Kolkata (English: /kɒlˈkɑːtə/[17] or /kɒlˈkʌtə/,[18] Bengali: [kolˈkata] (listen); previously Calcutta /kælˈkʌtə/,[18] the official name until 2001) is the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal. Located on the banks of the Hooghly River, the city is approximately 80 kilometres (50 mi) west of the border with Bangladesh. It is the primary business, commercial, and financial hub of Eastern India and the main port of communication for North-East India.[19] According to the 2011 Indian census, Kolkata is the seventh-most populous city in India, with a population of 4.5 million residents within the city limits, and a population of over 14.1 million residents in the Kolkata Metropolitan Area. It is the third-most populous metropolitan area in India. In 2021, Kolkata metropolitan area crossed 15 million registered voters. The Port of Kolkata is India's oldest operating port and its sole major riverine port. Kolkata is regarded as the cultural capital of India.[1][20]

Clockwise from top: Victoria Memorial, St. Paul's Cathedral, Central Business District, Rabindra Setu, City Tram Line, Vidyasagar Setu
City of Joy, Cultural Capital[1]
Interactive Map Outlining Kolkata
Location in Kolkata
Location in West Bengal
Location in India
Location in Asia
Location in Earth
Coordinates: 22.5726723°N 88.3638815°E / 22.5726723; 88.3638815
Country India
State West Bengal
DistrictKolkata[2][3][4][5][6][upper-alpha 1]
  TypeMunicipal Corporation
  BodyKolkata Municipal Corporation
  MayorFirhad Hakim
  SheriffMani Shankar Mukherjee
  Police commissionerSoumen Mitra
  Megacity206.08 km2 (79.151 sq mi)
1,886.67 km2 (728.45 sq mi)
9 m (30 ft)
  Density22,000/km2 (57,000/sq mi)
  Metro 14,112,536
14,617,882 (Extended UA)
  Metro rank
  OfficialBengali  English[12]
Time zoneUTC+05:30 (IST)
700 xxx
Telephone code+91 33
Vehicle registrationWB-01 to WB-10
Metro GDP/PPP$256.1 billion (GDP PPP 2020)[13][14][15]
HDI (2004) 0.780[16] (High)
  1. The Kolkata metropolitan area also includes portions of North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas, Howrah, Nadia and Hooghly districts. See: Urban structure.

In the late 17th century, the three villages that predated Calcutta were ruled by the Nawab of Bengal under Mughal suzerainty. After the Nawab granted the East India Company a trading licence in 1690,[21] the area was developed by the Company into an increasingly fortified trading post known as Fort William. Nawab Siraj ud-Daulah occupied Calcutta in 1756, and the East India Company retook it the following year. In 1793 the East India company was strong enough to abolish native rule, and assumed full sovereignty of the region. Under the company rule and later under the British Raj, Calcutta served as the capital of British-held territories in India until 1911. At that time, the British assessed its perceived geographical disadvantages, combined with growing nationalism in Bengal, and moved the capital to New Delhi. Calcutta was the centre for the Indian independence movement.

Following independence in 1947, Kolkata, which was once the centre of Indian commerce, culture, and politics, suffered many decades of political violence and economic stagnation.[22] A demographically diverse city, the culture of Kolkata features idiosyncrasies that include distinctively close-knit neighbourhoods (paras) and freestyle conversations (adda). Kolkata is home to West Bengal's film industry Tollywood and cultural institutions, such as the Academy of Fine Arts, the Victoria Memorial, the Asiatic Society, the Indian Museum, and the National Library of India. Among scientific institutions, Kolkata hosts the Agri Horticultural Society of India, the Geological Survey of India, the Botanical Survey of India, the Calcutta Mathematical Society, the Indian Science Congress Association, the Zoological Survey of India, the Institution of Engineers, the Anthropological Survey of India and the Indian Public Health Association. Four Nobel laureates and two Nobel Memorial Prize winners are associated with the city.[23] Though home to major cricketing venues and franchises, Kolkata differs from other Indian cities by focusing on association football and other sports.