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Kolkata

"Calcutta" redirects here. For other uses, see Calcutta (disambiguation) and Kolkata (disambiguation).

Kolkata (English: or, Bengali: (); previously Calcutta, the official name until 2001) is the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal. Located on the eastern bank of the Hooghly River, the city is approximately 80 kilometres (50 mi) west of the border with Bangladesh. It is the primary business, commercial, and financial hub of Eastern India and the main port of communication for North-East India. According to the 2011 Indian census, Kolkata is the seventh-most populous city in India, with a population of 4.5 million residents within the city limits, and a population of over 14.1 million residents in the Kolkata Metropolitan Area. It is the third-most populous metropolitan area in India. In 2021, Kolkata metropolitan area crossed 15 million registered voters. The Port of Kolkata is India's oldest operating port and its sole major riverine port. Kolkata is regarded as the Cultural Capital of India.

Kolkata
Calcutta
Clockwise from top: Victoria Memorial, St. Paul's Cathedral, Central Business District, Rabindra Setu, City Tram Line, Vidyasagar Setu
Nickname(s):
City of Joy, Cultural Capital
Interactive Map Outlining Kolkata
Kolkata
Location in Kolkata
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Kolkata
Location in West Bengal
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Kolkata
Location in India
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Kolkata
Location in Asia
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Kolkata
Location in Earth
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Coordinates:22°34′22″N88°21′50″E /22.5726723°N 88.3638815°E /22.5726723; 88.3638815Coordinates: 22°34′22″N88°21′50″E /22.5726723°N 88.3638815°E /22.5726723; 88.3638815
CountryIndia
State West Bengal
DivisionPresidency
DistrictKolkata
Government
• TypeMunicipal Corporation
• BodyKolkata Municipal Corporation
Chairperson, B.O.AFirhad Hakim
SheriffMani Shankar Mukherjee
Police commissionerSoumen Mitra
Area
Megacity206.08 km2 (79.151 sq mi)
• Metro
1,886.67 km2 (728.45 sq mi)
Elevation
9 m (30 ft)
Population
(2011)
Megacity4,496,694
• Rank3rd
• Density22,000/km2 (57,000/sq mi)
Metro
14,112,536
14,617,882 (Extended UA)
• Metro rank
3rd
DemonymsKolkatan
Calcuttan
Languages
• OfficialBengaliEnglish
Time zoneUTC+05:30 (IST)
PIN
700 xxx
Telephone code+91 33
Vehicle registrationWB-01 to WB-10
UN/LOCODEIN CCU
GDP/PPP$150.1 billion (GDP PPP 2020)
HDI(2004) 0.780 (High)
Websitewww.kmcgov.in
  1. The Kolkata metropolitan area also includes portions of North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas, Howrah, Nadia and Hooghly districts. See: Urban structure.
This article contains Bengali text. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols.

In the late 17th century, the three villages that predated Calcutta were ruled by the Nawab of Bengal under Mughal suzerainty. After the Nawab granted the East India Company a trading licence in 1690, the area was developed by the Company into an increasingly fortified trading post known as Fort William. Nawab Siraj ud-Daulah occupied Calcutta in 1756, and the East India Company retook it the following year. In 1793 the East India company was strong enough to abolish native rule, and assumed full sovereignty of the region. Under the company rule and later under the British Raj, Calcutta served as the capital of British-held territories in India until 1911. At that time, the British assessed its perceived geographical disadvantages, combined with growing nationalism in Bengal, and moved the capital to New Delhi. Calcutta was the centre for the Indian independence movement.

Following independence in 1947, Kolkata, which was once the centre of Indian commerce, culture, and politics, suffered many decades of political violence and economic stagnation. A demographically diverse city, the culture of Kolkata features idiosyncrasies that include distinctively close-knit neighbourhoods (paras) and freestyle conversations (adda). Kolkata is home to West Bengal's film industry Tollywood and cultural institutions, such as the Academy of Fine Arts, the Victoria Memorial, the Asiatic Society, the Indian Museum, and the National Library of India. Among scientific institutions, Kolkata hosts the Agri Horticultural Society of India, the Geological Survey of India, the Botanical Survey of India, the Calcutta Mathematical Society, the Indian Science Congress Association, the Zoological Survey of India, the Institution of Engineers, the Anthropological Survey of India and the Indian Public Health Association. Four Nobel laureates and two Nobel Memorial Prize winners are associated with the city. Though home to major cricketing venues and franchises, Kolkata differs from other Indian cities by focusing on association football and other sports.

Contents

Main article: Etymology of Kolkata

The word Kolkata (Bengali:কলকাতা ) derives from Kôlikata (Bengali:কলিকাতা ), the Bengali name of one of three villages that predated the arrival of the British, the other two villages were Sutanuti and Govindapur.

There are several explanations for the etymology of this name:

  • Kolikata is thought to be a variation of Kalikkhetrô (Bengali:কালীক্ষেত্র ), meaning "Field of [the goddess] Kali". Similarly, it can be a variation of 'Kalikshetra' (Sanskrit: कालीक्षेत्र, lit. "area of Goddess Kali").
  • Another theory is that the name derives from Kalighat.
  • Alternatively, the name may have been derived from the Bengali term kilkila (Bengali:কিলকিলা), or "flat area".
  • The name may have its origin in the words khal (Bengali:খাল ) meaning "canal", followed by kaṭa (Bengali:কাটা ), which may mean "dug".
  • According to another theory, the area specialised in the production of quicklime or koli chun (Bengali:কলি চুন ) and coir or kata (Bengali:কাতা ); hence, it was called Kolikata).

Although the city's name has always been pronounced Kolkata or Kôlikata in Bengali, the anglicised form Calcutta was the official name until 2001, when it was changed to Kolkata in order to match Bengali pronunciation.

Main article: History of Kolkata

British colonial rule

The discovery and archaeological study of Chandraketugarh, 35 kilometres (22 mi) north of Kolkata, provide evidence that the region in which the city stands has been inhabited for over two millennia. Kolkata's recorded history began in 1690 with the arrival of the English East India Company, which was consolidating its trade business in Bengal. Job Charnock, an administrator who worked for the company, was formerly credited as the founder of the city; In response to a public petition, the Calcutta High Court ruled in 2003 that the city does not have a founder. The area occupied by the present-day city encompassed three villages: Kalikata, Gobindapur and Sutanuti. Kalikata was a fishing village; Sutanuti was a riverside weavers' village. They were part of an estate belonging to the Mughal emperor; the jagirdari (a land grant bestowed by a king on his noblemen) taxation rights to the villages were held by the Sabarna Roy Choudhury family of landowners, or zamindars. These rights were transferred to the East India Company in 1698.: 1

Chowringhee avenue and Tipu Sultan Mosque in central Calcutta, 1945

In 1712, the British completed the construction of Fort William, located on the east bank of the Hooghly River to protect their trading factory. Facing frequent skirmishes with French forces, the British began to upgrade their fortifications in 1756. The Nawab of Bengal, Siraj ud-Daulah, condemned the militarisation and tax evasion by the company. His warning went unheeded, and the Nawab attacked; he captured Fort William which led to the killings of several East India company officials in the Black Hole of Calcutta. A force of Company soldiers (sepoys) and British troops led by Robert Clive recaptured the city the following year. Per the 1765 Treaty of Allahabad following the battle of Buxar, East India company was appointed imperial tax collector of the Mughal emperor in the province of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa, while Mughal-appointed Nawabs continued to rule the province. Declared a presidency city, Calcutta became the headquarters of the East India Company by 1773.

In 1793, ruling power of the Nawabs were abolished and East India company took complete control of the city and the province. In the early 19th century, the marshes surrounding the city were drained; the government area was laid out along the banks of the Hooghly River. Richard Wellesley, Governor-General of the Presidency of Fort William between 1797 and 1805, was largely responsible for the development of the city and its public architecture. Throughout the late 18th and 19th century, the city was a centre of the East India Company's opium trade. A census in 1837 records the population of the city proper as 229,700, of which the British residents made up only 3,138. The same source says another 177,000 resided in the suburbs and neighbouring villages, making the entire population of greater Calcutta 406,700.

In 1864, a typhoon struck the city and killed about 60,000 in Kolkata.

Panoramic view of Kolkata (Calcutta) from the Shaheed Minar (Octerlony Monument), 1832, drawn by Jacob Janssen

By the 1850s, Calcutta had two areas: White Town, which was primarily British and centred on Chowringhee and Dalhousie Square; and Black Town, mainly Indian and centred on North Calcutta. The city underwent rapid industrial growth starting in the early 1850s, especially in the textile and jute industries; this encouraged British companies to massively invest in infrastructure projects, which included telegraph connections and Howrah railway station. The coalescence of British and Indian culture resulted in the emergence of a new babu class of urbane Indians, whose members were often bureaucrats, professionals, newspaper readers, and Anglophiles; they usually belonged to upper-caste Hindu communities. In the 19th century, the Bengal Renaissance brought about an increased sociocultural sophistication among city denizens. In 1883, Calcutta was host to the first national conference of the Indian National Association, the first avowed nationalist organisation in India.

Bengali billboards on Harrison Street. Calcutta was the largest commercial centre in British India.
Map of Calcutta, ca 1914

The partition of Bengal in 1905 along religious lines led to mass protests, making Calcutta a less hospitable place for the British. The capital was moved to New Delhi in 1911. Calcutta continued to be a centre for revolutionary organisations associated with the Indian independence movement. The city and its port were bombed several times by the Japanese between 1942 and 1944, during World War II. Coinciding with the war, millions starved to death during the Bengal famine of 1943 due to a combination of military, administrative, and natural factors. Demands for the creation of a Muslim state led in 1946 to an episode of communal violence that killed over 4,000. The partition of India led to further clashes and a demographic shift—many Muslims left for East Pakistan (present day Bangladesh), while hundreds of thousands of Hindus fled into the city.

Contemporary

During the 1960s and 1970s, severe power shortages, strikes and a violent MarxistMaoist movement by groups known as the Naxalites damaged much of the city's infrastructure, resulting in economic stagnation. The Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971 led to a massive influx of thousands of refugees, many of them penniless, that strained Kolkata's infrastructure. During the mid-1980s, Mumbai (then called Bombay) overtook Kolkata as India's most populous city. In 1985, prime minister Rajiv Gandhi dubbed Kolkata a "dying city" in light of its socio-political woes. In the period 1977–2011, West Bengal was governed from Kolkata by the Left Front, which was dominated by the Communist Party of India (CPM). It was the world's longest-serving democratically elected communist government, during which Kolkata was a key base for Indian communism. In the 2011 West Bengal Legislative Assembly election, Left Front was defeated by the Trinamool Congress. The city's economic recovery gathered momentum after the 1990s, when India began to institute pro-market reforms. Since 2000, the information technology (IT) services sector has revitalised Kolkata's stagnant economy. The city is also experiencing marked growth in its manufacturing base.

Main article: Geography of Kolkata
Chowringhee, Kolkata skyline from Howrah

Spread roughly north–south along the east bank of the Hooghly River, Kolkata sits within the lower Ganges Delta of eastern India approximately 75 km (47 mi) west of the international border with Bangladesh; the city's elevation is 1.5–9 m (5–30 ft). Much of the city was originally a wetland that was reclaimed over the decades to accommodate a burgeoning population. The remaining undeveloped areas, known as the East Kolkata Wetlands, were designated a "wetland of international importance" by the Ramsar Convention (1975). As with most of the Indo-Gangetic Plain, the soil and water are predominantly alluvial in origin. Kolkata is located over the "Bengal basin", a pericratonic tertiary basin. Bengal basin comprises three structural units: shelf or platform in the west; central hinge or shelf/slope break; and deep basinal part in the east and southeast. Kolkata is located atop the western part of the hinge zone which is about 25 km (16 mi) wide at a depth of about 45,000 m (148,000 ft) below the surface. The shelf and hinge zones have many faults, among them some are active. Total thickness of sediment below Kolkata is nearly 7,500 m (24,600 ft) above the crystalline basement; of these the top 350–450 m (1,150–1,480 ft) is Quaternary, followed by 4,500–5,500 m (14,760–18,040 ft) of Tertiary sediments, 500–700 m (1,640–2,300 ft) trap wash of Cretaceous trap and 600–800 m (1,970–2,620 ft) Permian-Carboniferous Gondwana rocks. The quaternary sediments consist of clay, silt and several grades of sand and gravel. These sediments are sandwiched between two clay beds: the lower one at a depth of 250–650 m (820–2,130 ft); the upper one 10–40 m (30–130 ft) in thickness. According to the Bureau of Indian Standards, on a scale ranging fromI to V in order of increasing susceptibility to earthquakes, the city lies inside seismic zone III.

Urban structure

Aerial view of the Kolkata skyline, including the Victoria Memorial and Vidyasagar Setu

The Kolkata metropolitan area is spread over 1,886.67 km2 (728.45 sq mi): 7 and comprises 4 municipal corporations (including Kolkata Municipal Corporation), 37 local municipalities and 24 panchayat samitis, as of 2011.: 7 The urban agglomeration encompassed 72 cities and 527 towns and villages, as of 2006. Suburban areas in the Kolkata metropolitan area incorporate parts of the following districts: North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas, Howrah, Hooghly and Nadia.: 15 Kolkata, which is under the jurisdiction of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC), has an area of 206.08 km2 (80 sq mi). The east–west dimension of the city is comparatively narrow, stretching from the Hooghly River in the west to roughly the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass in the east—a span of 9–10 km (5.6–6.2 mi). The north–south distance is greater, and its axis is used to section the city into North, Central, South and East Kolkata. North Kolkata is the oldest part of the city. Characterised by 19th-century architecture and narrow alleyways, it includes areas such as Jorasanko, Rajabazar, Maniktala, Ultadanga, Shyambazar, Shobhabazar, Bagbazar, Cossipore, Sinthee etc. The north suburban areas like Dum Dum, Baranagar, Belgharia, Sodepur, Khardaha, New Barrackpore, Madhyamgram, Barrackpore, Barasat etc. are also within the city of Kolkata (as a metropolitan structure).: 65–66 Central Kolkata hosts the central business district. It contains B.B.D. Bagh, formerly known as Dalhousie Square, and the Esplanade on its east; Strand Road is on its west. The West Bengal Secretariat, General Post Office, Reserve Bank of India, Calcutta High Court, Lalbazar Police Headquarters and several other government and private offices are located there. Another business hub is the area south of Park Street, which comprises thoroughfares such as Chowringhee Road, Camac Street, Wood Street, Loudon Street, Shakespeare Sarani and AJC Bose Road. South Kolkata developed after India gained independence in 1947; it includes upscale neighbourhoods such as Bhawanipore, Alipore, Ballygunge, Kasba, Dhakuria, Santoshpur, Garia, Golf Green, Tollygunge, New Alipore, Behala, Barisha etc. The south suburban areas like Maheshtala, Budge Budge, Rajpur Sonarpur, Baruipur etc. are also within the city of Kolkata (as a metropolitan structure). The Maidan is a large open field in the heart of the city that has been called the "lungs of Kolkata" and accommodates sporting events and public meetings. The Victoria Memorial and Kolkata Race Course are located at the southern end of the Maidan. Among the other parks are Central Park in Bidhannagar and Millennium Park on Strand Road, along the Hooghly River.

