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Bengal (; bn, বাংলা/বঙ্গ, translit=Bānglā/Bôngô, ) is a geopolitical, cultural and historical region located in
South Asia South Asia is the southern region of Asia Asia () is 's largest and most populous , located primarily in the and . It shares the continental of with the continent of and the continental landmass of with both Europe and . Asia cov ...

South Asia
, specifically in the eastern part of the Indian subcontinent at the apex of the
Bay of Bengal The Bay of Bengal is the northeastern part of the Indian Ocean The Indian Ocean is the third-largest of the world's five ocean The ocean (also the or the world ocean) is the body of that covers approximately 70.8% of the surface ...

Bay of Bengal
, predominantly covering present-day
Bangladesh Bangladesh (, bn, বাংলাদেশ, ), officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh, is a country in South Asia South Asia is the southern region of Asia, which is defined in both geography, geographical and culture, ethno-c ...

Bangladesh
and the
Indian Indian or Indians refers to people or things related to India, or to the indigenous people of the Americas, or Aboriginal Australians until the 19th century. People South Asia * Indian people, people of Indian nationality, or people who come ...

Indian
state of
West Bengal West Bengal (, Bengali Bengali or Bengalee, or Bengalese may refer to: *something of, from, or related to Bengal, a large region in South Asia * Bengalis, an ethnic and linguistic group of the region * Bengali language, the language they sp ...

West Bengal
. Geographically, it is made up by the
Ganges-Brahmaputra delta The Ganges Delta (also known as the Sundarbans Delta or the Bengal Delta) is a river delta A river delta is a landform A landform is a natural or artificial feature of the solid surface of the Earth or other planetary body. Landforms toget ...
system, the largest such formation in the world; along with mountains in its north bordering the
Himalayan states The Himalayan states are a group of countries straddling the Himalayan mountain range in Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and Northern Hemisphere, Northern ...
of
Nepal Nepal (; ne, नेपाल ), officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal ( ne, सङ्घीय लोकतान्त्रिक गणतन्त्र नेपाल ), is a landlocked country in South Asia. It is ma ...

Nepal
and
Bhutan Bhutan (; dz, འབྲུག་ཡུལ་, Druk Yul, ), officially known as the Kingdom of Bhutan ( dz, འབྲུག་རྒྱལ་ཁབ་, Druk Gyal Khap), is a landlocked country in the Eastern Himalayas. It is bordered by Chin ...

Bhutan
and east bordering
Myanmar Myanmar, ); UK pronunciations: US pronunciations incl. . Note: Wikipedia's IPA conventions require indicating /r/ even in British English although only some British English speakers pronounce r at the end of syllables. As John C. Wells, John ...

Myanmar
. Politically, Bengal is currently divided between
Bangladesh Bangladesh (, bn, বাংলাদেশ, ), officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh, is a country in South Asia South Asia is the southern region of Asia, which is defined in both geography, geographical and culture, ethno-c ...

Bangladesh
and the
Indian state India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List of countries and dependencies by population, second ...
of
West Bengal West Bengal (, Bengali Bengali or Bengalee, or Bengalese may refer to: *something of, from, or related to Bengal, a large region in South Asia * Bengalis, an ethnic and linguistic group of the region * Bengali language, the language they sp ...

West Bengal
. In the past, at the time of the
Bengal Sultanate The Sultanate of Bengal ( bn, শাহী বাঙ্গালা, fa, شاهی بنگاله ''Shāhī Bangālah''), also known as the Bengal Sultanate or simply Bengal ( fa, بنگاله ''Bangālah'', bn, বাংলা, Bangla), was an e ...

Bengal Sultanate
and
colonial periodColonial period (a period in a country's history where it was subject to management by a Colonialism, colonial power) may refer to: * Spanish conquest of Guatemala * Viceroyalty of Peru * Colonial history of the United States * British Raj, British ...

colonial period
, it included the states of modern day
Bihar Bihar (; ) is a states and union territories of India, state in eastern India. It is the list of states and union territories of India by population, third-largest state by population and list of states and union territories of India by area ...

Bihar
,
Jharkhand Jharkhand (; ; meaning 'the land of forests') is a States and union territories of India, state in East India, eastern India. The state shares its border with the states of Bihar to the north, Uttar Pradesh to the northwest, Chhattisgarh to the ...

Jharkhand
,
Odisha Odisha (English: , ), formerly Orissa (), is an States and union territories of India, Indian state located in East India, Eastern India. It is the List of states and union territories of India by area, 8th largest state by area, and the Li ...

Odisha
,
Assam Assam (, ) is a state in Northeast India, northeastern India, south of the eastern Himalayas along the Brahmaputra Valley, Brahmaputra and Barak River valleys. Assam covers an area of . The state is bordered by Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh to ...

Assam
,
Tripura Tripura () is a States and territories of India, state in northeastern India. The third-smallest state in the country, it covers and is bordered by Bangladesh to the north, south, and west, and the Indian states of Assam and Mizoram to the e ...

Tripura
,
Mizoram Mizoram () is a state in northeastern India Northeast India (officially North Eastern Region, NER) is the easternmost region of India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the ...

Mizoram
,
Meghalaya Meghalaya (, or , meaning "abode of clouds"; from Sanskrit , "cloud" + , "abode") is a states and union territories of India, state in northeastern India. Meghalaya was formed by carving out two districts from the state of Assam: the United Kha ...

Meghalaya
,
Nagaland Nagaland is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Col ...

Nagaland
and some parts of
Myanmar Myanmar, ); UK pronunciations: US pronunciations incl. . Note: Wikipedia's IPA conventions require indicating /r/ even in British English although only some British English speakers pronounce r at the end of syllables. As John C. Wells, John ...

Myanmar
(
Rakhine State Rakhine State (; , Rakhine pronunciation , ; formerly known as Arakan) is a in (Burma). Situated on the western coast, it is bordered by to the north, , and to the east, the to the west and the of to the northwest. It is located appro ...
). In 2011, the population of Bengal was estimated to be 250 million, making it one of the most densely populated regions in the world. Among them, an estimated 160 million people live in Bangladesh and 91.3 million people live in West Bengal. The predominant
ethnolinguistic group An ethnolinguistic group (or ethno-linguistic group) is a group that is unified by both a common ethnicity An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identity (social science), identify with each other on the basis of shared attr ...
is the
Bengali people Bengalis or Bangalis ( bn, বাঙালি ), also rendered as the Bengali people, are an Indo-Aryan peoples, Indo-Aryan ethnolinguistic group native to the Bengal region in South Asia. The population is divided between the independent c ...
, who speak the
Indo-AryanIndo-Aryan refers to: * Indo-Aryan languages ** Indo-Aryan superstrate in Mitanni or Mitanni-Aryan * Indo-Aryan peoples, the various peoples speaking these languages See also

*Aryan invasion theory (disambiguation) *Indo-Aryan tribes (disambigua ...
Bengali language Bengali (), also known by its endonym An endonym (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Euro ...
.
Bengali Muslims Bengali Muslims ( bn, বাঙালি মুসলমান, Bangalī Musolman) are an ethnic, linguistic and religious population who make up the majority of Bangladesh Bangladesh (, bn, বাংলাদেশ, ), officially the ...
are the majority in Bangladesh and
Bengali Hindus Bengali Hindus ( bn, বাঙালি হিন্দু) are an ethnic, linguistic and religious population who make up the majority in the Indian states India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is ...
are the majority in West Bengal. Outside this region, Indian states of
Tripura Tripura () is a States and territories of India, state in northeastern India. The third-smallest state in the country, it covers and is bordered by Bangladesh to the north, south, and west, and the Indian states of Assam and Mizoram to the e ...

Tripura
and
Assam Assam (, ) is a state in Northeast India, northeastern India, south of the eastern Himalayas along the Brahmaputra Valley, Brahmaputra and Barak River valleys. Assam covers an area of . The state is bordered by Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh to ...

Assam
's has a Bengali majority population with significant presence in the states of
Arunachal Pradesh Arunachal Pradesh (, literally "land of dawn-lit mountains") is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ...

Arunachal Pradesh
,
Delhi Delhi (; ''Dillī''; ''Dillī''; ''Dêhlī''), officially the National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi, is a city and a of containing , the capital of India. * * * Straddling the river, but primarily its western or right bank, Delhi ...

Delhi
,
Chhattisgarh Chhattisgarh (lit. thirty-six forts) is a landlocked and heavily forested States and union territories of India, state located in the region of Central India. Formerly part of Madhya Pradesh it was granted statehood on Chhattisgarh Rajyotsava, 1 ...

Chhattisgarh
,
Jharkhand Jharkhand (; ; meaning 'the land of forests') is a States and union territories of India, state in East India, eastern India. The state shares its border with the states of Bihar to the north, Uttar Pradesh to the northwest, Chhattisgarh to the ...

Jharkhand
,
Meghalaya Meghalaya (, or , meaning "abode of clouds"; from Sanskrit , "cloud" + , "abode") is a states and union territories of India, state in northeastern India. Meghalaya was formed by carving out two districts from the state of Assam: the United Kha ...

Meghalaya
,
Mizoram Mizoram () is a state in northeastern India Northeast India (officially North Eastern Region, NER) is the easternmost region of India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the ...

Mizoram
,
Nagaland Nagaland is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Col ...

Nagaland
and
Uttarakhand Uttarakhand ( , or ; , lit. 'Northern Land'), formerly known as Uttaranchal ( ), is a state in the northern part of India. It is often referred to as the "Devbhumi" (literally "Land of the Gods") due to its religious significance and numerous ...

Uttarakhand
. Dense woodlands, including hilly
rainforest Rainforests are characterized by a closed and continuous tree canopy Canopy may refer to: Plants * Canopy (biology), aboveground portion of plant community or crop (including forests) * Canopy (grape), aboveground portion of grapevine Religi ...

rainforest
s, cover Bengal's northern and eastern areas; while an elevated forested plateau covers its central area. Highest elevation point of this region is
Sandakphu Sandakphu or Sandakpur (3636 m; 11,930 ft) is a mountain peak in the Singalila Ridge on the India–Nepal border, border between India and Nepal. It is the highest point of the ridge and the state of West Bengal, India. The peak is located a ...

Sandakphu
(3636 m; 11,930 ft), which is located in of
West Bengal West Bengal (, Bengali Bengali or Bengalee, or Bengalese may refer to: *something of, from, or related to Bengal, a large region in South Asia * Bengalis, an ethnic and linguistic group of the region * Bengali language, the language they sp ...

West Bengal
. In the
littoral The littoral zone or nearshore is the part of a sea The sea, connected as the world ocean or simply the ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of salt water which covers approximately 71% of the surface ...

littoral
southwest are the
Sundarbans The Sundarbans is a mangrove A mangrove is a shrub or small tree that grows in coastal saline or brackish water. The term is also used for tropical coastal vegetation consisting of such species. Mangroves occur worldwide in the tropics ...

Sundarbans
, the world's largest mangrove forest and home of the
Bengal tiger The Bengal tiger is a tiger The tiger (''Panthera tigris'') is the largest extant taxon, living Felidae, cat species and a member of the genus ''Panthera''. It is most recognisable for its dark vertical stripes on orange fur with a ...

Bengal tiger
. In the coastal southeast lies
Cox's Bazar Cox's Bazar (; bn, কক্সবাজার, Kaksabājāra; ) is a city, fishing port, tourism centre, and Cox's Bazar District, district headquarters in southeastern Bangladesh. It is famous mostly for its long natural sandy Cox's Baza ...

