(Last Updated on : 30/08/2012)
The district with its headquarter at Chinsurah is within the Burdwan subdivision of West Bengal. In Bipradash Piplai`s "Manasamangal" and in the Muslim account Ain -I -Akbari the name of the place has been mentioned for several times, which indicates that the name "Hooghly"does not have foreign origin. As far as the history concerns, the district derived its name from "Hogla", a tall reed grows along the banks of the river and the marshy lowland.
The district of Hooghly, along the bank of river Hooghly, is one of the economically developed districts in West Bengal, holding a population of about 50,40,047, as per the 2001 census. The density of population was 1383 per sq.km. Though an urban arrangement, nearly the 68.81% of population constitute the rural folk.
The language of the majority is not proper Bengali, rather the dialect is here known as metropolitan Bengali. Along the western tract of the Darakeswar River, the language is somewhat an amalgamation of the dialect of Bankura and the Rari of Bardhaman. A limited amount of natives mainly in the Arambagh subdivision speak Hindi and Urdu. In the interior parts, Santali spoken communities are also found.
Hindus and Muslims are the two religions that mainly comprise the populace of the district. The government has been successful to provide electricity to 1898 villages till 2001.
The economically developed district has an unyielding foundation of education since the dawn of history. In ancient times, Sanskrit was the most prominent subject an it was obligatory to know Sanskrit .To teach the language once there was a profusion of "tolls", generally known as "Chatuspathi". In the primitive days, when there was no well- built school building, students came to the "tolls" to have their education.
Therefore the development of education in the district is not a sudden outcome. Presently the district, Hooghly shares a prominent place in the field of education in the state. There are about 2993 primary schools and 548 secondary schools, 139 higher secondary schools and madrashas all over the district. Several steps had been implemented to set up schools in the villages in order to wipe out illiteracy from the district.
Apart from the Government undertaking schools, some private concerns and religious institutions have also come up and put up several convents, which has been, directly affiliated to the I.C.S.E and C.B.S.E.
In Hooghly, there are 2 general colleges, offering the courses of B.A, B.S.C and B.Com, of which mention may be made of Hooghly Mohsin College at Chinsurah and Serampore College at Serampore.
Due to the escalating prosperity of the software firms in the region, the demand of the IT trainers are being increasing. Hence the need of technical and vocational training has been emphasized. There is presently one engineering college providing degree courses and 4 Engineering colleges providing diploma courses. However some teacher`s training institutions have been booming up in Hooghly to supplement the need of the teachers for the schools.
Presently some NGO`s have become active enough to propagate education among the backward classes. The scenario of education has been gradually changing with the economic situation of the district.
The district of Hooghly offers a rich cultural heritage since the prehistoric times. The region of Hooghly existed even when there was no separate state called West Bengal. The region, as has been inhabited by several generations for years, it inherited a diversified cultural heritage.
However the cultural tradition in Hooghly mainly follows the Hindu custom. The Jagadhatri Puja is the principal festival here, which was even elevated to the status of Durga Puja in Kolkata, clearly represents the Hindu custom here. The uniqueness of this Puja is the height of the idol and intricate and attractive lightings. Makar Sankranti was another festival of equal importance. It was the traditional beliefs that the prayers of those are fulfilled who take dip in the Tribeni Sangam.
Mahesh is the principal fair held on the occasion of "Rathajatra". Printing Machine was first established in the district in the year of 1778 and the first Bengali book (Bengali version of A Grammar of the Bengali Language) was printed here. Thus the district is the onlooker of many first establishments, hence historically significant. Moreover the buildings of Hooghly are the lively embodiments of the ancient culture and tradition.
Thus Hooghly is just after Bardhaman, which is economically and culturally affluent with a strong base of education.
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