Kolkata is the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal and it was formerly known as Calcutta. It is the seventh largest city in India with 4.5 million people. This cosmopolitan city is situated in the bank of the River Hooghly. During the British rule Kolkata served as the capital of India. Later in 1911 the capital of India was shifted from there to New Delhi. If you want to know all about Kolkata first of all you must know how the name was derived. The name Kolkata originated from the name of the village Kalikata which existed before the arrival of British. Until 2001 it was noted as Calcutta.


History of Kolkata


An Englishman Job Charnok selected the place for the settlement of British in 1690. The three villages Kalikata, Gobindapur and Sutanuti were captured and ruled over by the Nawab of Bengal, Siraj Ud Daula in 1756. Later in 1757 Robert Clive recaptured it defeating Siraj Ud Daula in the battle of Plassy. Calcutta was made into the capital of India in 1772. From 1772 till 1911 it served as the capital city. After the independence of India Calcutta became the capital of West Bengal.


Geography And Climate


Kolkata is located in East India along the Ganges Delta. It enjoys the tropical wet and dry climate with the average temperature of 80.2 degree Fahrenheit. In the months of May and June the temperature goes up to 104 degree Fahrenheit. The land received its rainfall from June to September. South west monsoon brings rainfall and the average rainfall is recorded as 160 cm. The total area of the city is 1485 square kilometers and total metropolitan area is 185 square kilometers and is situated 17 feet above mean sea level. It is situated 60 miles from Bay of Bengal. The density of population of the city is 24,760 people per square kilometers.


Cultural details about Kolkata


55% of the people of Kolkata speak Bengali, 20% of them speak Hindi, 10% of them speak English and 15% of the people speak other languages.


73% of the people follow Hinduism and 23% of the people are Muslims, 2% Christians and 1% Jains. There are also negligible quantities of people following other religion like Sikhs, Buddhists, Jews and Zoroastrians live here.


The buildings of Kolkata are built in Gothic, Oriental, Indo Islamic, Baroque and Roman style. People eat rice, machher jhol, roshogolla, sandesh, misti dohi, eelish, beguni, kati roll and phuchka food items.


The festivals celebrated here are Laxi Pula, Saraswati Puja, Kali Puja, Durga Puja, Dol Purnima, Bhai Phota, Nabo Barsho, Rathvatra, Poila Baisakh along with other festivals like Depawali, Ramzan, Christmas and Bakrid. The popular fairs conducted are Calcutta Book Fair, Handloom Expo, Poush Mela, Vidyasagar Mela, Lexpo Fair, Crafts Bazaar, Sonar Sansar, etc. Academy of Fine Arts, Birla Academy of Arts and Culture, Centre of International Modern Art and Asutosh Museum of Indian Art are some of the art galleries situated here.


The important people born in Kolkata are Jagadish Chandra Bose, Satyendra Nath Bose, Prafulla Chandra Roy, Meghnad Saha, P C Mahalanbis, Rammohan roy, Vidyasagar, Subhas Chandra Bose, Swami Vivekananda, Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, Rabindranath Tagore, Sarat Chandra Chatterjee, Michael Madhusudan Dutta, Abanindranath Tagore, Nandalal Bose, Jamini roy and Binod Behari Mukherjee.


Economical and Educational Details About Kolkata


Kolkata is one of the largest commercial and business hubs of India. Calcutta Stock Exchange is the second largest stock exchange in India. Many IT companies like Tata Consultancy Service, Wipro, IBN, Cognizant Technologies, Genpack, Capgemini, HP, etc are centered in Kolkata. Other important companies are Tata Housing Development Company, Ideal Group, Unitech Group, DLF Limited, Mani Group, Merlin Projects, Ambuja Realty, Salarpuria Group, Ps Group, Infinity Projects, Shapoorji Pallonji, ITC Limitedm Tata Steel Processing and Distribution Ltd, Tata Metaliks, Coal India Limited, Visa Group, Goodricke Group, India Government Mint, Haldia Petrochemicals, Exide Industries, Hindustan Motors, Eveready Industries, Patton, Damodar Valley Corporation, PWC India, Britannia Industries, Bata India, Birla Corporation, Shree Cements, Phillips, CESC Limited, RPG Group, Adhunik Group, Texmaco Limited, Peerless Group, Bengal Ambuja are some of the important companies located here.


