Howrah: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Did you know ...

More interesting facts on Howrah

Include this on your site/blog:


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Location of Howrah
in West Bengal and India
Coordinates 22°35′N 88°19′E / 22.59°N 88.31°E / 22.59; 88.31
Country  India
State West Bengal
District(s) Howrah district
Mayor Sri Gopal Mukherjee
Parliamentary constituency Howrah
Assembly constituency Howrah North, Howrah South, Howrah Central and Shibpur
1,007,532[1]  (2001)
19,496 /km2 (50,494 /sq mi)
Sex ratio 0.841 /
Official languages Bengali, English, Hindi, Urdu
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
51.74 km2 (20 sq mi)
12 m (39 ft)

Howrah or Haora (Bengali হাওড়া Haoṛa) is an industrial city, a municipal corporation in the Howrah district, West Bengal, India. It is the headquarters of the district, and also the headquarters of Howrah Sadar subdivision of the district. Located on the west bank of the Hoogli River, it is a twin city of Kolkata. It is West Bengal's second largest city in terms of both area and population. The two cities are connected by the Howrah Bridge (also known as Rabindra Setu), the Vidyasagar Setu (also known as the second Hooghly Bridge) and ferry services between various jetties in the two cities.

Howrah Station serves as a terminal for two railway zones of India: the Eastern Railway and the South Eastern Railway. There are six other railway stations with the city, including the railway junction at Santragachhi and the terminal at Shalimar Station—all the six are part of the South Eastern Railway network. Two national highways—NH 2 and NH 6—are connected to Vidyasagar Setu via Kona Expressway. One endpoint of the Grand Trunk Road is at the Indian Botanical Gardens here, where the Great Banyan tree stands. Bengal Engineering College, now a university, is a notable educational institution located in the city.



The name came from the word HaorBengali word for a wetland, which is typically a depression where water and mud accumulates. The word itself was rather used in eastern part of Bengal (now Bangladesh), as compared to the western part (now West Bengal).[2]

A suburb of the City of Clarence in Australia is named Howrah after the one in Bengal.


History of Howrah dates back to 500 years. Venetian explorer Ceasare de Federici, who travelled India during 1565–79, mentioned a place called Buttor in his journal circa 1578.[3] As per his description, this was the place up to which large ships could travel (in the Hoogli River) and so, it was the dock for loading and unloading goods for those ships.[3] This place is identifiable with the modern day neighbourhood Bator of Howrah.[3] Bator was also mentioned in the Bengali poetry Manasamangal written by Bipradas Pipilai in 1495.[4]

In 1713, the Bengal Council of British East India Company, on the accession of the Emperor Farrukhsiyar, grand son of Aurangzeb, to the throne of Delhi, sent a deputation to him with a petition for a settlement of five villages on west bank of Hooghly river along with thirty-three villages on the east bank.[5] The list of villages appeared in the Consultation Book of the Council dated 4 May 1714. The five villages on the west bank on Hooghly river were: 'Salica' (Salkia), 'Harirah' (Howrah), 'Cassundeah' (Kasundia), 'Ramkrishnopoor' (Ramkrishnapur), and 'Battar' (Bator): all identifiable with localities of modern day Howrah city.[6] The deputation was successful except for these five villages.[6] By 1728, most of the present day Howrah district was part of either of the two zamindaris: Burdwan or Muhammand Aminpur.[6] After Battle of Plassey, as per the treaty signed with the Nawab of Bengal Mir Qasim on 11 October 1760, Howrah district (then part of Burdwan) came under control of East India Company.[7] In 1787, the Hooghly district was formed, and till 1819, the whole of the present day Howrah district was added to it.[8] The Howrah district was separated from the Hooghly district in 1843.[9]

With the establishment of the Howrah Railway Terminus in 1854 started the most important phase of its industrial development. Flour mills were established in 1855, followed by Jute mills and around 1870s, there were five mills near Howrah station.[10] The Howrah–Shalimar Railway Section and the Shalimar Terminus were constructed in 1883.

By 1914 almost every major city in India was served by the Railways and the increased demand for its rolling stocks and repair works resulted in the establishment of railway workshop in Howrah. The light engineering industry grew up after 1914.[11] This industrial boom continued throughout the second world war and brought with it rapid urbanisation phase in unplanned manner creating slums near the industrial establishments.

Today, Howrah is famous for Howrah Station and Howrah Bridge.


Howrah is located at 22°35′N 88°19′E / 22.59°N 88.31°E / 22.59; 88.31.[12] It has an average elevation of 12 metres (39 feet).


