|City / Urban Agglomeration|
From the top :
The Clock Tower of Raiganj
Raiganj Railway Station
Sudarshanpur Durga Puja
|• Body||Raiganj Municipality|
|• Chairman||Sandip Bisawas(TMC)|
|• Superintendent of Police||Amit Kumar Bharat Rathod (IPS)|
|• District Magistrate||Smt. Ayesha Rani (IAS)|
|• Total||8.99 km2 (3.47 sq mi)|
|Area rank||15th in WB|
|Elevation||40 m (130 ft)|
|• Rank||15th in WB|
|• Density||18,378/km2 (47,600/sq mi)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Vehicle registration||WB-60/ WB-59|
|Lok Sabha constituency||Raiganj|
|Vidhan Sabha constituency||Raiganj|
Raiganj (Pron:ˈraɪˌgʌnʤ) is a city and a municipality in Uttar Dinajpur district in the Indian state of West Bengal. It is the headquarters of the district as well as a subdivision. The place oozes heritage. Tradition and a rich past haunt the residents of the 300-year-old town. Even the police station was set up 125 years ago and railway connectivity reached the place 115 years ago. The city houses the 106 year old Raiganj Coronation High School. Raiganj got its railway communication way back in 1896. The train used to go to Parbatipur junction in Bangladesh from Raiganj. The rail link helped the town become an important trading centre, aided by the additional benefit of waterways.
The origin of the name Raiganj is not exactly known. There is a debate about the origin of the name. Some say the name is linked to the royal family of Dinajpur whose surname was Rai. There are several views regarding the origin of the name. But, the widely accepted view is that the name originated from the abundance of rai sorshe (a special type of mustard) corps at this place from time immemorial. 
Raiganj is known for Raiganj Wildlife Sanctuary (also called the Kulik bird sanctuary), home to a large population of Asian openbills and other waterbirds and it has the 2nd largest church in India. Raiganj is situated at the banks of Kulik river which helped the town to become an important place for water connectivity. But, in course of time, navigability of Kulik river decreased and business through the waterway was stopped in the first half of the 1970s, especially after the dam was erected to prevent floods. The port area slowly lost its significance and, at present, it is the most backward locality of Raiganj.
The area of this town is about 10.76 km2. But the present growing tendency and trend of urbanization in the area adjacent to this town are also remarkable. The agglomeration areas are also experiencing this trend. Now the vast areas under Birghai, Maraikura, Rupahar, Bahin, karnojora is also growing with the population like the town of Raiganj and this population is dependent on Raiganj town. 
In the 2011 census, Raiganj Urban Agglomeration had a population of 199,758, out of which 104,966 were males and 94,792 were females. The 0–6 years population was 22,028. Effective literacy rate for the 7+ population was 81.71 per cent. As per provisional reports of Census India, population of Raiganj in 2011 is 183,612; of which male and female are 96,388 and 87,224 respectively. Although Raiganj city has population of 183,612; its urban / metropolitan population is 199,690 of which 104,733 are males and 94,957 are females. Hinduism is majority religion in Raiganj city with 97.37% followers. Islam is second most popular religion in city of Raiganj with approximately 2.16% following it. In Raiganj city, Christianity is followed by 0.13%, Jainism by 0.16%, Sikhism by 0.05% and Buddhism by 0.05%. Around 0.00% stated 'Other Religion', approximately 0.11% stated 'No Particular Religion'. As of 2001[update] India census, Raiganj had a population of 165,222. Males constitute 53% of the population and females 47%. Raiganj has an average literacy rate of 75%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 79%, and female literacy is 71%. In Raiganj, 11% of the population is under 6 years of age.
Raiganj has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cwa). The average high temperature in July, the warmest month, is 39 °C (102 °F), and in January, the coldest month, 26 °C (79 °F). The average annual temperature is 24.9 °C (76.8 °F). On average, 1,430 millimetres (56 in) of rain falls per year, with most of it falling in the wet season months of June through September. The wettest month is July, with 348 millimetres (13.7 in) of precipitation on average; the driest month is December, with only 5 millimetres (0.20 in).
|Climate data for Raiganj|
|Average high °C (°F)||20.3
|Average low °C (°F)||9.2
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||19
Rickshaws, auto-rickshaws and Totos are the most widely available public transport in Raiganj. Most of the residents of Raiganj stay within a few kilometres of the town centre and have their own vehicles, mostly motorcycles and bicycles.
Raiganj railway station is on the Barsoi-Radhikapur branch line. Railways connectivity reached here more than 150 years ago but, due to Indo-Bangladesh partition in 1971 the links through Bangladesh were lost and the railway became only a branch line. NH 34 passes through Raiganj which connects is to the capital of the state Kolkata. Conversion of the highway to 4 lanes is going on and the proposed highway will bypass Raiganj by about 6 km. The roadways connectivity suffers due to the traffic jam caused at Dalkhola on a regular basis. Raiganj also lacks in Railways connectivity because the Railway station is on a branch line. The nail in the coffin was hammered back in the 1960s when the broad gauge line was shifted to Malda-Barsoi-Dalkhola and thus bypassing Raiganj.
