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Kolkata ( or , ; also known as Calcutta , ) is the
capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller lowercase (or more formally ''minusc ...
of the
India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous country, the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest ...

India
n
state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, Un ...
of
West Bengal West Bengal (, Bengali language, Bengali: ''Paschim Banga'' ) is a States and union territories of India, state in the eastern region of India along the Bay of Bengal. With over 91 million inhabitants, it is the List of states and union terri ...

West Bengal
. Located on the eastern bank of the
Hooghly River The Hooghly River (''Hugli''; Anglicized alternatively spelled ''Hoogli'' or ''Hugli'') or the Bhāgirathi-Hooghly, called the 'Ganga' or the 'Kati-Ganga' in mythological texts, is the eastern distributary of the Ganges River in West Bengal, In ...

Hooghly River
, the city is approximately west of the border with
Bangladesh Bangladesh (; bn, বাংলাদেশ, ), officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh, is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, eighth-most populous country in the world, with a populati ...
. It is the primary business, commercial, and financial hub of
Eastern India East India is a List of regions of India, region of India consisting of the Indian states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal and also the union territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The region roughly corresponds to the histor ...
and the main port of communication for
North-East India Northeast India (officially North Eastern Region, NER) is the easternmost region of India representing both a geographic and political Administrative divisions of India, administrative division of the country. It comprises eight States and union ...
. According to the 2011 Indian census, Kolkata is the seventh-most populous city in India, with a population of 4.5 million residents within the city limits, and a population of over 14.1 million residents in the Kolkata Metropolitan Area. It is the third-most populous metropolitan area in India. In 2021, Kolkata metropolitan area crossed 15 million registered voters. The
Port of Kolkata Port of Kolkata or Kolkata Port (KoPT), officially known as Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port Trust, is the only riverine major port of India, located in the city of Kolkata Kolkata ( or , ; also known as Calcutta , List of renamed Indian ...
is India's oldest operating port and its sole major riverine port. Kolkata is regarded as the ''Cultural Capital'' of India.



In the late 17th century, the three villages that predated Calcutta were ruled by the
Nawab of Bengal The Nawab of Bengal ( Bengali: বাংলার নবাব) was the hereditary ruler of Bengal Subah in Mughal India. The '' Nawab'' of a princely state or autonomous province is comparable to the European title of Grand Duke. In the earl ...

Nawab of Bengal
under
Mughal Mughal or Moghul may refer to: * The Mughal Empire of South Asia ** Mughal dynasty ** Mughal emperors ** Mughal people, a social group of South Asia ** Mughal Army, the Army of Mughal Empire * Cultural influences of the Mughal Empire ** Mughal arc ...

Mughal
suzerainty Suzerainty () is a relationship in which one state or other polity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized socia ...
. After the Nawab granted the
East India Company The East India Company (EIC), also known as the Honourable East India Company (HEIC), East India Trading Company (EITC), the English East India Company or (after 1707) the British East India Company, and informally known as John Company, Comp ...
a trading
licence A license (American English) or licence (British English) is an official permission or permit to do, use, or own something (as well as the document of that permission or permit). A license is granted by a party to another party as an element of ...
in 1690, the area was developed by the Company into an increasingly fortified trading post known as Fort William. Nawab
Siraj ud-Daulah Mirza Muhammad Siraj-ud-Daulah ( fa, مرزا محمد سراج الدولہ, bn, মির্জা মুহাম্মদ সিরাজউদ্দৌলা; 1733 – 2 July 1757), commonly known as Siraj-ud-Daulah or Siraj ud-Daula, was ...

Siraj ud-Daulah
occupied Calcutta in 1756, and the East India Company retook it the following year. In 1793 the East India company was strong enough to abolish native rule, and assumed full sovereignty of the region. Under the company rule and later under the
British Raj The British Raj (; from Hindi language, Hindi ''rāj'': kingdom, realm, state, or empire.) was the rule of the The Crown, British Crown on the Indian subcontinent from 1858 to 1947.''Oxford English Dictionary'', 3rd edition (June 2008), on- ...
, Calcutta served as the capital of British-held territories in India until 1911. At that time, the British assessed its perceived geographical disadvantages, combined with growing nationalism in
Bengal Bengal (; Bengali language, Bengali: ', ) is a geopolitical, cultural and historical region in South Asia, specifically in the eastern part of the Indian subcontinent at the apex of the Bay of Bengal, predominantly covering present-day Bang ...
, and moved the capital to
New Delhi New Delhi (, ''Naī Dillī'') is the Capital city, capital of India and a part of the NCT Delhi, National Capital Territory of Delhi. New Delhi is the seat of all three branches of the government of India, hosting the Rashtrapati Bhavan, Pa ...

New Delhi
. Calcutta was the centre for the
Indian independence movement#REDIRECT Indian independence movement {{Rcat shell, {{R from move {{R from other capitalisation {{R unprintworthy ...
. Following independence in 1947, Kolkata, which was once the centre of Indian commerce, culture, and politics, suffered many decades of
political violence Political violence is violence Violence is the use of physical force so as to injure, abuse, damage, or destroy. Other definitions are also used, such as the World Health Organization's definition of violence as "the intentional use of physical ...
and
economic stagnation Economic stagnation is a prolonged period of slow economic growth Economic growth can be defined as the increase in the inflation-adjusted market value of the goods and services produced by an economics, economy over time. Statisticians convent ...
. A demographically diverse city, the
culture of Kolkata The culture of Kolkata concerns the music, art, museums, festivals, and lifestyle within Kolkata. It is the former capital of India and the current capital of the states of India, Indian state of West Bengal, and occasionally called the "Cultural ...
features idiosyncrasies that include distinctively close-knit neighbourhoods (''paras'') and freestyle conversations (''adda''). Kolkata is home to West Bengal's film industry Tollywood and cultural institutions, such as the
Academy of Fine Arts The following is a list of notable art schools. Accredited non-profit art and design colleges * Alberta College of Art and Design * Art Academy of Cincinnati * Art Center College of Design * The Art Institute of Boston * The Art Institute of Pi ...
, the
Victoria Memorial The Victoria Memorial is a large marble building in Kolkata Kolkata ( or , ; also known as Calcutta , List of renamed Indian cities and states#West Bengal, the official name until 2001) is the Capital city, capital of the Indian States ...
, the
Asiatic Society The Asiatic Society is an organisation founded during the British Raj in India to enhance and further the cause of "Oriental research", in this case, research into India and the surrounding regions. It was founded by the philologist William Jo ...
, the
Indian Museum The Indian Museum in Kolkata Kolkata ( or , ; also known as Calcutta , List of renamed Indian cities and states#West Bengal, the official name until 2001) is the Capital city, capital of the Indian States and union territories of India, s ...

Indian Museum
, and the
National Library of India The National Library of India is a library located in Belvedere Estate, Alipore, Kolkata Kolkata ( or , ; also known as Calcutta , List of renamed Indian cities and states#West Bengal, the official name until 2001) is the Capital city, ...
. Among scientific institutions, Kolkata hosts the Agri Horticultural Society of India, the
Geological Survey of India The Geological Survey of India (GSI) is a scientific agency of India. It was founded in 1851, is a Government of India Ministry of Mines organisation, one of the oldest of such organisations in the world and the second oldest survey in India af ...
, the Botanical Survey of India, the Calcutta Mathematical Society, the
Indian Science Congress Association Indian Science Congress Association(ISCA) is a premier scientific organisation of India with headquarters at Kolkata, West Bengal. The association started in the year 1914 in Kolkata and it meets annually in the first week of January. It has a me ...
, the
Zoological Survey of India The Zoological Survey of India (ZSI), founded on 1 July 1916 by Government of India Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, as premier Indian organisation in zoological research and studies to promote the survey, exploration and res ...
, the Institution of Engineers, the
Anthropological Survey of India Anthropological Survey of India (AnSI) is the apex India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous country, th ...
and the Indian Public Health Association. Four
Nobel laureates Nobel laureates of 2012 Alvin E. Roth, Brian Kobilka, Robert J. Lefkowitz, David J. Wineland, and Serge Haroche during the ceremony The Nobel Prizes ( sv, Nobelpriset, no, Nobelprisen) are prizes awarded annually by the Royal Swedish Academy o ...
and two Nobel Memorial Prize winners are associated with the city.



Though home to major cricketing venues and franchises, Kolkata differs from other Indian cities by focusing on
association football Association football, more commonly known as simply football or soccer, is a team sport played with a sphere, spherical Ball (association football), ball between two teams of 11 football player, players. It is played by approximately 250  ...
and other sports.