As of 2001 India census,[13] Howrah had a population of 1,008,704. Males constitute 54% of the population and females 46%. Howrah has an average literacy rate of 77%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 81%, and female literacy is 73%. In Howrah, 9% of the population is under 6 years of age.

As of 1896 census of British India, Howrah had a population of 84,069, which grew up to 157,594 in 1901 census.[14] This rapid growth was due to abundance of job opportunities, which effected in a 100% increase in male population during this period, whereas the female population grew up only by 60%.[14]



Burn Standard Company (BSCL, established in 1781), a major company in heavy engineering industry, which is now part of Bharat Bhari Udyog Nigam Limited (BBUNL), has its oldest manufacturing unit located in Howrah.[15] In 1823, Bishop Reginald Heber described Howrah as the place "chiefly inhabited by shipbuilders".[16] The Howrah plant of Shalimar Paints (established in 1902) was the first large-scale paint manufacturing plant to be set up not only in India but in entire South East Asia.[17]

Jute industry suffered during the Partition of Bengal (1947), when the larger jute production area became part of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). The foundry industry saw a decline in demand due to growth in steel industry.

Often termed as Sheffield of the East, Howrah is known today as a engineering hub, mainly in the area of light engineering industry. There are small engineering firms all over Howrah, particularly around Belilios Road area near Howrah station.[18]

Even though it is the second largest city in the state, it did not observe appropriate infrastructure development in the last century. As a result, Howrah is continuing to face its perennial problems like traffic congestion, population explosion and pollution. The ratio of roadspace to the population is too low in this city, even comparatively smaller towns like Baharampur enjoy a better ratio. The emigrant labor force from the rest of the state's rural areas and neighboring states take refuge in the cheaper quarters in Howrah, bringing the already poor infrastructure to the brink of collapse. Many times such migrations reduce a locality to a poor-infrastructure slum. The name of the novel City of Joy, which has been often the name the Kolkata metropolis been called, is actually based on one such slum of Howrah. However, recently, work has been done on broadening the national highways and several towns roads. These activities are expected to help in improvement of traffic conditions. Of late, Howrah has seen a lot of new industrial proposals like the Kona Truck Terminus, Kolkata West International City and relocation of the old smoky foundry plants.

Politics and civic administration

Howrah elects four Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) in the West Bengal Legislative Assembly. Political leaders such as Chittabrata Majumdar, Ashok Ghosh, Swadesh Chakrabortty, Ambica Banerjee, Kanailal Bhattacharya and Priyaranjan Dasmunsi has represented assembly constituencies or the parliamentary constituency of Howrah. All the four assembly constituencies — Howrah North, Howrah Central, Howrah South and Shibpur — along with the assembly constituencies of Bally, Domjur and Sankrail form the Howrah (Lok Sabha constituency).[19]

As per order of the Delimitation Commission in respect of the delimitation of constituencies in the West Bengal, parliamentary constituency no. 25 Howrah will be composed of the same segments except that Panchla assembly constituency will be joining this parliamentary constituency in place of Domjur.[20] Also, Howrah North will be renamed as Howrah Uttar; Howrah South will be renamed as Howrah Dakshin and Howrah Central will be renamed as Howrah Madhya.[21] These three assembly segments along with Shibpur constituency will cover all the wards of Howrah Municipality, and in addition, Howrah Dakshin will contain four gram panchayats under Sankrail community development block.[21]

Howrah Municipality was established in 1862.[22] From 1896, it started supplying filter water across the city.[23] During 1882-83, Bally Municipality was formed separating it out from Howrah.[14] As per the Howrah Municipal Corporation Act of 1980, Howrah became a municipal corporation,[24] in 1984.[25] The corporation area is divided into fifty wards, each of which elects a councillor.[25] The Mayor-in-council, which is led by Mayor and supported by Commissioner and officers, is responsible for administration of the corporation area.[25]


Howrah Bridge linking Howrah and kolkata

Howrah station is a major railway station serving Howrah, Kolkata and the neighbouring districts. It was established in 1854 when railway line was constructed here, connecting it to the coalfields of the Bardhaman. This station is now part of two zones of Indian Railway: the Eastern Railway and the South Eastern Railway and it is connected to most of the major cities of India. It is also part of the Kolkata Suburban Railway and suburban trains connecting various stations of the districts of Howrah, Hooghly, Bardhaman, East Midnapore and West Midnapore. Within Howrah city, there are six other stations: Tikiapara, Dasnagar, Ramrajatala, Santragachhi, Padmapukur and Shalimar Station, all serving the South Eastern Railway.[26] The first station after Howrah terminus that serves the Eastern Railway is Liluah, which is located in the municipal area of Bally.[26] Tikiapara, Dasnagar, Ramrajatala and Padmapukur are smaller stations of suburban railway. Santragachhi is a railway junction. Shalimar Station served as a terminus for goods trains and hosted a rail yard since its inception in 1883. In recent years, it has been brought into the network of passenger train stations to reduce pressure on Howrah station. Apart from suburban trains, few long-distance trains have been introduced or moved over here (from Howrah station).