Raiganj is connected by buses to few major cities thanks to NBSTC and private bus services. NH 34 and SH 10A are its lifelines. SH 10A connects it to Kaliaganj, Balurghat, Hili. Buses are available all day long to Balurghat, Siliguri, Jalpaiguri, Alipurduar, Coochbehar, Malda, Kolkata and few other important cities. Overnight bus facilities are available mostly to Kolkata, Dhubri.
Raiganj railway station is on the Barsoi-Radhikapur branch line. One express train Radhikapur Express is available for reaching Kolkata and a link superfast express train Radhikapur-Anandvihar Express is available for going to New Delhi. Besides these couple of Katihar bound local passenger trains and a Siliguri bound DMU passenger can also be availed. Present C.M of West bengal Mamata Banerjee during her reign as a railways minister announced couple of railways projects for Raiganj which will definitely boost the communication.
Raiganj has no airport of its own.
The nearest operating airport is Bagdogra Airport near Siliguri, about 166 km from Raiganj. IndiGo, Jet Airways and SpiceJet are the major carriers that connect the area to Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Guwahati, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangkok, Paro, Chandigarh.
Situated along the National Highway and by the side of the Kulik river is the Raiganj Wildlife Sanctuary with an area of 35 acre and buffer area of 286.23 acre. The forest, water bodies and the river attract the migratory birds like Open Bill Strok, Night heron, cormorant, little cormorant & Egrets from South Asian countries and coastal regions. Local birds like dove, bulbul, sparrow, king fisher, woodpeckers, owl, duck & cuckoo, can also be seen in large numbers. The migratory birds arrive from end of May to Ist week of July and depart from mid December to end of January. The nesting time is from July to August & egg laying from August to September. The flying training to the young ones is the best time to observe the birds, around October to November. Every winter nearly 150 different bird species arrive here from the north in numbers ranging from 65,000 to 75,000. Some of the common migratory birds seen here are Open-Billed Storks, Asian Open-billed storks, Egrets, Knight Herons, and Cormorants. Indian birds like kites, flycatchers, kingfishers, owls, woodpeckers, drongos, and bee eaters. The sanctuary has artificial network of man made canals which is connected to the River Kulik. During the months of monsoon the flood water from the river enters the plains of the sanctuary. This acts as the important source of food for most of the bird species.
Legal status of the Forest:-
|Reserved Forest||573.71 Acre|
|Protected Forest||249.50 Acre|
|Unclassed Forest||660.54 Acre|
|Total||1483.75 Acre = 610.71 Ha = 6.01 Sq. km|
This bird sanctuary is all set to be rejuvenated as plans of developing a deer park and a tortoise park soon at the core of the sanctuary by State government.
The cathedral, Raiganj Church dedicated to St. Joseph the Worker, the patron saint of Raiganj Diocese shows the faith and support of the people of the diocese, the leadership provided by Bishop Alphonsus D'Souza S.J. and the planning and implementation by Fr. Sunny M.V., the treasurer of the diocese and secretary of the Bishop. The spacious cathedral towering towards the blue skies has exquisite glass and ceiling paintings, prominent pillars on both sides modeled on Greek pillars, beautifully carved doors and magnificent high altar with an hexagonal dome on top of it with eye-catching paintings.
Ayodhya is the birthplace for 5 tirthankars Adinath, Ajitnath, Abhinandannath, Sumatinath and Ananthnath. Shri 1008 Digamabar Adinath Jain Mandir is one of the most famous temple in aodhya. A 31 feet tall Adinath idol in standing posture is present here. This place has been recently developed with the blessings of Acharya ratna Deshbhushanji Maharaj and Ganini Pramukh Aryika Gyanmati Mataji. There is a famous shvetambar temple dedicated to Ajitnatha with a copper-colored idol of 30 cm as its Moolnayak. There are other jain temples including Kamal Mandir, Chaubisi temple etc.
There are few other notable tourist destination nearby which spreads throughout the Uttar Dinajpur district. 
|Sap nikla forest and tourists visit the lake and the forest for site seeing. Development of an Eco park is underway.||Chopra block, 22 km from Islampur|
|Eco Tourism at Bijolia More is being developed. Here river Sudhani forms an island by dividing into 2 branches and joining again.||Bijolia More|
|Temple of Goddess Bhairabi||Bindole|
|Mosque of Burhana fakirs. Mosque of Burhana fakirs|
|Temple of Goddess Kali of Baira.||Kaliaganj|
|Terracotta pottery & Malgaon.||Kunore|
|Banabithi Resort||Barui, Barduari.|
Raiganj's schools usually use English and Bengali as their medium of instruction, although the use of Hindi language is also stressed. The schools are affiliated with the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) or the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) or the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education. Schools include:-
The Durgapur Public School (DPS) located at Bekidanga Itahar, Uttar Dinajpur, W.B. is an English medium co-educational institution that meets both the national and the international standard requirements of education for the new millennium. It was established in 2009 and is affiliated to CBSE.Citation needed
There are several colleges and a govt. polytechnic in the town. Recently, Raiganj College has been upgraded to Raiganj University, an autonomous, state-owned university. The colleges of Raiganj were affiliated to University of North Bengal but after establishment of University of Gour Banga at Malda in 2008, the colleges are now affiliated to University of Gour Banga.