Two planned townships in the greater Kolkata region are Bidhannagar, also known as Salt Lake City and located north-east of the city; and Rajarhat, also called New Town and located east of Bidhannagar. In the 2000s, Sector V in Bidhannagar developed into a business hub for information technology and telecommunication companies. Both Bidhannagar and New Town are situated outside the Kolkata Municipal Corporation limits, in their own municipalities.

Climate

Main article: Climate of Kolkata

Kolkata is subject to a tropical wet-and-dry climate that is designated Aw under the Köppen climate classification. According to a United Nations Development Programme report, its wind and cyclone zone is "very high damage risk".

Temperature

The annual mean temperature is 26.8 °C (80.2 °F); monthly mean temperatures are 19–30 °C (66–86 °F). Summers (March–June) are hot and humid, with temperatures in the low 30s Celsius; during dry spells, maximum temperatures sometime exceed 40 °C (104 °F) in May and June. Winter lasts for roughly two-and-a-half months, with seasonal lows dipping to 9–11 °C (48–52 °F) in December and January. May is the hottest month, with daily temperatures ranging from 27–37 °C (81–99 °F); January, the coldest month, has temperatures varying from 12–23 °C (54–73 °F). The highest recorded temperature is 43.9 °C (111.0 °F), and the lowest is 5 °C (41 °F). The winter is mild and very comfortable weather pertains over the city throughout this season. Often, in April–June, the city is struck by heavy rains or dusty squalls that are followed by thunderstorms or hailstorms, bringing cooling relief from the prevailing humidity. These thunderstorms are convective in nature, and are known locally as kal bôishakhi (কালবৈশাখী), or "Nor'westers" in English.

Rainfall

Rains brought by the Bay of Bengal branch of the south-west summer monsoon lash Kolkata between June and September, supplying it with most of its annual rainfall of about 1,850 mm (73 in). The highest monthly rainfall total occurs in July and August. In these months often incessant rain for days brings life to a stall for the city dwellers. The city receives 2,107 hours of sunshine per year, with maximum sunlight exposure occurring in April. Kolkata has been hit by several cyclones; these include systems occurring in 1737 and 1864 that killed thousands. More recently, Cyclone Aila in 2009 and Cyclone Amphan in 2020 caused widespread damage to Kolkata by bringing catastrophic winds and torrential rainfall.

Climate data for Kolkata (Alipore) 1981–2010, extremes 1901–2012
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 32.8
(91.0)
38.4
(101.1)
41.1
(106.0)
43.3
(109.9)
43.7
(110.7)
43.9
(111.0)
39.9
(103.8)
38.4
(101.1)
38.9
(102.0)
39.0
(102.2)
34.9
(94.8)
32.5
(90.5)
43.9
(111.0)
Mean maximum °C (°F) 29.8
(85.6)
33.5
(92.3)
37.4
(99.3)
38.5
(101.3)
38.8
(101.8)
38.0
(100.4)
35.9
(96.6)
35.0
(95.0)
35.3
(95.5)
35.1
(95.2)
32.9
(91.2)
29.8
(85.6)
39.8
(103.6)
Average high °C (°F) 25.8
(78.4)
29.2
(84.6)
33.5
(92.3)
35.3
(95.5)
35.3
(95.5)
33.8
(92.8)
32.4
(90.3)
32.2
(90.0)
32.4
(90.3)
32.2
(90.0)
30.1
(86.2)
27.0
(80.6)
31.6
(88.9)
Daily mean °C (°F) 20.0
(68.0)
23.6
(74.5)
28.0
(82.4)
30.4
(86.7)
30.9
(87.6)
30.4
(86.7)
29.4
(84.9)
29.3
(84.7)
29.2
(84.6)
28.1
(82.6)
25.0
(77.0)
21.2
(70.2)
27.1
(80.8)
Average low °C (°F) 14.1
(57.4)
17.8
(64.0)
22.4
(72.3)
25.3
(77.5)
26.4
(79.5)
26.8
(80.2)
26.5
(79.7)
26.4
(79.5)
26.0
(78.8)
24.1
(75.4)
19.7
(67.5)
15.2
(59.4)
22.6
(72.7)
Mean minimum °C (°F) 10.7
(51.3)
12.9
(55.2)
17.6
(63.7)
20.4
(68.7)
21.5
(70.7)
23.7
(74.7)
24.3
(75.7)
24.4
(75.9)
23.8
(74.8)
20.6
(69.1)
15.4
(59.7)
11.8
(53.2)
10.4
(50.7)
Record low °C (°F) 6.7
(44.1)
7.2
(45.0)
10.0
(50.0)
16.1
(61.0)
17.9
(64.2)
20.4
(68.7)
20.6
(69.1)
22.6
(72.7)
20.6
(69.1)
17.2
(63.0)
10.6
(51.1)
7.2
(45.0)
6.7
(44.1)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 10.4
(0.41)
20.9
(0.82)
35.2
(1.39)
58.9
(2.32)
133.1
(5.24)
300.6
(11.83)
396.0
(15.59)
344.5
(13.56)
318.1
(12.52)
180.5
(7.11)
35.1
(1.38)
3.2
(0.13)
1,836.5
(72.30)
Average rainy days 1.1 1.7 2.2 3.4 7.0 12.8 17.7 16.9 13.9 7.4 1.3 0.5 85.9
Average relative humidity (%)(at 17:30 IST) 61 54 51 62 68 77 82 83 82 75 67 65 69
Mean monthly sunshine hours 213.9 211.9 229.4 240.0 232.5 135.0 105.4 117.8 126.0 201.5 216.0 204.6 2,234
Mean daily sunshine hours 6.9 7.5 7.4 8.0 7.5 4.5 3.4 3.8 4.2 6.5 7.2 6.6 6.1
Average ultraviolet index 6 7 10 11 12 13 13 13 12 9 7 5 10
Source 1: India Meteorological Department (sun 1971–2000)Ultraviolet Index
Source 2: Tokyo Climate Center (mean temperatures 1981–2010)
Climate data for Kolkata (Dumdum Airport) 1981–2007, extremes 1939–2012
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 32.5
(90.5)
37.3
(99.1)
40.6
(105.1)
42.8
(109.0)
43.1
(109.6)
43.7
(110.7)
39.2
(102.6)
37.7
(99.9)
36.8
(98.2)
36.8
(98.2)
36.0
(96.8)
33.0
(91.4)
43.7
(110.7)
Average high °C (°F) 25.6
(78.1)
29.0
(84.2)
33.3
(91.9)
35.5
(95.9)
35.6
(96.1)
34.3
(93.7)
32.9
(91.2)
32.7
(90.9)
32.8
(91.0)
32.2
(90.0)
29.9
(85.8)
26.8
(80.2)
31.7
(89.1)
Average low °C (°F) 12.9
(55.2)
16.6
(61.9)
21.3
(70.3)
24.7
(76.5)
25.9
(78.6)
26.5
(79.7)
26.3
(79.3)
26.4
(79.5)
25.9
(78.6)
23.8
(74.8)
19.0
(66.2)
14.0
(57.2)
21.9
(71.4)
Record low °C (°F) 5.0
(41.0)
6.1
(43.0)
12.1
(53.8)
16.6
(61.9)
17.6
(63.7)
19.2
(66.6)
20.1
(68.2)
21.1
(70.0)
21.7
(71.1)
15.7
(60.3)
11.7
(53.1)
6.1
(43.0)
5.0
(41.0)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 12.4
(0.49)
23.3
(0.92)
31.3
(1.23)
55.2
(2.17)
156.5
(6.16)
293.0
(11.54)
347.4
(13.68)
344.1
(13.55)
305.5
(12.03)
161.9
(6.37)
17.5
(0.69)
8.8
(0.35)
1,757
(69.17)
Average rainy days 1.0 1.7 2.2 3.5 7.0 12.6 17.1 16.9 13.2 6.8 1.3 0.5 83.9
Average relative humidity (%)(at 08:30 IST) 75 71 67 71 73 79 83 83 81 75 70 72 75
Source: India Meteorological Department

Environmental issues

Pollution is a major concern in Kolkata. As of 2008[update], sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide annual concentration were within the national ambient air quality standards of India, but respirable suspended particulate matter levels were high, and on an increasing trend for five consecutive years, causing smog and haze. Severe air pollution in the city has caused a rise in pollution-related respiratory ailments, such as lung cancer.

Main article: Economy of Kolkata
Reserve Bank of India building, Kolkata

Kolkata is the commercial and financial hub of East and North-East India and home to the Calcutta Stock Exchange. It is a major commercial and military port, and is the only city in eastern India, apart from Bhubaneswar to have an international airport. Once India's leading city, Kolkata experienced a steady economic decline in the decades following India's independence due to steep population increases and a rise in militant trade-unionism, which included frequent strikes that were backed by left-wing parties. From the 1960s to the late 1990s, several factories were closed and businesses relocated. The lack of capital and resources added to the depressed state of the city's economy and gave rise to an unwelcome sobriquet: the "dying city". The city's fortunes improved after the Indian economy was liberalised in the 1990s and changes in economic policy were enacted by the West Bengal state government. Recent estimates of the economy of Kolkata's metropolitan area have ranged from $150 to $250 billion (PPP GDP), and have ranked it third-most productive metro area of India.

The 42 at Chowringhee (268 m), is the tallest building in Kolkata

Flexible production has been the norm in Kolkata, which has an informal sector that employs more than 40% of the labour force. One unorganised group, roadside hawkers, generated business worth 87.72 billion (US$ 2 billion) in 2005. As of 2001[update], around 0.81% of the city's workforce was employed in the primary sector (agriculture, forestry, mining, etc.); 15.49% worked in the secondary sector (industrial and manufacturing); and 83.69% worked in the tertiary sector (service industries).: 19 As of 2003[update], the majority of households in slums were engaged in occupations belonging to the informal sector; 36.5% were involved in servicing the urban middle class (as maids, drivers, etc.) and 22.2% were casual labourers.: 11 About 34% of the available labour force in Kolkata slums were unemployed.: 11 According to one estimate, almost a quarter of the population live on less than 27 rupees (equivalent to 45 US cents) per day.

Panoramic view of the Downtown Sector V one of the major IT hubs of Kolkata as seen from the lakes surrounding Bidhannagar. Major Buildings such as Technopolis, Godrej Waterside, TCS Lords, Eden and Wanderers Park, Gobsyn Crystal, South City Pinnacle, RDB Boulevard, West Bengal Electronics Industry Development Corporation (WEBEL) Bhawan can be seen.

Major manufacturing companies in the city are Alstom, Larsen & Toubro, Fosroc, Videocon. As in many other Indian cities, information technology became a high-growth sector in Kolkata starting in the late 1990s; the city's IT sector grew at 70% per annum—a rate that was twice the national average. The 2000s saw a surge of investments in the real estate, infrastructure, retail, and hospitality sectors; several large shopping malls and hotels were launched. Companies such as ITC Limited, CESC Limited, Exide Industries, Emami, Eveready Industries India, Lux Industries, Rupa Company, Berger Paints, Birla Corporation and Britannia Industries are headquartered in the city. Philips India, PricewaterhouseCoopers India, Tata Global Beverages, Tata Steel have their registered office and zonal headquarters in Kolkata. Kolkata hosts the headquarters of three major public-sector banks: Allahabad Bank, UCO Bank, and the United Bank of India; and a private bank Bandhan Bank. Reserve Bank of India has its eastern zonal office in Kolkata, and India Government Mint, Kolkata is one of the four mints in India. Some of the oldest public sector companies are headquartered in the city such as the Coal India Limited, National Insurance Company, Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers, Tea Board of India, Geological Survey of India, Zoological Survey of India, Botanical Survey of India, Jute Corporation of India, National Test House, Hindustan Copper and the Ordnance Factories Board of the Indian Ministry of Defence.

Population of Kolkata
CensusPopulation
19011,009,853
19111,117,96610.7%
19211,158,4973.6%
19311,289,46111.3%
19412,352,39982.4%
19512,956,47525.7%
19613,351,25013.4%
19713,727,02011.2%
19814,126,84610.7%
19914,399,8196.6%
20014,572,8763.9%
20114,496,694−1.7%
source:

The demonym for residents of Kolkata are Calcuttan and Kolkatan. According to provisional results of the 2011 national census, Kolkata district, which occupies an area of 185 km2 (71 sq mi), had a population of 4,486,679; its population density was 24,252/km2 (62,810/sq mi). This represents a decline of 1.88% during the decade 2001–11. The sex ratio is 899 females per 1000 males—lower than the national average. The ratio is depressed by the influx of working males from surrounding rural areas, from the rest of West Bengal; these men commonly leave their families behind. Kolkata's literacy rate of 87.14% exceeds the national average of 74%. The final population totals of census 2011 stated the population of city as 4,496,694. The urban agglomeration had a population of 14,112,536 in 2011.

