Clockwise from top: Victoria Memorial, St. Paul's Cathedral, Central Business District, Howrah Bridge, City Tram Line, Vidyasagar Bridge
Clockwise from top: Victoria Memorial, St. Paul's Cathedral, Central Business District, Howrah Bridge, City Tram Line, Vidyasagar Bridge
City of Joy
Cultural Capital of India[1][2][3]
Kolkata is located in West Bengal
Location of Kolkata in West Bengal, India
Kolkata is located in India
Kolkata (India)
Kolkata is located in Asia
Kolkata (Asia)
Kolkata is located in Earth
Kolkata (Earth)
Coordinates: 22°34′21″N 88°21′50″E / 22°34′21″N 88°21′50″E / 22.5726; 88.3639
  1. ^ The Kolkata metropolitan area also includes portions of North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas, Howrah, Nadia, and Hooghly districts. See: Urban structure.

Kolkata ə/ ([kolkata] (About this soundlisten), also known as Calcutta ə/, the official name until 2001) is the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal. Located on the east bank of the Hooghly River approximately 75 kilometres (47 mi) west of the border with Bangladesh, 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. The city is widely regarded as the "cultural capital" of India, and is also nicknamed the "City of Joy".[1][2][3] According to the 2011 Indian census, it is the seventh most populous city; the city had a population of 4.5 million, while the suburb population brought the total to 14.1 million, making it the third-most populous metropolitan area in India. Recent estimates of Kolkata Metropolitan Area's economy have ranged from $60 to $150 billion (GDP adjusted for purchasing power parity) making it third most-productive metropolitan area in India, after Mumbai and Delhi.[11][12][13]

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,[15] 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.

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.


The word Kolkata derives from the Bengali term Kôlikata (Bengali: কলিকাতা) [ˈkɔlikat̪a], the name of one of three villages that predated the arrival of the British, in the area where the city eventually was to be established; the other two villages were Sutanuti and Govindapur.[16]

There are several explanations about the etymology of this name:

  • The term Kolikata is thought to be a variation of Kalikkhetrô [ˈkalikʰːet̪rɔ] (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.[17]
  • Alternatively, the name may have been derived from the Bengali term kilkila (Bengali: কিলকিলা), or "flat area".[18]
  • The name may have its origin in the words khal [ˈkʰal] (Bengali: খাল) meaning "canal", followed by kaṭa [ˈkata] (Bengali: কাটা), which may mean "dug".[19]
  • According to another theory, the area specialised in the production of quicklime or koli chun [ˈkɔlitɕun] (Bengali: কলি চুন) and coir or kata [ˈkat̪a] (Bengali: কাতা); hence, it was called Kolikata [ˈkɔlikat̪a] (Bengali: কলিকাতা).[18]

Although the city's name has always been pronounced Kolkata [ˈkolkat̪a] (Bengali: কলকাতা) or Kôlikata [ˈkɔlikat̪a] (Bengali: কলিকাতা) in Bengali, the anglicised form Calcutta was the official name until 2001, when it was changed to Kolkata in order to match Bengali pronunciation.[20] (It should be noted that "Calcutt" is an etymologically unrelated place name found at several locations in England.)

