Calcutta as pronounced by the English, now called as Kolkata
capital of the Indian State of West Bengal. The city located in eastern
India was a colonial city developed by the British Empire and was the
capital of the British India Empire
British rule, Kolkata was a small village and the capital of Bengal was
Murshidabad which is situated at a distance of 60 miles from the present
city. Calcutta was captured in the year 1757 by Robert Clive by
defeating Siraj-Ud-Daulah in the battle of Plassey.
Being the then capital
and the second city of the British Empire, Kolkata grew rapidly in the
19th century. The city has with it the revolutionary history of Indian
struggle for independence.
How Kolkata got its name ?
formerly known by the name of Calcutta has undergone a sea change in a
very short span of time. Kolkata as it stands today is the largest
metropolitan city of India. There is much discussion about the origin of
the city's name.
According to some the name of the city has been
derived from the Bengali word Kalikshetra, meaning the ground of goddess
Kali. Yet others are of the opinion that the name has been derived from
the term Kilkila, meaning flat surface in Bengali.
Historically as per literature, there is an ironical story that relates
to how Calcutta got its name. Calcutta had its name when an English
person inquired about the name of the place to a farmer.
The most accepted
view is that it comes from the Hindu goddess Kali and the original name
was KaliKshetra, "the place of Kali"
.The city was named Calcutta
by the British Power and the place continued to be called so till 2001
A.D. when the city was officially renamed as Kolkata.
Evolutionary History of Kolkata
In the 17th century, Job Charnock came to the banks of the river Hooghly
and took the lease of three large villages - Sutanuti, Govindapur and
Kolikata (Calcutta) to establish British East India Company in the
depiction of Kolkata makes it absolutely clear to us that Job Charnock
had an undeniable role in the evolution of the city. So, many people in
the yester years thought Mr. Charnock
as the founding father of the city
But the extensive research works in recent years have
proved that there was no specific year and date (24th August, 1690) in
so far as the foundation of the city is concerned. In this regard we can
refer to the historic judgment of the Kolkata High Court on 16th of May
The judgment clearly showed that the city of Kolkata has
evolved through a process of rural settlement and this process further
intensified as a result of the establishment of the British trading
Researchers have also found
that Kolkata had an important value as a trading port during the Gupta’s
and the Mauryas. During the days of Raj, Kolkata was second in status
after London with all the liberal flavor and vibrancy.
The city kept progressing until 1756, when Nawab of
BengalSiraj-Ud-Daula assailed and prospered in driving the British away from the
town. The British civilians had eluded, but a few of them were captured
and confined in a suffocating room often called as the Black Hole of
This incident has become a history in itself and was given the
designation 'Ebony aperture tragedy'. In 1757, the following year,
Battle of Plassey took place, in which Robert Clive surmounted the city
by vanquishing the Nawab.
In 1774 the cessation
of battle witnessed the establishment of a Supreme Court making
Calcutta as the base of justice. However the crucial Battle of Plassey
totally drained the wealth of the city, a major which strained the
The period between 1820 and 1930 optically discerned
the growing of seeds of nationalism with the bubbling revolution in
1905, when people disregarded and stood against Lord Curzon's plan
regarding the partition of Bengal.
The nationalist anti partition forms
of kinetics were led by Rabindranath Tagore. However, the Partition was
repeated for the second time in 1911. With this the capital of India was
shifted from Calcutta to Incipient Delhi. In the year 2001, Calcutta
was officially renamed Kolkata.
Eminent personalities like
Subhash Chandra Bose, Rabindra Nath Tagore and Swami Vivekananda had
chosen this place as their Karma Bhumi or a place of activity.
Till 1911, Calcutta was the capital of India, with important
establishment like the Supreme Court. The capital was then shifted to
Delhi and the city became the capital of West Bengal.
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