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In 1690, Job Charnock, an agent of the East India Company chose this place for a British trade settlement. The site was carefully selected, being protected by the Hooghly River on the west, a creek to the north, and by salt lakes about two and a half miles to the east. There were three large villages along the east bank of the river Ganges, named, Sutanuti, Gobindapur and Kalikata. These three villages were bought by the British from the local land lords. The Mughal emperor (Jahangir) granted East India Company freedom of trade in return for a yearly payment of 3,000 rupees.
What was Calcutta like before the British came?
It was a village; the capital city of Bengal was Murshidabad, around 60 miles north of Calcutta. In 1756, Siraj-ud-daullah, Nawab of Bengal, attacked the city and captured the fort. Calcutta was recaptured in 1757 by Robert Clive when the British defeated Siraj-ud-daullah on the battle field of Plassey. In 1772, Calcutta became the capital of British India, and the first Governor General Warren Hastings moved all important offices from Murshidabad to Calcutta. till 1912, Calcutta was the capital of India, when the British moved the capital city to Delhi. In 1947, when India gained freedom and the country got partitioned between India and Pakistan, Calcutta was included in the Indian part of Bengal, West Bengal. Calcutta became the capital city of the state of West Bengal.
Importance of Kolkata as a tourist destination in India.
1. Kolkata has numerous beautiful monuments. You will find a lot of beautiful historical temples around "The City of Joy".
2. There is amazing public transport in Kolkata. You can find transports like taxis,Airconditioned luxury taxi , AC luxury buses and non AC busses , local trains, Metro Rail, trams, rickshaws, autos, ferries, hand pulled rickshaws etc.
3. The place has a very rich history. This place has many historical features and was once even the capital of India.
4. Kolkata has various world famous architectural structures like Howrah Bridge, Victoria Memorial, GPO. Writers Building, St. Paul's Cathedral , Marble Palace, Kolkata High Court , National Liabrary, Fort willium , Jorasanko Thakur Bari etc.
5. Kolkata is home to world famous personalities like Rabindra Nath Tagore,Mother Teresa, Satyendra Nath Bose, Subhas Chandra Bose,Raja Ram Mohan Roy , Swami Vivekananda,etc, C.V. Raman, Amartya Sen,Satyajit Ray etc .
6. The biggest Mangrove Forest and the largest delta in the world “Sundarban” is very close to Kolkata , which is famous for The Royal Bengal tiger.
7. Durga Puja in Kolkata is amazingly interesting. During this time, the whole city is adorned with lights. People from all over the country and abroad visit the city at this time, and every night is one mad carnival where thousands of people go 'pandal-hopping' with their friends and family.
8. There are so many places to shop whether be it local markets (like Fish Market , Spice market , Flower market), malls or street markets.
9. The food here is absolutely delicious. Among the local Bengali delicacies are the popular fish dishes. Kolkata is undoubtedly a paradise for the foodies.
10. The city of Kolkata is very cheap compared to any other city in India. It has also been rated amongst the top 20 Cheapest city to visit and live in.
11. Victoria Memorial, one of the wonders in India is located at Kolkata, which reflects the beauty, grace and marvel of the city.
12. Christmas in Kolkata has it's own charm.The street lighting of Park Street and the adjoining area is a magnificent sight to see. Despite of having a majority of Hindu population, the whole city comes out for Christmas shopping and celebration.Most of the houses in the city as well as in the villages get decked up during this festival .Kolkata is indeed one of the most festive city where every event is a celebration.
13. There is music, art and culture everywhere in the city.
14. You certainly cannot afford to miss out the very popular mouth watering traditional sweet dishes like Mishti doi and Rosgulla of Kolkata.
Few other popular sweet dishes worth mentionging are Bhapa Sandesh,Malai Chom Chom, Pantua,Langcha,Shita Bhog,Mihi Dana ,Kheer Kadam,Lady kenny(Bengali: লেডিকেনি),Kalakand.Mohan Bhog,Labanga Latika, Pati Shapta, Raj Bhog, Chaner Jeelapi,Kalo Jaam, Darbesh, Shor Bhaja, Nikuti, Kheerer Chop.
Few famous Sweet Shops at Kolkata
Balaram Mullick and Radharaman Mullick
Nalin Chandra Das and Sons
Girish Chandra Dey and Nakur Chandra Nandy
Chittaranjan Mishtan Bhandar
15. There are various good hotels, restaurants and clubs in and around the city. India's first five star hotel, Oberoi Grand is also located in Kolkata. Apart from Oberoi, The lalit Great Eastern,The TAJ,ITC Sonar Bangla,The Park,The Hotel Hindustan International,Novotel and The Hyatt Regency, and one more prestigious group of hotel JW Marriot is also situated in Kolkata.
16. India's largest museum( Indian Museum) is also located at Kolkata.
17. Mother house in KOLKATA - A regular flow of mostly Christian pilgrims visits the Missionaries of Charity’s 'Mother house' to pay homage at Mother (and now Saint) Teresa’s large, sober tomb. A small adjacent museum room displays Teresa’s worn sandals and battered enamel dinner bowl. Located upstairs is the room where she worked and slept from 1953 to 1997, preserved in all its simplicity. It is super humbling to see Mother Theresa's room and final resting place. Museum is small but poignant.
18. The warmth and cordiality of the Kolkattan's will urge you time and again to visit the City . At the end of the day, you will always find a smiling and hospitable face, welcoming you to the city of Joy - Kolkata. As it has bees very rightly said that "you can take a man out of Calcutta but not Kolkata out of the man"
How to reach Kolkata
By Air:-Kolkata Netaji Subash Chandra Bose International Airport is well connected with other state in India by large Domestic network and also International flights to and from different part of the world.
By Train:-Kolkata is also connected through Indian Railways from Howrah,Shalimar,Santragachi, Sealdah & Kolkata Station to different state of India.
By Road:-Kolkata is well connected with other State in India and the neighboring countries like Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan.