Santragachhi

Santragachhi or Santragachi is a neighbourhood in Howrah city of Howrah district, West Bengal, India. It is a part of the area covered by Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA). It has a railway station which serves as a railway junction for the South Eastern Railway. Santragachi is mostly a residential locality with a sizeable railway colony with some industries including a privately owned railway goods wagon making unit.

Santragachi is also popular for its large lake known as Santragachhi Jheel which attracts migratory birds such as the lesser whistling duck in the winter months.

The recent development of a new bus stand and bus routes from Santragachi are making it a preferred changeover point for people travelling by railways to Kolkata, specially South Kolkata, via Vidyasagar Setu.

Santragachhi

Santragachi
Neighbourhood in Howrah
Lesser whistling duck in Santragachhi lake
Lesser whistling duck in Santragachhi lake
Santragachhi is located in West Bengal
Santragachhi
Santragachhi
Location in West Bengal, India
Santragachhi is located in India
Santragachhi
Santragachhi
Santragachhi (India)
Coordinates: 22°34′49″N 88°16′11″E / 22.58017°N 88.26963°ECoordinates: 22°34′49″N 88°16′11″E / 22.58017°N 88.26963°E
Country India
StateWest Bengal
DistrictHowrah
RegionGreater Kolkata
Government
 • TypeMunicipal Corporation
 • BodyHowrah Municipal Corporation
Languages
 • OfficialBengali, English
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
Telephone code+91 33
ISO 3166 codeISO 3166-2:IN
Vehicle registrationWB
Lok Sabha constituencyHowrah

History

In the early twentieth century, Santragachhi was a large village, with a part within Howrah municipality.[1] According to a legend, the principal family there, the Choudharys, who were Barendra brahmins,[2] started staying here 300 years from now.[1] Inspired by them, other Barendra families moved to the place.[1] The railway station of Santragachhi was named after this place, though this place is closer to another railway station at Ramrajatala.[1] The Ramrajatala area was considered a quarter of the area under this village.[1]

The first vernacular school of the Howrah district was established in Santragachhi in 1857 with the help of a government grant.[3] Afterwards the school was amalgamated with "Santragachi Madhya Engreji School" making it an English and Bengali dual medium school and later in 1925, the school transferred to Santragachi Kedarnath Institution.[4] The first girls' school of the Howrah district with Indian management was established in Santragachhi in 1863, with a small grant from the government.[5]

Santragachhi produced good quality of arums (ol: Bengali: ওল).[6] There is a variety of Amorphophallus paeoniifolius (elephant-foot yam of arum family) which is named Santragachhi after this place.[7][8]

Location

Santragachhi is located at 22°34′49″N 88°16′11″E / 22.58017°N 88.26963°E.[9]

Other neighbourhoods of Howrah that surround Santragachhi are Ramrajatala, Jagacha, Bakshara, Unsani, and Garhpa.

Transport

Railways

The erstwhile Bengal Nagpur Railway, now known as South Eastern Railway, was connected to Howrah station in 1900.[10] At this time, the 3-mile-long (5 km) short branch from Santragachhi to Shalimar Station was also created for redirecting heavy traffic of export goods, for further carrying them to Kidderpore dock in Kolkata via large ferry steamers.[10] Santragachhi railway station is now a railway junction. There are plans of developing Santragachhi junction into a full fledged terminal, with more trains originating and departing from here, over the next 3–4 years to reduce congestion at Howrah Station.[11]

Santragachhi is also close to the Kona Expressway, which connects to Kolkata via Vidyasagar Setu and towards rest of the NH 6 and to the NH 2. Santragachhi is the main railway coaching yard of South Eastern Railway's Kharagpur Division. Maintenance of more than 50 long or short-distance trains has been done here. The class-one flat yard consists of a diesel locomotive shed, an electric locomotive shed, washing and sick lines and a railway turntable.

Roadways

Santragachi Bus Terminus - NH 117 - Howrah 2015-09-18 3732
Kolkata Central Bus Terminus, Santragachi

Kolkata Central Bus Terminus, spread over 12.38 acres (5.01 ha) of land, the Central Bus Terminus, is the fructification of the joint efforts by the state transport department, HRBC and the KMDA. While Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority contributed in handing over a vast 12.38 acres of land to install the facility, Hooghly River Bridge Commissioners (HRBC) remained the implementing authority. Chief minister Mamata Banerjee inaugurated the terminus on 27 May 2015. The terminus has a parking capacity for 169 buses, 100 other vehicles and 85 two wheelers.

Education

High schools

There are several secondary and higher secondary schools for boys and girls. Sir Ashutosh Mukherjee laid the foundation stone of Santragachi Kedarnath Institution, biggest school in this area.[12] Other governmental schools include Santragachi Kedarnath Institution (Girls), Surendranath Girls High School, Santragachi Bhanumati Balika Vidhyalaya, Jagacha Girl's High School, S.E. Railway Mixed Higher Secondary School, Santragachi Mixed High School, and Santragachi Railway Colony High School, Jagacha High School etc. Private schools include St. Marys Convent School, Maria's Day School, and Usha Martin School. There is also a branch of Kendriya Vidhyalaya, which is affiliated to CBSE Board.

Colleges

Colleges in the area include Dr. Kanailal Bhattacharya College and Howrah Girls College.

