Cooch Behar Quadripoint Boundary Cross

On September 19, 2008 · 1 Comments

A quadripoint occurs when four borders meet at a single point, and example being the "Four Corners" of the United States where Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado join together. In previous entries I’ve explored the Jungholz and Baarle-Hertog Quadripoint Boundary Crosses. In this entry I explore the third and final place where an international quadripost can be found, and this involves one of the most unusual and complicated borders areas on the planet.

Exclaves and Enclaves of Cooch Behar
SOURCE: under the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version. Note that this map is oriented with east facing upward, i.e., rotated ninety
degrees counterclockwise from what one would normally expect.

This involves the Cooch Behar district of West Bengal, India and its intersection with Bangladesh. The situation has roots in an earlier era that have somehow managed to transcend to modern times, arising originally from a treaty negotiated by the then independent Kingdom of Cooch Behar and the Mughal Empire. When India was partitioned in 1947, Cooch Behar remained in India while Rangpur went to East Pakistan, which in turn became Bangladesh in 1971. There have been a number of opportunities to smooth the border but because of territoriality, inertia or some other force, the Swiss Cheese border formation continues to be a feature throughout this geographic area.

It’s difficult to find detailed information on this spot and even harder to find a good graphical representation. The standard mapping websites I normally use show a smooth border, as if the anomalies don’t exist. You’ll find quadripoints if you look carefully, perhaps better at the larger map stored at Wikipedia. Also note there are points on the map that are so small that they are represented by a dot, and there may be additional quadripoints there too.

Within this odd borderland are 106 exclaves of India within Bangladesh and 92 exclaves of Bangladesh within India, including numerous exclaves within the exclaves.

On September 19, 2008 · 1 Comments

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