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Kolkata
Alemannisch: Kalkutta
አማርኛ: ኮልካታ
Ænglisc: Caligardamana
العربية: كلكتا
aragonés: Calcuta
অসমীয়া: কলকাতা
asturianu: Calcuta
Avañe'ẽ: Kalkuta
azərbaycanca: Kəlkətə
تۆرکجه: کلکته
বাংলা: কলকাতা
Bân-lâm-gú: Calcutta
башҡортса: Калькутта
беларуская: Калькута
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Калката
भोजपुरी: कोलकाता
български: Колката
བོད་ཡིག: ཀ་ལི་ཀུ་ཏ
bosanski: Kolkata
brezhoneg: Kolkata
буряад: Калькутта
català: Calcuta
čeština: Kalkata
Chi-Chewa: Kolkata
corsu: Calcutta
Cymraeg: Kolkata
dansk: Kolkata
Deutsch: Kalkutta
dolnoserbski: Kalkuta
डोटेली: कोलकाता
eesti: Kolkata
Ελληνικά: Καλκούτα
español: Calcuta
Esperanto: Kolkato
estremeñu: Calcuta
euskara: Kalkuta
فارسی: کلکته
Fiji Hindi: Kolkata
føroyskt: Kolkata
français: Calcutta
Frysk: Kolkata
Gaeilge: Calcúta
Gàidhlig: Kolkata
galego: Calcuta
ГӀалгӀай: Калькутта
贛語: 加爾各答
ગુજરાતી: કોલકાતા
गोंयची कोंकणी / Gõychi Konknni: कलकत्ता
한국어: 콜카타
Hausa: Kolkata
հայերեն: Կալկաթա
हिन्दी: कोलकाता
hornjoserbsce: Kalkutta
hrvatski: Kolkata
Ido: Kalkuta
Ilokano: Kolkata
Bahasa Indonesia: Kolkata
interlingua: Calcutta
Interlingue: Calcutta
íslenska: Kolkata
italiano: Calcutta
עברית: קולקטה
Basa Jawa: Kalkuta
Kabɩyɛ: Kalikuta
kalaallisut: Kolkata
ಕನ್ನಡ: ಕೊಲ್ಕತ್ತ
Kapampangan: Kolkata
ქართული: კოლკატა
कॉशुर / کٲشُر: کَلٕکَتا
қазақша: Калькутта
kernowek: Kolkata
Kiswahili: Kolkata
kurdî: Kolkata
Кыргызча: Калькутта
Ladino: Kalkuta
Latina: Calcutta
latviešu: Kolkata
lietuvių: Kolkata
lumbaart: Calcuta
magyar: Kolkata
मैथिली: कोलकाता
македонски: Колката
Malagasy: Kolkata
മലയാളം: കൊൽക്കത്ത
Māori: Kolkata
मराठी: कोलकाता
მარგალური: კოლკატა
مصرى: كولكاتا
Bahasa Melayu: Kolkata
монгол: Калькутта
မြန်မာဘာသာ: ကာလကတ္တားမြို့
Nāhuatl: Calcuta
Nederlands: Calcutta
नेपाली: कोलकाता
नेपाल भाषा: कोलकाता
日本語: コルカタ
нохчийн: Калькутта
norsk: Kolkata
norsk nynorsk: Kolkata
occitan: Calcuta
олык марий: Колката
ଓଡ଼ିଆ: କଲିକତା
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Kalkutta
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਕੋਲਕਾਤਾ
پنجابی: کلکتہ
پښتو: کلکته
Piemontèis: Kolkata
polski: Kolkata
português: Calcutá
română: Calcutta
Runa Simi: Kolkata
русиньскый: Колката
русский: Калькутта
саха тыла: Колката
ᱥᱟᱱᱛᱟᱲᱤ: ᱠᱚᱞᱠᱟᱛᱟ
संस्कृतम्: कोलकाता
Scots: Kolkata
shqip: Kalkuta
sicilianu: Calcutta
Simple English: Kolkata
سنڌي: ڪلڪتو
slovenčina: Kalkata
slovenščina: Kalkuta
ślůnski: Kolkata
کوردی: کەلکەتە
српски / srpski: Колката
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Kolkata
suomi: Kalkutta
svenska: Calcutta
Tagalog: Kolkata
tarandíne: Calcutta
татарча/tatarça: Kälküttä
తెలుగు: కోల్‌కాతా
Türkçe: Kalküta
Türkmençe: Kalkutta
Twi: Kolkata
українська: Колката
اردو: کولکاتا
ئۇيغۇرچە / Uyghurche: Kalkutta
vèneto: Calcuta
vepsän kel’: Kolkat
Tiếng Việt: Kolkata
Volapük: Kolkata
Winaray: Kolkata
吴语: 加尔各答
ייִדיש: קאלקאטא
粵語: 架利吉打
žemaitėška: Kalkota
中文: 加尔各答