Santragachhi Jheel

Santragachi Lake - Howrah 2013-01-25 3588 to 3592 Combined
Western side of the Santragachi Lake
Whistling Ducks - Santragachi Lake - Howrah 2012-01-26 1519
The lesser whistling ducks dominate the entire lake.

Santragachhi Jheel is a large lake,[13] located next to the Santragachhi railway station.[14] This lake attracts large number of migratory birds in the winter months, particularly in December and January. The number has increased in recent years, as migratory birds have started to avoid destinations like the lakes in Alipore Zoo, Kolkata.[15] Birds like sarus crane from North America and Australia,[15] gadwall, northern shoveller, northern pintail, garganey from north of the Himalayas,[16] and many other local migratory birds such as cotton pygmy goose, and knob-billed duck are spotted here during this season.[16] However, the lesser whistling duck is the most dominant species visible here.[16]

The lake area is owned by South Eastern Railway, though the Forest Department of West Bengal also looks after the place.[14][16] Every year before the migratory birds are expected to arrive, the Forest department cleans Water hyacinth from the lake, though leaving some portion of it which adds up to an environment suitable for the birds.[16][17] Efforts are made by local residents, Forest Department and Railways to improve the environment for the birds.[16][17]

Satragachi Jheel DSC 0907 08
Migratory birds in Satragachi Jheel

The Forest Ministry of the State Government of West Bengal intends to convert the lake to a wildlife conservation centre.[18]

Tibbetibaba Ashram

The Dalal Pukur area of Santragachi host the Tibbetibaba Ashram: Tibbetibaba was a famous Bengali philosopher saint of India.[19] The ashram was established in November 1929. This ashram was given the name of Tibbetibaba Vedanta Ashram by his devotees and disciples. Land for the ashram was bought by a man named Bishnupada Chattopadhyaya. The first brick for the ashram was laid by Tibbetibaba himself. Later, more land for the ashram was bought by a man from the Entally area of Kolkata.[20][21][20][22]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e O'Malley & Chakravarti 1909, p. 172
  2. ^ Barendra or Varendra was a region in northern Bengal.
  3. ^ O'Malley & Chakravarti 1909, p. 140
  4. ^ http://sknionline.in/history.html
  5. ^ O'Malley & Chakravarti 1909, p. 141
  6. ^ O'Malley & Chakravarti 1909, p. 73
  7. ^ O'Malley & Chakravarti 1909, p. 74
  8. ^ NIIR Board. Cultivation of Fruits, Vegetables and Floriculture. National Institute Of Industrial Research. p. 583. ISBN 81-86623-75-2. Retrieved 5 January 2009.
  9. ^ "Yahoo maps location of Santragachhi". Yahoo maps. Retrieved 5 January 2009.
  10. ^ a b O'Malley & Chakravarti 1909, p. 126
  11. ^ "Santragachi to be developed into terminal in 3–4 years". Times of India. Times of India. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  12. ^ https://in.locale.online/santragachi-kedarnath-institution-513740648.html
  13. ^ Jheel (Bengali: ঝিল) is a Bengali word for a lake.
  14. ^ a b Romila Saha (8 January 2008). "Bird draw at jheel". The Telegraph, Kolkata. Retrieved 6 January 2009.
  15. ^ a b "Migratory birds no longer keen to nest at Alipore Zoo". Indian Express. 16 December 2008. Retrieved 5 January 2009.
  16. ^ a b c d e f Suchetana Haldar (15 December 2006). "Birds of many feathers flock to Santragachi". Indian Express. Retrieved 6 January 2009.
  17. ^ a b Bhajan Ganguly (8 December 2004). "Welcome, winter friends on wing". The Telegraph, Kolkata. Retrieved 6 January 2009.
  18. ^ "Protected Area Update: News and Information from protected areas in India and South Asia". Wildlife Institute of India. February 2005. Archived from the original (DOC) on 10 April 2009. Retrieved 6 January 2009.
  19. ^ Brahmachari, Akhandananda, Paramhamsa Tibbati Babar Smriti Katha, India: Tibbati Baba Vedanta Ashram, 76/3, Taantipara Lane, P.O. Santragachi, Howrah – 711 104, West Bengal (May, 2003), p. 1.
  20. ^ a b Brahmachari, Akhandananda, Paramhamsa Tibbati Babar Smriti Katha, India: Tibbati Baba Vedanta Ashram, 76/3, Taantipara Lane, P.O. Santragachi, Howrah – 711 104, West Bengal (May 2003), p. 47.
  21. ^ Chakravorty, Subodh, "Bharater Sadhak – Sadhika", India: Kamini Publication, 115, Akhil Mistry Lane, Kolkata – 700 009 (1997, Bengali calendar year 1404), Volume 1, p. 477.
  22. ^ Misra, Kunjeshwar, Ramayan Bodh Ba Balmikir Atmaprakash, (2nd ed.) India: Tibbati Baba Vedanta Ashram, 76/3, Taantipara Lane, P.O. Santragachi, Howrah – 711 104, West Bengal (2006, Bengali calendar year 1413), p. 1.

Citations

  • O'Malley, L.S.S.; Chakravarti, Monmohan (1909), Bengal District Gazetteers: Howrah, Bengal Secretariat Book Depot.
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