, the official name until 2001) is the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal.
Located on the east bank of the Hooghly River, 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.
In 1793 the East India company was strong enough to abolish Nizamat (local rule), and assumed full sovereignty of the region.
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Under the company rule, and later under the British Raj, Calcutta served as the capital of British-held territories in India until 1911, when its perceived geographical disadvantages, combined with growing nationalism in Bengal, led to a shift of the capital to New Delhi.
Calcutta was the centre for the Indian independence movement; it remains a hotbed of contemporary state politics.