Kolkata (Formerly known as Calcutta - the founding name of the city)
Kolkata, on the Hooghly, retains the aura of days long gone, weaving the past and the present, the intense and the funloving into a charming fabric. Home to four Nobel laureates - Ronald Ross, Rabindranath Tagore, Mother Teresa and Amartya Sen, Kolkata is the nerve centre of intellect and human values, where many modern movements began in art, cinema and theatre, science and industry. India's quest for freedom began here.
Kolkata is the gateway to Eastern India. A city with a rich heritage, bustling streets and bewildering variety of facets. From October to March, Kolkata wears a radiant look. Sunshine, mild winter, lights, colours, fairs, festivals, galas and excursions, the mood is infectious and spirit sweeping.
Although the name Kalikata had been mentioned in the rent-roll of the Great Mughal emperor Akbar and also in Manasa-Mangal, to explore the history of Kolkata, we have to go back to the 17th century. It was in 1690 that Job Charnock of the East India Company came to the bank of the river Hooghly and took the lease of the three villages- Sutanuti, Govindapur and Kolikata (Kolkata) as a trading post of British East India Company. The city became famous in 1756, when Siraj-Ud-Dawlah, the last independent nawab of Bengal, captured the city. But the British regained their power in 1757 and the city was recaptured under Robert Clive. Warren Hastings, the first Governor-General of India, made it the seat of the supreme courts of justice and the supreme revenue administration, and Kolkata became the capital of British India in 1772. By 1800 Kolkata had become a busy and flourishing town, the center of the cultural as well as the political and economic life of Bengal.
Air: Kolkata is well connected to major international & domestic airports. The international Netaji Subhash Airport (Dum Dum Airport) is 20 kms from the city. Most of the domestic airlines have direct services to and from Kolkata-Kolkata to other important cities of India such as Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Patna, Varanasi, Lucknow, etc.
Rail: Kolkata is served by two railway station, Haora (Howrah) and Sealdah and is connected to major cities all over the country.
Road: Kolkata is connected by an extensive network of national highways with major cities and towns. Buses generally depart from the Esplanades bus stand area at the northern end of the Maidan near Chowringhee Road. But there are a number of private companies, which have their own stands. Buses to and from the South generally use the bus stand near Fort William at Babu Ghat.