Kolkata and Chennai, India

Kolkata and Chennai, India


Kolkata, until 2001 English Calcutta [Kael k ʌ tə], German Calcutta, capital of the state of West Bengal, India; Located on the left bank of the Hugli (Ganges estuary), Kolkata is at risk of flooding. With 14.1 million residents (2011), the agglomeration forms one of the largest urban regions in India.

According to Ehangzhou.org, Kolkata is an important Hindu pilgrimage site and a Catholic archbishopric. In addition to several state and private universities, there are colleges for management, for hygiene and health, for radio physics and electronics as well as research institutes, including several for medicine and one for nuclear physics, national library, Indian Museum (founded 1814) and others. Museums, zoological and botanical gardens.

Together with the neighboring cities, Kolkata forms the economic center of eastern India. The industry includes jute and cotton processing, machine, engine, vehicle and shipbuilding, electrical engineering, chemical, glass and food industries. The important service sector focuses on finance (banks, stock exchanges), services (call centers) and healthcare. Kolkata is connected to the hinterland by the railway network, the Ganges and a shipping canal with Damodar. The actual importance of Calcutta can be derived from its function as an overseas port (approx. 150 km from the Bay of Bengal), despite the increasing silting up of the Hugli; a relief port is located at the Hugli estuary; international airport in Dum Dum.


The center of modern Kolkata is the BBD Bag (formerly Dalhousie Square) with the buildings of the main post office (1868), the Writers Building (1880, seat of several ministries), etc., to the south are Saint John’s Church (1784), the official seat of the governor (1799 –1802) and the neo-Gothic Town Hall (1872). The Victoria Memorial (1906–21), a monumental marble building (today a museum with a collection on British-Indian history), is located in the Maidan Park (former apron of Fort William), near Saint Paul’s Cathedral (1839–47, after earthquake damage in 1934 ff. rebuilt).

Further north is the Indian Museum and the covered New Market, a bazaar built in 1847. To the north of the BBD Bag are the Nakhoda Mosque and the house where R. Tagores was born; on the bank of the Hugli the Kalighat temple, pilgrimage destination for countless Hindus; a complex of several Jain temples (19th century) in Badri Das Park; the Haora Bridge (1937–43) with a span of 450 m connects Kolkata with Haora.


The name of a village Kalikata is mentioned as early as 1495 in the work of a Bengali poet, later in a tax role of the Mughal ruler Akbar (1556-1605). The present-day city of Kolkata came into being when the English chose a cluster of villages on Hugli (including Kalikata) in 1690 – as a replacement for their abandoned Hugli trading post upstream – as the location of a branch of the East Indian trading company, which was expanded into a fortified settlement (Fort William). Stormed by the Bengali in 1756, by R. Clive in 1757Recaptured, the city was the seat of the Governor General of British India from 1773 to 1912, who from 1858 (end of the East India Trade Company, takeover of India by the British Crown) also held the office of Viceroy. In 1912 the seat of government of British India was relocated to Delhi.


Chennai, until 1996 Madras, capital of the state of Tamil Nadu, southern India, on the Coromandel coast, urban agglomeration (2011) 8.7 million residents.

Catholic archbishopric, Anglican and Syrian Orthodox bishopric; University (founded in 1857), technical university (founded in 1978), Kalakshetra (college for music, dance, theater, painting and handicrafts), music academy, Goethe Institute, leather research institute, libraries with important manuscript collections, museum with art gallery (early Indian art), botanical and zoological garden, aquarium. Chennai is an important industrial location; Major automobile construction (with investments from the most important international automobile manufacturers), construction of wagons, trucks and precision machinery, petroleum refining, metal, electrotechnical, chemical, textile and food industries; Film studios. Since about 2000 development to another center (after Bangalore and Hyderabad) of the Indian IT industry with significant computer and software production. Chennai is an important traffic center with a commercial and fishing port and an international airport in the southwest.

Chennai is v. a. shaped by British colonial buildings. In the Georgetown business district, the 1892 is located in the indosarazen. Style high court with lighthouse (1844). Fort Saint George (1640) with the Anglican Church of Saint Mary (consecrated in 1679) is located on the coastal road in the north, while in the south is the Catholic Cathedral of Saint Thomas (1504, rebuilt around 1853) and the Shiva shrine from the 16th century.

In 1639/40 the English East India Company founded a trading post and Fort Saint George around which the city was formed near the fishing village of Madraspatnam. Under the name Madras, Chennai was in French hands from 1746-48 and 1758 and later became the capital of the Presidency Madras, in 1947 of the State of Madras (since 1968 Tamil Nadu) of the Indian Republic. In 1996 the city was renamed Chennai.

Chennai, India

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