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CALCUTTA (also known as Kolkata)

The names Calcutta and Kolkata were probably based on Kalikata,
the name of one of the three villages (Kalikata, Sutanuti, Gobindapur)
in the area before the arrival of the British. "Kalikata", in turn,
is believed to be an abridged version of Kalikshetra
("Land of [the goddess] Kali").

While the city was always pronounced either "Kolkata" or "Kolikata",
in the local dialect, its official English name was only changed from
"Calcutta" to "Kolkata" in 2001.

Kolkata is located in eastern India in the Ganges delta at an
elevation ranging between 1.5 to 9 meters. It is spread linearly
along the banks of the River Hooghly in a north­south direction.
Much of the city was originally a vast wetland, reclaimed over
the" decades to accommodate the city's burgeoning population.

The city's documented history begins with the arrival of the
East India Company in 1690, when the Company was consolidating
its trade business in Bengal. Job Charnock, an administrator with
the Company who eventually settled in Sutanuti after invading
through Hijli kingdom, was traditionally credited as the founder
of this city.

However, recently experts have endorsed the view that
Charnock was not the founder of the city. In 1699, the British
completed the construction of old Fort William, which was used
to station its troops and as a regional base. Kolkata (then Calcutta)
was declared a Presidency City, and later became the
headquarters of the Bengal Presidency.

Kolkata was named the capital of British India in 1772. It
was during this period that the marshes surrounding the
city were drained and the government area was laid out along
the banks of the Hooghly River.

Richard Wellesley, Governor General (1797 - 1805), was
largely responsible for the growth of the city and its public
architecture which led to the description of Kolkata as
"The City of Palaces".

The city was a center of the British East India Company's trade
during the 18th and 19th century. The city underwent rapid
industrial growth from the 1850s, especially in the textile
and jute sectors. This caused a massive investment in
infrastructure projects like rail roads and telegraph by the
British government.

The coalescence of British and Indian culture resulted in the
emergence of a new Babu class of urbane Indians - whose
members were often bureaucrats and professionals who
belonged to upper­communities.

Throughout the nineteenth century, a socio-cultural reform,
often referred to as the Bengal Renaissance resulted in the
general uplifting of the people. Calcutta became the seat of
education and culture of the entire country.

Calcutta gradually became the centre of the Indian
independence movement, especially the revolutionary movement.
The Partition of Bengal resulted in widespread public agitation
and the boycott of British goods .These activities, along with
the administratively disadvantageous location of Kolkata in the
eastern fringes of India, prompted the British to move the
capital to Delhi in 1911.

The city's port was bombed twice by the Japanese during World
War II. As food stocks were being diverted to feed Allied troops,
millions starved to death during the Bengal Famine (1943).

In 1946, demands for the creation of a Muslim state led to
large-scale communal violence resulting in the deaths of
over 2,000 people.

Over the 1960s and 1970s, severe power shortages, strikes and a
violent Naxalite movement damaged much of the city's infrastructure,
leading to an economic stagnation. In 1971, war between India and
Pakistan led to the mass influx of thousands of refugees into Kolkata
resulting in a massive strain on its infrastructure.

In the mid 1980s, Mumbai overtook Kolkata as India's most populous

Kolkata has been a strong base of Indian communism as West Bengal
has been ruled by the CPM (Communist Party-Marxist) dominated
Left Front for three decades now.

In spite of all difficulties, Kolkata is bubbling with life and is
our own beloved city. Long live Kolkata!

From an advertisement by
91.9 FM Friends Radio channel


Every city has some unique things to offer. This is true for Calcutta, as well. 
Things that are so special and distinctive, that you won’t get them in any other city in India.

Food for thought : Belly buttons

And also….

And not to be missed in all this,

The sweeter side

Roshomalai: a creamy, mouth-watering delight!
Jilipi: smaller than the jalebis and tastes quite different.
Lal doi: is an experience by itself!
Kamala bhog: a pale yellow orb, delicately sweetened.
Notun gurer sondesh: a winter speciality available in no other city.
Rosogolla: simply needs no introduction.
Natun gurer Rosogolla: the latest innovation. 

And also:.

Shitabhog: pure white, sweetened to just the right extent.
Mihi Dana: golden yellow, saffron scented.
rich brown pancakes, dripping in sugar syrup.
Ranga alur pithey: another traditional favourite in winter.

Up fashion street

Fashions keep changing. 
But the dhuti-panjabi and tangail look never becomes out-dated.

And the other marks of distinction are …

Sights and sounds

One wakes up in the morning and hears their voices drifting through the air. 
So typically do they say their bit…that it is difficult to forget…. and even more so …to imitate…

And early in the morning, before Durga Pujo, who can forget the strains of

Other things, quaint and very special

Travel in style

Calcutta’s passion

City’s own

Source: The Calmanac Website


You're a true Kolkattan if.....

· Your Residential Address: 45B comes between 30 and 30A.

· Your answer is "Jani na dada", when somebody asks you for directions whether it's to Esplanade, Metro rail, Nandan or Gariahat.

· You come across a Xerox shop: "Xerox machine out of order".

· PCO's also sell ice-creams.

· You are a universal bandh supporter.

· Office-goers are better traffic controllers - criticize Traffic police from the bus.

· Parents are proud to tell others, "Chele Computerer kaaj kore" - whether he's a cashier in a departmental store or a Senior Software developer.

· You have at least one cousin, friend, colleague or acquaintance in the US in software.

· Every time somebody gives you a piece of good news - you became frustrated and the first thing you ask them is, "Sotti? Ki bhabey holo?"

· First day at the Book Fair you locate the important stalls like ARAMBAG'S CHICKEN and BENFISH.

· You call 11:00 A.M. as "Shokaal shokaal" You are 1 hour late and you feel you are on time.

· You look at the "Rs. 90/- Fixed Price" stand and still ask,"15 taka ar ek poisa beshi na! Deben to din..", and wait for his response. And at the end of 30 mins argument, you buy it for Rs. 85/-.

· You know the answers and ins & outs of everything on this planet but for some reason still want to be an NRI but don't quite know how to go about it.

· You know cricket better than Gavaskar, Science better than Einstein, Politics better than Marx and everything else better than everybody else.

· You think being either an engineer or a doctor is the greatest achievement in life because that's what your parents tell you.

· You think you are a great patriot because you quote media statements by politicians better than anyone else and because you think the noise and crowd of the Puja days is the most attractive cultural event ever. Even though you have no idea which year Tagore won the Nobel prize.

· You think you are a good professional because you are good at company politics.

· You think you are a very good family person because you take your kids & wife out for vacations once a year on company LTC.



MG (Mahatma Gandhi) ROAD

  THE UNDERGROUND 17 KM RAILWAY SYSTEM is Kolkata's pride and joy.

Slicing through the axis of the city from North (Shyambazar) to South (Tollygunge) it is a world apart from the hustle and bustle of the metropolis above. Here, punctuality and order reigns supreme. This is the quickest and best method of travel in the city.

Each station is conveniently connected to its east and west through Taxis, Buses and auto-rickshaws.


MON TO SAT   7 AM - 9:45 PM  
SUNDAY   2 PM - 9:45 PM  


Rs 4   4 Kms  
Rs 6   10 Kms  
Rs 8   16 Kms  

Current time in in Kolkata (Calcutta)
Map of Calcutta :

calmap.jpg (192927 bytes)

Click to Enlarge
LINKS on Calcutta :    

Author's Name: Dr. Dipak R. Sarbadhikari
Contact address:
Click here
URL of
Updated: 29 Aug 2015

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