Some countries are so big and diverse, like India which is a sub-continent on its own, that selecting travel videos by region makes sense. Below is the list of videos concerning West Bengal • northeastern state of India. These videos are edited on the basis of photos taken during the trip Buddhist India • Sikkim • Bihar • West Bengal (EN). A click on the globe displays the list of all videos about India.


West Bengal

West Bengal is the fourth largest state in India by population. The state has more than 90 million inhabitants. The economy of the state is mainly based on agriculture and in particular the cultivation of rice, followed by potatoes, jute, sugar cane and wheat. In northern West Bengal, at the foot of the Himalayas, conditions are ideal for growing tea. Darjeeling produces a very popular tea.

The state capital is Kolkota (Calcutta).

History of West Bengal

The first human settlements in this region of eastern India seem to date back to 20,000 years if we believe objects discovered during excavations in the region.

The Greeks knew the area as early as the 1st century BC as Gangaridai. Bengal has traded with its Burmese, Thai, Malaysian and Indonesian neighbors since ancient times.

One of the first great kingdoms in the region is Magadha, founded in the 7th century BC which extended over the territories of present-day Bihar and West Bengal. It was one of the 4 main kingdoms during the time of Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha) and Mahavira, founder of Jainism. The kingdom of Magadha had as its capital Rajgir in Bihar. This kingdom was also the cradle of the Maurya dynasty which, during the time of the Buddhist Emperor Ashoka, extended over much of South Asia. The kingdom of Magadha was strongly impacted by the invasions of the Huns and ended up disappearing.

Islam

The first appearances of Islam date from the 12th century with the arrival of Sufi missionaries. Islam was a resounding success with the working castes who saw in this new religion a means of escaping their miserable condition, at the foot of the Hindu caste scale.

The Delhi Sultanate invaded Bihar and Bangale, like much of India at the start of the 13th century. The region would remain under the control of the Delhi sultanates and then of Bengal for several centuries.

In the 16th century, the Mughals took power in the region which would later give way to the British colonizer.

Colonial period

The first Europeans were traders who arrived in the region in the 15th century. But in 1757, the British East India Company invaded the region and took control of Bengal and Bihar. The British put in place very tough tax laws, and there followed a great famine in 1770 which left millions of people dead.

The British made Calcutta their capital.

The region was at the forefront of Indian resistance to the colonizer.

Indian independence

India's independence in 1947 was a painful moment. Not that the Bengalis regretted the departure of the colonizers, but because they caused mass exoduses by dividing their empire according to religious criteria. Thus, Muslims were moved to the eastern part of Bengal, in present-day Bangla Desh, while the Hindus were regrouped in the western part. Bengal has therefore experienced the same suffering as the Punjab in western India.

Video gallery • India, West Bengal


 

Vimeo showcase • West Bengal