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The City of Joy

The largest metropolis in India, Calcutta is a vibrant city on the move, volatile and unpredictable. The Gateway to India, till 1912, and the capital of the Raj in India, it still bears the Victorian imprint on its streets and structures. A city just about ready to burst at the seams, Calcutta is home to more than 10 million people. It is the commercial nerve-centre of the East, with major industrial plants, textile mills and corporate units. Regal edifices, grubby alleys, bustling bazaars, elegant hotels, people from all walks of life- Calcutta has it all.

The city is a hub of fervent activity in the realms of music, theatre, arts, and sports. Calcutta has always prided itself on the many luminaries it has sent forth, be it Tagore, Satyajit Ray, or Mrinal Sen. The intense dedication to the arts manifests itself in a plethora of festivals, dance, music performances and other cultural events. The Calcuttans are also famous for their all-consuming passion for sports, especially, football and cricket.

Calcutta is a city of baffling paradoxes, a city that leaves its stamp on one's mind... forever.

Bengali sweets like Rassogolla, Sandesh and others are a delight and are termed as Jewels in the Crown of Bengali food.

Map of Kolkata

Kolkata is a busy metropolitan in eastern India and is the capital of the state of West Bengal. It is the second most populous city in India.  Kolkata  is situated on the banks of river Hoogly (a tributary of river Ganga) and is about 100km north of Bay Of Bengal. Calcutta is a compact city, concentrated along the fringes of the river.
Kolkata is located at a latitude of 22° 32’ North and longitude of 88° 22' East. It lies on the time zone UTC/GMT+5:30 HOURS. Kolkata is at an altitude of  5m / 16 feet above sea level.

This is a typical road network of Kolkata!

Satellite View

A Satellite view. North is towards right hand side.

Places to Visit


We are trying to list only some of the many places to visit. We hope you will get a feel of the warmth and diversity of Kolkata!
(References : www.travel-westbengal.com )

Victorial Memorial

Victorial MemorialA splendid architectural structure in white marble, modeled on the Taj Mahal, was built in the early 20th century. In memory of Queen Victoria and was formally inaugurated by the Prince of Wales in 1921 who later became King Edward VIII of England. The stately bronze statue of the queen near the entrance, the brass canons, wrought iron street lamps, manicured lawns, gardens and pathways, the magical lighting effect in the evening and a fairy tale 'Fountain of Joy' facing the memorial building create an atmosphere of unforgettable charm.

Saheed Minar

Sahid MinarThis 165 ft. High monument was erected by public subscription in 1828, to honour Sir David Ochter Lony, a one- time resident of Malwa & Rajputana. More recently, it has now been renamed 'Saheed Minar' to honour the martyrs of the freedom struggle. An important landmark in Kolkata, it is located at the Northern end of the Maidan.

Science City

Science City It is located on Kolkata's Eastern Metropolitan Bypass. This 21st century marvel of science, communication and environment is the first and only institution of its kind in India.The pioneering effort of NCSM, in setting up open air Science Parks has now added a new dimension to science teaching through a process of discovery in the outdoor setting. Set amidst trees and lawns, here one finds science out of doors and alive

Vidyasagar Setu

Vidyasagar SetuVidyasagar Setu a golden Gate Bridge look alike, 2kms downriver, was completed in 1994. It is a modern day engineering marvel and is the largest cable stayed bridge in Asia. The bridge connects the twin cities of Kolkata and Howrah. It was built at a cost of Rs. 388 crores. Unfortunately it is not making the big difference that was envisaged, as the approaches are too narrow to to handle the amount of traffic that use bridge, and plans for widening the road are slow in implementation.

Botanical Gardens

Botanical GardensThe extensive Botanical Gardens, on the west bank of the Hoogly river, stretch forever 1 km along the river and occupy 109 hectares. The gardens were originally founded in 1786 and administered by Colonel Kyd. It was from these gardens that the tea now grown in Assam and Darjeeling was first developed. Trees of the rarest kinds, from Nepal, Brazil, Penang, Java and Sumatra can be found here. There are towering Mahogany trees, an avenue of Cuban Palms and an Orchid House. Mango and Tamarind trees shade the grassy lawns. But the main attraction of the garden is the 200 year old Banyan Tree, claimed to have the second largest canopy in the world. It is the world's largest, having a circumference of 330m.
The Palm House in the centre of gardens is also well worth a visit. The gardens are over the Howrah Bridge, 19Km by bus from Chowringhee. The gardens are open from sunrise to sunset, and although they tend to be very crowded on Sunday, on other days they are peaceful and make a pleasant escape from the hassles and crowd of Kolkata.

