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Located on the eastern bank of the Hooghly Riverthe city is approximately 80 kilometres 50 mi west of the border with Bangladesh. It is the primary business, commercial, and financial hub of Eastern India and the main port of communication for North-East India[17] as well as having the third-largest urban economy of India.

The Port of Kolkata is India's oldest operating port and its sole major riverine port. Kolkata is known as the "cultural capital of India" for the city's historical and architectural significance. In the late 17th century, the three villages that predated Calcutta were ruled by the Nawab of Bengal under Mughal suzerainty. After the Nawab granted the East India Company a trading licence in[20] the area was developed by the Company into an increasingly fortified trading post.

In the East India company was strong enough to abolish rule, and assumed full sovereignty of the region. Under the company rule and later under the British RajCalcutta served as the capital of British-held territories in India untilwhen its perceived geographical disadvantages, combined with growing nationalism in Bengalled to a shift of the capital to New Delhi.

Calcutta was the centre for the Indian independence movement. Following independence inKolkata, which was once the centre of Indian commerce, culture, and politics, suffered many decades of political violence and economic stagnation. A demographically diverse city, the culture of Kolkata features idiosyncrasies that include distinctively close-knit neighbourhoods paras and freestyle conversations adda. Four Nobel laureates and two Nobel Memorial Prize winners are associated with the city.

Although the city's name has always been pronounced Kolkata or Kôlikata in Bengali, the anglicised form Calcutta was the official name untilwhen it was changed to Kolkata in order to match Bengali pronunciation. The discovery and archaeological study of Chandraketugarh35 kilometres 22 mi north of Kolkata, provide evidence that the region in which the city stands has been inhabited for over two millennia. Job Charnockan administrator who worked for the company, was formerly credited as the founder of the city; [30] In response to a public petition, [31] the Calcutta High Court ruled in that the city does not have a founder.

Kalikata was a fishing village; Sutanuti was a riverside weavers' village. They were part of an estate belonging to the Mughal emperor ; the jagirdari a land grant bestowed by a king on his noblemen taxation rights to the villages were held by the Sabarna Roy Choudhury family of landowners, or zamindars.

These rights were transferred to the East India Company in Inthe British completed the construction of Fort Williamlocated on the east bank of the Hooghly River to protect their trading factory. 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.

Inruling 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 WellesleyGovernor-General of the Presidency of Fort William between andwas largely responsible for the development of the city and its public architecture.

Ina typhoon struck the city and killed about 60, in Kolkata. The coalescence of British and Indian culture resulted in the emergence of a new babu class of urbane Indians, whose members were often bureaucrats, professionals, newspaper readers, and Anglophiles; they usually belonged to upper-caste Hindu communities. InCalcutta was host to the first national conference of the Indian National Associationthe first avowed nationalist organisation in India.

The partition of Bengal in along religious lines led to mass protests, making Calcutta a less hospitable place for the British. The city and its port were bombed several times by the Japanese between andduring World War II. During the s and s, severe power shortages, strikes and a violent Marxist — Maoist movement by groups known as the Naxalites damaged much of the city's infrastructure, resulting in economic stagnation.

Inprime minister Rajiv Gandhi dubbed Kolkata a "dying city" in light of its socio-political woes. It was the world's longest-serving democratically elected communist government, during which Kolkata was a key base for Indian communism. The city's economic recovery gathered momentum after the s, when India began to institute pro-market reforms.

Sincethe information technology IT services sector has revitalised Kolkata's stagnant economy. The city is also experiencing marked growth in its manufacturing base. Spread roughly north—south along the east bank of the Hooghly RiverKolkata sits within the lower Ganges Delta of eastern India approximately 75 km 47 mi west of the international border with Bangladesh ; the city's elevation is 1.

Kolkata is located over the "Bengal basin", a pericratonic tertiary basin. Kolkata is located atop the western part of the hinge zone which is about 25 km 16 mi wide at a depth of about 45, mft below the surface. Total thickness of sediment below Kolkata is nearly 7, m 24, ft above the crystalline basement ; of these the top — m 1,—1, ft is Quaternaryfollowed by 4,—5, m 14,—18, ft of Tertiary sediments, — m 1,—2, ft trap wash of Cretaceous trap and — m 1,—2, ft Permian - Carboniferous Gondwana rocks.