Etymology

The word ''Kolkata'' ( bn, কলকাতা ) derives from '' Kôlikata'' ( ), the Bengali name of one of three villages that predated the arrival of the British, the other two villages were
Sutanuti Sutanuti was one of the three villages which were merged to form the city of Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) in India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and depen ...
and Govindapur. There are several explanations for the etymology of this name: * ''Kolikata'' is thought to be a variation of ''Kalikkhetrô'' ( ), meaning "Field of he goddess
Kali Kali (; sa, काली, ), also known as Dakshina Kālikā ( sa, दक्षिण कालिका), is a Hinduism, Hindu goddess, who is considered to be the Master of death, time and change. She is also said to be the Parvati, that ...

Kali
". Similarly, it can be a variation of 'Kalikshetra' (
Sanskrit Sanskrit (, attributively , ''saṃskṛta-'', nominalization, nominally , ''saṃskṛtam'') is a classical language of South Asia belonging to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia ...

Sanskrit
: कालीक्षेत्र, lit. "area of Goddess Kali"). * Another theory is that the name derives from
Kalighat Kalighat is a locality of Kolkata, in Kolkata district, West Bengal West Bengal (, Bengali language, Bengali: ''Paschim Banga'' ) is a States and union territories of India, state in the eastern region of India along the Bay of Bengal. ...

Kalighat
. * Alternatively, the name may have been derived from the Bengali term ''kilkila'' ( bn, কিলকিলা), or "flat area". * The name may have its origin in the words ''khal'' ( bn, খাল ) meaning "canal", followed by ''kaṭa'' ( bn, কাটা ), which may mean "dug". * According to another theory, the area specialised in the production of
quicklime Calcium Calcium is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Ca and atomic number 20. As an alkaline earth metal, calcium is a reactive metal that forms a dark oxide-nitride layer when exposed to air. Its physical and chemical pr ...
or ''koli chun'' ( bn, কলি চুন ) and coir or ''kata'' ( bn, কাতা ); hence, it was called ''Kolikata''). Although the city's name has always been pronounced ''Kolkata'' or ''Kôlikata'' in Bengali, the anglicised form ''Calcutta'' was the official name until 2001, when it was changed to ''Kolkata'' in order to match Bengali pronunciation.


History


British colonial rule

The discovery and
archaeological Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. Archaeology is often considered a branch of socio-cultural anthropology, but archaeologists also draw from biological, geological, ...

archaeological
study of
Chandraketugarh Chandraketugarh is an archaeological Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. Archaeology is often considered a branch of socio-cultural anthropology, but archaeologis ...
, north of Kolkata, provide evidence that the region in which the city stands has been inhabited for over two millennia. Kolkata's recorded history began in 1690 with the arrival of the English
East India Company The East India Company (EIC), also known as the Honourable East India Company (HEIC), East India Trading Company (EITC), the English East India Company or (after 1707) the British East India Company, and informally known as John Company, Comp ...
, which was consolidating its trade business in Bengal.
Job Charnock Job Charnock (; –1692/1693) was an employee and administrator of the East India Company The East India Company (EIC), also known as the Honourable East India Company (HEIC), East India Trading Company (EITC), the English East India Compa ...
, an administrator who worked for the company, was formerly credited as the founder of the city; In response to a public petition, the
Calcutta High Court The Calcutta High Court is the oldest High Court in India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous country, ...

Calcutta High Court
ruled in 2003 that the city does not have a founder. The area occupied by the present-day city encompassed three villages:
Kalikata Kalikata was one of the three villages which were merged to form the city of Kolkata (formerly, Calcutta) in India. The other two villages were Gobindapur, India, Gobindapur and Sutanuti. Job Charnock, an administrator with the British East India ...
, Gobindapur and
Sutanuti Sutanuti was one of the three villages which were merged to form the city of Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) in India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and depen ...
. Kalikata was a fishing village; Sutanuti was a riverside weavers' village. They were part of an estate belonging to the
Mughal emperor The Mughal emperors (or Moghul) built and ruled the Mughal Empire on the Indian subcontinent, mainly corresponding to the modern countries of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. The Mughals began to rule parts of India from 1526, and ...

Mughal emperor
; the ''
jagir A jagir ( fa, , translit=Jāgir), also spelled as jageer, was a type of feudal land grant in the Indian subcontinent at the foundation of its Jagirdar (Zamindar) system. It developed during the Islamic rule era of the Indian subcontinent, starting ...
dari'' (a land grant bestowed by a king on his noblemen) taxation rights to the villages were held by the
Sabarna Roy Choudhury The Sabarna Ray Chaudhury ( bn, সাবর্ণ রায় চৌধুরী) family were Zamindars near the Kolkata (earlier known as Calcutta) area, prior to the arrival of the United Kingdom, British. Family history One of the ancesto ...
family of landowners, or ''
zamindar A zamindar (also known as zomindar, zomidar, or jomidar) in the Indian subcontinent was an autonomous or semiautonomous ruler of a state who were originally Hindu Hindus () are persons who regard themselves as culturally, ethnically, ...

zamindar
s''. These rights were transferred to the East India Company in 1698. In 1712, the British completed the construction of
Fort WilliamFort William may refer to: Places * Fort William, Ghana, a fort in Anomabu, Central Region, built in the 18th century * Fort William Lighthouse, in Cape Coast, Central Region, Ghana, built in the 19th century, now used as a lighthouse * Fort Will ...
, located on the east bank of the Hooghly River to protect their trading factory. Facing frequent skirmishes with
French forces The French Armed Forces (french: Forces armées françaises) encompass the French Army, Army, the French Navy, Navy, the French Air and Space Force, Air and Space Force, the National Guard (France), National Guard and the National Gendarmerie, Gen ...
, the British began to upgrade their fortifications in 1756. The Nawab of Bengal, Siraj ud-Daulah, condemned the militarisation and tax evasion by the company. His warning went unheeded, and the Nawab attacked; he captured Fort William which led to the killings of several East India company officials in the
Black Hole of Calcutta The Black Hole of Calcutta was a dungeon in Fort William, Calcutta measuring 4.30 × 5.50 ⁠metres (14 × 18 ⁠⁠feet), in which troops of Siraj ud-Daulah, the Nawab of Bengal, held British Prisoner of war, prisoners of war on the ...
. A force of Company soldiers (''
sepoy A sepoy () was originally the designation given to a professional Indian infantryman, usually armed with a musket, in the armies of the Mughal Empire The Mughal Empire, Mogul or Moghul Empire, was an Early modern period, early modern em ...

sepoy
s'') and British troops led by
Robert Clive Major-General Robert Clive, 1st Baron Clive (29 September 1725 – 22 November 1774), also known as Clive of India, was the first British Governor A governor is, in most cases, a public official with the power to govern the Executive ...
recaptured the city the following year. Per the 1765
Treaty of Allahabad A treaty is a formal, legally binding written agreement between actors in international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally accepted in relati ...
following the
battle of Buxar The Battle of Buxar was fought on 22/23 October 1764, between the forces under the command of the British East India Company, led by Hector Munro, 8th of Novar, Hector Munro, and the combined armies of Mir Qasim, Nawab of Bengal till 1764; the ...
, East India company was appointed imperial tax collector of the Mughal emperor in the province of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa, while Mughal-appointed Nawabs continued to rule the province. Declared a presidency city, Calcutta became the headquarters of the East India Company by 1773. In 1793, ruling power of the Nawabs were abolished and East India company took complete control of the city and the province. In the early 19th century, the marshes surrounding the city were drained; the government area was laid out along the banks of the Hooghly River.
Richard WellesleyRichard Wellesley may refer to: * Richard Wellesley, 1st Marquess Wellesley (1760–1842), Anglo-Irish politician and colonial administrator * Richard Wellesley (1787–1831), his son, Anglo-Irish Member of Parliament * Richard Wellesley, 6th Earl C ...

Richard Wellesley
,
Governor-General of the Presidency of Fort William The Governor-General of India (1773-1950, from 1858 to 1947 the Viceroy and Governor-General of India, commonly shortened to Viceroy of India) was the representative of the monarch of the United Kingdom and after Indian Independence Act 1947, ...
between 1797 and 1805, was largely responsible for the development of the city and its public architecture. Throughout the late 18th and 19th century, the city was a centre of the East India Company's opium trade. A census in 1837 records the population of the city proper as 229,700, of which the British residents made up only 3,138. The same source says another 177,000 resided in the suburbs and neighbouring villages, making the entire population of greater Calcutta 406,700. In 1864, a typhoon struck the city and killed about 60,000 in Kolkata. By the 1850s, Calcutta had two areas: White Town, which was primarily British and centred on
Chowringhee Chowringhee (also spelt Chourangi) is a neighbourhood of Central Kolkata Kolkata ( or , ; also known as Calcutta , List of renamed Indian cities and states#West Bengal, the official name until 2001) is the Capital city, capital of the Ind ...
and
Dalhousie Square B.B.D. Bagh, formerly called Dalhousie Square, is the shortened version for Benoy-Badal-Dinesh Bagh. It is the seat of power of the state government, as well as the central business district of Kolkata in Kolkata district in the Indian States a ...
; and Black Town, mainly Indian and centred on North Calcutta. The city underwent rapid industrial growth starting in the early 1850s, especially in the textile and jute industries; this encouraged British companies to massively invest in infrastructure projects, which included telegraph connections and
Howrah railway station Howrah railway station, also known as Howrah Junction, is a railway station located in the city of Howrah Howrah (, , alternatively spelled as Haora) is a city in the India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), ...

