city of love and
warmth, sorrow and despair, dreams and hopes, poverty and squalor, grandeur and glory.
Calcutta is compelling , effervescent, teeming with life and traditions - a medley of
moods, styles, cultures, politics, industry and commerce.More than 300 years ago, Job
Charnock, an English tradesman set up a trading post on the banks of the Ganga along the
three-village nucleus. Gradually Europeans started setting up business and trade
establishments, the moneyed class taking interest in banking and usury. The East India
Company steadily encroached into matters of state.The fate of the Nawabi rule was sealed
in the Battle of Plassey and the English went ahead to seize power, a grip which loosened
only 250 years later when power was transferred from the British Empire to the Indians.
Independent India has crossed 50 years and these five decades have seen many miracles.
Calcutta has grown, remains a city of contrasts, a mix-up of light and shade, a strange
medley of ancient and modern, skyscrapers and Victorian edifices, haven of the rich and
the poor as seldom found anywhere in the world. There is so much to see in this incredible city. A million people from every
corner of India stream across the massive Howrah Bridge, swarm around the Hooghly river,
flock along the busy avenues, through its narrow lanes. Then you arrive at the great
expanse of the Maidan, the heart of Calcutta.Fort William, Victoria Memorial, Raj Bhavan,
Palladian villas and the Botanical Gardens, the busy streets of Shyambazar, College Street
and Kalighat, bookshops, art galleries, coffee houses - all are part of Calcutta's varied
and vibrant shades, the birthplace of Rabindranath Tagore and cradle of the Indian
Renaissance.Calcutta's fascination defies analysis. It is an addiction, an affair of the
mind and heart. Anyone who has lived here can never be happy anywhere else in the world...
million (1991 census)
Altitude: 5.8 above
mean sea level
Area: 187 sq km
Climate: Max Minimum
Summer: 41.7 C 38.1 C
Winter: 29.3 C 9.6 C
Rainfall: 158 cm (June
Season: Throughout the