnagar, Rishra, Dankuni and Champdani
- Chanditala–I community development block consists of rural areas only with 9 gram panchayats and 2 census towns: Masat, Gangadharpur, Aniya, Bhagabatipur, Haripur, Krishnarampur, Kumirmorah, Nawabpur, Sheakhala.
- Chanditala–II community development block consists of rural areas with 11 gram panchayats and 10 census towns: Purba Tajpur, Kharsarai, Begampur, Chikrand, Pairagachha, Monoharpur, Barijhati, Garalgachha, Krishnapur and Mrigala.
- Jangipara community development block consists of rural areas only with 10 gram panchayats.
- Sreerampur Uttarpara community development block consists of rural areas with six gram panchayats and six census towns: Raghunathpur, Dakshin Rajyadharpur, Bamunari, Rishra, Nabagram and Kanaipur.
- One municipality: Arambag.
- Arambag community development block consists of rural areas only with 15 gram panchayats.
- Khanakul–I community development block consists of rural areas only with 13 gram panchayats.
- Khanakul–II community development block consists of rural areas only with 11 gram panchayats.
- Goghat–I community development block consists of rural areas only with 8 gram panchayats.
- Goghat–II community development block consists of rural areas only with 9 gram panchayats.
- Pursurah community development block consists of rural areas only with 8 gram panchayats.
- Jangipara (assembly constituency no. 177),
- Chanditala (assembly constituency no. 178),
- Uttarpara (assembly constituency no. 179),
- Serampore (assembly constituency no. 180),
- Champdani (assembly constituency no. 181),
- Chandernagore (assembly constituency no. 189),
- Singur (assembly constituency no. 183),
- Haripal (assembly constituency no. 184),
- Tarakeswar (assembly constituency no. 185),
- Chinsurah (assembly constituency no. 186),
- Bansberia (assembly constituency no. 187),
- Balagarh (SC) (assembly constituency no. 188),
- Pandua (assembly constituency no. 189),
- Dhaniakhali (SC) (assembly constituency no. 191),
- Pursurah (assembly constituency no. 192),
- Khanakul (SC) (assembly constituency no. 193),
- Arambagh (assembly constituency no. 194) and
- Goghat (SC) (assembly constituency no. 195).
12 Balagarh, Dhaniakhali, Khanakul and Goghat constituencies are reserved for Scheduled Castes (SC) candidates. Along with two assembly constituencies from Howrah district, Jangipara, Chanditala, Uttarpara, Serampore and Champdani constituencies form the Serampore (Lok Sabha constituency). Chandernagore, Singur, Haripal, Chinsurah, Bansberia, Polba and Dhaniakhali constituencies form the Hooghly (Lok Sabha constituency).
Tarakeswar, Pursurah, Khankul, Arambag and Goghat constituencies are part of the Arambagh (Lok Sabha constituency), which contains two assembly segments in Paschim Medinipur district. Balagarh and Pandua constituencies are part of the Katwa (Lok Sabha constituency), which contains five assembly constituency from Bardhaman district.
Impact of delimitation of constituencies
- Uttarpara (assembly constituency no. 185)
- Sreerampur (assembly constituency no. 186)
- Champdani (assembly constituency no. 187)
- Singur (assembly constituency no. 188)
- Chandannagar (assembly constituency no. 189)
- Chunchura (assembly constituency no. 190)
- Balagarh (SC) (assembly constituency no. 191)
- Pandua (assembly constituency no. 192)
- Saptagram (assembly constituency no. 193)
- Chanditala (assembly constituency no. 194)
- Jangipara (assembly constituency no. 195)
- Haripal (assembly constituency no. 196)
- Dhanekhali (SC) (assembly constituency no. 197)
- Tarakeswar (assembly constituency no. 198)
- Pursurah (assembly constituency no. 199)
- Arambag (SC) (assembly constituency no. 200)
- Goghat (SC) (assembly constituency no. 201)
- Khanakul (assembly constituency no. 202)
Balagarh, Dhanekhali, Arambag and Goghat constituencies will be reserved for Scheduled Castes (SC) candidates. Along with two assembly constituencies from Howrah district, Uttarpara, Sreerampur, Champdani, Chanditala and Jangipara constituencies will form the Sreerampur (Lok Sabha constituency). Singur, Chandannagar, Chunchura, Balagarh, Pandua, Saptagram and Dhanekhali constituencies will form the Hooghly (Lok Sabha constituency). Haripal, Tarakeswar, Pursurah, Arambag, Goghat and Khankul constituencies will be part of the Arambag (Lok Sabha constituency), which will contain one assembly segments in Paschim Medinipur district.
