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Monday, 23 November 2015



The history of Kolkata begun in 1690 when Job Charnock of the East India Company established a trading post, an event formerly considered the founding of the city.

The anglicized form Calcutta was the official name until 2001, when it was changed to Kolkata in order to match Bengali pronunciation.

Calcutta was the seat of government of British India between 1773–1912.

During the British East India Company rule, Calcutta was known as the second city of the British Empire, after London.

When regular fights with French forces started, the British began to upgrade their fortifications. When this was protested, the Nawab of Bengal Siraj-Ud-Daulah attacked and captured Fort William in Calcutta. This led to the infamous Black Hole incident on June 20, 1756 where 146 British and Anglo-Indian soldiers and civilians were held overnight in conditions so cramped that 123 of them died from suffocation, heat exhaustion and crush injuries.

The University of Calcutta was formally founded on January 24, 1857 as the first fully fledged university in South Asia. When the university was first established it had a catchment area covering the area from Lahore to Rangoon (now in Myanmar), and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), the largest of any Indian university.

Calcutta Medical College in 1910

For the first time since the dissolution of Akbar's 16th and 17th century empire, polo was played in public at Calcutta in 1862. It was then taken up enthusiastically all over India.

Kolkata has been hit by several devastating cyclones; the city was almost destroyed by one on October 5, 1864 when an estimated 60,000 died.

On the death of Queen Victoria, George Curzon, 1st Marquess Curzon of Kedleston and Viceroy of India, suggested the creation of a fitting memorial. The princes and people of India responded generously to Curzon's appeal for funds and the total cost of construction of this monument was entirely derived from their voluntary subscriptions. The building (see below) was formally opened to the public in 1921.

"Jana Gana Mana", the national anthem of India, was first sung in the Calcutta Session of the Indian National Congress in 1911.

A day of widespread riot and manslaughter between Hindus and Muslims took place in Calcutta on 'Direct Action Day,' August 16, 1946, as a result of the Muslim League's call for an independent Pakistan.  More than 4,000 people lost their lives and 100,000 residents were left homeless in Calcutta within 72 hours.

In 2006 a tortoise called Addwaitya died of liver failure in Calcutta Zoo. He was 255 years old and a former pet of Robert Clive, making him the oldest living creature in the world.


Traffic congestion is a major problem in Kolkata caused largely by concentration on the few crossings of the Hooghly. The opening of a subway system in 1986 helped to relieve this congestion.

A citizen of Kolkata grew the fingernails on his left hand to a length of 76 inches.

The region's rainy season lasts between June and September, supplying it with most of its annual rainfall of 62 inches.

As of 2011, the city had 4.5 million residents; the urban agglomeration, which comprises the city and its suburbs, was home to approximately 14.1 million, making Kolkata the third-most populous metropolitan area in India and the world's eighth largest metropolitan area as defined by the United Nations.

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