Calcutta, presently Kolkatta, is a city located on the banks of river Hooghly in Eastern India. It is the capital of the state of West Bengal. The city is known for its magnificent history. Calcutta was the main centre for trade and is said to have been first visited by the British during 1617-1624.
Subsequent to issuing of a Firman (royal decree) by Emperor Shah Jahan in 1634, establishment of a factory in Bengal and placing agents of the East India Company at Pipili, Odisha was allowed. Thereafter, establishment of few more factories was allowed in Balasore, Odisha and Hooghly, Bengal.
Understanding the strategic importance, the British requested for a special Firman from the then Emperor Aurangzeb to allow them to permanently do business in Bengal. The Emperor granted the permission and issued the desired Firman.
Soon misunderstandings developed in between the British and the then Governor of Bengal, Shaista Khan. To resolve the matter, Job Charnock, posted at Madras, was asked to reach Bengal with his soldiers. This alarmed Shaista Khan to take precautionary measures. Charnock was forced to settle down at Sutanuti, a small village on the banks of river Hooghly. Charnock was looking for ways to negotiate with Shaista Khan. Meanwhile, Aurangzeb advised his Governors to make terms with the British. Consequently, a treaty was signed between Shaista Khan and Charnock. British were allowed in Bengal, but their boundaries were limited.
By 1698, East India Company acquired possession of three villages which included Kalikata, where Calcutta is located. The British started developing Calcutta as a presidency unit and sought permission from the Governor to use their own army to protect their factories, which they got. However, manipulatively, they began constructing the fortress with all available manpower.
The Fort was built by the East India Company in 1696. It was named after King William III of England in 1700. A Factory was constructed in the centre of the Fort in 1706. However, the present Fort William was built after Shiraj-ud-Daulah attacked the old Fort William temporarily along with the city of Calcutta, which he later named as Alinagar, in 1756.
The new building of the Fort, in the maidan, was started by Robert Clive in 1758 when the British regained the city of Calcutta after defeating Shiraj-ud-Daulah in the Battle of Plassey (1757). The new Fort was completed in 1781 and at present is the property of the Indian Army.
From 1772 to 1911, Calcutta was the capital of the British India which was later shifted to Delhi.
The city was a centre of the Indian independence movement and it was in the suburbs of Calcutta, at Barrackpore, that the foundation of the Indian Mutiny 1857 was laid.
Post independence, Calcutta gradually transformed into the centre of modern Indian education, science, culture, and politics and is preferred as tourist destination.
The famous tourist destination sights includes: Park Street, Howrah Bridge, Kalighat, Victoria Memorial, Kolkata Metro, Eden Gardens, Dakshinerswar Temple, St. Paul Cathedral, Science City, Aquatica Kolkata, Nicco Park, Botanical Garden, Birla Planetarium, National Library, South Park Street Cemetery, College Street, Indian Museum, Coffee House, Fort William, Mother House etc.