Languages spoken in Kolkata city (2011 census)

Bengali (official) (61.45%)
Hindi (22.84%)
Urdu (13.03%)
Odia (0.58%)
Gujarati (0.57%)
Punjabi (0.35%)
Nepali (0.18%)
Others (1.0%)

Bengali, the official state language, is the dominant language in Kolkata. English is also used, particularly by the white-collar workforce. Hindi and Urdu are spoken by a sizeable minority. Bengali Hindus form the majority of Kolkata's population; Marwaris, Biharis and Urdu-speaking Muslims compose large minorities. Among Kolkata's smaller communities are Chinese, Tamils, Nepalis, Pathans/Afghans (locally known as Kabuliwala) Odias, Telugus, Gujaratis, Anglo-Indians, Armenians, Bengali Muslims, Greeks, Tibetans, Maharashtrians, Konkanis, Malayalees, Punjabis and Parsis.: 3 The number of Armenians, Greeks, Jews and other foreign-origin groups declined during the 20th century. The Jewish population of Kolkata was 5,000 during World War II, but declined after Indian independence and the establishment of Israel; by 2013, there were 25 Jews in the city. India's sole Chinatown is in eastern Kolkata; once home to 20,000 ethnic Chinese, its population dropped to around 2,000 as of 2009[update] as a result of multiple factors including repatriation and denial of Indian citizenship following the 1962 Sino-Indian War, and immigration to foreign countries for better economic opportunities. The Chinese community traditionally worked in the local tanning industry and ran Chinese restaurants.

Residential high-rise buildings in South City
Others include Sikhism, Buddhism & Other religions (0.03%)
Religion in Kolkata
Religion Percent
Hinduism
76.51%
Islam
20.60%
Christianity
0.88%
Jainism
0.47%
Others
1.54%

According to the 2011 census, 76.51% of the population is Hindu, 20.60% Muslim, 0.88% Christian and 0.47% Jain. The remainder of the population includes Sikhs, Buddhists, and other religions which accounts for 0.45% of the population; 1.09% did not state a religion in the census. Kolkata reported 67.6% of Special and Local Laws crimes registered in 35 large Indian cities during 2004. The Kolkata police district registered 15,510 Indian Penal Code cases in 2010, the 8th-highest total in the country. In 2010, the crime rate was 117.3 per 100,000, below the national rate of 187.6; it was the lowest rate among India's largest cities.

Kolkata urban agglomeration population growth
Census Total
1981 9,194,000
1991 11,021,900 19.9%
2001 13,114,700 19.0%
2011 14,112,536 7.6%
Source: Census of India

As of 2003[update], about one-third of the population, or 1.5 million people, lived in 3,500 unregistered squatter-occupied and 2,011 registered slums.: 4: 92 The authorised slums (with access to basic services like water, latrines, trash removal by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation) can be broadly divided into two groups—bustees, in which slum dwellers have some long term tenancy agreement with the landowners; and udbastu colonies, settlements which had been leased to refugees from present-day Bangladesh by the government.: 5 The unauthorised slums (devoid of basic services provided by the municipality) are occupied by squatters who started living on encroached lands—mainly along canals, railway lines and roads.: 92: 5 According to the 2005 National Family Health Survey, around 14% of the households in Kolkata were poor, while 33% lived in slums, indicating a substantial proportion of households in slum areas were better off economically than the bottom quarter of urban households in terms of wealth status.: 23 Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for founding and working with the Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata—an organisation "whose primary task was to love and care for those persons nobody was prepared to look after".

Civic administration

Kolkata is administered by several government agencies. The Kolkata Municipal Corporation, or KMC, oversees and manages the civic infrastructure of the city's 16 boroughs, which together encompass 144 wards. Each ward elects a councillor to the KMC. Each borough has a committee of councillors, each of whom is elected to represent a ward. By means of the borough committees, the corporation undertakes urban planning and maintains roads, government-aided schools, hospitals, and municipal markets. As Kolkata's apex body, the corporation discharges its functions through the mayor-in-council, which comprises a mayor, a deputy mayor, and ten other elected members of the KMC. The functions of the KMC include water supply, drainage and sewerage, sanitation, solid waste management, street lighting, and building regulation.

Kolkata's administrative agencies have areas of jurisdiction that do not coincide. Listed in ascending order by area, they are: Kolkata district; the Kolkata Police area and the Kolkata Municipal Corporation area, or "Kolkata city"; and the Kolkata metropolitan area, which is the city's urban agglomeration. The agency overseeing the latter, the Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority, is responsible for the statutory planning and development of greater Kolkata. The Kolkata Municipal Corporation was ranked first out of 21 cities for best governance and administrative practices in India in 2014. It scored 4.0 on 10 compared to the national average of 3.3.

The Kolkata Port Trust, an agency of the central government, manages the city's river port. As of 2012[update], the All India Trinamool Congress controls the KMC; the mayor is Firhad Hakim, while the deputy mayor is Atin Ghosh. The city has an apolitical titular post, that of the Sheriff of Kolkata, which presides over various city-related functions and conferences.

As the seat of the Government of West Bengal, Kolkata is home to not only the offices of the local governing agencies, but also the West Bengal Legislative Assembly; the state secretariat, which is housed in the Writers' Building; and the Calcutta High Court. Most government establishments and institutions are housed in the centre of the city in B. B. D. Bagh (formerly known as Dalhousie Square). The Calcutta High Court is the oldest High Court in India. It was preceded by the Supreme Court of Judicature at Fort William which was established in 1774. The Calcutta High Court has jurisdiction over the state of West Bengal and the Union Territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Kolkata has lower courts: the Court of Small Causes and the City Civil Court decide civil matters; the Sessions Court rules in criminal cases. The Kolkata Police, headed by a police commissioner, is overseen by the West Bengal Ministry of Home Affairs. The Kolkata district elects two representatives to India's lower house, the Lok Sabha, and 11 representatives to the state legislative assembly.

Utility services

A telecommunications tower belonging to services provider Tata Communications

The Kolkata Municipal Corporation supplies the city with potable water that is sourced from the Hooghly River; most of it is treated and purified at the Palta pumping station located in North 24 Parganas district.[failed verification] Roughly 95% of the 4,000 tonnes of refuse produced daily by the city is transported to the dumping grounds in Dhapa, which is east of the town. To promote the recycling of garbage and sewer water, agriculture is encouraged on the dumping grounds. Parts of the city lack proper sewerage, leading to unsanitary methods of waste disposal.

In 1856 the Bengal Government appointed George Turnbull to be the Commissioner of Drainage and Sewerage to improve the city's sewerage. Turnbull's main job was to be the Chief Engineer of the East Indian Railway Company responsible for building the first railway 541 miles from Howrah to Varanasi (then Benares).

Electricity is supplied by the privately operated Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation, or CESC, to the city proper; the West Bengal State Electricity Board supplies it in the suburbs. Fire services are handled by the West Bengal Fire Service, a state agency. As of 2012[update], the city had 16 fire stations.

State-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited, or BSNL, as well as private enterprises, among them Vodafone, Bharti Airtel, Reliance, Idea Cellular, Aircel, Tata DoCoMo, Tata Teleservices, Virgin Mobile, and MTS India, are the leading telephone and cell phone service providers in the city.: 25–26: 179 with Kolkata being the first city in India to have cell phone and 4G connectivity, the GSM and CDMA cellular coverage is extensive. As of 2010[update], Kolkata has 7 percent of the total Broadband internet consumers in India; BSNL, VSNL, Tata Indicom, Sify, Airtel, and Reliance are among the main vendors.

Military and diplomatic establishments

The Eastern Command of the Indian Army is based in the city. Being one of India's major city and the largest city in eastern and north-eastern India, Kolkata hosts diplomatic missions of many countries such as Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Canada, People's Republic of China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Thailand, United Kingdom and United States. The U.S Consulate in Kolkata is the US Department of State's second-oldest Consulate and dates from 19 November 1792. The Diplomatic representation of more than 65 Countries and International Organization is present in Kolkata as Consulate office, honorary Consulate office, Cultural Centre, Deputy High Commission and Economic section and Trade Representation office.

Main article: Transport in Kolkata
The Kolkata Tram is the oldest operating electric tram system in Asia

Public transport is provided by the Kolkata Suburban Railway, the Kolkata Metro, trams, rickshaws, taxis and buses. The suburban rail network connects the city's distant suburbs.

The Kolkata Metro is the oldest rapid transit system in India

According to a 2013 survey conducted by the International Association of Public Transport, in terms of a public transport system, Kolkata ranks among the top of the six Indian cities surveyed. The Kolkata Metro, in operation since 1984, is the oldest underground mass transit system in India. It spans the north–south length of the city. In 2020, part of the Second line was inaugurated to cover part of Salt Lake. This east–west line will connect Salt Lake with Howrah The 2 lines cover a distance of 33.02 km (21 mi). As of 2020[update], four Metro rail lines were under construction.

The Kolkata Suburban Railway is the busiest commuter rail system in India

Kolkata has five long-distance railway stations, located at Howrah (the largest railway complex in India), Sealdah, Chitpur, Shalimar and Santragachi, which connect Kolkata by rail to most cities in West Bengal and to other major cities in India. The city serves as the headquarters of three railway Zone out of Eighteen of the Indian Railways regional divisions—the Kolkata Metro Railways, Eastern Railway and the South-Eastern Railway. Kolkata has rail and road connectivity with Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh.

The yellow taxi remains a favourite despite the foray of rideshare companies in the transport market

Buses, which are the most commonly used mode of transport, are run by government agencies and private operators. Kolkata is the only Indian city with a tram network, which is operated by the Calcutta Tramways Company. The slow-moving tram services are restricted to certain areas of the city. Water-logging, caused by heavy rains during the summer monsoon, sometimes interrupt transportation networks. Hired public conveyances include auto rickshaws, which often ply specific routes, and yellow metered taxis. Almost all of Kolkata's taxis are antiquated Hindustan Ambassadors by make; newer air-conditioned radio taxis are in service as well. In parts of the city, cycle rickshaws and hand-pulled rickshaws are patronised by the public for short trips.

A road in Kolkata showing bus, and cars. There are other modes of transport available such as taxi or cab, tram, metro, auto rikshaw, rikshaw and ferry or water taxi.

Due to its diverse and abundant public transportation, privately owned vehicles are not as common in Kolkata as in other major Indian cities. The city has witnessed a steady increase in the number of registered vehicles; 2002 data showed an increase of 44% over a period of seven years. As of 2004[update], after adjusting for population density, the city's "road space" was only 6% compared to 23% in Delhi and 17% in Mumbai. The Kolkata Metro has somewhat eased traffic congestion, as has the addition of new roads and flyovers. Agencies operating long-distance bus services include the Calcutta State Transport Corporation, the South Bengal State Transport Corporation, the North Bengal State Transport Corporation and various private operators. The city's main bus terminals are located at Esplanade and Babughat. The Kolkata–Delhi and Kolkata–Chennai prongs of the Golden Quadrilateral, and National Highway 12 start from the city.

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport, located in Dum Dum, about 16 km (9.9 mi) north-east of the city centre, operates domestic and international flights. In 2013, the airport was upgraded to handle increased air traffic.

Khidirpore Dock of Kolkata Port Trust

The Port of Kolkata, established in 1870, is India's oldest and the only major river port. The Kolkata Port Trust manages docks in Kolkata and Haldia. The port hosts passenger services to Port Blair, capital of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands; freighter service to ports throughout India and around the world is operated by the Shipping Corporation of India. Ferry services connect Kolkata with its twin city of Howrah, located across the Hooghly River.

Calcutta Medical College, the second institution in Asia to teach modern medicine (after 'Ecole de Médicine de Pondichéry')

As of 2011[update], the health care system in Kolkata consists of 48 government hospitals, mostly under the Department of Health & Family Welfare, Government of West Bengal, and 366 private medical establishments; these establishments provide the city with 27,687 hospital beds. For every 10,000 people in the city, there are 61.7 hospital beds, which is higher than the national average of 9 hospital beds per 10,000. Ten medical and dental colleges are located in the Kolkata metropolitan area which act as tertiary referral hospitals in the state. The Calcutta Medical College, founded in 1835, was the first institution in Asia to teach modern medicine. However, These facilities are inadequate to meet the healthcare needs of the city. More than 78% in Kolkata prefer the private medical sector over the public medical sector,: 109 due to the overburdening of the public health sector, the lack of a nearby facility, and excessive waiting times at government facilities.: 61

According to the Indian 2005 National Family Health Survey, only a small proportion of Kolkata households were covered under any health scheme or health insurance.: 41 The total fertility rate in Kolkata was 1.4, the lowest among the eight cities surveyed.: 45 In Kolkata, 77% of the married women used contraceptives, which was the highest among the cities surveyed, but use of modern contraceptive methods was the lowest (46%).: 47 The infant mortality rate in Kolkata was41 per 1,000 live births, and the mortality rate for children under five was49 per 1,000 live births.: 48

IPGMER and SSKM Hospital, largest hospital in West Bengal and one of the oldest in Kolkata.

Among the surveyed cities, Kolkata stood second (5%) for children who had not had any vaccinations under the Universal Immunization Programme as of 2005[update].: 48 Kolkata ranked second with access to an anganwadi centre under the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) programme for 57% of the children between 0 and 71 months.: 51 The proportion of malnourished, anaemic and underweight children in Kolkata was less in comparison to other surveyed cities.: 54–55

About 18% of the men and 30% of the women in Kolkata are obese—the majority of them belonging to the non-poor strata of society.: 105 In 2005, Kolkata had the highest percentage (55%) among the surveyed cities of anaemic women, while 20% of the men in Kolkata were anaemic.: 56–57 Diseases like diabetes, asthma, goitre and other thyroid disorders were found in large numbers of people.: 57–59 Tropical diseases like malaria, dengue and chikungunya are prevalent in Kolkata, though their incidence is decreasing. Kolkata is one of the districts in India with a high number of people with AIDS; it has been designated a district prone to high risk. As of 2014, because of higher air pollution, the life expectancy of a person born in the city is four years fewer than in the suburbs.

