Behala

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Behala
Neighbourhood in Kolkata (Calcutta)
Behala downtown, from ODRC Govt Housing.
Behala downtown, from ODRC Govt Housing.
Behala is located in Kolkata
Behala
Behala
Location in Kolkata
Coordinates: 22°29′53″N 88°18′39″E / 22.4981°N 88.3108°E / 22.4981; 88.3108Coordinates: 22°29′53″N 88°18′39″E / 22.4981°N 88.3108°E / 22.4981; 88.3108
Country India
StateWest Bengal
CityKolkata
DistrictSouth 24 Parganas[1][2][3]
Metro StationBehala Sakherbazar(under construction), Behala Chowrasta(under construction) and Behala Bazar(under construction)
Municipal CorporationKolkata Municipal Corporation
KMC wards118, 119, 120, 121, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131 and 132
Elevation
36 ft (11 m)
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
PIN codes
700034(Behala), 700060(Parnasree Pally), 700061(Sarsuna), 700008(Barisha), 700063(Thakurpukur), 700038(Sahapur), 700082(Haridevpur_partially)
Area code(s)+91 33
Lok Sabha constituencyKolkata Dakshin
Vidhan Sabha constituencyBehala Paschim and Behala Purba

Behala, is a locality of South West Kolkata in the Indian state of West Bengal. Behala is a part of Kolkata Municipal Corporation area.[4] Now it is broadly spread across Ward Nos. 118, 119, 120, 121, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131 and 132 of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation and is divided into two Vidhan Sabha constituencies: Behala Paschim and Behala Purba.[5] Behala, Parnasree, Thakurpukur, Haridevpur and Sarsuna police stations serve this area under the South West Division of Kolkata Police also known as Behala Division (The division comprises Behala, Sarsuna, Haridevpur, Thakurpukur, Parnasree and Taratola).[6]

Behala is one of the oldest residential areas of the city. The Sabarna Roy Choudhury's, one of the oldest zamindar families of western Bengal and the trustee of Kalighat Kali Temple lives here.[7] It is also home to Sourav Ganguly,[8] former Indian national cricket captain and Sovan Chatterjee,[9] the former Mayor of Kolkata.

Behala is also an important industrial area of the city. There are many factories and industries which include the manufacturing units like chemicals, plastic and plastic recycling, spray painting, metal plating and galvanizing. There are many schools, hospitals, banks and other important institutes in the region.[10]

The Durga Puja celebration of Sabarna Roy Choudhury family at Barisha was launched in 1610 by Laksmikanta Majumdar, making it the second oldest family Durga Puja in western Bengal.[11] Today Durga Puja at Behala is marked by exotic theme-based sarbojanin pujas. Barisha Chandi Mela, a 10-day fair held every year in November–December since 1792, is a popular festival.

Etymology[edit]

Behula's (top, left) journey, as depicted in the folk art of West Bengal. The word Behala is commonly believed to have its root in Behula's name.

The word Behala is commonly believed to have its root in Behula, the name of the female protagonist of Manasamangalkavya.[12] Alternatively, the name may have been derived from the Bengali term Bahulapur ("land of many rivers" or "dark city").[12] "Bahula" is also an epithet of the goddesses Chandi and Kali.[12] Rev. James Long, who used to live in this parts, described Behala as Byala in one of his early writings.[12] It is also known that Behala comprised many small villages before the whole place was urbanised and each village here had a suffix -behala with its name i.e. Bazarbehala, Tamtelbehala, Bnorshebehala (Barisha), Sorshunnobehala (Sarsuna) etc.[12] Names like Rajarbaganbehala, Sahapurbehala, Naskarpurbehala and Santoshbatibehala are also found in the old proceedings of South Suburban Municipality.[12]

History[edit]