Zoo & Horticultural GardensZoo

South of the Maidan, Kolkata's 16 hectare zoo was opened in 1875. Some of the animals are displayed in near natural environments, others in the pitiful conditions characteristics of Third World zoos. It's open from sunrise to sunset.
Just south of the zoo on Alipore Rd are the pleasant and quiet horticultural gardens. They are open from 8 am to 5 pm.

Kali Temple

Kali TempleRebuilt in 1809 on the site of a much older temple. Kalighat ( as it is also known ) is the actual temple from which Kalikata takes its name. According to legend, when Siva's wife's corpse was cut up, one of her fingers fell here. Since then it has been an important pilgrimage site.
Kali represents the destructive side of Siva's consort and demands daily sacrifices. In the morning goats have their throats slit here to satisfy the goddess' bloodlust. During the day many poor people come here for a free feed. This is an extremely busy temple.
Mother Teresa's  Hospital for the Dying Destitute right next door to the temple and you are welcome to visit. The temple is about two km directly south of St Paul's Cathedral and is easily accessible by metro.

BBD Bagh ( Dalhousie Square )

BBD BaghWhen Kolkata was the administrative centre for British India, BBD Bagh was the centre of power. On the north side of the square stands the huge Writers' Building, which dates from 1880. The East India Company's writers have now been replaced by modern-day ones employed by the West Bengal state government, and this is where all the quintuplicate forms, carbon copies and red ink come from. Also on BBD Bagh is a rather more useful place, the Kolkata GPO, and on the eastern side of the square is the West Bengal tourist office.

Jorasanko Tagore house

Jorasako Tagore houseThe rambling old Tagore House is a centre for Indian dance, drama, music and other arts. This is the birthplace of Rabindranath Tagore, India's greatest poet, and his final resting place. It's just off Rabindra Sarani, north of BBD Bagh, and is open Monday to Friday 10 am to 5 pm, Saturday upto 2 pm (closef Sunday).There is a daily Bengali sound-and-light show at 6 and 7 pm.

Howrah Bridge

Howrah BridgeIt is one of three bridges on the river Hooghly and is the most famous symbol of not only Kolkata but also West Bengal.
Until 1943, the Hooghly River was crossed by a pontoon bridge which had to be opened to let river traffic through. There was considerable opposition to construction of a bridge due to fears that it would affect the river currents and cause silting problems. This problem was eventually avoided by building a bridge that crosses the river in a single 450m span - there are no pylons at all within the river.
The cantilevered bridge, also known as Rabindra Setu, is similar in size to the Sydney Harbour Bridge but carries a flow of traffic which Sydney could never dream of .It is the busiest bridge in the world. It's intriguing to stand at one end of the bridge at morning rush hour and watch the procession of double-decker buses come across. They heel over like yachts in a heavy wind due to the weight of passengers hanging onto the sides. In between  are lumbering bullock carts, hordes of bicycles and even the odd car. The ferries running from below Howrah Station are a more convenient way to cross the river and give you a good view of the bridge.

Indian Museum

Indian MuseumThis museum was established in 1878 on Jawaharlal Nehru Road. The museum is built in Italian architectural style and is considered as the largest museum in the country and one of the best in Asia. The largest museum in the country, the museum has six sections: Art, Archaeology, Anthropology, Geology, Zoology and Industry (economic botany). From the Egyptian mummy to the skeleton of the whale and some rare statues; the museum has every thing. One of the rooms has a collection of meteorites. The museum also has a unique fossil collection of prehistoric animals which includes a giant crocodile and a huge tortoise. The art collection has many fine pieces from Orissa and other temples and superb example of Buddhist Gandharan art.

