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India officially the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second most populous country, and the most populous liberal democracy in the world. India is a union of twenty-eight states and seven federally-governed union territories. New Delhi is the capital of India.
Asansol is the second largest city in West Bengal, after Kolkata. It is a sub-division located in Bardhaman District, in the western periphery of the state. The entire stretch from Andal to Barakar and covering Ranigunj, Jamuria, Asansol, Burnpur, Neamatpur, Kulti and Barakar, composed of a long stretch of about 40 kilometres along Grand Trunk Road forms one urban conglomerration, all of which falls within Asansol subdivision. The gaps between the almost contiguous urban centres are filled with collieires and small settlements. It should properly be considered as one city. The Chittaranjan-Rupnarayanpur urban centre is also closely linked. For the purposes of planning the entire stretch from Panagarh to Barakar is overseen by the Asansol Durgapur Development Authority.
Being the central city for the coal belt, Asansol is heavily industrialized though many of the industries have fallen on hard times in recent years, leading to its transformation into a trading town that utilizes its position as the transport centre. Asansol became an important centre of railway activity. The railway settlements grew with the growth of the locomotive shops. It also brought in the European and Anglo-Indian communities, who were to play a pivotal role in the life of Asansol. Durand Institute, reputed to be the oldest railway institute in Asia, was a major centre of European and Anglo-Indian activity. The old churches of Asansol and the leading schools were built to cater primarily to these communities. It was much later that Indians were allowed into the schools. There were a handful of Armenian businessmen. Old timers still recall the shops of Gregory at Asansol and Johannes at Burnpur.
As the area witnessed prosperity and growth, it also took a leading part in many other activities. Both Burnpur United Club and Burnpur Cricket Club flourished. There were clubs such as Barret Club and Kulti Sammelani, which prospered. Golf was played at Kulti and Yachting was popular at Maithon. In 1951, Asansol Rifle Club was set up at at Chandmari.The two cultural hubs are Rabindrabhabon at Asansol and Bharati Bhawan at Burnpur.

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