In early days Behala is a part of Sundarban. The history of Barisha dated back to the Pala Era. In the 12th century, Barisha was a small village of farmers, fishermen and honey-gathers when a Kulin Kayastha named Dhananjay Mitra settled here. During the reign of Akbar Barisha came under the lordship of Basanta Roy who set up his capital at modern-day Sarsuna. Roy’s nephew and the king of Jessore Pratapaditya murdered him and incorporated Barisha with his kingdom. After the Mughals defeated Pratapaditya, Laksmikanta Majumdar of the Sabarna Roy Choudhury family was given jagirdari of a vast tract of land by Raja Man Singh in 1608. The three villages of Sutanuti, Govindapur and Kalikata were basically parts of a khasmahal (an estate) belonging to the Mughal emperor himself, whose jagirdari rights were held by the Sabarna Roy Choudhury family.

On 10 November 1698, to the dissatisfaction of the entire Sabarna Roy Choudhury family, the British East India Company signed the rights of the villages- Kalikata, Gobindapur and Sutanuti (which later merged to form the city of Calcutta).

Sabarna Atchala

Settlement in the area dates back to the 1797, but its urbanization is relatively recent. Population growth started in Behala after the partition of India.

'Aath-chala'-the ancestral home of Sabarna Roy Choudhury's zamindari could be regarded as the most ancient historical structure (though mostly ruined) in the entire city of Kolkata. It is the structure, sitting under which under a lease from the Sabarna Roy Choudhury family on 10 November 1698.

Modern day[edit]

Behala encompasses one of the largest suburban agglomerations of the city of Kolkata. It consists of many small localities like Sahapur, New Alipore (partially), Parnasree Pally, Behala Bazaar, Manton, Behala Chowrasta (Barisha), Muchipara, Sakherbazaar, Silpara, Bakultala, Shakuntala Park, Kadamtala, Thakurpukur, Haridevpur, Sarsuna and Joka. Huge growth of population especially since the early eighties resulted in the area being on the radar of both the daily wage earners, common populace and educated classes. Due to this enormous and unplanned growth, the traffic is by and large dependent on the arterial Diamond Harbour Road, in spite of the availability of the parallel James Long Sarani (Commonly known as Rail Line since the old and now defunct Kalighat Falta Railway ran here) as an option. During the construction the Taratala flyover, a large portion of traffic flowed through James Long Sarani to avoid construction activity, causing development of other areas of Behala.[13]

Encroachments by street-hawkers of the sidewalks on both sides of the busy Diamond Harbour Road is a major problem. Areas like Behala Bazar, Behala Chowrasta and Behala Sakherbazaar have been added to the 'Calcutta Green Zone' and traffic moves at a snail's pace during the peak office hours. Previously there were tram lines along the middle of Diamond Harbour Road from Joka to Mominpur and often people used the trams to go to Esplanade. The service on this stretch has been withdrawn now. Mominpur to Behala Bazaar service was closed in 2006 due to the Taratala flyover.[14] Behala Bazaar to Joka service was also closed in 2011 due to the elevated metro railway construction on the Diamond Harbour road, which will run from Joka to Esplanade (Kolkata Metro Line 3).[15]

SL Dhanuka Girls' hostel that has come up at Behala on Diamond Harbour Road, inaugurated on 24 March 2017 by the Chief minister of Bengal Mamata Banerjee.[16]

Geography[edit]

Police district[edit]

Behala police station is part of the South West division of Kolkata Police.[17]

Behala Women police station, located at the same address as above, covers all police districts under the jurisdiction of the South West division i.e. Sarsuna, Taratala, Behala, Parnasree, Thakurpukur and Haridevpur.[17]

Transport[edit]

Various buses are available to move around Behala to Kolkata. The recent collapse of the Majerhat Bridge which was one of the major roads connecting Behala to the rest of Calcutta has led to massive traffic snarls in the area.[18]

Tram[edit]

Trams used to be popular vehicles for commuting to and from several parts of Behala, but of late the trend has seen a reversal for their slow speed. After the construction of Taratala flyover, the only truncated tram service from Behala Bazaar to Joka became deplorable and finally closed as a result of the Esplanade-Joka Metro Project.[15]

Railway[edit]

Behala is served by the Brace Bridge railway station on the Sealdah South section of Kolkata Suburban Railway.