Howrah railway station
. The coalescence of British and Indian culture resulted in the emergence of a new ''
babu Babu may refer to: Place * Babu District, in Hezhou, Guangxi, China Title * Babu (title), South Asian term of respect (meaning 'boss' or 'father'), term also used to refer to Bureaucrats of various governments People *Babu (name), list of ...
'' class of urbane Indians, whose members were often bureaucrats, professionals, newspaper readers, and Anglophiles; they usually belonged to upper-caste Hindu communities. In the 19th century, the
Bengal Renaissance Bengal (; bn, বাংলা/বঙ্গ, translit=Bānglā/Bôngô, ) is a geopolitical, cultural and historical region located in South Asia South Asia is the southern region of Asia, which is defined in both geography, geographical ...
brought about an increased sociocultural sophistication among city denizens. In 1883, Calcutta was host to the first national conference of the Indian National Association, the first avowed nationalist organisation in India. The partition of Bengal in 1905 along religious lines led to mass protests, making Calcutta a less hospitable place for the British. The capital was moved to
New Delhi New Delhi (, ''Naī Dillī'') is the Capital city, capital of India and a part of the NCT Delhi, National Capital Territory of Delhi. New Delhi is the seat of all three branches of the government of India, hosting the Rashtrapati Bhavan, Pa ...

New Delhi
in 1911. Calcutta continued to be a centre for revolutionary organisations associated with the
Indian independence movement#REDIRECT Indian independence movement {{Rcat shell, {{R from move {{R from other capitalisation {{R unprintworthy ...
. The city and its port were bombed several times by the
Japanese Japanese may refer to: * Something from or related to Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a white rectangle , image_coat = Imperial Seal of J ...
between 1942 and 1944, during
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a World war, global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved World War II by country, the vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great ...
. Coinciding with the war, millions starved to death during the
Bengal famine of 1943 The Bengal famine of 1943 was a famine in the Bengal Presidency, Bengal province of British Raj, British India (now Bangladesh and eastern India) during World War II. An estimated 2.1–3 million, out of a population of 60.3 million, died of st ...
due to a combination of military, administrative, and natural factors. led in 1946 to an episode of communal violence that killed over 4,000. The
partition of India The Partition of India of 1947 was the division of British India The provinces of India, earlier presidencies of British India and still earlier, presidency towns, were the administrative divisions of British governance in India I ...

partition of India
led to further clashes and a demographic shift—many Muslims left for
East Pakistan East Pakistan was a Pakistani province established in 1955 by the One Unit Policy, renaming the province as such from East Bengal , common_name = East Bengal , status = Province of the Dominion of Pakistan , p1 = ...
(present day
Bangladesh Bangladesh (; bn, বাংলাদেশ, ), officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh, is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, eighth-most populous country in the world, with a populati ...
), while hundreds of thousands of Hindus fled into the city.


Contemporary

During the 1960s and 1970s, severe power shortages, strikes and a violent
Marxist Marxism is a method of socioeconomic Socioeconomics (also known as social economics) is the social science that studies how economic activity affects and is shaped by social processes. In general it analyzes how modern societies progress, ...
Maoist Maoism, officially called Mao Zedong Thought () by the Chinese Communist Party ) , anthem = "The Internationale" , seats1_title = National People's Congress (13th National People's Congress, 13th) , seats1 = , s ...
movement by groups known as the
Naxalite A Naxal or Naxalite () is a member of militant political organisation that claims the legacy of the Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist), founded in Calcutta in 1969. The term ''Naxal'' derives from the name of the village Naxalbar ...
s damaged much of the city's infrastructure, resulting in economic stagnation.

The
Bangladesh Liberation War The Bangladesh Liberation War ( bn, মুক্তিযুদ্ধ, ), also known as the Bangladesh War of Independence, or simply the Liberation War in Bangladesh, was a revolution and War, armed conflict sparked by the rise of the Benga ...
of 1971 led to a massive influx of thousands of refugees, many of them penniless, that strained Kolkata's infrastructure. During the mid-1980s,
Mumbai Mumbai (, ; also known as Bombay , List of renamed Indian cities and states#Maharashtra, the official name until 1995) is the capital city of the Indian States and union territories of India, state of Maharashtra. According to the United Nat ...

Mumbai
(then called Bombay) overtook Kolkata as India's most populous city. In 1985, prime minister
Rajiv Gandhi Rajiv Ratna Gandhi (; 20 August 1944 – 21 May 1991) was an Indian politician who served as the 6th List of Prime Ministers of India, Prime Minister of India from 1984 to 1989. He took office after the Assassination of Indira Gandhi, 1984 ass ...

Rajiv Gandhi
dubbed Kolkata a "dying city" in light of its socio-political woes. In the period 1977–2011, West Bengal was governed from Kolkata by the Left Front, which was dominated by the
Communist Party of India The Communist Party of India (CPI) is the oldest communist party A communist party is a left-wing political party that seeks to realize the social and economic goals of communism. The term ''communist party'' was popularized by the ti ...
(CPM). It was the world's longest-serving democratically elected communist government, during which Kolkata was a key base for Indian communism. In the
2011 West Bengal Legislative Assembly election A legislative assembly election was held in six phases between 18 April and 10 May 2011 for List of constituencies of the West Bengal Vidhan Sabha, all the 294 seats of the West Bengal Legislative Assembly, ''Vidhan Sabha'' in the state of Wes ...
, Left Front was defeated by the
Trinamool Congress The All India Trinamool Congress (abbreviated AITC or TMC; translation: ''All India Grassroots Congress'') is an Indian political party which is predominantly active in West Bengal West Bengal (, Bengali language, Bengali: ''Paschim Ban ...
. The city's economic recovery gathered momentum after the 1990s, when India began to institute pro-market reforms. Since 2000, the information technology (IT) services sector has revitalised Kolkata's stagnant economy. The city is also experiencing marked growth in its manufacturing base.


Geography

Spread roughly north–south along the east bank of the
Hooghly River The Hooghly River (''Hugli''; Anglicized alternatively spelled ''Hoogli'' or ''Hugli'') or the Bhāgirathi-Hooghly, called the 'Ganga' or the 'Kati-Ganga' in mythological texts, is the eastern distributary of the Ganges River in West Bengal, In ...

Hooghly River
, Kolkata sits within the lower
Ganges Delta The Ganges Delta (also known as the Sundarbans Delta or the Bengal Delta) is a river delta A river delta is a landform A landform is a natural or artificial feature of the solid surface of the Earth or other planetary body. Landforms toget ...
of eastern India approximately 75 km (47 mi) west of the international border with
Bangladesh Bangladesh (; bn, বাংলাদেশ, ), officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh, is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, eighth-most populous country in the world, with a populati ...
; the city's elevation is . Much of the city was originally a wetland that was reclaimed over the decades to accommodate a burgeoning population. The remaining undeveloped areas, known as the East Kolkata Wetlands, were designated a "wetland of international importance" by the
Ramsar Convention The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance Especially as Waterfowl Habitat is an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands. It is also known as the Convention on Wetlands. It is named after the ...

Ramsar Convention
(1975). As with most of the
Indo-Gangetic Plain#REDIRECT Indo-Gangetic Plain Image:India-Pakistan Borderlands at Night.JPG, 250px, Clusters of yellow lights on the Indo-Gangetic Plain reveal numerous cities large and small in this astronaut photograph of northern India and northern Pakistan, ...

Indo-Gangetic Plain
, the soil and water are predominantly
alluvial Alluvium (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of t ...
in origin. Kolkata is located over the "Bengal basin", a pericratonic tertiary basin. Bengal basin comprises three structural units: shelf or platform in the west; central hinge or shelf/slope break; and deep basinal part in the east and southeast. Kolkata is located atop the western part of the hinge zone which is about wide at a depth of about below the surface. The shelf and hinge zones have many faults, among them some are active. Total thickness of sediment below Kolkata is nearly above the crystalline basement; of these the top is
Quaternary Quaternary ( ) is the current and most recent of the three Period (geology), periods of the Cenozoic Era (geology), Era in the geologic time scale of the International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS). It follows the Neogene Period and spans from ...
, followed by of
Tertiary Tertiary ( ) is a widely used but obsolete term for the Period (geology), geologic period from 66 million to 2.6 million years ago. The period began with the demise of the non-bird, avian dinosaurs in the Cretaceous–Paleogene extincti ...

