The geography of West Bengal includes the Darjeeling Himalayan hill region in its extreme north, the Ganges delta, the Rarh region and the coastal Sundarbans.
The main ethnic group are the Bengali people, with Bengali Hindus forming the demographic majority.
West Bengal montage: Dakshineswar Temple Maa Durga at Durga temple, Kolkata High Court Mahesh Rathayatra, Serampore Rock Garden, Darjeeling & White Bengal tiger Front View of The Victoria Memorial Building Hooghly Imambara), making it similar in size to Serbia.
A part of the ethno-linguistic Bengal region, it borders Bangladesh in the east and Nepal and Bhutan in the north.
In the 4th century AD, it was absorbed into the Gupta Empire.
From the 13th century onward, the region was ruled by several sultans, powerful Hindu states and Baro-Bhuyan landlords, until the beginning of British rule in the 18th century.
Between 19, the state was administered by the world's longest elected Communist government.
A major agricultural producer, West Bengal is the sixth-largest contributor to India's net domestic product.
Ancient Bengal was the site of several major janapadas, including Vanga, Radha, Pundra and Suhma.
In the 2nd century BC, the region was conquered by the emperor Ashoka.
The British East India Company cemented their hold on the region following the Battle of Plassey in 1757, and Calcutta served for many years as the capital of British India.The early and prolonged exposure to British administration resulted in expansion of Western education, culminating in development in science, institutional education, and social reforms of the region, including what became known as the Bengal Renaissance.