Jalpaiguri district is a district of West Bengal state with its administrative headquarters located at Jalpaiguri city. The district got its name Jalpaiguri, from the two Bengali terms one is jalpai meaning "olive" and the other one is guri meaning “a place” since in 1900 the place had numerous olive trees. According to one other source the name of the district can also be associated with Jalpesh (Shiva), the presiding deity of the entire region. In the ancient period westernDooars and the most of the part of eastern Morang comprises the district. According to a popular historian named Sailen Debnath, earlier the district was a part of the kingdom of Kamrup. During the mid of the seventh century it came under the kingdom of Kamatapur. In the writings of Sailen it is mentioned that out of the five ancient capitals of Kamatapur three were located within the boundary of Jalpaiguri districtand the three capitals were Chilapata, Mainaguri and Panchagarh. Sailen also mentioned that Hingulavas, the first capital of the next Koch kingdom was also in Jalpaiguri district.It is believed that perhaps the present day’s Mahakalguri located in Alipurduar sub-division was the Hingulavas of ancient period. During the partition of 1947, southernmost 5 police stations of the district were severed from Jalpaiguri and joined to the then East Pakistan (now Bangladesh).Jalpaiguri as a separate district came into existence in the year 1869.
Hari Shankar Roy, an eminent Indian track and field athlete who specializes in the high jump was born on 4th April, 1986 at Jalpaiguri district.At the 2010 South Asian Games, he won the gold medal in the high jump by clearing a height of 2.16 m.
Geographically, the district lies at 26°52'N latitude, 88°72'E longitude and 75 m Altitude.In the year 2019, there was a total 45.97% forest area of total geographical area.The district encompasses a geographical area of 6,227 sq. km. and it is surrounded by Bhutanon the north, Bangladesh onthe south, Assam on the East and Darjeeling districtonthe North West. Thedistrict is apart of monsoon climate zone of South-EasternAsia.Mostof its rainfalloccurs during the monsoon season.The actual rainfall in the district was 3493.7 mm in the year of 2019-2020.
Administration wise, the district is divided into2sub-divisions namely Jalpaiguri Sadar andMalbazar. Thedistrict has 1 Lok Sabha seat and 8 Assembly constituencies. Moreover, the district comprises 39 towns and 733 villages.Theadministrative languageinthedistrict is Bangali.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 38,72,846 including 19,83,064 are males and 18,89,782 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 953 females for every 1000 males. During the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 13.87% out of which 13.24% were males and 14.53% were females. As per 2011 census the major religion in the district is Hindu with81.51% of the total population. The population density in the district is 622 (persons per sq. km.). According to 2011 census the principal languages in the district are Bengali and Hindi with 66.30% and 20.27%.In the year 2018 the number of live births in the district was 30,620 out of which 15,659 were males and 14,961 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 11,343 out of which 6,959 were males and 4,384 were females.
The economy of the district is mainly dependent on agricultural. The chief agricultural products of the district are Paddy, oil seeds, jute and tobacco. Coconut andblack pepper are the common plantation crops of the district. Slowly and gradually some farmers are adopting the new agricultural techniques and equipments in order to increase the production. Some of its population are engaged in sheep rearing to earn their livelihood. It has some industries also like saw mill, jute mill, tea industry, metal products, re-rolling mills, plastic and polymer products which contribute in its economy to a great extent. In the year 2013-14 the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 28,18,260 lakh at Current Price and Rs. 14,24,017 lakh at Constant Prices in the year 2004-2005. The Net Domestic Product in the district during the period 2013-14 was Rs. 25,90,855 lakh at Current Price and Rs. 12,89,638 lakh at Constant Prices in the year 2004-2005. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, At Factor Cost in the district during the period 2013-14 was Rs. 59,652 at Current Price and Rs. 29,693 at Constant Prices in the year 2004-2005.
Theschoolsofthedistrictarerunbygovernment, private organisations and some religious organizations.Some reputed educational institutions in the district are Alipurduar College, Ananda Chandra College of Commerce, Vivekananda College, Sukanta Mahavidyalaya, Jalpaiguri Polytechnic College, Falakata College, Jalpaiguri Law College, Birpara College, Ananda Chandra Teacher’s Training College, etc. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 73.25% out of which 79.95% are males and 66.23% are females. The total number of literates in the district is 24,98,780 including 13,96,622 are males and 11,02,158 are females.
Mahendra Kumar Roy, an illustrious Indian politician and a member of the 15th Lok Sabha was born on 31st December, 1955 at Goriapara village in Jalpaiguri district. He is a member of Communist Party of India (Marxist). He started his political career at the village level. He was also served as a member in the gram panchayat (1978-1988), Panchyat Samiti (1993-1998) and Jalpaiguri Zila Parishad (1998-2003).Joachim Baxla, a distinguished politician of India and the member of the 14th Lok Sabha from Alipurduar constituency was born on 16th January, 1955 at Jalpaiguri city. Earlier, he was a member of the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) but at present he is a member of Trinamool Congress political party.
Jalpaiguri district has a variety of tourist places that allures numerous travellers from far distance place. Malbazaar, a place situated at a distance of 65 km. from Jalpaiguri has some centres of attraction namely Jhalong, Bindu, Samsing and Suntalekhola. Buxa Tiger Reserve, located 180 km. from Siliguri is a National Park. One can found Tiger, Leopard (Black Panther also), Elephant, Clouded Leopard, Himalayan Black Bear, Barking Deer, etc. It is a perfect destination for the animal lovers. Bhutanghat, a place situated 45 km. from Alipurduar is full of breath taking natural sceneries is beside the Raidak River bordering Bhutan. Chapramari Forest in the district is famous for the elephant. Moreover, a huge variety of extraordinary flora and fauna covers the forests. Garumara Wildlife Sanctuary, located 72km. from Siliguri is an exceptional wildlife of this place. Some other notable tourist places in the district are Jalpaiguri palace, Jalpaiguri Nawab Bari, Rabindra Bhawan, Teesta River, Teesta Udyan, etc.