All about Kolkata
Kolkata is the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal. It is the biggest and a highly developed city in east India. Kolkata is the cultural, educational, and commercial hub, providing its citizens with higher standards of living. Kolkata is the third populous metropolis in India. According to a survey conducted in 2008, the GDP of the Kolkata city was estimated around US$104 billion which was only after Mumbai and Delhi. Kolkata is also the home to the Bengali film industry.
A glimpse into the history of the city
Kolkata is a city formed of three important villages which were Kalikata, Satanuti, and Gobindapur. These 3 villages were transferred to the east India company by the Mughals in the 1690s. It was Kolkata where East India company first started its operations in 1690. Job Charnock a high ranking official in the east India Company is considered to be the founder of the city. British constructed the Fort William near Hooghly River in 1712, in order to protect their factories from frequent French attacks. In 1756 Siraj-Ud-Daulah the Nawab of Bengal warned the east India Company due to increased Militarization of the area and tax evasion on regular basis. The tension between the Nawab and British escalated and Nawab attacked fort William and captured it. An army under the command of Robert Clive was called to rescue and the fort was freed from Nawab and the whole city came under British till 1772. Indian National Association, the first nationalist organization started in Kolkata in early 1883. Kolkata continued to serve as the capital of the east India Company and British raj until 1911, after which New Delhi became the capital of India. Kolkata after 1911 became a prominent ground for the swaraj and Indian independence movement. At the time of partition in 1947, huge communal clashes took over Kolkata for as long as one month. In 1971 during the Bangladesh liberation war there was a huge influx of refugees from Bangladesh. In 1990s Kolkata grew in leaps and bounds to become a mega city that it is today.
Geographical location of Kolkata
Kolkata is situated on the east bank of river Hooghly, divided into north and south regions. Kolkata is situated on the lower portion of the Ganges delta in east India. It is 30 ft above sea level. Being situated on the Indo-Gangetic plain the nature of soil and water of Kolkata is alluvial.
Kolkata has a tropical wet and dry climate. According to a report by the UNDP, Kolkata lies in the region with high risk of the cyclone and violent winds. The summers in Kolkata last from March till June and the average temperature throughout the season remain 30 degree Celsius. Monsoon arrives in the city in the month of June and continues through September. Kolkata witnesses’ mild winters that last from October till February.
Demographics people, culture and festivities
Kolkata is the most populous city in the northeast and east India with a population of 4,486,679. Kolkata’s literacy rate is well above the average literacy rate of India and is 87.14 percent. Bengali Hindus form the majority in Kolkata. Other communities found in Kolkata that is in minority are Marwari, Bihari, Muslims, Chinese, Tamils, Jews, Punjabis, Parsis, Tibetans, Armenians, Greeks, Telugus, and Assamese. Bengali and English are widely spoken and understood in Kolkata.
Kolkata is called the city of furious creative energy, as the city is known for its artistic, revolutionary and literary heritage. Kolkata is the city of intellectuals and you can find several Addasacross the city where people sit in leisure and share their views.
Kolkata is a sweet enthusiast paradise because sweets like Sandesh and Rashogullas are the main dishes of the city.
Durga Puja festival marks the victory of Goddess Durga over the evil buffalo demon Mahishasura. Durga Puja festival spread the message of victory of Good over Evil. In West Bengal, Goddess Durga is also known as Durgatinashini which means the enemy of evil and the well wisher of her devotees. Durga puja is considered synonymous to Kolkata, as it is celebrated with huge pomp and show in the city. Huge pandals (canopies) are set up across the citi. These pandals are beautifully decorated according to themes inspired from the Hindu texts and houses big idols of goddess Durga. Following are the places in Kolkata where the biggest pandals are set up:
Chokkhu Daan marks the start of the festival in Kolkata. Chokkhu Daan is celebrated on the day when the eyes of the idols of goddess Durga are painted as it is believed that this is the day goddess Durga would visit the world. Chokkhu Daan is generally celebrated a week before the start of Navratri.
It is on the 6th day of Navratri that the festival of Durga puja engulfs whole of Kolkata city in the mood of festivity. It is on this day that the idols are brought to homes and puja is done on regular basis. On the 7th day Kola Bou bath takes place. In this ritual a small banana plant wrapped in a red saree is bathed and later kept near the idol of the goddess. The bath is followed by procession and cultural activities. The last day or the 10th day of the puja is celebrated as Dashami. Large number of processions are taken out on the streets which are initiated by married women applying red vermillion on others. At last the idols are immersed into the water at Babu Ghat.
Entire festival attracts thousands of tourists from both within and outside the country. Cuisine at Durga Puja in Kolkata is special as many community kitchens are set up which serve authentic Bengali cuisine, which makes the festival all more joyful.
Kolkata wasranked 1st among the 6 metro cities in India with best transport system according to a survey done by international association of public transport in 2013.
Kolkata is connected with rest of the India through national highway 34 and the golden quadrilateral.
Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International airport in Kolkata is the most important airport of east India. In 2013 the airport underwent up gradation in order to adjust increased air traffic.
Kolkata has four important railway stations that are located in Howrah, Sealdah, Shalimar, and Chitpur which together form the India’s largest railway complex
Metro and Tram
Kolkata is the only city with tram network which is available only in few parts of the city, as traveling through trams is time taking. Trams in Kolkata are governed by Calcutta Tramways Company.
Metro in Kolkata was started in 1984 and is the oldest underground transport system in India. Kolkata metro covers 25 kilometers of distance. Several projects to expand the metro throughout the city have started from the year 2009.
Shipping Corporation of India carries out freighter services between Kolkata, Port Blair and Andaman and Nicobar Islands. These freighter services are available from Docks at Kolkata and Haldia.
Cricket and football are the most loved sports in Kolkata. Kolkata is represented by Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL. Eden Garden in Kolkata is known as the Mecca of cricket in India. Football is equally loved in Kolkata and several football clubs compete to win the title of Calcutta Football League, which was initiated in 1893. Sports like billiards, rugby, golf, badminton, and polo are also famous in the city.
Lively markets in Kolkata
Kolkata is a historical city and before 1911, it was the capital of India. Kolkata is a city of traders as goods of all sort and quality are spread out for the customer to choose from. Kolkata has an incredible mix of people from all over the world which consume a variety of goods available in the markets of Kolkata. Some of the best markets of Kolkata are given below.
Places of tourist attraction in Kolkata
Kolkata has a rich heritage dating back to Mughal and British periods, which makes Kolkata one of the most prominent tourist destinations in eastern India.
Kolkata as center for education
Kolkata has literacy rate well above the national average which is mainly due to the quality education provided by the centers of learning in Kolkata.
List of top 20 schools in Kolkata
List of top 30 colleges in Kolkata
Employment opportunities in Kolkata
Kolkata is a major city in the east and the north-east India. Being a mega city, Kolkata is home to big businesses and service sector which require a large number of skilled employees from all over India and especially from east India.
List of top 10 public sector units in Kolkata
List of top 20 private sector units in Kolkata