Bankura is a city and a municipality in Bankura District in the state of West Bengal, India. It is the headquarters of Bankura District.
In the Mahabharata, Bankura was described as Suhmobhumi. The word Larh or Rarh was introduced after 6th century A.D. It comes from the old Austric word ráŕhá or ráŕho which means “land of red soil”. In ancient times “China called Ráŕh by the name of ‘Láti'”. In Santali, lar means thread, rarh means tune and larh means snake. Perhaps the Jain and Greek scholars used this original Austric word Larh to indicate this dry forest region which was very difficult. The popularity of Manasa Puja, the worship of Snake-Goddess Manasa, shows this opinion might have some relevance. According to Nilkantha, a famous commentator of the Mahabharata, the words suhmo and Rarh are synonymous.
Bankura district is located in the western part of the state of West Bengal. It is a part of Bardhaman Division of the State and is included in the area known as “Rarh” in Bengal. Bankura district is situated at 23.25°N 87.07°E. The Damodar River flows along the Northern boundary of the district. Bankura district is bounded by Bardhaman district in the north, Purulia district in the west and Paschim Medinapure district in the south.
Bankura Railway Junction is managed by the South Eastern Railways and is on the Adra-Midnapore rail route. It is in Bankura city. Bhubaneswar Rajdhani Express, Rupashi Bangla Express, Aranyak Express, Puri-New Delhi(Nandan Kanan) Superfast Express, Ernakulam-Patna Express, Howrah-LTT Samarsata Express and Purulia-Howrah Express pass through this station. It is the originating and terminating station of Bankura Damodar Railway which will connect to Howrah-Bardhaman Chord section. Computerized reservation facility is available. Going towards north-west, Adra Junction Railway Station is the nearest main station and moving to south, Midnapore Railway Station is the major station next to Bankura.
Bankura has gained much popularity among the tourists hailing from India. The place has a rich cultural and traditional heritage. It is famous for its paintings, music and other arts. It has gained popularity among domestic tourists due to the beautiful locations and historical destinations. The place has contributed great deal toward modern Bengal art and architecture. You can see the beautiful terracotta art and architecture in Bankura. The tourist spots can be divided into four zones.