Behala was also served by Gholesapur and Sakherbazar railway station of Kalighat Falta Railway (KFR), which has been closed in 1957.[19]

Airport[edit]

Behala Airport more commonly referred as Behala Flying Training Institute (BFTI) or Behala Flying Club (BFC) is the second of the two airports in the Kolkata Metropolitan Area and other being the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport. There are plans to upgrade the airport. Recently a helicopter service has been started to connect Kolkata with Durgapur by air.[20]

Metro Railway[edit]

Former President Ms. Pratibha Patil laid the foundation stone of Joka to Esplanade Metro Rail Project (Kolkata Metro Line 3) in presence of Central Finance Minister and Governor of West Bengal in September, 2010.[21]

Festivals[edit]

A traditional idol of Durga at Barisha Sarbojanin Durgotsab, 2010.

Durga Puja, as in the rest of West Bengal, is the most popular festival in Behala. The family Durga Puja celebration of the Sabarna Roy Choudhurys, launched in 1610 by Laksmikanta Majumdar, is the oldest recorded Durga Puja observation in Behala as well as the second oldest in western Bengal. Today, six Durga Pujas are being held in the Barisha branch of the family: Aatchala, Baro Bari, Mejo Bari, Benaki Bari, Kalikingkar Bhawan and Majher Bari. Durga Puja at the house of Roy Bahadur near 14 No. Bus Stand is also quite old. Durga Puja is also observed by many other old families of this area as well as by numerous local clubs. Jora Mandir Haldar Barir Durga Puja is 327 years old and is one of the oldest Durga Pujas of Kolkata. The puja is conducted by the descendants of Lakkhi Narayan Haldar inside there premises.

Kali Puja is also observed with great reverence in Behala. A 15-day fair is held at Parnasree Pally by Sarkari Abasan (Behala College ground), Parnasree Club and Surja Sangha during Kali Puja. Shankar Paik’s Kali Puja at Pathakpara attracts many people not only for the colourful soirees but also for the Sada Kali (white Kali) idol along with traditional puja of Behala Bijoyee Sangha at Manton. Yuva Gosthi at Roybahadur Road arranges an Annakut festival during Kali Puja. Behala Siddeshwari Kali Temple and Halder's Kali Temple at Behala Bazar attracts many people during the occasion. Among the family Kali Puja celebrations, the houses of Bhabani Bala Dasi and Shib Dulal Basu are well known.

Jagatdhatri Puja is also celebrated in this locality.[22]

Culture[edit]

Bengali Wikipedia Stall at Greater Behala Book Fair (Brihattara Behala Boimela) 2015
The 13th Behala Book Fair

The area of Behala hosts art fairs on a regular basis. The most prominent auditorium of the region is Sarat Sadan, which is a part of the Manton Shopping Complex. The movie theaters in Behala are distributed along the length of the Diamond Harbor Road and the most notable ones are Ajanta (near Pathakpara), Ashoka (near Manton), Elora (near Tram depot) and Pushpasree (near Sakherbazar).

People from Behala[edit]

Business[edit]

The Diamond Harbour Road is dotted on both sides with shops and eateries. Clothes, jewellery, electronic items, sports goods, books and footwear can be found in a multitude of stores all along the stretch from Taratala to Manton. Recent additions to the shopping scene include shopping malls and factory outlets.

Apart from the standard stores, the pavements of Behala are crowded with hawkers selling everything from toothpicks to bedsheets.[23]

Education[edit]

The IIM Calcutta auditorium

Schools in Behala are affiliated to the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education, the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) and the Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE). Major schools in this region are K. E. Carmel School, Behala, K. E. Carmel School, Sursuna, Meghmala Roy Education Center, Vivekananda Mission School, Joka, M.P Birla Foundation Higher Secondary School & National Gems Higher Secondary School, Orient Day School, G. B. Memorial Institution, Barisha High School, Barisha girls high school, Behala Blind School, D.A.V Institutions (formerly D.A.V Public School), GEMS Akademia International School, Delhi Public School (Joka ) South Kolkata, Behala Arya Vidyamandir, Vivekananda Palli Kishore Bharati High School, Vidya Bharati, Bidya Bhaban, Orient Day School, Bratachari Vidyasram, Behala High School, Behala Girls High School, Behala Shyamasundari Vidyapith etc. Behala College, Sarsuna College, Thakurpukur Vivekananda College and Vivekananda Women’s College, affiliated with the University of Calcutta are three major colleges in the area. The Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, Joka is also very close to Behala. ESIC Medical College in Joka is also a part of Behala.

Places of interest[edit]

Sonar Durga– A Durga idol made of gold[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "South 24 Parganas district".
  2. ^ "web.archieve.org" (PDF).
  3. ^ "KMC Wards in South 24 Parganas".
  4. ^ Kolkata Municipal Corporation (2011). "About Kolkata". KMC. Retrieved 1 September 2011.
  5. ^ "Delimitation Commission Order No. 18 dated 15 February 2006" (PDF). Government of West Bengal. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 September 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-25.
  6. ^ The Telegraph (2011). "Midnight change of guard- 17 more police stations come under Lalbazar". The Telegraph. Retrieved 1 September 2011.
  7. ^ Nair, P.Thankappan, The Growth and Development of Old Calcutta, in Calcutta, the Living City, Vol I, p. 11, edited by Sukanta Chaudhuri, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-563696-1
  8. ^ Press Trust Of India (7 October 2008). "Ganguly: Bengal's greatest cricketer". Archived from the original on 18 November 2010. Retrieved 31 August 2011.
  9. ^ National Election Watch (2011). "Sovan Chatterjee". Retrieved 31 August 2011.
  10. ^ Clickindia (2011). "Behala". Retrieved 31 August 2011.
  11. ^ Banerjee, Sudeshna (2006) [2004]. Durga Puja: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow (2nd ed.). New Delhi: Rupa & Co. p. 32. ISBN 81-291-0547-0.
  12. ^ a b c d e f Banerjee, Sudhindranath (1398 (Bengali Year)). "Janapad Rupe Name" [Name and Characteristics of the Township]. Behala Janapader Itihas [History of Behala Township] (in Bengali). Kolkata: Progressive Writers' Guild. pp. 45–49. Check date values in: |year= (help)
  13. ^ "DH Road: one flank blocked, chaos in other". www.telegraphindia.com. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  14. ^ "Behala-Joka tram route may shut down - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  15. ^ a b "Joka-Behala tram is now history - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  16. ^ Millennium Post. "CM to inaugurate SL Dhanuka Girls' hostel". www.millenniumpost.in. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  17. ^ a b "Kolkata Police". South West Division. KP. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  18. ^ "Kolkata's Majerhat bridge collapse: Traffic snarls continue in city". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  19. ^ "AK16 Steam Locomotive". Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 7 March 2017.
  20. ^ Reporter, B. S. (4 September 2011). "AAI set to renovate Behala airport for civil operations". Business Standard India. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  21. ^ "Left leaders stay away from President’s function". The Hindu. PTI. 22 September 2010. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 11 February 2019.CS1 maint: others (link)
  22. ^ Millennium Post. "Famous theme-based Pujas of city to get displayed on Jagadhatri Puja at Chandannagore". www.millenniumpost.in. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  23. ^ "Four things first for mayor". www.telegraphindia.com. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  24. ^ "Clipping of The Statesman - Kolkata - The Statesman". epaper.thestatesman.com. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  25. ^ "Untitled Document". cnicalcutta.org. Retrieved 14 February 2019.

External links[edit]

Kolkata/Southern fringes travel guide from Wikivoyage