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Monday, 1 April 2013

Westbengal Tourism

Indian statesman Gopalkrishna Gokhale once said -- "....what Bengal thinks today, India thinks tomorrow!" Renowned worldwide as a thriving, dynamic centre for art & literature, West Bengal’s location, fascinating culture, people history and heritage have made this statement true in more ways than one.

Soul of Bengal

“Banglar mati, banglar jol”…..West Bengal is one of the most culturally and ethnically diverse states of India. The people of West Bengal inherit their identity and aspiration from the larger Indian mosaic. One can still recapture the colonial era in its relics which survived the state’s progressive development. The land of West Bengal has in it intricately woven stories of many bright mornings and dark nights; stories of many civilisations have left their footprints here. Awash in the memory of that rich history and heritage West Bengal boasts of different ethnicities, cultures, religions, people and languages which add to this beautiful landscape. And that is why Deshbandhu Chittaranjan once said – “There is an eternal truth in the soil of Bengal. ….It is that eternal truth that has been expressed through innumerable changes, evolution and revolutions in Bengal. It is that truth which has proclaimed itself in literature, philosophy, poetry, war, revolution, religion and karma, in ignorance, in unrighteousness, in freedom and in subjection. That is Bengal’s life – Bengal’s soil and Bengal’s water are the external forms of that life.”

Essence of Bengal

West Bengal is located at the centre of the Eastern Region of India. It is the nation's fourth most populous state. The state of West Bengal borders the states of Jharkhand, Bihar, Orissa, Sikkim and Assam and is strategically positioned with three international frontiers Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan. It stretches for about 700 km, from the blue waters of the Bay of Bengal in the South to the Himalayan terrain in the North. Being such an important region of the Indian independence movement through the early 20th century, Bengal was divided in 1947 into two separate entities: West Bengal — a state of India — and East Bengal, which initially joined the new nation of Pakistan, before becoming part of modern-day Bangladesh in 1971. Agriculture is the main economic activity in the state.

Bengalis have led India in many fronts. If Subhash Chandra Bose is one of the most prominent freedom fighters from Bengal in the Indian independence, philosophers and social reformers such as Arabindo, Swami Vivekananda, and Raja Rammohan Roy have influenced Indian thoughts and ways of life. Bengali geniuses have enriched Indian literature, science and arts. It is Rabindranath Tagore’s sonar bangla which is the epitome of India's values and heritage. West Bengal has a long tradition in folk literature, evidenced by the Charyapada, Mangalkavya, and Shreekrishna Kirtana. In the nineteenth and twentieth century, Bengali literature was modernized in the works of authors such as Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay, Michael Madhusudan Dutt, Rabindranath Tagore, Kazi Nazrul Islam, Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay, Jibanananda Das and Manik Bandyopadhyay.

West Bengal celebrates all religious and cultural festivals with great spirit. The state has all the diversities of nature and the widest variety of attractions which is a tourist’s dream. From the bustling and modern city such as the Kolkata mega polis which is the state capital, to the regions of serenity such as the Himalayan terrain in the north to the wild life of Sunderbans in the south, the state is endowed with all the diversities of nature. Oh So Bengal! With all these richness of culture, heritage, religion and enthusiasm West Bengal is shining bright. And with all these Bengal still thrive. Let us unfold the true Bengal – its history, its real nature, its ideals and its endeavours.

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