Eden Gardens

Eden GardensIn the North-West corner of the Maidan are small & pleasantly laid out Eden Gardens. The gardens were created in 1840 and named after the sister of Lord Auckland, the former governor general. The idea was to make a Biblical - style garden of Eden in India. The expanse dotted with beautiful trees and shrubs is intersected by winding paths, and there is a large artificial lake. Alongside the gardens, is the world famous Eden Gardens cricket stadium. The stadium is supposed to be the largest in Asia with a seating capacity of more than a lakh spectators. The Kolkata cricket ground, where International test & one day matches are held, is also with in the gardens. Near the gardens you can take a pleasant walk along the bank of hoogly river.


Festivals of Kolkata

( References: www.calonline.com )

"Baro mashe, tero parbon" -12 months, 13 festivals. The Bengali Saying in fact, underestimates the number of festivals, civil and religious, celebrated in Calcutta, where communities belonging to all religions and from all over the subcontinent have brought along their own local cults which even within the Hindu religion vary from area to area.

If there is an activity which can be said to be typical of Calcutta, it is Puja. Basically puja is an offering to the presiding deity, performed by an individual, a family, a community, a group of people or a locality. The offering may be of flowers, incense, fire, or, in some cases, animal sacrifices.

The community puja is one of the most spectacular events in Calcutta. It starts with the ordering of the murthi, a clay image of the deity at Kumartuli in North Calcutta or Patuapara at Kalighat. The murthi is fashioned from a straw armature coated with clay and modelled to the image of the deity, then mounted on a structure embellished with sola pith or tinsel, and installed in the Puja Pandal, a dias made of bamboo and pleated cloth, decorated with Chandeliers and neon lights. Musical and cultural shows, exhibitions and fairs are held around the pandal.

A festival lasts several days, 10 in case of Durga Puja. On the occasion of Durga and Kali Pujas, special drummers, the Dhakis, using huge powerful drums made of a hollow mango tree branch and goat skin, arrive from all over Bengal to play during the festival. Besides Hindi and pop music lasting all night from loudspeakers, the rumble of their drums can be constantly heard all over the city on these occasions. On the last day, the murthi is carried by cheering devotees in festive processions, someetimes preceded by bagpipes or bandparties, to the river Hooghly where it is immersed. The main Hindu festivals in Calcutta are Durga Puja, Lakshmi Puja, Kali Puja and Saraswati Puja.

Durga Puja :

Idol of DurgaThe start of winter coincides with Durga Puja in October, the most impotant festival in Bengal. According to Hindu mythology, all gods and goddesses of thee Hindu pantheon endowed Durga with a portion of their own energy to give her strength, or shakti, to destroy the evil forces. Some 2,000 pandals are erected throughout the city. The image of Durga shows her slaying the most powerful demon, Mahisasur.

Durga This is the season of gifts. New clothes are purchased. Shops oveflow with the latest goods. People take to the streets to visit the thousands of puja pandals which spring virtually at every street corner. A majical atmosphere prevails and the city remains bright with lightings and
pandle hoppers through all night. The puja climaxes on Mahadashami, the 10th day when the image is carried in decorated carts or trucks in festive processions to be immersed in river Hooghly.
Northern Indian communities celebrated the festival of Dussehra on that day commemorating Rama's victory over the devil Ravana, symbolising the triumph of good over evil. At sunset, huge effigies of Ravana, his son and his brother are burned on the maidan.

Saraswati Puja :

Late in January or early February, Saraswati Puja, the festival of Goddess of Learning, is celebrated by students, artists and professors.

Dol Purnima :

In March, the festivals of Dol Purnima, or Holi, as it is called by Northern Hindus, heralds the short spring season. People from all walks of life celebrate the coming of spring by smearing each other with powdered colours - "abir", red especially, spraying coloured water at passers-by and drinking bhang, a mildmilk beverage laced with marijuana, by. Social barriers are broken. It is a time when poor and rich, lower-cast touch upper-cast enjoy with each other.

Nabobarsho :

Noboborsho, on mid of April, marks the begining of Bengali New Year and also the begining of summer. Businessman carry their new halkhata account books, statuees of Ganesh and Lakshmi to the Kali Temple for blessings. In the evening, customers make token payment to their favourite shops while owwners offer them sweets. Shops are decorated with garlands, auspicious mango leaves, sola pith ornaments and young banana.

