Howrah District of West Bengal at a Glance

About Howrah District :

Howrah is a relatively small district in West Bengal with an area of 1467 sq km. Howrah district lies between 22°48′ N and 22°12′ N latitudes and between 88°23′ E and 87°50′ E longitudes. The district is bounded by Hooghly River and districts of North 24 Parganas and South 24 Parganas on the east, on the north by the Hooghly district (Arambagh and Shrirampur sub-divisions) and on the south by Midnapore East district. The district consists of one Municipal Corporation, two Municipalities and 14 Blocks. Howrah Municipal Corporation is the second largest Urban Local Body in the State. The district of Howrah has been a traditional hub of industrial infrastructure and skilled manpower in the small scale and tiny industrial sector and has played a pivotal role in the State’s economy due to which it was known as “Sheffield of the East”. Traditionally, Howrah had been a strong manufacturing base, particularly in the engineering and foundry sectors, and has over the years developed a number of clusters in the areas of lock making, shuttle cock, zari, jewellery etc. Prior to synthetic polo balls coming into the game, Howrah was known for its production of polo balls.

At a Glance :

Description
Unit
Particulars
Administrative set UP :
District Head Quarter:
Howrah
Sub-division
Number
2
Police Station
25+1(1 addl women PS)
Mouza
836
Municipal Corporation
1
Municipality
1
Block
14
Panchayat Samity
14
Gram Panchayat
157
Gram Sansad
2430
Area and Population:
Area
Sq.K.M.
1,467
Population
Number
48,50,029
Density of population
per sq. k.m
3,306
Percentage of population:
Male
Percent
51.56
Female
48.44
Rural
36.62
Urban
63.38
Climate:
Annual rainfall
mm.
1350 (approx)
Teparature Maximum
Degree Celsius
35
Teparature Minimum
8
Workers :
Total workers
Percent
37.52
Non-workers
62.48
Educational Institutions :
Primary
Number
2761
Middle
116
High
194
Higher Secondary
350
General College
17
University(Gen. & Tech.)
1
Literates: Male
Percent
77.69
Female
70.76
Total
74.33

 Tourist Places :

The Howrah Station :

It is the gateway of Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal to the rest of the country. Developed towards the early part of the twentieth century, it has become one of the most important transitpoints for passengers and goods movement in the country. The present station building will be completing its glorious 100 years in 2006.

Howrah is the terminus of the first Indian Railway system namely East Indian Railsays. A survey for the East Indian Railway was taken up in 1845 and construction began in 1851. The section of the Railways, a Broad guage railway 5’6’’ was opened in 1854 from Howrah to Hooghly. In 1855 the line was extended up to Ranigunj and in 1862 up to Benares. After construction of the first Howrah Bridge in 1874, the Howrah Station was remodeled and improved. The other great line, the Bengal Nagpur Railway also a Broad gauge Railway, was extended to Howrah in 1900, thus connecting it with Nagpur and Bombay on the west Cuttak, Puri and Madras on the South. After this the station was further remodeled and became a joint station for E.I. Rly. and B.N. Rly. The old station was made over to the B.N. Rly. The E.I. Rly and B.N. Rly were subsequently renamed as Eastern Railway and South Eastern Railway respectively. Howrah station has now become a large imposing building facing the river with clock Tower and twenty long platforms for the passenger trains and three for the goods trains.

The Howrah Bridge or the Rabindra Setu :

The old Howrah Bridge, a floating pontoon Bridge, was opened in October 1874 and made over to Port Commissioners who managed and maintained it. Designed by the late Sir Bradford Leslie, it had a total length of 1528 feet between centers of abutments and provided a 48 feet roadway and two 7 feet footways. The most novel feature was the removal section which when floated out gage a 200 feet clear openings, with a head room of 22 feet, were also provided for smaller crafts. The adjusting ways or shore spans, one at each end of the bridge, consisted of three 160 feet long bow sting girders.

The traffic between commercial Kolkata and industrial Howrah having enormously increased during the first quarter of the 20th Century, the old b ridge was quite insufficient and it was decided to build a new one. The shifting mode of the river Hooghly was dangerous for either a cantilever or a suspension Bridge and hence a Bridge was designed as a sort of combination of the both. It was however known as and a reputed cantilever Bridge and is the third largest bridge of its kind in the World having a over-all length if 2150 feet with a single span of 1500 feet. The new Howrah Bridge was designed by M/s. Rendell, Palmer and Tritton, consulting Engineers. It took 8 years to complete the bridge and 26,000 tons of steel including 18,200 tons of high tensile quality were used. The total cost of construction of the land and all ancillary works, amounted Rs. 3.33 crores.

It is interesting to note that the Bridge expands about 4.8 inches during the heat of the day and contracts equal length in the cool of the night. Another peculiarity of the Bridge is that the Bridge bends over slightly in strong winds. The framework has also been built to withstand earth-quakes, as Calcutta lies in a Seismic zone.

The height of the Bridge at the supporting towers on the both ends in 300 feet. Each tower has a constant width of 11 feet and a tapering from 8’6’’ to4’6’’ at the top. The entire structure is laid on main piers of re-enforced concrete monoliths with steel ceiling edges. Each pier is 181’6” long by 81’6” wide and is amongst the largest in the world. The monoliths and grinders on Calcutta side are 103 feet deep and on the Howrah side it is 88 feet deep. These monoliths are the heaviest in the world.

The Great Banyan Tree

Belur Math & Temple :

Belur Math is situated just outside the boundary of Howrah Municipal Corporation on the north and stand on the West Bank of the river Hooghly. It was founded in 1897 by Swami Vivekananda, the great servant of India, and other disciples of Sri Sri Ramkrishna Paramhansa, who is regarded by the Hindus as an incarnation of God and occupies a place of great honour amongst the religious leaders of the world. A magnificent temple has been build at a great cost by the unique munificence of two pious American ladies, Miss Helen Rubel and Mrs. Auna Worcester. The breadth of the shrine is 100 ft and its length, including the prayer hall, is 233 ft. On a marble pedestal in the shrine is a marble statue of Sri Ramkrishna in his familiar asana. The prayer hall is 152 ft. long, 72 ft. wide and 48 ft. high.

The math is the head quarter of the Ramkrishna Mission, a society established for the propagation of the orthodox Hindu faith chastened with modern outlook. There is also a large Museum inside the Math on the lives of Sri Ramkrishna and his close disciples. The temple and the math is visited by countless people, most of whom are religiously inclined, to celebrate the birthday anniversary of Sri Ramkrishna (18th February 1836) in February when a fair is held there. The place also attracts large number of visitors from Kolkata and abroad every day, especially on Sundays and holidays.

Second Hooghly Bridge or Vidyasagar Setu :

Vidyasagar Setu – otherwise known as the second Hooghly Bridge opened to the traffic in 1992 is the finest product of modern architecture and technology. It is intricately connected with cities of Kolkata and Howrah by a series of over bridges and situated at a distance of 1.5 k.m. southwards of Ravindra Setu. It is erected on only four pillars and hung on 121 number of iron ropes. The bridge is 458 meters long and 115 meters wide. One can have a glimpse of a large part of Kolkata standing at the middle of the Bridge. The beauty of the bridge and its background is largely utilized by the Film Industry for shooting purposes.