Hooghli River flows between the twin cities of Howrah and Kolkata. Howrah Bridge (Rabindra Setu), a cantilever bridge with one endpoint next to Howrah station, and Vidyasagar Setu, a cable-stayed bridge with one endpoint near Shalimar station, connect the two cities. Both the bridges are counted among the longest ones in the world within their types.[27] Also, between various jetties in Howrah and Kolkata, there are ferry services available, which was introduced in 1970's.[26] The jetties on Howrah side are at Howrah Station, Ramkrishnapur, Shibpur, Shalimar and Nazirganj.

A bus in Tikiapara

Total road length in Howrah is approximately 300 km.[28] One of the most important road is the Grand Trunk Road which starts from Indian Botanical Gardens in Howrah. This road was built by the Public Works Department of the British administration.[29] Work started on it in 1804 to add this connector to the main branch of the road near Chandannagar.[29] Operational from 1990s, the roads connecting to Vidyasagar Setu from various locations have added up to the roadspace of Howrah. The most important one is 8 km long Kona Expressway, which was built by Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA).[30] This road serves as a connector of Kolkata (via Vidyasagar Setu) to National Highway 2 (India) (NH 2) and hence is part of Golden Quadrilateral project.[31] At Nibra town of the Howrah district, Kona Expressway joins with National Highway 6 (India) (NH 6) as well.[30] Along with Diamond Harbour Road, this erstwhile State Highway forms the 133 km long National Highway 117 (India) (NH 117), connecting NH 6 to the coastal town of Bakkhali.[32] The Ministry of Shipping, Road Transport and Highways accorded National Highway status to these two roads, which formed NH-117 together. However, due to land acquisition issues, National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has declared their plan to return these two roads to state government, also pointing out to the heavy traffic on Diamond Harbour Road and to the existence of multitude of underground utilities there.[33]

Neighbourhoods and places of interest

Ramakrishna temple at Belur Math built in 1898

Shibpur is a neighbourhood in south Howrah, near Vidyasagar Setu. Through the centuries it has been synonymous with the Great Banyan tree. The Great Banyan Tree boasts of having the largest canopy in the world. It continues to grow and covers many city blocks and looks like a forest all by itself. The British established the Indian Botanical Gardens in 1786 between the Great Banyan Tree and the Hoogly River. Here there is one end of the Grand Trunk Road.

Located in Shibpur, The Bengal Engineering College is the second oldest engineering college in India.

The international headquarters of Ramakrishna Mission are located at Belur Math in Belur in the Bally District and is one of the chief tourist attractions of West Bengal.

There is a famous Rama Temple in Ramrajatala area, where Rama is worshiped for 4 months, starting from Rama Navami to the last Sunday of the month of Shravana. A big fare is held every year on the last day of worship.

Located near Santragachi Railway Station, the Santragachhi Jheel is a large lake that attracts migratory birds during winter. Lesser Whistling Duck is the most dominant species visible here.[34] Forest Ministry of the State Government of West Bengal intends to convert the lake to a 'wildlife conservation centre'.[35]


