Howrah (alternatively spelled Haora) is a metropolitan city and a municipal corporation of Howrah district in the Indian state of West Bengal. It is the headquarters of the Howrah Sadar subdivision. Howrah is located on the western bank of the Hooghly River. It is a part of the area covered by Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA). Howrah is an important transportation hub of West Bengal and a major gateway for its twin city of Kolkata.
Sheffield of India
|• Type||Municipal Corporation|
|• Body||Howrah Municipal Corporation|
|• Mayor||Rathin Chakraborty|
|• Police commissioner||Shri Devendra Prakash Singh|
|• Total||95 km2 (37 sq mi)|
|Elevation||12 m (39 ft)|
|• Density||11,000/km2 (29,000/sq mi)|
|• Official||Bengali, Hindi, English|
|Time zone||UTC+5:30 (IST)|
711101 to 711119
|Telephone code||+91 33|
|ISO 3166 code||IN-WB|
|Vehicle registration||WB-11 to WB-14|
|Sex ratio||904 ♂/♀|
|Lok Sabha constituency||Howrah|
|Vidhan Sabha constituency||Howrah Uttar, Howrah Madhya, Howrah Dakshin, Shibpur|
The name came from the word Haor—Bengali word for a fluvial swampy lake, which is sedimentologically a depression where water, mud and organic debris accumulate. The word itself was rather used in eastern part of Bengal (now Bangladesh), as compared to the western part (now West Bengal).
The history of the city of Howrah dates back over 500 years, but the district is situated in an area historically occupied by the ancient Bengali kingdom of Bhurshut. Venetian explorer Cesare Federici, who travelled in India during 1565–79, mentioned a place called Buttor in his journal circa 1578. As per his description, this was a location into which large ships could travel (presumably the Hoogli River) and perhaps a commercial port. This place is identifiable with the modern day neighbourhood of Bator. Bator was also mentioned in the Bengali poetry Manasamangal written by Bipradas Pipilai in 1495.
In 1713, the Bengal Council of the British East India Company, on the accession of the Emperor Farrukhsiyar, grandson of Aurangzeb, to the throne of Delhi, sent a deputation to him with a petition for a settlement of five villages on west bank of Hooghly river along with thirty-three villages on the east bank. The list of villages appeared in the Consultation Book of the Council dated 4 May 1714. The five villages on the west bank on Hooghly river were: 'Salica' (Salkia), 'Harirah' (Howrah), 'Cassundeah' (Kasundia), 'Ramkrishnopoor' (Ramkrishnapur), and 'Battar' (Bator): all identifiable with localities of modern-day Howrah city. The deputation was successful except for these five villages. By 1728, most of the present-day Howrah district was part of either of the two zamindaris: Burdwan or Muhammand Aminpur. After Battle of Plassey, as per the treaty signed with the Nawab of Bengal, Mir Qasim, on 11 October 1760, Howrah district (then part of Burdwan) came under control of East India Company. In 1787, the Hooghly district was formed, and till 1819, the whole of the present day Howrah district was added to it. The Howrah district was separated from the Hooghly district in 1843.
Dependent on definitions and geographical boundaries Howrah is measured as either the 2nd or 3rd largest city in West Bengal (behind Kolkata, and perhaps Asansol). As of 2011 Indian census, Howrah had a population of 1,077,075 with 244,135 households. [note 1]
In the 1896 census of British India, Howrah had a population of 84,069, which grew up to 157,594 in the 1901 census. This rapid growth was due to abundance of job opportunities, which effected in a 100% increase in male population during this period, whereas the female population grew up only by 60%.
Howrah has a Tropical wet-and-dry climate (Köppen climate classification Aw). The summers here have a good deal of rainfall, while the winters have very little. The temperature averages 26.3 °C. Precipitation averages 1744 mm.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
Howrah Municipality was established in 1862. From 1896, it started supplying filter water across the city. During 1882–83, Bally Municipality was formed separating it out from Howrah. As per the Howrah Municipal Corporation Act of 1980, Howrah became a municipal corporation, in 1984. The corporation area is divided into fifty wards, each of which elects a councillor. The Mayor-in-council, which is led by Mayor and supported by Commissioner and officers, is responsible for administration of the corporation area. As of August 2015, the Trinamool Congress is controlling the municipal board. The Howrah Police Commissionerate is responsible for law enforcement in the city.
