Temple city of Bengal
Ekteshwar Shiva Temple
Location in West Bengal, India
|• Total||6,882 km2 (2,657 sq mi)|
|Elevation||78 m (256 ft)|
|• Density||523/km2 (1,350/sq mi)|
|• Official||Bengali, English|
|Time zone||UTC+5:30 (IST)|
|Lok Sabha constituency||Bankura|
|Vidhan Sabha constituency||Bankura|
In the Mahabharata, Bankura was described as Suhmobhumi. The word Larh or Rarh (in Nagari: rāḍh) was introduced after 6th century A.D. It comes from the old Austric word ráŕhá or ráŕho which means “land of red soil”. In ancient times "China called Ráŕh by the name of 'Láti'". In Santali, lar means thread, rarh means tune and larh means snake. Perhaps the Jain and Greek scholars used this original Austric word Larh to indicate this dry forest region which was very difficult. The popularity of Manasa Puja, the worship of Snake-Goddess Manasa, shows this opinion might have some relevance. According to Nilkantha, a famous commentator of the Mahabharata, the words suhmo[bhumi] (Sanskrit: suhma-bhūmi) and Rarh are synonymous.
Scholars differs in their opinion about the etymology of the name Bankura. In the words of the Kol-Mundas, orah or rah means habitation. Many places of Rarh have an added rah at the end of their names. One of the most influential gods of the district Dharmathakur is called Bankura Roy. The name of the district may come from his name. Linguist Suniti Kumar Chatterjee thinks that the name came from the word banka (zig-zag), and its word-corruption banku, which means extremely beautiful, and he who must be worshiped. In 1979, the word “Bancoorah” was found in the map of Renal. In 1863, Gastrel referred this region as Bancoonda.
Bir Hambir was the 49th king of Bagdi Malla dynasty. There is a story that he had twinty two sons. Bir Bankura was one of them. Raja Bir Hambir divided his kingdom into 22 tarafs or circles and gave one to his each son. Taraf Jaybelia fell to the lot of Bir Bankura. He developed a town in his taraf and the town was later named as 'Bankura' after its founder's name.
Bankura district is located in the western part of the state of West Bengal. It is a part of Bardhaman Division of the State and is included in the area known as "Rarh" in Bengal. Bankura district is situated at. The Damodar River flows along the Northern boundary of the district. Bankura district is bounded by Bardhaman district in the north, Purulia district in the west and Paschim Medinapure district in the south.
The seasons in Bankura are generally distributed as hot summer (April–May), monsoon (June–September) and 'Cold season' (November–February). The humidity is usually medium to high throughout the year and the rainfall, though not heavy, is usually well distributed. The average annual rainfall received by the district is around 1,300 mm. The rainy months are generally July and August. 21.5% of the total geographical area of the district is made up of forest land, covering a total of 148,177 hectares. Net cultivable area of the district is 4.30 lakh hectares.
In the 2011 census, Bankura city had a population of 137,386 of which 69,843 were males and 67,543 were females, giving a sex ratio of 967. The literacy rate was 86.12% and there were 12,148 children 0-6 years old
Bankura Sadar Division woman police station, started in 2014, has jurisdiction over whole of Bankura Sadar subdivision.
Bankura Railway Junction is managed by the South Eastern Railways and is on the Adra-Midnapore rail route. It is in Bankura city. Bhubaneswar Rajdhani Express, Rupashi Bangla Express, Aranyak Express, Puri-New Delhi(Nandan Kanan) Superfast Express, Ernakulam-Patna Express, Howrah-LTT Samarsata Express and Purulia-Howrah Express pass through this station. It is the originating and terminating station of Bankura Damodar Railway which will connect to Howrah-Bardhaman Chord section. Computerized reservation facility is available. Going towards north-west, Adra Junction Railway Station is the nearest main station and moving to south, Midnapore Railway Station is the major station next to Bankura.
The Bankura Railway Station and bridge over Dhaleshwari River were built by Gujarati Railway Contractors of the town Jeewan Gangji Savaria and Lalji Raja Vadher in 1900 working for Bengal Nagpur Railway.
National Highway 14 (India) running from Morgam (in Murshidabad district) to Kharagpur (in Paschim Medinipur district), State Highway 9 (West Bengal) running from Durgapur (in Paschim Bardhaman district) to Nayagram (in Jhargram district) and State Highway 5 (West Bengal) running from Rupnarayanpur (in Bardhaman district) to Junput (in Purba Medinipur) pass through Bankura. NH 14 links Bankura to NH 12 and NH 16. Both NH 14 and SH 9 link Bankura to NH 19 (Grand Trunk Road).
Bankura has gained much popularity among tourists hailing from India. The place has a rich cultural and traditional heritage. It is known for its paintings, music and other arts. The place has contributed toward modern Bengal art and architecture The tourist spots can be divided into four zones.