—  town  —
Location of Contai
in West Bengal and India
Coordinates 21°47′N 87°45′E / 21.78°N 87.75°E / 21.78; 87.75Coordinates: 21°47′N 87°45′E / 21.78°N 87.75°E / 21.78; 87.75
Country India
State West Bengal
District(s) Midnapore East
Parliamentary constituency Kanthi
Assembly constituency Kanthi Uttar,

Kanthi Dakshin



77,497 (2001)

4,492 /km2 (11,634 /sq mi)

Time zone IST (UTC+05:30)


17.25 km2 (7 sq mi)

6 metres (20 ft)


Contai (also known as Kanthi) (Bengali: কাঁথি) is head quarters of Contai subdivision in Purba Medinipur district, West Bengal, India. There are three community development blocks in Contai.



Contai was originally a part of Hijli Kingdom, a tributary state of Orissa ruled by the Hindu king Gopinath Pattnayak. In 1852 the East India Company of British India announced Contai as a Sub-Division consisting of six police stations - Contai, Khejuri, Ramnagar, Bhagwanpur, Egra and Patashpur. But the Government continued working from Negua. The Sub-Division that covered 912 square miles (2,400 km2) was the second largest in Bengal . In 1863 when Nimak Mahal (the salt factory and business center) at Contai, in the teeth of a serious crisis, ceased functioning, the Sub-Divisional office was shifted from Negua to the abandoned Nimak Mahal building.

Location of Contai in Purba Medinipur district

Bankim Chandra Chottopadhyay, the precursor of Bengali novel, worked as the Deputy Magistrate of Contai, though for a short period, from January 1860 to November of the year. In 2002, Medinipur District was divided into two parts – Purba Medinipur and Paschim Medinipur for the sake of administrative efficiency and expediency. Purba Medinipur consists of four Sub-Divisions – Tamluk, Contai, Egra and Haldia. Contai Sub-Division now consists of eight blocks of Ramnagar, Digha, Kanthi (Contai), Khejuri and Bhupatinagar.


Contai is about 160 km away from Kolkata and 30 km from the beach town Digha.


As of 2001 India census,[1] Contai had a population of 77,497. Males constitute 52% of the population and females 48%. Contai has an average literacy rate of 82%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 85% and, female literacy is 78%. In Contai, 10% of the population is under 6 years of age.


Durga Puja in Contai

Contai Subdivision is famous for its tourism, cashew crop, fishing and processing industries. The land is highly fertile and therefore, agriculture is also the major driving force that sustains the middle-class economy of this region. However, sometimes agriculture is affected by frequent floods due to torrential Monsoon rain and Cyclone formed from depressions in the Bay of Bengal.


Contai street at noon

Contai is well-connected by roads/highways with other nearby cities and towns like, Digha, Dantan, Kharagpur, Midnapore, Tamluk, Haldia, Howrah, and Kolkata. The town is also connected by a rail link to Howrah/Kolkata which is again extended to Digha.The rail line is believed to have given a rise to the local economy. For local transportation, bus, mini-bus, taxi, and cycle rickshaws are available. The opening of Central Bus-stand has eased the traffic congestion within the city to a great deal. The region holds great potential in tourism but lamentably enough, no other place except Digha has been developed properly.


Contai P.K. College

There are numbers of well-known schools and colleges in Contai. For higher education, besides the Prabhat Kumar College under the Vidyasagar University, there is an Ayurvedic College, a Polytechnic Engineering College, a Veterinary College, etc. The literacy rate of Contai subdivision is as high as 95%.

List of schools in contai:1.Contai Kshetramohan Bidhyabhaban. 2.Contai High School. 3.Contai Model Institution. 4.Contai Hindu Girls' School(H.S.). 5.Chandramani Brahmo Girls' School. 6.Rakhal Chandra Vidyapith. 7.Kishornagar Sachindra Siksha Sadan.8.Contai public school.9.KALIKAPUR HIGH SCHOOL


Among many festivals in Contai, "Gandhi Mela" is the most popular. It is held during January/February each year. Many people from Contai and neighbouring subdivisions take part in "Gandhi Mela" not only for amusement but also for agricultural and industrial exhibitions. The Kapalkundala Temple, Hijli Mosque, Dariapur Light House, Rajbari, Junput, Shankarpur, and Digha are the main tourist attractions in Contai Subdivision.


books on contai by sunil kumar ghosh==External links==

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