"KOLKATA- REVISITED." Top 5 Page for this destination Kolkata (Calcutta) by goutammitra

Kolkata (Calcutta) Travel Guide: 694 reviews and 2,329 photos


Those who dont' know much about Kolkata, please be informed that Kolkata is changing for better with the season. Now the city of Kolkata is less polluted, courtesy High Court ruling that all more than 15 years old commercial vehicles must retire and all Auto Rickshaws ( Tuk Tuks) must switch over to Liquified Petroleum Gas ( LPG) from Petrol and adulterated Petrol. Result, after lot of deliberations you will notice the latest low chasis city buses with GPS and digital controls. These are low noise fuel efficient Large and Mini buses for city traffic. Some of them are even air conditioned, they run mostly from Airport to Tollygunge at fare of USD$1 to USD$2 for 30kms journey. Kolkata is also having thousands brand new Auto Rickshaws ( Tuk Tuks) who make low noise and run on LPG. Another feather in the cap of City of Kolkata is now metro is extended upto Garia ( Kabi Nazrul) another 8 kms extension from the current location Tollygunge after 26 long years. Yes they did it! There will be many more changes soon. In one word our polluted city is now almost Green!
Let's welcome for a better 2010!

The discovery of the nearby Chandraketugarh, an archaeological site, provides evidence that the area has been inhabited for over two millennia. The city's documented history, however, begins with the arrival of the British East India Company in 1690, when the Company was consolidating its trade business in Bengal. Job Charnock, an administrator with the Company, is traditionally credited with founding the city. In 1699, the British completed the construction of old Fort William, which was used to station its troops and as a regional base. Kolkata (then Calcutta) was declared a Presidency City, and later became the headquarters of the Bengal Presidency. Faced with frequent skirmishes with French forces, in 1756 the British began to upgrade their fortifications. When protests against the militarisation by the Nawab of Bengal Siraj-Ud-Daulah went unheeded, he attacked and captured Fort William. A force of Company sepoys and British troops led by Robert Clive recaptured the city the following year.
Kolkata was named the capital of British India in 1772. By the early 19th century, Kolkata was split into two distinct areas — one British, one Indian. The city underwent rapid industrial growth from the 1850s, especially in the textile and jute sectors; this acted to stoke improvements in infrastructure. The coalescence of British and Indian culture resulted in the emergence of a new class of urbane Indians — Asia's first middle class — whose members were often professionals, read newspapers, were Anglophiles, and usually belonged to upper-caste Hindu communities. Throughout the nineteenth century, a socio-cultural reform, often referred to as the Bengal Renaissance resulted in the general upliftment of the people. In 1883, Surendranath Banerjea organised a national conference — the first of its kind in nineteenth century India. Gradually Kolkata became a centre of the Indian independence movement, especially revolutionary organisations. The 1905 Partition of Bengal on communal grounds resulted in widespread public agitation and the boycott of British goods. These activities, along with the administratively disadvantageous location of Kolkata in eastern fringes of India, prompted the British to move the capital to Delhi in 1911. The city's port was bombed twice by the Japanese during World War II. As food stocks were being diverted to feed Allied troops, millions starved to death during the Bengal famine of 1943. In 1946, demands for the creation of a Muslim state led to large-scale communal violence resulting in the deaths of over 2,000 people. The partition of India also created intense violence and a shift in demographics - large numbers of Muslims left for East Pakistan, while hundreds of thousands of Hindus would flee into the city

Marxist Rule for 33 years & it's influence

Over the 1960s and 1970s, severe power shortages, strikes and a violent Marxist-Maoist movement — the Naxalites — damaged much of the city's infrastructure, leading to an economic stagnation. In 1971, war between India and Pakistan led to the mass influx of thousands of refugees into Kolkata resulting in a massive strain on its infrastructure. In the mid-1980s, Mumbai overtook Kolkata as India's most populous city. Kolkata has been a strong base of Indian communism as West Bengal has been ruled by the CPI(M) dominated Left Front for over three decades — the world's longest-running democratically-elected Communist government. The city's economic recovery gathered momentum after economic reforms in India introduced by the central government in the mid-1990s. Since 2000, Information Technology (IT) services revitalized the city’s stagnant economy. The city has also experienced a growth in the manufacturing sector. Following similar moves elsewhere in the country, the state government changed the city’s official name from Calcutta to Kolkata in 2001; this act was seen largely as a political ploy

Sabarna Roy Choudhury Family of Kolkata

History of Kolkata Re-told.

