Location of West Bengal in India
|Established||26 January 1950|
| • Body||Government of West Bengal|
| • Governor||Keshari Nath Tripathi|
| • Chief Minister||Mamata Banerjee (AITC)|
| • Legislature||Legislative Assembly (295)|
| • High Court||Calcutta High Court|
| • Total||88,752 km2 (34,267 sq mi)|
| • Total||91,347,736|
| • Rank||4th|
| • Density||1,029/km2 (2,670/sq mi)|
| • Total||₹10.49 lakh crore (US$160 billion)|
| • Per capita||₹78,903 (US$1,200)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+05:30)|
|ISO 3166 code||IN-WB|
|HDI (2015)|| 0.604 (medium) · 13th|
|Sex ratio (2011)||950 ♀/1000 ♂|
|Additional official languages||Nepali in two sub-divisions of Darjeeling|
|^* 294 elected, 1 nominated|
West Bengal (/, Bengali: Paśchimbāṅga) is an Indian state, located in Eastern India on the Bay of Bengal. With over million inhabitants (as of 2011), it is India's fourth-most populous state. It has an area of 88,752 km2 (34,267 sq mi). A part of the ethno-linguistic Bengal region, it borders Bangladesh in the east, and Nepal and Bhutan in the north. It also borders the Indian states of Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar, Sikkim, and Assam. The state capital is Kolkata (Calcutta), the seventh-largest city in India. As for geography, West Bengal includes the Darjeeling Himalayan hill region, the Ganges delta, the Rarh region, and the coastal Sundarbans. The main ethnic group are the Bengalis, with Bengali Hindus forming the demographic majority.
Ancient Bengal was the site of several major janapadas. In the 2nd century BCE, the region was conquered by the emperor Ashoka. In the 4th century CE, it was absorbed into the Gupta Empire. From the 13th century onward, the region was ruled by several sultans, powerful Hindu states, and Baro-Bhuyan landlords, until the beginning of British rule in the 18th century. The British East India Company cemented their hold on the region following the Battle of Plassey in 1757, and Calcutta served for many years as the capital of British India. The early and prolonged exposure to British administration resulted in an expansion of Western education, culminating in developments in science, institutional education, and social reforms in the region, including what became known as the Bengali Renaissance. A hotbed of the Indian independence movement through the early 20th century, Bengal was divided during India's independence in 1947 along religious lines into two separate entities: West Bengal, a state of India, and East Bengal, which later became Bangladesh. Between 1977 and 2011 the state was administered by the world's longest elected Communist government.
A agricultural producer, West Bengal is the sixth-largest state economy in India with ₹10.49 lakh crore (US$160 billion) in gross domestic product. The state's cultural heritage, besides varied folk traditions, includes authors in literature, such as Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore. Kolkata is known as the "cultural capital of India". West Bengal is also known for its enthusiasm for the sport of , as well as cricket.