These sediments are sandwiched between two clay beds: the lower one at a depth of — m —2, ft ; the upper one 10—40 m 30— ft in thickness. The Kolkata metropolitan area is spread over 1, North Kolkata is the oldest part of the city. Characterised by 19th-century architecture and narrow alleyways, it includes areas such as JorasankoRajabazarManiktalaUltadangaShyambazarShobhabazarBagbazarCossiporeSinthee etc.

It contains B. Baghformerly known as Dalhousie Square, and the Esplanade on its east; Strand Road is on its west. Two planned townships in the greater Kolkata region are Bidhannagaralso known as Salt Lake City and located north-east of the city; and Rajarhatalso called New Town and located east of Bidhannagar.

Kolkata is subject to a 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".

The annual mean temperature is The highest recorded temperature is 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.

Rains brought by the Bay of Bengal branch of the south-west summer monsoon [80] lash Kolkata between June and September, supplying it with most of its annual rainfall of about 1, mm 73 in. 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, hours of sunshine per year, with maximum sunlight exposure occurring in April. Pollution is a major concern in Kolkata. As of [update]sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide annual concentration were within the national ambient air quality standards of India, but respirable suspended particulate matter levels were high, and on an increasing trend for five consecutive years, causing smog and haze.

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-unionismwhich included frequent strikes that were backed by left-wing parties.

The demonym for residents of Kolkata are Calcuttan and Kolkatan. The sex ratio is females per males—lower than the national average. Bengali Hindus form the majority of Kolkata's population; MarwarisBiharis and Urdu-speaking Muslims compose large minorities. Bengalithe official state language, is the dominant language in Kolkata. Hindi and Urdu are spoken by a sizeable minority.

As of [update]about one-third of the population, or 1. Kolkata is administered by several government agencies. The Kolkata Municipal Corporationor KMC, oversees and manages the civic infrastructure of the city's 16 boroughs, which together encompass wards. 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.

Kolkata's administrative agencies have areas of jurisdiction that do not coincide. Listed in ascending order by area, they are: Kolkata district ; the Kolkata Police area and the Kolkata Municipal Corporation area, or "Kolkata city"; [] and the Kolkata metropolitan areawhich is the city's urban agglomeration. The agency overseeing the latter, the Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authorityis responsible for the statutory planning and development of greater Kolkata. It scored 4. The Kolkata Port Trust, an agency of the central government, manages the city's river port.

As the seat of the Government of West BengalKolkata 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. Most government establishments and institutions are housed in the centre of the city in B.

Bagh formerly known as Dalhousie Square. The Kolkata Municipal Corporation supplies the city with potable water that is sourced from the Hooghly River ; [] most of it is treated and purified at the Palta pumping station located in North 24 Parganas district. In the Bengal Government appointed 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 miles from Howrah to Varanasi then Benares.

The Eastern Command of the Indian Army is based in the city. The U. Public transport is provided by the Kolkata Suburban Railwaythe Kolkata Metrotramsrickshawstaxis and buses. The suburban rail network connects the city's distant suburbs. According to a survey conducted by the International Association of Public Transportin terms of a public transport system, Kolkata ranks among the top of the six Indian cities surveyed.

Inpart 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 As of [update]four Metro rail lines were under construction. Buseswhich are the most commonly used mode of transport, are run by government agencies and private operators. Water-logging, caused by heavy rains during the summer monsoonsometimes interrupt transportation networks.

Almost all of Kolkata's taxis are antiquated Hindustan Ambassadors by make; newer air-conditioned radio taxis are in service as well. 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's main bus terminals are located at Esplanade and Babughat. Inthe airport was upgraded to handle increased air traffic. The Port of Kolkataestablished inis India's oldest and the only major river port. According to the Indian National Family Health Survey, only a small proportion of Kolkata households were covered under any health scheme or health insurance.

Kolkata's schools are run by the state government or private organisations, many of which are religious. Bengali and English are the primary languages of instruction; Urdu and Hindi are also used, particularly in central Kolkata. Vocational programs are also available.

James' School KolkataSt.

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