East India includes the beautiful states of Assam, Sikkim, West Bengal, Odisha and Jharkhand.
Calcutta, renamed Kolkata in 2001, is undoubtedly the largest city in the region.
For centuries, this fertile deltaic region has seen the rise and fall of many dynasties, including the famous Nanda, Kalinga and the Pala dynasties.
The powerful Magadha and Maurya dynasties dominated the East for a while and received many visitors including the revered Buddha. In Bengal, literature and the arts flourished. Eventually, the region succumbed to Mughal Emperor Akbar, who ushered in a prosperous time.
European traders took over various parts of the country in the 17th century.
It was popularly believed that Job Charnock, an employee of the British East India Company, established the city of Calcutta in 1686.
The first mutiny against British rule started in East India in 1857 and signalled the beginning of the struggle for Indian independence.
The Indian National Congress was founded in Calcutta and great poets such as Rabindranath Tagore championed the Indian cause.
Many years and much violence later, India became independent in 1947.
Bengal was divided into West Bengal, where the Hindus were to reside, and East Pakistan where the Muslim fled.
During the next few decades, as East Pakistan struggled for independence and finally became Bangladesh, hundreds of thousands of refugees poured into eastern India.
Today, after many years of economic, political and social struggle, the region is developing steadily.
Top East India Tours Tip – History:
When Queen Victoria became the Empress of India, Calcutta was declared the capital of the British raj. On one of our private India tours, see the Victoria Memorial – a major archaeological attraction of Kolkata, which stands as testimony to the Empress’s reign. The one-winged angel that stands on the top of the building is included in many of the region’s children’s stories.