The Twenty-Four Parganas - Encyclopedia

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THE TWENTY-FOUR PARGANAS, a district of British India, in the presidency division of Bengal, with an area of 4 8 44 sq. m. It occupies part of the Gangetic delta, east of the Hugh, surrounding (but not including) the city of Calcutta. It also includes the greater part of the almost uninhabited Sundarbans. The administrative headquarters are at Alipur, a southern suburb of Calcutta. The country consists for the most part of a vast alluvial plain, and is everywhere watered by numerous branches of the Ganges. In 1901 the population was 2,078,359, showing an increase of io in the decade. Rice is the staple crop, followed by jute, pulses and sugar-cane. The district is traversed by three railways, two of which terminate at the ports of Diamond Harbour and Port Canning, but numerous river channels are still the chief means of communication. Apart from the suburbs of Calcutta, there is hardly a single real town. But round Calcutta all the manufactures of a great city are to be found, principally jute mills and jute presses, cotton mills and paper mills, and also government factories for rifles and ammunition.

The Twenty-four Parganas form the tract of which the zamindari or landlord rights were granted to the East India Company after the battle of Plassey, while the revenue arising therefrom was conferred upon Clive, upon whose death it reverted to the company.

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