Main article: Education in Kolkata

Kolkata's schools are run by the state government or private organisations, many of which are religious. Bengali and English are the primary languages of instruction; Urdu and Hindi are also used, particularly in central Kolkata. Schools in Kolkata follow the "10+2+3" plan. After completing their secondary education, students typically enroll in schools that have a higher secondary facility and are affiliated with the West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Education, the ICSE, or the CBSE. They usually choose a focus on liberal arts, business, or science. Vocational programs are also available. Some Kolkata schools, for example South Point School, La Martiniere Calcutta, Calcutta Boys' School, St. James' School (Kolkata), St. Xavier's Collegiate School and Loreto House, have been ranked amongst the best schools in the country.

As of 2010[update], the Kolkata urban agglomeration is home to 14 universities run by the state government. The colleges are each affiliated with a university or institution based either in Kolkata or elsewhere in India. Aliah University which was founded in 1780 as Mohammedan College of Calcutta is the oldest post-secondary educational institution of the city. The University of Calcutta, founded in 1857, is the first modern university in South Asia. Presidency College, Kolkata (formerly Hindu College between 1817 and 1855), founded in 1855, was one of the oldest colleges in India. It was affiliated with the University of Calcutta until 2010 when it was converted to Presidency University, Kolkata in 2010. Bengal Engineering and Science University (BESU) is the second oldest engineering institution of the country located in Howrah. An Institute of National Importance, BESU was converted to India's first IIEST. Jadavpur University is known for its arts, science, and engineering faculties. The Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, which was the first of the Indian Institutes of Management, was established in 1961 at Joka, a locality in the south-western suburbs. Kolkata also houses the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, which was started here in the year 2006.

The West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences is one of India's autonomous law schools, and the Indian Statistical Institute is a public research institute and university. State owned Maulana Abul Kalam Azad University of Technology, West Bengal (MAKAUT, WB), formerly West Bengal University of Technology (WBUT) is the largest Technological University in terms of student enrollment and number of Institutions affiliated by it. Private institutions include the Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda Educational and Research Institute and University of Engineering & Management (UEM).

Notable scholars who were born, worked or studied in Kolkata include physicists Satyendra Nath Bose, Meghnad Saha, and Jagadish Chandra Bose; chemist Prafulla Chandra Roy; statisticians Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis and Anil Kumar Gain; physician Upendranath Brahmachari; educator Ashutosh Mukherjee; and Nobel laureates Rabindranath Tagore, C. V. Raman, and Amartya Sen.

Aerial view of the Amity University, Kolkata

Kolkata houses many research institutes like Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science (IACS), Indian Institute of Chemical Biology (IICB), Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Bose Institute, Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics (SINP), Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta, All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health, Central Glass and Ceramic Research Institute (CGCRI), S.N. Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences (SNBNCBS), Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management (IISWBM), National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, Kolkata, Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre (VECC) and Indian Centre for Space Physics. Nobel laureate Sir C. V. Raman did his groundbreaking work in Raman effect in IACS.

Main article: Culture of Kolkata

Kolkata is known for its literary, artistic and revolutionary heritage; as the former capital of India, it was the birthplace of modern Indian literary and artistic thought. Kolkata has been called the "City of Furious, Creative Energy" as well as the "cultural [or literary] capital of India". The presence of paras, which are neighbourhoods that possess a strong sense of community, is characteristic of the city. Typically, each para has its own community club and on occasion, a playing field. Residents engage in addas, or leisurely chats, that often take the form of freestyle intellectual conversation. The city has a tradition of political graffiti depicting everything from outrageous slander to witty banter and limericks, caricatures and propaganda.

Indian Museum is the oldest and one of the largest museums in India

Kolkata has many buildings adorned with Indo-Islamic and Indo-Saracenic architectural motifs. Several well-maintained major buildings from the colonial period have been declared "heritage structures"; others are in various stages of decay. Established in 1814 as the nation's oldest museum, the Indian Museum houses large collections that showcase Indian natural history and Indian art. Marble Palace is a classic example of a European mansion that was built in the city. The Victoria Memorial, a place of interest in Kolkata, has a museum documenting the city's history. The National Library of India is the leading public library in the country while Science City is the largest science centre in the Indian subcontinent.

The popularity of commercial theatres in the city has declined since the 1980s.: 99 Group theatres of Kolkata, a cultural movement that started in the 1940s contrasting with the then-popular commercial theatres, are theatres that are not professional or commercial, and are centres of various experiments in theme, content, and production; group theatres use the proscenium stage to highlight socially relevant messages.: 99 Chitpur locality of the city houses multiple production companies of jatra, a tradition of folk drama popular in rural Bengal. Kolkata is the home of the Bengali cinema industry, dubbed "Tollywood" for Tollygunj, where most of the state's film studios are located. Its long tradition of art films includes globally acclaimed film directors such as Academy Award-winning director Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak, Mrinal Sen, Tapan Sinha and contemporary directors such as Aparna Sen, Buddhadeb Dasgupta, Goutam Ghose and Rituparno Ghosh. During the 19th and 20th centuries, Bengali literature was modernised through the works of authors such as Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay, Michael Madhusudan Dutt, Rabindranath Tagore, Kazi Nazrul Islam and Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay. Coupled with social reforms led by Ram Mohan Roy, Swami Vivekananda and others, this constituted a major part of the Bengal Renaissance. The middle and latter parts of the 20th century witnessed the arrival of post-modernism, as well as literary movements such as those espoused by the Kallol movement, hungryalists and the little magazines. Large majority of publishers of the city is concentrated in and around College Street, "... a half-mile of bookshops and bookstalls spilling over onto the pavement", selling new and used books.

Making of Durga idol in Kumartuli, Kolkata
A murti, or representation, of the goddess Durga shown during the Durga Puja festival

Kalighat painting originated in 19th century Kolkata as a local style that reflected a variety of themes including mythology and quotidian life. The Government College of Art and Craft, founded in 1864, has been the cradle as well as workplace of eminent artists including Abanindranath Tagore, Jamini Roy and Nandalal Bose. The art college was the birthplace of the Bengal school of art that arose as an avant garde and nationalist movement reacting against the prevalent academic art styles in the early 20th century. The Academy of Fine Arts and other art galleries hold regular art exhibitions. The city is recognised for its appreciation of Rabindra sangeet (songs written by Rabindranath Tagore) and Indian classical music, with important concerts and recitals, such as Dover Lane Music Conference, being held throughout the year; Bengali popular music, including baul folk ballads, kirtans and Gajan festival music; and modern music, including Bengali-language adhunik songs. Since the early 1990s, new genres have emerged, including one comprising alternative folk–rock Bengali bands. Another new style, jibonmukhi gaan ("songs about life"), is based on realism.: 105

Sandesh, a typical Bengali sweet made from chhena

Key elements of Kolkata's cuisine include rice and a fish curry known as machher jhol, which can be accompanied by desserts such as roshogolla, sandesh, and a sweet yoghurt known as mishti dohi. Bengal's large repertoire of seafood dishes includes various preparations of ilish, a fish that is a favourite among Calcuttans. Street foods such as beguni (fried battered eggplant slices), kati roll (flatbread roll with vegetable or chicken, mutton or egg stuffing), phuchka (a deep-fried crêpe with tamarind sauce) and Indian Chinese cuisine from Chinatown are popular.

Dance accompanied by Rabindra Sangeet, a music genre started by Rabindranath Tagore

Though Bengali women traditionally wear the sari, the shalwar kameez and Western attire is gaining acceptance among younger women. Western-style dress has greater acceptance among men, although the traditional dhoti and kurta are seen during festivals. Durga Puja, held in September–October, is Kolkata's most important and largest festival; it is an occasion for glamorous celebrations and artistic decorations. The Bengali New Year, known as Poila Boishak, as well as the harvest festival of Poush Parbon are among the city's other festivals; also celebrated are Kali Puja, Diwali, Holi, Jagaddhatri Puja, Saraswati Puja, Rathayatra, Janmashtami, Maha Shivratri, Vishwakarma Puja, Lakshmi Puja, Ganesh Chathurthi, Makar Sankranti, Gajan, Kalpataru Day, Bhai Phonta, Maghotsab, Eid, Muharram, Christmas, Buddha Purnima and Mahavir Jayanti. Cultural events include the Rabindra Jayanti, Independence Day (15 August), Republic Day (26 January), Kolkata Book Fair, the Dover Lane Music Festival, the Kolkata Film Festival, Nandikar's National Theatre Festival, Statesman Vintage & Classic Car Rally and Gandhi Jayanti.

Akashvani Bhawan, the head office of state-owned All India Radio, Kolkata

The first newspaper in India, the Bengal Gazette started publishing from the city in 1780. Among Kolkata's widely circulated Bengali-language newspapers are Anandabazar Patrika, Bartaman, Ei Samay Sangbadpatra, Sangbad Pratidin, Aajkaal, Dainik Statesman and Ganashakti. The Statesman and The Telegraph are two major English-language newspapers that are produced and published from Kolkata. Other popular English-language newspapers published and sold in Kolkata include The Times of India, Hindustan Times, The Hindu, The Indian Express and the Asian Age. As the largest trading centre in East India, Kolkata has several high-circulation financial dailies, including The Economic Times, The Financial Express, Business Line and Business Standard. Vernacular newspapers, such as those in the Hindi, Urdu, Gujarati, Odia, Punjabi and Chinese languages, are read by minorities. Major periodicals based in Kolkata include Desh, Sananda, Saptahik Bartaman, Unish-Kuri, Anandalok and Anandamela. Historically, Kolkata has been the centre of the Bengali little magazine movement.

All India Radio, the national state-owned radio broadcaster, airs several AM radio stations in the city. Kolkata has 10 local radio stations broadcasting on FM, including three from AIR. India's state-owned television broadcaster, Doordarshan, provides two free-to-air terrestrial channels, while a mix of Bengali, Hindi, English, and other regional channels are accessible via cable subscription, direct-broadcast satellite services, or internet-based television. Bengali-language 24-hour television news channels include ABP Ananda, News18 Bangla, Kolkata TV, Zee 24 Ghanta, TV9 Bangla and Republic Bangla.

Salt Lake Stadium on a matchday of the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup

The most popular sports in Kolkata are football and cricket. Unlike most parts of India, the residents show significant passion for football. The city is home to top national football clubs such as Mohun Bagan A.C., East Bengal F.C. and the Mohammedan Sporting Club. Calcutta Football League, which was started in 1898, is the oldest football league in Asia. Mohun Bagan A.C., one of the oldest football clubs in Asia, is the only organisation to be dubbed a "National Club of India". Football matches between Mohun Bagan and East Bengal, dubbed as the Kolkata derby, witness large audience attendance and rivalry between patrons. The multi-use Salt Lake Stadium, also known as Yuva Bharati Krirangan, is India's second largest stadium by seating capacity. Most matches of the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup were played in the Salt Lake Stadium including both Semi-final matches and the Final match. Kolkata also accounted for 45% of total attendance in 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup with an average of 55,345 spectators. The Calcutta Cricket and Football Club is the second-oldest cricket club in the world.

First day and night test match in India between India and Bangladesh at the Eden gardens

As in the rest of India, cricket is popular in Kolkata and is played on grounds and in streets throughout the city. Kolkata has the Indian Premier League franchise Kolkata Knight Riders; the Cricket Association of Bengal, which regulates cricket in West Bengal, is also based in the city. Kolkata also has an Indian Super League Club known as Atlético de Kolkata. Tournaments, especially those involving cricket, football, badminton and carrom, are regularly organised on an inter-locality or inter-club basis. The Maidan, a vast field that serves as the city's largest park, hosts several minor football and cricket clubs and coaching institutes. Eden Gardens, which has a capacity of 80,000 as of 2017[update], hosted the final match of the 1987 Cricket World Cup. It is home to the Bengal cricket team and the Kolkata Knight Riders.

Kolkata's Netaji Indoor Stadium served as host of the 1981 Asian Basketball Championship, where India's national basketball team finished 5th, ahead of teams that belong to Asia's basketball elite, such as Iran. The city has three 18-hole golf courses. The oldest is at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club, the first golf club built outside the United Kingdom. The other two are located at the Tollygunge Club and at Fort William. The Royal Calcutta Turf Club hosts horse racing and polo matches. The Calcutta Polo Club is considered the oldest extant polo club in the world. The Calcutta Racket Club is a squash and racquet club in Kolkata. It was founded in 1793, making it one of the oldest rackets clubs in the world, and the first in the Indian subcontinent. The Calcutta South Club is a venue for national and international tennis tournaments; it held the first grass-court national championship in 1946. In the period 2005–2007, Sunfeast Open, a tier-III tournament on the Women's Tennis Association circuit, was held in the Netaji Indoor Stadium; it has since been discontinued.

The Calcutta Rowing Club hosts rowing heats and training events. Kolkata, considered the leading centre of rugby union in India, gives its name to the oldest international tournament in rugby union, the Calcutta Cup. The Automobile Association of Eastern India, established in 1904, and the Bengal Motor Sports Club are involved in promoting motor sports and car rallies in Kolkata and West Bengal. The Beighton Cup, an event organised by the Bengal Hockey Association and first played in 1895, is India's oldest field hockey tournament; it is usually held on the Mohun Bagan Ground of the Maidan. Athletes from Kolkata include Sourav Ganguly, Pankaj Roy and Jhulan Goswami, who are former captains of the Indian national cricket team; Olympic tennis bronze medalist Leander Paes, golfer Arjun Atwal, and former footballers Sailen Manna, Chuni Goswami, P. K. Banerjee and Subrata Bhattacharya.