Tertiary
sediments,
trap A trap is a Trapping#Trap_types, mechanical device used to capture or restrain an animal for purposes such as hunting, pest control, or ecological research. Trap or TRAP may also refer to: Art and entertainment Films and television * Trap (201 ...
wash of
Cretaceous The Cretaceous ( ) is a geological period A geological period is one of the several subdivisions of geologic time enabling cross-referencing of rocks and geologic events from place to place. These periods form elements of a hierarchy of divisions ...
trap and
Permian The Permian ( ) is a geologic period and stratigraphic system which spans 47 million years from the end of the Carboniferous period million years ago (Mya), to the beginning of the Triassic period 251.902 Mya. It is the last period of the Paleo ...
-
Carboniferous The Carboniferous ( ) is a geologic period A geological period is one of the several subdivisions of geologic time enabling cross-referencing of rocks and geologic events from place to place. These periods form elements of a hierarchy of divisi ...
Gondwana Gondwana () or Gondwanaland was a supercontinent In geology Geology (from the Ancient Greek γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and -λoγία, ''-logia'', ("study of", "discourse")) is an Earth science concerned with the solid Earth, the rock (g ...

Gondwana
rocks. The quaternary sediments consist of clay, silt and several grades of sand and gravel. These sediments are sandwiched between two clay beds: the lower one at a depth of ; the upper one in thickness. According to the
Bureau of Indian Standards The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) is the national Standards Body of India working under the aegis of Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Government of India. It is established by the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 19 ...
, on a scale ranging from in order of increasing susceptibility to earthquakes, the city lies inside seismic zone III.


Urban structure

The Kolkata metropolitan area is spread over and comprises 4 municipal corporations (including Kolkata Municipal Corporation), 37  local municipalities and 24 panchayat samitis, as of 2011. The urban agglomeration encompassed 72 cities and 527 towns and villages, as of 2006. Suburban areas in the Kolkata metropolitan area incorporate parts of the following districts: North 24 Parganas district, North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas district, South 24 Parganas, Howrah district, Howrah, Hooghly district, Hooghly and Nadia district, Nadia. Kolkata, which is under the jurisdiction of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC), has an area of . The east–west dimension of the city is comparatively narrow, stretching from the Hooghly River in the west to roughly the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass in the east—a span of . The north–south distance is greater, and its axis is used to section the city into North, Central, South and East Kolkata. North Kolkata is the oldest part of the city. Characterised by 19th-century architecture and narrow alleyways, it includes areas such as Jorasanko, Rajabazar, Kolkata, Rajabazar, Maniktala, Ultadanga, Shyambazar, Shobhabazar, Bagbazar, Cossipore, Sinthee etc. The north suburban areas like Dum Dum, Baranagar, Belgharia, Sodepur, Khardaha, New Barrackpore, Madhyamgram, Barrackpore, Barasat etc. are also within the city of Kolkata (as a metropolitan structure). Central Kolkata hosts the central business district. It contains B.B.D. Bagh, formerly known as Dalhousie Square, and the Esplanade, Kolkata, Esplanade on its east; Strand Road, Kolkata, Strand Road is on its west. The Writers' Building, West Bengal Secretariat, General Post Office, Kolkata, General Post Office, Reserve Bank of India,
Calcutta High Court The Calcutta High Court is the oldest High Court in India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous country, ...

Calcutta High Court
, Lalbazar Police Headquarters and several other government and private offices are located there. Another business hub is the area south of Park Street, Kolkata, Park Street, which comprises thoroughfares such as Chowringhee Road, Camac Street, Wood Street, Loudon Street, Shakespeare Sarani and AJC Bose Road. South Kolkata developed after India gained independence in 1947; it includes upscale neighbourhoods such as Bhawanipore, Alipore, Ballygunge, Kasba (Kolkata), Kasba, Dhakuria, Santoshpur, Kolkata, Santoshpur, Garia, Golf Green, Tollygunge, New Alipore, Behala, Barisha, India, Barisha etc. The south suburban areas like Maheshtala, Budge Budge, Rajpur Sonarpur, Baruipur etc. are also within the city of Kolkata (as a metropolitan structure). The Maidan (Kolkata), Maidan is a large open field in the heart of the city that has been called the "lungs of Kolkata" and accommodates sporting events and public meetings. The
Victoria Memorial The Victoria Memorial is a large marble building in Kolkata Kolkata ( or , ; also known as Calcutta , List of renamed Indian cities and states#West Bengal, the official name until 2001) is the Capital city, capital of the Indian States ...
and Kolkata Race Course are located at the southern end of the Maidan. Among the other parks are Central Park (Kolkata), Central Park in Bidhannagar and Millennium Park (Kolkata), Millennium Park on Strand Road, along the Hooghly River. Two planned townships in the greater Kolkata region are Bidhannagar, Kolkata, Bidhannagar, also known as Salt Lake City and located north-east of the city; and Rajarhat, also called New Town, Kolkata, New Town and located east of Bidhannagar. In the 2000s, Sector V in Bidhannagar developed into a business hub for information technology and telecommunication companies. Both Bidhannagar and New Town are situated outside the Kolkata Municipal Corporation limits, in their own municipalities.


Climate

Kolkata is subject to a tropical savanna climate, tropical wet-and-dry climate that is designated ''Aw'' under the Köppen climate classification. According to a United Nations Development Programme report, its wind and cyclone zone is "very high damage risk".


Temperature

The annual mean temperature is ; monthly mean temperatures are . Summers (March–June) are hot and humid, with temperatures in the low 30s Celsius; during dry spells, maximum temperatures sometime exceed 40 °C (104 °F) in May and June. Winter lasts for roughly two-and-a-half months, with seasonal lows dipping to in December and January. May is the hottest month, with daily temperatures ranging from ; January, the coldest month, has temperatures varying from . The highest recorded temperature is , and the lowest is . The winter is mild and very comfortable weather pertains over the city throughout this season. Often, in April–June, the city is struck by heavy rains or dusty squalls that are followed by thunderstorms or hailstorms, bringing cooling relief from the prevailing humidity. These thunderstorms are Convection rain, convective in nature, and are known locally as ''kal bôishakhi'' (), or "Nor'westers" in English.


Rainfall

Rains brought by the Bay of Bengal branch of the Southwest monsoon, south-west summer monsoon lash Kolkata between June and September, supplying it with most of its annual rainfall of about . The highest monthly rainfall total occurs in July and August. In these months often incessant rain for days brings life to a stall for the city dwellers. The city receives 2,107 hours of sunshine per year, with maximum Insolation, sunlight exposure occurring in April. Kolkata has been hit by several cyclones; these include systems occurring in 1737 and 1864 that killed thousands. More recently, Cyclone Aila in 2009 and Cyclone Amphan in 2020 caused widespread damage to Kolkata by bringing catastrophic winds and torrential rainfall.


Environmental issues

Pollution is a major concern in Kolkata. , sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide annual concentration were within the national ambient air quality standards of India, but respirable Particulates, suspended particulate matter levels were high, and on an increasing trend for five consecutive years, causing smog and haze. Severe air pollution in the city has caused a rise in pollution-related respiratory ailments, such as lung cancer.


Economy

Kolkata is the commercial and financial hub of East India, East and
North-East India Northeast India (officially North Eastern Region, NER) is the easternmost region of India representing both a geographic and political Administrative divisions of India, administrative division of the country. It comprises eight States and union ...
and home to the Calcutta Stock Exchange Association Limited, Calcutta Stock Exchange. It is a major commercial and military port, and is the only city in eastern India, apart from Bhubaneswar to have an international airport. Once India's leading city, Kolkata experienced a steady economic decline in the decades following India's independence due to steep population increases and a rise in militant trade-unionism, which included frequent strikes that were backed by left-wing parties. From the 1960s to the late 1990s, several factories were closed and businesses relocated. The lack of capital and resources added to the depressed state of the city's economy and gave rise to an unwelcome sobriquet: the "dying city". The city's fortunes improved after the Economy of India, Indian economy was liberalised in the 1990s and changes in economic policy were enacted by the West Bengal state government. Recent estimates of the economy of Kolkata's metropolitan area have ranged from $150 to $250 billion (Purchasing power parity, PPP Gross domestic product, GDP), and have ranked it List of cities by GDP, third-most productive metro area of India.