On Charak Puja, the eve of the Bengali New Year, devotees at Chatu Babu Bazar attach themselves to giant rotating swings symbolising the cycles of life.

A few days after noboborsho, on Mahabir Jayanti, the birth anniversary of last and geatest Jain prophets, there are processions of the Svetamber Sect from Harrison Road to Kalakar Street, and of the Digambar Sect from Belgachaia to Baisakh Lane.

Laxmi Puja :

In the month of October, five days after Mahadashami, on full moon, is the festivals of the Goddess of properity Laxmi who is worshipped daily in most Hindu household for the family's wellbeeing. Public Pujas are performed in the same permises as for Durga Puja.

Kali Puja :

Idol of KaliTwo weeks later, is another popular feestival, Kai Puja. Kali is the Goddess of destruction. The image of Kali usually shows her foot on Lord Shiva's chest, a severed head in one hand, her sword in the other, and wearing a garland of skulls. Kali is worshipped as the Mother Goddess who protects from evil. She also epitomises strength or shakti and the darker side of life. The actual puja takes place at midnight on the day of the new moon.
Kali Puja coincides with Diwali, the North Indian New Year, the festivals of lights. House-holds clean their houses and light up candles all over their houses. Children and adults set off firecrackers all night. No one sleeps on that night.
Two days after that is Brother's Day, Bhai Phonta or Bhatri Dvitiya. Elder sisters dip their little fingers into kajol, a mixture of ghee, rice-paste and almond paste, and put a mark on their brothers' forehead.

Christmas :

Christmas is widely celebrated in Calcutta, not only by the Christian community. Streets are illuminated. There are parties in clubs and hotels. The best masses are at St. Paul's Cathedral, candle lit on this occasion, at St. Andrew's Kirk and at the Murgihatta Catholic Cathedral. A pandal with a Nativity erected on Dharamtala Street (Lenin Sarani) in front of the St. Thomas Church.

The Muslim Festivals :

Muslim festivals are celebrated with intensity in Calcutta. During Bakriid, celebration of the hajis, the pilgrims to the Holy Mecca and Idulfitr, marking the end of Ramazan, the northern part of the Maidan becomes the prayer grounds for Muslims who gather around the Saheed Minar while the muezzin leads the sessions from the top the monument.
The Shiite processions on Ashoura along Chitpore Road and, in Metiaburuz, Kidderpore, Razabazar, Narkeldanga, Beliaghata and Manicktola, are an impressive spectacle. They are led by a white horse, Hussain's mount, followed by tazias, preciously handicrafted replicas of Hussain's grave, and flagellants who alternatively pound their chests singing "hay Hassan, hay Hussain" and flagellate themselves with razor blades attached to thee end of a multi-tailed whip.


Climate of Kolkata

Kolkata is located on the great gangetic delta. Its climate is very much influenced by the sea. Kolkata has a very tropical savanna type of climate. Kolkata is dominated by 3 seasons – summer, monsoon,winter. The summer is hot and humid and continues  from April to June. Summer is dominated by strong south-westerly monsoon winds. Monsoon arrives in mid June and stays upto September. Winter is the most pleasant time in Kolkata. Winter lasts for 3 months-December,January,February. Early morning mists are common in winter.

The annual mean temperature is 26.8'C.The maximum temperature often exceed 40’C.The temperature does not fall below 10’C.

Maximum rainfall occurs during the monsoon in August (306 mm) and the average annual total is 1,582 mm (WMO, 1971).
Total duration of sunshine is 2,528 hours per annum with maximum rainfall occurring in March.



Virtually all the different modes of transport that clog the streets of Calcutta - trams, buses, rickshaws, metered taxis, and minibuses - add to the problem of congestion. However, the Metro , India's first and Calcutta's pride and joy, provides a fast, clean and efficient way to get around. It's also very easy to use, as it consists of just the one line running on a north-south axis.
The river is also used for transport, with the ghats near Eden Gardens at the hub of a ferry system. The most pleasant way to beat the traffic is to take one of the very regular ferries from Chandpal Ghat to Howrah Station; other sailings head downriver from Armenian, Chandpal or Babu ghats to the Botanical Gardens, although the running of this route is erratic. Of more use to commuters than tourists, a circular railway loops south from Sealdah before moving upriver along the Strand and Princep Ghat, past Howrah Bridge and eventually to Dum Dum. While using public transport, be wary of pickpockets , especially on crowded buses.

