Kolkata city is one of the four metropolitan cities in India and has a history of no more than 300 years. The city was formerly known by the name of Calcutta. Kolkata as it stands today is the largest metropolitan city of India.
It is believed that the name of the city has been derived from the Bengali word “Kalikshetra”, meaning the ground of goddess Kali. Yet others are of the opinion that the name has been derived from the term ‘Kilkila’, meaning flat surface in Bengali. The city was named Calcutta by the British Power and the place continued to be called so till 2001 A.D. when the city was officially renamed as Kolkata.
Before the up-coming of the east India Company of British, Kolkata city used to be a small village ruled by the emperors of different dynasties. There were 3 main dynasties mainly Pala, Sena and the Deva dynasty. From 13th till the 17th century, the place was dominated by a series of rulers of which were the Mamluk rulers, the Balbans, Shahs, Abyssinians and finally Afghans. The East India Company established its colonial rule in the year 1690. The land revenue rights were introduced by the East India Company and the region gained its own presidency. During that time, Murshidabad was the capital of Bengal which was located some 60 miles north of Kolkata. The nawab of Bengal had captured the city in 1756 and later the city was recaptured by the British in 1757 . In 1772 after the battle of Plassey, the East India Company had established their base and the city became the capital of British India. The important offices were moved from Murshidabad to Kolkata. Kolkata under-went a rapid industrial growth from the 1850s which had given rise to a new Babu class of urbane Indians belonging to upper caste Hindu communities, well-qualified, professionals, bureaucrats and Anglophiles.
Kolkata remained the capital till 1912, after which the British moved the capital to Delhi. It was after India got its independence in 1947, that the city was included and made the capital of the West Bengal.
The Bengal Renaissance, a socio-cultural reform movement led to the general uplifting of people. This gave rise to many reform movements. Gradually Kolkata became the center of Indian Independence Movement. In 1905, the Bengal partition had resulted in a widespread public protest which had boycotted the British goods. This forced the British to move their capital to New Delhi in 1911. Calcutta was officially renamed as Kolkata in the year 2001.