Kolkata

Kolkata

Kolkata,[a] also known as Calcutta[b] (its official name until 2001), is the capital and largest city of the Indian state of West Bengal. It lies on the eastern bank of the Hooghly River, 80 km (50 mi) west of the border with Bangladesh. It is the primary financial and commercial centre of eastern and northeastern India.[16] Kolkata is the seventh most populous city of India with an estimated city proper population of 4.5 million (0.45 crore).[17] It is the centre of the Kolkata Metropolitan Region, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world with a population of over 15 million (1.5 crore) residents. Kolkata is the regarded by many sources as the cultural capital of India and a historically and culturally significant city in the historic region of Bengal.[1][18][19] It is the second largest Bengali-speaking city in the world. It has the highest number of Nobel laureates among all cities in India. 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 1690,[20] the area was developed by the Company into Fort William. Nawab Siraj ud-Daulah occupied the fort in 1756 but was defeated at the Battle of Plassey in 1757, after his general Mir Jafar mutinied in support of the company, and was later made the Nawab for a brief time.[21] Under company and later crown rule, Calcutta served as the de facto capital of India until 1911. Calcutta was the second largest city in the British Empire, after London,[22] and was the centre of bureaucracy, politics, law, education, science and the arts in India. The city was associated with many of the figures and movements of the Bengali Renaissance. It was the hotbed of the Indian nationalist movement.[23]