Even though it is the second largest city in the state, it did not undertake appropriate infrastructure development in the last century. As a result, Howrah is continuing to face its perennial problems like traffic congestion, population explosion and pollution. The ratio of roadspace to the population is too low in this city, even comparatively smaller towns like Baharampur enjoy a better ratio. The emigrant labour force from the rest of the state's rural areas and neighbouring states take refuge in the cheaper quarters in Howrah, bringing the already poor infrastructure to the brink of collapse. Many times such migrations reduce a locality to a poor-infrastructure slum. The name of the novel City of Joy, which has been often the name the Kolkata metropolis been called, is actually based on one such slum of Howrah.
However, recently, work has been done on broadening the national highways and several towns roads. These activities are expected to help in improvement of traffic conditions. Of late, Howrah has seen a lot of new industrial proposals like the Kona Truck Terminus, Kolkata West International City and relocation of the old smoky foundry plants.
Often termed as Sheffield of the East, Howrah is known as an engineering hub, mainly in the area of light engineering industry. There are small engineering firms all over Howrah, particularly around Belilios Road area near Howrah station. However these businesses are declining in the 21st century.
Burn Standard Company (BSCL, established in 1781), a major company in heavy engineering industry, which is now part of Bharat Bhari Udyog Nigam Limited (BBUNL), has its oldest manufacturing unit located in Howrah. In 1823, Bishop Reginald Heber described Howrah as the place "chiefly inhabited by shipbuilders". The Howrah plant of Shalimar Paints (established in 1902) was the first large-scale paint manufacturing plant to be set up not only in India but in entire South East Asia.
The jute industry suffered during the Partition of Bengal (1947), when the larger jute production area became part of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). The foundry industry saw a decline in demand due to growth in steel industry.
Howrah Junction, more commonly referred to as Howrah Station, is the major railway station serving Howrah, Kolkata and the neighbouring districts. It was established in 1854 when a railway line was constructed connecting the city to the coalfields of the Bardhaman. Howrah Station serves as a terminal for two railway zones of India: the Eastern Railway and the South Eastern Railway, and it is connected to most of the major cities of India.
It is the only station in Eastern India connecting the entire Eastern India with the rest of India. From Howrah both Eastern Railway and South Eastern Railway operates connecting various stations of the districts of Howrah, Hooghly, Bardhaman, East Midnapore and West Midnapore. Within Howrah city, there are six other stations: Tikiapara, Dasnagar, Ramrajatala, Santragachhi, Padmapukur and Shalimar Station, all serving the South Eastern Railway.
The total road length in Howrah is approximately 300 kilometres (190 mi). Howrah hosts a branch of the Grand Trunk Road – this was built, starting 1804, by the Public Works Department of the British administration. The road starts at the Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden and connects to the main road near Chandannagar. Howrah also connects the metropolitan region to the national highways – NH 2 and NH 6 are connected to Vidyasagar Setu via the Kona Expressway.
There are ferry services available, between various jetties in Howrah and Kolkata, which was introduced in the 1970s. The jetties on Howrah side are at Howrah Station, Ramkrishnapur, Shibpur, Shalimar, Bandhaghat and Nazirganj. The Kolkata metropolitan region is also served by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport.
|Neighbourhoods of Howrah|
|Neighbourhoods of Howrah|
Howrah has many famous neighbourhoods, most notable being Shibpur, Santragachi, Belur and Ramrajatala. Shibpur hosts the Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden, containing the Great Banyan tree, and the Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology, Shibpur. Santragachi has a large railway station as well as the Santragachhi Jheel is a large lake that attracts migratory birds during winter. Belur is a suburb that contains Belur Math, the headquarters of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission. Ramrajatala hosts a famous Rama Temple. Near Howrah Station is the slum of Pilkhana which was the basis of the famous book and film "City of Joy".
The Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology, Shibpur is a public engineering and research institution. It is the second oldest engineering institution in India, and is an Indian institute of national importance.
Howrah's schools are either run by the state government or by private institutions. The medium of instruction is Bengali, English or Hindi. Schools are affiliated to the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education (WBBSE), West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Education (WBCHSE), the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE), National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) and Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).
Howrah Zilla School, the oldest school in Howrah founded in 1845, is the only Governmental school in Howrah.
Howrah's first vernacular Bengali medium school was established in 1857 by Kedarnath Bhattacharya, first Indian chairman of Howrah Municipal Corporation. In 1870 it was named Santragachi Minor School. Currently it is named Santragachi Kedarnath Institution, Howrah.
The Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden previously known as Indian Botanic Garden is situated in Shibpur, Howrah near Kolkata. They are commonly known as the Calcutta Botanical Garden, and previously as the Royal Botanic Garden, Calcutta. The gardens exhibit a wide variety of rare plants and a total collection of over 12,000 specimens spread over 109 hectares. It is under Botanical Survey of India (BSI) of Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India.Bally, Howrah
Bally is a neighbourhood in the city of Howrah of Howrah district in the Indian state of West Bengal. It is a part of the area covered by Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA).Eastern Railway zone
The Eastern Railway (abbreviated ER and পূর্ব, पूरे / पूर्व) is among the 18 zones of the Indian Railways. Its headquarters is at Fairley Place, Kolkata and comprises four divisions: Howrah, Malda, Sealdah, and Asansol. Each division is headed by a Divisional Railway Manager (DRM). The name of the division denotes the name of the city where the divisional headquarters is located. Eastern Railway Consists Most no. of A1 and A Category Stations like Howrah, Sealdah, Bhagalpur, Asansol, Durgapur etc. Eastern Railways operates one of the oldest trains of India, Kalka Mail. 3 Popular Zones ECR, SER (again from SER-ECOR and SECR carved out in 2003) NFR were part of ER before.
It has three major workshops: Jamalpur, Liluah, and Kanchrapara. The Jamalpur Workshop is for wagon repair, periodic overhaul (POH) of diesel locomotives, manufacturing of cranes and tower-wagons; the Liluah workshop is for POH of coaching & freight vehicles and the
Kanchrapara Workshop is for POH of electric locomotives, EMU Locals and coaches.Grand Chord
Grand Chord is part of the Howrah-Gaya-Delhi line and Howrah-Allahabad-Mumbai line. It acts as a link between Sitarampur, (West Bengal) and Mughal Sarai, Uttar Pradesh, and covers a stretch of 450 km (280 mi). It is a fully electrified, triple line section from Mughalsarai to Dehri-on-sone and double line section from Dehri-on-sone to Asansol. The Grand chord section is the lifeline of the country on which Coal, Steel and other important goods are moved from Eastern section to Western and Northern sections of the country. In the down direction, the traffic consists of mostly food grains, fertilizers and empty wagons for coal loading in the Bihar and West Bengal coal fields. Mughalsarai is a transit division and the main objective is to maintain mobility of high density traffic. The present capacity of the Grand Chord is being optimally utilized. Traversing through Chhota Nagpur plateau of Jharkhand as well as parts of the fertile Gangetic plains of Bihar, the Grand Chord covers a stretch of 450 km (280 mi).
The railways first came to eastern India in 1854, and the Calcutta-Delhi railway link, with a distance of more than 1,636 km (1,017 mi), became operational by 1866. With the increase in traffic it became necessary to construct an alternative route.
With this in view, The Grand Chord section was planned. The Grand Chord section was opened in December 1906 by Lord Minto, then Viceroy and Governor General of India with a function at Gujahandi. With the opening of the Grand Chord route, the distance between Calcutta and Delhi was reduced by 80 km (50 mi). The cost of construction was around ₹415 lakh (US$580,000).The Grand Chord section is critically important even today, handling major passenger trains on the Howrah-Delhi route, particularly all the Rajdhani Expresses from Howrah, Bhubaneswar and Ranchi and the entire freight traffic, particularly coal, handled by the Dhanbad division of East Central Railway.Howrah Bridge
Howrah Bridge is a bridge with a suspended span over the Hooghly River in West Bengal, India. Commissioned in 1943, the bridge was originally named the New Howrah Bridge, because it replaced a pontoon bridge at the same location linking the two cities of Howrah and Kolkata (Calcutta). On 14 June 1965 it was renamed Rabindra Setu after the great Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore, who was the first Indian and Asian Nobel laureate. It is still popularly known as the Howrah Bridge.
