Kolkata is the capital of India’s West Bengal state. Founded as an East India Company trading post, it was India’s capital under the British Raj from 1773–1911. It is located on the eastern bank of the Hooghly River, the city is approximately 80 kilometres west of the border with Bangladesh. In the late 17th century, the three villages that predated Kolkata were ruled by the Nawab of Bengal under Mughal suzerainty. Nawab Sirajud-Daulah occupied Kolkata in 1756, and the East India Company retook it the following year. Under the company rule and later under the British Raj, Kolkata served as the capital of British-held territories in India until 1911.
Now it’s known for its grand colonial architecture, art galleries and cultural festivals. It’s also home to Mother House, headquarters of the Missionaries of Charity, founded by Mother Teresa, whose tomb is on site. It is home to West Bengal’s film industry Tollywood, and cultural institutions, such as the Academy of Fine Arts, the Victoria Memorial, the Asiatic Society, the Indian Museum and the National Library of India. Kolkata is the seventh-most populous city in India, with a population of around 4.5 million residents within the city limits, and a population of over 14.1 million residents in the Kolkata Metropolitan Area.