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21 -September -2014

Siliguri

 

History Of Siliguri :

Siliguri is a relatively newly-founded town whose geographic positioning which made it an international trade centre, earned it importance post Independence and segregation of countries as India connects with northeastern Indian States plus Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal through Siliguri.

Siliguri was once a small village with not much presence in the area but the British East India Trading Company’s arrival in the area gave it prominence. The British endeavour to connect Kolkata to Darjeeling made them establish a Railway which had to pass through Siliguri. The British launch of the Himalayan Railway Steam Tramway – the Toy Train which commences at Siliguri and ends at Darjeeling put Siliguri on the map.
The British administration made Siliguri a Sub-Division in 1907 and Siliguri Municipality was established in 1949 post Indian Independence. Right up till the 19th Century, this quaint little town of Siliguri was covered with the dense Dolka Forest Range and was ruled by the Kingdom of Nepal whereas Darjeeling and its surroundings were ruled by the Kingdom of Sikkim.
The Nepali rule in Siliguri region brought about settlements of Nepali Lepcha and Kirati people. The India-Pakistan split brought about a huge migration of Bangladeshis to the Siliguri region. And between both periods the British’s endeavour of gaining a stronghold over the northeastern states of India caused a sizeable British settlement in Siliguri. Tea and Timber Trade; Tourism; and lending Siliguri roadways to Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan has also caused settlements from these countries in Siliguri. Currently, Siliguri is a cosmopolitan owing to lakhs of domestic and foreign tourists who stopover at Siliguri on their way to Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Kurseong, Gangtok, Kathmandu and Thimpu.
Kingdom of Nepal ruled the Siliguri Plains in the 18th Century right uptil the early 19th Century when the British East India Company in 1828 began paving roadways and railways between Siliguri and Darjeeling. Owing to its geographic location and altitude, Siliguri became famous for its Tea, Timber, Transport and Tourism.

Famous Personalities:

  • Wriddhiman Prasanta Saha - Indian cricketer playing for Kolkata Knight Riders and Chenna Super Kings - was born in Siliguri.
  • Mantu Ghosh - Gold Medalist in South Asian Federation Games.
  • Nandita Saha - Table Tennis player.
  • Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, Subhas Chandra Bose and Chittaranjan Das had made transit halts in Siliguri on their way up to Darjeeling few times.
  • Arthur Campbell Director of British East India Company & Joseph Dalton Hooker - British Explorer and Lieutenant Robert Napier - British Armed Forces together were instrumental in establishing a solid road-link between Siliguri and Darjeeling.
  • Subhash Ghising - 'Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) was instrumental in the formation of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council stayed for about three years of his political freeze time in Siliguri and Jalpaiguri.
  • Charu Majumder , a political leader.
  • Ankita saha, Olympic played Teble Tennis player .

Tourist Attractions:

  • North Bengal Science Centre, Matigara
  • Salugara Monastery with a high stupa
  • Madhuban Park of Indian Army
  • Teesta Canal
  • Mahananda Barrage
  • Coronation Bridge
  • Suryasen Park
  • Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary
  • North Bengal University
  • Iskcon Temple
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