The important industries are engineering products industry, electronics and electrical equipment industry, cables, steel and leather industry, textiles industry, jewelry, frigates, railway coach and wagons building industry, automobiles industry, etc. Toy Park and Gem and Jewelry park are established here together with other industrial estates like Taratola, Kalyani, Uluberia, Dankuni, Kasba and Howrah. The export zone is set up in Falta.


The headquarters of the banks Allahabad Bank, Uco Bank and United Bank of India are situated in Kolkata. There are more than 19 malls in the city. The important star hotels here are ITC Sonar, Oberoi Grand, The Park, Hyatt Regency, Taj Bengal, Peerless Inn, Golden Parkk Hotel, Bawa Walson Spa Hotel, Dee Empresa Hotel, Hotel The Sojourn, Heaven Hotel, Heritage Hotel, Middleton Chambers, Executive Tower Hotel, Chrome, ITC Fortune, Best Western Vedic Village, Swissotel, etc.


The literacy rate of people living here is 81.31%. There are both private run schools and government schools in Kolkata. The medium of education is either Bengali or English. Some of the education boards are West Bengal Board of Secondary Education, Indian Certificate of Secondary Education, and Central Board for Secondary Education, A-Level British Curriculum and the National Institute of Open School. There are 153 college affiliated to the University of Calcutta.


Some of the important educational institutions of Calcutta are Jadavpur University, Calcutta Medical College, Presidency College, St. Xavier’s College, Bethune College, Scottish Church College, Asiatic Society, Bose Institute, Indian Statistical Institute, Indian Institute of Management, S. N. Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences, Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre, Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Marine Engineering and Research Institute, Rabindra Bharati University, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Calcutta Mathematical Society, Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, West Bengal University of Technology, National Institute of Fashion Technology, West Bengal University of Animal and Fishery Sciences, etc.


Details About Kolkata Transport Facilities


Kolkata is well connected to major cities of India and other parts of the world by plane. The Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport is situated in Dum Dum, 20 km outside the city. The airlines like Air India, Indian Airlines, Jet Airways, Indigo, SpiceJet, Emirates, Lufthansa, Qatar Air, Singapore Airlines, Hainan Airlines, China Easter Airlines, Thai Airways, Air Asia, Druk Air, Bangladesh Biman and United Airways are some of the airlines that have service to and from Kolkata.


Kolkata has two docks, Kolkata docks and Haldia Kolkata and both of them are managed by Kolkata Port Trust. Cargo ships are operated to various parts of the world and the passenger services are run to Port Blair. These ships are operated by the Shipping Corporation of India.


Kolkata has three major railway stations, Kolkata station, Howrah station and Sealdah station. If you want to reach the main city from the Sealdah station, going by the ferry service is time consuming. Kolkata  is the headquarters of the Eastern Railway and South Eastern Railway. The electric suburban rail network helps in the transport within the city. The only tram service in India is operated in Kolkata and is called as the Calcutta Tramways. Kolkata Metro Railway was the oldest of its kind in India which started its service in 1984. It covers a distance of 25 km. It runs parallel to Hooghly river connecting Dumdum and New Garia.


The buses in Kolkata are run by Calcutta State Transport Corporation, Calcutta Tramways company, Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission and West Bengal Surface Transport Corporation. Auto rickshaws can be hired for traveling small distances. Human pulled rickshaws are still in vogue in Kolkata. Cabs and cars are available for rent at an hourly rate. Ferry service has its regular routes connecting various points on the bank of the river.


Internal Infrastructure of Kolkata


The Southern fringes of the city include Behala, Jadavpur, Garia and Narendrapur, the south Kolkata include Ballygunge, Bhawanipur, Alipore, New Alipore, Rash Behari and Tollygunge, the Esplanade colonial area consists of Mirza Ghalib Street, Dalhousie Square, Chandni Chowk, Barra Bazaar, Sudder Street and Free School Street, the Maidan area comprises of huge park and Fort William, Strand road, Khidirpur, Dufferin Road, Hooghly Bank and Chowringhee. The North Kolkata includes the regions like Bagbazar, Belgachhia, Chitpur, Shobha Bazaar, Maniktala, Jora Sanko. There are many colleges and Sealdah railway station and Kolkata station in this area.


