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West Bengal, is
bounded on the north by Bhutan and the state of Sikkim , on the east
by Bangladesh and the state of Assam , on the south by the Bay of
Bengal, on the southwest by the state of Orissa , and on the west by
Nepal and the state of Bihar . Its capital, Calcutta, is one of the
largest cities in India.
Tribes: West Bengal contains about 40 recognized communities of tribes--the better known among them being the Santals, Oraons, Munas, Lepchas, and Bhutias--that make up less than one-tenth of the total population. Bengali is the language of most of the people, with Hindi, Urdu, Nepali, and English as minority languages. English, however, is the language of administration and a lingua franca for business purposes.
Occupation: More than one-half of the people are engaged in agriculture; rice being the most important crop. Bengal's tea plantations account for much of India's tea production. The state has a significant mineral output, including dolomite, limestone, and china clay. It has steel plants, an automobile-manufacturing plant, and numerous chemical, machinery-building, and light-engineering industries.
Culture: Bengal, the cultural centre of India has produced 4 Nobel Laureates: Tagore, Mother Teresa, Satyajit Ray and Amartya Sen. The theatre is popular, and both amateur and professional performances are quite sophisticated., traditional open-air performances, are popular in the countryside, along with kavigan an impromptu duel in musical verse between village poets. Traditional music takes the form of devotional and cultural songs. The kathakata a religious recital based on folklore, is another rural entertainment. Films offer yet another type of popular diversion, and Bengali productions have earned national and international awards.
CLIMATE: The annual rainfall varies in the sub-Himalayan region between 150- 210 inches and in the plains between 45-75 inches. There are three seasons: hot and dry (March to early June), hot and wet (mid-June to September), and cool (October to February). During the hot and wet season, rain-bearing monsoon winds blow from the southwest. Best time to visit: during September-October and December-January.
Population: 75 million
Festivals: Calcutta festival in January; Bathing Festival in Sagar Island in January; Jhapan festival in Vishnupur in August, Nag Panchami in August; Durga and Kali Puja during September-October and the Flower and Tea festival in Kalimpong in October. Id and Christmas are also important festivals.
Tourism Centre, 3/2 BBD Bagh (East), Calcutta - 1
Tourism Centre (Head Office), Netaji Stadium Eden Gardens, Calcutta - 21
Dy Director of Tourism 1, Nehru Rd Darjeeling - 734101
WB Tourism State Emporia Bldg (First Floor), A/2 Baba Karak Singh Marg New Delhi - 1.
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