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Archive for November, 2007

I am 2000 km away from my own city, Kolkata. Really missing every bit of it. So just thought of writing this for all you people dont know about kolkata.

Let me say a few lines about my city, Kolkata. In 1690 , Job Charnok , an agent in the East India Company chose this place for the British trade settlement. The city is guarded by the Hooghly river , a distributory of the Ganges on the west , a creek on the north and by salt lakes to the east. There were three villages – Sutanuti, Gobindapur and Kalikata. These three villages were bought by the British ruler from the locales to build up the city which we call Kolkata. After the British colony was settled in India, Kolkata became the capital of British empire in India under Warren Hastings. Kolkata became the heart of India’s freedom movement during the British people.


At present Kolkata is under the jurisdiction of the Kolkata Munical Corporation, has an area of 185 sq. km. The urban agglomeration , however , has continuously expanded and as in 2006 , the urban agglomeration is spread over an area of 1750 sq. km.


Climate:


Kolkata has a tropical wet and dry climate. The monthly mean temperature ranges from 19C to 30 C. Summers are hot and humid with relief of thunder showers. Winter temperature never goes below 12 to 14 C. The rain brought by the Bay of Bengal branch of the South West monsoon lash the city between June and September. The highest rains though occurs during August. Pollution has become a major problem in the city and the raise in suspended particulate matter (SPM) level in the air has become a cause of worries among the city people.


Economy:


Kolkata has become the main business , commercial and financial hub in Eastern India and the northeastern states. It is the home to the Calcutta stock Exchange – India’s second largest bourse. It is also a major commercial and military port, and the only city in the neighboring area to have an international airport. The city saw a huge economic downfall in the early years of independence , but gradually it has grew up again.


Transport:


Public transport is provided by the Kolkata suburban railway and the Kolkata Metro as well as by the trams and buses. The suburban network is extensive and it extends into the distant suburbs. The Kolkata metro , run by the eastern Railway is the oldest Metro railways in India.


Demographics:

the residents like to call themselves Calcuttans. Kolkata has a population of more than 4.5 million people while the urban agglomeration had a population of more than 13million. Kolkata Municipal Corporation has a growth rate of 4.1% which is minimum among all the million-plus cities in India

Though Bengalis are the major population, Marwaris, and Bihari communities form a large portion of the minorities. Some of kolkata’s notable communities include Chinese, Tamils, Marwaruis, Gujaratis, Anglo-Indians, americans, Tibetans, Maharashtrans and parsis. Majorlanguage spoken are Bengali, Hindi, Urdu, english, Maithili and Bhojpuri.

According to the latest census Kolkata has a Hindu population of 77.6 % and the rest comprises of Muslim, Christian and Jains. Other minorities include Sikhs, Buddhists, Jews and Zoroastrian.


Culture:


Kolkata has long been the abode of literary , artistic and revolutionary heritage. As the former Indian capital , Kolkata was once the birthplace of modern Indian literary and artistic thoughts. Kolkatans tend to have a special appreciation for art and literature.

A characteristic feature for Kolkata is the para culture , the Bengali word for neighborhood having a strong sense of community. People here habitually indulge in adda or leisurely chat and these addas are often a session of intellectual conversation. The city has a tradition of flaunting graffiti depicting everything from outrageous slander to witty banter and limericks, caricature and propaganda.

The city has the tradition of indigenous drama or Jatra, theaters and group theaters.It has its own Bengali movie studios and the name “Tollywood” is derived from its American counterpart , Hollywood. Numerous acclaimed directors like Satyajit Ray, Mrinal sen , tapan sinha and Rwitik Ghatak to name a few have carried on their task of entertaining the crowds through their outstanding directions in films.

The city is also noted for its love for classical art form from classical dance to music shows. The city’s tradition and culture cannot be completed without the mention of the great literary staulwarts like Rabindranath Tagore, Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay, Bibhuti Bhausan Bandyopadhyay and many more.

The food loving Kolkatans like to feast on any kind of cusine from pure Indian dishes to Mexican and Chinese, but still the key element is bhaat and macher jhol( rice and fish curry). Street foods are very popular among the people and the intake rate of junk food is highest ion Kolkata among all the metros. Western attire is very much popular among girls and women though men stick to their European attires. Men also weartraditional costumes like Punjabi and dhuti or pyajama, often on religious occasions.

The British have left , but tehy have kept their works here in the city. Once called the city of palaces , Kolkata still flaunts the huge Gothic , Baroque , Roman , Oriental anbd Indo-Islamic motifs. Victoria memorial is one the most important tourist attractions in the city. Others include the Writers Building , the GPO, National Library and the Academy of Fine Arts.

Durga Puja is the most notable religious festival in Kolkata. But excepting that Kolakatans dance to the tune of all festivals whichever religion that belongs to.

Education:


Kolkata schools are either run by the State Government or by the private organizations. There are numerous schools affiliated to the state board or the central board of education. The universities are old and some are even century old. Every year thousands of brilliant students pass out from these universities which include Presidency College, Calcutta University, Jadavpur University, West Bengal University of Technology to name a few.


Sports:


Football is the most popular game in the city, which is one the major centres of football in India. Kolata is home to top National clubs like Mohun Bagan , east Bengal , Mohammaden Sporting Club.

As in the rest of the country , Kolkatan also show their passion in cricket, and is played throughout the city in grounds and streets.

Kolkata is noted for its large stadia. The Eden Gardens is one of the only two 1lakh seat cricket stadium in the world. Salt lake Stadium – a multi-use stadium – is the world’s third highest capacity football stadium. Calcutta cricket and football club is the second oldest cricket club in the world. Kolkata has three 18 hole golf course. The Royal Calcutta Golf Club, the first golf club in the world after Britain , holds regular matches. There is also a polo ground at the Royal Calcutta Turf Club often holds polo and equestrian races. The Calcutta polo Club is the oldest polo club in the world.



Whatever I have written is just the tip of a iceberg of this Undying City. Kolkata has its own charm . Anybody will fall in love with the city with just one visit. From the street phuchkas to the attracting beauty of the Victoria Memorial , Kolkata holds her own majesty . I miss my city a lot even though I had been there just a few days ago.


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