West Bengal (Bengali: পশ্চিমবঙ্গ Poshchimbôŋgo) is a state in eastern India. With Bangladesh, which lies on its eastern border, the state forms the ethno-linguistic region of Bengal. To its northeast lie the states of Assam and Sikkim and the country Bhutan, and to its southwest, the state of Orissa. To the west it borders the state of Jharkhand and Bihar, and to the northwest, Nepal.
The region that is now West Bengal was a part of a number of empires and kingdoms during the past two millennia. The British East India Company cemented their hold on the region following the Battle of Plassey in 1757, and the city of Kolkata, formerly known as Calcutta, served for many years as the capital of British India. A hotbed of the Indian independence movement through the early 20th century, Bengal was divided in 1947 into two separate entities, West Bengal - a state of India, and East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) belonging to the new nation of Pakistan.
Following India's independence in 1947, West Bengal's economic and political theatres were dominated for many decades by intellectual Marxism, Naxalite movements and trade unionism. From late 1990s, economic rejuvenation led to a spurt in the state's economic and industrial growth. An agriculture-dependent state, West Bengal occupies only 2.7% of the India's land area, though it supports over 7.8% of Indian population, and is the most densely populated state in India. West Bengal has been ruled by the Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led Left Front for three decades, making it the world's longest-running democratically-elected communist government. Many notable poets, writers, artists and performers are native to West Bengal.