Kolkata in India

Monday, 4 September 2017 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General
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South City Mall © Kolkatan/cc-by-sa-3.0

South City Mall © Kolkatan/cc-by-sa-3.0

Kolkata, also known as Calcutta, the official name until 2001, is the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal. Located on the east bank of the Hooghly River, it is the principal commercial, cultural, and educational centre of East India, while the Port of Kolkata is India’s oldest operating port and its sole major riverine port. In 2011, the city had a population of 4.5 million, while the population of the city and its suburbs was 14.1 million, making it the third-most populous metropolitan area in India. Kolkata Metropolitan Area‘s economy has been estimated at up to $150 billion (GDP adjusted for purchasing power parity) making it third most-productive metropolitan area in India, after Mumbai and Delhi.

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. 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 Nizamat (local 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, when its perceived geographical disadvantages, combined with growing nationalism in Bengal, led to a shift of the capital to New Delhi. Calcutta was the centre for the Indian independence movement; it remains a hotbed of contemporary state politics. Following Indian independence in 1947, Kolkata, which was once the centre of modern Indian education, science, culture, and politics, suffered several decades of economic stagnation.

Queen Victoria Memorial Hall © KenWalker/cc-by-sa-4.0 University of Calcutta © Biswarup Ganguly/cc-by-sa-3.0 Calcutta High Court © flickr.com - Avrajyoti Mitra/cc-by-sa-2.0 Dakshineswar Kali Temple © flickr.com - Nikkul/cc-by-sa-2.0 Indian Museum © njanam92/cc-by-sa-3.0 National Library of India © flickr.com - Avrajyoti Mitra/cc-by-sa-2.0 © Axel Boldt South City Mall © Kolkatan/cc-by-sa-3.0 Traffic in Calcutta © Arne Hückelheim/cc-by-sa-3.0
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National Library of India © flickr.com - Avrajyoti Mitra/cc-by-sa-2.0
As a nucleus of the 19th- and early 20th-century Bengal Renaissance and a religiously and ethnically diverse centre of culture in Bengal and India, Kolkata has local traditions in drama, art, film, theatre, and literature. Many people from Kolkata—among them several Nobel laureates—have contributed to the arts, the sciences, and other areas. Kolkata culture features idiosyncrasies that include distinctively close-knit neighbourhoods (paras) and freestyle intellectual exchanges (adda). West Bengal’s share of the Bengali film industry is based in the city, which also hosts venerable cultural institutions of national importance, such as the Academy of Fine Arts, the Victoria Memorial, the Asiatic Society, the Indian Museum and the National Library of India. Among professional 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. Though home to major cricketing venues and franchises, Kolkata differs from other Indian cities by giving importance to association football and other sports.

Kolkata is the main 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 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.

Read more on City of Kolkata, LonelyPlanet.com – Kolkata, Taj Bengal Hotel, South City Mall, Wikitravel Kolkata, Wikivoyage Kolkata und Wikipedia Kolkata (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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