Calcutta

Calcutta, on the left bank of the Hooghly, the largest and westernmost branch of the Ganges delta, about 80 m. from the sea; is the capital of Bengal and the Indian Empire, and the residence of the Governor-General; the Government buildings, Bishop's College (now an engineering school) High Court, town hall, bank, museum, university, St. Paul's cathedral, and many other English Buildings have earned for it the name “city of palaces”; but the native quarters, though being improved, are still squalid, the houses of mud or bamboo; an esplanade, numerous quays, an excellent water-supply, gas, and tramway services, add to the amenities; there are extensive dockyards, warehouses, iron-works, timber yards, and jute mills; extensive railway and steamboat communications make it the chief emporium of commerce in Asia; ships of 5000 tons enter the docks; founded in 1686, Calcutta was captured by Surajah Dowlah, and the “Black Hole” massacre perpetrated in 1756; became the capital of India in 1772, and has suffered frequently from cyclones; the population are two-thirds Hindus, less than a third Mohammedan, and 4½ per cent. Christian.

Population (circa 1900) given as 900,000.

Definition taken from The Nuttall Encyclopædia, edited by the Reverend James Wood (1907)

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