Welcome to Tarakeswar (pronounced Tarokeshwar), a sacred city and municipality located in the Hooghly district of the Indian state of West Bengal. Known as Babar Dham or The city of Shiva, Tarakeswar is a major tourist and holy place of West Bengal as well as India. This city is situated 58 kilometers (36 mi) away from the state capital Kolkata and about 1520 kilometers away from the national capital, New Delhi. With its convenient train and bus connections from various places in West Bengal, Tarakeswar is easily accessible to travelers. Tarakeswar Station is well-connected by Howrah Station, and the town is connected by State Highway 15 and State Highway 2.
Tarakeswar is a place of pilgrimage for Lord Shiva devotees in West Bengal, but it is also famous for agriculture. Tarakeswar’s Champandanga potato is famous all over India. With an average elevation of 18 meters (59 feet), Tarakeswar has a tropical wet and dry climate under Köppen climate classification. However, it has been ranked No.1 as the least polluted city in Central and South Asia, achieving annual PM2.5 concentrations in 2022 that met WHO guidelines, with a PM2.5 level of 0.9 as of 2022 reports.
Tarakeswar has a total population of 30,947 as per the 2011 Census of India. The town has a total area of 3.88 square kilometers (1.50 sq mi) and is divided into 15 wards for administrative purposes. The town is located in the middle of the district and is part of the Chandannagore sub-division. Tarakeswar is in the Chandannagore Sub-Division under the Burdwan Division in the District of Hooghly. It received the status of Municipality on 6 August 1975. Tarakeswar Police Station has jurisdiction over Tarakeswar municipal areas and Tarakeswar CD Block.
The main occupation of Tarakeswar is agriculture, but trade and commerce also play an important role in the town’s economy. Approximately 32 lakh people from the city commute to Kolkata daily for work. Tarakeswar is also home to the famous Taraknath Temple, a Hindu shrine located in the town of Tarakeswar that enshrines a Shayambhu linga of Lord Shiva. The temple is believed to have been constructed in 1729 AD by Raja Bharamalla Rao and pilgrims visit it throughout the year, especially on Mondays. Dudhpukur pond, located north of the temple, is believed to fulfill the prayers of those taking a dip in it.
Tarakeswar has several educational institutions, including 3 higher secondary schools, 1 secondary school, and 14 primary schools, out of which six are Govt. sanctioned and 8 are private schools. Tarakeswar Mahavidyalaya (H.S. unit) was established at Tarakeswar in 1986 and is affiliated with the University of Burdwan. It offers honours courses in Bengali, English, Sanskrit, sociology, history, philosophy, geography, music, accountancy, chemistry, and computer science and has an undergraduate course in business administration.
Tarakeswar has a well-developed transportation infrastructure with State Highway 15 and State Highway 2 passing through it. The town has a large bus terminus, with more than 50 bus routes present including express and local bus service. Tarakeswar has bus connections with several districts of West Bengal, and there is a frequent long-distance bus service available between Tarakeswar and Bankura, Bardhaman, Medinipur, Nabadwip, and Ghatal. The town is also well-connected by rail, with Tarakeswar Railway Station being one of the most important stations of Eastern Railway and serving as a transportation center for potato and other green vegetables in southern Bengal. The Howrah-Tarakeswar line was opened in 1885, and the present Railway Line between Sheoraphuli Railway Station and Tarakeswar has been extended to Bishnupur in Bankura.
Come and visit Tarakeswar, a city that is both sacred and serene, and experience its rich history, breathtaking landscapes, and mouth-watering local cuisine. Tarakeswar may be a hidden gem, but it is definitely worth exploring!