Cox's Bazar
, the longest beach in the world at . The region has a
monsoon A monsoon () is traditionally a seasonal reversing wind accompanied by corresponding changes in precipitation In meteorology Meteorology is a branch of the (which include and ), with a major focus on . The study of meteorology ...

monsoon
climate, which the
Bengali calendar The Bengali Calendar or Bangla Calendar ( bn, বঙ্গাব্দ , , Baṅgābda) is a luni-solar calendar A lunisolar calendar is a calendar in many culture Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior and Nor ...
divides into six seasons. At times an independent regional empire, Bengal was a leading power in South Asia and later the Islamic East, with extensive trade networks. In antiquity, its kingdoms were known as seafaring nations. Bengal was known to the Greeks as
Gangaridai Gangaridai ( gr, Γανγαρίδαι; Latin: ''Gangaridae'') is a term used by the ancient writers to describe a or a geographical region of the ancient . Some of these writers state that withdrew from the Indian subcontinent because of the ...
, notable for mighty military power. It was described by Greek historians that
Alexander the Great Alexander III of Macedon ( grc-gre, Αλέξανδρος}, ; 20/21 July 356 BC – 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king (''basileus ''Basileus'' ( el, βασιλεύς) is a Greek term and title A title ...

Alexander the Great
withdrew from India anticipating a counterattack from an alliance of Gangaridai. Later writers noted merchant shipping links between Bengal and
Roman Egypt , conventional_long_name = Roman Egypt , common_name = Egypt , subdivision = Roman province, Province , nation = the Roman Empire , era = Late antiquity , capital = Alexandria , title_leader = Praefectus Augustalis , image_ ...

Roman Egypt
. The Bengali
Pala Empire The Pala Empire (r. 750-1161 CE) was an imperial power during the Post-classical history, post-classical period in the Indian subcontinent, which originated in the region of Bengal. It is named after its ruling dynasty, whose rulers bore names ...
was the last major
Buddhist Buddhism (, ) is the world's fourth-largest religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, an ...

Buddhist
imperial power in the subcontinent, founded in 750 and becoming the dominant power in the northern Indian subcontinent by the 9th century, before being replaced by the Hindu
Sena dynasty The Sena Empire was a Hindu dynasty during the early medieval period on the Indian subcontinent, that ruled from Bengal through the 11th and 12th centuries. The empire at its peak covered much of the north-eastern region of the Indian subcont ...
in the 12th century.
Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or ex ...
was introduced during the Pala Empire, through trade with the
Abbasid Caliphate The Abbasid Caliphate ( or ar, اَلْخِلَافَةُ ٱلْعَبَّاسِيَّةُ, ') was the third caliphate A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state under the leadership of an Islamic steward with the tit ...

Abbasid Caliphate
. Following the formation of the
Delhi Sultanate The Delhi Sultanate was an Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see int ...
in the 13th century, Islam spread across the Bengal region. During the Islamic
Bengal Sultanate The Sultanate of Bengal ( bn, শাহী বাঙ্গালা, fa, شاهی بنگاله ''Shāhī Bangālah''), also known as the Bengal Sultanate or simply Bengal ( fa, بنگاله ''Bangālah'', bn, বাংলা, Bangla), was an e ...

Bengal Sultanate
, founded in 1352, Bengal was a major
trading nation Trade involves the transfer of goods from one person or entity to another, often in exchange for money. Economists refer to a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of ru ...
in the world and was often referred to by Europeans as the richest country to trade with. The Khorasanis referred to the land as an "inferno full of gifts", due to its unbearable climate but abundance of wealth. It was later absorbed into the
Mughal Empire The Mughal, Mogul, or Moghul Empire was an early modern The early modern period of modern history Human history, or world history, is the narrative of Human, humanity's past. It is understood through archaeology, anthropology, ge ...
in 1576.
Bengal Subah The Bengal Subah (also known as Mughal Bengal) was the largest subdivision Subdivision may refer to: Arts and entertainment * Subdivision (metre), in music * Subdivision (film), ''Subdivision'' (film), 2009 * "Subdivision", an episode of Priso ...
, described as the ''Paradise of the Nations'', was the empire's wealthiest province, and became a major global exporter, a center of worldwide industries such as
cotton Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber Fiber or fibre (from la, fibra, links=no) is a natural Nature, in the broadest sense, is the natural, physical, material world or universe The universe ( la, universus) is all of s ...

cotton
textile A textile is a flexible material made by creating an interlocking bundle of yarn Yarn is a long continuous length of interlocked fibres, suitable for use in the production of textiles, sewing, crocheting, knitting, weaving, embroidery, ...

textile
s,
silk Silk is a natural Nature, in the broadest sense, is the natural, physical, material world or universe The universe ( la, universus) is all of space and time and their contents, including planets, stars, galaxies, and all o ...

silk
, and
shipbuilding Shipbuilding is the construction Construction is a general term meaning the art and science to form Physical object, objects, systems, or organizations,"Construction" def. 1.a. 1.b. and 1.c. ''Oxford English Dictionary'' Second Edition o ...

shipbuilding
. Its economy was worth 12% of the world's GDP, a value bigger than the entirety of
Western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical r ...

Western Europe
, and its citizens'
living standards Standard of living is the level of income, comforts and services available, generally applied to a society or location, rather than to an individual. Standard of living is relevant because it is considered to contribute to an individual's quality ...
were among the world's highest. Bengal's economy underwent a period of
proto-industrialization Proto-industrialization is the regional development, alongside commercial agriculture Intensive agriculture, also known as intensive farming (as opposed to extensive farming) and industrial agriculture, is a type of agriculture Agricult ...
during this period. Subsequently, the region was conquered by the British
East India Company The East India Company (EIC), also known as the Honourable East India Company (HEIC), East India Trading Company (EITC), the English East India Company or (after 1707) the British East India Company, and informally known as John Company, Com ...
after the
Battle of Plassey A battle is an occurrence of combat in warfare between opposing military units of any number or size. A war usually consists of multiple battles. In general, a battle is a military engagement that is well defined in duration, area, and force c ...
in 1757 and became the
Bengal Presidency The Bengal Presidency, officially the Presidency of Fort William and later Bengal Province, was a subdivision of the British India, British Empire in India. At the height of its territorial jurisdiction, it covered large parts of what is now So ...
of the
British Raj The British Raj (; from ''rāj'', literally, "rule" in Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the In ...

British Raj
. Bengal made significant contributions to the world's first
Industrial Revolution The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in Great Britain, continental Europe Continental Europe or mainland Europe is the contiguous continent A continent is any of several large landmasse ...
, but experienced its own deindustrialisation. The East India Company increased agriculture tax rates from 10% to up to 50%, which caused multiple famines such as the
Great Bengal famine of 1770 The Bengal Famine of 1770 (Bengali: Chiẏāttôrer mônnôntôr, lit. The Famine of 76) was a famine that struck the Bengal region between 1769 and 1770 (1176 to 1177 in the Bengali calendar) and affected some 30 million people. It occurred duri ...
which caused the death of 10 million
Bengalis Bengalis or Bangalis ( bn, বাঙালি ), also rendered as the Bengali people, are an native to the region in . The population is divided between the independent country and the Indian states of , and 's . Most of them speak , a ...
and the
Bengal famine of 1943 The Bengal famine of 1943 was a famine A famine is a widespread scarcity of food Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for an organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισ ...
which killed millions. Bengal played a major role in the
Indian independence movement The Indian independence movement was a series of historic events with the ultimate aim of ending British rule in India The British Raj (; from ''rāj'', literally, "rule" in Sanskrit Sanskrit (, attributively , ''saṃskṛta-'', ...
, in which revolutionary groups were dominant. Armed attempts to overthrow the British Raj began with the Sannyasi and Fakir Rebellion, and reached a climax when
Subhas Chandra Bose Subhas Chandra Bose ( ; 23 January 1897 – 18 August 1945) was an Indian nationalist Indian nationalism developed as a concept during the Indian independence movement#REDIRECT Indian independence movement {{Rcat shell, {{R ...

Subhas Chandra Bose
led the
Indian National Army The Indian National Army (INA; ''Azad Hind Fauj'' ; ''lit.'': Free Indian Army) was an armed force formed by Indian Collaboration with the Axis Powers, collaborationists and Imperial Japan on 1 September 1942 in Southeast Asia during World War I ...
allied with
Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an in ...

Japan
to fight against the British. Many Bengalis died in the independence struggle and many were exiled in
Cellular Jail The Cellular Jail, (काला पानी) also known as Kālā Pānī (Hindi for ''Black Waters''), was a colonial prison in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India. The prison was used by the British Empire, British for the express purpose ...

Cellular Jail
, located in . The United Kingdom Cabinet Mission of 1946 split the region between
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, ...

India
and
Pakistan Pakistan, . Pronounced variably in English as , , , and . officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country in South Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, fifth-most populous country, with a popul ...

Pakistan
, an action popularly known as the
partition of Bengal (1947) Partition of Bengal may refer to the partition of the Bengal region on two occasions: *Partition of Bengal (1905) *Partition of Bengal (1947) {{Disambig ...
. This was opposed by the
Prime Minister of Bengal The Prime Minister of Bengal was the head of government of Bengal Presidency, Bengal Province and the Leader of the House in the Bengal Legislative Assembly in British India. The position was dissolved upon the Partition of Bengal (1947), Partition ...
,
Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy ( bn, হোসেন শহীদ সোহ্‌রাওয়ার্দী; ur, ; 8 September 18925 December 1963) was a major statesman in Pakistan Pakistan, . Pronounced variably in English language, ...

Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy
, and nationalist leader
Sarat Chandra Bose Sarat Chandra Bose (6 September 1889 – 20 February 1950) was an Indian barrister A barrister is a type of lawyer A lawyer or attorney is a person who practices law, as an advocate, attorney at lawAttorney at law or attorney-at-law ...

Sarat Chandra Bose
. They campaigned for a united and independent . The initiative failed owing to British diplomacy and communal conflict between
Muslims Muslims () are people who follow or practice Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", ...
and
Hindus Hindus (; ) are persons who regard themselves as culturally, ethnically, or religiously adhering to aspects of Hinduism Hinduism () is an Indian religion Indian religions, sometimes also termed Dharmic religions or Indic re ...
. Subsequently, Pakistan ruled
East Bengal ur, , common_name = East Bengal , status = Province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnati ...
which later became the independent nation of
Bangladesh Bangladesh (, bn, বাংলাদেশ, ), officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh, is a country in South Asia South Asia is the southern region of Asia, which is defined in both geography, geographical and culture, ethno-c ...

Bangladesh
by the
Bangladesh War of Independence The Bangladesh Liberation War ( bn, মুক্তিযুদ্ধ, ), also known as the Bangladesh War of Independence, or simply the Liberation War in Bangladesh, was a revolution and armed conflict War is an intense armed con ...
in 1971.


Etymology

The name of ''Bengal'' is derived from the ancient kingdom of
Vanga The family Vangidae (from ''vanga'', Malagasy Malagasy may refer to: *Someone or something from Madagascar *Malagasy people *Malagasy language *Malagasy Republic *Related to the culture of Madagascar See also *Madagascar (disambiguation) {{d ...
, the earliest records of which date back to the ''
Mahabharata The ''Mahābhārata'' (; sa, महाभारतम्, ', ) is one of the two major Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan langua ...

