History of South 24 Pargana District says
The nomenclature 24-Parganas has been in vogue since 15 July 1757 when Mir Jafar whom the East India Company had just established as Nawab of Bengal ceded to the Company the rights of 24 mahals. The treaty by which the cession is recorded says that &ldquoall the land lying to the south of Calcutta as far as Culpee, shall be under the Zemindari of the English Company and all the officers of this Zemindari shall be under their jurisdiction. The revenue to be paid by it (the company) in the same manner with other Zemindari&rdquo. The Parwana notifying effect to the Treaty mentions the name of the 24 units of granted land. The District of 24-Parganas started taking shape under Clause Nos.2,3 and 9 of the Regualtion of 1793. The respective jurisdictions of the civil and criminal courts for the district and revenue jurisdiction of the District Collector were demarcated by the Regulations. This arrangement remained valid till 1800.
The present district of South 24 Parganas came into existence on 1st of March, 1986. It then comprised of two sub divisions- Alipore and Diamond Harbour and of 30 blocks. Presently there are five sub divisions (Alipore, Baruipur, Canning, Diamond Harbour and Kakdwip), 29 blocks and 7 Municipalities.
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Features of South 24 Pargana District
South 24 Parganas is, indeed, a complex district, stretching from the metropolitan Kolkata to the remote riverine villages upto the mouth of Bay of Bengal, Apart from its staggering size and population, the district administration has to contend with problems typical of metropolitan living in the urban area&mdashsuch as high population density and overload civic infrastructure&mdashand in complete contrast, in the rural area the lack of transport and communication facilities and weak delivery systems. 84% of the population lives in the rural areas, where development is taken care of by the panchayat bodies. The remaining 16% population is looked after by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation and seven municipalities. The scheduled caste comprises 39% of the total population and B.P.L. families constitute 37.21% of the population.
The Sundarbans, the largest mangrove forests on earth, are spread over thirteen of the twenty-nine development blocks in the district. Due to its peculiar geographical location and the dictates of geography, the means of transport and communication in this region are not well developed, with all the attendant consequences. Lack of irrigation has meant mono-cropped agriculture. Breaches in earthen embankments and cyclonic storms mean loss of life and destruction of crops and property on a regular basis. Any development strategy in this ecologically fragile environment must be carefully designed and implemented.
Canopied with bondless azure sky with babbling streams and rivulets flowing across the endless stretch of greenary – the Sundari, Garan, Keora, Hental, Dhundul, Golpata, Passur, Garjan, Kakra and many other variety of trees – World’s best mangrove forest, the largest delta of the world, with all her exotic beauty and silent mystery – The Sundarban is waiting to welcome you. Be with Khorlo Tours & Travels on our own luxurious pleasure launch – destined to take you through the meandering canal of Durga Duani to the area of Tiger Project. While moving through the rippling waters of Matla you will come across rivers of different sizes and shapes named as Bidya, Hogol, Gosaba, Gona, Kartal, Netai, Raimangal, Kalindi, Haribhanga, Bidyadhari and Sundarban will unfold her myriad beauties before you one after other.
The deep dense forest, the murmur of the sparking rivulets, various species of local and other migratory birds as Tern, Kingfisher, Heron, Cormorant, Egret, Seagull, White Bellied Sea Eagle, Whimprel, Black Tailed Godwit, Little Stint, Sandpiper, Golden Plover, Pintail, White-eyed Pochard, Dalmetion Pelican, Ospery, Shaheen Falcon, Lesser Adjutent Strok & Estuarine Crocodiles basking in the wintry sunshine, Chinese Pangolin, Spotted and Axis Deer, Wild Boar, Rhesus Monkey, Leopard Cat, Indian Fishing Cat, Common Yellow Water Moniter, Marine Indian Soft/ Flap shelled Olive Ridley Turtles, Gigantic Dolphin, Hard shelled Batagur, Terrapin, Pythons, King Kobra, various type of lizards and the feeling of emancipation in the lap of nature will certainly touch your mind.
The inaccessibility of Sunderbans (declared as a Tiger Reserve on 1973) is its biggest attraction and in the mystery-shrouded Pirkhali, Gazikhali, ChoraGanjikhali, DeolBharani, Bhagaban Bharani, Panchamukhani and Sunarkhari you may have a glimpse of that awful beauty- A Born Man Eater- The Royal Bengal Tiger. You may ascend the watch tower of Sajnekhali, Sudhanyakhali, Do Baanki, Marichjhapi, Burir Dabri and Netidhopani overlooking an untamed forestscape and enjoy sights and sounds of nature resplendent in her pristine virginal beauty.
At dusk as the birds retire to their nests and the sky tinged with rays of the setting sun, the entire forest undergoes a subtle transformation when the shapes and forms, silhoutted against the evening sky, acquire a surrealistic character. The night stay in launch with eternal silvery moonlight, the star-studded blue sky and the constant murmur of the river is a different experience altogether. The varigated moods and colours of the forest form a Kaleidoscope, which is sure to fascinate you. The sounds of nocturnal birds at a distance will take your mind far far away from this madding world.
The most interesting wilderness of the world, Sunderbans is a paradise for wild life enthusiasts, bird and butterfly watchers. Honey collectors, fishermen with their typical fishing boats will be an added attraction.
Places of tourist interest
Goshaba: Remembered as Sir David Hamilton’s Settlement.
Sajnekhali Bird Sanctuary: Situated on the confluence of Matla and Gumdi rivers, a home of Herons, Egrets and other species.
Mayadwip & Kalasdwip: The nestling place of Olive Ridley Turtles with a beautiful beach & densely wooded island.
Bhagabatpur: It is a hatchery cum sanctuary of the biggest Estuarine Crocodile.
Lothian Island: A Bird Sanctuary famous for White Bellied Sea Eagle, Black capped Kingfisher, Whimbrell, & Tern.
Gangasagar: Culturally and religiously important destination with a good beach. Most of the year the place is one serene spots you can think of : windblown, absolutely quite, with sweeping views of the mighty Ganga ending its journey into the sea, and a lovely island they call Sagardwip. But come mid-january( the last day of the month of Pous in the Bengali Calendar), divinitity seems to descend from the blue sky overhead on to the waters and the beach at Sagardwip. Millions of pilgrims and devotees from all over india come to take a dip in the freezing waters here to cleanse all sins away and offer worship at the temple of Kapil Muni. A huge and colourful fair takes place on this occasion- aptly names Sagar Mela – which is held once a year during Makar Sankranti.
Frazergunj & Bakkhali: A wellknown beach especially a Bird Watches Paradise, Beach with Casuarinas and Red Fiddle Crab. Go shell-picking, watch fishermen come in with their silvery catch. Glory in the sun leaping up like a fiery ball from the depth of the sea. Experience darkness descending like a curtain, with a velvely sky arching over your head, and catch the phosphorescent gleam of the rolling waves. The casuarina groves are thick, quite and full of romance. The twin white sand beaches are entirely different from the other beaches. They are pristine, pure and hold the charms of a beach unspoilt.
Then why delay? Have a pleasure trip to the land of Ma Bonobibi, Dakshinaroy, the Royal Bengal Tiger and the World Heritage Site (awarded by UNESCO in 1997) – the Biosphere Reserve with Khorlo Tours & Travels (P) Ltd. Your comfort and convenience is our responsibility and we are sure that the wide range of flora & fauna, the warm hospitality, assurance of safety and mouthwatering delicacies will give you full satisfaction.
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