|— State —|
Location of West Bengal in India
Map of West Bengal
|Established||1 November 1956|
|- Governor||M. K. Narayanan|
|- Chief Minister||Mamata Banerjee|
|- Legislature||Unicameral (295* seats)|
|- Total||88,752 km2 (34,267.3 sq mi)|
|- Density||1,029.2/km2 (2,665.7/sq mi)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+05:30)|
|ISO 3166 code||IN-WB|
|HDI rank||19th (2005)|
|Official languages||Bengali · English|
|^* 294 elected, 1 nominated|
West Bengal is a state in the eastern region of India and is the nation's fourth most populous. It is also the seventh most populous sub-national entity in the world. West Bengal is the sixth-largest contributor to India's GDP. West Bengal, together with Bangladesh lying on its east, forms the historical and geographical region of Bengal. To its northeast lie the states of Assam and Sikkim and the country of Bhutan, and to its southwest lies the state of Orissa. To the west, it borders the states of Jharkhand and Bihar, and to the northwest, Nepal.
The Bengal region was part of several kingdoms and dynasties over the course of Indian history. The British East India Company cemented their hold on the region following the Battle of Plassey in 1757, and the city of Calcutta, now Kolkata, served for many years as the capital of British India. A hotbed of the Indian independence movement through the early 20th century, Bengal was divided in 1947 along religious lines into two separate entities: West Bengal — a state of India — and East Bengal, which initially joined the new nation of Pakistan, before becoming part of modern-day Bangladesh in 1971.