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India: see KolkataKolkata
, formerly Calcutta
, city (1991 pop. 10,916,272), capital of West Bengal state, E India, on the Hugli River. It is the second largest city in India and one of the largest in the world.
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a city in India located in the Ganges River delta, on the Hooghly River, one of the Ganges’ distributaries, at a distance of 140 km from the shore of the Bay of Bengal. It is one of the country’s most important economic and cultural centers and also the administrative center of the state of West Bengal.

The historical center of Calcutta is its fortress, Fort William (constructed in the 18th century), on the eastern bank, in Mai-dan Park. The fortress divides the city into two parts: in one there are the European quarters, with mansions, government buildings, and a university; in the other there are industrial and commercial enterprises and the workers’ quarters.

Calcutta proper (with a population of 3.1 million in 1971) is the core of a large conurbation that continues to grow rapidly. By 1971, Greater Calcutta, with an area of 425 sq km and a population of 7 million, had the largest population of any city in the country. This conurbation includes several dozen cities (among them Howrah, which is connected with Calcutta by a bridge, Behala, Bhatpara, Garden Reach, Kamarhati, and Baranagar) that are merging into a narrow belt for a distance of 100 km (3-4 to 15-20 km in width) along both banks of the Hooghly. Greater Calcutta is the most important center in India for migrants, who come pouring into the city in search of work. Native inhabitants are less than half of the population. More than one-third of Calcutta’s population is non-Bengali—these people are mainly Bihari, but also Hindustani, Oriya, Rajas-thani, Telugu, and Punjabi.

Calcutta was founded by the British East India Company in 1690; the city was built around the company’s trading post and Fort William. From 1773 to 1911, Calcutta was the principal center of British colonial administration in India. (From December 1911 until 1947 the center was Delhi.) Calcutta was the chief port through which British colonial trade was carried on with India. In the mid-19th century, large factories (primarily jute factories) and plants were built. Calcutta became an important center of the workers’ and left-wing democratic movement. The workers of Calcutta played a large role in the national liberation struggle, which led to India’s winning independence in 1947.

Calcutta’s exceptionally favorable economic-geographic location (as the focus of the territory of the Ganges basin) has fostered the overall economic growth of the city. Calcutta is a transportation terminus and the country’s second largest seaport, after Bombay (in exports it occupies first place), with a cargo turnover of 9-10 million tons. The satellite port of Haldia was built in 1970 on the Hooghly River below Calcutta. There is an international airport at Dumdum.

The main branch of industry in Greater Calcutta is jute production (nine-tenths of the total Indian production and almost half of the world output). Metalworking and various kinds of machine building have also developed (approximately one-fourth of India’s total output, including the production of industrial equipment, electrical instrument building, shipbuilding and ship repair, and the manufacture and assembly of automobiles, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles, and machine tools). There is also production of plastic and rubber articles, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, dyes, paints, cotton textiles, knitwear, glass, and leather footwear. There is a printing industry and a diverse food-processing industry. Calcutta is a major scientific and cultural center. It has numerous educational institutions, including a university and a number of other higher educational facilities. Scientific research institutions include the Indian Statistical Institute. The National Library (founded in 1902) has more than 1.2 million volumes; there is also the Indian Museum (1814) and the Victoria Museum (1906). On the bank of the Hooghly River in Howrah there is a botanical garden.



a port in E India, capital of West Bengal state, on the Hooghly River: former capital of the country (1833--1912); major commercial and industrial centre; three universities. Pop.: 4 580 544 (2001)
References in periodicals archive ?
After this promising start, Barnard Messink ascended high on the ladder of Calcutta theatricals.
GOAL is working to improve their lives, to help the families who move to Calcutta in the desperate hope of trying to improve their lives who only end up in the slums.
Marshall, "British Society in India under the East India Company," Modern Asian Studies 31 (1997): 89-108; and "The White Town of Calcutta Under the Rule of the East India Company," Modern Asian Studies 34 (2000): 307-31.
Do we see Zana Briski as the only loving adult in the Calcutta children's world, or do we recognize the circumstances that force mothers into prostitution and into desperate attempts to keep their children, the only source of unconditional love, out of boarding school?
Then came Lord Curzon, who not only rebuilt the Black Hole memorial but added a fresh list of English names from those who died during the siege or Calcutta in 1756 onto the tablet, thereby reinforcing the myth.
In writing his fourth novel, A New World, Chaudhuri seems to have remained true to his critical principles: The result is not quite likely to make readers in Calcutta swoon but a novel that is as much an attempt to capture the macrocosm of India in a microcosm as it is an attempt to carry on a particular vernacular tradition in English.
BRITISH-based jockeys riding in India were out of luck in Sunday's Calcutta 2,000 Guineas, with Fergal Lynch doing best to finish third on Daggers Drawn.
Keyed around the grudging, up-and-down friendship between Sanaka (Sen) and her daughter-in-law, Paromita (Rituparna Sengupta), in the latter's sprawling North Calcutta home over 14 years, story encompasses the challenges of Sanaka's schizophrenic daughter, Khuku (newcomer Sailee Sengupta), the death of her husband and the disintegration of Paromita's arranged marriage after giving birth to a boy with cerebral palsy.
The eastern Indian city of Calcutta, once the capital of British India, will be renamed Kolkata next month following the adoption Tuesday of a motion on the change by the West Bengal state assembly, officials said Wednesday.
The author takes us to crowded festivals in Nepal Calcutta, and Rio, celebrating the compassionate goddesses whose tales she intersperses with her physical travels to their shrines.
I was fortunate to be sent to Calcutta by my newspaper for Mother Teresa's funeral.

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