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Howrah: see Haora, India.

Howrah or Haora (Bengali হাওড়া Haoṛa) is an industrial city in West Bengal, India. It is also the name of the Howrah administrative district which includes the city and its surroundings. It is on the west bank of the Hoogli River, and is Kolkata's twin city. It is West Bengal's second largest city. The two cities are linked by the famous Howrah Bridge (Rabindra Setu), as well as the Vidyasagar Setu (the second Howrah Bridge) and the Vivekananda Setu bridges. The city also contains Howrah Station, one of the major train stations serving Kolkata as well as Howrah.


Howrah is located at . It has an average elevation of 12 metres (39 feet).


As of 2001 India census, 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.

History of Howrah

The name came from the word "haor" -- meaning in Bengali, a place for exit of water and mud. History of Howrah dates back to 500 years. Venetian explorer Ceasare Federici was the first European who mentioned a place called Bator in his journal in 1578. This place is identifiable with the modern day place of the same name around the Howrah City.

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 praying for a settlement of the villages 'Salica'(Salkia), 'Harirah'(Howrah), 'Cassundeah'(Kasundia), 'Ramkrishnopoor' (Ramkrishnapur), and 'Battar'(Bator) to the west of Bhagirathi. As soon as the settlement was made in favor of the Company, the places were quickly adopted as exit and entry point of seafaring business, and the modernisation of Howrah city began. The entire area eventually was named as Howrah, the biggest among those five villages. The name 'Howrah' first appeared in records of the East India Company in 1714.

With the establishment of the Howrah Railway Terminus in 1854 started the most important phase of its industrial development. 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. 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.

Neighbourhoods & Places of Interest

Shibpur, literally "Lord Shiva's City", is an area in South Howrah, near Vidyasagar Setu. Through the centuries it has been synonymous with the Great Banyan tree. Here is one end of the Grand Trunk Road, which was founded during Sher Shah's time. 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.

The Bengal Engineering College is also located in Shibpur; the second oldest engineering college in India.

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

Buxarah lake, which is located near Santragachi Railway Station, is a large lake that attracts migratory birds during winter.


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.


  • Academic
    • Universities
    • Colleges
      • Shibpur Dinobandhu College
      • Narasinha Dutt College
      • Bijoy Krishna Girls' College (Howrah Girls' College)
      • Belur Lalbaba College
    • Schools
      • St. Aloysius Orphanage & Day School
      • Howrah Zilla School
      • Sri Ramkrishna Sikhshalaya
      • Tarasundari Balika Vidyabhaban
      • B. K. Paul's Institutions
      • Shree Jain Vidyalaya
      • The Vivekananda Institution
      • Bantra M.S.P.C High School
      • Bengal Engineering College Model School
      • Shibpur Srimat Swami Progyanananda Saraswati Vidyalaya
      • Shibpur Hindu Girls' High Schools
      • Prasannakumari Balika Bidyalaya
      • Shibpur Bhabani Girls' High School
      • Shibpur Dino Bundhoo Institution (Branch)
      • Ramkrishna Daridra Bhandar
      • Akshaya Shikshayatan
  • Art Training Schools
    • Nikkan Madhuri
    • Srijanee
  • Public Libraries
    • Howrah Jila Granthagar (Howrah District Library)
    • Bantra public Library (Kadamtala)
    • Shibpur Public Library
    • Saraswat Library
    • Tarun Sadhana Samiti
  • Clubs/Societies


Howrah consists of four assembly constituencies: Howrah North, Howrah Central, Howrah South and Shibpur. All four are part of Howrah (Lok Sabha constituency).


See also

External links

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