Paschim Banga is a state in the eastern region of India and is the nation's fourth-most populous. It is also the seventh-most populous sub-national entity in the world, with over 91 million inhabitants Covering a total area of 34,267 sq mi (88,750 km2), it is bordered by the countries of Nepal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh, and the Indian states of Orissa, Jharkhand, Bihar, Sikkim, and Assam. The state capital is Kolkata (formerly Calcutta). West Bengal encompasses two broad natural regions: the Gangetic Plain in the south and the sub-Himalayan and Himalayan area in the north.

Transport:

As of 2011, the total length of surface road in West Bengal is over 92,023 km (57,180 mi) Kolkata is the headquarters of two divisions of the Indian Railways—Eastern Railway and South Eastern Railway. The Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) plies in the northern parts of the state. The Kolkata metro is the country's first underground railway. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, part of NFR, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The state's only international airport is Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport at Dum Dum, Kolkata. Bagdogra airport near Siliguri is another significant airport in the state. Kolkata is a major river-port in eastern India. The Kolkata Port Trust manages both the Kolkata docks and the Haldia docks. There is passenger service to Port Blair on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and cargo ship service to ports in India and abroad, operated by the Shipping Corporation of India. Ferry is a principal mode of transport in the southern part of the state, especially in the Sundarbans area. Kolkata is the only city in India to have trams as a mode of transport and these are operated by the Calcutta Tramways Company. Several government-owned organisations operate substandard bus services in the state, including the Calcutta State Transport Corporation, the North Bengal State Transport Corporation, the South Bengal State Transport Corporation, the West Bengal Surface Transport Corporation, and the Calcutta Tramways Company, thus leading to mismanagement. There are also private bus companies.

The railway system is a nationalised service without any private investment. Hired forms of transport include metered taxis and auto rickshaws which often ply specific routes in cities. In most of the state, cycle rickshaws, and in Kolkata, hand-pulled rickshaws, are also used for short-distance travel. Large-scale transport accidents in West Bengal are common, particularly the sinking of transport boats and train crashes.

Fine arts
Bengal had been the harbinger of modernism in fine arts. Abanindranath Tagore, called the father of Modern Indian Art had started the Bengal School of Art which was to create styles of art outside the European realist tradition which was taught in art colleges under the colonial administration of the British Government. The movement had many adherents like Gaganendranath Tagore, Ramkinkar Baij, Jamini Roy and Rabindranath Tagore. After Indian Independence, important groups like the Calcutta Group and the Society of Contemporary Artists were formed in Bengal which dominated the art scene in India.

Demographics
According to the provisional results of 2011 national census, West Bengal is the fourth most populous state in India with a population of 91,347,736 (7.55% of India's population). Majority of the population comprises Bengalis.[83] The Marwaris, Bihari and Oriya minority are scattered throughout the state; communities of Sherpas and ethnic Tibetans can be found in Darjeeling Himalayan hill region. Darjeeling district has a large number of Gurkha people of Nepalese origin. West Bengal is home to indigenous tribal Adivasis such as Santals, Kol, Koch-Rajbongshi and Toto tribe. There are a small number of ethnic minorities primarily in the state capital, including Chinese, Tamils, Gujaratis, Anglo-Indians, Armenians, Punjabis, and Parsis.[84] India's sole Chinatown is in eastern Kolkata.

Costumes
Bengali women commonly wear the shari , often distinctly designed according to local cultural customs. In urban areas, many women and men wear Western attire. Among men, western dressing has greater acceptance. Men also wear traditional costumes such as the panjabi with dhuti, often on cultural occasions.

Festivals
Durga Puja in October is the most popular festival in the West Bengal.[104] Poila Baishakh (the Bengali New Year), Rathayatra, Dolyatra or Basanta-Utsab, Nobanno, Poush Parbon (festival of Poush), Kali Puja, SaraswatiPuja, LaxmiPuja, Christmas, Eid ul-Fitr, Eid ul-Adha and Muharram are other major festivals. Buddha Purnima, which marks the birth of Gautama Buddha, is one of the most important Hindu/Buddhist festivals while Christmas, called Bôrodin (Great day) in Bengali is celebrated by the minority Christian population. Poush mela is a popular festival of Shantiniketan, taking place in winter. West Bengal has been home to several famous religious teachers, including Sri Chaitanya, Sri Ramakrishna, Swami Vivekananda, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and Paramahansa Yogananda. The swami is credited with introducing Hinduism to western society and became a religious symbol of the nation in the eyes of the intellectuals of the west.

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