While writing history of Kolkata (Calcutta), it came to my mind that there is a lot of ambiguity about who was the actual founder of the city of Kolkata. Till 2001 it considered that Job Charnok, a British trader was the founder of Kolkata in 1690. In fact, in the year 1690 Charnok landed in Sutanuti village, a trading centre on the bank of the Ganges like many other European traders. Calcutta was formed with three villages, namely Kalikata, Govindapur and Sutanuti. After Calcutta celebrated Tri Centenary birthday of Calcutta, a public petition was filed before the Hon’ able High Court by the Sabarna Roy Choudhury Family and many eminent historians of Kolkata .The founder of Sabarna Roy Choudhury family, Lakshmikanta, got 7 villages in appreciation of their services from Akbar the Great, Emperor of India in the 15th Century. This included Calcutta also. They were the original Zamindar( Landlord) based at Halisahar( about 50KMs from Kolkata in the North 24Parganas), and the rightful owner of Calcutta. Those days Calcutta was only forest and used to be the part of Sunderbans. This all suggests that Calcutta existed much before Job Charnok arrived.

During Durga Puja festival in 2005 I had the opportunity to visit the Durga Puja festival celebrated by the Sabarna Roy Choudhury family at Barisha, Behala, Kolkata. They shifted their base to Kolkata sometimes in 17th Century. I had the opportunity to meet the family members of the Sabarna Roy Choudhury family and especially Mr.Devarshi Roy Choudhury and his wife with other family members, who showed us the various deeds and articles claiming their rightful ownership. They have now converted the first floor of their old house (about 150 yrs.old), into a Museum displaying various documents and articles proving to their claim. I could see the original Deed of Gift for seven villages, (then on display) from Emperor Akbar to Lakshmikanta written in Persian. I have taken some photographs of them including the deed, which I am putting here on VT. On 13th May I again visited The Roy Choudhury family , met Mr. Devarshi Roy C. He confirmed that the judgement of Kolkata is now out, and it is posted in their website.
For more kindly visit their website:


kindly acknowlege them in case you take some material fro their site.
Latest: Sabarna Choudhary Ratha Yatra Festival please read Off the Beaten Path.%f*


Pros and Cons
  • Pros:The city has people with warm Heart!
  • Cons:Very high Humidity, Sound, Air pollution
  • In a nutshell:Re surging as I.T. Capital of the world!
  • Last visit to Kolkata (Calcutta): Feb 2004
  • Intro Updated May 25, 2013
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Reviews (215)

Comments (97)

  • kenHuocj's Profile Photo
    Jan 8, 2015 at 1:12 PM

    Happy Birthday, may there be many more ;-)))

  • RickinDutch's Profile Photo
    Dec 5, 2013 at 11:01 AM

    Good to know the Kenilworth Hotel is still there. Spent many a week there in the 80's and loved the old un-airconditioned wing with the big rooms and open shutters. And the outdoor restaurant was great for a beer and a meal after a long day out and about.

    • goutammitra's Profile Photo
      Dec 6, 2013 at 3:01 AM

      Thanks Rick. Yes, it's still the same even after loosing it's glory!

  • taigaa001's Profile Photo
    May 24, 2013 at 6:07 PM

    I didn't know the Japanese army bombed Kolkatta during the second world war. Abe is wrong. Japanese students are ill-informed about what Japan did during the second world war.

    • goutammitra's Profile Photo
      May 25, 2013 at 6:45 PM

      Yes, it's true. That Imperial Army under Emperor Hirohoto, went out to conquer the world. May things are suppressed by all ruling government! At the same time The Japanese also tried to help our freedom fighter and great respected leader Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose to set up Azad Hind Fauz ( Indian National Army) at Singapore to fight the British rulers!

  • abi_maha's Profile Photo
    Mar 2, 2013 at 7:31 AM

    I have just started raiding your vast wealth of information on Kolkatta, am going to be there for 10 days near Salt Lake city, so hoping to see some of these wondrous places you have described so well here Goutamji! :)

  • mehulraj's Profile Photo
    May 1, 2012 at 7:50 PM

    Great page..I saw on TV about chinese people living in kolkata..very few people know about them n their area..Actually i asked my 4th engineer who was from Kolkata but he did not knew anything about it amazing!!!!!!

  • AngMimi's Profile Photo
    Feb 14, 2012 at 5:23 PM

    Wow..Kolkata is a great place to visit, hmm..I will visit Kolkata one day.
    Thanks for sharing, Goutam. :-))

  • RickinDutch's Profile Photo
    Sep 12, 2011 at 3:32 PM

    Great to see the changes happening in your city. You are a most excellent ambassador!

  • Marisola's Profile Photo
    Sep 3, 2011 at 10:26 PM

    Thanks for finding the "Darling, Darling," song - I LOVE IT!!! Always nice to visit your pages and see your tips!

  • Donna_in_India's Profile Photo
    Aug 7, 2011 at 5:56 PM

    Fantastic page Goutam! So much to see! Are non-Hindus allowed in the Kali temples?

  • Faiza-Ifrah's Profile Photo
    Mar 2, 2011 at 6:40 PM

    you have all kind of tips on off the beaten path - history, culture, nature, food. great variety. i liked it.

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