Let us begin from the beginning.
Although the name 'Kalikata' was mentioned in the rent-rolls of the Mughal Emperor Akbar, it was in 1690 that the Englishman Job Charnock took on lease 3 large villages on the Banks of the river Hooghly Sutanuti, Govindapur and Kalikata - as a trading post of the East India Co. In due course, the then Mughal Emperor granted the Company the freedom of trade in return for a yearly payment of Rs.3000/-
The Britishers were looked upon with suspicion by the local people and the then Nawab of Bengal Sirajud- Daula challenged the British in 1756 and wrested the land back from them. The next year however, in the famous Battle of Plassey, betrayed by his trusted confidante Mir Jafar, the Nawab was beaten and the lucrative trading town was once again taken over by the British. The head quarters of East India Co. was set up in the city they built and named Calcutta. Sir Warren Hastings, the First Governor General of India established in the city of Calcutta the Supreme Courts of Justice and the Supreme Revenue Administration and she became the Capital of British India in 1772.
By 1800 Calcutta became the Centre of all Cultural and Political Movements in entire India and the 19th Century Renaissance and Reformation in this country was pioneered in this city. Raja Rammohan Roy, Pundit Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, Thakur Ram Krishna Paramhansa, Swami Vivekananda, the Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore, Sri Jagadish Chandra Bose, Sri Satyendra Nath Bose ( co-author of Bose- Einstein Theory) and countless others enhanced the cultural heritage of the city. Between 1820-30, the nationalism which swept the entire country originated from this city and the people opposed the plans of Lord Curzon to divide Bengal. The partition was repealed in 1911 followed by the shifting of the capital of India from Calcutta to New Delhi. In 2001, Calcutta was officially renamed Kolkata.
To understand Kolkata you must understand Bengali values. Intellect is preferred over wealth. Bengalis do not stash away money and do not understand how to make it from business and trade. They are deeply emotional. An average Bengali would spend his money on books, hilsa and rasgulla, enjoy a cultural evening or a game of football, the passion of the city, and discuss the state of the world for hours over a cup of tea. He will try to give his children the best education possible and teach cultural values.
If you want a city with a soul, come to this City of Joy Kolkata.