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Durgapur

City : Durgapur
Location : Eastern India
Language : Bengali, Hindi


Know About Durgapur

Durgapur is an industrial metropolis in the state of West Bengal, India, located about 160 km from Kolkata.

The well laid out industrial township was designed by Joseph Allen Stein and Benjamin Polk. It is home to the largest industrial unit in the state, Durgapur Steel Plant, one of the integrated steel plants of Steel Authority of India Limited.

Alloy Steels Plant of SAIL is also located here. There are a number of power plants, chemical and engineering industries. Some metallurgical units have come up in recent years. Durgapur is the second largest city of West Bengal after Calcutta.



Geography

Durgapur is located at 23.48° N 87.32° E. It has an average elevation of 65 metres (213 ft).

Durgapur is situated on the bank of river Damodar, just before it enters the alluvial plains of Bengal. The topography is undulating. The coal-bearing area of the Ranigunj coalfields lies just beyond Durgapur, although some parts intrude in to the area. The area was deeply forested till recent times, and some forests are still there, standing witness to its wild past.

Two mighty rivers border it on the north and south. The Ajay River flows past unhindered in the north but the Damodar River on the south has two obstacles in its path – an earlier anicut at Rondia and a more recent barrage at Durgapur. Two rivulets, Singaran and Tamla, flow through the area and join the Damodar. Two other rivulets in the area, Kunur and Tumuni, join the Ajay.

 

Climate

The district experiences a climate which is transitional between CWg3 and AW1 types(according to Köppen climate classification), where 'C' stands for 'warm temperate rainy climates with mild winter', 'W' for 'dry winter not compensated for by total rain in the rest of the year', 'g3' for 'eastern Ganges type of temperature trend' and 'AW1' for 'tropical savanna climates'. Average temperature during summer season is 32 °C while at the cold season is 20 °C. The maximum temperature during summer rises up to 45 °C while minimum temperature during winter comes down to 60C. Average rainfall is 150 millimetres with the bulk of rainfall occurring around the July-September period. The normal trend is - winter season starts from about the middle of November and continues till the end of February. March to May is dry summer intervened by tropical cyclonic storms. June to September is wet summer while October is autumn.


History


Mighty emperors reigned in this region over the centuries but it is difficult to pinpoint as to who exactly held sway over the area at different points of time. Historians talk of this region being a part of the Maurya and Gupta empires, the empire of Harsha Vardhan and the Mughals. Being a geographical border region, it could have been on either side of the virtually unmarked and flexible borders of the mighty empires.


Jawaharlal Nehru with school children at DurgapurMoreover, the infertile soil with deep impenetrable forests and wild animals was probably not a very inviting proposal for any emperor on the look out for wealth and treasures. Even when coal mining made forays into the adjoining Asansol-Ranigunj area from the late eighteenth century, and factory chimneys reared their heads in the sky somewhat later, Durgapur remained an impenetrable jungle that few dared to trespass into.

However, there are some interesting historical points. Archeological excavations at Birbhanpur, on the bank of the Damodar, have revealed a number of stone implements. These are dated to be around 5,000 BC. Many of these are hunting implements used by pre-historic hunters. Earlier, some of the excavations at Pandu Rajar Dhibi, on the banks of the Ajay, just beyond Durgapur but in Bardhaman district, revealed traces of a civilisation possibly linked with the Indus Valley Civilisation. These are important historical finds and are yet to be fully explored.


Industrialisation

It all started with the dreamer first Prime Minister of independent India,Jawaharlal Nehru. His dream of transforming the backward agricultural country into an industrially advanced nation was picked up in West Bengal by Dr. B.C. Roy. At the earlier stages for the selection of a proper site for a new industrial township, Jnananjan Niyogi, a great business organizer and planner, was involved. Modernist American architect Joseph Allen Stein, invited to head the newly formed Department of Architecture and Planning at the Bengal Engineering College in Calcutta, plunged into a major project as soon as he reached India in 1952—the designing of Durgapur city along with Benjamin Polk,


Attraction

Bhabani Pathak’s Tilla – near city Centre. It earlier had a tunnel system leading to the Damodar River but now that is closed. People can visit the Tilla only.
Rahreswar Shib Mandir – 800 years old temple complex on the Muchipara-Shibpur road.
Ichhai Ghosh’s garh (fort) – now in ruins - and the Shyamarupa temple.
Santiniketan – location of Rabindranath Tagore’s Visva Bharati is about 60 km frm Durgapur
Vishnupur – the famous terracotta temple town and home to major art and craft is about 70 km from Durgapur. The Bankura horse, symbol of Indian handicrafts is produced at Panchmura, near Vishnupur. It is also the home of the Baluchari sari, initially woven with Ramayana and Mahabharata motifs but now modernised.
Joydeb-Kendubillo – temple and birthplace of Sanskrit poet Joydeb, on the banks of the Ajay river, is about 30 km from Durgapur. Makar sankranti mela with bauls (religious singers with a detached philosophy and spontaneity of their own) participating is held in mid January.
Bakreswar – hot spring and temple is about 60 km from Durgapur
Churulia - here the famous poet - Kazi Nazrul Islam was born. He is considered the national poet of Bangladesh. The village is about 60 km from Durgapur, and contains a museum with his works and a memorial for him. See Asansol map for location.