Flexible production has been the norm in Kolkata, which has an informal sector that employs more than 40% of the labour force. One unorganised group, Hawkers in Kolkata, roadside hawkers, generated business worth 87.72 billion ( 2 billion) in 2005. , around 0.81% of the city's workforce was employed in the Primary sector of the economy, primary sector (agriculture, forestry, mining, etc.); 15.49% worked in the Secondary sector of the economy, secondary sector (industrial and manufacturing); and 83.69% worked in the Tertiary sector of the economy, tertiary sector (service industries). , the majority of households in slums were engaged in occupations belonging to the informal sector; 36.5% were involved in servicing the urban middle class (as maids, drivers, etc.) and 22.2% were Wage labour, casual labourers. About 34% of the available labour force in Kolkata slums were unemployed. According to one estimate, almost a quarter of the population live on less than 27 rupees (equivalent to 45 US cents) per day. Major manufacturing companies in the city are Alstom, Larsen & Toubro, Fosroc, Videocon Telecom, Videocon. As in many other Indian cities, information technology became a high-growth sector in Kolkata starting in the late 1990s; the city's IT sector grew at 70% per annum—a rate that was twice the national average. The 2000s saw a surge of investments in the real estate, infrastructure, retail, and hospitality sectors; List of shopping malls in Kolkata, several large shopping malls and hotels were launched. Companies such as ITC Limited, CESC Limited, Exide Industries, Emami, Eveready Industries India, Lux Industries, Rupa Company, Berger Paints, Birla Corporation and Britannia Industries are headquartered in the city. Philips India, PricewaterhouseCoopers India, Tata Global Beverages, Tata Steel have their registered office and zonal headquarters in Kolkata. Kolkata hosts the headquarters of three major public-sector banks: Allahabad Bank, UCO Bank, and the United Bank of India; and a private bank Bandhan Bank. Reserve Bank of India has its eastern zonal office in Kolkata, and India Government Mint, Kolkata is one of the four mints in India. Some of the oldest public sector companies are headquartered in the city such as the Coal India Limited, National Insurance Company, Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers, Tea Board of India,
Geological Survey of India The Geological Survey of India (GSI) is a scientific agency of India. It was founded in 1851, is a Government of India Ministry of Mines organisation, one of the oldest of such organisations in the world and the second oldest survey in India af ...
,
Zoological Survey of India The Zoological Survey of India (ZSI), founded on 1 July 1916 by Government of India Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, as premier Indian organisation in zoological research and studies to promote the survey, exploration and res ...
, Botanical Survey of India, Jute Corporation of India, National Test House, Hindustan Copper and the Ordnance Factories Board of the Ministry of Defence (India), Indian Ministry of Defence.


Demographics

The demonym for residents of Kolkata are ''Calcuttan'' and ''Kolkatan''. According to provisional results of the 2011 national census, Kolkata district, which occupies an area of , had a population of 4,486,679; its population density was . This represents a decline of 1.88% during the decade 2001–11. The human sex ratio, sex ratio is 899 females per 1000 males—lower than the national average. The ratio is depressed by the influx of working males from surrounding rural areas, from the rest of West Bengal; these men commonly leave their families behind. Kolkata's literacy rate of 87.14% exceeds the national average of 74%. The final population totals of census 2011 stated the population of city as 4,496,694. The urban agglomeration had a population of 14,112,536 in 2011. Bengali language, Bengali, the official state language, is the dominant language in Kolkata. English is also used, particularly by the white-collar workforce. Hindi and Urdu are spoken by a sizeable minority. Bengali Hindus form the majority of Kolkata's population; Marwaris, Bihari people, Biharis and Urdu-speaking Muslims compose large minorities. Among Ethnic communities in Kolkata, Kolkata's smaller communities are Overseas Chinese, Chinese, Tamil people, Tamils, People of Nepal, Nepalis, Pashtuns, Pathans/Afghans (locally known as ''Kabuliwala'') Odia people, Odias, Telugu people, Telugus, Gujarati people, Gujaratis, Anglo-Indians, Armenians in India, Armenians, Bengali Muslims, Greeks, Tibetan people, Tibetans, Marathi people, Maharashtrians, Konkani people, Konkanis, Malayali, Malayalees, Punjabis and Parsi people, Parsis. The number of Armenians, Greeks, Jews and other foreign-origin groups declined during the 20th century. The History of the Jews in Kolkata, Jewish population of Kolkata was 5,000 during World War II, but declined after Independence of India, Indian independence and the establishment of Israel; by 2013, there were 25 Jews in the city. India's sole Chinatown, Kolkata, Chinatown is in eastern Kolkata; once home to 20,000 ethnic Chinese, its population dropped to around 2,000 as a result of multiple factors including repatriation and denial of Indian citizenship following the 1962 Sino-Indian War, and immigration to foreign countries for better economic opportunities. The Chinese community traditionally worked in the local tanning industry and ran Chinese restaurants. According to the 2011 census, 76.51% of the population is Hindu, 20.60% Muslim, 0.88% Christians, Christian and 0.47% Jainism, Jain. Scroll down to "Religion in Kolkata" The remainder of the population includes Sikhs, Buddhists, and other religions which accounts for 0.45% of the population; 1.09% did not state a religion in the census. Kolkata reported 67.6% of Crime in India, Special and Local Laws crimes registered in 35 large Indian cities during 2004. The Kolkata police district registered 15,510 Indian Penal Code cases in 2010, the 8th-highest total in the country. In 2010, the crime rate was 117.3 per 100,000, below the national rate of 187.6; it was the lowest rate among India's largest cities. , about one-third of the population, or 1.5 million people, lived in 3,500 unregistered Squatting, squatter-occupied and 2,011 registered slums. The authorised slums (with access to basic services like water, latrines, trash removal by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation) can be broadly divided into two groups—''bustees'', in which slum dwellers have some long term tenancy agreement with the landowners; and ''udbastu colonies'', settlements which had been leased to refugees from present-day Bangladesh by the government. The Shanty town, unauthorised slums (devoid of basic services provided by the municipality) are occupied by squatters who started living on encroached lands—mainly along canals, railway lines and roads. According to the 2005 National Family Health Survey, around 14% of the households in Kolkata were poor, while 33% lived in slums, indicating a substantial proportion of households in slum areas were better off economically than the bottom quarter of urban households in terms of wealth status. Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for founding and working with the Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata—an organisation "whose primary task was to love and care for those persons nobody was prepared to look after".


Government and public services


Civic administration

Kolkata is administered by several government agencies. The Kolkata Municipal Corporation, or KMC, oversees and manages the civic infrastructure of the city's 16 boroughs, which together encompass 144 wards. Each ward elects a councillor to the KMC. Each borough has a committee of councillors, each of whom is elected to represent a ward. By means of the borough committees, the corporation undertakes urban planning and maintains roads, government-aided schools, hospitals, and municipal markets. As Kolkata's apex body, the corporation discharges its functions through the mayor-in-council, which comprises a mayor, a deputy mayor, and ten other elected members of the KMC. The functions of the KMC include water supply, drainage and sewerage, sanitation, solid waste management, street lighting, and building regulation. Kolkata's administrative agencies have areas of jurisdiction that do not coincide. Listed in ascending order by area, they are: Kolkata district; the Divisions of Kolkata Police, Kolkata Police area and the Kolkata Municipal Corporation area, or "Kolkata city"; and the Kolkata metropolitan area, which is the city's urban agglomeration. The agency overseeing the latter, the Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority, is responsible for the statutory planning and development of greater Kolkata. The Kolkata Municipal Corporation was ranked first out of 21 cities for best governance and administrative practices in India in 2014. It scored 4.0 on 10 compared to the national average of 3.3. The Kolkata Port Trust, an agency of the central government, manages the city's river port. , the All India Trinamool Congress controls the KMC; the mayor is Firhad Hakim, while the deputy mayor is Atin Ghosh. The city has an apolitical Titular ruler, titular post, that of the Sheriff of Kolkata, which presides over various city-related functions and conferences. As the seat of the Government of West Bengal, Kolkata is home to not only the offices of the local governing agencies, but also the West Bengal Legislative Assembly; the state secretariat, which is housed in the Writers' Building; and the
Calcutta High Court The Calcutta High Court is the oldest High Court in India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous country, ...

Calcutta High Court
. Most government establishments and institutions are housed in the centre of the city in B. B. D. Bagh (formerly known as Dalhousie Square). The
Calcutta High Court The Calcutta High Court is the oldest High Court in India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous country, ...

Calcutta High Court
is the oldest High Courts of India, High Court in India. It was preceded by the Supreme Court of Judicature at Fort William which was established in 1774. The Calcutta High Court has jurisdiction over the state of
West Bengal West Bengal (, Bengali language, Bengali: ''Paschim Banga'' ) is a States and union territories of India, state in the eastern region of India along the Bay of Bengal. With over 91 million inhabitants, it is the List of states and union terri ...

West Bengal
and the Union Territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Kolkata has lower courts: the Court of Small Causes and the City Civil Court decide civil matters; the Sessions Court rules in criminal cases. The Kolkata Police, headed by a police commissioner, is overseen by the Ministry of Home Affairs (West Bengal), West Bengal Ministry of Home Affairs. The Kolkata district elects two representatives to India's lower house, the Lok Sabha, and 11 representatives to the state legislative assembly.


Utility services

The Kolkata Municipal Corporation supplies the city with potable water that is sourced from the
Hooghly River The Hooghly River (''Hugli''; Anglicized alternatively spelled ''Hoogli'' or ''Hugli'') or the Bhāgirathi-Hooghly, called the 'Ganga' or the 'Kati-Ganga' in mythological texts, is the eastern distributary of the Ganges River in West Bengal, In ...

Hooghly River
; most of it is treated and purified at the Palta pumping station located in North 24 Parganas district. Roughly 95% of the 4,000 tonnes of refuse produced daily by the city is transported to the dumping grounds in Dhapa, India, Dhapa, which is east of the town. To promote the recycling of garbage and sewer water, agriculture is encouraged on the dumping grounds. Parts of the city lack proper sewerage, leading to unsanitary methods of waste disposal. In 1856 the Bengal Government appointed George Turnbull (civil engineer), George Turnbull to be the Commissioner of Drainage and Sewerage to improve the city's sewerage. Turnbull's main job was to be the Chief Engineer of the East Indian Railway Company responsible for building the first railway 541 miles from Howrah to Varanasi (then Benares). Electricity is supplied by the privately operated CESC Limited, Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation, or CESC, to the city proper; the West Bengal State Electricity Board supplies it in the suburbs. Fire services are handled by the West Bengal Fire Service, a state agency. , the city had 16 fire stations. State-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited, or BSNL, as well as private enterprises, among them Vodafone India, Vodafone, Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communications, Reliance, Idea Cellular, Aircel, Tata DoCoMo, Tata Teleservices, Virgin Mobile, and MTS India, are the leading telephone and cell phone service providers in the city. with Kolkata being the first city in India to have cell phone and 4G connectivity, the GSM and Code division multiple access, CDMA cellular coverage is extensive. , Kolkata has 7 percent of the total Broadband internet consumers in India; BSNL, VSNL, Tata Indicom, Sify, Airtel, and Reliance are among the main vendors.


Military and diplomatic establishments

The Eastern Command (India), Eastern Command of the Indian Army is based in the city. Being one of India's major city and the largest city in eastern and north-eastern India, Kolkata hosts diplomatic missions of many countries such as List of diplomatic missions in India, Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Canada, People's Republic of China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Thailand, United Kingdom and United States. The Consulate General of the United States, Kolkata, U.S Consulate in Kolkata is the United States Department of State, US Department of State's second-oldest Consulate and dates from 19 November 1792. The Diplomatic representation of more than 65 Countries and International Organization is present in Kolkata as Consulate office, honorary Consulate office, Cultural Centre, Deputy High Commission and Economic section and Trade Representation office.


Transport

Public transport is provided by the Kolkata Suburban Railway, the Kolkata Metro, Trams in Kolkata, trams, rickshaws, taxis and buses. The suburban rail network connects the city's distant suburbs. According to a 2013 survey conducted by the International Association of Public Transport, in terms of a public transport system, Kolkata ranks among the top of the six Indian cities surveyed. The Kolkata Metro, in operation since 1984, is the oldest underground mass transit system in India. It spans the north–south length of the city. In 2020, part of the Second line was inaugurated to cover part of Salt Lake. This east–west line will connect Salt Lake with Howrah The 2 lines cover a distance of . , four Metro rail lines were under construction. Kolkata has five long-distance railway stations, located at Howrah station, Howrah (the largest railway complex in India), Sealdah railway station, Sealdah, Kolkata Railway Station, Chitpur, Shalimar railway station, Shalimar and Santragachi railway station, Santragachi, which connect Kolkata by rail to most cities in West Bengal and to other major cities in India. The city serves as the headquarters of three railway Zone out of Eighteen of the Indian Railways regional divisions—the Kolkata Metro Railways, Eastern Railway Zone (India), Eastern Railway and the South Eastern Railway Zone (India), South-Eastern Railway. Kolkata has rail and road connectivity with Dhaka, the capital of
Bangladesh Bangladesh (; bn, বাংলাদেশ, ), officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh, is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, eighth-most populous country in the world, with a populati ...
. Buses, which are the most commonly used mode of transport, are run by government agencies and private operators. Kolkata is the only Indian city with a tram network, which is operated by the Calcutta Tramways Company. The slow-moving tram services are restricted to certain areas of the city. Water-logging, caused by heavy rains during the Monsoon of South Asia, summer monsoon, sometimes interrupt transportation networks. Hired public conveyances include auto rickshaws, which often ply specific routes, and yellow metered taxis. Almost all of Kolkata's taxis are antiquated Hindustan Ambassadors by make; newer air-conditioned Taxicab#Dispatching, radio taxis are in service as well. In parts of the city, cycle rickshaws and Pulled rickshaw, hand-pulled rickshaws are patronised by the public for short trips. Due to its diverse and abundant public transportation, privately owned vehicles are not as common in Kolkata as in other major Indian cities. The city has witnessed a steady increase in the number of registered vehicles; 2002 data showed an increase of 44% over a period of seven years. , after adjusting for population density, the city's "road space" was only 6% compared to 23% in Delhi and 17% in Mumbai. The Kolkata Metro has somewhat eased traffic congestion, as has the addition of new roads and Overpass, flyovers. Agencies operating long-distance bus services include the Calcutta State Transport Corporation, the South Bengal State Transport Corporation, the North Bengal State Transport Corporation and various private operators. The city's main bus terminals are located at Esplanade, Kolkata, Esplanade and Babughat. The Kolkata–Delhi and Kolkata–Chennai prongs of the Golden Quadrilateral, and National Highway 12 (India), National Highway 12 start from the city. Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport, located in Dum Dum, about north-east of the city centre, operates domestic and international flights. In 2013, the airport was upgraded to handle increased air traffic. The
Port of Kolkata Port of Kolkata or Kolkata Port (KoPT), officially known as Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port Trust, is the only riverine major port of India, located in the city of Kolkata Kolkata ( or , ; also known as Calcutta , List of renamed Indian ...
, established in 1870, is India's oldest and the only major river port. The Kolkata Port Trust manages docks in Kolkata and Haldia. The port hosts passenger services to Port Blair, capital of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands; freighter service to ports throughout India and around the world is operated by the Shipping Corporation of India. Ferry services connect Kolkata with its twin city of Howrah, located across the Hooghly River.


Healthcare

, the health care system in Kolkata consists of 48 government hospitals, mostly under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (West Bengal), Department of Health & Family Welfare, Government of West Bengal, and 366 private medical establishments; these establishments provide the city with 27,687 hospital beds. For every 10,000 people in the city, there are 61.7 hospital beds,The population (4,486,679) and hospital beds (27,687) have been used to derive this rate. which is higher than the national average of 9 hospital beds per 10,000. Ten Education in Kolkata#Medical Colleges, medical and dental colleges are located in the Kolkata metropolitan area which act as tertiary referral hospitals in the state. The Calcutta Medical College, founded in 1835, was the first institution in Asia to teach modern medicine. However, These facilities are inadequate to meet the healthcare needs of the city. More than 78% in Kolkata prefer the private medical sector over the public medical sector, due to the overburdening of the public health sector, the lack of a nearby facility, and excessive waiting times at government facilities. According to the Indian 2005 National Family Health Survey, only a small proportion of Kolkata households were covered under any health scheme or health insurance. The total fertility rate in Kolkata was 1.4, the lowest among the eight cities surveyed. In Kolkata, 77% of the married women used contraceptives, which was the highest among the cities surveyed, but use of modern contraceptive methods was the lowest (46%). The infant mortality rate in Kolkata was live births, and the mortality rate for children under five was live births. Among the surveyed cities, Kolkata stood second (5%) for children who had not had any vaccinations under the Universal Immunization Programme . Kolkata ranked second with access to an ''anganwadi'' centre under the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) programme for 57% of the children between 0 and 71 months. The proportion of malnutrition, malnourished, anaemia, anaemic and underweight children in Kolkata was less in comparison to other surveyed cities. About 18% of the men and 30% of the women in Kolkata are obese—the majority of them belonging to the non-poor strata of society. In 2005, Kolkata had the highest percentage (55%) among the surveyed cities of Anemia, anaemic women, while 20% of the men in Kolkata were Anemia, anaemic. Diseases like diabetes, asthma, goitre and other Thyroid#Disorders, thyroid disorders were found in large numbers of people. Tropical diseases like malaria, dengue and ''chikungunya'' are prevalent in Kolkata, though their incidence is decreasing. Kolkata is one of the districts in India with HIV/AIDS in India, a high number of people with HIV/AIDS, AIDS; it has been designated a district prone to high risk. As of 2014, because of Air pollution in India, higher air pollution, the life expectancy of a person born in the city is four years fewer than in the suburbs.


