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Calcutta University, the first modern Indian university was founded here in 1857.
Calcutta became the center of Indian arts and literature, and the national movement for independence got its start here.
Job Charnock was widely known as the founder of Calcutta (Sutanuti, Govindapur & Calcutta) but in recent years a number of Indian historians have disputed this claim, arguing that Calcutta occupies the site of an older Indian city, centered around the ancient Kali temple at Kalighat.
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The city's economic fortunes turned the tide as the economic liberalization in India during the early nineties reached Kolkata during late nineties. Apart from the diversity of India, the cultures represented are that of the Europeans (Including Germans, Armenians, and others), and other Asians (Including Chinese, Sinhalese, and Tibetans).
Since 1977, a "Left Front" coalition of communist and Marxist parties has continuously ruled the state.
Long known as the cultural capital of India, Kolkata continues to spawn generations of poets, writers, film producers and Nobel Prize winners.
If your trip only allows for a visit of one or two of India's metropolitan cities, than definitely consider placing Kolkata on your itinerary.
The Left Front regained control of the Municipal Corporation of Kolkata from the Trinamul Congress in the 2005 civic elections.
Kolkata is the economic hub of eastern India and with a vast hinterland it bustles with economic activities.
It is an 'in your face' city that shocks and charms the unsuspecting visitor.
Abject poverty mixes inexplicably with crumbling British Raj-era gems, sprawling gardens and historical colleges.
It has been proved that Kolkata had an highly civilized society for centuries before the Europeans first came here.
Whatever its origins, Calcutta flowered as the capital of British India during the nineteenth century, the heyday of the Raj.
This is reflected in street names and memorials in the city.