Geography

Medinipur(undivided) was the biggest among the districts of West Bengal, with its geographical location in 21 º 36´ to 22 º 57´ North latitude to 86 º 33´ to 88 º 11´ East longitude. It was of 14,081 sq.K.mtr., which is 15.86% of West Bengal. The district is noted for its great geographical diversity. North and north-west region of this district is a part of Chhotonagpur plateau in its eastern end and covered with hard laterite stone. The eastern part of Medinipur (undivided) is a formation of recent alluvial and the southern sandy region is a part of coastal plane. Four major rivers go through this region, namely Hooghly, Cossye, Rupnarayan and Subarnarekha. As the land slope of Medinipur(undivided) is from North-West to South East part, the following stream of the rivers course towards south-east. If the geographical features of this district is discussed, it would be found that, these stone-formations belong to ‘recent’(Holocene), Pleistocene, Pliocene, Miocene, etc. Almost in 2/3 part of this region, ‘recent aluvium’ can be found. And then ‘laterite’. Other rocks are conglomerate, epidiorite and niche. These are hard and stony and not at all cultivable. From Garbeta on north to Medinipur town and from Dantan on the south to Kharagpur, State Highway is stretched and the rail-track goes just on its parallel line and this may be treated as the apportioning line of these two land-formations. The portions on the east is plain and of alluvial soil but on the other side, Western portion is the eroded part of Chhotonagpur plateau. This wavy upland descends towards east with slopes. Geographical features of this district may be defined in four divisions: (1) Planes of Shilai, (2) Lower Cossye Planes, (3) Upland of Medinipur, (4) Planes of Contai region. (1) Planes of Shilai: This plane-land is a part of Bankura border, which is on the north of this district. This is the middle portion of Shilai on the north and Cossye on the south. This is a portion of eastern Chootonagpur plateau and of 2528.6 Sq. km. Shilai is the main river of this area. Shilai River comes from Purulia and enters into Garbeta-II block. Due to regular alluvial deposition, the river bed gradually grows and in rainy season it causes floods in Daspur-I and Ghatal blocks. In geographical aspect it is known as a depression area. Alluvial and brown soil is found in southern side of this plane area. The upland of northern region is covered with bush and dwarf sal trees. In this geographical area, Garbeta-I and Garbeta-II blocks, some portion of Binpur-I block, Chandrakona-I and II blocks, Ghatal, and some portion of Daspur-I block are included. (2) Lower Cossye Plane: This region can be marked in the both side of the Cossye River or its stream. Some portions have been formed with the eastern part of the Rupnarayan, which is a natural marking of Medinipur(undivided) district. The features of a delta plane are keenly found in the eastern part of the Rupnarayan and adjacent areas of Hooghly banks. Ebb and flow is very active in this region. It is a long and depressed area. This triangular, depressed region is formed with delta plane of Cossye and Shilai. Due to gradual alluvial deposition, navigability of this river is totally lost. A huge depression is formed in the west and north-west area on the Cossye and Keleghai confluence and causes flood situation. This region is known as “Mayna basin’. Diffusing feature of the Cossye is one of the reasons behind it. Places like Binpur, Jhargram, Salboni, Medinipur, Kharagpur, Keshpur, Ghatal, Daspur, Panskura, Mayna, Debra, Bhagwanpur, Pingla, Nandigram, Tamluk, Sutahata, Dugrachak and Haldia are included in this plane. (3) Upland of Medinipur: Medinipur is a neighbouring area of Bihar and Orissa. This very upland is of 2029 sq. k.m. and the lands look wavy in this area. Some small ranges and ‘depression’ are found here. It’s a part of Chhotonagpur plateau, which is formed with laterite. In the extreme north, some hills can be see, which are 82 mtr. to 223 mtr. in height. The land sloping is from north-west to south-east. In its hilly surface some rivers and streams course with their move. Among them, some rivers meet the flow of Cossye in the north, and some of them meet the Subarnarekha. Among them, the major one is Dulung, which is on the right side of the Subarnarekha. It is originated in Binpur region and meets the Subarnarekha in Sankrail block. The Subarnarekha may be called the controlling river this upland region. This river comes from Bihar and entered into Gopiballavpur-I block of this district and heads towards east and then flows like a natural border of Bengal and Orissa in the western part of Dantan-I block. Soil surface of this western region is dry, non-fertile and unsuitable for habitation and cultivation. In lower hilly areas bush and ‘dwarf’ sal trees are found. Blocks like Binpur-I and Binpur-II, Jhargram, Sankrail, Jamboni, Gopiballavpur-I & II, Keshiary, Dantan-I are totally or partially included in this region. (4) Planes of Contai region: Contai plane is formed with the middle and southern portion of this district Medinipur(undivided). It is the biggest among the five geographical regions of this said district, which is of 5,469 sq. k.m. approximately. Surface of this region is almost plane. Massive sand dunes are seen on the middle of the Rasulpur River and Subarnarekha, which 10 k.m. away from sea coast. These dunes are called ‘Kanthi Baliari’(Contai Dune). Major rivers are Rasulpur, Keleghai, Kapaleswari, etc. Blocks of Debra, Pingla, Mayna, Sabong, Nandigram-II and III, Khejuri, Contai, Patashpur, Egra, Dantan, Nayagram, Mohanpur, Belda, Keshiary, Kharagpur-I & II, Sankrail, Ramnagar-II etc. are totally or partially included in this region.