The Metro

Despite a couple of small fires in recent years, Calcutta's Russian-designed Metro , inaugurated in 1984, is every bit as good as its inhabitants proudly claim, a spotless contrast to the streets above, with trains operating punctually

Buses and minibuses

Calcutta supports a vast and complicated bus network, in operation each day between roughly 5am and 11pm, and subject to overcrowding and attendant pickpocketing problems. The profusion of bus routes, many privately run, is best explained


Taxis in Calcutta prove to be extremely good value, especially on long journeys such as to and from the airport (around Rs130 for a twenty-kilometre ride), but a few drivers can be unwilling to go anywhere for less than Rs50,


Calcutta's cumbersome trams , barely changed since they started operating in 1873, are on their way out; their inability to deviate from fixed rails to cope with the city's crazy traffic makes them more of a nuisance

Rickshaws, auto-rickshaws and cycle rickshaws

Calcutta is the only city in India to have human-drawn rickshaws , which are only available in the central areas of the city, especially around New Market. There are cycle ricksaws and auto-rickshaws available in the city. Though slow, cycle-rickshaws provide a polution free journey.



The industrial environment in West Bengal is highly conducive for fresh investment. The infrastructural facilities in the State are good. The ideal locations for setting up of an Industrial unit a number of Growth Centres have been developed by the State, wherein all industrial infrastructure like power, water, sheds, land, etc. are available. The Growth Centres are planned in such a manner that availability of skilled as well as unskilled labour is assured from the neighbouring towns. Also, these Growth Centres have easy access to the socio-economic infrastructure offered by these towns.
As the number of Growth Centres have already been established and some more such centres are comming up. Three Mega Growth Centres -one each in the Districts of Birbhum, Jalpaiguri and Malda - will be set up in addition to these Growth Centres. An Export Processing Zone (EPZ) is already operational at Falta in the district of 24-Parganas (South). Situated on the left bank of the river Hoogly in a pollution free environment, the EPZ at Falta provides excellent infrastructure for Export Oriented Units(EOUs). With a view to identifying infrastructural and other related requirements to faclititate further industrial development, the State Government has constituted a high powered Committee on infrastructural development under the Chairmanship of Minister of State in charge of Commerce & Industries Department.
The Government of West Bengal attaches special emphasis on the growth and development of electronic industies. An electronic complex has been set up in a very convenient location, close to the city of Calcutta and also the Calcutta Airport. The complex provides developed land and facilities like power, water, road network and communication facilities. The Electronics complex also includes a Standard Design Factory (SDF) building.
The State Government also offers attactive incentives to encourage growth of industrial activities in West Bengal. The Government has inctroduced a New Incentive Scheme with effect from 1.4.1993. This Scheme provides special encouragement towards setting up of industries in the backward areas. Apart from incentives like state Capital Investment Subsidy, Waiver of Electricity Duty, Sales Tax Deferment/Remission etc. the new incentive scheme has providisions for treating deffered Sales Tax as deemed loan, allotment of land in Growth Centres on soft terms of payments, subsidy for conversion to piped coal gas as input and spcial incentives for multiplier industries with fixed capital investment exceeding Rs100 crores and minimum employment of 100 persons.
There is a spcial NRI cell to provide information and guidance and also assitance to NRIs and foreign investors wishing to invest in the State. The Cell functions under a high powered NRI investment Guidance and Monitoring Committee(NRIGMC) under the Chairmanship of the Secretary, Commerce & Industries Department.


Eminent Personalities of Kolkata

Rabindranath  Tagore :

Rabindranath Tgore, the great poet, patriot and social reformer was the first Asian to receive Nobel Prize for literature in 1913  . Tagore was knighted by the ruling British Government in 1915, but within a few years he resigned the honour as a protest against British policies in India.