Mahabharata
'' epic in the
first millennium BCE The 1st millennium BC was the period of time between from the year 1000 BC to 1 BC ( 10th to 1st First or 1st is the ordinal form of the number one (#1). First or 1st may also refer to: *World record A world record is usually the best glob ...
. The exact origin of the word ''Bangla'' is unknown. In Islamic literature, it is said to come from "Bang/Bung", a son of Hind (son of Hām who was a son of
Noah In the traditions of Abrahamic religions, Noah ''Nukh''; am, ኖህ, ''Noḥ''; ar, نُوح '; grc, Νῶε ''Nôe'' () features as the tenth and last of the Antediluvian , pre-Flood Patriarchs (Bible), patriarchs. His story appears in the ...
) who colonised the area for the first time.RIYAZU-S-SALĀTĪN: A History of Bengal
, Ghulam Husain Salim, The Asiatic Society, Calcutta, 1902.
The suffix ''"al"'' came to be added to it from the fact that the ancient rajahs of this land raised mounds of earth 10 feet high and 20 in breadth in lowlands at the foot of the hills which were called "al". From this suffix added to the Bung, the name Bengal arose and gained currency". This is also mentioned in Ghulam Husain Salim's
Riyaz-us-Salatin Riyaz-us-Salatin is the first historic book on the Muslim rule in Bengal that was published in Bengal in 1788. It was written by Ghulam Husain Salim Zaidpuri. Content The books starts with the arrival of Muhammad bin Bakhtiyar Khilji, a Turko-A ...
. Other theories on the origin of the term Banga point to the
Proto-Dravidian Proto-Dravidian is the linguistic reconstruction of the common ancestor of the Dravidian languages. It is thought to have differentiated into Proto-North Dravidian, Proto-Central Dravidian, and Proto-South Dravidian, although the date of diversi ...
''Bong'' tribe that settled in the area circa 1000 BCE and the
Austric The Austric languages are a proposed language family that includes the Austronesian languages The Austronesian languages (, , , ) are a language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( ...
word ''Bong'' (Sun-god). The term ''Vangaladesa'' is used to describe the region in 11th-century South Indian records. The
Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal ** Portuguese cuisine, traditional foods ** Portuguese language, a Romance language *** Portuguese dialects, variants of the Portuguese language ** Portug ...
referred to the region as ''Bengala'' in the
Age of Discovery The Age of Discovery, or the Age of Exploration (sometimes also, particularly regionally, Age of Contact or Contact Period), is an informal and loosely defined term for the early modern period The early modern period of modern history ...
.


Geography

Most of the Bengal region lies in the
Ganges-Brahmaputra delta The Ganges Delta (also known as the Sundarbans Delta or the Bengal Delta) is a river delta A river delta is a landform A landform is a natural or artificial feature of the solid surface of the Earth or other planetary body. Landforms toget ...
, but there are highlands in its north, northeast and southeast. The Ganges Delta arises from the confluence of the rivers
Ganges The Ganges ( ) (in India: Ganga ( ); in Bangladesh: Padma River, Padma ( )). "The Ganges Basin, known in India as the Ganga and in Bangladesh as the Padma, is an international river to which India, Bangladesh, Nepal and China are the riparian ...

Ganges
,
Brahmaputra The Brahmaputra (), called Yarlung Tsangpo The Yarlung Tsangpo, also called Yarlung Zangbo () or Yalu Zangbu () is the upper stream of the Brahmaputra River The Brahmaputra (), called Yarlung Tsangpo in Tibet, Siang/Dihang River in Aruna ...

Brahmaputra
, and
Meghna The Meghna River ( bn, মেঘনা নদী) is one of the major rivers in Bangladesh Bangladesh (, bn, বাংলাদেশ, ), officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh, is a country in South Asia South Asia is th ...

Meghna
rivers and their respective tributaries. The total area of Bengal is 232,752  km2—Bangladesh is and West Bengal is . The flat and fertile Bangladesh Plain dominates the
geography of Bangladesh Bangladesh Bangladesh (, bn, :bn:বাংলাদেশ, বাংলাদেশ, ), officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh, is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, eighth-most po ...
. The
Chittagong Hill Tracts The Chittagong Hill Tracts ( bn, পার্বত্য চট্টগ্রাম, Parbotto Chottogram), often shortened to simply the Hill Tracts and abbreviated to CHT, are group of districts within the Chittagong Division Chittagong ...
and
Sylhet region Sylhet Division is the northeastern of . It is bordered by the of , and to the north, east and south respectively, and by the Bangladeshi divisions of to the southwest and and to the west. Etymology and names The name ''Sylhet'' is an ...
s are home to most of the mountains in Bangladesh. Most parts of Bangladesh are within above the sea level, and it is believed that about 10% of the land would be flooded if the sea level were to rise by . Because of this low elevation, much of this region is exceptionally vulnerable to seasonal flooding due to monsoons. The highest point in Bangladesh is in Mowdok range at . A major part of the coastline comprises a marshy jungle, the
Sundarbans The Sundarbans is a mangrove A mangrove is a shrub or small tree that grows in coastal saline or brackish water. The term is also used for tropical coastal vegetation consisting of such species. Mangroves occur worldwide in the tropics ...

Sundarbans
, the largest mangrove forest in the world and home to diverse flora and fauna, including the royal Bengal tiger. In 1997, this region was declared endangered. West Bengal is on the eastern bottleneck of India, stretching from the Himalayas in the north to the Bay of Bengal in the south. The state has a total area of . The Darjeeling Himalayan hill region in the northern extreme of the state belongs to the eastern Himalaya. This region contains Sandakfu ()—the highest peak of the state. The narrow Terai region separates this region from the plains, which in turn transitions into the Ganges delta towards the south. The Rarh region intervenes between the Ganges delta in the east and the western plateau and high lands. A small coastal region is on the extreme south, while the Sundarbans mangrove forests form a remarkable geographical landmark at the Ganges delta. At least nine districts in West Bengal and 42 districts in Bangladesh have Arsenic contamination of groundwater, arsenic levels in groundwater above the World Health Organization maximum permissible limit of 50 µg/L or 50 parts per billion and the untreated water is unfit for human consumption. The water causes arsenicosis, skin cancer and various other complications in the body. File:Burishwar River in Barguna, Bangladesh (2).jpg, A river in
Bangladesh Bangladesh (, bn, বাংলাদেশ, ), officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh, is a country in South Asia South Asia is the southern region of Asia, which is defined in both geography, geographical and culture, ethno-c ...

Bangladesh
File:A Canvas- Mustard field and Date Trees (11923934543).jpg, A mustard and date palm farm in
West Bengal West Bengal (, Bengali Bengali or Bengalee, or Bengalese may refer to: *something of, from, or related to Bengal, a large region in South Asia * Bengalis, an ethnic and linguistic group of the region * Bengali language, the language they sp ...

West Bengal
File:Tea Garden near Srimangal, Sylhet, Bangladesh.jpg, A tea garden in
Bangladesh Bangladesh (, bn, বাংলাদেশ, ), officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh, is a country in South Asia South Asia is the southern region of Asia, which is defined in both geography, geographical and culture, ethno-c ...

Bangladesh


Geographic distinctions


North Bengal

North Bengal is a term used for the north-western part of Bangladesh and northern part of West Bengal. The Bangladeshi part comprises Rajshahi Division and Rangpur Division. Generally, it is the area lying west of Jamuna River (Bangladesh), Jamuna River and north of Padma River, and includes the Barind Tract. Politically, West Bengal's part comprises Jalpaiguri Division (Alipurduar district, Alipurduar, Cooch Behar district, Cooch Behar, Darjeeling district, Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri district, Jalpaiguri, North Dinajpur, South Dinajpur and Maldah district, Malda) together and Bihar's parts include Kishanganj district. Darjeeling Hills are also part of North Bengal. Although only people of Jaipaiguri, Alipurduar and Cooch Behar identifies themselves as North Bengali. North Bengal is divided into Terai and Dooars regions. North Bengal is also noted for its rich cultural heritage, including two UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Aside from the Bengali majority, North Bengal is home to many other communities including Nepalis, Santhal people, Lepchas and Rajbongshis.


Northeast Bengal

Northeast Bengal refers to the Sylhet region, comprising Sylhet Division of Bangladesh and the Karimganj district in the Indian state of
Assam Assam (, ) is a state in Northeast India, northeastern India, south of the eastern Himalayas along the Brahmaputra Valley, Brahmaputra and Barak River valleys. Assam covers an area of . The state is bordered by Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh to ...

Assam
. The region is noted for its distinctive fertile highland terrain, extensive tea plantations, rainforests and wetlands. The Surma River, Surma and Barak River, Barak river are the geographic markers of the area. The city of Sylhet is its largest urban center, and the region is known for its unique regional language known as Sylheti language, Sylheti. The ancient name of the region is Srihatta. The region was ruled by the Kamarupa and Harikela kingdoms as well as the
Bengal Sultanate The Sultanate of Bengal ( bn, শাহী বাঙ্গালা, fa, شاهی بنگاله ''Shāhī Bangālah''), also known as the Bengal Sultanate or simply Bengal ( fa, بنگاله ''Bangālah'', bn, বাংলা, Bangla), was an e ...

Bengal Sultanate
. It later became a district of the
Mughal Empire The Mughal, Mogul, or Moghul Empire was an early modern The early modern period of modern history Human history, or world history, is the narrative of Human, humanity's past. It is understood through archaeology, anthropology, ge ...
. Alongside the predominant Bengali population resides a small Bishnupriya Manipuri, Khasi people, Khasia and other tribal minorities. The region is the crossroads of Bengal and northeast India.


Central Bengal

Central Bengal refers to the Dhaka Division of Bangladesh. It includes the elevated Madhupur tract with a large Sal (tree), Sal tree forest. The Padma River cuts through the southern part of the region, separating the greater Faridpur District, Faridpur region. In the north lies the greater Mymensingh and Tangail regions.


South Bengal

South Bengal covers the southwestern Bangladesh and the southern part of the Indian state of West Bengal.The Bangladeshi part includes Khulna Division, Barisal Division and the proposed Faridpur Division The Indian part of South Bengal includes 12 districts: Kolkata, Howrah, Hooghly district, Hooghly, Burdwan, East Midnapur, West Midnapur, Purulia, Bankura, Birbhum, Nadia district, Nadia, South 24 Parganas district, South 24 Parganas, North 24 Parganas district, North 24 Parganas. The
Sundarbans The Sundarbans is a mangrove A mangrove is a shrub or small tree that grows in coastal saline or brackish water. The term is also used for tropical coastal vegetation consisting of such species. Mangroves occur worldwide in the tropics ...

Sundarbans
, a major biodiversity hotspot, is located in South Bengal. Bangladesh hosts 60% of the forest, with the remainder in India.


Southeast Bengal

Southeast Bengal refers to the hilly and coastal Bengali-speaking areas of Chittagong Division in southeastern Bangladesh. Southeast Bengal is noted for its thalassocracy, thalassocratic and seafaring heritage. The area was dominated by the Bengali Harikela and Samatata kingdoms in antiquity. It was known to Arab traders as ''Harkand'' in the 9th century. During the medieval period, the region was ruled by the Sultanate of Bengal, the Kingdom of Tripura, the Kingdom of Mrauk U, the Portuguese Empire and the
Mughal Empire The Mughal, Mogul, or Moghul Empire was an early modern The early modern period of modern history Human history, or world history, is the narrative of Human, humanity's past. It is understood through archaeology, anthropology, ge ...
, prior to the advent of British rule. The Chittagonian language, Chittagonian dialect of Bengali is prevalent in coastal areas of southeast Bengal. Along with its Bengali population, it is also home to Tibeto-Burman ethnic groups, including the Chakma people, Chakma, Marma people, Marma, Tanchangya people, Tanchangya and Bawm people, Bawm peoples. Southeast Bengal is considered a bridge to Southeast Asia and the northern parts of Arakan are also historically considered to be a part of it.


Places of interest

There are four World Heritage Sites in the region, including the
Sundarbans The Sundarbans is a mangrove A mangrove is a shrub or small tree that grows in coastal saline or brackish water. The term is also used for tropical coastal vegetation consisting of such species. Mangroves occur worldwide in the tropics ...

Sundarbans
, the Somapura Mahavihara, the Mosque City of Bagerhat and the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. Other prominent places include the Bishnupur, Bankura temple city, the Adina Mosque, the Katra Masjid, Caravanserai Mosque, numerous zamindar palaces (like Ahsan Manzil and Cooch Behar Palace), the Lalbagh Fort, the Bara Katra, Great Caravanserai ruins, the Choto Katra, Shaista Khan Caravanserai ruins, the Kolkata Victoria Memorial (Kolkata), Victoria Memorial, the Dhaka Parliament Building, archaeologically excavated ancient fort cities in Mahasthangarh, Mainamati, Chandraketugarh and Wari-Bateshwar, the Jaldapara National Park, the Lawachara National Park, the Teknaf Game Reserve and the
Chittagong Hill Tracts The Chittagong Hill Tracts ( bn, পার্বত্য চট্টগ্রাম, Parbotto Chottogram), often shortened to simply the Hill Tracts and abbreviated to CHT, are group of districts within the Chittagong Division Chittagong ...
.
Cox's Bazar Cox's Bazar (; bn, কক্সবাজার, Kaksabājāra; ) is a city, fishing port, tourism centre, and Cox's Bazar District, district headquarters in southeastern Bangladesh. It is famous mostly for its long natural sandy Cox's Baza ...

Cox's Bazar
in southeastern Bangladesh is home to the longest natural sea beach in the world with an unbroken length of 120 km (75 mi). It is also a growing surfing destination. St. Martin's Island, off the coast of Chittagong Division, is home to the sole coral reef in Bengal.


Flora and fauna

The flat Bengal Plain, which covers most of Bangladesh and West Bengal, is one of the most fertile areas on Earth, with lush vegetation and farmland dominating its landscape. Bengali villages are buried among groves of mango, jackfruit, betel nut and date palm. Rice, jute, mustard plant, mustard and sugarcane plantations are a common sight. Body of water, Water bodies and wetlands provide a habitat for many aquatic plants in the Ganges-Brahmaputra delta. The northern part of the region features Himalayan foothills (''Dooars'') with densely wooded Sal (tree), Sal and other tropical evergreen trees. Above an elevation of 1,000 metres (3,300 ft), the forest becomes predominantly subtropical, with a predominance of temperate-forest trees such as oaks, conifers and rhododendrons. Sal woodland is also found across central Bangladesh, particularly in the Bhawal National Park. The Lawachara National Park is a
rainforest Rainforests are characterized by a closed and continuous tree canopy Canopy may refer to: Plants * Canopy (biology), aboveground portion of plant community or crop (including forests) * Canopy (grape), aboveground portion of grapevine Religi ...

rainforest
in northeastern Bangladesh. The Chittagong Hill Tracts in southeastern Bangladesh is noted for its high degree of biodiversity. The
littoral The littoral zone or nearshore is the part of a sea The sea, connected as the world ocean or simply the ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of salt water which covers approximately 71% of the surface ...

littoral
Sundarbans The Sundarbans is a mangrove A mangrove is a shrub or small tree that grows in coastal saline or brackish water. The term is also used for tropical coastal vegetation consisting of such species. Mangroves occur worldwide in the tropics ...

Sundarbans
in the southwestern part of Bengal is the largest mangrove forest in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The region has over List of mammals in Bangladesh, 89 species of mammals, List of birds of Bangladesh, 628 species of birds and List of fishes in Bangladesh, numerous species of fish. For Bangladesh, the Nymphaea, water lily, the oriental magpie-robin, the hilsa and mango tree are national symbols. For West Bengal, the white-throated kingfisher, the Alstonia, chatim tree and the night-flowering jasmine are state symbols. The
Bengal tiger The Bengal tiger is a tiger The tiger (''Panthera tigris'') is the largest extant taxon, living Felidae, cat species and a member of the genus ''Panthera''. It is most recognisable for its dark vertical stripes on orange fur with a ...

Bengal tiger
is the national animal of Bangladesh and India. The fishing cat is the state animal of West Bengal.


History


Prehistory

Human settlement in Bengal can be traced back 20,000 years. Remnants of Copper Age settlements date back 4,300 years. Archaeology, Archaeological evidence confirms that by the second millennium BCE, rice-cultivating communities inhabited the region. By the 11th century BCE, the people of the area lived in systemically-aligned housing, used human cemeteries and manufactured copper ornaments and fine black and red pottery. The
Ganges The Ganges ( ) (in India: Ganga ( ); in Bangladesh: Padma River, Padma ( )). "The Ganges Basin, known in India as the Ganga and in Bangladesh as the Padma, is an international river to which India, Bangladesh, Nepal and China are the riparian ...

Ganges
, Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers were natural arteries for communication and transportation. Estuary, Estuaries on the
Bay of Bengal The Bay of Bengal is the northeastern part of the Indian Ocean The Indian Ocean is the third-largest of the world's five ocean The ocean (also the or the world ocean) is the body of that covers approximately 70.8% of the surface ...

Bay of Bengal
allowed for maritime industry, maritime trade. The early Iron Age saw the development of metal weaponry, coinage, permanent field agriculture and irrigation. From 600 BCE, the second wave of urbanisation engulfed the north Indian subcontinent, as part of the Northern Black Polished Ware culture.


Antiquity

Ancient Bengal was divided between the regions of Varendra, Suhma, Anga,
Vanga The family Vangidae (from ''vanga'', Malagasy Malagasy may refer to: *Someone or something from Madagascar *Malagasy people *Malagasy language *Malagasy Republic *Related to the culture of Madagascar See also *Madagascar (disambiguation) {{d ...
, Samatata and Harikela. Early Indian literature described the region as a thalassocracy, with colonies in Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean. For example, the first recorded king of Sri Lanka was a Bengali prince called Prince Vijaya, Vijaya. The region was known to the ancient Ancient Greece, Greeks and Roman world, Romans as
Gangaridai Gangaridai ( gr, Γανγαρίδαι; Latin: ''Gangaridae'') is a term used by the ancient writers to describe a or a geographical region of the ancient . Some of these writers state that withdrew from the Indian subcontinent because of the ...
. The Greek ambassador Megasthenes chronicled its military strength and dominance of the Ganges delta. The invasion army of
Alexander the Great Alexander III of Macedon ( grc-gre, Αλέξανδρος}, ; 20/21 July 356 BC – 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king (''basileus ''Basileus'' ( el, βασιλεύς) is a Greek term and title A title ...

Alexander the Great
was deterred by the accounts of Gangaridai's power in 325 BCE. Later Roman accounts noted maritime trade routes with Bengal. A Roman amphora has been found in Purba Medinipur district of
West Bengal West Bengal (, Bengali Bengali or Bengalee, or Bengalese may refer to: *something of, from, or related to Bengal, a large region in South Asia * Bengalis, an ethnic and linguistic group of the region * Bengali language, the language they sp ...

West Bengal
, made in Aelana (present day Aqaba in Jordan) between the 4th and 7th centuries AD. Another prominent kingdom in Ancient Bengal was Pundravardhana which was located in Northern Bengal with its capital being located in modern-day Bogra, the kingdom was prominently buddhist leaving behind historic Viharas such as Mahasthangarh.Hossain, Md. Mosharraf, ''Mahasthan: Anecdote to History'', 2006, pp. 69–73, Dibyaprakash, 38/2 ka Bangla Bazar, Dhaka, Majumdar, R. C., ''History of Ancient Bengal'', First published 1971, Reprint 2005, p. 10, Tulshi Prakashani, Kolkata, . In vedic mythology the royal families of Magadha, Anga, Vanga, Suhma and Kalinga were all related and descended from one King.(Mbh 1:104), (2:21). Ancient Bengal was considered a part of Magadha region, which was the cradle of Indian arts and sciences. Currently the Maghada region is divided into several states that are
Bihar Bihar (; ) is a states and union territories of India, state in eastern India. It is the list of states and union territories of India by population, third-largest state by population and list of states and union territories of India by area ...

Bihar
,
Jharkhand Jharkhand (; ; meaning 'the land of forests') is a States and union territories of India, state in East India, eastern India. The state shares its border with the states of Bihar to the north, Uttar Pradesh to the northwest, Chhattisgarh to the ...

Jharkhand
and Bengal (
West Bengal West Bengal (, Bengali Bengali or Bengalee, or Bengalese may refer to: *something of, from, or related to Bengal, a large region in South Asia * Bengalis, an ethnic and linguistic group of the region * Bengali language, the language they sp ...

West Bengal
and Bangladesh, East Bengal) The legacy of Magadha includes the concept of 0, zero, the invention of Chess and the theory of solar and lunar eclipses and the Earth orbiting the Sun. Sanskrit and derived Old Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan dialects, was spoken across Bengal. The
Bengali language Bengali (), also known by its endonym An endonym (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Euro ...
evolved from Old Indo-Aryan Sanskrit dialects. The region was ruled by Hindu,
Buddhist Buddhism (, ) is the world's fourth-largest religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, an ...

Buddhist
and Jain dynasties, including the Mauryans, Gupta Empire, Guptas, Varman dynasty, Varmans, Khadga dynasty, Khadgas, Pala Empire, Palas, Candra dynasty, Chandras and Sena dynasty, Senas among others. In the 9th century, Arab Muslim traders frequented Bengali seaports and found the region to be a thriving seafaring kingdom with well-developed coinage and banking.


Medieval era

The
Pala Empire The Pala Empire (r. 750-1161 CE) was an imperial power during the Post-classical history, post-classical period in the Indian subcontinent, which originated in the region of Bengal. It is named after its ruling dynasty, whose rulers bore names ...
was an imperial power in the Indian subcontinent, which originated in the region of Bengal. They were followers of the Mahayana and Tantras, Tantric schools of Buddhism. The empire was founded with the election of Gopala as the emperor of Gaur, West Bengal, Gauda in 750. At its height in the early 9th century, the Pala Empire was the dominant power in the northern subcontinent, with its territory stretching across parts of modern-day eastern
Pakistan Pakistan, . Pronounced variably in English as , , , and . officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country in South Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, fifth-most populous country, with a popul ...

Pakistan
, northern and northeastern
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, ...

India
,
Nepal Nepal (; ne, नेपाल ), officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal ( ne, सङ्घीय लोकतान्त्रिक गणतन्त्र नेपाल ), is a landlocked country in South Asia. It is ma ...

Nepal
and
Bangladesh Bangladesh (, bn, বাংলাদেশ, ), officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh, is a country in South Asia South Asia is the southern region of Asia, which is defined in both geography, geographical and culture, ethno-c ...

Bangladesh
. The empire enjoyed relations with the Srivijaya Empire, the Tibetan Empire, and the Arab
Abbasid Caliphate The Abbasid Caliphate ( or ar, اَلْخِلَافَةُ ٱلْعَبَّاسِيَّةُ, ') was the third caliphate A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state under the leadership of an Islamic steward with the tit ...