Hooghly District comes under Burdwan Police Range. The police chief of the district is the superintendent of police. His office is in Chinsurah.
For the functioning of 23 police stations of the district, District Intelligence Branch, District Enforcement Branch and District Reserve Police Force SP, Hooghly is assisted by three additional superintendents:
- HQ: Having his office at Chinsurah, he looks after the Sadar Sub-Division and District Police Force, being assisted by Dy.S.P. (HQ) and Dy.S.P. (D&T).
- Industrial: He is in Serampore. He is the supervising officer for Serampore and Chandernagore Sub Divisions, assisted by SDPO: Serampore and SDPO: Chandernagore.
- Rural: He is in Arambagh and is the supervising officer for Arambagh Sub Division; being assisted by SDPO: Arambagh.
The railway communication of the district, especially at the suburban area, is very developed.
There are four junction stations in Hooghly:
- Bandel Junction railway station
- Dankuni Junction railway station
- Sheoraphuli railway station, Serampore
The railway is under Howrah Division. The Howrah – New Delhi Rajdhani Route passes through the district, which is one of the most important routes of the country. This route comes under Howrah division and is under the jurisdiction of Sr Den/2/Hwh assisted by AEN/2/LLH. The first train of ER started its journey from Howrah to Hooghly on 14 August 1854 (First halt was Bally (Howrah) and second halt was Serampore). Hooghly station was announced as the heritage station.
Chinsurah railway station is very useful.
According to the 2011 census Hooghly district has a population of 5,519,145, roughly equal to the nation of Denmark or the US state of Wisconsin. This gives it a ranking of 16th in India (out of a total of 640). The district has a population density of 1,753 inhabitants per square kilometre (4,540/sq mi).
There are 2992 primary schools, 408 high schools, 127 higher secondary schools, 22 colleges, and 6 technical institutes in Hooghly district.
The most notable institutions among them are:
- Hooghly Collegiate School, Estd. 1812
- Hooghly Mohsin College, Estd. 1836
- Sitapur Endowment Senior Madrasah - is established in 1751 as a part of Sitapur endowmant.
- Hooghly Madrasah - Haji Muhammad Mohsin established in 1817.
- Furfura Fatehia Senior Madrasah Estd. 1902
- Government College of Engineering & Textile Technology Serampore
- Mahesh Sri Ramkrishna Ashram Vidyalaya (Higher Secondary)
- Saroj Mohan Institute of Technology, Guptipara
- Serampore College
- Serampore Girls' College
- Serampore Union Institution
- Akna Girl's High School
- Chatra Nandalal Institution
- Mahesh High School, Serampore
- Hooghly Branch (Govt) School
- St Joseph's Convent, Chandannagar
- Balagarh Bijoy Krishna Mahavidyalaya (Jirat College), Jirat
- Kamarpukur is the birthplace of Sri Sri Ramakrishna dev.
- Tarakeswar is a renowned place of pilgrimage and the greatest centre of the Shiva sect in West Bengal.