Raiganj University is a public university in Raiganj, in the Uttar Dinajpur district. It offers undergraduate and postgraduate courses in arts, commerce and sciences. It became a university in August 2015. Earlier it was a university college, which was affiliated to the University of North Bengal. It also offers Ph.D. programmes in Humanities- and Science-based subjects.
As of 2016, the healthcare system in Raiganj consists of a government super speciality hospital, under the Department of Health & Family Welfare, Government of West Bengal, and quite a few private medical establishments. 
There are a total of 400 existing beds for patients in different wards of Raiganj district hospital. But there was no infrastructure for the treatment of dying patients and the patients who suffer from complicated diseases of kidney and heart. Hence, on most occasions, the complicated patients are being transferred either to North Bengal Medical College & Hospital in Siliguri or Malda medical college and even to Kolkata which is 444 km away. The patient parties are facing great crisis to shift their patients either to Siliguri or Malda. Sometimes, patients die on the way as a result of complexities. On 27 November, the state Chief Minister Miss Mamata Banerjee during her visit to Raiganj announced that Raiganj district hospital would be upgraded to a Super Specialty hospital.
List of Private Hospitals:-
|Upasam Nursing Home||NH 34, Near Satsang Bihar|
|Nibedita Seba Sadan||Ukil Para Road, Raiganj - 733134|
|Purabi Nursing Home||Near Ramkrishna School|
|Sudha Nursing Home||Debinagar, Raiganj - 733123, Opposite UBI Bank|
|Jeevan Deep Nurshing Home||Ukilpara Road, Raiganj - 733134, Near Raiganj Distinct Hospital|
|Micky Megha Hospital Pvt. Ltd.||SH12, Raiganj - 733134|
|Raiganj Advance Medical Research Institute(R.A.M.R.I)||NH 34, Near Satsang Bihar|
It was proposed that an AIIMS like multi speciality hospital would be set up at the suburbs of Raiganj. If this project of Rs 923 crore would have come to Raiganj, it would see development by all means. Not only in the health sector, but also communication, employment generation and infrastructure. The effect would have been multi-dimensional. A central team visited the proposed site of 125-acre land at Sitgram - 7 km from Raiganj. After the Congress rout in the Lok Sabha elections and the defeat of Union minister Deepa Dasmunshi in Raiganj, it could be the end of the road for a plan to have an All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Raiganj. In his first meeting with directors of the six new AIIMS on Friday, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said the Centre is willing to look into West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's suggestion that the proposed medical institute should be shifted out of Raiganj.
Raiganj remains an important trading centre, running daily business transaction of at least 6 crore on average, next only to Siliguri. Around two lakh people visit Raiganj everyday for business. But, there is no industry as such in Raiganj. In the suburbs, there is a government-undertaken spinning mill with about 800 employees but even that it is gasping. It could shut down any day. Economy of Raiganj also depends greatlyon agriculture. Raiganj is the sole producer of a special quality aromatic basmati rice named as Tulaipanji. This rice was even sent to London Olympics for its aroma and taste. A special kind of brinjal is also produced at Raiganj which is much bigger and tastier than its other species. Few years ago there was no shopping malls, restaurants at Raiganj and people had to go to Malda or Siliguri to avail those facilities. But, gradually shopping malls and restaurants are being set up at the heart of the town which will boost its economy and will provide opportunities for employment. Unfortunately there is no large scale industry. If the problems of communication is solved it has all the prospects to grow as a city.
Raiganj has full-fledged banking services. Almost all the leading banks and insurance companies have branches at Raiganj. There is plenty of ATMs all around the town. So, for the people living here there is atleast an ATM at a stone throwing distance.
There is Raiganj municipality.It is divided into 25 wards a.Currently, the Indian National Congress, which has 22 elected councillors, controls the municipal board. Mr.Mohit Sengupta of the Congress is the current chairman of the outgoing board. But, the post of chairman is now vacant as the municipal election is withheld. Raiganj is not really the district headquarters though we term the town as the headquarters of North Dinajpur. The administrative buildings are located at Karnajora - a gram panchayat area five kilometres from Raiganj town. All along, Raiganj was developed in a scattered manner. When West Dinajpur existed, this side was deprived since the district headquarters was in Balurghat.
In year 2008 23 March, The Union I&B and Parliamentary affairs minister Mr Priyaranjan Dasmunshi inaugurated the newly constructed Raiganj Bhawan in Kolkata(Kasba area).
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