Abbasid Caliphate
.
Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or ex ...
first appeared in Bengal during Pala rule, as a result of increased trade between Bengal and the Middle East. The resurgent Hindu
Sena dynasty The Sena Empire was a Hindu dynasty during the early medieval period on the Indian subcontinent, that ruled from Bengal through the 11th and 12th centuries. The empire at its peak covered much of the north-eastern region of the Indian subcont ...
dethroned the Pala Empire in the 12th century, ending the reign of the last major Buddhist imperial power in the subcontinent. Muslim conquests of the Indian subcontinent absorbed Bengal in 1204. The region was annexed by the
Delhi Sultanate The Delhi Sultanate was an Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see int ...
. Muslim rule introduced agrarian reform, a Bengali calendar, new calendar and Sufism. The region saw the rise of important city states in Sonargaon, Satgaon and Gauḍa (city), Lakhnauti. By 1352, Shamsuddin Ilyas Shah, Ilyas Shah achieved the unification of an independent Bengal. In the 14th and 15th centuries, the
Bengal Sultanate The Sultanate of Bengal ( bn, শাহী বাঙ্গালা, fa, شاهی بنگاله ''Shāhī Bangālah''), also known as the Bengal Sultanate or simply Bengal ( fa, بنگاله ''Bangālah'', bn, বাংলা, Bangla), was an e ...

Bengal Sultanate
was a major diplomatic, economic and military power in the subcontinent. It developed the subcontinent's relations with China, Egypt, the Timurid Empire and East Africa. In 1540, Sher Shah Suri was crowned Emperor of the northern subcontinent in the Bengali capital Gaur, West Bengal, Gaur.


Mughal era (1576–1757)

The
Mughal Empire The Mughal, Mogul, or Moghul Empire was an early modern The early modern period of modern history Human history, or world history, is the narrative of Human, humanity's past. It is understood through archaeology, anthropology, ge ...
conquered Bengal in the 16th century. The
Bengal Subah The Bengal Subah (also known as Mughal Bengal) was the largest subdivision Subdivision may refer to: Arts and entertainment * Subdivision (metre), in music * Subdivision (film), ''Subdivision'' (film), 2009 * "Subdivision", an episode of Priso ...
province in the Mughal Empire was the wealthiest state in the subcontinent. Bengal's trade and wealth impressed the Mughals so much that it was described as the ''Paradise of the Nations'' by the Mughal Emperors. The region was also notable for its powerful semi-independent Zamindars of Bengal, aristocracy, including the Baro-Bhuyan, Twelve Bhuiyans and the Nawabs of Bengal. It was visited by several world explorers, including Ibn Battuta, Niccolo De Conti and Admiral Zheng He. Under Mughal Empire, Mughal rule, Bengal was a center of the worldwide muslin and
silk Silk is a natural Nature, in the broadest sense, is the natural, physical, material world or universe The universe ( la, universus) is all of space and time and their contents, including planets, stars, galaxies, and all o ...

silk
trades. During the Mughal era, the most important center of cotton production was Bengal, particularly around its capital city of Dhaka, leading to muslin being called "daka" in distant markets such as Central Asia.Richard Maxwell Eaton (1996)
''The Rise of Islam and the Bengal Frontier, 1204–1760'', page 202
University of California Press
Domestically, much of India depended on Bengali products such as rice, silks and cotton textiles. Overseas, Europeans depended on Bengali products such as cotton textiles, silks and opium; Bengal accounted for 40% of Dutch East India Company, Dutch imports from Asia, for example, including more than 50% of textiles and around 80% of silks.Om Prakash (historian), Om Prakash,
Empire, Mughal
, ''History of World Trade Since 1450'', edited by John J. McCusker, vol. 1, Macmillan Reference USA, 2006, pp. 237–240, ''World History in Context''. Retrieved 3 August 2017
From Bengal, saltpetre was also shipped to Europe, opium was sold in Indonesia, raw silk was exported to Japan and the Netherlands, cotton and silk textiles were exported to Europe, Indonesia, and Japan,John F. Richards (1995)
''The Mughal Empire'', page 202
Cambridge University Press
cotton cloth was exported to the Americas and the Indian Ocean. Bengal also had a large
shipbuilding Shipbuilding is the construction Construction is a general term meaning the art and science to form Physical object, objects, systems, or organizations,"Construction" def. 1.a. 1.b. and 1.c. ''Oxford English Dictionary'' Second Edition o ...

shipbuilding
industry. In terms of shipbuilding tonnage during the 16th–18th centuries, economic historian Indrajit Ray estimates the annual output of Bengal at 223,250 tons, compared with 23,061 tons produced in nineteen colonies in North America from 1769 to 1771. Since the 16th century, European traders traversed the sea routes to Bengal, following the
Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal ** Portuguese cuisine, traditional foods ** Portuguese language, a Romance language *** Portuguese dialects, variants of the Portuguese language ** Portug ...
conquests of Malacca and Goa. The Portuguese established a Portuguese Chittagong, settlement in Chittagong with permission from the Bengal Sultanate in 1528, but were later expelled by the Mughals in 1666. In the 18th-century, the Mughal Court rapidly disintegrated due to Nader Shah's invasion of India, Nader Shah's invasion and internal rebellions, allowing European colonial powers to set up trading posts across the territory. The British East India Company eventually emerged as the foremost military power in the region; and defeated the last independent Nawab of Bengal at the
Battle of Plassey A battle is an occurrence of combat in warfare between opposing military units of any number or size. A war usually consists of multiple battles. In general, a battle is a military engagement that is well defined in duration, area, and force c ...
in 1757.


Colonial era (1757–1947)

In Bengal effective political and military power was transferred from the old regime to the British East India Company around 1757–65. Company rule in India began under the
Bengal Presidency The Bengal Presidency, officially the Presidency of Fort William and later Bengal Province, was a subdivision of the British India, British Empire in India. At the height of its territorial jurisdiction, it covered large parts of what is now So ...
. Kolkata, Calcutta was named the capital of British India in 1772. The presidency was run by a military-civil administration, including the Bengal Army, and had the world's sixth earliest railway network. Great Famines in India, Bengal famines struck several times during colonial rule (notably the
Great Bengal famine of 1770 The Bengal Famine of 1770 (Bengali: Chiẏāttôrer mônnôntôr, lit. The Famine of 76) was a famine that struck the Bengal region between 1769 and 1770 (1176 to 1177 in the Bengali calendar) and affected some 30 million people. It occurred duri ...
and
Bengal famine of 1943 The Bengal famine of 1943 was a famine A famine is a widespread scarcity of food Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for an organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισ ...
). Many Bengali laborers were taken as coolies to the British colonies in the Caribbean during the 1830s. About 50 million were killed in Bengal due to massive plague outbreaks and famines which happened in 1895 to 1920, mostly in western Bengal. The Indian Rebellion of 1857 was initiated on the outskirts of Calcutta, and spread to Dhaka, Chittagong, Jalpaiguri, Sylhet and Agartala, in solidarity with revolts in North India. The failure of the rebellion led to the abolishment of the Mughal Court and direct rule by the
British Raj The British Raj (; from ''rāj'', literally, "rule" in Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the In ...

British Raj
. The late 19th and early 20th century Bengal Renaissance had a great impact on the cultural and economic life of Bengal and started a great advance in the literature and science of Bengal. Between 1905 and 1911, an abortive attempt was made to Partition of Bengal (1905), divide the province of Bengal into two: Bengal proper and the short-lived province of Eastern Bengal and Assam. Under British rule, Bengal experienced deindustrialisation. In 1876, about 200,000 people were killed in Bengal by the 1876 Bangladesh cyclone, Great Bangladesh cyclone. Bengal played a major role in the
Indian independence movement The Indian independence movement was a series of historic events with the ultimate aim of ending British rule in India The British Raj (; from ''rāj'', literally, "rule" in Sanskrit Sanskrit (, attributively , ''saṃskṛta-'', ...
, in which revolutionary groups were dominant. Armed attempts to overthrow the British Raj began with the rebellion of Titumir, and reached a climax when
Subhas Chandra Bose Subhas Chandra Bose ( ; 23 January 1897 – 18 August 1945) was an Indian nationalist Indian nationalism developed as a concept during the Indian independence movement#REDIRECT Indian independence movement {{Rcat shell, {{R ...

Subhas Chandra Bose
led the
Indian National Army The Indian National Army (INA; ''Azad Hind Fauj'' ; ''lit.'': Free Indian Army) was an armed force formed by Indian Collaboration with the Axis Powers, collaborationists and Imperial Japan on 1 September 1942 in Southeast Asia during World War I ...
against the British. Bengal was also central in the rising political awareness of the Muslim population—the All-India Muslim League was established in Dhaka in 1906. The Muslim homeland movement pushed for a sovereign state in eastern British India with the Lahore Resolution in 1943. Hindu nationalism was also strong in Bengal, which was home to groups like the Hindu Mahasabha. In spite of a last-ditch effort to form a United Bengal, when India History of the Republic of India, gained independence in 1947, Bengal was Partition of Bengal (1947), partitioned along religious lines. The western part went to India (and was named West Bengal) while the eastern part joined
Pakistan Pakistan, . Pronounced variably in English as , , , and . officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country in South Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, fifth-most populous country, with a popul ...

Pakistan
as a province called
East Bengal ur, , common_name = East Bengal , status = Province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnati ...
(later renamed East Pakistan, giving rise to Bangladesh in 1971). The circumstances of partition were bloody, with widespread religious riots in Bengal. The 1970 Bhola cyclone took the lives of 500,000 people in Bengal, making it one of the deadliest recorded cyclones.


Post-partition (1947–present)


India

;West Bengal West Bengal became one of India's most populous states. Calcutta, the former capital of the British Raj, became the state capital of West Bengal and continued to be India's largest city until the late 20th century, when severe power shortages, strikes and a violent Naxalite, Marxist-Naxalite movement damaged much of the state's infrastructure in the 1960s and 70s, leading to a period of economic stagnation. West Bengal politics underwent a major change when the Left Front (West Bengal), Left Front won the 1977 assembly election, defeating the incumbent Indian National Congress. The Left Front, led by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M)) governed the state for over three decades, which was the world's longest elected Communist administration in history. Since the 2000s, West Bengal has experienced an economic rejuvenation, particularly in its IT industry. ;Tripura The princely state of Hill Tippera, that was under the suzerainty of British India. Following the death of Maharaja Bir Bikram Kishore Debbarman, the princely state acceded to the Dominion of India, Union of India on 15 October 1949 under the Tripura Merger Agreement signed by Maharani Regent Kanchan Prava Devi. By the 1950s, the region had a Bengali majority population due to the influx of Hindu refugees from East Pakistan after partition. It became a Union Territory of India in November 1953. It was granted full statehood with an elected legislature in July 1963. An Insurgency in Northeast India, insurgency by indigenous people affected the state for several years. The Left Front (Tripura), Left Front ruled the state between 1978 and 1988, followed by a stint of Indian National Congress rule until 1993, and then a return to the Communists. ;Karimganj district of Assam Karimganj District joined the Dominion of India, union of India after its partition from Sylhet region, Sylhet as per the Sylhet referendum in 1947 and has been a part of
Assam Assam (, ) is a state in Northeast India, northeastern India, south of the eastern Himalayas along the Brahmaputra Valley, Brahmaputra and Barak River valleys. Assam covers an area of . The state is bordered by Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh to ...

Assam
's . One of the most significant events in the region's history was the Bengali Language Movement (Barak Valley), language movement in 1961, in which the killing of agitators by state police led to Bengali being recognised as one of the official languages of Assam. The issue of Bengali settlement in the state has been a contentious part of the Assam conflict.