- Serampore: The Ratha Yatra of Mahesh in Serampore is the oldest Ratha Yatra after Puri Ratha-Yatra. Serampore was the Danish colony. The first university in Asia was established in Serampore – Senate of Serampore College (University)
- Rishra: One of the most crowded cities has many different religions and industries like Aditya Birla's Jayashree textile. First jute mill of Asia was in Rishra. Arjuna Awardee Indian Footballer Sudhir Karmakar and Ex-Indian Football Captain Sishir Ghosh are from Rishra. Historical places to visit in Rishra Are Nilkuthi, Sidheshwari Kalibari, Bose House, Hesting jute mill, etc.
- Nalikul is famous for Raash Mela (রাস মেলা) & Rathayatra (রথযাত্রা) festivals. There is a big vegetable market.
- Bandel is famous for Bandel Church, West Bengal's oldest church. Bandel is the birthplace of the eminent writer Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay.
- Chandannagar is an important town of Hooghly famous for Jagaddhatri puja, lighting work and French colonial monuments.
- Chinsurah is the district headquarters and a historical town of Hooghly. Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay composed the "Vande Mataram," the national song of India, at Chinsurah. The Dutch villa is separated at Joraghat and Townguard. They are called 'Mondol Bari' as they are now under the aristocratic ownership of the Mondal family. One can see the Dutch lioness murals on the entrance doors and allied wooden motifs. In spite of such historical background, a major portion of the original Dutch villa at Townguard road, where once nationalist leaders used to hold meetings and conferences, was demolished and gone into the hands of builders/promoters. The back portion and the Joraghat Mondal house with Dutch acknowledgment are intact. The hierarchy of inheritance is becoming weak and the landmark assets need urgent preservation as well as heritage status application.
- Guptipara is famous for Rathayatra and Rashmela. There are few historical Terracotta temple in Brindabanchandra Math.
- The historical triple cities of Chandanagar-Chinsurah-Serampore are called Little Europe as these were all European colonies.
- Tribeni and Bansberia
- Khanakul birthplace of Raja Ram Mohan Roy.
- Furfura Sharif is the birthplace of the notable Sufi and social reformer Pir Abu Bakar.
This is a list of notable people from Hooghly District.
- Brajendra Nath Seal - born in Haripal. He was a humanist philosopher.
- Raja Ram Mohan Roy - born in Radhanagar. He is considered as the "Father of the Indian Renaissance". He was one of the founders of the Brahmo Sabha, the precursor of the Brahmo Samaj, a socio-religious (Hindu) reform movement in Undivided India.
- Sib Chandra Deb- born in Konnagar. He was one of the leading Derozians, virtually the first generation of English-knowing Indians.
- Nibaran Chandra Mukherjee- born in Hooghly District. He was a Brahmo reformer.
- Haji Muhammad Mohsin- born in Hooghly District. He was a famous philanthropist.
- Satish Chandra Mukherjee - born in Banipur , Hooghly District. He was a pioneer in establishing a system of national education in India. He was the father of Subroto Mukherjee.
- Subroto Mukherjee (related by ancestry) - He was the first Indian Commander-in-Chief (C-in-C) of the Indian Air Force. He was son of Satish Chandra Mukherjee.
- Ganga Prasad Mukherjee- born in Jirat. He was a Physician. He was Sir Ashutosh Mukherjee's father.
- Jagannath Tarka Panchanan- born in Tribeni. He was a legendary Sanskrit scholar and pundit of ancient Hindu Laws.
- Ramakrishna- born in Kamarpukur. He was a Hindu mystic, saint, and religious leader in 19th century Bengal.
- Nagendranath Basu- born in Mahesh. He was an archaeologist, encyclopaedist and a nationalist social historian of Bengal.
- Amiya Chakravarty - born in Serampore. He was a literary critic, academic, and Bengali poet. He was a close associate of Rabindranath Tagore, and edited several books of his poetry.
- Ganapati Chakraborty- born in Serampore. He was a magician known for his mesmerizing tricks. He is considered to be the pioneer of modern magic in Bengal. He was the mentor of P. C. Sorcar and K Lal.
