Jalpaiguri district (Pron: dʒɔlpaːiːguɽiː) is a district of the Indian state of West Bengal. It is situated between 26° 16' and 27° 0' North latitudes and 88° 4' and 89° 53' East longitudes. The district was established in 1869 in British India.
Location of Jalpaiguri district in West Bengal
|• Lok Sabha constituencies||Jalpaiguri, Alipurduar|
|• Vidhan Sabha constituencies||Nagrakata, Dhupguri, Mekhliganj, Maynaguri, Mal, Dabgram-Phulbari, Jalpaiguri, Rajganj|
|• Total||3,044 km2 (1,175 sq mi)|
|• Density||1,300/km2 (3,300/sq mi)|
|• Literacy||84.79 per cent|
|• Sex ratio||954|
|Time zone||UTC+05:30 (IST)|
|Major highways||NH 31, NH 31A, NH 31C, NH 31D|
|Average annual precipitation||3160 mm|
The headquarters of the district are in the Indian city of Jalpaiguri, which is also the divisional headquarters of North Bengal and has its special importance in respect of tourism, forest, hills, tea gardens, scenic beauty and commercialisation and business.
The name Jalpaiguri comes from the Bengali word jalpai meaning "olive" because of the olives which grew in the district and were seen even in the 1900s. The suffix guri means a place. The name can also be associated with Jalpesh (Shiva), the presiding deity of the entire region.
Jalpaiguri district comprises western Dooars and the major part of the eastern Morang; and this area, according to Sailen Debnath, in the ancient time was a part of the kingdom of Kamrup, and since the middle of the seventh century it became a part of the Kingdom of Kamatapur. Sailen writes that three of the five ancient capitals of Kamatapur were geographically in the district of Jalpaiguri; and the three capitals were at Chilapata, Mainaguri and Panchagarh in sequence. According to him, Hingulavas, the first capital of the next Koch kingdom as well was in Jalpaiguri district. Hingulavas has well been identified with Mahakalguri in Alipurduar Sub-Division. During partition of 1947, southernmost 5 police stations of the district were severed from Jalpaiguri and added to the then East Pakistan (now Bangladesh).
Jalpaiguri is a part of West Bengal which is situated in North Bengal.
The district situated in the northern part of West Bengal has international borders with Bhutan and Bangladesh in the north and south respectively and district borders with Darjeeling hills in the west and northwest and Alipurduar district and Cooch Behar district on the east.
Jalpaiguri is part of monsoon climate zone of South-Eastern Asia. May is the hottest month of this region with average maximum temperature of about 32 °C whereas January is coldest with 11 °C. Highest ever recorded maximum and minimum temperature are 40 °C and 2 °C. The average annual humidity in the district is of 82%. The annual average rainfall is 3160mm. December is the driest month with average rainfall 0.2 mm and July is wettest with 809.3 mm. Number of rainy days are 0 to 1 during November to February and 24 days during July. Thunderstorms are common weather phenomenon during May.
The entire topography is crisscrossed with rivulets, rivers and hills. Jalpaiguri - this narrow stretch of land lying between the Sikkim - Darjeeling Himalayas and Gangetic West Bengal has more than often evoked a sense of both eerie and romanticism in many a heart since the early British Rule. Veined by mighty rivers like the Teesta, Torsa, Jaldhaka, Raidak, Dyna, Neora, Sankosh etc. this piece of land has been aptly named as the land of 'Tea, Timber and Tourism'. A major stretch of area is bordered in the north by Bhutan and hence the name - Dooars/Duars which mean - Door of Bhutan.
The agricultural area of Jalpaiguri is over 2530.63 square kilometres. The dominant agricultural products of Jalpaiguri district are jute and tobacco. Paddy rice is also grown before and after the rainy season. Common plantation crops are arecanut, coconut and black pepper. Vegetable, mustard plant, and potato cultivation are increasing. To support agriculture, special programs have been taken for the production of sunflowers, maize and groundnuts. Revolutionary methods are being used in Boro paddy and potato cultivation. But due to nonadoption of modern technology, a large number of farmers still depend on traditional technology. Only 33% of the potentially cultivable land is developed for irrigation. In Kharif, the area of production of vegetables and other crops is much less. The ovine breed in the region originates from Tibet and was brought to the plains of West Bengal by traders. The trade between Tibetan traders and traders from the plains of Bengal took place from the region. The sheep along with other items of trade were transported to a place known as Bhot Patti (situated in Mainaguri Block of the district). The major trading occurred at a place known as Rangpur, situated now in Bangladesh. The goods were exchanged and the sheep were also taken to plains of Bengal by the returning traders, the animals were given to the farmers of Sunderban region for rearing and bringing them back to their health. The sheep were used for their meat by the Europeans during the colonial era. They preferred mutton over Chevon so sheep meat was in great demand. A single consignment of the sheep was transported to Australia in the late 18th century when the Australian colony was being settled. The consignment was shipped from the port of Fulta near Kolkata. However, the sheep were not preferred by the settlers as their size was small and wool quality too was inferior. The breed Booroola Merino of Australia are the descendants of the same sheep.
