There are various relics from Stone Age that are found in the district. These relics are similar to those discovered in Singhbhum, Purulia, Dhanbad and Bankura districts. These relics throw light on the fact that the entire zone had been in one and the same cultural zone. The name of the city in itself suggests a close association with Mahavira Bardha- man, the twenty-fourth and the last Jain Tirthankara. The Parasnath hill in Dhanbad district that is close to the border of Bardhaman was an important and holy center for Jains. It is believed that Mahavira, during the course of his sermons and speeches had visited Bardhaman. A large number of stone images of the different Tirthankars have been discovered in Burdwan(Bardhaman) district. Bardhaman played an important role during the age of Guptas and Sena kings. During the Muslim and Mughal period Burdwan was an important administrative headquarters.
It was at Bardhaman that Sher Afghan, husband of Nurjehan lived as a Jagirdar. He was anxious to bring his wife to his harem, for which he deputed Kutubuddin(as his Subedar) to Bardhaman. Ultimately both Sher Afghan and Kutubuddin were killed in a fight somewhere near the present Burdwan railway station. The two graves are seen lying side by side in Burdwan.
It was Bardhaman that gave sanctum to Pir Baharam when he had to leave Delhi due to the machinations of Abul Fazal and Faizi in Akbar`s time. Even today Hindus and Muslims of Bardhaman recall Pir Baharam with great regard.
There is also a large mango garden at Bardhaman known as Satir Math or the field of Sati. This field was witness to a hundreds of devoted wives who immolated themselves on the funeral pyre of their husbands.
The handover treaty of the three villages of Sutanuti, Gobindapur and Kolkata were signed between the East India Company and the Mughals at Bardhaman. Later the East India Company went on to rule India. These three villages grew up to be known as Kolkata or Calcutta today.
Geography of Bardhaman
The exact location of Bardhaman is 23.25Â° North and 87.85Â° East. It has a mean elevation of 40 metres (131 feet). The city is located slightly less than 100 km north- west of Kolkata, the capital of the state of West Bengal. It lies on the Grand Trunk Road (National Highway 2) and falls on the route of the Eastern Railway. The chief rivers are the Damodar and the Banka nala. As per the 2001 India census, Bardhaman has a total population of 285,871. The population is made up of 52% males and 48% females. Bardhaman has a mean literacy rate of 77%, higher than the nationwide standard of 59.5%. 55% of the males and 45% of the females are literate. 9% of the population is children below six years of age.
Main Rivers of the district are Ajay, Bhagirathi or Hooghly, Damodar and Barakar. In the district 30,949 hectares of the total land are covered by forest. These forest areas are broadly classified into Reserved Forests, Protected forests and unclassified state forests and lands.
Demography of Bardhaman
As per the 2001 census, the population of the district is 6.91 million. The sex ratio of Bardhaman is 921 females per 1000 males. The density of the population was 985 per sq. km. Bengali, and Hindi are the main languages spoken in the district.
Economy of Bardahaman
Bardhaman is predominantly an agricultural district, which is properly known as the granary of West Bengal. Most of the people depend on agriculture. The district of Burdwan is predominantly agricultural in its eastern part and highly industrialized in the western regions.
There are about 194 coalmines within its jurisdiction. The coals are being mined in Raniganj Coalfield since the year 1800. There are vast reserves for superior non-coking and inferior quality coals in these areas. Good quality fire clay occurs in the Barakar stage of the Raniganj coalfield. Besides, the fire clays, pottery clays and brick clays are also available. The principal commodity for trade in Bardhaman is rice. Rice is exported to other neighboring countries. The district has a very good network of Irrigation facilities. The main sources of irrigation are Government canals, tanks, wells and tube wells. Arasnol, which is a subdivision of the district, is one of the major industrial regions in the state of West Bengal. The most important of which is Durgapur, which has been built up as an industrial complex of the state. A large number of large sized industries have come up in the Durgapur Township. Besides, three important steel works are found at Kulu, Hirapur and Burnpur. Likewise, locomotive works at Chittaranjan, a big aluminum works at J.K. Nagar, a large paper mill at Raniganj are the important industries that deserve mention.