, the official name until 2001) is the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal.
Located on the east bank of the Hooghly River approximately 75 kilometres (47 mi) west of the border with Bangladesh, it is the principal commercial, cultural, and educational centre of East India, while the Port of Kolkata is India's oldest operating port and its sole major riverine port.
The coalescence of British and Indian culture resulted in the emergence of a new babu class of urbane Indians, whose members were often bureaucrats, professionals, newspaper readers, and Anglophiles; they usually belonged to upper-caste Hindu communities.
In the 19th century, the Bengal Renaissance brought about an increased sociocultural sophistication among city denizens.
Among professional 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.
Though home to major cricketing venues and franchises, Kolkata differs from other Indian cities by giving importance to association football and other sports.
During the mid-1980s, Mumbai (then called Bombay) overtook Kolkata as India's most populous city.
In 2011, the city had a population of 4.5 million, while the population of the city and its suburbs was 14.1 million, making it the third-most populous metropolitan area in India.
) [ˈkɔlikat̪a], the name of one of three villages that predated the arrival of the British, in the area where the city eventually was to be established; the other two villages were Sutanuti and Govindapur.
Kolkata's recorded history began in 1690 with the arrival of the English East India Company, which was consolidating its trade business in Bengal.
As a nucleus of the 19th- and early 20th-century Bengal Renaissance and a religiously and ethnically diverse centre of culture in Bengal and India, Kolkata has local traditions in drama, art, film, theatre, and literature.
Many people from Kolkata—among them several Nobel laureates—have contributed to the arts, the sciences, and other areas.