The bridge is one of four on the Hooghly River and is a famous symbol of Kolkata and West Bengal. The other bridges are the Vidyasagar Setu (popularly called the Second Hooghly Bridge), the Vivekananda Setu, and the newly built Nivedita Setu. It weathers the storms of the Bay of Bengal region, carrying a daily traffic of approximately 100,000 vehicles and possibly more than 150,000 pedestrians, easily making it the busiest cantilever bridge in the world. The third-longest cantilever bridge at the time of its construction, the Howrah Bridge is currently the sixth-longest bridge of its type in the world.Howrah Junction railway station
Howrah Junction, more popularly known as Howrah Station, is the oldest and largest railway complex in India, serving the twin cities of Howrah and Kolkata. Approximately 617 passenger trains pass through the station each day requiring its 23 platforms (the largest number of platforms in Indian railways) and serving more than two million passengers per day with the highest train handling capacity of any Indian railway station. Howrah Junction is one of five intercity railway stations serving the city of Kolkata, the others being Sealdah, Santragachi, Shalimar, and Kolkata railway station. The station is located in Howrah on the west bank of the Hooghly River. 1373 stations across India are directly connected to Howrah Railway Station.Howrah Madhya
Howrah Madhya (Vidhan Sabha constituency) (earlier known as Howrah Central) is an assembly constituency in Howrah district in the Indian state of West Bengal.Howrah Uttar
Howrah Uttar (Vidhan Sabha constituency) (Bengali: হাওড়া উত্তর বিধানসভা কেন্দ্র) (earlier known as Howrah North) is an assembly constituency in Howrah district in the Indian state of West Bengal.Howrah district
Howrah district () is a district of the West Bengal state in eastern India. Howrah district is one of the highly urbanized area of West Bengal. The urbanized sectors gradually increase the slum populations. The Howrah city called “Glasgow” of India and "Sheffield of India". Howrah is the second largest city and second smallest district after Kolkata. It has thousands of years of rich heritage in the form of the great Bengali kingdom of Bhurshut. The district is named after its headquarters, the city of Howrah.Howrah–Allahabad–Mumbai line
The Howrah–Allahabad–Mumbai line is a railway line connecting Kolkata and Mumbai via Allahabad. The 2,127-kilometre long (1,322 mi) railway line was opened to traffic in 1870.Howrah–Bardhaman chord
The Howrah–Bardhaman chord is a broad-gauge rail line connecting Howrah and Bardhaman. The 95-kilometre long (59 mi) railway line operates in Howrah, Hooghly and Purba Bardhaman districts in the state of West Bengal. It is part of the Howrah-Gaya-Delhi line, Howrah-Allahabad-Mumbai line and the Kolkata Suburban Railway system.Howrah–Bardhaman main line
The Howrah–Bardhaman main line is a broad-gauge railway line connecting Howrah and Bardhaman via Bandel. The 108 kilometres (67 mi) railway line operates in Howrah, Hooghly and Purba Bardhaman districts in the Indian state of West Bengal. It is part of the Howrah–Delhi main line and the Kolkata Suburban Railway system.Howrah–Chennai main line
The Howrah–Chennai main line is a railway line connecting Chennai and Kolkata cutting across Eastern Coastal Plains of India. It covers a distance of 1,661 kilometres (1,032 mi) across, West Bengal, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.Howrah–Delhi main line
The Howrah–Delhi main line is a railway line connecting Delhi and Kolkata cutting across northern India. The 1,532 km (952 mi) railway line was opened to traffic in 1866 with the introduction of the "1 Down/2 Up Mail" train.Howrah–Gaya–Delhi line
The Howrah–Gaya–Delhi is a railway line connecting Howrah and Delhi cutting across Indo-Gangetic Plain and a comparatively small stretch of the line crossing over the Chota Nagpur Plateau. It covers a distance of 1,449 kilometres (900 mi) across, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi. The Grand Chord is a part of this line and as such is referred to by many as Howrah-Delhi line (via Grand Chord).Howrah–Kharagpur line
The Howrah–Kharagpur line is part of the Howrah-Nagpur-Mumbai line, Howrah-Chennai main line and Kolkata Suburban Railway.Howrah–Nagpur–Mumbai line
The Howrah–Nagpur–Mumbai line (also known as Mumbai-Kolkata line) is a railway line in India connecting Kolkata and Mumbai via Nagpur. The 1,968 km (1,223 mi) railway line was opened to traffic in 1900.Howrah–New Jalpaiguri line
The Howrah–New Jalpaiguri line is a railway line connecting Howrah with New Jalpaiguri railway station in North Bengal in the Indian state of West Bengal. The line continues through North Bengal and western part of Assam to connect with Guwahati. The Naihati–Bandel link allows trains from another terminus Sealdah in Calcutta to use this route. The line uses a major part of the Barharwa–Azimganj–Katwa loop. Many trains use an alternative line between Howrah and New Farakka, via Bardhaman and Rampurhat. Other parts of West Bengal and Bihar are well-connected to this line. It is under the administrative jurisdiction of Eastern Railway and Northeast Frontier Railway.Uluberia
Uluberia is a city and a municipality of Howrah district in the Indian state of West Bengal. It is the headquarters of the Uluberia subdivision. It is a part of the area covered by Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA). This city is famous for its industrial belts.
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Places adjacent to Howrah
Cities, towns and locations in Howrah District
and census towns
other than cities and towns
Municipalities & CD Blocks of West Bengal
Howrah district topics
|Institutes of higher learning|
|Lok Sabha constituencies|
|Vidhan Sabha constituencies|
Vidhan Sabha constituencies