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Calcutta Travel Guide

Calcutta History



In 1686, British East India Company arrived to the place where today is Calcutta, , the historical documentation say that in this point is begin the history of the city, but the resents discoveries provides evidence that the city has been inhabited for more than two millennia.

Job Charnock who was English merchant founded the city in 1690, the villages Sutanuti, Gobindapur and Kalikata were bought by the British and was unified to start a new city called Calcutta, the site was carefully selected because it was protected for the river, lakes and creek, and it was nearby from the sea, then the British built a post out of the three villages, where years latest they constructing the Fort William, it was completed in 1699, which was a regional base, and encampment of the British troops. The same year East India Company declared to Calcutta a Presidency City.

Calcutta was under control of the directors of the EIC in 1707, separate of the country, and in 1717 Mughal emperor Farrukh-siyar granted the East India Company freedom of trade in return for a yearly payment of 3,000 rupees. Then the city became in important port and trading centre.

In 1756, Frenches forces frequently were attacking, for this incident the Britishs began to upgrade their fortifications. Nawab-of-Bengal-Siraj-Ud-Daulah protests many times for the British armament, then he attack and captured the Fort William, this event was called incident of the Black Hole. British forces led by Robert Clive recaptured the Fort one year later. 1772 Calcutta was declared capital of the British India when first governor general Warren Hastings transferred important offices from Murshidabad.

In 18th century, Calcutta became in trade centre of India, public architecture were built naming the city like “The City of Palaces”, and giving advanced education. Calcutta was the centre of the Bengal Renaissance, then many revolutionary movements start in the city, and Calcutta became on the center of Indian independence movement. First movement was conduced by Mangal Pandey who shot his senior officer, it event was known how Sepoy Mutiny, but the British assumed completely control of India, then Calcutta was declared like the Imperial Capital.

The Governor General Lord Curzon partitioned Bengal, on October 16, 1905, to calm the strong national awakening, but Calcutta instead became in the centre of Indian independence. In 1911 the capital of India was taken to Delhi city, and the partition was revoked.

The city was bombed twice during World War II, in 1943, during Bengal famine, many Bengalis starved. More than 2,000 people death in large communal violence for demands of creation a Muslim state, this episode created shift demographics and the partition of the Country.

In 1980s Calcutta has been a strong base of Indian communism, there was elected democratically a Communist government. In 1990, the economic reforms in India recovered the economy in the city. Information Technology services revitalized the weak economy of the city. Calcutta was officially renamed Kolkata in 2001.


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