In 1690, Job Charnok, an agent of the East India Company choose this place for a British trade settlement. The site was carefully selected, being protected by the Hooghly River on the west, a creek to the north, and by salt lakes about two and a half miles to the east. There were three large villages along the east bank of the river Ganges, named-- Sutanuti, Gobindapur and Kalikata. These three villages were bought by the British from local landlords. The Mughal emperor granted East India Company freedom of trade in return for a yearly payment of 3,000 rupees.
What was Calcutta like before the British came ?
It was just a village , the capital city of Bengal was Murshidabad, around 60 miles north of Calcutta. In 1756, Siraj-ud-daullah, nawab of Bengal, attacked the city and captured the fort. Calcutta was recaptured in 1757 by Robert Clive when the British defeated Siraj-ud-daullah on the battlefield of Plassy. In 1772, Calcutta became the capital of British India, and the first Governor General Warren Hastings moved all-important offices from Murshidabad to Calcutta. Till 1912, Calcutta was the capital of India, when the British moved the capital city to Delhi. In 1947, when India gained freedom and the country got partitioned between India and Pakistan, Calcutta was included in the Indian part of Bengal, West Bengal. Calcutta became the capital city of the state of West Bengal.
It is the principal commercial, cultural, and educational centre of East India. There are many places to see in Calcutta. Recently Calcutta name has been changed and it is known as 'Kolkata'. Kolkata's "Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose'' airport connects the city with the rest of the world as well as other Indian cities.