Hooghly
Shiva Durga temple or simply, Durga temple of Bally Diwanganj of Goghat PS in Hooghly district of West Bengal (06).jpg
Reflection of Hooghly Imambara.jpg
Hangseshwari Mandir at Bansberia, Hooghly 15.jpg
Danish Cemetery. All ancient structure & Tombs.jpg
Hooghly River, Serampore.jpg
Clockwise from top-left: Durga temple of Bali Dewanganj, Hooghly Imambara, Danish cemetery at Serampore, Hooghly River, Hangseshwari Temple at Bansberia
Location of Hooghly in West Bengal
Location of Hooghly in West Bengal
Interactive Map Outlining Hooghly
Country India
State West Bengal
DivisionBurdwan
HeadquartersChinsurah
Government
 • Lok Sabha constituenciesArambagh (with 1 assembly segment in Paschim Medinipur), Hooghly, Serampore (with 2 assembly segments in Howrah district)
 • Vidhan Sabha constituenciesUttarpara, Sreerampur, Champdani, Singur, Chandannagar, Chunchura, Balagarh, Pandua, Saptagram, Chanditala, Jangipara, Haripal, Dhanekhali, Tarakeswar, Pursurah, Arambag, Goghat, Khanakul
Area
 • Total3,149 km2 (1,216 sq mi)
Population
 (2011)
 • Total5,519,145
 • Density1,800/km2 (4,500/sq mi)
Demographics
 • Literacy82.55%
 • Sex ratio961 females / 1000 males
Time zoneUTC+05:30 (IST)
Major highwaysNH 2, NH 6, Delhi Road, SH 2, SH 15, GT ROAD
Average annual precipitation1,500 mm
Websitehooghly.nic.in

Hooghly district (/ˈhɡl/) is one of the districts of the Indian state of West Bengal. It can alternatively be spelt Hoogli or Hugli. The district is named after the Hooghly River.

The headquarters of the district are at Hooghly-Chinsura (Chuchura). There are four subdivisions: Chinsurah Sadar, Srirampore, Chandannagore, and Arambagh.

History

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.

Chinsurah N.S Road
Chinsurah N.S Road

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.

After the Battle of Buxar this region was brought under direct British rule until India's independence in 1947. After independence, this district merged into the state of West Bengal.

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.

A village in Hooghly
A village in Hooghly

Tarakeswar Temple

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.

Geography

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 the 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.

Map of Hooghly District showing CD blocks and municipal areas
Map of Hooghly District showing CD blocks and municipal areas

Economy

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.

Divisions

Administrative subdivisions

Subdivision of Hooghly district map
Subdivision of Hooghly district map

The district comprises four subdivisions: Chinsurah, Chandannagore, Srirampore and Arambagh.

Hugli-Chuchura is the district headquarters. There are 23 police stations, 18 development blocks, 12 municipalities and 207 gram panchayats in this district.[1][2]

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 64 census towns.[2][3]

Chinsurah subdivision

Chandannagore subdivision

Srirampore subdivision

Arambagh subdivision

Blocks map

Assembly constituencies

The district is divided into 18 assembly constituencies:[4]

  1. Jangipara (assembly constituency no. 177),
  2. Chanditala (assembly constituency no. 178),
  3. Uttarpara (assembly constituency no. 179),
  4. Serampore (assembly constituency no. 180),
  5. Champdani (assembly constituency no. 181),
  6. Chandernagore (assembly constituency no. 189),
  7. Singur (assembly constituency no. 183),
  8. Haripal (assembly constituency no. 184),
  9. Tarakeswar (assembly constituency no. 185),
  10. Chinsurah (assembly constituency no. 186),
  11. Saptagram (assembly constituency no. 187),
  12. Balagarh (SC) (assembly constituency no. 188),
  13. Pandua (assembly constituency no. 189),
  14. Dhaniakhali (SC) (assembly constituency no. 191),
  15. Pursurah (assembly constituency no. 192),
  16. Khanakul (SC) (assembly constituency no. 193),
  17. Arambagh (assembly constituency no. 194) and
  18. 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.

