Kolkata was founded c.1690 as Calcutta by the British East India Company. In 1756 the nawab of Bengal, Siraj-ud-Daula, captured Kolkata and killed most of its garrison by imprisoning it overnight in a small, stifling room, known as the notorious
Black Hole. Robert Clive retook the city in 1757. From 1833 to 1912, the city was the capital of British India.
The Univ. of Calcutta (founded 1857), Jadavpur Univ., and the Indian Museum, which houses one of the world's outstanding natural history collections, are in the city. The Maidan, a large river-front park, is Kolkata's most attractive section. A subway through the central section of the city opened in 1986. The city was officially renamed Kolkata (its name in Bengali) in 2001.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Indian Political Geography