West Bengal (পশ্চিমবঙ্গ), the entryway to Eastern India, is cloaked in olden times that date back to the distant past. It is the fourth-most populous state of the nation. West Bengal is bordered by Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and the Indian states of Assam, Orissa, Sikkim, Jharkhand and Bihar. The state metropolis of West Bengal is Kolkata. Since the ancient times, the territory of Bengal has been a significant region. The preliminary mention of this particular province could be found in the epic of Mahabharata. The area was strategically located near the sea, and various divisions of people established here that included Aryans as well.
The Historical Facts:
Ancient Bengal – The initial mention of Bengal as “Vanga” could be discovered in the ancient Mahabharata epic. During that era, the territory was separated into smaller kingdoms and was regulated by chieftains. According to the old records found in the Vedic literature, the province was inhabited by various groups of individuals who belonged to different races. The original inhabitants were not regarded to be Arans but rather Dravidians. The Aryans could be seen in Bengal after the end of the Vedic period. However, it is assumed that the Brahmins were the offspring of the Aryan invaders who had forced their customs upon Bengal’s Primitive Barbarian tribes.
Medieval Bengal – Control was exercised by several dynasties over Bengal when monarchy became prevalent in India. The emperors of “Guptas” and “Mauryas” had established their rule over Bengal. As Gupta Empire established its rule, all other small kingdoms came to an end that had once prospered in Bengal. From 800 AD to 11th century was the time frame when “Pala Dynasty” had launched their firm rule over the territory after which the Empire of Bengal was overtaken by “Sen Dynasty”, who ruled next for more than 100 years. At the beginning of the 13th century, the Bengal kingdom was subjugated by Bakhtiyar Khilji – the Turkic military general of Qutub-Ud-In-Aibak, the Sultan of Delhi.
Modern Bengal – The modern past of Bengal can be recorded back to the late 17th century when the conventional monarchy of the State was disturbed by the foreign influences. Portuguese, French, Dutch and British influence had also commenced in the 17th century when due to the tactful location and rising textile market, Bengal had acquired prominence. The British arrived at Bengal as traders (by the name of the ‘East India Company’) in 1690 AD for the purpose of general business and gradually obtained the administrative control over the whole State, eventually that took about sixty years & continued for another 200 years. When looking at the other side, the “Mughal Dynasty” had also lost their grip over the entire State of Bengal at that period of time.
The slackened clench of the Muslim rulers of Bengal was exposed during the ‘Battle of Plassey’, which took place in the year 1757 in between British General Robert Clive & Nawab Siraj-Ud-Daulah. The British had completely imposed their rule in Bengal after defeating Siraj-Ud-Daulah – the last independent Nawab (Muslim Ruler) of Bengal. 1764 was the year when Bengal became an important part of the British Empire in India, and this happened after the completion of the ‘Battle of Buxar’. A ‘Subahdar’ (provincial governor) of the State was fixed by the British ‘East India Company’ and obtained whole financial and administrative power. This was the time when the real colonization of India had started taking place. “Calcutta” (now Kolkata) became the official capital of India in the year 1772.