- Hooghly River
The Hooghly River (Bengali হুগলী, "Hugli"; Anglicized alternatively spelled "Hoogli" or "Hugli") or the Bhāgirathi-Hooghly, is an approximately 260 km long
distributaryof the Ganges Riverin West Bengal, India. It splits from the Ganges as a canalin Murshidabad Districtat the Farakka Barrage. The town of Hugli-Chinsura, formerly Hooghly, is located on the river, in the Hooghly (district). The origins of the "Hooghly" name are uncertain, whether the city or the river was named first.
The Farakka Barrage is a dam that diverts water from the Ganges into a
canalnear the town of Tildanga in Murshidabad District. The canal provides the Hooghly with water even in the dry season. It parallels the Ganges, past Dhulian, until just above Jahangirpurwhere the canal ends and the river takes its own course. Just south of Jahangirpur it leaves the Ganges area and flows south past Jiaganj Azimganj, Murshidabad, and Baharampur. South of Baharampur and north of Palashiit used to form the border between Bardhaman Districtand Nadia District, but while the border has remained the same the river is now often east or west of its former bed. The river then flows south past Katwa, Navadwipand Kalna. At Kalna it originally formed the border between Nadia District and Hooghly District, and then further south between Hooghly District and North 24 Parganas District. It flows past Halisahar, Chunchura, Rishra, and Kamarhati. Then just before entering the twin cities of Kolkata(Calcutta) and Howrah, it turns to the southwest. At Nurpur it enters an old channel of the Ganges and turns south to empty into the Bay of Bengal. Two of its well known tributaries are Damodar and Rupnarayan.
The nexus formed by the Hooghly River (Ganga) and the Bay of Bengal, called "Ganga Sagar". This is a sacred place for Hindus. A dip in the ocean, where the river drains into the sea is considered to be of great religious significance particularly on the Makara Sankranti day when the sun makes a transition to Capricorn from Sagittarius and this place becomes home to vast fairs, drawing visitors and recluses from all over the state.
Hugli tidal bore
The tide runs rapidly on the Hugli, and produces a remarkable example of the fluvial phenomenon known as a "
tidal bore." This consists of the head-wave of the advancing tide, hemmed in where the estuary narrows suddenly into the river, and often exceeds convert|7|ft|m|abbr=on in height. It is felt as high up as Calcutta, and frequently destroys small boats. The difference from the lowest point of low-water in the dry season to the highest point of high-water in the rains is reported to be 20 ft 10 in. The greatest mean rise of tide, about convert|16|ft|m|abbr=on, takes place in March, April or May - with a declining range during the rainy season to a mean of convert|10|ft|m|abbr=on, and a minimum during freshets of 3 ft 6 in.
In its upper reaches the river is generally known as the Bhāgirathi, until it reaches Hooghly. The word Bhāgirathi literally means "caused by
Bhagiratha", a mythical Sagar Dynasty prince who was instrumental in bringing the river Ganga from the heavens on to the earth, in order to release his 60,000 grand-uncles from a curse of the saint Kapila.
The river was an important transportation channel in the early history of Bengal, and later with the colonial trading ports. The river's presence is one of the reasons chosen by the British to settle there at Calcutta. The Dutch/French colony at
Chandannagaron the Hooghly was once the rival of British Calcutta, but was eclipsed by Calcutta in the colonial wars of the 18th century. The river banks hosted several battles and skirmishes towards the start of the colonial era, including the Battle of Plassey Palashi, as well as earlier wars against Maratharaiders. On eastern bank lie many historic and wealthy towns like Murshidabad, Jangipurand Ziaganj.
In 1974 the
Farakka Barragebegan diverting water into the Hooghly during the dry season so as to reduce the silting difficulties at Kolkata's port.
Like the rest of the Ganges, the Bhāgirathi-Hooghly is considered sacred to
Hindus, and its water is considered holy.
The Bhāgirathi-Hooghly river system is an essential lifeline for the people of West Bengal. It is through this river that the East India company sailed in to Bengal and established their trade settlement - Calcutta, which later grew up to be one of the greatest cities of the world and capital of the erstwhile British India. People from other countries like French, Dutch, Portuguese, etc all had their trade settlement by the banks of this river.
The river provides perennial supply of water to the plain of West Bengal for irrigation and human & industry consumption. The river is navigable and the major transport system in the region with a huge traffic flow. For a long time, the Calcutta Port was the biggest port of India. Though in the past its significance had gone down, but recently it had again came up to the 3rd position in the list of Indian Ports. The fish from the river are important to the local economy.
The modern container port of
Haldia, on the intersection of lower Hooghly and Haldi River, now carries much of the region's maritime trade. One new port will be built in the deep sea to reduce load on Calcutta port.
Hooghly river valley was the most important industrial area of erstwhile state of Bengal. Due to declining
juteindustry, the prime industry of this region, it lost its glory and partitioning of Bengal. But still it is one of the biggest industrial areas of India. Except Kolkata and Howrah it has number of small cities which forms the Greater Kolkata Agglomeration, the second biggest Indian city and former capital.
Several bridges run over the Hooghly at Kolkata –
Howrah Bridge, Vidyasagar Setu, Vivekananda Setu, Nivedita Setu(second Vivekananda Bridge), Jubilee Bridge and Iswar Gupta Setu.
* [http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/NewImages/images.php3?img_id=17410 Hugli River] at
NASA Earth Observatory
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Hooghly — can refer to:*the Hooghly River *the town of Hooghly, now part of Hugli Chinsura *Hooghly District, a district containing the above town … Wikipedia
Hooghly district — Infobox Indian Jurisdiction native name=Hooghly type= district hq= Chinsura state name=West Bengal abbreviation=HG altitude= latd= longd= population year = 2001 | population total = 5,041,976| population density = 1601 collector= area= 3,149… … Wikipedia
river — river1 riverless, adj. riverlike, adj. /riv euhr/, n. 1. a natural stream of water of fairly large size flowing in a definite course or channel or series of diverging and converging channels. 2. a similar stream of something other than water: a… … Universalium
Hooghly — [ho͞og′lē] river in E India, flowing into the Bay of Bengal: westernmost channel of the Ganges delta: c. 160 mi (257 km) … English World dictionary
River Churni — Diagram of River Churni s evolution River Churni is a river in the Nadia district, West Bengal … Wikipedia
Hooghly — /hoohg lee/, n. a river in NE India, in W Bengal: the westernmost channel by which the Ganges enters the Bay of Bengal. 120 mi. (195 km) long. Also, Hugli. * * * … Universalium
HOOGHLY — or HÛGLI 1. the most important and most westerly of the several branches into which the Ganges divides on approaching the sea, breaks away from the main channel near Santipur, and flowing in a southerly direction past Calcutta, reaches the… … The Nuttall Encyclopaedia
Hooghly — Hoogh•ly or Hugli [[t]ˈhug li[/t]] n. geg a river in NE India, in W Bengal: the westernmost channel by which the Ganges enters the Bay of Bengal. 120 mi. (195 km) long … From formal English to slang
Hooghly — /ˈhugli/ (say hoohglee) noun a river in north eastern India, in West Bengal; the westernmost channel by which the Ganges enters the Bay of Bengal. About 193 km. Also, Hugli … Australian English dictionary
Hooghly — /hoohg lee/, n. a river in NE India, in W Bengal: the westernmost channel by which the Ganges enters the Bay of Bengal. 120 mi. (195 km) long. Also, Hugli … Useful english dictionary