The northern fringes include the industrial areas such as Kashipur, Dumdum, Belghoria, Khardah, Panihati, Titagarh, etc. East Kolkata includes Salt Lake City, Rajar Hat, Lake Town and E. M. Bypass. India’s largest mall is located here. Howrah is the metro area where Howrah railway station is located.


The sports stadiums in Kolkata are Netaji Indoor Stadium, Eden Gardens, Yuba Bharati Krirangan and Rabindra Sarovar Stadium. There are various sports clubs here such as Tollygunge Club, Royal Calcutta Golf Club, South club for grasscourt tennis, Calcutta Cricket and Football Club, Polo Club within the Race Course, Royal Calcutta Turf Club, Calcutta Rowing Club and Lake Club, etc.


Kolkata is noted for its nightlife and pubs and nightclubs are very common here. Some of them are Tantra, Someplace, Big Ben, Underground, Shisha, Venom, Roxy, The Basement, The Fairlawn Hotel Garden, etc.


The important malls in Kolkata are South City Mall, Metropolis Mall, City Center, Mani Square Supermall, Metro Plaza, Vardaan Market, Orchid Point, Forum, Shreeram Arcade, City Center2, Pantaloons, etc.


Some of the temples in Kolkata are Kalighat Temple, Dakshineswar Temple, Birla Temple, Thanthania Kalibari – Bidhan Sarani, Phiringi Kalibari, Belur Math, Chitteswari Kalmandir, Madanmohan Temple, Sovabazar Thakurbai, etc. Some of mosques here are Tippu Sultan Mosque, Nakhoda Mosque, Karbala Mosque, Niyamatulla Mosque and Jama Masjit – Razabar. Some of the churches are St. Paul’s Cathedral, Armenian Church, St. James Church, St. John’s Church and St. Andrews Church. Other places of worship in Kolkata are Bhawanipore Gurdwara, Gurdwara, Sikh Sangat Gurdwara, Munilal Singh Sangat Gurdwara, Pareshnath Temple, Shree Digambar Jain Parasnath Mandir, Shitalnathji Jain Temple, Mahabodhi Society of India, Buddha Dharmankur Sabha, Japanese Buddhist Temple, Jewish Synagogue and Parsee Fire Temple.


Important Places of Visit in Kolkata


There are many museums in Kolkata. These are the center of attraction of the tourists visiting the city. The museums located here are Indian Museum, Asiatic Society, Calcutta Museum, Science City, Nehru Children Museum, Rabindra Bharati Museum and Birla Industrial and Technological Museum.


The following are the other tourist places that are worth visiting in the city.


Birla Planetarium: It is one of the largest museums in Asia and was started in 1962 by the Birla Education Trust. One can learn a lot from the astronomical presentations and get information about our solar system, galaxies, space and planets. Audio visual aids provide an interactive learning.


Fort William: This fort is situated on the banks of the River Hoogly. It was established in 1696. However it was destroyed in 1757 during the battle of Plassey by the Nawab of Bengal Siraj Ud Daulah and later it was reconstructed in 1780. Exhibitions and fairs are conducted in the fort at present.


Howrah Bridge: It is the busiest bridge in the world connecting Howrah and Calcutta. This road bridge set up in 1874 stands on 270 feet high pillars.


Marble Palace: It is an art gallery with sculptures and paintings and was built in the year 1835 by Rajendra Mallick. Attached to this is a zoo with some rare species of birds and animals.


National Library: This is the largest library in India and spreads over 30 acres. The books of almost all the Indian languages are housed here.


Nicco Park: This is a fantastic amusement park and is called as the Disneyland of West Bengal. This covers 40 acres of land and was started in 1991. It is also called as Jheel Meel and has many rides interesting among them being Cave ride.


Saheed Minar: This is the Octerloney Monument established by Sir David Ochterlony in 1848 to celebrate the victory in the Nepal War that took place between 1814 and 1816. If you go to the top of the minar you can get a glimpse of the city.


Writers Building: this was a Gothic structure came into existence in 1877 and is the Secretariat of West Bengal government at present. This is also called as Mahakaran.


Victoria Memorial: This museum was established in 1921 and has a 184 feet tall edifice and was constructed on 64 acres of land.


Eden Gardens: Though Eden Gardens is basically a cricket ground it is a center of attraction of the tourist. This oldest cricket stadium was established in the year 1864 and can house about 1, 20, 000 people.


All these details about Kolkata will help you to know more about this historical city and will be a good guide for the travelers.






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