Kolkata (officially Kolkata, until 2001 Calcutta) is the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal. With about 5 million inhabitants (2008) in the city proper (excluding suburban belt), it is the fourth largest city in the country and with about 15 million inhabitants (2008) in the metropolitan area, it is the third largest metropolitan area in India.
Kolkata is an industrial city, transport hub and cultural center and an important Hindu pilgrimage site related to Kalighat, one of the most important temples in honor of the goddess Kali.
In the local Bengali language, the name of Kolkata is Kolkata. During the British colonial period, the city received the English name form Calcutta. In 2001, the English name of the city was officially changed to Kolkata, thus corresponding to the Bengali name. Like the renaming of Bombay to Mumbai and Madras to Chennai in the 1990s, the name change of Calcutta reflects anti-colonial and regionalist sentiments in Indian politics.
Officially, about 15 million people live in Kolkata, unofficial estimates put the population at more than 30 million. In any case, Kolkata, which was called Kolkata during the British colonial period until 2001, is a juggernaut that attracts more and more people.
With the many millions of people came the misery that has made the city much more famous than its buildings or its colonial past.
For many foreigners, Kolkata has become an epitome of the misery of the third world countries. And you are right: life in India, especially in Kolkata, cannot be compared with life in the West. Only about five percent of the population are rich or belong to the upper middle class. Only 20 percent can pay the rent regularly and do not have to go hungry.
Is Kolkata in India or Bengal?
Where is Kolkata in which state?
Why is Kolkata famous?
What language does Kolkata speak?