Kalyani is a city as well as a municipality within the Nadia district of West Bengal. Reputed as one of the most planned, progressive and green cities within the state of West Bengal, Kalyani forms the administrative headquarters of the subdivision of Kalyani. Placed along the northern most part of the Kolkata metropolitan region on the Hooghly river bank, it is an important industrial and educational centre in the state.
Kalyani: Past and Present
Kalyani: Past and Present
Kalyani was originally the location of an American military airbase during the Second World War. At that time, it was called the Roosevelt Nagar or Roosevelt Town. Even today, if the visitor casually walks around the township, he/she would chance upon some war remnant like military barracks, army hospital, air force station and tractor garages. The development of Kalyani as a planned city started during the early 1950s as a dream project of Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy, the second chief minister of post independence West Bengal. Kalyani has all the advantages and conveniences of being a planned city with wide paved roads which form rectangular grids, underground sewerage system, community parks and avenues which are lined by trees.
This beautiful town near to Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal has been the residential choice for many people who want to live in a pollution free, green environment near the metropolis. It has also been the center of industry and commerce within West Bengal with numerous industries like Kalyani Breweries (UB Group), Andrew Yule and Company, International Ferrites Limited (IFL), K.R. Steel, Tele Linc Nicoo, Indian Oil Corporation, Dabur, West Bengal Filaments and Lamps and many others created in its different blocks.
Geography and Climate of Kalyani
Geography of Kalyani
Situated in West Bengal’s Nadia district, Kalyani has been constructed along the eastern bank of the River Hooghly. It is also constituted along the upper Ganges Delta, which has earned the distinction of being among the most fertile regions of the world. Thus most of the soil of the region is alluvial in nature, which is the characteristic nature of the soil of the Indo-Gangetic plains. The city is located over a pericratonic tertiary basin i.e. the “Bengal basin”. Kalyani is placed inside the seismic zone III, according to a scale from I to V which indicates the order of increasing susceptibility to earthquakes.
Kalyani situated within Nadia district is characterized by sub-tropical climate. It has a hot and humid climatic condition. Its altitude is 9.75 m above the mean sea level. Like the rest of the region under sub-tropical zone, it has three main seasons; summer from mid-March to mid June, Monsoons from mid-June to October and the winter season from Novermber to January. The average temperature ranges from 10°C to 37°C.
Culture of Kalyani
Sculpture in Kalyani Park
Kalyani city has a rich past and thus inherits a vibrant cultural heritage from its erstwhile rural settlements and ethnic tribes, the Santhals of West Bengal who lived here. While many of the structures and embodiments of its past have receded through the process of industrialization, some architectural and religious structures are still present. The famous Radha-Krishna temple constructed in 1886 by the wealthy Mullick family is one such remnant in the landscape of Kalyani. Another important monument of religious as well as cultural interest is the reputed Darga of Manik Pir.
Drama, especially mythological plays has been the prominent pastime of Kalyani. The social significance of drama has led to the promotion of theater activities by the Kalyani Municipality which has been established as an alternative recreation for the residents of Kalyani.
Festivals celebrated in Kalyani
Shri Krishna Rai Jiu Temple in Kalyani
Durga Puja which is the chief festival of West Bengal is also celebrated in Kalyani with equal fanfare. Apart from this, there are a number of local fairs and festivals like the 400 years old Sotimar mela which is held in Ghoshpara, Kalyani every year. This fair is a fascinating occasion which showcases local ethnic entertainment in the form of Baul music and other sundry forms.
Boating in Kalyani Lake
Kalyani has its principal tourist attractions in the form of a 1.25 km, oblong shaped, Kalyani lake and the Picnic Garden which as the name suggests is an excellent location for a day long outing and group picnic.
Kalyani is situated within Nadia district which is accepted universally as a spiritual tourist destination. Nabadweep Dham in Nadia is the birthplace of one of the greatest spiritual personalities in India – Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu often held to be an avatar of Lord Krishna. In addition, Mayapur in Nadia has ISKCON headquarters in the place. Other nearby sightseeing areas are Krishnagar, Bethuadari forest, Mushidabad and Plassey (where the Battle of Plassey took place).
Shopping in Kalyani
Furniture Market in Kalyani
Kalyani is an important residential and industrial centre and has a number of local markets to fulfill the needs its population. Most of the major shops and markets like the Saptaparni Market, No 2 Market and No 3 Market are located in Block B of Kalyani township. Besides, the tourist to Kalyani can get an essence of the local culture of the region through its handicrafts like cane and bamboo crafts, clay dolls, mats, conch shells, village pottery, carpentry work and others.
Transportation in Kalyani
Transport in Kalyani
As a planned city, Kalyani has excellent connectivity by rail, road and air travel. It is located about 50 km from the Howrah and Sealdah railway stations (the major railway junctions of Kolkata). Kalyani is placed near the NH 34. While auto-rickshaws and rickshaws operate within the city, there are intra-city buses run by government and private bus operators. As it has a good road link, it can be easily accessed by bus service and private transport from different regions like Kolkata, Kanchrapara, Nimtala, Nabadwip, Moinaguri, Siliguri and others.
Apart from Kalyani Main railway junction, it has three other stations which are Kalyani Ghoshpara, Kalyani Shilpanchal and Kalyani Simanta. Kalyani Main railway junction has rail lines which connect it to Kolkata, Lalgola, Ranaghat, Krishna Nagar and South Kolkata.
Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport in Dum Dum, Kolkata is the nearest airport operating full scale international and domestic flights.
Other Facts and Figures about Kalyani
Geographical Area: 29.14 sq. km Altitude: 11m (36 ft.) Latitude: 22'57 N Longitude: 88'20 E Population: (2011): 100,620 Average Literacy: 88.75% Sex Ratio: 978 Average Temperature: 10 to 37 degree Celisus Rainfall: 1250 mm Languages: Bengali, English Religions: Hinduism, Christianity, Islam Best Time to Visit: October to March STD Code: 033