Bangladesh


=East Pakistan (1947–1971)

= In 1948, the Governor-General of Pakistan, Government of the Dominion of Pakistan ordained Urdu as the sole national language, sparking extensive protests among the Bengali-speaking majority of East Bengal. Facing rising sectarian tensions and mass discontent with the new law, the government outlawed public meetings and rallies. The students of the University of Dhaka and other political activists defied the law and organised a protest on 21 February 1952. The movement reached its climax when several student demonstrators were shot dead by police firing. As a result of the movement, Pakistan government in 1956 included Bengali as national lanuage along with Urdu. UNESCO in 1999 declared 21 February as International Mother Language Day honouring the 1952 incident.
East Bengal ur, , common_name = East Bengal , status = Province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnati ...
, which was later renamed to East Pakistan in 1955, was home to Pakistan's demographic majority and played an instrumental role in the founding of the new state. Strategically, Pakistan joined the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization under the Bengali prime minister Mohammad Ali of Bogra as a bulwark against communism. However, tensions between East and West Pakistan grew rapidly over political exclusion, economic neglect and ethnic and linguistic discrimination. The State of Pakistan was subjected to years of military occupation, military rule due to fears of Bengali political supremacy under democracy. Elected Bengali-led governments at the federal and provincial levels, which were led by statesmen such as A. K. Fazlul Huq and H. S. Suhrawardy, were deposed. During the 1960s, calls for greater self determination grew in East Pakistan. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman emerged as the leader of the province's dissent against the Pakistani state. Rahman launched the Six point movement for autonomy in 1966. In the 1970 national election, Rahman's party, the Awami League, won a majority of seats in parliament. The erstwhile Pakistani military junta refused to accept election results which triggered civil disobedience across East Pakistan. The Pakistani military responded by launching a 1971 Bangladesh genocide, genocide that caused the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971. The Provisional Government of Bangladesh, first Government of Bangladesh and the Mukti Bahini waged a guerrilla campaign with support from neighbouring India, which hosted millions of war refugees. Global support for the independence of East Pakistan increased due to the conflict's humanitarian crisis, with the Indian Armed Forces intervening in support of the Bangladesh Forces in the final two weeks of the war and ensuring Pakistan's surrender.


=Bangladesh (1971–present)

= After independence, Bangladesh adopted a secular democracy under its new Constitution of Bangladesh, constitution in 1972. Awami League premier Sheikh Mujibur Rahman became the country's strongman and implemented many socialist policies. A BAKSAL, one party state was enacted in 1975. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was Assassination of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, assassinated later that year during a Military coups in Bangladesh, military coup that ushered in sixteen years of military dictatorships and presidential governments. The liberation war commander Ziaur Rahman emerged as Bangladesh's leader in the late 1970s. He reoriented the country's foreign policy towards the West and restored free markets and the multiparty polity. President Zia was Assassination of Ziaur Rahman, assassinated in 1981 during a failed military coup. He was eventually succeeded by his army chief Hussain Muhammad Ershad. Lasting for nine years, Ershad's rule witnessed continued pro-free market reforms and the devolution of some authority to local government. The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) was founded in Dhaka in 1985. The Jatiya Party (Ershad), Jatiya Party government made
Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or ex ...
the state religion in 1988. A popular uprising restored parliamentary democracy in 1991. Since then, Bangladesh has largely alternated between the premierships of Sheikh Hasina of the Awami League and Khaleda Zia of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, as well as technocratic Caretaker government of Bangladesh, caretaker governments. State of emergency, Emergency rule was imposed by the military in 2007 and 2008 after widespread street violence between the League and BNP. The restoration of democratic government in 2009 was followed by the initiation of the International Crimes Tribunal (Bangladesh), International Crimes Tribunal to prosecute surviving collaborators of the 1971 genocide. Today, the country is one of the emerging and growth-leading economies of the world. It is listed as one of the Jim O'Neill, Baron O'Neill of Gatley#Next Eleven, Next Eleven countries, it also has one of the List of countries by real GDP growth rate, fastest real GDP growth rates. Its gross domestic product ranks List of countries by GDP (nominal), 39th largest in the world in terms of market exchange rates and List of countries by GDP (PPP), 30th in purchasing power parity. Its per capita income ranks List of countries by GDP (nominal) per capita, 143th and List of countries by GDP (PPP) per capita, 136th in two measures. In the field of human development, it has progressed ahead in life expectancy, maternal and child health, and gender equality. But it continues to face challenging problems, including Poverty in Bangladesh, poverty, Corruption in Bangladesh, corruption, Terrorism in Bangladesh, terrorism, Education in Bangladesh, illiteracy, and inadequate Health in Bangladesh, public healthcare.


Historical maps and flags of states

The Bengal region had been part of major empires and kingdoms like
Gangaridai Gangaridai ( gr, Γανγαρίδαι; Latin: ''Gangaridae'') is a term used by the ancient writers to describe a or a geographical region of the ancient . Some of these writers state that withdrew from the Indian subcontinent because of the ...
, Nanda Empire, Maurya Empire, Gupta Empire,
Pala Empire The Pala Empire (r. 750-1161 CE) was an imperial power during the Post-classical history, post-classical period in the Indian subcontinent, which originated in the region of Bengal. It is named after its ruling dynasty, whose rulers bore names ...
,
Sena dynasty The Sena Empire was a Hindu dynasty during the early medieval period on the Indian subcontinent, that ruled from Bengal through the 11th and 12th centuries. The empire at its peak covered much of the north-eastern region of the Indian subcont ...
, and
Bengal Sultanate The Sultanate of Bengal ( bn, শাহী বাঙ্গালা, fa, شاهی بنگاله ''Shāhī Bangālah''), also known as the Bengal Sultanate or simply Bengal ( fa, بنگاله ''Bangālah'', bn, বাংলা, Bangla), was an e ...

Bengal Sultanate
. It has also been a regional empire, ruling over neighbouring regions like
Bihar Bihar (; ) is a states and union territories of India, state in eastern India. It is the list of states and union territories of India by population, third-largest state by population and list of states and union territories of India by area ...

Bihar
, Orissa, India, Orissa, Rakhine State, Arakan, and parts of North India,
Assam Assam (, ) is a state in Northeast India, northeastern India, south of the eastern Himalayas along the Brahmaputra Valley, Brahmaputra and Barak River valleys. Assam covers an area of . The state is bordered by Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh to ...

Assam
and
Nepal Nepal (; ne, नेपाल ), officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal ( ne, सङ्घीय लोकतान्त्रिक गणतन्त्र नेपाल ), is a landlocked country in South Asia. It is ma ...

Nepal
.


Maps

File:Ptolemy Asia detail.jpg,
Gangaridai Gangaridai ( gr, Γανγαρίδαι; Latin: ''Gangaridae'') is a term used by the ancient writers to describe a or a geographical region of the ancient . Some of these writers state that withdrew from the Indian subcontinent because of the ...
in Ptolemy's map, 1st century File:Asia 800ad.jpg, The
Pala Empire The Pala Empire (r. 750-1161 CE) was an imperial power during the Post-classical history, post-classical period in the Indian subcontinent, which originated in the region of Bengal. It is named after its ruling dynasty, whose rulers bore names ...
, 9th century File:Sultanate of Bengal.png, At its greatest extent, the
Bengal Sultanate The Sultanate of Bengal ( bn, শাহী বাঙ্গালা, fa, شاهی بنگاله ''Shāhī Bangālah''), also known as the Bengal Sultanate or simply Bengal ( fa, بنگاله ''Bangālah'', bn, বাংলা, Bangla), was an e ...

Bengal Sultanate
's realm and protectorates stretched from Jaunpur in North India in the west to Tripura and Arakan in the east File:Bengal Sultanate.png, The
Bengal Sultanate The Sultanate of Bengal ( bn, শাহী বাঙ্গালা, fa, شاهی بنگاله ''Shāhī Bangālah''), also known as the Bengal Sultanate or simply Bengal ( fa, بنگاله ''Bangālah'', bn, বাংলা, Bangla), was an e ...

Bengal Sultanate
, 16th century File:1776 Rennell - Dury Wall Map of Bihar and Bengal, India - Geographicus - BaharBengal-dury-1776.jpg, Bengal &
Bihar Bihar (; ) is a states and union territories of India, state in eastern India. It is the list of states and union territories of India by population, third-largest state by population and list of states and union territories of India by area ...

Bihar
in 1776 by James Rennell File:Bengalpresidency 1858.jpg, Bengal Presidency, Colonial Bengal, 19th century File:Bengal gazetteer 1907-9.jpg, Colonial Eastern Bengal and Assam, early 20th century File:Bengal Province 1931.png, Province of Bengal (1931) File:WestBengalDistricts numbered.svg, Map of West Bengal File:BD Map admin.svg, Map of Bangladesh


Flags

File:Bengal Sultanate Flag.gif, Flag of
Bengal Sultanate The Sultanate of Bengal ( bn, শাহী বাঙ্গালা, fa, شاهی بنگاله ''Shāhī Bangālah''), also known as the Bengal Sultanate or simply Bengal ( fa, بنگاله ''Bangālah'', bn, বাংলা, Bangla), was an e ...

Bengal Sultanate
File:Flag of the Principality of Bengal (15th-18th century).svg, Flag of the
Bengal Subah The Bengal Subah (also known as Mughal Bengal) was the largest subdivision Subdivision may refer to: Arts and entertainment * Subdivision (metre), in music * Subdivision (film), ''Subdivision'' (film), 2009 * "Subdivision", an episode of Priso ...
(15-18th Century) File:Flag of British Bengal.svg, Flag of
Bengal Presidency The Bengal Presidency, officially the Presidency of Fort William and later Bengal Province, was a subdivision of the British India, British Empire in India. At the height of its territorial jurisdiction, it covered large parts of what is now So ...
, under British rule File:First flag of Bangladesh.png, Flag of
Bangladesh Bangladesh (, bn, বাংলাদেশ, ), officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh, is a country in South Asia South Asia is the southern region of Asia, which is defined in both geography, geographical and culture, ethno-c ...

Bangladesh
during Bangladesh Liberation War and after File:Flag of Bangladesh.svg, Flag of Bangladesh, Flag of
Bangladesh Bangladesh (, bn, বাংলাদেশ, ), officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh, is a country in South Asia South Asia is the southern region of Asia, which is defined in both geography, geographical and culture, ethno-c ...

Bangladesh
from 1972 onwards


Politics

Politically, the region is divided between the Bangladesh, People's Republic of Bangladesh, an independent Sovereign state, state, and the eastern provinces of the India, Republic of India, including
West Bengal West Bengal (, Bengali Bengali or Bengalee, or Bengalese may refer to: *something of, from, or related to Bengal, a large region in South Asia * Bengalis, an ethnic and linguistic group of the region * Bengali language, the language they sp ...

West Bengal
. Politically both Bangladesh and Indian Bengal are socialist, with left wing parties dominating the region's politics.


Bangladeshi Republic

The state of Bangladesh is a parliamentary republic based on the Westminster system, with a Constitution of Bangladesh, written constitution and a President of Bangladesh, President elected by parliament for mostly ceremonial purposes. The Government of Bangladesh, government is headed by a Prime Minister, who is appointed by the President from among the popularly elected 300 Members of Parliament in the Jatiyo Sangshad, the national parliament. The Prime Minister is traditionally the leader of the single largest party in the Jatiyo Sangshad. Under the constitution, while recognising
Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or ex ...
as the country's established religion, the constitution grants freedom of religion to non-Muslims. Between 1975 and 1990, Bangladesh had a presidential system of government. Since the 1990s, it was administered by non-political technocratic Caretaker government of Bangladesh, caretaker governments on four occasions, the last being under military-backed emergency rule in 2007 and 2008. The Awami League and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) are the two largest political parties in Bangladesh. Bangladesh is a member of the United Nations, UN, World Trade Organization, WTO, International Monetary Fund, IMF, the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, ADB, Organization of Islamic Cooperation, OIC, Islamic Development Bank, IDB, South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, SAARC, Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation, BIMSTEC and the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition, IMCTC. Bangladesh has achieved significant strides in List of countries by Human Development Index, human development compared to its neighbours.


