Ranaghat

Infobox Indian Jurisdiction
native_name = Ranaghat | type = city | latd = 23.18 | longd = 88.58
locator_position = right | state_name = West Bengal
district = Nadia
leader_title = CPM Chairman
leader_name = Shankar Singh
altitude = 7
population_as_of = 2001
population_total = 68,754| population_density =
area_magnitude = sq. km
area_total =
area_telephone = 91-3473-2xxxxx
postal_code = 741201
vehicle_code_range = WB-52
sex_ratio =
unlocode =
website =
footnotes =

Ranaghat ( _bn. রাণাঘাট) is a town in the district of Nadia, West Bengal, India. It is situated 74 kilometers north of Calcutta. It is one of the most important railway junctions in the Sealdah-Murshidabad railway section. [ [http://www.india9.com/i9show/-West-Bengal/Ranaghat-Junction-Railway-Station-57676.htm About the Rail-station] Reference from India9]

History

Ranaghat town that has existed at least since the English invaded this country. A myth or rumour is that the name came from the bandit 'Rana Dacoit' who used to pillage this area 500 or 600 years back and he used to give "pujas" to "Maa Kali" to thank Her. Though not confirmed, anthropologists believe the name 'Ranaghat' must have come from there.

There are many families who had extensive ties to foreign investments in the town and is proactive in the development of the political system.

PALCHOUDHURY family was the Jamindars & DEYCHOUDHURY family was the jotdars of old RANAGHAT.

The town is home to the famous Bengali poet Joy Goswami [ [http://www.catchcal.com/kaleidoscope/literature/literature11.asp Joy Goswami Story] From Catchcal] . Yesteryears film actress Rakhee was born and brought up in Ranaghat. [ [http://www.boloji.com/analysis2/0237.htm Story of Rakhee Gulzar] Article from Boloji]

Geography

The town is exactly 74 kilometres north of Calcutta and 26 kilometres south of Krishnanagar, Nadia District headquarters. The Bangladesh border is very close to this town. Ranaghat is located at coord|23.18|N|88.58|E| [ [http://www.fallingrain.com/world/IN/28/Ranaghat.html FallingRain Map (Red dots are railways)] ] . It has an average elevation of 7 metres (22 feet). Ranaghat is located on the banks of River Churni.

Demographics

As of 2001 India census [GR|India] , Ranaghat had a population of 68,754 [ [http://www.citypopulation.de/India-WestBengal.html City Population site estimate] ] . Males constitute 51% of the population and females 49%. Ranaghat has an average literacy rate of 84%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 87%, and female literacy is 80%. In Ranaghat, 8% of the population is under 6 years of age.

Places of interest

The following places might be of interest to visitors.

1. Churni Nodir ghat -- The bank of River Churni is a pleasant break from the scorching heat of summer months. The recently built bridge over the Churni connects Ainshtola (on the the west bank of Churni) to Burrabazzar on the east bank.

2. Siddheshwari Temple -- Famous temple situated in the heart of the town, Dey Chaudhary Para. This old temple is in existence for over 150 years. Devotees, especially women, pray here on a regular basis.

3. The Church -- One of the most beautiful churches in West Bengal, ranks very close to the Bandel Church. The fabric works inside the prayer-room and the aesthetic design of the outside wall is simply fabulous. More about it in the Culture section.

4. Nistarini Temple -- Another temple near the Happy-Club maidan.

5 Ranaghat Forest -- Located outside the main township, Ranaghat Forest is a popular picnic spot.

6. Zamindar's Buildings -- There are a handful of old farmland-owning aristocrats (Zamindar) buildings in the town. The town was ruled by zamindars during the British period. "Dey Choudhury Building" and "Pal Choudhury Building" still bear testimony to the feudal era. The buildings are not open to the public.

Economy

The Economy of Ranaghat and its surrounding region is mostly based on agriculture. Paddy (rice), flour, wheat and fruits are produced by farmers outside the main township. Various dairy products are transported to Kolkata every morning.

The Department of Food Processing Industries of India is planning to set up a market complex exclusively for flowers in Ranaghat. [ [http://www.wbfpih.org/sectors.htm Flower Complex at Ranaghat] Food Processing and Horticulture Department] . Ranaghat has one of the capturing market of flowers in West Bengal. [ [http://www.wbidc.com/about_wb/agro.htm Flower Market in Ranaghat] WBIDC Reference]

Another industry which is not receiving the government's patronage is handicraft and boutiques. At least 1000 people depend on this for their livelihood.

IT infrastructure is getting popularised lately. All the banks in town have been computerised.

Education

The town boasts a large number of high-schools but not universities.

Current situation is as follows:
"Higher-Secondary school"
# Pal Choudhury High School.
# Brajabala girls' higher secondary school.
# Lalgopal boys' high school.
# Lalgopal girls' high school.
# Bharati High School
# Nasra High School
# Debnath High School
# Yousuf Instituition
# Milan Bagan Higher Secondary School

"Primary school"
# Brajobala girls' primary school.
# Malancha Vidyapith.
# Holychild high school.
# Nivedita Academy.
# Chhobi Memorial and so many others are there.

"College:"
*Ranaghat College It offers bachelors' programmes in most of the science subjects (B.Sc degree to be offered), in arts (B.A to be offered) and in commerce (B.Com). It is one of the affiliated colleges of Kalyani University [ [http://www.klyuniv.ac.in/aff_colleges_list_nadia.htm List of Affiliated College] Kalyani University] . Students from all over Ranaghat and nearby townships come to study here. The college was set up in 1950. It was assessed and accredited by NAAC in 2007 and was awarded the B+ grade. [ [http://ranaghatcollege.org/ Ranaghat College] ]

The city desperately needs an engineering or medical college. But given the west-bengal economic situation it is unlikely a 'Ranaghat Institute of Technology' would be set up there any time soon.