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    Kolkata
Kolkata Article Talk Language Watch Edit 160 160 Redirected from South Kolkata Calcutta redirects here For other uses see Calcutta disambiguation and Kolkata disambiguation Kolkata English k ɒ l ˈ k ɑː t e 16 or k ɒ l ˈ k ʌ t e 17 Bengali kolˈkata listen previously Calcutta k ae l ˈ k ʌ t e 17 the official name until 2001 is the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal Located on the eastern bank of the Hooghly River the city is approximately 80 kilometres 50 mi west of the border with Bangladesh It is the primary business commercial and financial hub of Eastern India and the main port of communication for North East India 18 According to the 2011 Indian census Kolkata is the seventh most populous city in India with a population of 4 5 million residents within the city limits and a population of over 14 1 million residents in the Kolkata Metropolitan Area It is the third most populous metropolitan area in India In 2021 Kolkata metropolitan area crossed 15 million registered voters The Port of Kolkata is India s oldest operating port and its sole major riverine port Kolkata is regarded as the Cultural Capital of India 1 19 Kolkata CalcuttaMegacityClockwise from top Victoria Memorial St Paul s Cathedral Central Business District Rabindra Setu City Tram Line Vidyasagar SetuNickname s City of Joy Cultural Capital 1 Interactive Map Outlining KolkataKolkataLocation in KolkataShow map of KolkataKolkataLocation in West BengalShow map of West BengalKolkataLocation in IndiaShow map of IndiaKolkataLocation in AsiaShow map of AsiaKolkataLocation in EarthShow map of EarthCoordinates 22 34 22 N 88 21 50 E 22 5726723 N 88 3638815 E 22 5726723 88 3638815 Coordinates 22 34 22 N 88 21 50 E 22 5726723 N 88 3638815 E 22 5726723 88 3638815Country IndiaStateWest BengalDivisionPresidencyDistrictKolkata 2 3 4 5 6 A Government TypeMunicipal Corporation BodyKolkata Municipal Corporation Chairperson B O A 7 Firhad Hakim SheriffMani Shankar Mukherjee Police commissionerSoumen MitraArea 8 9 Megacity206 08 km2 79 151 sq mi Metro1 886 67 km2 728 45 sq mi Elevation9 m 30 ft Population 2011 8 10 Megacity4 496 694 Rank3rd Density22 000 km2 57 000 sq mi Metro 11 12 14 112 536 14 617 882 Extended UA Metro rank3rdDemonymsKolkatan CalcuttanLanguages OfficialBengali English 13 Time zoneUTC 05 30 IST PIN700 xxxTelephone code 91 33Vehicle registrationWB 01 to WB 10UN LOCODEIN CCUGDP PPP 150 1 billion GDP PPP 2020 14 HDI 2004 0 780 15 High Websitewww kmcgov in The Kolkata metropolitan area also includes portions of North 24 Parganas South 24 Parganas Howrah Nadia and Hooghly districts See Urban structure This article contains Bengali text Without proper rendering support you may see question marks boxes or other symbols In the late 17th century the three villages that predated Calcutta were ruled by the Nawab of Bengal under Mughal suzerainty After the Nawab granted the East India Company a trading licence in 1690 20 the area was developed by the Company into an increasingly fortified trading post known as Fort William Nawab Siraj ud Daulah occupied Calcutta in 1756 and the East India Company retook it the following year In 1793 the East India company was strong enough to abolish native rule and assumed full sovereignty of the region Under the company rule and later under the British Raj Calcutta served as the capital of British held territories in India until 1911 At that time the British assessed its perceived geographical disadvantages combined with growing nationalism in Bengal and moved the capital to New Delhi Calcutta was the centre for the Indian independence movement Following independence in 1947 Kolkata which was once the centre of Indian commerce culture and politics suffered many decades of political violence and economic stagnation 21 A demographically diverse city the culture of Kolkata features idiosyncrasies that include distinctively close knit neighbourhoods paras and freestyle conversations adda Kolkata is home to West Bengal s film industry Tollywood and cultural institutions such as the Academy of Fine Arts the Victoria Memorial the Asiatic Society the Indian Museum and the National Library of India Among scientific institutions Kolkata hosts the Agri Horticultural Society of India the Geological Survey of India the Botanical Survey of India the Calcutta Mathematical Society the Indian Science Congress Association the Zoological Survey of India the Institution of Engineers the Anthropological Survey of India and the Indian Public Health Association Four Nobel laureates and two Nobel Memorial Prize winners are associated with the city 22 Though home to major cricketing venues and franchises Kolkata differs from other Indian cities by focusing on association football and other sports Contents 1 Etymology 2 History 2 1 British colonial rule 2 2 Contemporary 3 Geography 3 1 Urban structure 3 2 Climate 3 2 1 Temperature 3 2 2 Rainfall 3 3 Environmental issues 4 Economy 5 Demographics 6 Government and public services 6 1 Civic administration 6 2 Utility services 6 3 Military and diplomatic establishments 7 Transport 8 Healthcare 9 Education 10 Culture 11 Media 12 Sports 13 Sister cities 14 See also 15 References 16 Further reading 17 External linksEtymologyMain article Etymology of Kolkata The word Kolkata Bengali কলক ত kolˈkata derives from Kolikata Bengali কল ক ত ˈkɔliˌkata the Bengali name of one of three villages that predated the arrival of the British the other two villages were Sutanuti and Govindapur 23 There are several explanations for the etymology of this name Kolikata is thought to be a variation of Kalikkhetro Bengali ক ল ক ষ ত র ˈkaliˌkʰːetrɔ meaning Field of the goddess Kali Similarly it can be a variation of Kalikshetra Sanskrit क ल क ष त र lit area of Goddess Kali Another theory is that the name derives from Kalighat 24 Alternatively the name may have been derived from the Bengali term kilkila Bengali ক লক ল or flat area 25 The name may have its origin in the words khal Bengali খ ল ˈkʰal meaning canal followed by kaṭa Bengali ক ট ˈkaʈa which may mean dug 26 According to another theory the area specialised in the production of quicklime or koli chun Bengali কল চ ন ˈkɔliˌtʃun and coir or kata Bengali ক ত ˈkata hence it was called Kolikata 25 Although the city s name has always been pronounced Kolkata or Kolikata in Bengali the anglicised form Calcutta was the official name until 2001 when it was changed to Kolkata in order to match Bengali pronunciation 27 HistoryMain article History of Kolkata Fort William headquarters of the British East India Company British colonial rule The discovery and archaeological study of Chandraketugarh 35 kilometres 22 mi north of Kolkata provide evidence that the region in which the city stands has been inhabited for over two millennia 28 29 Kolkata s recorded history began in 1690 with the arrival of the English East India Company which was consolidating its trade business in Bengal Job Charnock an administrator who worked for the company was formerly credited as the founder of the city 30 In response to a public petition 31 the Calcutta High Court ruled in 2003 that the city does not have a founder 32 The area occupied by the present day city encompassed three villages Kalikata Gobindapur and Sutanuti Kalikata was a fishing village Sutanuti was a riverside weavers village They were part of an estate belonging to the Mughal emperor the jagirdari a land grant bestowed by a king on his noblemen taxation rights to the villages were held by the Sabarna Roy Choudhury family of landowners or zamindars These rights were transferred to the East India Company in 1698 33 1 Chowringhee avenue and Tipu Sultan Mosque in central Calcutta 1945 In 1712 the British completed the construction of Fort William located on the east bank of the Hooghly River to protect their trading factory 34 Facing frequent skirmishes with French forces the British began to upgrade their fortifications in 1756 The Nawab of Bengal Siraj ud Daulah condemned the militarisation and tax evasion by the company His warning went unheeded and the Nawab attacked he captured Fort William which led to the killings of several East India company officials in the Black Hole of Calcutta 35 A force of Company soldiers sepoys and British troops led by Robert Clive recaptured the city the following year 35 Per the 1765 Treaty of Allahabad following the battle of Buxar East India company was appointed imperial tax collector of the Mughal emperor in the province of Bengal Bihar and Orissa while Mughal appointed Nawabs continued to rule the province 36 Declared a presidency city Calcutta became the headquarters of the East India Company by 1773 37 In 1793 ruling power of the Nawabs were abolished and East India company took complete control of the city and the province In the early 19th century the marshes surrounding the city were drained the government area was laid out along the banks of the Hooghly River Richard Wellesley Governor General of the Presidency of Fort William between 1797 and 1805 was largely responsible for the development of the city and its public architecture 38 Throughout the late 18th and 19th century the city was a centre of the East India Company s opium trade 39 A census in 1837 records the population of the city proper as 229 700 of which the British residents made up only 3 138 40 The same source says another 177 000 resided in the suburbs and neighbouring villages making the entire population of greater Calcutta 406 700 In 1864 a typhoon struck the city and killed about 60 000 in Kolkata 41 Panoramic view of Kolkata Calcutta from the Shaheed Minar Octerlony Monument 1832 drawn by Jacob Janssen By the 1850s Calcutta had two areas White Town which was primarily British and centred on Chowringhee and Dalhousie Square and Black Town mainly Indian and centred on North Calcutta 42 The city underwent rapid industrial growth starting in the early 1850s especially in the textile and jute industries this encouraged British companies to massively invest in infrastructure projects which included telegraph connections and Howrah railway station The coalescence of British and Indian culture resulted in the emergence of a new babu class of urbane Indians whose members were often bureaucrats professionals newspaper readers and Anglophiles they usually belonged to upper caste Hindu communities 43 In the 19th century the Bengal Renaissance brought about an increased sociocultural sophistication among city denizens In 1883 Calcutta was host to the first national conference of the Indian National Association the first avowed nationalist organisation in India 44 Bengali billboards on Harrison Street Calcutta was the largest commercial centre in British India Map of Calcutta ca 1914 The partition of Bengal in 1905 along religious lines led to mass protests making Calcutta a less hospitable place for the British 45 46 The capital was moved to New Delhi in 1911 47 Calcutta continued to be a centre for revolutionary organisations associated with the Indian independence movement The city and its port were bombed several times by the Japanese between 1942 and 1944 during World War II 48 49 Coinciding with the war millions starved to death during the Bengal famine of 1943 due to a combination of military administrative and natural factors 50 Demands for the creation of a Muslim state led in 1946 to an episode of communal violence that killed over 4 000 51 52 53 The partition of India led to further clashes and a demographic shift many Muslims left for East Pakistan present day Bangladesh while hundreds of thousands of Hindus fled into the city 54 Contemporary During the 1960s and 1970s severe power shortages strikes and a violent Marxist Maoist movement by groups known as the Naxalites damaged much of the city s infrastructure resulting in economic stagnation 21 The Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971 led to a massive influx of thousands of refugees many of them penniless that strained Kolkata s infrastructure 55 During the mid 1980s Mumbai then called Bombay overtook Kolkata as India s most populous city In 1985 prime minister Rajiv Gandhi dubbed Kolkata a dying city in light of its socio political woes 56 In the period 1977 2011 West Bengal was governed from Kolkata by the Left Front which was dominated by the Communist Party of India CPM It was the world s longest serving democratically elected communist government during which Kolkata was a key base for Indian communism 57 58 59 In the 2011 West Bengal Legislative Assembly election Left Front was defeated by the Trinamool Congress The city s economic recovery gathered momentum after the 1990s when India began to institute pro market reforms Since 2000 the information technology IT services sector has revitalised Kolkata s stagnant economy The city is also experiencing marked growth in its manufacturing base 60 GeographyMain article Geography of Kolkata Chowringhee Kolkata skyline from Howrah Spread roughly north south along the east bank of the Hooghly River Kolkata sits within the lower Ganges Delta of eastern India approximately 75 km 47 mi west of the international border with Bangladesh the city s elevation is 1 5 9 m 5 30 ft 61 Much of the city was originally a wetland that was reclaimed over the decades to accommodate a burgeoning population 62 The remaining undeveloped areas known as the East Kolkata Wetlands were designated a wetland of international importance by the Ramsar Convention 1975 63 As with most of the Indo Gangetic Plain the soil and water are predominantly alluvial in origin Kolkata is located over the Bengal basin a pericratonic tertiary basin 64 Bengal basin comprises three structural units shelf or platform in the west central hinge or shelf slope break and deep basinal part in the east and southeast Kolkata is located atop the western part of the hinge zone which is about 25 km 16 mi wide at a depth of about 45 000 m 148 000 ft below the surface 64 The shelf and hinge zones have many faults among them some are active Total thickness of sediment below Kolkata is nearly 7 500 m 24 600 ft above the crystalline basement of these the top 350 450 m 1 150 1 480 ft is Quaternary followed by 4 500 5 500 m 14 760 18 040 ft of Tertiary sediments 500 700 m 1 640 2 300 ft trap wash of Cretaceous trap and 600 800 m 1 970 2 620 ft Permian Carboniferous Gondwana rocks 64 The quaternary sediments consist of clay silt and several grades of sand and gravel These sediments are sandwiched between two clay beds the lower one at a depth of 250 650 m 820 2 130 ft the upper one 10 40 m 30 130 ft in thickness 65 According to the Bureau of Indian Standards on a scale ranging from I to V in order of increasing susceptibility to earthquakes the city lies inside seismic zone III 66 Urban structure Aerial view of the Kolkata skyline including the Victoria Memorial and Vidyasagar Setu The Kolkata metropolitan area is spread over 1 886 67 km2 728 45 sq mi 67 7 and comprises 4 municipal corporations including Kolkata Municipal Corporation 37 local municipalities and 24 panchayat samitis as of 2011 67 7 The urban agglomeration encompassed 72 cities and 527 towns and villages as of 2006 68 Suburban areas in the Kolkata metropolitan area incorporate parts of the following districts North 24 Parganas South 24 Parganas Howrah Hooghly and Nadia 69 15 Kolkata which is under the jurisdiction of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation KMC has an area of 206 08 km2 80 sq mi 68 The east west dimension of the city is comparatively narrow stretching from the Hooghly River in the west to roughly the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass in the east a span of 9 10 km 5 6 6 2 mi 70 The north south distance is greater and its axis is