The capital of West Bengal, Kolkata is located in the eastern part of India and is one of the most famous cities in India. Due to its strategic location, the city has seen several important political and social upsets in the past and therefore its history occupies an important place in the chronological description of the whole scenario of the Indian subcontinent and the rest of the world. Kolkata has also experienced some of the very well-known monarchial and bureaucratic rules, which have profoundly influenced its culture.
Though archaeologists believe that Kolkata has been inhabited for over two thousand years, its documented history begins only after the arrival of the British East India Company, in 1690. Ancient evidence suggests that Kolkata was an established trading hub much before the arrival of the Delhi Sultanate , the Mughals, the Portuguese, the French or the British. The citys origins date back to the Maurya and Gupta period. The city has also been mentioned in the ancient epic Mahabharata. It is believed that Kalikata was the ancient name of the city and is derived from the Bengali word Kalikshetra, meaning Land of Goddess Kali. There is also a belief that the city takes its name from the location of the original settlement on the bank of a canal (khal). The British gave the city the name Calcutta, which is an Anglicized version of the Bengali name Kalikata. In 2001 the Indian government turned Calcutta into Kolkata