Culture

Festivals

The town is inhabited mostly by Bengali Hindus. Durga-puja, like in all other Bengali communities, is the largest and most colourful festival and is celebrated throughout the town. All other major Hindu pujas are celebrated as well.

The Christan community celebrates Christmas at Begopara Church outside the main township. It is one of the most beautiful churches of Bengal. During Christmas, people from all religions join the party.

* More information can be found out [http://nadia.nic.in here] .

There is a famous mosque at Nasra-para, outskirt of the town.

Entertainment and sports

There are four theatres in the city (none of them are Dolby-DTS though). They are Surendra, Ranaghat Talkies, Geetanjali and Pramanick. The last one is supposed to be closed by dec-2006 and a multiplex is supposed to be opened there.

Cultural programmes are mostly held in the following places.
#Najrul Mancha also known as Aheli. Last time it came in the news when it held the Junior. P.C. Sorcar Magic show. First Indian Idol, Abhijeet Sawant also performed in a live show here in January, 2006. Speculation is there that Himesh Reshammiya is coming for a live show here very soon.
#Rabindra-Bhavan - Mostly used by schools and colleges for their annual function. Some renovation is being carried out with this place and scheduled to reopen in the beginning of 2008.

Each winter there are two large cultural programs (better known as "Melas"). One is at the Swasthyonnati Maidan (স্বাস্থ্যোন্নতি ময়দান), and another at the Happy-Club Maidan. They are known as 'Nadia Mela' and 'Ranaghat Utsav' respectively. Eminent Bengali social and cultural exponents such as Lopamudra Mitra, V. Balsara, Kabeer Suman and Rupankar have performed at these shows.

Attempts have been made by the Ranaghat Municipality for regular "Blood Donation Camps" and active propagation of the "Eradicate Illiteracy movement".

Cricket and football are the most popular sports.

Transportation

The city is well connected to the Sealdah railway station. Local and passenger trains are available every half-an-hour. But due to the commuter population explosion in intermediate stations like Chakdaha and Kalyani, don't expect to find a seat during daytime-hours. The Railway Minister recently passed a bill for running an express train in the Sealdah-Lalgola route which would reduce the current 2 hour journey by at least one hour. This project requires significant funding which may prevent it from materializing.

The Railway station at Ranaghat has a long history. Sealdah-Ranaghat rail connection was made during the British Period. This main line was opened on September 1862, during formation of "Eastern Bengal Guarantee Railway". [ [http://railindia.tripod.com/sealdah.html Station History] Article from Rail-India ] Ranaghat-Kalyani and Ranaghat-Shantipur sections were electrified in the financial year 1963-64. [ [http://www.irfca.org/docs/electrification-history.html IRFCA reference] History of Railways Electrification surrounding Ranaghat]

From Ranaghat railway station [ [http://www.india9.com/i9show/Ranaghat-67160.htm Train-routes] Article on India9.com ] , trains travel both north and south. Local trains are available to: Krishnagar, Shantipur, Gede, Bangaon and Sealdah. A handful of express passenger trains between Lalgola and Sealdah also stop at Ranaghat. An express train Bhagirathi express runs mainly for the office-goers in the morning. It departs from Ranaghat for Sealdah at 8:50 in the morning and in the evening leaves Sealdah station at 6:25pm for Ranaghat. It takes around 1 and half hour in comparison to the 2 hours taken by local trains.

Railway ministries of India are taking steps to make Ranaghat Railway station as a station of national importance. Numerous plans have been considered for the modernization and improvement of the platforms and the surrounding area in the latest railway budget of India. Bus service, less used by commoners since the bus-stop is far from the town centre, is also available. Buses ply through National Highway 34: north to north Bengal through Krishnagar, and south to Kolkata.

Auto rickshaw service might be popular in other cities of West Bengal but it is not available here. There are very few private cars.

Nearest airport from the town being the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport at Dum Dum, almost 80 km from the town.

Medical facilities

There are a few government hospitals and private nursing-homes in the town. They are:
* Anulia Hospital
* Ranaghat T.B. Hospital
* Central Nursing Home
* Life Nursing Home
* Ranaghat Nursing-Home
* Radharani Nursing-home

Gallery

Politics

Ranaghat has two assembly constituencies – Ranaghat (West) and Ranaghat (East).

* Ranaghat West assembly constituency -results

* Ranaghat East (SC) assembly constituency - results

Ranaghat (West) and Ranaghat (East) are part of the Nabadwip (Lok Sabha constituency). [cite web
url = http://archive.eci.gov.in/se2001/background/S25/WB_ACPC.pdf
title = General election to the Legislative Assembly, 2001 – List of Parliamentary and Assembly Constituencies
accessdate = 2007-02-21
last =
first =
work = West Bengal
publisher = Election Commission of India
format=PDF
]

External links

* [http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Ranaghat&ie=UTF8&ll=23.18676,88.60405&spn=0.1417,0.219727&t=h&z=12&iwloc=addr Ranaghat on Google Maps]
* [http://nadia.nic.in Nadia District Official HomePage]
* [http://www.dipika.org/2004/09/30/27_ranaghat_rathayatra/index.html Ratha-Yatra of Ranaghat]
* [http://www.financialexpress.com/news/Khana-diye-re/169665/ Chef from Ranaghat rocked Barbados during the World Cup Cricket]

References

See also


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