  1. ^ West Bengal — City population
  2. ^ O'Malley & Chakravarti 1909, p. 169
  3. ^ a b c Donald Frederick Lach, p.473
  4. ^ O'Malley & Chakravarti 1909, p. 19
  5. ^ O'Malley & Chakravarti 1909, p. 22
  6. ^ a b c O'Malley & Chakravarti 1909, p. 23
  7. ^ O'Malley & Chakravarti 1909, p. 25
  8. ^ O'Malley & Chakravarti 1909, p. 26
  9. ^ O'Malley & Chakravarti 1909, p. 27
  10. ^ Samita Sen, p.23
  11. ^ Mark Holmström, p.58
  12. ^ Falling Rain Genomics, Inc - Haora
  13. ^ "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. Retrieved 2008-11-01.  
  14. ^ a b c O'Malley & Chakravarti 1909, p. 31
  15. ^ "Group Companies: Burn Standard Co. Ltd.". Bharat Bhari Udyog Nigam Limited. Retrieved 2008-12-29.  
  16. ^ O'Malley & Chakravarti 1909, p. 165
  17. ^ "Shalimar Paints:About us - Manufacturing Facilities". Retrieved 2008-12-29.  
  18. ^ Mark Holmström, p.137
  19. ^ "Assembly Constituencies - Corresponding Districts and Parliamentary Constituencies" (PDF). West Bengal. Election Commission of India. Retrieved 2008-10-02.  
  20. ^ "Press Note, Delimitation Commission" (PDF). Assembly Constituencies in West Bengal. Delimitation Commission. pp. 22. Retrieved 2009-01-01.  
  21. ^ a b "Press Note, Delimitation Commission" (PDF). Assembly Constituencies in West Bengal. Delimitation Commission. pp. 13. Retrieved 2009-01-01.  
  22. ^ "Howrah Municipal Corporation". Official website of Department of Municipal Affairs, Government of West Bengal. Retrieved 2008-12-29.  
  23. ^ O'Malley & Chakravarti 1909, p. 28
  24. ^ "Other Municipal Corporation Acts". Official website of Department of Municipal Affairs, Government of West Bengal. Retrieved 2008-12-29.  
  25. ^ a b c "About us page". Howrah Municipal Corporation. Retrieved 2008-12-29.  
  26. ^ a b c "East-West Kolkata Metro Corridor: EIA and SIA (Chapter 2)" (PDF). Government of West Bengal. Retrieved 2009-03-21.  
  27. ^ Durkee, Jackson (1999-05-24), National Steel Bridge Alliance: World's Longest Bridge Spans, American Institute of Steel Construction, Inc,, retrieved 2009-01-04  
  28. ^ "Engineering Department". Official website of the Howrah Municipality. Retrieved 2008-12-31.  
  29. ^ a b O'Malley & Chakravarti 1909, p. 119
  30. ^ a b "Howrah: Industrial Infrastructure" (PDF). Official website of Howrah district. p. 4. Retrieved 2008-12-31.  
  31. ^ "Business Portal of India: Investment Opportunities and Incentives : State Level Investment : West Bengal : Infrastructure". Business Knowledge Resource Online. Retrieved 2008-12-31.  
  32. ^ "National Highways and their lengths". Department of Road Transport and Highways. Retrieved 2008-12-31.  
  33. ^ Krishnendu Bandyopadhyay, TNN (2008-10-16). "Kona Expressway to lose NH tag". The Times of India. Retrieved 2008-12-31.  
  34. ^ Suchetana Haldar (2006-12-15). "Birds of many feathers flock to Santragachi". Indian Express. Retrieved 2009-01-06.  
  35. ^ "Protected Area Update: News and Information from protected areas in India and South Asia" (DOC). Wildlife Institute of India. February 2005. Retrieved 2009-01-06.  


External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Howrah is a city in Southeast Bengal in India, just to the west of Kolkata.

Get in

Howrah Railway Station is one of the largest stations in the country. The headquarters of Eastern Railways, it is well-connected to other parts of India. The Rajdhani Express connects to Delhi.

Get around

Howrah has an extensive but badly-maintained transport system.

There is an extensive mini-bus network, and the destinations are generally written in both Bengali and English. There are no marked bus stops, you can flag the bus anywhere on its route. However, the brightly painted buses are extremely uncomfortable, noisy and crowded. The ticket is bought from an on-board conductor who hangs out of the doorway, yelling out the names of the streets which the bus will pass. When you want to get off, tell the driver a few blocks in advance and he'll stop the bus for you.

There are the usual Calcutta-type shuttle autos. The routes and fares are fixed, with 5 people per auto, and you have to wait for your co-passengers to turn up. When the three-wheeled contraption is full, it's off. Prepare for a bumpy ride since the suspensions are terrible! Fun, but not highly recommended if you want to get from A to B as fast as you can.

The suburban railway is extensive, but the trains are not always maintained. First class is supposed to have fans, but most of them do not work. Not recommended.

Addition: " The best way to get anywhere in Howrah is also the local suburban railway. Dont expect luxury or comfort, but timeliness is something you can rely on. Secondly, always try to take the "howrah-belur math" local train that leaves from howrah and stops at belur math without any intermediate stops. It leaves from the station exactly facing the Belur math. But you should check on the time tables. By traveling this way you might catch a glimpse of the oldest operating Railway workshop in India built in 1853".

