/ben gawl", -gahl", beng-; ben"geuhl, beng"-/, n.1. a former province in NE India, now divided between India and Bangladesh. Cf. East Bengal, West Bengal.2. Bay of, a part of the Indian Ocean between India and Burma (Myanmar).3. a raw silk from Bengal.4. a fabric, esp. one made of silk and hair.5. a fabric, similar to muslin, with printed stripes.
* * *IFormer province, northeastern British India.Generally corresponding to the area inhabited by speakers of the Bengali language, it is now divided between the Indian state of West Bengal and Bangladesh. Bengal formed part of most of the early empires that controlled northern India. From the 8th to the 12th century it was under a Buddhist dynasty, and from 1576 it belonged to the Mughal Empire. In the 18th century it was dominated by the nawabs of Bengal; they came into conflict with the British, who had established themselves at Calcutta (now Kolkata) in 1690. By 1764 the British had taken possession, and from then on Bengal was the base for British expansion in India. With the end of British rule in 1947, the area was divided. West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, and Orissa became part of India. East Bengal went to Pakistan; in 1971 it became Bangladesh.II(as used in expressions)Bengal Bay ofBengal Partition of
* * *Bengali Bangahistorical region in the northeastern part of the Indian subcontinent, generally corresponding to the area inhabited by speakers of the Bengali language and now divided between the Indian state of West Bengal and the People's Republic of Bangladesh. Bengal formed part of most of the early empires that controlled northern India.From the 8th to the 12th century, Bengal was under the Buddhist Pala dynasty (Pāla Dynasty), based in neighbouring Bihar. After about 1200 it was governed by semi-independent Muslim rulers, and from 1576 it belonged to the Mughal Empire. When Mughal power declined in the 18th century, a separate dynasty emerged in Bengal, Bihar, and Orissa. Its rulers, known as the nawabs of Bengal, soon came into conflict with the British (British Empire), who had established themselves at Calcutta (Kolkata (Calcutta)) in western Bengal in 1690 and who took possession of the nawabs' realm in 1757–64. Bengal was thenceforth the base for British expansion in India. From 1773 its governor-general was the chief executive of British India; from 1834 he bore the title “governor-general of India.” Assam was joined to Bengal from 1838 to 1874. In 1854 the government of India was separated from that of Bengal, though Calcutta remained India's capital until 1912. With the end of British rule in 1947, West Bengal, Bihar, and Orissa became part of the Republic of India. East Bengal went to Pakistan, but in 1971 it became the independent state of Bangladesh.
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