North 24 Parganas district is a district in southern West Bengal, of eastern India. North 24 Parganas extends in the from latitude 22º11’6″ north to 23º15’2″ north and from longitude 88º20′ east to 89º5′ east. It is bordered to Nadia by north, to Bangladesh (Khulna Division) by north and east, to South 24 Parganas and Kolkata by south and to Kolkata, Howrah and Hoogly by west. Barasat is the district headquarters of North 24 Parganas.24 Parganas is West Bengal’s most populous district and (following the splitting of the Thane district of Maharashtra in 2014) the most populated district in the whole of India.It is also the tenth-largest district in the State by area.
According to Ptolemy’s Treatise on geography, written in the 2nd Century A.D., the ancient land of Gangaridi was stretched between the rivers Bhagirathi-Hoogly (lower Ganges) and Padma-Meghna. The modern-day 24 Parganas was the southern and the south-eastern territory of that legendary kingdom.
Archaeological excavation at Berachampa village in Deganga PS proves that though the area was not directly attached to the rule of the Guptas, yet it could not shun their cultural influence. Xuanzang (c. 629-685) visited 30 Buddhist Biharas and 100 Hindu Temples in India and some of these were in the Greater 24 Parganas region.
The district was not a part of Shashanka’s unified Bengali empire known as Gauda, but it is assumed that the district which was the south-west frontier territory of ancient Bengal, was comprised in under the rule of Dharmapala (estimated c. 770-810). The Pala rule was not quite strong in this part, as no excavation uncovered any of Buddhist Pala antiquities but many Hindu Sena sculptures.
In 1983, an administrative reform committee under the chairmanship of Dr. Ashok Mitra suggested to split the district into two and as per the recommendation of the committee in 1986, 1 March two districts – North 24 Parganas (24 PGS N) and South 24 Parganas (24 PGS S) were created. The North 24 Parganas which was included to the Presidency Division has been formed with 5 sub-divisions of the Greater 24 Parganas namely Barasat (Headquarters), Barrackpore, Basirhat, Bangaon and Bidhannagar (a satellite township of Kolkata, popularly known as Salt Lake).
The district lies within the Ganges-Brahmaputra delta. The river Ganges flows along the entire west border of the district. There are many other rivers, which include the Ichhamati, Jamuna, and Bidyadhari.
North 24 Parganas is one of the nine (including Kolkata) severely arsenic affected district in West Bengal. On the basis of updated survey conducted by School of Environmental Studies (SOES), Jadavpur University, out of total 22 administrative blocks in 22, 21 and 16 blocks arsenic above 10 μg/L (WHO Recommended value of arsenic in drinking water), 50 μg/L (Indian standard value of arsenic in drinking water) and 300 μg/L (the concentration predicting overt arsenical skin lesions) was noted respectively. The maximum arsenic contamination level found in this district is 2830μg/L in the Baduria block.
The electrified suburban rail network of the ER is extensive and stretches far into the neighbouring districts of Kolkata, South 24 Parganas, Nadia, Howrah, Hooghly etc.The Circular Rail encircles the entire city of Kolkata, and is at present being extended. A new railway line offshoot has been built to connect the airport to the lines going to Sealdah has started from Dum Dum, North 24 Parganas.
The Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport (IATA code:CCU) at Dum Dum (previously known as Dum Dum airport) is the only airport in the city Kolkata, which is in North 24 Parganas, operating both domestic and international flights. It is a gateway to North-East India, Bangkok, and Bangladesh. The number of people using the airport has consistently increased over the last few years.
According to the 2011 census North 24 Parganas district has a population of 10,082,852, roughly equal to the nation of Bolivia or the US state of Michigan.This gives it a ranking of 2nd in India (out of a total of 640) and 1st in its state.The district has a population density of 2,463 inhabitants per square kilometre (6,380/sq mi).Its population growth rate over the decade 2001-2011 was 12.86%.North Twenty Four Parganas has a sex ratio of 949 females for every 1000 males, and a literacy rate of 84.95%.