Netaji  Subhas Chandra Bose :

He was a fierce and popular freedom fighter in pre-independent India.  He was the president of the Indian National Congress in 1937 and 1939.Netaji  founded a nationalist force called the Indian National Army. He started a mass movement using Indian resources and men for the great war. To him, it had no sense to further bleed the poor Indians for the sake of colonial and imperial nations. There was a tremendous response to his call and the British  immediately imprisoned him. He went for a hunger strike.  His health detoriorated  and on the 11th day of fasting he was freed and placed under house arrest. But he disappeared from his house in early 1941.In November 1941 ,his broadcast from german radio sent shock waves to the british and electrified the Indians who realized their leader was working in a master plan to free their motherland. Bose allied with Germany and Japan to fight against The British. In the beginning of 1943, a most hazardous journey was undertaken by him. He traversed under water, covering thousands of miles, crossing enemy territories. He was in the Atlantic, the Middle East, Madagascar and the  Indian ocean. Battles were being fought over land, in the air and there Battles were being fought over land, in the air and there were mines in the sea. At one stage he traveled 400 miles in a rubber dingy to reach a Japanese submarine, which took him to Tokyo. He was warmly received in Japan and was declared the head of the Indian army, which consisted of about 40,000 soldiers from Singapore and other eastern regions. Bose called it the Indian National Army (INA) and a government by the name "Azad Hind Government" was declared on the 21st of October 1943.INA freed the Andaman and Nicobar islands from the British and were renamed as Swaraj and Shaheed islands. The Government started functioning.Bose wanted to free India from the Eastern front. He had taken care that Japanese interference was not present from any angle. Army leadership, administration and communications were managed by Indians only. Subhash Brigade, Azad Brigade and Gandhi Brigade were formed. INA      marched through Burma and occupied Coxtown on the Indian Border. A touching scene ensued when the solders entered their 'free' motherland. Some lay down and kissed, some placed pieces of mother earth on their heads, others wept. They were now inside of India and were determined to drive out the British! Delhi Chalo (Let's march to Delhi) was the war cry. The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki changed the history of mankind. Japan had to surrender. Bose was in Singapore at that time and decided to go to Tokyo for his next course of action. Unfortunately, there was no trace of him from that point. He was just 48 and his death or  disappearance is still a mystery. The Indian people were so much enamored of Bose's leadership qualities, fearlessness and mysterious adventures, that he had become a legend.
Sri Aurobindo :  Sri Aurobindo, the great patriot participated immensely in freedom struggle. He became a leader of the Nationalist Party and his editorials in the Bande Mataram at once made him an all-India figure. In 1810, Sri Aurobindo withdrew from the political field and sailed for Pondicherry, to devote himself entirely to his evolving spiritual mission.

Khudiram Bose :

Khudiram Bose, a true martyr of India was involved with a secret extremist group called Yugantar along with Aurobindo Ghosh, Barin Ghosh, Raja Subodh Mallik. Yugantar planned Kingsford's (the notorious Chief Presidency Magistrate ) death  and Khudiram Prafulla Chaki were chosen for the job. He was hanged to death on 11th aug, 1908.
Satyendra Nath Bose : S.N.Bose, an Indian mathematician and theoretical physicist, is known for his contributions in the fields of statistical mechanics and quantum mechanics particularly in regard to photons. He wrote a paper on the statistics of photons now named as 'Bose Statistics'. Fundamental particles that obeyed his statistical rules were later named 'bosons' One of his important publication is “Planck's Law and the Hypothesis of Light Quanta".
Jagadish Chandra Bose : Jagdish Chandra Bose had put India on the scientific world map with his ingenuity and scientific flair. He conducted bold experiments in Physics, Botany and Physiology. JC Bose demonstrated the existence and propaganda of wireless waves in 1885. His work on devices for receiving the polarization of electric waves was later exploited by Marconi who designed a long distance radio signalling device. He was able to show the similarity in response of the living and non-living to various types of stress and strains. Having discovered this similarity to electric response in animal tissue and inorganic substances Bose now started exploring the response in plants to external stimuli. He was able to establish this similarity in plants too .One of Bose's amazing achievements was his invention of the 'crescograph'. The crescograph was an electrical instrument that could measure the growth of a plant accurately.

Raja Ram Mohan Roy :

Raja Ram Mohan Roy, the maker of  modern India fought to abolish SATI(the horrible c ustom of burning the living wife with the dead husband) and put an end to it. William Bentinck administration passed a law in 1829 banning the practice of Sati .Roy first realised that an understanding of "modern" subjects like physics,chemistry,biology,mathematics,English would give Indians a better standing in the world.He also founded the Bramho Samaj.

