Kolkata, The City of Joy

Common Name:
Other Name:
South 24 Parganas
West Bengal
Languages Spoken:
Bengali, Hindi, Urdu and English.
Best Time To Visit:
October To March
Long Distance Code:
The largest city of India and the capital of West Bengal
International Access:
Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport
The capital of West Bengal, Calcutta, renamed recently as Kolkata, lies on the Hoogly, distributaries of the Ganges. Its close proximity to the river and sea developed it as a major commercial center.
Kolkata has a typical tropical climate, humid and hot for the most of the time of the year. Kolkata however receives a moderate rainfall and light woolens are needed during the peak winters of December and January.
Situated on the bank of the River Ganga, Kolkata, experiences a humid climate. It rains heavily during the monsoon and the winters are the most pleasant season of the year.
A city of historical interest, archaeological splendor and social significance, the hardly 300 year old Calcutta throbs with amazing life. The city of Joy is the country's largest city and one of the most populous in the world. Here are gathered India's finest artists and musicians, scholars and poets and the most desperate poverty stricken slums. A city, which has adapted to the modern trends and techniques of the world, but also has kept the Bengali tradition alive. Calcutta is called the soul of India. The contrasts between the rich and the poor, the educated and the ignorant, the old and the new are more evident here, than any other metropolis of India.
Kolkata, once a mere village on the bank of the Ganges, full of small lakes and mosquitoes it became one of the important ports and the second city only after London. Although the name Kalikata has been mentioned in the rent-roll of the Great Mughal emperor Akbar, the history of this city can be traced back to only 300 years when the visionary from the east India Company, Job Charnock landed here. The source of the name Kolkata is still confusing. The east India Company bought the Zamindari of three islands, Sutanuti, Kalikata and Govindapur from the Subarna Chowdhury family. The union of these three villages came to be known as Calcutta. Either the name has been derived from the village Kalikata or from the name Kali Kotha, means abode of Goddess Kali. Kolkata might have been the form of that name to which the British addressed as Calcutta.
Nonetheless Calcutta went on to become a big city and glorious capital of the Indian British Empire.
Today Kolkata bustles with life carrying the Bengali traditions and culture. A metropolis with a Bengali flavour. The only metro railway in India is present in Kolkata but also the age old tram and rickshaws pulled by m en. This contradiction, smile in pathetic conditions and in life has allured the visitors. Calcutta is a home to the refugees from Bangladesh and other poverty stricken regions around the state of West Bengal. One has to salute the indigenous spirit of the people of Kolkata, fighting the odds and living through, making it a city of Joy.
Its rich cultural background is evident from the plays and street theatres that can be witnessed. In its three hundred years of existence as a city, Kolkata has been variously described as an example of the triumph of urban civilization and a disastrous result of unchecked urbanization.
It is a city overflowing with various types of goods. However Kolkata is famous for its beautiful cotton sarees called the Tant and leather purses. Kolkata is also famous for its sweets. The sweet shops are always crowded and equally crowded are the fish markets and the flower markets. Kolkata is always a vibrant city. At least once a month the city undergoes the call of Strike when all the shops, offices and schools are closed. But the people still smile, busy celebrating some or the other occasion or discussing about the latest drama, political situation or songs over a cup of tea. Despite all the odds the people of Kolkata can not migrate to any other city and can not imagine Kolkata without these odds either. This is what lets out the secret of Kolkata.

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