Education

Kolkata's schools are run by the state government or private organisations, many of which are religious. Bengali language, Bengali and English are the primary languages of instruction; Urdu and Hindi are also used, particularly in central Kolkata. Schools in Kolkata follow the Education in India, "10+2+3" plan. After completing their secondary education, students typically enroll in schools that have a higher secondary facility and are affiliated with the West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Education, the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education, ICSE, or the Central Board of Secondary Education, CBSE. They usually choose a focus on liberal arts, business, or science. Vocational programs are also available. Some Kolkata schools, for example South Point School, La Martiniere Calcutta, Calcutta Boys' School, St. James' School (Kolkata), St. Xavier's Collegiate School and Loreto House, have been ranked amongst the best schools in the country. , the Kolkata urban agglomeration is home to 14 universities run by the state government. The colleges are each affiliated with a university or institution based either in Kolkata or elsewhere in India. Aliah University which was founded in 1780 as ''Mohammedan College of Calcutta'' is the oldest post-secondary educational institution of the city. The University of Calcutta, founded in 1857, is the first modern university in South Asia. Presidency College, Kolkata (formerly Hindu College between 1817 and 1855), founded in 1855, was one of the oldest colleges in India. It was affiliated with the University of Calcutta until 2010 when it was converted to Presidency University, Kolkata in 2010. Bengal Engineering and Science University, Shibpur, Bengal Engineering and Science University (BESU) is the second oldest engineering institution of the country located in Howrah. An Institute of National Importance, BESU was converted to India's first Indian Institutes of Engineering Science and Technology, IIEST. Jadavpur University is known for its arts, science, and engineering faculties. The Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, which was the first of the Indian Institutes of Management, was established in 1961 at Joka, Kolkata, Joka, a locality in the south-western suburbs. Kolkata also houses the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, which was started here in the year 2006. The West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences is one of India's Autonomous law schools in India, autonomous law schools, and the Indian Statistical Institute is a public research institute and university. State owned Maulana Abul Kalam Azad University of Technology, West Bengal (MAKAUT, WB), formerly West Bengal University of Technology (WBUT) is the largest Technological University in terms of student enrollment and number of Institutions affiliated by it. Private institutions include the Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda Educational and Research Institute and University of Engineering & Management (UEM), Kolkata, University of Engineering & Management (UEM). Notable scholars who were born, worked or studied in Kolkata include physicists Satyendra Nath Bose, Meghnad Saha, and Jagadish Chandra Bose; chemist Prafulla Chandra Roy; statisticians Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis and Anil Kumar Gain; physician Upendranath Brahmachari; educator Ashutosh Mukherjee; and Nobel laureates Rabindranath Tagore, C. V. Raman, and Amartya Sen. Kolkata houses many research institutes like Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science (IACS), Indian Institute of Chemical Biology (IICB), Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Bose Institute, Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics (SINP), Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta, All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health, Central Glass and Ceramic Research Institute (CGCRI), S.N. Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences (SNBNCBS), Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management (IISWBM), National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, Kolkata, Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre (VECC) and Indian Centre for Space Physics. Nobel laureate Sir C. V. Raman did his groundbreaking work in Raman effect in IACS.


Culture

Kolkata is known for its literary, artistic and revolutionary heritage; as the former capital of India, it was the birthplace of modern Indian literary and artistic thought. Kolkata has been called the "City of Furious, Creative Energy" as well as the "cultural [or literary] capital of India". The presence of ''para (Bengali), paras'', which are neighbourhoods that possess a strong sense of community, is characteristic of the city. Typically, each ''para'' has its own community club and on occasion, a playing field. Residents engage in ''adda (Indian), addas'', or leisurely chats, that often take the form of freestyle intellectual conversation. The city has a tradition of political graffiti depicting everything from outrageous slander to witty banter and limericks, caricatures and propaganda. Kolkata has many buildings adorned with Indo-Islamic architecture, Indo-Islamic and Indo-Saracenic Revival architecture, Indo-Saracenic architectural motifs. Several well-maintained major buildings from the colonial period have been declared "heritage structures"; others are in various stages of decay. Established in 1814 as the nation's oldest museum, the
Indian Museum The Indian Museum in Kolkata Kolkata ( or , ; also known as Calcutta , List of renamed Indian cities and states#West Bengal, the official name until 2001) is the Capital city, capital of the Indian States and union territories of India, s ...

Indian Museum
houses large collections that showcase Indian natural history and Indian art. Marble Palace (Kolkata), Marble Palace is a classic example of a European mansion that was built in the city. The
Victoria Memorial The Victoria Memorial is a large marble building in Kolkata Kolkata ( or , ; also known as Calcutta , List of renamed Indian cities and states#West Bengal, the official name until 2001) is the Capital city, capital of the Indian States ...
, a places of interest in Kolkata, place of interest in Kolkata, has a museum documenting the city's history. The
National Library of India The National Library of India is a library located in Belvedere Estate, Alipore, Kolkata Kolkata ( or , ; also known as Calcutta , List of renamed Indian cities and states#West Bengal, the official name until 2001) is the Capital city, ...
is the leading public library in the country while Science City Kolkata, Science City is the largest science centre in the Indian subcontinent. The popularity of commercial theatres in the city has declined since the 1980s. Group theatres of Kolkata, a cultural movement that started in the 1940s contrasting with the then-popular commercial theatres, are theatres that are not professional or commercial, and are centres of various experiments in theme, content, and production; group theatres use the proscenium stage to highlight socially relevant messages. Chitpur locality of the city houses multiple production companies of ''Jatra (Bengal), jatra'', a tradition of folk drama popular in rural Bengal. Kolkata is the home of the Cinema of West Bengal, Bengali cinema industry, dubbed "Tollywood" for Tollygunj, where most of the state's film studios are located. Parallel Cinema, Its long tradition of art films includes globally acclaimed film directors such as Academy Award-winning director Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak, Mrinal Sen, Tapan Sinha and contemporary directors such as Aparna Sen, Buddhadeb Dasgupta, Goutam Ghose and Rituparno Ghosh. During the 19th and 20th centuries, Bengali literature was modernised through the works of authors such as Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay, Michael Madhusudan Dutt, Rabindranath Tagore, Kazi Nazrul Islam and Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay. Coupled with social reforms led by Ram Mohan Roy, Swami Vivekananda and others, this constituted a major part of the
Bengal Renaissance Bengal (; bn, বাংলা/বঙ্গ, translit=Bānglā/Bôngô, ) is a geopolitical, cultural and historical region located in South Asia South Asia is the southern region of Asia, which is defined in both geography, geographical ...
. The middle and latter parts of the 20th century witnessed the arrival of post-modernism, as well as literary movements such as those espoused by the ''Kallol'' movement, Hungry generation, hungryalists and the Little magazine movement#Bengali little magazine movement, little magazines. Large majority of publishers of the city is concentrated in and around College Street (Kolkata), College Street, "... a half-mile of bookshops and bookstalls spilling over onto the pavement", selling new and used books. Kalighat painting originated in 19th century Kolkata as a local style that reflected a variety of themes including mythology and quotidian life. The Government College of Art & Craft, Government College of Art and Craft, founded in 1864, has been the cradle as well as workplace of eminent artists including Abanindranath Tagore, Jamini Roy and Nandalal Bose. The art college was the birthplace of the Bengal school of art that arose as an avant garde and nationalist movement reacting against the prevalent academic art styles in the early 20th century. The
Academy of Fine Arts The following is a list of notable art schools. Accredited non-profit art and design colleges * Alberta College of Art and Design * Art Academy of Cincinnati * Art Center College of Design * The Art Institute of Boston * The Art Institute of Pi ...
and other art galleries hold regular art exhibitions. The city is recognised for its appreciation of ''Rabindra sangeet'' (songs written by Rabindranath Tagore) and Indian classical music, with important concerts and recitals, such as Dover Lane Music Conference, being held throughout the year; Bengali popular music, including Baul, ''baul'' folk ballads, ''kirtans'' and ''Gajan (festival), Gajan'' festival music; and modern music, including Bengali-language ''adhunik'' songs. Since the early 1990s, Indian rock#Rock scenes, new genres have emerged, including one comprising alternative folk–rock Rock music of West Bengal, Bengali bands. Another new style, ''jibonmukhi gaan'' ("songs about life"), is based on realism (arts), realism. Key elements of Bengali cuisine, Kolkata's cuisine include rice and a fish curry known as ''machher jhol'', which can be accompanied by desserts such as ''Rasgulla, roshogolla'', ''Sandesh (confectionery), sandesh'', and a sweet yoghurt known as ''Mitha Dahi, mishti dohi''. Bengal's large repertoire of seafood dishes includes various preparations of ''ilish'', a fish that is a favourite among Calcuttans. Street foods such as ''beguni'' (fried battered eggplant slices), kati roll, ''kati'' roll (flatbread roll with vegetable or chicken, mutton or egg stuffing), ''Panipuri, phuchka'' (a deep-fried crêpe with tamarind sauce) and Indian Chinese cuisine from Chinatown, Kolkata, Chinatown are popular. Though Bengali women traditionally wear the ''sari'', the ''shalwar kameez'' and Western attire is gaining acceptance among younger women. Western-style dress has greater acceptance among men, although the traditional ''dhoti'' and ''kurta'' are seen during festivals. Durga Puja, held in September–October, is Kolkata's most important and largest festival; it is an occasion for glamorous celebrations and artistic decorations. The Bengali New Year, known as Pohela Boishakh, Poila Boishak, as well as the harvest festival of Poush Parbon are among the city's other festivals; also celebrated are Kali Puja, Diwali, Holi, Jagaddhatri Puja, Saraswati Puja, Rathayatra, Janmashtami, Maha Shivratri, Vishwakarma Puja, Lakshmi Puja, Ganesh Chathurthi, Makar Sankranti, Gajan (festival), Gajan, Kalpataru Day, Bhai Phonta, Maghotsab, Eid ul-Fitr, Eid, Muharram, Christmas, Buddha Purnima and Mahavir Jayanti. Cultural events include the Rabindra Jayanti, Independence Day (India), Independence Day (15 August), Republic Day (26 January), Kolkata Book Fair, the Dover Lane Music Festival, the Kolkata Film Festival, Nandikar's National Theatre Festival, Statesman Vintage & Classic Car Rally and Gandhi Jayanti.


