"Kolkata (Calcutta) - The city of Joy" Top 5 Page for this destination India Things to Do Tip by Rupanworld

India Things to Do: 1,031 reviews and 1,690 photos

Kolkata, earlier known as Calcutta, is called the city of joy after the novel titled City of Joy written by Dominique Lapierre in 1985 which was based on this city. The name Kolkata and its anglicised version Calcutta have come from Kalikata which was the name of one of the three villages (Kalikata, Sutanuti, Govindapur) which were combined to form the city during the British rule. the local people have always called the city Kolkata in bengali pronounciation, but the english official name of Calcutta was changed only recently in 2001 to Kolkata with a view to erase the legacy of British rule, as has been done in other cities like Mumbai (Bombay), Chennai (Madras) and so on, with the exception of New Delhi which still reflects the anglicised name. Kolkata is the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal and is located in eastern India on the bank of the River Hooghly. Its urban population of about 8 million makes it the third most populous city of India after Mumbai and Delhi.

Calcutta was the capital of India during the British rule till 1911 which made it an early centre of modern education, science, culture and politics. It has a rich history both in the Indian struggle for freedom and a great literary and cultural history. The people of this city seem to have a special appreciation for art, culture and literature.

The 'para' culture in Kolkata and infact in entire bengal, is very strong. It implies the neighbourhoods having a strong sense of community. Every neighbourhood has its own community club. People here are known for their habit of chatting leisurely

Kolkata has many old buildings in Gothic, Baroque, Roman, Oriental and Mughal styles. Indian Museum of 1814 is the oldest museum in Asia and has a vast collection of Indian natural history and Indian art. The Victoria Memorial, houses a museum showing the city's history. There are many art galleries that hold regular art exhibitions.

However, like the other metropolitan cities of India, Kolkata continues to struggle with problems like poverty, pollution and traffic congestion.

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Was this review helpful?

  • Updated Oct 2, 2008
  • Send to a Friend
  • Add to your Trip Planner
  • Report Abuse


Rupanworld Lives Here!


“Memories are like footprints on the sands of time.”

Online Now


Top 1,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 0 2 4 4

Have you been to India?

  Share Your Travels