Kolkata was known as the "City of Palaces" in the colonial rule.The discovery of the Chandraketugarh, an archaeological site, proves the fact that the area has been populated for over two millennium. The city`s documented history, however, begins with the arrival of the British East India Company in 1690, when the Company was strengthening its trade business in Bengal.
Job Charnock, an administrator of the Company eventually settled in Sutanuti after invading the Hijli Kingdom, was traditionally credited as the founder of this 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 infantry with French forces, in 1756 the British began to upgrade their fortifications(military constructions and buildings designed for defense in warfare). When protests against the militarisation by the Nawab of Bengal Siraj-Ud-Daulah went unheard, he attacked and captured Fort William leading to the infamous Black Hole incident. 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. It was during this period that the marshes surrounding the city were drained and the government area was laid out along the banks of the Hooghly River. Richard Wellesley, the Governor General between 1797 - 1805, was largely responsible for the growth of the city and its public architecture which led to the description of Kolkata as "The City of Palaces".
Main Attraction of Kolkata:
Victoria Memorial Hall
Victoria Memorial HallBuilt entirely of white marble, Victoria Memorial, one of India`s most beautiful monuments, represent a unique combination of classical European architecture and Mughal motifs. The domed and white marble museum sprawls over 64 acres and is set in a landscaped garden at the southern side of the Kolkata`s maidan (ground). Designed after the Taj Mahal in Agra, it has an enormous collection of pictures, statues, manuscripts, letters etc, relating to the Nawabi and British times in Bengal. The memorial was the inspiration of Lord Curzon, who in 1901, felt that his recently departed Queen Victoria, required a suitable monument to her memory. She was the first British monarch to be awarded the title of Queen-Empress of India in 1877.There are 3000 exhibits in 25 galleries in a chamber below the dome.
Founded in 1786 beside the Hooghly in Shibpur, the Botanical Gardens is a main attraction in the vicinity of Kolkata. Covering an area of 110 hectares. The main attraction of the garden is a 250-year-old banyan tree (Ficus bengalhensis) which rises to a height of 98 feet and measures over 1,300 feet in circumference.
How to reach Kolkata:
It is completely accessible by air. There are a number of domestic airlines that connect Kolkata with other major cities of India like Ahmedabad, Bagdogra, Bangalore, Bhubaneswar, Chennai, Delhi, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Lucknow, Mumbai, and Port Blair.
Kolkata is well linked to other parts of the country by railways. There are super fast trains like Rajdhani Express and Shatabdi Express that join Calcutta from Delhi and other nearby places. Calcutta consists of two major railway stations; one is located in Howrah and the other at Sealdah.
The city of joy is well linked with almost all the cities of India by road. The Esplanade Terminus is the main bus terminus that lies in the heart of the city. The latest development is the starting of Dhaka-Calcutta buses, which are fully air-conditioned and also very comfortable.