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Kolkata: City Known For its Magical Touch and Charm

Updated on September 24, 2015
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Situated at the east bank of the Hooghly river, Kolkata is the capital of West Bengal, India. This city is much famous for its rich cultural heritage, traditions and festivals. It is an educational, cultural and commercial hub of East India. After Mumbai, it is the second largest city in India and the third largest metropolitan of the Nation. The quality of education, wonderful places, street food, career opportunities and several other things makes this city a proud city.

During British emperor, Kolkata was the capital of India. Earlier this city was known as Calcutta. In the year 2001, the official English name of this city was changed from “Calcutta" to "Kolkata". At present, this city has a population of approximately 15.7 million that makes it the 3rd most populous metropolitan city in India and the 13th most populous urban area in the world. Over the years, this city has maintained its significance in various sectors and has seen a lot of development in many areas.

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Education Sector

There are numerous prestigious educational institutions in this city imparting quality education to a large number of students in different fields. This city has played a pioneering role in the evolution of the leading-edge education system in India. Both the public and private sectors are contributing towards the progress of education in West Bengal. Several well-renowned educational institutions are there in this city offering higher education. Some of the prestigious educational centres in this city include:

  • Indian Institute of Management Calcutta

  • Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur

  • Bengal Engineering and Science University

  • Jadavpur University

  • Indian Institute of Science Education and Research

  • National Institute of Technology

  • Indian Statistical Institute

  • Presidency College

  • Visva-Bharati University

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Most of the secondary schools in Kolkata are affiliated with the Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE), Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE), the National Institute of Open School (NIOS) and the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education. There are various famous universities present in this city such as Aliah University, Amity University, Jadavpur University, JIS University, Netaji Subhas Open University, Neotia University, Presidency University, Rabindra Bharati University, University of Calcutta, West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, West Bengal University of Technology, etc.

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Recent developments in education sector

  • According to a recent news, the chief Minister of West Bengal, said that the government has decided to launch an annual scholarship scheme in the school of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), at University of London. This scholarship scheme has been given the name “Biswa Bangla” scholarships. According to this scheme, 2 students from Bengal at the masters level and 1 Ph.D. scholar will be facilitated annual scholarships.

  • In the commencing session 2016-18, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT), New Delhi has invited applications for admission to Master of Business Administration (MBA) in International Business (IB) programme. The admissions are offered at Delhi and Kolkata campuses.

  • Last year, according to CNN's report, over 3,000 foreigners have listed with a job site for the purpose of seeking work in India, including Kolkata. Students from all over the world, especially the US, South Korea and Japan are heading towards this city for pre-professional educational opportunities.

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Cultural Sector

Kolkata is also known as the cultural capital of India. Its heritage, art and literacy are famous worldwide. Kolkata has people with lots of talent and passion in various field, especially art. A strong sense of community can be seen in Kolkatans. When looking at the religious part in the cultural heritage of Kolkata, various imperial buildings across this city are adorned with the Indo-Islamic, Gothic, Roman, Oriental and Baroque motifs. The presence of all these signs tells about the civilizations and religious groups that were once colonized in Kolkata. In the present era, this city still shares the status of a multi-ethnic city.

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Heritage structures and monuments

There are several buildings in Kolkata with their own architectural significance and historical values. Some of the most popular historic buildings and monuments in this city are:

  • Victoria Memorial

  • Howrah Bridge

  • Birla Mandir

  • Dakshineshwar Kali Temple

  • Marble Palace

  • Fort William

  • Indian Museum

  • South Park Street Cemetery

  • Writers Building

  • St. Paul’s Cathedral

5 well-renowned heritage buildings situated in Kolkata are:

  • National Library

  • Tipu Sultan’s Mosque

  • Calcutta High Court

  • Jorasanko Thakurbari

  • Kolkata Town Hall

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Entertainment

In the earlier days, the main source of entertainment in this city were theatre, jatra and drama. In the current scenario, the cultural interest in Kolkatta has moved towards movies and serials. It houses the “Tollywood” industry, which produces a number of Bengali movies. Apart from this, Hollywood and Bollywood movies are also in great demand among youngsters in this city.

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Food and Traditional Dresses

The food habits of Kolkatans resembles the traditional Bengali culture of Kolkata. The main food item in Kolkata is rice and fish curry, which is also called macher jhol by the local people of Kolkata. The traditional dresses such as Punjabi form and dhoti for men and saree for women denotes the local culture and custom of Kolkata.

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Festivals

One of the most important and notable religious festivals in Kolkata is Durga Puja and Kali Puja. Both these festivals held in the autumn season every year. The colorful and vibrant pandals, decorative statues of Hindu Goddess Durga and Kali, sweets and colors and the focal points of these festivals. Another most famous festival of this city is Book Fair. This fair usually held at the end of January every year. The main aim behind this fair is to promote the reading habits amongst the public and to help publishers and booksellers in a successful pursuance of their trade. Other highly celebrated festivals in this city include Christmas, Poila Baishakh, Ratha Yatra, Saraswati Puja, Dolyatra, Eid ul-Fitr, Eid ul-Adha, etc. All these festivals showcase the mixed culture and unity of Kolkata.

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Commercial Sector

Kolkata is among the few cities of India that is enjoying a good growth phase from various commercial areas. New townships and various other real estate projects are being incorporated in Kolkata as per the global standards. The transportation services including roads, railways, air and water transport systems all are good and well-connected to various cities of India. Different industries in this city including IT, engineering, manufacturing, textile, etc are showing great potential for growth. Even the small-scale industry in this city has expanded widely over the years and has seen a consistent boom in the number of units. At present, there are over 1,852 small scale industries in Kolkata. Some of the major industries present in this city are:

  • Textile industry

  • Banking industry

  • Real estate industry

  • Information Technology industry

  • Electronics industry

  • Petrochemicals industry

  • Pharmaceuticals industry

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As far as the career opportunities are concerned, job aspirants can find enormous jobs in Kolkata as per their field of interest. Some of the popular companies including domestic and multinational companies and financial institutions in Kolkata are IBM, Cognizant, Cisco Systems, Intel Asia Electronics, Siemens UCO Bank, United Bank of India, Allahabad Bank, Cisco Systems India Pvt Ltd., Cadbury India Ltd., Databazaar India Pvt Ltd., Coal India, Birla Corporation, etc. For job seekers, Kolkatta is undoubtedly the most promising city with bright career opportunities.

Final Words

Along with the other cities of India such as Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai, Kolkata has also developed as a major metropolitan city. It is a complete pool of talent occupying people with a passion for various arts and sports. People here are full of enthusiasm and excitement that makes this city, the city of joy. The presence of magnificent historical structures, colorful festivals, delicious food and other cultural evidence, attract people from different parts of the world to explore this wonderful city.

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    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      Seems like a vibrant, interesting place. Great hub.

    • loyale99 profile image

      Loyale 2 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Amazing Place. We all must go once in Life.

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