used to section the city into North Central South and East Kolkata North Kolkata is the oldest part of the city Characterised by 19th century architecture and narrow alleyways it includes areas such as Jorasanko Rajabazar Maniktala Ultadanga Shyambazar Shobhabazar Bagbazar Cossipore Sinthee etc The north suburban areas like Dum Dum Baranagar Belgharia Sodepur Khardaha New Barrackpore Madhyamgram Barrackpore Barasat etc are also within the city of Kolkata as a metropolitan structure 69 65 66 Central Kolkata hosts the central business district It contains B B D Bagh formerly known as Dalhousie Square and the Esplanade on its east Strand Road is on its west 71 The West Bengal Secretariat General Post Office Reserve Bank of India Calcutta High Court Lalbazar Police Headquarters and several other government and private offices are located there Another business hub is the area south of Park Street which comprises thoroughfares such as Chowringhee Road Camac Street Wood Street Loudon Street Shakespeare Sarani and AJC Bose Road 72 South Kolkata developed after India gained independence in 1947 it includes upscale neighbourhoods such as Bhawanipore Alipore Ballygunge Kasba Dhakuria Santoshpur Garia Golf Green Tollygunge New Alipore Behala Barisha etc The south suburban areas like Maheshtala Budge Budge Rajpur Sonarpur Baruipur etc are also within the city of Kolkata as a metropolitan structure 23 The Maidan is a large open field in the heart of the city that has been called the lungs of Kolkata 73 and accommodates sporting events and public meetings 74 The Victoria Memorial and Kolkata Race Course are located at the southern end of the Maidan Among the other parks are Central Park in Bidhannagar and Millennium Park on Strand Road along the Hooghly River Two planned townships in the greater Kolkata region are Bidhannagar also known as Salt Lake City and located north east of the city and Rajarhat also called New Town and located east of Bidhannagar 23 75 In the 2000s Sector V in Bidhannagar developed into a business hub for information technology and telecommunication companies 76 77 Both Bidhannagar and New Town are situated outside the Kolkata Municipal Corporation limits in their own municipalities 75 Climate Main article Climate of Kolkata Kolkata is subject to a tropical wet and dry climate that is designated Aw under the Koppen climate classification According to a United Nations Development Programme report its wind and cyclone zone is very high damage risk 66 Temperature The annual mean temperature is 26 8 C 80 2 F monthly mean temperatures are 19 30 C 66 86 F Summers March June are hot and humid with temperatures in the low 30s Celsius during dry spells maximum temperatures sometime exceed 40 C 104 F in May and June 78 Winter lasts for roughly two and a half months with seasonal lows dipping to 9 11 C 48 52 F in December and January May is the hottest month with daily temperatures ranging from 27 37 C 81 99 F January the coldest month has temperatures varying from 12 23 C 54 73 F The highest recorded temperature is 43 9 C 111 0 F and the lowest is 5 C 41 F 78 The winter is mild and very comfortable weather pertains over the city throughout this season Often in April June the city is struck by heavy rains or dusty squalls that are followed by thunderstorms or hailstorms bringing cooling relief from the prevailing humidity These thunderstorms are convective in nature and are known locally as kal boishakhi ক লব শ খ or Nor westers in English 79 Rainfall Rains brought by the Bay of Bengal branch of the south west summer monsoon 80 lash Kolkata between June and September supplying it with most of its annual rainfall of about 1 850 mm 73 in The highest monthly rainfall total occurs in July and August In these months often incessant rain for days brings life to a stall for the city dwellers The city receives 2 107 hours of sunshine per year with maximum sunlight exposure occurring in April 81 Kolkata has been hit by several cyclones these include systems occurring in 1737 and 1864 that killed thousands 82 83 More recently Cyclone Aila in 2009 and Cyclone Amphan in 2020 caused widespread damage to Kolkata by bringing catastrophic winds and torrential rainfall vteClimate data for Kolkata Alipore 1981 2010 extremes 1901 2012Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec YearRecord high C F 32 8 91 0 38 4 101 1 41 1 106 0 43 3 109 9 43 7 110 7 43 9 111 0 39 9 103 8 38 4 101 1 38 9 102 0 39 0 102 2 34 9 94 8 32 5 90 5 43 9 111 0 Mean maximum C F 29 8 85 6 33 5 92 3 37 4 99 3 38 5 101 3 38 8 101 8 38 0 100 4 35 9 96 6 35 0 95 0 35 3 95 5 35 1 95 2 32 9 91 2 29 8 85 6 39 8 103 6 Average high C F 25 8 78 4 29 2 84 6 33 5 92 3 35 3 95 5 35 3 95 5 33 8 92 8 32 4 90 3 32 2 90 0 32 4 90 3 32 2 90 0 30 1 86 2 27 0 80 6 31 6 88 9 Daily mean C F 20 0 68 0 23 6 74 5 28 0 82 4 30 4 86 7 30 9 87 6 30 4 86 7 29 4 84 9 29 3 84 7 29 2 84 6 28 1 82 6 25 0 77 0 21 2 70 2 27 1 80 8 Average low C F 14 1 57 4 17 8 64 0 22 4 72 3 25 3 77 5 26 4 79 5 26 8 80 2 26 5 79 7 26 4 79 5 26 0 78 8 24 1 75 4 19 7 67 5 15 2 59 4 22 6 72 7 Mean minimum C F 10 7 51 3 12 9 55 2 17 6 63 7 20 4 68 7 21 5 70 7 23 7 74 7 24 3 75 7 24 4 75 9 23 8 74 8 20 6 69 1 15 4 59 7 11 8 53 2 10 4 50 7 Record low C F 6 7 44 1 7 2 45 0 10 0 50 0 16 1 61 0 17 9 64 2 20 4 68 7 20 6 69 1 22 6 72 7 20 6 69 1 17 2 63 0 10 6 51 1 7 2 45 0 6 7 44 1 Average rainfall mm inches 10 4 0 41 20 9 0 82 35 2 1 39 58 9 2 32 133 1 5 24 300 6 11 83 396 0 15 59 344 5 13 56 318 1 12 52 180 5 7 11 35 1 1 38 3 2 0 13 1 836 5 72 30 Average rainy days 1 1 1 7 2 2 3 4 7 0 12 8 17 7 16 9 13 9 7 4 1 3 0 5 85 9Average relative humidity at 17 30 IST 61 54 51 62 68 77 82 83 82 75 67 65 69Mean monthly sunshine hours 213 9 211 9 229 4 240 0 232 5 135 0 105 4 117 8 126 0 201 5 216 0 204 6 2 234Mean daily sunshine hours 6 9 7 5 7 4 8 0 7 5 4 5 3 4 3 8 4 2 6 5 7 2 6 6 6 1Average ultraviolet index 6 7 10 11 12 13 13 13 12 9 7 5 10Source 1 India Meteorological Department sun 1971 2000 84 85 86 Ultraviolet Index 87 Source 2 Tokyo Climate Center mean temperatures 1981 2010 88 Climate data for Kolkata Dumdum Airport 1981 2007 extremes 1939 2012Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec YearRecord high C F 32 5 90 5 37 3 99 1 40 6 105 1 42 8 109 0 43 1 109 6 43 7 110 7 39 2 102 6 37 7 99 9 36 8 98 2 36 8 98 2 36 0 96 8 33 0 91 4 43 7 110 7 Average high C F 25 6 78 1 29 0 84 2 33 3 91 9 35 5 95 9 35 6 96 1 34 3 93 7 32 9 91 2 32 7 90 9 32 8 91 0 32 2 90 0 29 9 85 8 26 8 80 2 31 7 89 1 Average low C F 12 9 55 2 16 6 61 9 21 3 70 3 24 7 76 5 25 9 78 6 26 5 79 7 26 3 79 3 26 4 79 5 25 9 78 6 23 8 74 8 19 0 66 2 14 0 57 2 21 9 71 4 Record low C F 5 0 41 0 6 1 43 0 12 1 53 8 16 6 61 9 17 6 63 7 19 2 66 6 20 1 68 2 21 1 70 0 21 7 71 1 15 7 60 3 11 7 53 1 6 1 43 0 5 0 41 0 Average rainfall mm inches 12 4 0 49 23 3 0 92 31 3 1 23 55 2 2 17 156 5 6 16 293 0 11 54 347 4 13 68 344 1 13 55 305 5 12 03 161 9 6 37 17 5 0 69 8 8 0 35 1 757 69 17 Average rainy days 1 0 1 7 2 2 3 5 7 0 12 6 17 1 16 9 13 2 6 8 1 3 0 5 83 9Average relative humidity at 08 30 IST 75 71 67 71 73 79 83 83 81 75 70 72 75Source India Meteorological Department 89 90 Environmental issues Main article Environmental issues in Kolkata Pollution is a major concern in Kolkata As of 2008 update sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide annual concentration were within the national ambient air quality standards of India but respirable suspended particulate matter levels were high and on an increasing trend for five consecutive years causing smog and haze 91 92 Severe air pollution in the city has caused a rise in pollution related respiratory ailments such as lung cancer 93 EconomyMain article Economy of Kolkata Reserve Bank of India building Kolkata Kolkata is the commercial and financial hub of East and North East India 69 and home to the Calcutta Stock Exchange 94 95 It is a major commercial and military port and is the only city in eastern India apart from Bhubaneswar to have an international airport Once India s leading city Kolkata experienced a steady economic decline in the decades following India s independence due to steep population increases and a rise in militant trade unionism which included frequent strikes that were backed by left wing parties 60 From the 1960s to the late 1990s several factories were closed and businesses relocated 60 The lack of capital and resources added to the depressed state of the city s economy and gave rise to an unwelcome sobriquet the dying city 96 The city s fortunes improved after the Indian economy was liberalised in the 1990s and changes in economic policy were enacted by the West Bengal state government 60 Recent estimates of the economy of Kolkata s metropolitan area have ranged from 150 to 250 billion PPP GDP and have ranked it third most productive metro area of India 97 The 42 at Chowringhee 268 m is the tallest building in Kolkata Flexible production has been the norm in Kolkata which has an informal sector that employs more than 40 of the labour force 23 One unorganised group roadside hawkers generated business worth 87 72 billion US 2 billion in 2005 98 As of 2001 update around 0 81 of the city s workforce was employed in the primary sector agriculture forestry mining etc 15 49 worked in the secondary sector industrial and manufacturing and 83 69 worked in the tertiary sector service industries 69 19 As of 2003 update the majority of households in slums were engaged in occupations belonging to the informal sector 36 5 were involved in servicing the urban middle class as maids drivers etc and 22 2 were casual labourers 99 11 About 34 of the available labour force in Kolkata slums were unemployed 99 11 According to one estimate almost a quarter of the population live on less than 27 rupees equivalent to 45 US cents per day 100 Panoramic view of the Downtown Sector V one of the major IT hubs of Kolkata as seen from the lakes surrounding Bidhannagar Major Buildings such as Technopolis Godrej Waterside TCS Lords Eden and Wanderers Park Gobsyn Crystal South City Pinnacle RDB Boulevard West Bengal Electronics Industry Development Corporation WEBEL Bhawan can be seen Major manufacturing companies in the city are Alstom Larsen amp Toubro 101 Fosroc 102 Videocon 103 As in many other Indian cities information technology became a high growth sector in Kolkata starting in the late 1990s the city s IT sector grew at 70 per annum a rate that was twice the national average 60 The 2000s saw a surge of investments in the real estate infrastructure retail and hospitality sectors several large shopping malls and hotels were launched 104 105 106 107 108 Companies such as ITC Limited CESC Limited Exide Industries Emami Eveready Industries India Lux Industries Rupa Company Berger Paints Birla Corporation and Britannia Industries are headquartered in the city Philips India PricewaterhouseCoopers India Tata Global Beverages Tata Steel have their registered office and zonal headquarters in Kolkata Kolkata hosts the headquarters of three major public sector banks Allahabad Bank UCO Bank and the United Bank of India and a private bank Bandhan Bank Reserve Bank of India has its eastern zonal office in Kolkata and India Government Mint Kolkata is one of the four mints in India Some of the oldest public sector companies are headquartered in the city such as the Coal India Limited National Insurance Company Garden Reach Shipbuilders amp Engineers Tea Board of India Geological Survey of India Zoological Survey of India Botanical Survey of India Jute Corporation of India National Test House Hindustan Copper and the Ordnance Factories Board of the Indian Ministry of Defence DemographicsSee also Ethnic communities in Kolkata Population of Kolkata CensusPopulation 19011 009 853 19111 117 96610 7 19211 158 4973 6 19311 289 46111 3 19412 352 39982 4 19512 956 47525 7 19613 351 25013 4 19713 727 02011 2 19814 126 84610 7 19914 399 8196 6 20014 572 8763 9 20114 496 694 1 7 source 109 The demonym for residents of Kolkata are Calcuttan and Kolkatan 110 111 According to provisional results of the 2011 national census Kolkata district which occupies an area of 185 km2 71 sq mi had a population of 4 486 679 112 its population density was 24 252 km2 62 810 sq mi 112 This represents a decline of 1 88 during the decade 2001 11 The sex ratio is 899 females per 1000 males lower than the national average 113 The ratio is depressed by the influx of working males from surrounding rural areas from the rest of West Bengal these men commonly leave their families behind 114 Kolkata s literacy rate of 87 14 113 exceeds the national average of 74 115 The final population totals of census 2011 stated the population of city as 4 496 694 10 The urban agglomeration had a population of 14 112 536 in 2011 11 Languages spoken in Kolkata city 2011 census 116 Bengali official 61 45 Hindi 22 84 Urdu 13 03 Odia 0 58 Gujarati 0 57 Punjabi 0 35 Nepali 0 18 Others 1 0 Bengali the official state language is the dominant language in Kolkata 117 English is also used particularly by the white collar workforce Hindi and Urdu are spoken by a sizeable minority 118 119 Bengali Hindus form the majority of Kolkata s population Marwaris Biharis and Urdu speaking Muslims compose large minorities 120 Among Kolkata s smaller communities are Chinese Tamils Nepalis Pathans Afghans locally known as Kabuliwala 121 Odias Telugus Gujaratis Anglo Indians Armenians Bengali Muslims Greeks Tibetans Maharashtrians Konkanis Malayalees Punjabis and Parsis 33 3 The number of Armenians Greeks Jews and other foreign origin groups declined during the 20th century 122 The Jewish population of Kolkata was 5 000 during World War II but declined after Indian independence and the establishment of Israel 123 by 2013 there were 25 Jews in the city 124 India s sole Chinatown is in eastern Kolkata 122 once home to 20 000 ethnic Chinese its population dropped to around 2 000 as of 2009 update 122 as a result of multiple factors including repatriation and denial of Indian citizenship following the 1962 Sino Indian War and immigration to foreign countries for better economic opportunities 125 The Chinese community traditionally worked in the local tanning industry and ran Chinese restaurants 122 126 Residential high rise buildings in South City Others include Sikhism Buddhism amp Other religions 0 03 Religion in Kolkata 127 Religion PercentHinduism 76 51 Islam 20 60 Christianity 0 88 Jainism 0 47 Others 1 54 According to the 2011 census 76 51 of the population is Hindu 20 60 Muslim 0 88 Christian and 0 47 Jain 128 The remainder of the population includes Sikhs Buddhists and other religions which accounts for 0 45 of the population 1 09 did not state a religion in the census 128 Kolkata reported 67 6 of Special and Local Laws crimes registered in 35 large Indian cities during 2004 129 The Kolkata police district registered 15 510 Indian Penal Code cases in 2010 the 8th highest total in the country 130 In 2010 the crime rate was 117 3 per 100 000 below the national rate of 187 6 it was the lowest rate among India s largest cities 131 Kolkata urban agglomeration population growth Census Total 1981 9 194 000 1991 11 021 900 19 9 2001 13 114 700 19 0 2011 14 112 536 7 6 Source Census of India 11 As of 2003 update about one third of the population or 1 5 million people lived in 3 500 unregistered squatter occupied and 2 011 registered slums 99 4 132 92 The authorised slums with access to basic services like water latrines trash removal by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation can be broadly divided into two groups bustees in which slum dwellers have some long term tenancy agreement with the landowners and udbastu colonies settlements which had been leased to refugees from present day Bangladesh by the government 132 99 5 The