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Geography of Birbhum District

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  • General Description :  Birbhum is the northernmost District of the Burdwan Division.  It lies between 23 32' 30" and 24 35' 0" north latitude and 88 1' 40" and          87 5' 25" east longitude. In shape it looks like an isosceles triangles. The apex is situated at the northern extremity not far south of point where the Ganges and the hills of the Santhal Paraganas begin to diverge while the river Ajay forms the base of this triangle. Birbhum is bounded on the north and west by Santhal Paraganas, on the east by the districts of Murshidabad and Burdwan and on the south by Burdwan, from which it is separated by the Ajay river. The district extends over an area of 4545 Sq. Kms.
     

  • River System : The district is well drained by a number of rivers and rivulets running in nearly every case from west to east with a slight southerly inclination. Only two are rivers of any magnitude , viz., the Mor and the Ajay, the latter of which marks the southern boundary, while the Mor runs through Birbhum from West to East. Both rivers are of considerable size when they enter the district, their width varying according to the configuration of the country, from two hundred yards to half a mile. The Ajay first touches the district at its south-west corner, and follows a winding course in an easterly direction, till it enters Burdwan at the extreme south-eastern angle of Birbhum, eventually falling into Bhagirathi near Katwa. The Mor enters Birbhum from the Santhal Paraganas near the village of Haripur  and flows through the centre of the district from west to east, passing two miles north of Suri and forming the southern boundary of the Rampurhat Sub-division. It leaves the district a little east of Gunutia and joins Dwarka which itself is a tributary of the Bhagirathi. The Mor is also widely known as Mayurakshi meaning "the peacock eyed", i.e. having water as lustrous as the eye of the peacock. Between the Mor and Ajay there are a few large streams coming from beyond the western boundary, of which the Hinglo is the most important. It enters the District from the Santhal Paraganas some eight miles north of Ajay, flows through Dubrajpur thana, and gradually approaches that river, unites with it at Chapla, after a course in Birbhum of about 15 miles. Another river is the Bakreswar, which rises at hot spring of same name near Tantipara, some ten miles west of Suri, and after following a zigzag course eastward, and receiving one by one the waters of almost all the rivulets, joins the Mor a few miles beyond the eastern boundary of the district. Other important rivers of the district includes the Brahmani, the Bansloi, the Pagla, the Kopai or Sal.
     

  •  Climate : The climate of the district is generally dry, mild and healthy. The hot weather usually last from the middle of March to the middle of the June, the rainy season from the middle of June to the middle of October, and the cold weather from middle of October to the middle of March.       They do not always correspond to these limit.  As a rule, the wind is from south-east in Summer and from the north-west in winter.
     

  • Flora :The eastern portion of the district is a continuation of the rice plain of West Bengal, and the vegetation is characteristics of rice fields in Bengal generally, species of Aponogeton, Utricularia, Drosera, Dopatrium, Ilysanthes, Hydrolea, Sphenoclea and similar aquatic or palustrine genera being abundant. In the drier undulating country to the west the characteristic shrubs and herbs include species of  Wendlandia, Evolvulus, Stipa, Tragus, Perotis, Spermacoce, Zizyphus , Capparis and other similar plants affecting a laterite soil. Trees like mango , palm, bamboo are frequently found. Other abundant species are jack, arjun, sal, piar, dhau, kend  and mahua.
     

  • Fauna : The carnivores of the district included leopards, bears, wolves and other small species. With the growth of population and settlements, leopards and bears have vanished over time. Wild pigs and wolves may be found in small tracts jungle of Chinpai, Bandarsol and Charicha. Wild elephants from nearby Santhal Paraganas (now Jharkhand) migrate into the district in search of food and sometime in attraction of Mahua flower. Apart from these long tailed apes, called Hanuman are commonly found. They often damage growing crops in the villages. The birds commonly found in the district include partridges, green pigeons, and various water fouls. But their number have dwindled considerably due to reckless hunting. Few migratory birds are also found near Bolpur. Common birds of deltaic Bengal are mixed up in this district with birds of wooded hill, doyel, indian robin, drongo, hawk cuckoo, koel, sun bird, Indian roller ( nilkantha ),  parrot and babblers are found in abundance. The major verities of fish include rui, katla are found in rivers. Tanks, which are numerous in the district are stocked with rui, katla, mrigel, magur and koi.

(Source : BENGAL DISTRICT GAZETTEERS -  BIRBHUM by L.S.S.O'Malley) - 1st Reprint:  October 1996 (c) Govt. of West Bengal 1996 & BENGAL DISTRICT GAZETTEERS -  BIRBHUM by Durgadas Majumdar, IAS, December, 1975.(c) Govt. of West Bengal 1996. )
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This site is designed, developed and maintained by National Informatics Centre,
 Birbhum  District Unit, New Administrative Building, Suri, Birbhum-731101,
 West Bengal , India.