Jalpaiguri district earlier had three sub-divisions – Jalpaiguri Sadar subdivision, Mal subdivision and Alipurduar subdivision. Alipurduar district was created in June 2014 and Jalpaiguri district was left with two subdivisions – Jalpaiguri Sadar and Mal.
The district is divided into seven assembly constituencies:
- Dhupguri (assembly constituency no. 15),
- Maynaguri (assembly constituency no. 16),
- Jalpaiguri (assembly constituency no. 17),
- Rajganj (assembly constituency no. 18),
- Dabgram-Phulbari (assembly constituency no. 19),
- Mal (assembly constituency no. 20) and
- Nagrakata (assembly constituency no. 21).
Nagrakata and Malbazar constituencies are reserved for Scheduled Tribes candidates. Dhupguri, Mainaguri and Rajganj constituencies are reserved for Scheduled Castes candidates. Dhupguri, Mainaguri, Malbazar, Dabgram-Phulbari, Jalpaiguri and Rajganj constituencies form the Jalpaiguri (Lok Sabha constituency), which also contains one assembly constituency from Cooch Behar district.
Impact of delimitation of constituencies
- Dhupguri (SC) (assembly constituency no. 15),
- Maynaguri (SC) (assembly constituency no. 16),
- Jalpaiguri (SC) (assembly constituency no. 17),
- Rajganj (SC) (assembly constituency no. 18),
- Dabgram-Phulbari (assembly constituency no. 19),
- Mal (ST) (assembly constituency no. 20) and
- Nagrakata (ST) (assembly constituency no. 21).
Malbazar and Nagrakata constituencies will remain to be reserved for Scheduled Tribes candidates. Dhupguri, Mainaguri, Jalpaiguri and Rajganj constituencies will be reserved for Scheduled Castes candidates. Along with one assembly constituency from Cooch Behar district, Dhupguri, Mainaguri, Jalpaiguri, Rajganj, Dabgram-Phulbari, and Malbazar constituencies will form the Jalpaiguri (Lok Sabha constituency), which will be reserved for Scheduled Castes.
There are six telephone area codes of Jalpaiguri district. They are 03561, 03562, 03563, 03564, 03565, 03566.
It is well connected by rail, road and air from any part of the country. One can avail train from the major railway stations in the vicinity like New Jalpaiguri railway station/ Jalpaiguri/ Jalpaiguri Road/ New Maynaguri railway station/ New Mal Junction railway station. By road it is well connected with rest of the country. Air travel is available up to Bagdogra Airport, and from there it is well connected by a 20 km expressway from the district border.
According to the 2011 census Jalpaiguri district has a population of 3,872,846, roughly equal to the nation of Liberia. This gives it a ranking of 66th in India (out of a total of 640). The district has a population density of 621 inhabitants per square kilometre (1,610/sq mi) . Its population growth rate over the decade 2001-2011 was 33.77%. Jalpaiguri has a sex ratio of 954females for every 1000 males, and a literacy rate of 79.79%.
Jalpaiguri district has a majority of Hindus which includes Bengali population. The second largest religion in the district is Islam, (mainly Sunni). Other minority communities, speaking languages include Gorkhas (Nepali), Marwaris, Biharis, Punjabi, Urdu, Assamese, Munda; a language distantly related to Khmer and Vietnamese, spoken by about 25,000 people.
Rajbanshi language is widely exercised in Jalpaiguri district. A vast area on the western part of the district at Salugara and Fulbari is inhabited by Nepalis. There are around 4 lakh Nepali speaking people residing in the district.
Flora and fauna
- Sailen Debnath, The Dooars in Historical Transition, ISBN 9788186860441, N.L. Publishers
- "Alipurduar a new district on June 25". The Times of India, 21 June 2014. Retrieved 6 September 2014.
- "Alipurduar district birth on June 25". The Telegraph, 21 June 2014. Retrieved 6 September 2014.
- "Delimitation Commission Order No. 18" (PDF). West Bengal. Election Commission. Retrieved 6 September 2014.
- "Administrative setup". Official website of the Jalpaiguri district. Archived from the original on 10 April 2009. Retrieved 7 November 2008.
- "Jalpaiguri Metropolitan Region". Jalpaiguri City Census 2011 data. Census 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
- "District Census 2011". Census2011.co.in. 2011. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
- US Directorate of Intelligence. "Country Comparison:Population". Retrieved 1 October 2011.
Liberia 3,786,764 July 2011 est.
- M. Paul Lewis, ed. (2009). "Bijori: A language of India". Ethnologue: Languages of the World (16th ed.). Dallas, Texas: SIL International. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
- Decadal Variation In Population Since 1901
- Indian Ministry of Forests and Environment. "Protected areas: Sikkim". Archived from the original on 23 August 2011. Retrieved 25 September 2011.
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