Uttar Dinajpur - A Surjapuri Speaking District
Area: 3,142 km
Population: 2,441,794 (Males -1259737, Females – 1182057)
Head Quarters: Raiganj
Sub Divisions: Raiganj and Islampur (110 km apart from each other)
Blocks: Raiganj, Karandighi, Kaliyaganj, Itahar, Islampur, Hemtabad, Chopra, Goalpokhar I and Goalpohar II
Nearby Districts: Purnia, Kishanganj, Katihar and Araria
Nearby Towns: Siliguri, Kishanganj, Purnia, Katihar, Araria Jalpaiguri and Malda
Industry: Tea, Flour Mill, Mustered Mill, Plywood, Rice Mill, Paper Mill and Plastic Industry.
Main Crops: Paddy, Wheat, Maize, Banana and Jute
Major Rivers: Kulik River, Nagar River and Mahananda River
Member of Parliament: Deepa Dasmunshi (Indian National Congress – INC)
MLAs: Sayeda Farhat Afroz (Islampur – CPI (M), Raiganj – Chittaranjan Roy (INC), Kaliyaganj (Nonigopal Roy – CPI (M), Karandighi (Gokul Roy – AIFB), Goalpokhar (Ali Imran Ramz – AIFB), Srikumar Mukherjee (Itahar – CPI) and Chopra (Anwarul Haque – CPI (M).
Uttar Dinajpur (West Bengal) is one of the five areas where Surjapuri is spoken especially in blocks of Islampur, Goalpokhar and Karandighi. An important district of West Bengal, Uttar Dinajpur is located in north-eastern part of India. Uttar Dinajpur came into existence on April 1, 1992 after the division of former West Dinajpur District. The district of Uttar Dinajpur share international boundary with nearby country Bangladesh in the east and flaked by the districts of Bihar on the west, and Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri district on the north, and Malda District on the south.
Geographically Uttar Dinajpur is bestowed with flat topography with a gentle southerly slope towards the main rivers of the district. Uttar Dinajpur forms a part of the basin lying between Rajmahal hills on the east. The district is bestowed with a very fertile soil that is ideal for the cultivation of Jute, Paddy, Wheat, Sugarcane and Maize. Climate of Uttar Dinajpur is moderate characterised by hot and humid summer (April to June), heavy rainfall during monsoon (June to September), and cold and chilly winters (November to February). You can visit Uttar Dinajpur anytime in the year as per your wish but it is good to avoid rainy season.
Uttar Dinajpur has a population of about 25 lakh that mainly comprising of rural people. The district has a diversified population including people of various faiths such as Islam and Hinduism. Bengali – the official language of West Bengal is widely spoken and used by the people of the district. Besides this, people speak Hindi, Urdu and Surjapuri (especially in Islampur Sub Division). People of Uttar Dinajpur are quite loving and lively in nature. Festivals, fairs and events make an essential part of people’s life in Uttar Dinajpur. Like other parts of West Bengal, Durga Puja is celebrated at a massive level in the towns of Uttar Dinajpur. Sarswati Puja, Holi, Deepawali, Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Azha are some of the noted religious festivals celebrated in Uttar Dinajpur. Fairs are also held at various spots in Uttar Dinajpur every year at regular intervals. You can buy locally manufactured handicrafts including wood crafts, jewelleries, and other interesting objects during the fairs. All the important festivals and events also provide a glimpse of the district’s age-old culture and traditions.
Uttar Dinajpur is home to various places of tourist interest including natural attractions as well. The district is covered with about 1483.75 acres forest area that provides shelter to a variety of animal species. Raiganj Bird Sanctuary is a major attraction of Uttar Dinajpur which is visited by nature lovers and common travellers in large numbers. Located along the National Highway on the bank of Kulik River, Raiganj Bird Sanctuary spreads over an area of 35 acre and inhabited by a wide array of bird species including migratory birds such as night herons, open bill stroks, egrets, little cormorant, etc. The lush green tea gardens in Islampur Sub Division equally thrill visitors a lot. Besides Sap Nikla Forest in Chopra Block and Eco Park at Bijolia More, Uttar Dinajpur district has attractions like Bhairabi Temple (at Bindole), Burhana Fakirs Masjid, Kati Temple (at Baira), and Karnajora Museum and Park.
Uttar Dinajpur is well connected with the rest of the state through National Highways, State Highways and Railways. NH-31 and NH-34 passes through the heart of the district and connect with major cities of Bihar and rest of the country. Buses of WBSRTC (West Bengal State Road Transport Corporation) and private operators ply within the district and nearby cities like Siliguri, Jalpaiguri and Malda. The rail network of Indian Railways passes through the district and connects it with major stations of the country. Aluabari Railway Station (Islampur), Dalkolha and Raiganj are the important railway stations of Uttar Dinajpur. Bagdogra Airport in Darjeeling District is the nearest airport from Uttar Dinajpur, which is about 150 km away from the district headquarters.