Indian Bengal

West Bengal West Bengal (, Bengali Bengali or Bengalee, or Bengalese may refer to: *something of, from, or related to Bengal, a large region in South Asia * Bengalis, an ethnic and linguistic group of the region * Bengali language, the language they sp ...

West Bengal
is a constituent state of the India, Republic of India, with local State governments of India, executives and Vidhan Sabha, assemblies- features shared with other states in the Indian federal system. The president of India appoints a governor as the ceremonial representative of the Government of India, union government. The governor appoints the chief minister on the nomination of the legislative assembly. The chief minister is the traditionally the leader of the party or coalition with most seats in the assembly. President's rule is often imposed in Indian states as a direct intervention of the union government led by the prime minister of India. Each state has popularly elected members in the Indian lower house of parliament, the Lok Sabha. Each state nominates members to the Indian upper house of parliament, the Rajya Sabha. The state legislative assemblies also play a key role in electing the ceremonial president of India. The former president of India, Pranab Mukherjee, was a native of West Bengal and a leader of the Indian National Congress. The two major political forces in the Bengali-speaking zone of India are the Left Front (West Bengal), Left Front and the Trinamool Congress, with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Indian National Congress being minor players.


Crossborder relations

India and Bangladesh are the world's second and eighth most populous countries respectively. Bangladesh-India relations began on a high note in 1971 when India played a major role in the liberation of Bangladesh, with the Indian Bengali populace and media providing overwhelming support to the independence movement in the former East Pakistan. The two countries had a twenty five-year friendship treaty between 1972 and 1996. However, differences over river sharing, border security and access to trade have long plagued the relationship. In more recent years, a consensus has evolved in both countries on the importance of developing good relations, as well as a strategic partnership in South Asia and beyond. Commercial, cultural and defence co-operation have expanded since 2010, when Prime Ministers Sheikh Hasina and Manmohan Singh pledged to reinvigorate ties. The Bangladesh High Commission in New Delhi operates a Deputy High Commission in Kolkata and a consular office in Agartala. India has a High Commission in Dhaka with consulates in Chittagong and Rajshahi. Frequent international air, bus and rail services connect major cities in Bangladesh and Indian Bengal, particularly the three largest cities- Dhaka, Kolkata and Chittagong. Undocumented immigration of Bangladeshi workers is a controversial issue championed by right-wing nationalist parties in India but finds little sympathy in West Bengal. India has since fenced the border which has been criticised by Bangladesh.


Demographics

The Bengal region is one of the Population density, most densely populated areas in the world. With a population of 300 million,
Bengalis Bengalis or Bangalis ( bn, বাঙালি ), also rendered as the Bengali people, are an native to the region in . The population is divided between the independent country and the Indian states of , and 's . Most of them speak , a ...
are the third largest ethnic group in the world after the Han Chinese and Arabs. According to provisional results of 2011 Bangladesh census, the population of Bangladesh was 149,772,364; however, CIA's ''The World Factbook'' gives 163,654,860 as its population in a July 2013 estimate. According to the provisional results of the 2011 Indian national census, West Bengal has a population of 91,347,736. "So, the Bengal region, , has at least 241.1 million people, out of which 158.8 million are Muslims (66.4%), 77 million are Hindus (32%) and 5.3 million (1.6%) are others particularly (Buddhists, Christians, Animists etc)". Bangladesh is quite religiously homogeneous in comparison to West Bengal. The Muslim population in Bangladesh is over 134.8 million in 2011, which makes up 90% of the population in the country, while Hinduism is the second largest religious affiliation in Bangladesh, with around 12.5 million people identifying themselves as Hindus making up about 8.5% of the total population according to the 2011 census. West Bengal is quite religiously diverse in comparison to Bangladesh, with regional cultural and religious specificities. As of 2011, Hinduism is the most common religion in West Bengal, with adherents representing 70.54% of the total population, while Muslims are the second-largest community as well as the largest minority group, comprise 27.01% of the total population of the state. The Hindu population of West Bengal is 64,385,546 ,while the Muslim population is 24,654,825, according to the 2011 census. This figures give a population density of 1003.9/km2; making it among the most densely populated areas in the world.World Bank Group, World Bank Development Indicators Database, 2006. Bengali language, Bengali is the main language spoken in Bengal. Many phonological, lexical, and structural differences from the standard variety occur in peripheral varieties of Bengali across the region. Other regional languages closely related to Bengali include Sylheti language, Sylheti, Chittagonian language, Chittagonian, Chakma language, Chakma, Rangpuri language, Rangpuri/Rajbangshi, Hajong language, Hajong, Rohingya language, Rohingya, and Tangchangya language, Tangchangya. English is often used for official work alongside Bengali. Other major Indo-Aryan languages such as Hindi, Urdu, Assamese language, Assamese, and Nepali language, Nepali are also familiar to Bengalis. In addition, several minority ethnolinguistic groups are native to the region. These include speakers of other Indo-Aryan languages (e.g., Bishnupriya Manipuri language, Bishnupriya Manipuri, Sadri language, Oraon Sadri, various Bihari languages), Tibeto-Burman languages (e.g., A'Tong language, A'Tong, Chak language, Chak, Koch language, Koch, Garo language, Garo, Megam language, Megam, Meitei language, Meitei Manipuri, Mizo language, Mizo, Mru language, Mru, Pangkhua language, Pangkhua, Rakhine language, Rakhine/Marma Language, Marma, Kok Borok language, Kok Borok, Reang language, Riang, Tippera language, Tippera, Usoi language, Usoi, various Chin languages), Austroasiatic languages (e.g., Khasi language, Khasi, Koda language, Koda, Mundari language, Mundari, Pnar language, Pnar, Santali language, Santali, War language, War), and Dravidian languages (e.g., Kurukh language, Kurukh, Sauria Paharia language, Sauria Paharia). Life expectancy is around 72.49 years for Bangladesh and 70.2 for West Bengal. In terms of literacy, West Bengal leads with 77% literacy rate, in Bangladesh the rate is approximately 72.9%. The level of poverty in West Bengal is at 19.98%, while in Bangladesh it stands at 12.9% West Bengal has one of the lowest total fertility rates in India. West Bengal's TFR of 1.6 roughly equals that of Canada. About 20,000 people live on ''chars''. Chars are temporary islands formed by the deposition of sediments eroded off the banks of the Ganges in West Bengal, which often disappear in the monsoon season. They are made of very fertile soil. The inhabitants of the chars are not recognised by the Government of West Bengal on the grounds that it is not known whether they are Indian people, Indians or Bangladeshis. Consequently, no identification documents are issued to char-dwellers who cannot benefit from health care, barely survive because of very poor sanitation and are prevented from emigrating to the mainland to find jobs when they have turned 14. On a particular char, it was reported that 13% of women died at childbirth.


Economy

Historically, Bengal has been the industrial leader of the subcontinent. The region is one of the largest rice producing areas in the world, with West Bengal being India's largest rice producer and Bangladesh being the world's fourth largest rice producer. Other key crops include jute, tea, sugarcane and wheat. There are significant reserves of limestone, natural gas and coal. Major industries include
textile A textile is a flexible material made by creating an interlocking bundle of yarn Yarn is a long continuous length of interlocked fibres, suitable for use in the production of textiles, sewing, crocheting, knitting, weaving, embroidery, ...

textile
s, leather goods, pharmaceuticals, shipbuilding, banking and information and communication technology. Three stock exchanges are located in the region, including the Dhaka Stock Exchange, the Chittagong Stock Exchange and the Calcutta Stock Exchange. Below is a comparison of economies in the region of Bengal


Intra-Bengal trade

Bangladesh and India are the largest trading partners in South Asia, with two-way trade valued at an estimated US$6.9 billion. Most of this trade relationship is centered on some of the world's busiest land ports on the Bangladesh-India border, particularly the West Bengal section. The partition of India severed the once strong economic links which integrated the region. Decades later, frequent air, rail and bus services are increasingly connecting cities in Bangladesh and West Bengal, as well as the wider region, including Northeast India,
Nepal Nepal (; ne, नेपाल ), officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal ( ne, सङ्घीय लोकतान्त्रिक गणतन्त्र नेपाल ), is a landlocked country in South Asia. It is ma ...

Nepal
and
Bhutan Bhutan (; dz, འབྲུག་ཡུལ་, Druk Yul, ), officially known as the Kingdom of Bhutan ( dz, འབྲུག་རྒྱལ་ཁབ་, Druk Gyal Khap), is a landlocked country in the Eastern Himalayas. It is bordered by Chin ...

Bhutan
. However the overall economic relationship remains well below potential.


Major cities


Metropolises

The following are the largest cities in Bengal (in terms of population):


Major ports


Tourist attractions


Strategic importance

The Bengal region is located at the crossroads of two huge economic blocs, the SAARC and ASEAN. It gives access to the sea for the landlocked countries of
Bhutan Bhutan (; dz, འབྲུག་ཡུལ་, Druk Yul, ), officially known as the Kingdom of Bhutan ( dz, འབྲུག་རྒྱལ་ཁབ་, Druk Gyal Khap), is a landlocked country in the Eastern Himalayas. It is bordered by Chin ...

Bhutan
and
Nepal Nepal (; ne, नेपाल ), officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal ( ne, सङ्घीय लोकतान्त्रिक गणतन्त्र नेपाल ), is a landlocked country in South Asia. It is ma ...

Nepal
, as well as the Seven Sister States of North East India. It is also located near China's southern landlocked region, including Yunnan and Tibet. Both India and Bangladesh plan to expand onshore and offshore oil and gas operations. Bangladesh is Asia's seventh-largest Natural gas in Bangladesh, natural gas producer. Its maritime exclusive economic zone potentially holds many of the largest gas reserves in the Asia-Pacific. The Bay of Bengal is strategically important for its vital shipping lanes and its central location between the Middle East and the Pacific. The Bay of Bengal Initiative, based in Dhaka, brings together Bangladesh, India,
Myanmar Myanmar, ); UK pronunciations: US pronunciations incl. . Note: Wikipedia's IPA conventions require indicating /r/ even in British English although only some British English speakers pronounce r at the end of syllables. As John C. Wells, John ...

Myanmar
, Thailand, Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka to promote economic integration in the subregion. Other regional groupings include the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Forum for Regional Cooperation (BCIM) and the Bangladesh Bhutan India Nepal (BBIN) Initiative. Culturally, Bengal is significant for its huge Muslim and Hindu populations.
Bengali Muslims Bengali Muslims ( bn, বাঙালি মুসলমান, Bangalī Musolman) are an ethnic, linguistic and religious population who make up the majority of Bangladesh Bangladesh (, bn, বাংলাদেশ, ), officially the ...
are the world's second largest Muslim ethnicity (after Arab Muslims), and Bangladesh is the world's Islam by country, third largest Muslim-majority country (after Indonesia and
Pakistan Pakistan, . Pronounced variably in English as , , , and . officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country in South Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, fifth-most populous country, with a popul ...

Pakistan
).
Bengali Hindus Bengali Hindus ( bn, বাঙালি হিন্দু) are an ethnic, linguistic and religious population who make up the majority in the Indian states India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is ...
make up the second largest linguistic community in India.