As per order of the Delimitation Commission in respect of the delimitation of constituencies in the West Bengal, the district will be divided into 18 assembly constituencies:[5]

No. Constituency Lok Sabha constituency MLA Party
185 Uttarpara Srerampur Kanchan Mullick All India Trinamool Congress
186 Sreerampur Sudipto Roy All India Trinamool Congress
187 Champdani Arindam Guin All India Trinamool Congress
188 Singur Hooghly Becharam Manna All India Trinamool Congress
189 Chandannagar Indranil Sen All India Trinamool Congress
190 Chunchura Asit Mazumdar All India Trinamool Congress
191 Balagarh (SC) Manoranjan Byapari All India Trinamool Congress
192 Pandua Ratna De All India Trinamool Congress
193 Saptagram Tapan Dasgupta All India Trinamool Congress
194 Chanditala Srerampur Swati Khandoker All India Trinamool Congress
195 Jangipara Snehasis Chakraborty All India Trinamool Congress
196 Haripal Arambagh Karabi Manna All India Trinamool Congress
197 Dhanekhali (SC) Hooghly Ashima Patra All India Trinamool Congress
198 Tarakeswar Arambagh Ramendu Sinharay All India Trinamool Congress
199 Pursurah Biman Ghosh Bharatiya Janata Party
200 Arambagh (SC) Madhusudan Bag Bharatiya Janata Party
201 Goghat (SC) Biswanath Karak Bharatiya Janata Party
202 Khanakul Susanta Ghosh Bharatiya Janata Party

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 segment in Paschim Medinipur district.

Police administration

Hooghly District comes under Burdwan Police Range. Hooghly Rural Police District was created on 30 June 2017, curbing out of erstwhile Hooghly district. Presently it consists of sixteen police station with jurisdiction, one women police station and one Cyber Police Station. The head quarter of Hooghly Rural Police District was shifted to Kamarkundu under Singur PS from Chinsura. Chandannagar Police Commissionerate was formed after bifurcation of the Hooghly Police District, and has nine police stations under its jurisdiction established on 30 June 2017, is a police force with primary responsibilities in law enforcement and investigation within certain urban parts of Hooghly district. The Commissionerate is part of the West Bengal Police, and comes under the Department of Home & Hill Affairs, Government of West Bengal.

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:

Transport

Rail

The railway communication of the district, especially at the suburban area, is very developed.

There are four junction stations in Hooghly:

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 and Tarakeswar railway stations are very useful.

Bus

There are several bus stands in Hooghly district, of the main four bus stands are Chinsurah, Serampore, Tarakeswar, Arambagh. Other small bus stand including Kamarpukur, Dashghara, Dankuni, Champadanga, Garer Ghat, Badanganj, Haripal, Jangipara, Balideaonganj, Bandar present in Hooghly district.

Tarakeswar is the largest bus terminus of Hooghly. It has bus connection with several districts of West Bengal. Express Buses bound Bankura, Barddhaman, Durgapur, Sonamukhi, Tamluk, Bolpur, Khatra, Kharagpur, Digha, Medinipur, Haldia, Panskura, Jhargram, Katwa, Krishnanagar, Nabadwip, Kalna and many more destination are available from Tarakeswar bus stand. There is also many local bus route like 12, 13, 16, 17, 20, 22, 23 from Tarakeswar that covers Hooghly and some other districts.

Chinsurah is one of the largest bus terminus of Hooghly. Several local bus route bound Rishra, Memari, Jirat, Tarakeswar, Haripal, Jangipara are available.

Arambagh is another important bus stand of this district. Buses bound Tarakeswar, Kolkata, Kamarpukur, Badanganj, Kotulpur, Khanakul, Barddhaman are available.

Demographics

According to the 2011 census Hooghly district has a population of 5,519,145,[6] roughly equal to the nation of Denmark[7] or the US state of Wisconsin.[8] This gives it a ranking of 16th in India (out of a total of 640).[6] The district has a population density of 1,753 inhabitants per square kilometre (4,540/sq mi).[6]

Its population growth rate over the decade 2001–2011 was 9.49%.[6] Hugli has a sex ratio of 958 females for every 1000 males,[6] and a literacy rate of 82.55%. Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes make up 24.35% and 4.15% of the population respectively.[6]

Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
19011,076,416—    
19111,115,927+0.36%
19211,105,907−0.09%
19311,141,558+0.32%
19411,415,934+2.18%
19511,605,004+1.26%
19612,231,288+3.35%
19712,872,116+2.56%
19813,557,306+2.16%
19914,355,230+2.04%
20015,041,976+1.47%
20115,519,145+0.91%
source:[9]

See also: List of West Bengal districts ranked by literacy rate

Religion

Religion in Hooghly district (2011)[10]
Hinduism
82.89%
Islam
15.77%
Sarna
0.89%
Other or not stated
0.45%
Religion in Hooghly district
Religion Population (1941)[11]: 75  Percentage (1941) Population (2011)[10] Percentage (2011)
Hinduism
Om.svg
1,099,688 79.82% 4,574,569 82.89%
Islam
Star and Crescent.svg
207,077 15.03% 870,204 15.77%
Tribal religion
Sarna dhorom 2014-05-30 19-54.jpg
69,500 5.04% 49,050 0.89%
Others [a] 1,464 0.11% 25,322 0.45%
Total Population 1,377,729 100% 5,519,145 100%

Hindus are the majority community in the district. Muslims are the largest minority, concentrated more in rural areas.

Language

Languages of Hooghly district (2011)[12]

  Bengali (87.49%)
  Hindi (7.59%)
  Santali (2.37%)
  Urdu (1.72%)
  Others (0.83%)

At the time of the 2011 census, 87.49% of the population spoke Bengali, 7.59% Hindi, 2.37% Santali and 1.72% Urdu as their first language. Hindi and Urdu speakers are predominantly found in urban areas.[12]

Education

Chandernagore Govt. College
Chandernagore Govt. College

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:

Historical places

Taraknath Temple, Tarakeswar

Notable people

This is a list of notable people from Hooghly District.

See also

Notes

References

  1. ^ a b "Directory of District, Sub division, Panchayat Samiti/ Block and Gram Panchayats in West Bengal, March 2008". West Bengal. National Informatics Centre, India. 19 March 2008. Archived from the original on 25 February 2009. Retrieved 4 December 2008.
  2. ^ a b "Municipal General Election 2005: Hooghly District". Official website of Hooghly district. Retrieved 13 December 2008.
  3. ^ "Population, Decadal Growth Rate, Density and General Sex Ratio by Residence and Sex, West Bengal/ District/ Sub District, 1991 and 2001". West Bengal. Directorate of census operations. Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 4 December 2008.
  4. ^ "General election to the Legislative Assembly, 2001–List of Parliamentary and Assembly Constituencies" (PDF). West Bengal. Election Commission of India. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 May 2006. Retrieved 19 November 2008.
  5. ^ "Press Note, Delimitation Commission" (PDF). Assembly Constituencies in West Bengal. Delimitation Commission. Retrieved 19 November 2008.
  6. ^ a b c d e f "District Census 2011". Census2011.co.in. 2011. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
  7. ^ US Directorate of Intelligence. "Country Comparison:Population". Archived from the original on 13 June 2007. Retrieved 1 October 2011. Denmark 5,529,888, July 2011 est.
  8. ^ "2010 Resident Population Data". U. S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 19 October 2013. Retrieved 30 September 2011. Wisconsin 5,686,986
  9. ^ Decadal Variation In Population Since 1901
  10. ^ a b "Table C-01 Population by Religion: West Bengal". censusindia.gov.in. Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India. 2011.
  11. ^ "CENSUS OF INDIA, 1941 VOLUME VI BENGAL PROVINCE" (PDF). Retrieved 13 August 2022.
  12. ^ a b "Table C-16 Population by Mother Tongue: West Bengal". www.censusindia.gov.in. Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India.
  13. ^ TwoCircles.net (12 April 2010). "Two-hundred-year-old Hooghly Madrasa facing closure – TwoCircles.net". Retrieved 1 February 2020.
  14. ^ "Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize (SSB) for Science and Technology 2020 List of recipients" (PDF). SSB Prize for Science & Technology. Government of India. Retrieved 16 August 2021.
  15. ^ "SSB Prize: Awardee Details". SSB Prize for Science & Technology. Government of India. Retrieved 16 August 2021.
  16. ^ "Faculty, School of Historical Studies". Nalanda University. Nalanda University, Government of India. Retrieved 5 December 2022.