Pundit Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar :

He was a great Sanskrit pundit, educator, reformer, writer, philanthropist. He fought against polygamy and child marriage. He took initiative to legalize widow re-marriage and encouraged it a lot. He also helped the distressed people. Vidyasagar was the founder of several schools, many of which were for girls.
Swami Vivekananda : Swami Vivekananda was the leading disciple of Sri Ramakrishna. His lectures and books provide the best explanation of the Upanishads in modern literature. The Upanishads are the original source of Vedanta.Swami Vivekananda visited the West at the end of the 19th century, and his influence is felt to this day. His message of uncompromising strength, devotion to the truth, unity of all creeds, and dedication to the higher pursuits of life, re-invigorated the spiritual landscape of America and Europe. His work in India provided a genuine alternative to the sweeping materialism that resulted from the scientific achievements of his century.

Nobel laureates

All Nobel laureates of India have been associated with Calcutta at some point of time. The city has produced five Nobel Prize laureates so far . They are (as chronologically awarded):
Sir Ronald Ross (1902 Medicine),
Rabindranath Tagore (1913 Literature),
Sir C.V. Raman (1930 Physics),
Mother Teresa (1977 Peace) and lastly
Amartya Sen (1998 Economics)


Scientific greats of Calcutta include, in approximately chronogical order, the multifaceted geniuses W.B. O'Slaughnessy, Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose, Sir Prafulla Chandra Ray, the physicists Meghnad Saha, Satyendra Nath Bose, statistician Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis, and genetic scientist Ananda Mohan Chakraborty. The first in-vitro fertilization (to produce test tube baby "Durga") in India (and second in the world) was performed by city doctor Dr. Subhash Mukhopadhyay on October 3, 1978.


A Consise History

In 1690 Job Charnok,  an agent of East India Company setteled in Kolkata. In 1698 East India Co bought three villages Gobindapur, Sutanuti, Kolkata from local landlord Sabarna Chowdhury. In 1699 East India Company started developing Calcutta as a Presidency city. In1715 British people completed building the Old Fort. In 1717 The Mughal emperor Farrukh-siyar granted the East India Company freedom of trade in return for a yearly payment of 3,000 rupees. In 1727 As per the order of  King George I , a civil court was set up. The city corporation was established and Hallwell became the first mayor of the city. In 1756 Siraj-ud-daulla attacks Calcutta and conquered. He changed the name of the city to Alinagar. Again in 1757 23rd June, British people ( under the leadership of Clive) defeated Siraj-id-daulla at Plassey (in Nadia district).
In 1757 British first printed currency bill in Calcutta mint.
In year 1772 Calcutta became the capital of British India when the first governor-general, Warren Hastings, transferred all important offices to the city from Murshidabad .
In 1780 James Hicky established a printed press and published first news paper, "The Bengal Gazzette".

The first official news paper , "The Calcutta Gazzette", was published in 1784.In 1784 Sir William Jones took initiative and established The Asiatic Society.
The Governor House ( presently Raj Bhawan ) was built in 1804.
In 1818 First Bengali Magazine, "Digdarshan", was published from Sreerampur, with the help of David Hare.
In 1817 The Hindu College ( presently Presidency College ) was established with efforts from Rammohan Roy, David Hare and Radhakanta Dev. Initially the college started with 20 students. Rammohan Roy was successful in making 'satidaho' (a Hindu rule) banned by British General Bentinck in year 1829.

In 1854 First Railways in India was established ( from Calcutta to Hooghly ).
In 1857 The University of Calcutta was established.
First Tram car ( horse drawn )was drawn  in Calcutta in 1873.
In 1875 "The Statesman", leading English Daily newspaper, started.
The Indian Museum was built in 1875.
In 1883 Surendra Nath Banerjee called for a National convention ( which led to the forming of Indian National Congress in 1885 at Bombay ).