Ferry service to cross the river Hoogly is very good. There are a number of Banks (on the other side) and the ferries go to such as Armenian, Fairlie, Chandpal, Babughat, Princep. The fare per head is Rs 4, buy the ticket before you board the ferry and retain the ticket till after you have crossed to the other side and have shown it to the ticket checker near the Exit gate, or else you will be fined! If you want to have your foreign currency exchanged, take a ferry to Babughat Ghat (on the other side) and you will find the STATE BANK OF INDIA (Regional Head Quaters), which is across the road. From there if you want to go walking to Esplanade (Dharamtalla) it takes 15 minutes. On your way you will pass by High Court of Calcutta, Eden Gardens (Cricket Stadium), St.Johns Cathedral, Governor's House. Not very far from St.Johns Cathedral is the BBD BAG or Dalhousie Square where you will find the West Bengal Tourism Centre. Fairlie (Ghat) - if you want to buy a train ticket the train reservation counter is at Fairlie Centre and another building next to it called Old Koilaghat Bldg., there are dedicated counters for only foreigners.


Belur Math - is situated in northern part of Howrah and is approximately 4 km from Howrah railway station. You can travel there by bus, auto or taxi. It takes 20-25 mins to get there and around 40 mins to return, because this route is longer and becomes more congested. All modes of transportation are easily accessible from adjacent to the Howrah railway station area/Howrah bus stand. Local trains also go th Belur Math, but going by auto, bus or taxi is much better as they drop you off at the entrance of Belur Math. A visit to the temple is free and so is parking. It's a worthwhile visit. Situated next to the Ganges one can sit on the banks of the river Hoogly during evening time and relax. Across the river Hoogly is the Dakhineshwar Temple.

One can go to Dakhineshwar Temple from Belur Math, which is around 3.5 km. There is also ferry service from Belur Math to Dakhineshwar. This ride is recommended. The fares are cheap around Rs 4.

Botanical Garden - is situated in the southern part of Howrah and is approximately 3 km from the Howrah railway station. You can travel there by bus or taxi. It takes 20 mins to get there and around 30 mins to return. All modes of transportation are accessible from adjacent to the Howrah railway station area/Howrah bus stand. Parking is Rs 7/hour.


Local foods you must try are egg, chicken and mutton roll. They are known for their egg chicken roll, which is available anywhere for Rs 20. You will not find these foods anywhere else in the world. Mutton Biriyani is also worth a try, in Nijams or Arsalan.

  • The Howrah Hotel, 1, Mukhram Kanoria Road (Adjacent to the Howrah Railway Station), :+91 3326413878/26412149/28490240/55538251 (), [1]. checkin: 24 Hours. A heritage property, with a lot of character and one of the oldest hotels of Kolkata. Renowned for homey atmosphere and offers very neat and clean, airy rooms - one of the safest hotels in the locality, with cordial staff. Attached baths and cable TV. Five minutes walking distance from the railway station and bus stand. 5,000 sq ft garden. Rs 150-250+.  edit
  • Kolkata is just over the river, and probably the reason you're here in the first place.
This article is an outline and needs more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. Please plunge forward and help it grow!

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

HOWRAH, a city and district of British India, in the Burdwan division of Bengal. The city is situated opposite Calcutta, with which it is connected by a floating bridge. The municipal area is about II sq. m.; pop. (1901) 157,594, showing an increase of 35% in the decade. Since 1872 the population has almost doubled, owing to the great industrial development that has taken place. Howrah is the terminus of the East Indian railway, and also of the Bengal-Nagpur and East Coast lines. It is also the centre of two light railways which run to Amta and Sheakhala. Further, it is the headquarters of the jute-manufacturing industry, with many steam mills, steam presses, also ..

cotton mills, oil mills, rope-works, iron-works and engineering works. Sibpur Engineering College lies on the outskirts of the town. There is a hospital, with a department for Europeans, and Howrah forms a suburban residence for many people who have their place of business in Calcutta.

The District Of Howrah extends southwards down the right bank of the Hugh to the confluence of the river Damodar. For revenue purposes it is included within the district of Hugh. Its area is 510 sq. m.; pop. (1901) 850,514, showing an increase of i 1% in the decade. In addition to the two steam tramways and the East Indian railway, the district is crossed by the highlevel canal to Midnapore, which communicates with the Hugli at Ulubaria. The manufacturing industries of Howrah extend beyond the city into the district. One or two systems of draining low-lying lands are maintained by the government.

<< Howler

John Saul Howson >>


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address