unauthorised slums devoid of basic services provided by the municipality are occupied by squatters who started living on encroached lands mainly along canals railway lines and roads 132 92 99 5 According to the 2005 National Family Health Survey around 14 of the households in Kolkata were poor while 33 lived in slums indicating a substantial proportion of households in slum areas were better off economically than the bottom quarter of urban households in terms of wealth status 133 23 Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for founding and working with the Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata an organisation whose primary task was to love and care for those persons nobody was prepared to look after 134 Government and public servicesCivic administration Main article Civic administration of Kolkata Calcutta High Court Kolkata is administered by several government agencies The Kolkata Municipal Corporation or KMC oversees and manages the civic infrastructure of the city s 16 boroughs which together encompass 144 wards 117 Each ward elects a councillor to the KMC Each borough has a committee of councillors each of whom is elected to represent a ward By means of the borough committees the corporation undertakes urban planning and maintains roads government aided schools hospitals and municipal markets 135 As Kolkata s apex body the corporation discharges its functions through the mayor in council which comprises a mayor a deputy mayor and ten other elected members of the KMC 136 The functions of the KMC include water supply drainage and sewerage sanitation solid waste management street lighting and building regulation 135 Kolkata s administrative agencies have areas of jurisdiction that do not coincide Listed in ascending order by area they are Kolkata district the Kolkata Police area and the Kolkata Municipal Corporation area or Kolkata city 137 and the Kolkata metropolitan area which is the city s urban agglomeration The agency overseeing the latter the Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority is responsible for the statutory planning and development of greater Kolkata 138 The Kolkata Municipal Corporation was ranked first out of 21 cities for best governance and administrative practices in India in 2014 It scored 4 0 on 10 compared to the national average of 3 3 139 The Kolkata Port Trust an agency of the central government manages the city s river port As of 2012 update the All India Trinamool Congress controls the KMC the mayor is Firhad Hakim while the deputy mayor is Atin Ghosh 140 The city has an apolitical titular post that of the Sheriff of Kolkata which presides over various city related functions and conferences 141 As the seat of the Government of West Bengal Kolkata is home to not only the offices of the local governing agencies but also the West Bengal Legislative Assembly the state secretariat which is housed in the Writers Building and the Calcutta High Court Most government establishments and institutions are housed in the centre of the city in B B D Bagh formerly known as Dalhousie Square The Calcutta High Court is the oldest High Court in India It was preceded by the Supreme Court of Judicature at Fort William which was established in 1774 The Calcutta High Court has jurisdiction over the state of West Bengal and the Union Territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands Kolkata has lower courts the Court of Small Causes and the City Civil Court decide civil matters the Sessions Court rules in criminal cases 142 143 144 The Kolkata Police headed by a police commissioner is overseen by the West Bengal Ministry of Home Affairs 145 146 The Kolkata district elects two representatives to India s lower house the Lok Sabha and 11 representatives to the state legislative assembly 147 Utility services A telecommunications tower belonging to services provider Tata Communications The Kolkata Municipal Corporation supplies the city with potable water that is sourced from the Hooghly River 148 most of it is treated and purified at the Palta pumping station located in North 24 Parganas district 149 failed verification Roughly 95 of the 4 000 tonnes of refuse produced daily by the city is transported to the dumping grounds in Dhapa which is east of the town 150 151 To promote the recycling of garbage and sewer water agriculture is encouraged on the dumping grounds 152 Parts of the city lack proper sewerage leading to unsanitary methods of waste disposal 81 In 1856 the Bengal Government appointed George Turnbull to be the Commissioner of Drainage and Sewerage to improve the city s sewerage Turnbull s main job was to be the Chief Engineer of the East Indian Railway Company responsible for building the first railway 541 miles from Howrah to Varanasi then Benares Electricity is supplied by the privately operated Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation or CESC to the city proper the West Bengal State Electricity Board supplies it in the suburbs 153 154 Fire services are handled by the West Bengal Fire Service a state agency 155 As of 2012 update the city had 16 fire stations 156 State owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited or BSNL as well as private enterprises among them Vodafone Bharti Airtel Reliance Idea Cellular Aircel Tata DoCoMo Tata Teleservices Virgin Mobile and MTS India are the leading telephone and cell phone service providers in the city 157 25 26 179 with Kolkata being the first city in India to have cell phone and 4G connectivity the GSM and CDMA cellular coverage is extensive 158 159 As of 2010 update Kolkata has 7 percent of the total Broadband internet consumers in India BSNL VSNL Tata Indicom Sify Airtel and Reliance are among the main vendors 160 161 Military and diplomatic establishments The Eastern Command of the Indian Army is based in the city Being one of India s major city and the largest city in eastern and north eastern India Kolkata hosts diplomatic missions of many countries such as Australia Bangladesh Bhutan Canada People s Republic of China France Germany Italy Japan Myanmar Nepal Russia Sri Lanka Switzerland Thailand United Kingdom and United States The U S Consulate in Kolkata is the US Department of State s second oldest Consulate and dates from 19 November 1792 162 The Diplomatic representation of more than 65 Countries and International Organization is present in Kolkata as Consulate office honorary Consulate office Cultural Centre Deputy High Commission and Economic section and Trade Representation office 163 TransportMain article Transport in Kolkata The Kolkata Tram is the oldest operating electric tram system in Asia Public transport is provided by the Kolkata Suburban Railway the Kolkata Metro trams rickshaws taxis and buses The suburban rail network connects the city s distant suburbs The Kolkata Metro is the oldest rapid transit system in India According to a 2013 survey conducted by the International Association of Public Transport in terms of a public transport system Kolkata ranks among the top of the six Indian cities surveyed 164 165 The Kolkata Metro in operation since 1984 is the oldest underground mass transit system in India 166 It spans the north south length of the city In 2020 part of the Second line was inaugurated to cover part of Salt Lake This east west line will connect Salt Lake with Howrah The 2 lines cover a distance of 33 02 km 21 mi As of 2020 update four Metro rail lines were under construction 167 The Kolkata Suburban Railway is the busiest commuter rail system in India Kolkata has five long distance railway stations located at Howrah the largest railway complex in India Sealdah Chitpur Shalimar and Santragachi which connect Kolkata by rail to most cities in West Bengal and to other major cities in India 168 The city serves as the headquarters of three railway Zone out of Eighteen of the Indian Railways regional divisions the Kolkata Metro Railways Eastern Railway and the South Eastern Railway 169 Kolkata has rail and road connectivity with Dhaka the capital of Bangladesh 170 171 172 The yellow taxi remains a favourite despite the foray of rideshare companies in the transport market Buses which are the most commonly used mode of transport are run by government agencies and private operators 173 Kolkata is the only Indian city with a tram network which is operated by the Calcutta Tramways Company 174 The slow moving tram services are restricted to certain areas of the city Water logging caused by heavy rains during the summer monsoon sometimes interrupt transportation networks 175 176 Hired public conveyances include auto rickshaws which often ply specific routes and yellow metered taxis Almost all of Kolkata s taxis are antiquated Hindustan Ambassadors by make newer air conditioned radio taxis are in service as well 177 178 In parts of the city cycle rickshaws and hand pulled rickshaws are patronised by the public for short trips 179 A road in Kolkata showing bus and cars There are other modes of transport available such as taxi or cab tram metro auto rikshaw rikshaw and ferry or water taxi Due to its diverse and abundant public transportation privately owned vehicles are not as common in Kolkata as in other major Indian cities 180 The city has witnessed a steady increase in the number of registered vehicles 2002 data showed an increase of 44 over a period of seven years 181 As of 2004 update after adjusting for population density the city s road space was only 6 compared to 23 in Delhi and 17 in Mumbai 182 The Kolkata Metro has somewhat eased traffic congestion as has the addition of new roads and flyovers Agencies operating long distance bus services include the Calcutta State Transport Corporation the South Bengal State Transport Corporation the North Bengal State Transport Corporation and various private operators The city s main bus terminals are located at Esplanade and Babughat 183 The Kolkata Delhi and Kolkata Chennai prongs of the Golden Quadrilateral and National Highway 12 start from the city 184 The terminal of the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport located in Dum Dum about 16 km 9 9 mi north east of the city centre operates domestic and international flights In 2013 the airport was upgraded to handle increased air traffic 185 186 Khidirpore Dock of Kolkata Port Trust The Port of Kolkata established in 1870 is India s oldest and the only major river port 187 The Kolkata Port Trust manages docks in Kolkata and Haldia 188 The port hosts passenger services to Port Blair capital of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands freighter service to ports throughout India and around the world is operated by the Shipping Corporation of India 187 189 Ferry services connect Kolkata with its twin city of Howrah located across the Hooghly River 190 191 HealthcareSee also Health care in Kolkata Calcutta Medical College the second institution in Asia to teach modern medicine after Ecole de Medicine de Pondichery As of 2011 update the health care system in Kolkata consists of 48 government hospitals mostly under the Department of Health amp Family Welfare Government of West Bengal and 366 private medical establishments 192 these establishments provide the city with 27 687 hospital beds 192 For every 10 000 people in the city there are 61 7 hospital beds 193 which is higher than the national average of 9 hospital beds per 10 000 194 Ten medical and dental colleges are located in the Kolkata metropolitan area which act as tertiary referral hospitals in the state 195 196 The Calcutta Medical College founded in 1835 was the first institution in Asia to teach modern medicine 197 However These facilities are inadequate to meet the healthcare needs of the city 198 199 200 More than 78 in Kolkata prefer the private medical sector over the public medical sector 133 109 due to the overburdening of the public health sector the lack of a nearby facility and excessive waiting times at government facilities 133 61 According to the Indian 2005 National Family Health Survey only a small proportion of Kolkata households were covered under any health scheme or health insurance 133 41 The total fertility rate in Kolkata was 1 4 the lowest among the eight cities surveyed 133 45 In Kolkata 77 of the married women used contraceptives which was the highest among the cities surveyed but use of modern contraceptive methods was the lowest 46 133 47 The infant mortality rate in Kolkata was 41 per 1 000 live births and the mortality rate for children under five was 49 per 1 000 live births 133 48 IPGMER and SSKM Hospital largest hospital in West Bengal and one of the oldest in Kolkata Among the surveyed cities Kolkata stood second 5 for children who had not had any vaccinations under the Universal Immunization Programme as of 2005 update 133 48 Kolkata ranked second with access to an anganwadi centre under the Integrated Child Development Services ICDS programme for 57 of the children between 0 and 71 months 133 51 The proportion of malnourished anaemic and underweight children in Kolkata was less in comparison to other surveyed cities 133 54 55 About 18 of the men and 30 of the women in Kolkata are obese the majority of them belonging to the non poor strata of society 133 105 In 2005 Kolkata had the highest percentage 55 among the surveyed cities of anaemic women while 20 of the men in Kolkata were anaemic 133 56 57 Diseases like diabetes asthma goitre and other thyroid disorders were found in large numbers of people 133 57 59 Tropical diseases like malaria dengue and chikungunya are prevalent in Kolkata though their incidence is decreasing 201 202 Kolkata is one of the districts in India with a high number of people with AIDS it has been designated a district prone to high risk 203 204 As of 2014 because of higher air pollution the life expectancy of a person born in the city is four years fewer than in the suburbs 205 EducationMain article Education in Kolkata Indian Institute of Management Calcutta Kolkata s schools are run by the state government or private organisations many of which are religious Bengali and English are the primary languages of instruction Urdu and Hindi are also used particularly in central Kolkata 206 207 Schools in Kolkata follow the 10 2 3 plan After completing their secondary education students typically enroll in schools that have a higher secondary facility and are affiliated with the West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Education the ICSE or the CBSE 206 They usually choose a focus on liberal arts business or science Vocational programs are also available 206 Some Kolkata schools for example South Point School La Martiniere Calcutta Calcutta Boys School St James School Kolkata St Xavier s Collegiate School and Loreto House have been ranked amongst the best schools in the country 208 Indian Institute of Foreign Trade As of 2010 update the Kolkata urban agglomeration is home to 14 universities run by the state government 209 The colleges are each affiliated with a university or institution based either in Kolkata or elsewhere in India Aliah University which was founded in 1780 as Mohammedan College of Calcutta is the oldest post secondary educational institution of the city 210 The University of Calcutta founded in 1857 is the first modern university in South Asia 211 Presidency College Kolkata formerly Hindu College between 1817 and 1855 founded in 1855 was one of the oldest colleges in India It was affiliated with the University of Calcutta until 2010 when it was converted to Presidency University Kolkata in 2010 Bengal Engineering and Science University BESU is the second oldest engineering institution of the country located in Howrah 212 An Institute of National Importance BESU was converted to India s first IIEST Jadavpur University is known