Media

The first newspaper in India, the ''Hicky's Bengal Gazette, Bengal Gazette'' started publishing from the city in 1780. Among Kolkata's widely circulated Bengali-language newspapers are ''Anandabazar Patrika'', ''Bartaman'', Ei Samay Sangbadpatra, ''Sangbad Pratidin'', ''Aajkaal'', ''Dainik Statesman'' and ''Ganashakti''. ''The Statesman (India), The Statesman'' and ''The Telegraph (Calcutta), The Telegraph'' are two major English-language newspapers that are produced and published from Kolkata. Other popular English-language newspapers published and sold in Kolkata include ''The Times of India'', ''Hindustan Times'', ''The Hindu'', ''The Indian Express'' and the ''Asian Age''. As the largest trading centre in East India, Kolkata has several high-circulation financial dailies, including ''The Economic Times'', ''The Financial Express (India), The Financial Express'', ''Business Line'' and ''Business Standard''. Vernacular newspapers, such as those in the Hindi, Urdu, Gujarati language, Gujarati, Odia language, Odia, Punjabi language, Punjabi and Chinese languages, are read by minorities. Major periodicals based in Kolkata include ''Desh (magazine), Desh'', ''Sananda (magazine), Sananda'', ''Saptahik Bartaman'', ''Unish-Kuri'', ''Anandalok'' and ''Anandamela''. Historically, Kolkata has been the centre of the Little magazine movement#Bengali little magazine movement, Bengali little magazine movement. All India Radio, the national state-owned radio broadcaster, airs several AM broadcasting, AM radio stations in the city. Kolkata has List of FM radio stations in India#Kolkata, 10 local radio stations broadcasting on frequency modulation, FM, including three from AIR. India's state-owned television broadcaster, Doordarshan, provides two free-to-air terrestrial channels, while a mix of Bengali, Hindi, English, and other regional channels are accessible via Cable television, cable subscription, direct-broadcast satellite services, or IPTV, internet-based television. List of Bengali-language television channels#News channels, Bengali-language 24-hour television news channels include ABP Ananda, News18 Bangla, Kolkata TV, Zee 24 Ghanta, TV9 Bangla and Republic Bangla.


Sports

The most popular sports in Kolkata are association football, football and cricket. Unlike most parts of India, the residents show significant passion for football.Indian Football Association, the oldest football association of the country is based here. It administers football in West Bengal. The city is home to top national football clubs such as Mohun Bagan A.C., East Bengal F.C. and the Mohammedan Sporting Club (Kolkata), Mohammedan Sporting Club. Calcutta Football League, which was started in 1898, is the oldest football league in Asia. Mohun Bagan A.C., one of the oldest football clubs in Asia, is the only organisation to be dubbed a "National Club of India". Football matches between Mohun Bagan and East Bengal, dubbed as the Kolkata derby, witness large audience attendance and rivalry between patrons. The multi-use Salt Lake Stadium, also known as Yuva Bharati Krirangan, is India's second largest stadium by seating capacity. Most matches of the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup were played in the Salt Lake Stadium including both Semi-final matches and the Final match. Kolkata also accounted for 45% of total attendance in 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup with an average of 55,345 spectators. The Calcutta Cricket and Football Club is the second-oldest cricket club in the world. As in the rest of India, cricket is popular in Kolkata and is played on grounds and in streets throughout the city. Kolkata is home to Indian Premier League franchise Kolkata Knight Riders and the Bengal cricket team; the Cricket Association of Bengal, which regulates cricket in West Bengal, is also based in the city. Kolkata has two Indian Super League clubs, ATK Mohun Bagan FC and SC East Bengal. Tournaments, especially those involving cricket, football, badminton and carrom, are regularly organised here on an inter-locality or inter-club basis. The Maidan (Kolkata), Maidan, a vast field that serves as the city's largest park, hosts several minor football and cricket clubs and coaching institutes. Eden Gardens, which has a capacity of 80,000 , hosted the final match of the 1987 Cricket World Cup. Kolkata's Netaji Indoor Stadium served as host of the 1981 Asian Basketball Championship, where India's national basketball team finished 5th, ahead of teams that belong to Asia's basketball elite, such as Iran national basketball team, Iran. The city has three 18-hole golf courses. The oldest is at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club, the first golf club built outside the United Kingdom. The other two are located at the Tollygunge Club and at Fort William (India), Fort William. The Royal Calcutta Turf Club hosts horse racing and polo matches. The Calcutta Polo Club is considered the oldest extant polo club in the world. The Calcutta Racket Club is a squash (sport), squash and racquet club in Kolkata. It was founded in 1793, making it one of the oldest rackets clubs in the world, and the first in the Indian subcontinent. The Calcutta South Club is a venue for national and international tennis tournaments; it held the first grass-court national championship in 1946. In the period 2005–2007, Sunfeast Open, a tier-III tournament on the Women's Tennis Association circuit, was held in the Netaji Indoor Stadium; it has since been discontinued. The Calcutta Rowing Club hosts Sport rowing, rowing heats and training events. Kolkata, considered the leading centre of rugby union in India, gives its name to the oldest international tournament in rugby union, the Calcutta Cup. The Automobile Association of Eastern India, established in 1904, and the Bengal Motor Sports Club are involved in promoting motor sports and car rallies in Kolkata and West Bengal. The Beighton Cup, an event organised by the Bengal Hockey Association and first played in 1895, is India's oldest field hockey tournament; it is usually held on the Mohun Bagan Ground of the Maidan. Athletes from Kolkata include Sourav Ganguly, Pankaj Roy and Jhulan Goswami, who are former List of India national cricket captains, captains of the India national cricket team, Indian national cricket team; India at the Olympics, Olympic tennis bronze medalist Leander Paes, golfer Arjun Atwal, and former footballers Sailen Manna, Chuni Goswami, Pradip Kumar Banerjee, P. K. Banerjee and Subrata Bhattacharya (footballer), Subrata Bhattacharya.


Sister cities

* Dhaka,
Bangladesh Bangladesh (; bn, বাংলাদেশ, ), officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh, is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, eighth-most populous country in the world, with a populati ...
* Kunming, China (October 2013) * Thessaloniki, Greece (21 January 2005) * Naples, Italy * Karachi, Pakistan * Incheon, South Korea * Odessa, Ukraine * Jersey City, New Jersey, United States * Long Beach, California, United States * Dallas, Texas, United States


See also

* List of children's museums in India * List of people from Kolkata *
West Bengal West Bengal (, Bengali language, Bengali: ''Paschim Banga'' ) is a States and union territories of India, state in the eastern region of India along the Bay of Bengal. With over 91 million inhabitants, it is the List of states and union terri ...

West Bengal


References


Further reading

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External links


Kolkata Municipal Corporation
* {{Authority control Kolkata, Cities and towns in Kolkata district Cities and towns in West Bengal Indian capital cities Metropolitan cities in India Port cities in India Capitals of former nations Former national capitals Former capital cities in India Populated places established in 1690 1690 establishments in Asia 1690 establishments in the British Empire 1690s establishments in India Capitals of Bengal Subdivisions of West Bengal Subdivisions in Kolkata district http://www.citymayors.com/statistics/richest-cities-2020.html