In  1886 Second convention of Indian National Congress at Calcutta.  Indian Football Association established in  1888.
In 1896 First motor car appeared on city's street.
In 1902 First Electric tram car was driven  from Esplanade to Kidderepore.
In 1905 Lord Curzon, viceroy of India, tried to partition Bengal. There was a strong protest. And finally he failed to do so.
In 1911 British moved the capital of India from Calcutta to Delhi
In 1911 A local football team, Mohanbagan, defeated British in IFA shield final and created national sensation.
Rabindranath Tagore, the great philosopher, poet and writer received Nobel Prize in literature in 1913.

In 1921 King Edward VIII inaugurated the Victoria Memorial building.
In  1924 Chittaranjan Das, was elected as the first Indian mayor of the city of Calcutta.
Agnes Goinxha Bejaxhiu (Mother Teresa), came to Calcutta to join Bengal Loreto missionin in 1929.
In 1939 The World War II hit Calcutta.
Tagore died in 1941 .

In 1941 Subhash Chandra Bose escaped from house arrest by British.
In 1947 India gained independence. Bengal was divided , Calcutta became the capital city of the state of West Bengal in India. Dr. Prafulla Chandra Ghosh became the first Chief Minister of West Bengal, followed by Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy. Calcutta and surrounding places were flooded with people from East Pakistan ( now Bangladesh ) as a result of the partition.
The Naxalite Movement hit the city resulting arrests of hundreds of youths and creating enormous tension among city dwellers in 1970-71.
In 1975 First TV transmission started in the city from August 9th.
Mother Teresa, a permanent resident of Calcutta was awarded Nobel Peace Prize in 1979.

In 1984 Metro, the first underground railway in India, started from Tollygunge to Esplanade and  First color TV transmission started  from TV centre ( DoorDarshan ).
In 1989 France's highest civilian award, Legion d'Honour was conferred upon Satyajit Ray by President F. Mitterrand in Calcutta.
In 1992 Satyajit Roy, film director, received prestigious "Life Time Achievement" Oscar award and "Bharat Ratna". He died in the same year.
First cellular phone service starts in the city in 1995.
In  1997 Mother Teresa died in Calcutta.

2001 Calcutta was officially renamed as 'Kolkata' from 1st Januray,

Founder and date of foundation

The city High Court recently gave a ruling that Job Charnock is not the founder of the city and Calcutta has no birthday. According to the Court, the city owes its genesis in the Maurya and Gupta period and it was an established trading post long before the Slave Dynasty of the Delhi Sultanate, the Mughals, the Portuguese, the French or the British established a modern township there. References to the existence of an ancient riverine port exist in the travel journals of Chinese scholars and Persian merchants dating from the time preceding the birth of Christ. The Hindu epic Mahabharata, lists the King of “Vanga”, as having fought alongside the Kauravas in the great Mahabharata


Airline Offices

Here are some of the Aitline Offices in Kolkata. All the informations may not be upto date.
(References: www.calcuttaairport.com)

41, J.L. Nehru Road. Kolkata-700 071.
Phone- 2226-6161
50, J.L. Nehru Road. Kolkata-700 071.
Phone- 2282-2356/57/1187 Fax - 91-33-2282-7875
41, J.L Nehru Road. Kolkata-700 071.
Phone- 2288-3451/53/54, 2246-9161 Fax - 91-33-2288-4605
1, Middleton Street. Kolkata-700 016.
Phone- 2287-0275, 2240-3211 Telfax - 240-3211
230, A.J.C. Bose Road. Kolkata-700 020.
Phone- 2247-7783/5576
39, Chittaranjan Avenue. Kolkata-700 012.
Phone- 2236-0810/0730/4433/2548
18D, Park Street. Kolkata-700 016.
Phone- 2229-2227/0740/2048 Fax - 91-33-2245-6866
Dum Dum Airport. Kolkata
Phone- 2511-8528
30A/B, J.L. Nehru Road. Kolkata-700 071.
Phone- 2229-9369/66
2A, Shakespeare Sarani. Kolkata-700 071.
Phone- 2282-7686/8969 Fax - 91-33-2282-4910
Park Street. Kolkata
Phone- 2229-4828/1156
235/1, A.J.C. Bose Road, Hotel HHI. Kolkata-700 020.
Phone- 2280-9898/8882
46C, J.L. Nehru Road, Everest House. Kolkata-700 071.
Phone- 2288-4643/44




This page has been contributed by Tamalika Gupta, Dept of IT, 2005 batch.