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Kolkata city, one of the four metropolitan cities in India has a history of no more than 300 years. The city, formerly known by the name of Calcutta has undergone a sea change in a very short span of time. Kolkata as it stands today is the largest metropolitan city of India. The city has the distinction of being the procurer of many important movements encompassing politics, arts, literature, theatre, cinema, science and technology, in India.
There are more than one accounts of how the city got its name. According to some the name of the city has been derived from the Bengali word Kalikshetra, meaning the ground of goddess Kali. Yet others are of the opinion that the name has been derived from the term Kilkila, meaning flat surface in Bengali. The city was named Calcutta by the British Power and the place continued to be called so till 2001 A.D. when the city was officially renamed as Kolkata.
Kalikata or Kolkata city used to be a small village ruled by the emperors of different dynasties before the coming of the East India Company of British Power. From 8th century to 12th century there was a frequent change of the power ruling the village. The power shifted amongst the Pala, Sena and Deva dynasties. From 13th century to the concluding 17th century the place was dominated by a series of rulers including the Mamluk rulers, the Balbans, Shahs, Abyssinians and finally Afghans. With the opening of a factory at Cassim Bazar the East India Company established its colonial rule in the year 1690. The land revenue rights were bought by the East India Company and the region gained its own presidency. A fort was established and named after King Willam I. At that time Kolkata was not the capital of Bengal and the capital used to be Murshidabad, located some 60 miles north of Kolkata. The nawab of Bengal attacked the city in 1756 and captured the fort. The city however, was recaptured by the British in 1757 . After being victorious in the battle of Plassey in 1772 against Siraj Ud Daulah the East India Company established their base and the city became the capital of British India. The important offices were moved from Murshidabad to Kolkata. Till 1912 the city was the capital of India, when the British moved the capital to Delhi. In 1947 when India got its independence the city was included and made the capital of the West Bengal.