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The Bengal Subah province in the Mughal Empire was the wealthiest state in the subcontinent.Bengal's trade and wealth impressed the Mughals so much that it was described as the Paradise of the Nations by the Mughal Emperors.During the Mughal era, the most important center of cotton production was Bengal, particularly around its capital city of Dhaka, leading to muslin being called "daka" in distant markets such as Central Asia.Domestically, much of India depended on Bengali products such as rice, silks and cotton textiles.Islam was introduced to the Sylhet region by the Muslim saint Shah Jalal in the early 14th century.The Mughal Empire conquered Bengal in the 16th century.In terms of shipbuilding tonnage during the 16th–18th centuries, the annual output of Bengal alone totaled around 2,232,500 tons, larger than the combined output of the Dutch (450,000–550,000 tons), the British (340,000 tons), and North America (23,061 tons).After the weakening of the Mughal Empire with the death of Emperor Aurangzeb in 1707, Bengal was ruled independently by the Nawabs until 1757, when the region was annexed by the East India Company after the Battle of Plassey.
Atisha was a renowned Bengali Buddhist teacher who was instrumental in the revival of Buddhism in Tibet and also held the position of Abbot at the Vikramshila university. The Pala Empire enjoyed relations with the Srivijaya Empire, the Tibetan Empire, and the Arab Abbasid Caliphate.
They have four major religious subgroups: Bengali Muslims, Bengali Hindus, Bengali Christians, and Bengali Buddhists.
Kingdoms of Pundra and Vanga were formed in Bengal and were first described in the Atharvaveda around 1000 BCE as well as in Hindu epic Mahabharata.
Company rule in India began under the Bengal Presidency.
Calcutta was named the capital of British India in 1772.