Culture


Language

The
Bengali language Bengali (), also known by its endonym An endonym (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Euro ...
developed between the 7th and 10th centuries from Apabhraṃśa and Magadhi Prakrit. It is written using the indigenous Bengali alphabet, a descendant of the ancient Brahmi script. Bengali is the List of languages by number of native speakers, 5th most spoken language in the world. It is an eastern Indo-Aryan language and one of the easternmost branches of the Indo-European language family. It is part of the Bengali-Assamese languages. Bengali has greatly influenced other languages in the region, including Odia language, Odia, Assamese language, Assamese, Chakma language, Chakma, Nepali language, Nepali and Rohingya language, Rohingya. It is the sole state language of Bangladesh and the second most spoken language in India. It is also the seventh most spoken language by total number of speakers in the world. Bengali binds together a culturally diverse region and is an important contributor to regional identity. The 1952 Bengali Language Movement in East Pakistan is commemorated by UNESCO as International Mother Language Day, as part of global efforts to preserve linguistic identity.


Currency

In both Bangladesh and West Bengal, currency is commonly denominated as taka. The Bangladesh taka is an official standard bearer of this tradition, while the Indian rupee is also written as taka in Bengali script on all of its banknotes. The history of the taka dates back centuries. Bengal was home one of the world's earliest coin currencies in the first millennium BCE. Under the Delhi Sultanate, the taka was introduced by Muhammad bin Tughluq in 1329. Bengal became the stronghold of the taka. The silver currency was the most important symbol of sovereignty of the Sultanate of Bengal. It was traded on the Silk Road and replicated in
Nepal Nepal (; ne, नेपाल ), officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal ( ne, सङ्घीय लोकतान्त्रिक गणतन्त्र नेपाल ), is a landlocked country in South Asia. It is ma ...

Nepal
and China's Tibetan protectorate. The Pakistani rupee was scripted in Bengali as taka on its banknotes until Bangladesh's creation in 1971.


Literature

Bengali literature has a rich heritage. It has a history stretching back to the 3rd century BCE, when the main language was Sanskrit written in the brahmi script. The
Bengali language Bengali (), also known by its endonym An endonym (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Euro ...
and Bengali–Assamese script, script evolved circa 1000 CE from Magadhi Prakrit. Bengal has a long tradition in folk literature, evidenced by the ''Charyapada, Chôrjapôdô'', ''Mangalkavya'', ''Shreekrishna Kirtana'', ''Maimansingha Gitika'' or ''Thakurmar Jhuli''. Bengali literature in the medieval age was often either religious (e.g. Chandidas), or adaptations from other languages (e.g. Alaol). During the Bengal Renaissance of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Bengali literature was modernised through the works of authors such as Michael Madhusudan Dutta, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay, Rabindranath Tagore, Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay, Kazi Nazrul Islam, Satyendranath Dutta and Jibanananda Das. In the 20th century, prominent modern Bengali writers included Syed Mujtaba Ali, Jasimuddin, Manik Bandopadhyay, Tarasankar Bandyopadhyay, Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay, Buddhadeb Bose, Sunil Gangopadhyay and Humayun Ahmed. Prominent contemporary Bengali writers in English include Amitav Ghosh, Tahmima Anam, Jhumpa Lahiri and Zia Haider Rahman among others.


Personification

The Bangamata is a female national personification, personification of Bengal which was created during the Bengali Renaissance and later adopted by the Bengali nationalism, Bengali nationalists. Hindu nationalism, Hindu nationalists adopted a modified Bharat Mata as a national personification of India. The Mother Bengal represents not only biological motherness but its attributed characteristics as well – protection, never ending love, consolation, care, the beginning and the end of life. In Amar Sonar Bangla, the national anthem of Bangladesh, Rabindranath Tagore has used the word "Maa" (Mother) numerous times to refer to the motherland i.e. Bengal.


Art

The Pala-Sena School of Art developed in Bengal between the 8th and 12th centuries and is considered a high point of classical Asian art. It included sculptures and paintings. Islamic Bengal was noted for its production of the finest cotton fabrics and saris, notably the Jamdani, which received warrants from the Mughal court. The Bengal School of Art, Bengal School of painting flourished in Kolkata and Shantiniketan in the
British Raj The British Raj (; from ''rāj'', literally, "rule" in Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the In ...

British Raj
during the early 20th century. Its practitioners were among the harbingers of modern painting in India. Zainul Abedin was the pioneer of modern Bangladeshi art. The country has a thriving and internationally acclaimed contemporary art scene.


Architecture

Classical Bengali architecture features terracotta buildings. Ancient Bengali kingdoms laid the foundations of the region's architectural heritage through the construction of monasteries and temples (for example, the Somapura Mahavihara). During the Bengal Sultanate, sultanate period, a distinct and glorious Islamic style of architecture developed the region. Most Islamic buildings were small and highly artistic terracotta mosques with multiple domes and no minarets. Bengal was also home to the largest mosque in South Asia at Adina Mosque, Adina. Bengali vernacular architecture is credited for inspiring the popularity of the bungalow. The Bengal region also has a rich heritage of Indo-Saracenic architecture, including numerous zamindar palaces and mansions. The most prominent example of this style is the Victoria Memorial, Kolkata. In the 1950s, Muzharul Islam pioneered the modernist terracotta style of architecture in South Asia. This was followed by the design of the Jatiyo Sangshad Bhaban by the renowned American architect Louis Kahn in the 1960s, which was based on the aesthetic heritage of Bengali architecture and geography.


Sciences

The Gupta dynasty, which is believed to have originated in North Bengal, pioneered the invention of chess, the concept of zero, the heliocentrism, theory of Earth orbiting the Sun, the study of Sun, solar and Moon, lunar eclipses and the flourishing of Sanskrit literature and Sanskrit drama, drama. Bengal was the leader of scientific endeavours in the subcontinent during the
British Raj The British Raj (; from ''rāj'', literally, "rule" in Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the In ...

British Raj
. The educational reforms during this period gave birth to many distinguished scientists in the region. Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose pioneered the investigation of radio and microwave optics, made very significant contributions to plant science, and laid the foundations of experimental science in the Indian subcontinent. IEEE named him one of the People known as the father or mother of something, fathers of radio science. He was the first person from the Indian subcontinent to receive a United States patent law, US patent, in 1904. In 1924–25, while researching at the University of Dhaka, Prof Satyendra Nath Bose well known for his works in quantum mechanics, provided the foundation for Bose–Einstein statistics and the theory of the Bose–Einstein condensate. Meghnad Saha was the first scientist to relate a star's spectrum to its temperature, developing thermal ionization equations (notably the Saha ionization equation) that have been foundational in the fields of astrophysics and astrochemistry. Amal Kumar Raychaudhuri was a physicist, known for his research in general relativity and cosmology. His most significant contribution is the eponymous Raychaudhuri equation, which demonstrates that singularities arise inevitably in general relativity and is a key ingredient in the proofs of the Penrose–Hawking singularity theorems. In the United States, the Bangladeshi-American engineer Fazlur Rahman Khan emerged as the "father of tubular designs" in skyscraper construction. Ashoke Sen is an Indian theoretical physicist whose main area of work is string theory. He was among the first recipients of the Fundamental Physics Prize “for opening the path to the realisation that all string theories are different limits of the same underlying theory”.


Music

The Baul tradition is a unique heritage of Bengali folk music. The 19th century mystic poet Lalon Shah is the most celebrated practitioner of the tradition. Other folk music forms include Gombhira, Bhatiali and Bhawaiya. Hason Raja is a renowned folk poet of the
Sylhet region Sylhet Division is the northeastern of . It is bordered by the of , and to the north, east and south respectively, and by the Bangladeshi divisions of to the southwest and and to the west. Etymology and names The name ''Sylhet'' is an ...
. Folk music in Bengal is often accompanied by the ektara, a one-stringed instrument. Other instruments include the dotara, dhol, flute, and tabla. The region also has a rich heritage in Hindustani classical music, North Indian classical music.


Cuisine

Bengali cuisine is the only traditionally developed multi-course tradition from the Indian subcontinent. Rice and fish are traditional favourite foods, leading to a saying that "fish and rice make a Bengali". Bengal's vast repertoire of fish-based dishes includes Hilsa preparations, a favourite among Bengalis. Bengalis make distinctive confectionery, sweetmeats from milk products, including ''Rasgulla, Rôshogolla'', ''Chômchôm'', and several kinds of ''Pithe''. The old city of Dhaka is noted for its distinct Indo-Islamic cuisine, including biryani, bakarkhani and kebab dishes.


Boats

There are 150 types of Bengali country boats plying the List of rivers in Bangladesh, 700 rivers of the Bengal delta, the vast floodplain and many oxbow lakes. They vary in design and size. The boats include the dinghy and sampan among others. Country boats are a central element of Bengali culture and have inspired generations of artists and poets, including the ivory artisans of the Mughal era. The country has a long
shipbuilding Shipbuilding is the construction Construction is a general term meaning the art and science to form Physical object, objects, systems, or organizations,"Construction" def. 1.a. 1.b. and 1.c. ''Oxford English Dictionary'' Second Edition o ...

shipbuilding
tradition, dating back many centuries. Wooden boats are made of timber such as ''Jarul'' (dipterocarpus turbinatus),'' sal'' (shorea robusta), ''sundari'' (heritiera fomes), and ''Teak, Burma teak'' (tectons grandis). Medieval Bengal was shipbuilding hub for the Mughal Empire, Mughal and Ottoman Empire, Ottoman navies. The British Royal Navy later utilised Bengali shipyards in the 19th century, including for the Battle of Trafalgar.


Attire

Bengali women commonly wear the ''sari, shaŗi'' and the salwar kameez, often distinctly designed according to local cultural customs. In urban areas, many women and men wear Western-style attire. Among men, European dressing has greater acceptance. Men also wear traditional costumes such as the ''kurta'' with ''dhoti'' or ''pyjama'', often on religious occasions. The lungi, a kind of long skirt, is widely worn by Bangladeshi men.


Festivals

The two religious festival, Eids and Muharram are the biggest and most important festivals for Muslims, who are the majority.Durga Puja is the biggest festival of the Hindus in Bengal as well as the most significant socio-cultural event of the Bengali Hindus in general. Christmas (called Borodin in Bengali) is also a major festival where people irrespective of their beliefs and faiths participate. Other major festivals include Kali Puja, Saraswati Puja, Holi, Rath Jatra, Janmashtami, Poila Boishakh and Makar Sankranti, Poush Parbon.


Media

Bangladesh has a diverse, outspoken and privately owned News media, press, with the largest circulated Bengali language newspapers in the world. English-language titles are popular in the urban readership. West Bengal had 559 published newspapers in 2005, of which 430 were in Bengali. Cinema of Bangladesh, Bengali cinema is divided between the media hubs of Dhaka and Kolkata.


Sports

Cricket and association football, football are popular sports in the Bengal region. Local games include sports such as Kho Kho and Kabaddi, the latter being the national sport of Bangladesh. An Indo-Bangladesh ''Bengali Games'' has been organised among the athletes of the Bengali speaking areas of the two countries.


See also

* Bengali Renaissance *
Bengalis Bengalis or Bangalis ( bn, বাঙালি ), also rendered as the Bengali people, are an native to the region in . The population is divided between the independent country and the Indian states of , and 's . Most of them speak , a ...
* Greater Bengal * East India * Hindi Belt * List of Bengalis * North-East India * Punjab


Notes


References


External links

* * * {{Authority control Bengal, Regions of Asia Geography of South Asia Geography of Bangladesh Geography of India History of Bangladesh History of West Bengal Regions of India Historical Indian regions Subdivisions of British India Divided regions Bengali-speaking countries and territories