for its arts science and engineering faculties 213 The Indian Institute of Management Calcutta which was the first of the Indian Institutes of Management was established in 1961 at Joka a locality in the south western suburbs Kolkata also houses the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade which was started here in the year 2006 214 West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences The West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences is one of India s autonomous law schools 215 216 and the Indian Statistical Institute is a public research institute and university State owned Maulana Abul Kalam Azad University of Technology West Bengal MAKAUT WB formerly West Bengal University of Technology WBUT is the largest Technological University in terms of student enrollment and number of Institutions affiliated by it Private institutions include the Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda Educational and Research Institute and University of Engineering amp Management UEM Presidency University Kolkata Notable scholars who were born worked or studied in Kolkata include physicists Satyendra Nath Bose Meghnad Saha 217 and Jagadish Chandra Bose 218 chemist Prafulla Chandra Roy 217 statisticians Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis and Anil Kumar Gain 217 physician Upendranath Brahmachari 217 educator Ashutosh Mukherjee 219 and Nobel laureates Rabindranath Tagore 220 C V Raman 218 and Amartya Sen 221 Aerial view of the Amity University Kolkata Kolkata houses many research institutes like Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science IACS Indian Institute of Chemical Biology IICB Indian Institute of Science Education and Research IISER Bose Institute Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics SINP Centre for Studies in Social Sciences Calcutta All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health Central Glass and Ceramic Research Institute CGCRI S N Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences SNBNCBS Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management IISWBM National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research Kolkata Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre VECC and Indian Centre for Space Physics Nobel laureate Sir C V Raman did his groundbreaking work in Raman effect in IACS CultureMain article Culture of Kolkata Victoria Memorial at night Kolkata is known for its literary artistic and revolutionary heritage as the former capital of India it was the birthplace of modern Indian literary and artistic thought 222 Kolkata has been called the City of Furious Creative Energy 223 as well as the cultural or literary capital of India 224 225 The presence of paras which are neighbourhoods that possess a strong sense of community is characteristic of the city 226 Typically each para has its own community club and on occasion a playing field 226 Residents engage in addas or leisurely chats that often take the form of freestyle intellectual conversation 227 228 The city has a tradition of political graffiti depicting everything from outrageous slander to witty banter and limericks caricatures and propaganda 229 230 Indian Museum is the oldest and one of the largest museums in India Kolkata has many buildings adorned with Indo Islamic and Indo Saracenic architectural motifs Several well maintained major buildings from the colonial period have been declared heritage structures 231 others are in various stages of decay 232 233 Established in 1814 as the nation s oldest museum the Indian Museum houses large collections that showcase Indian natural history and Indian art 234 Marble Palace is a classic example of a European mansion that was built in the city The Victoria Memorial a place of interest in Kolkata has a museum documenting the city s history The National Library of India is the leading public library in the country while Science City is the largest science centre in the Indian subcontinent 235 National Library of India The popularity of commercial theatres in the city has declined since the 1980s 236 99 237 Group theatres of Kolkata a cultural movement that started in the 1940s contrasting with the then popular commercial theatres are theatres that are not professional or commercial and are centres of various experiments in theme content and production 238 group theatres use the proscenium stage to highlight socially relevant messages 236 99 239 Chitpur locality of the city houses multiple production companies of jatra a tradition of folk drama popular in rural Bengal 240 241 Kolkata is the home of the Bengali cinema industry dubbed Tollywood for Tollygunj where most of the state s film studios are located 242 Its long tradition of art films includes globally acclaimed film directors such as Academy Award winning director Satyajit Ray Ritwik Ghatak Mrinal Sen Tapan Sinha and contemporary directors such as Aparna Sen Buddhadeb Dasgupta Goutam Ghose and Rituparno Ghosh 243 During the 19th and 20th centuries Bengali literature was modernised through the works of authors such as Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay Michael Madhusudan Dutt Rabindranath Tagore Kazi Nazrul Islam and Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay 244 Coupled with social reforms led by Ram Mohan Roy Swami Vivekananda and others this constituted a major part of the Bengal Renaissance 245 The middle and latter parts of the 20th century witnessed the arrival of post modernism as well as literary movements such as those espoused by the Kallol movement hungryalists and the little magazines 246 Large majority of publishers of the city is concentrated in and around College Street a half mile of bookshops and bookstalls spilling over onto the pavement selling new and used books 247 Making of Durga idol in Kumartuli Kolkata A murti or representation of the goddess Durga shown during the Durga Puja festival Kalighat painting originated in 19th century Kolkata as a local style that reflected a variety of themes including mythology and quotidian life 248 The Government College of Art and Craft founded in 1864 has been the cradle as well as workplace of eminent artists including Abanindranath Tagore Jamini Roy and Nandalal Bose 249 The art college was the birthplace of the Bengal school of art that arose as an avant garde and nationalist movement reacting against the prevalent academic art styles in the early 20th century 250 251 The Academy of Fine Arts and other art galleries hold regular art exhibitions The city is recognised for its appreciation of Rabindra sangeet songs written by Rabindranath Tagore and Indian classical music with important concerts and recitals such as Dover Lane Music Conference being held throughout the year Bengali popular music including baul folk ballads kirtans and Gajan festival music and modern music including Bengali language adhunik songs 252 253 Since the early 1990s new genres have emerged including one comprising alternative folk rock Bengali bands 252 Another new style jibonmukhi gaan songs about life is based on realism 236 105 Sandesh a typical Bengali sweet made from chhena Key elements of Kolkata s cuisine include rice and a fish curry known as machher jhol 254 which can be accompanied by desserts such as roshogolla sandesh and a sweet yoghurt known as mishti dohi Bengal s large repertoire of seafood dishes includes various preparations of ilish a fish that is a favourite among Calcuttans Street foods such as beguni fried battered eggplant slices kati roll flatbread roll with vegetable or chicken mutton or egg stuffing phuchka a deep fried crepe with tamarind sauce and Indian Chinese cuisine from Chinatown are popular 255 256 257 258 Dance accompanied by Rabindra Sangeet a music genre started by Rabindranath Tagore Though Bengali women traditionally wear the sari the shalwar kameez and Western attire is gaining acceptance among younger women 259 Western style dress has greater acceptance among men although the traditional dhoti and kurta are seen during festivals Durga Puja held in September October is Kolkata s most important and largest festival it is an occasion for glamorous celebrations and artistic decorations 260 261 The Bengali New Year known as Poila Boishak as well as the harvest festival of Poush Parbon are among the city s other festivals also celebrated are Kali Puja Diwali Holi Jagaddhatri Puja Saraswati Puja Rathayatra Janmashtami Maha Shivratri Vishwakarma Puja Lakshmi Puja Ganesh Chathurthi Makar Sankranti Gajan Kalpataru Day Bhai Phonta Maghotsab Eid Muharram Christmas Buddha Purnima and Mahavir Jayanti Cultural events include the Rabindra Jayanti Independence Day 15 August Republic Day 26 January Kolkata Book Fair the Dover Lane Music Festival the Kolkata Film Festival Nandikar s National Theatre Festival Statesman Vintage amp Classic Car Rally and Gandhi Jayanti MediaSee also Kolkata in the media and List of Bengali language television channels Akashvani Bhawan the head office of state owned All India Radio Kolkata The first newspaper in India the Bengal Gazette started publishing from the city in 1780 262 Among Kolkata s widely circulated Bengali language newspapers are Anandabazar Patrika Bartaman Ei Samay Sangbadpatra Sangbad Pratidin Aajkaal Dainik Statesman and Ganashakti 263 The Statesman and The Telegraph are two major English language newspapers that are produced and published from Kolkata Other popular English language newspapers published and sold in Kolkata include The Times of India Hindustan Times The Hindu The Indian Express and the Asian Age 263 As the largest trading centre in East India Kolkata has several high circulation financial dailies including The Economic Times The Financial Express Business Line and Business Standard 263 264 Vernacular newspapers such as those in the Hindi Urdu Gujarati Odia Punjabi and Chinese languages are read by minorities 122 263 Major periodicals based in Kolkata include Desh Sananda Saptahik Bartaman Unish Kuri Anandalok and Anandamela 263 Historically Kolkata has been the centre of the Bengali little magazine movement 265 266 All India Radio the national state owned radio broadcaster airs several AM radio stations in the city Kolkata has 10 local radio stations broadcasting on FM including three from AIR India s state owned television broadcaster Doordarshan provides two free to air terrestrial channels 267 while a mix of Bengali Hindi English and other regional channels are accessible via cable subscription direct broadcast satellite services or internet based television 268 269 270 Bengali language 24 hour television news channels include ABP Ananda News18 Bangla Kolkata TV Zee 24 Ghanta TV9 Bangla and Republic Bangla 271 SportsSee also Football in Kolkata Kolkata Marathon and Kolkata derby Salt Lake Stadium on a matchday of the 2017 FIFA U 17 World Cup The most popular sports in Kolkata are football and cricket Unlike most parts of India the residents show significant passion for football 272 The city is home to top national football clubs such as Mohun Bagan A C East Bengal F C and the Mohammedan Sporting Club 273 274 Calcutta Football League which was started in 1898 is the oldest football league in Asia 275 Mohun Bagan A C one of the oldest football clubs in Asia is the only organisation to be dubbed a National Club of India 276 277 Football matches between Mohun Bagan and East Bengal dubbed as the Kolkata derby witness large audience attendance and rivalry between patrons 278 The multi use Salt Lake Stadium also known as Yuva Bharati Krirangan is India s second largest stadium by seating capacity Most matches of the 2017 FIFA U 17 World Cup were played in the Salt Lake Stadium including both Semi final matches and the Final match Kolkata also accounted for 45 of total attendance in 2017 FIFA U 17 World Cup with an average of 55 345 spectators 279 The Calcutta Cricket and Football Club is the second oldest cricket club in the world 280 281 First day and night test match in India between India and Bangladesh at the Eden gardens As in the rest of India cricket is popular in Kolkata and is played on grounds and in streets throughout the city 282 283 Kolkata has the Indian Premier League franchise Kolkata Knight Riders the Cricket Association of Bengal which regulates cricket in West Bengal is also based in the city Kolkata also has an Indian Super League Club known as Atletico de Kolkata Tournaments especially those involving cricket football badminton and carrom are regularly organised on an inter locality or inter club basis 226 The Maidan a vast field that serves as the city s largest park hosts several minor football and cricket clubs and coaching institutes 284 Eden Gardens which has a capacity of 80 000 as of 2017 update 285 hosted the final match of the 1987 Cricket World Cup It is home to the Bengal cricket team and the Kolkata Knight Riders Kolkata s Netaji Indoor Stadium served as host of the 1981 Asian Basketball Championship where India s national basketball team finished 5th ahead of teams that belong to Asia s basketball elite such as Iran The city has three 18 hole golf courses The oldest is at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club the first golf club built outside the United Kingdom 286 287 The other two are located at the Tollygunge Club and at Fort William The Royal Calcutta Turf Club hosts horse racing and polo matches 288 The Calcutta Polo Club is considered the oldest extant polo club in the world 289 290 291 The Calcutta Racket Club is a squash and racquet club in Kolkata It was founded in 1793 making it one of the oldest rackets clubs in the world and the first in the Indian subcontinent 292 293 The Calcutta South Club is a venue for national and international tennis tournaments it held the first grass court national championship in 1946 294 295 In the period 2005 2007 Sunfeast Open a tier III tournament on the Women s Tennis Association circuit was held in the Netaji Indoor Stadium it has since been discontinued 296 297 The Calcutta Rowing Club hosts rowing heats and training events Kolkata considered the leading centre of rugby union in India gives its name to the oldest international tournament in rugby union the Calcutta Cup 298 299 300 The Automobile Association of Eastern India established in 1904 301 302 and the Bengal Motor Sports Club are involved in promoting motor sports and car rallies in Kolkata and West Bengal 303 304 The Beighton Cup an event organised by the Bengal Hockey Association and first played in 1895 is India s oldest field hockey tournament it is usually held on the Mohun Bagan Ground of the Maidan 305 306 Athletes from Kolkata include Sourav Ganguly Pankaj Roy and Jhulan Goswami who are former captains of the Indian national cricket team Olympic tennis bronze medalist Leander Paes golfer Arjun Atwal and former footballers Sailen Manna Chuni Goswami P K Banerjee and Subrata Bhattacharya Sister citiesSee also List of twin towns and sister cities in India Dhaka Bangladesh 307 Kunming China October 2013 307 308 Thessaloniki Greece 21 January 2005 307 309 Naples Italy 307 Karachi Pakistan 310 Incheon South Korea 307 311 Odessa Ukraine 307 312 Jersey City New Jersey United States 307 Long Beach California United States 307 Dallas Texas United States 307 See alsoList of children s museums in India List of people from Kolkata West BengalReferences a b India Calcutta the capital of culture Telegraph telegraph co uk Archived from the original on 2 January 2016 Retrieved 25 July 2016 Kolkata remains cultural capital of India Amitabh Bachchan Latest News amp Updates at Daily News amp Analysis 10 November 2012 Archived from the original on 25 June 2017 Retrieved 25 November 2016 Foundation of Kolkata Museum of 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