Siliguri At A Glance

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The city of Siliguri is located in West Bengal in India. It is situated in the place known as Siliguri Corridor otherwise named as the Chicken’s Neck, which is the name given to a thin strip of connection between india’s other states to the states in the North Eastern region. In the whole of Northeast of india, this is the biggest city. Also, the city serves as the point of transit to go into the nearby countries such as Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal. Due to this reason, Siliguri is considered as an important centre for trade in the state of West Bengal, where about 15,000 foreign tourists and 200,000 indian tourists arrive in a single year. For the North Eastern Zone, this serves as the commercial centre. The extent of Siliguri goes from the Panitanki in the west to Sevoke in the North east, and the Rohini Gardens is present in the north while Rajganj is present in the South. Area of the city is about 272 km sq. Natural beauty is what has made the city well known, but this is decreasing day by day as urbanization is increasing. From the zero point centre at Mahabirsthan, there has been an extension of about 30 kms. SJDA (Siliguri Jalpaiguri Development Authority) carries out plans for the development of Siliguri so as to transform it into Bengaluru of North East. To this effect, a number of BPO companies are getting established in Siliguri and a technology park for software companies is coming up, to be supposedly finished by 2012 december.


Siliguri is located in the Himalayan foothill plains and is the largest of the cities in North Bengal as well as in all of North East. This is a point of connection of the hill stations in the North East such as Mirik, Kalimpong, Kurseong, Darjeeling and gangtok, to other areas of the country. The city is divided geographically into two by the river Mahananda. There are three distinct seasons in Siliguri, comprising of monsoon, winter and summer. Nowadays, it is difficult to find thick fog in the winters, which was although regular about a decade back. Summer temperatures can rise up to 35 deg C while the temperatures can go down to about 0-2 deg C during the winters which are cool and chilly. Monsoon season from June to September has plenty of rains coming down on the city, sometimes to the extent of hindering the reach to the hill stations and to the rest of the North east. Fauna and flora are abundant in the city. There is also a number of fault lines in the city due to which there can be many earthquakes. The most threatening earthquake occurred in 1998 on 7th July, which gave a reading of 9.7 on Ritcher scale. The climate in the region fits the cultivation of tea due to which plenty of tea gardens can be found here. The winters are getting short with every passing year because of the urban growth, with extension occurring towards the hills, thereby destroying the vegetation and so winter season is getting less cold and summer heat is increasing. The thick fog which was seen in winters has nowadays appeared if it goes below 15 deg C. Some areas are there inside the city which still are colder than other areas. City reach has gone into neighbouring cities such as Jalpaiguri 40 kms away, Kurseong 40 ims away, Islampur at a distance of 69 kms and kisanganj in bihar at a distance of about 128 kms. In the next 10- 15 years, Siliguri might become like Kolkata and then climatic conditions will change tremendously while the tea plantations will be not more.


Being a city of the modern era, there are not histories related to this city in particular. It is believed that the city of Siliguri originated from a small village called Shaktigarh, which is presently a small part in the southern part. During the rule of East India company, this area was chosen as the one to have the railway division for the east India Company, after which the importance of this area grew. Dense forest covered the area where the city is presently located and it came under the forest range of Dolka, where plenty of wild animals like tigers, elephants, leopards were living. In the year 1878, the town of siliguri came into being and remains small till 1947. After the partition of the country, a huge inflow of people from neighbouring Bangladesh took place and since then, the population has continuously grown, majority of which were migrants from nearby states. The population census showed a population figure of 6 lakhs in 2001 and in 2011 it was 18 lakhs which is a figure that has outgrown all expectations, making Siliguri one of the largest cities of India at 32nd place.


Festivals of importance celebrated in Silibguri are Chhath Puja, Durga Puja, Laxmi Puja, Ganesh Puja, Dipawali, Saraswati Puja, etc. One of the earliest celebrations in Siliguri is that of the Baisakhi Mela. Winters are a time for the celebrations of fashion week for the purpose of entertainment. Concerts by local clubs are organised during the time from mid October to mid December.


Plenty of fairs are held in Siliguri of which the famous ones are Hosto Shilpo mela, Boisakhi Mela, Lexpo Fair, Book fair, etc and many of these are organized in the Kanchanjangha stadium.