- Rangalal Bandyopadhyay - born in Bakulia village of Hooghly District. His ancestral house was in Rameswarpur near Guptipara. He was a Bengali poet, journalist, and author.
- Kali Mirza- born in Guptipara. He was an 18th-century composer of tappā music in Bengal. A contemporary of Nidhu Babu, he composed over 400 tappās.
- Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri- born in Serampore. He was an Indian monk and yogi, and the guru of Paramahansa Yogananda and Swami Satyananda Giri.
- Nagendranath Chattopadhyay- born in Salepur village, approximately five miles from the sub-divisional headquarters in Arambagh. He was a noted Sanskrit scholar and grammarian.
- Murari Mohan Mukherjee- His native place was Chinsurah. He was a plastic surgeon.
- Krishna Chandra Bhattacharya- born in Serampore. He was a philosopher at the University of Calcutta known for his method of "constructive interpretation" through which relations and problematics of ancient Indian philosophical systems are drawn out and developed so that they can be studied like problems of modern philosophy.
- Sisir Kumar Mitra- born in Konnagar. He was a physicist.
- Madhusudan Gupta- born in Baidyabati. He was a translator and Ayurvedic practitioner who was also trained in Western medicine and is credited with having performed India's first human dissection at Calcutta Medical College (CMC) in 1836, almost 3,000 years after Susruta.
- Prabhat Kumar Mukhopadhyay- born in Hughli. He was a Bengali Author.
- Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay- born in Debanandapur. He was a Bengali novelist and short story writer of the early 20th century.
- Akshay Chandra Sarkar- born in Chinsurah. He was a poet, an editor and a literary critic of Bengali literature.
- Raja Digambar Mitra- born in Konnagar. He wwas one of the leading Derozians and first Bengali Sheriff of Kolkata.
- Kanailal Dutta- born in Chandannagar. He was a revolutionary in India's freedom struggle belonging to the Jugantar group.
- Ashapurna Devi- Her ancestral village was Begumpur. She was a prominent Indian novelist and poet in Bengali language.
- Brahmabandhav Upadhyay - born in Khanyan. He was a theologian, journalist and Indian freedom fighter. He was closely attached with Keshub Chandra Sen, classmate of Swami Vivekananda and close acquaintance of Rabindranath Tagore.
- Ramnidhi Gupta- born in Chapta near Tribeni. He was commonly known as Nidhu Babu . He was one of the great reformers of Bengali tappā music.
- Motilal Roy - born in Chandannagar. He was a Bengali revolutionary, journalist, social reformer. He founded the "Prabartak Sangha", a nationalist organisation for social works.
- Dwarka Nath Mitra- born in Augunsi. He belongs to the famous Mitra family of Janai. He was a famous lawyer and judge of the Calcutta High Court.
- Nabagopal Mitra- He belonged to the famous Mitra Family of Konnagar.He was an Indian playwright, poet, essayist, patriot and one of the founding fathers of Hindu nationalism. He founded the Hindu Mela (which was inaugurated by Rajnarayan Basu ), the pioneer institution behind the genesis of Hindu nationalism. Mitra also founded National Press, National Paper, National Society, National School, National Theatre, National Store, National Gymnasium and National Circus, earning him the sobriquet 'National Mitra'.
- Barindra Kumar Ghosh- He belonged to the famous Ghosh family of Konnagar. He was an Indian revolutionary and journalist. He was one of the founding members of "Jugantar" , a Bengali weekly, a revolutionary outfit in Bengal. Barindra Kumar Ghosh was the younger brother of Shri Aurobindo.
- Manmohan Ghose- He belonged to the famous Ghosh family of Konnagar. He was an Indian poet and one of the first from India to write poetry in English. He was a brother of Sri Aurobindo.
- Rathayatra of Mahesh, Serampore
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Denmark 5,529,888, July 2011 est.
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- Decadal Variation In Population Since 1901
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