Sunday, 14 December 2014

Calcutta, How did the city originate?



old Calcutta port, 1852 India. en.wikipedia.org
Hoogly harbor, Calcutta,India eticproject.wordpress.com
Archaeological  findings at Chandraketugarh located in the northern section of Kolkata  suggest  that this region has been inhabited for above two  millennia. However,  according to official  historical records   the history of this huge city dates back to 1690, during  which time the British East India company had been engaged  in trade activities at Balasore and Hooghly for some time with a  Firman (royal decree from the then Mogul Emperor  Shahjehan (1634) at Delhi. This allowed the British company agents to reside at Pipili, Odisha (Orissa).  Later with the help of a British doctor who successfully cured emperor's daughter's severe burns, the British,  for the first time  established a factory there and brought in trade ships. Additional factories were set up in Balasore and Hooghly
Job Charnock mobileziopic.com
The company  got a special Firman during the reign of Aurangazeb.  As the Firman had several holes the British and the Bengal ruler were frequently at loggerheads with each other.  Nawob's forces drove  Charnock and his men  into a forest  where survival was tough. During their stay in the jungle, numerous British workers died for various reasons. This forced the Crown to blockade the Mogul's ships at some places including ships with people on the way to Mecca on pilgrimage. At last  Both sides were back  to the table for discussion. After a truce with British Chief, Job Charnock, chief officer of the company, Mogul Emperor Aurangazeb reissued  a special Firman with no flaws and allowed the  British company to function in a place called ''Sutanuti.'' on the banks of the Hoogly river, On August 24, In 1690 British flag was hoisted on the banks of Hoogly thus  a new chapter had been  added to Indian history which was going to change the political scene of India and also of the world in the following centuries  Now, the British company  had to pay just Rs. 3000.00 annually - a paltry sum  and  was fully exempted from  trade duty.The Indian traders never enjoyed these privileges.

After the death of Charnock in January, 1692 the British fortified the settlement in 1696 because of local Zamindar's threats. It became a  Presidency City in 1701 called ''Fort William'' after King William III of England; To accommodate rapid growth of population and to build new facilities and  extend the settlement,  the company bought the adjacent villages Kalikata and Govindpur – from local

landlords (Zamindars). ,

It is believed that Job Charnock was the founder of Kolkata (Calcutta). Now the Calcutta High Court came up with a different ruling in 2003: Kolkata represents an ancient site near the Kali Temple at Kalighat. It had its origin in the Maurya and Gupta dynasties and the township was in existence  long before the Delhi sultanate and the Moguls. Before the British Portuguese and French had trading centers there, Therefore, Charnock does not take the credit of founding Calcutta. This Indian city became a  major center  for the Indian freedom struggle and was home to numerous patriots who  spearheaded protests against the British Raj. 

Tit-bits:
There is a variety of attractive igneous rock called Charnokite - consisting mainly of quartz, feldspar and hypersthene. Often called ''hypersthene
Charnokite rock named after Job Charnock, Chennai museum,com
granite.''
There are many outcrops of this kind in St.Thomas Mount area, near Chennai of Tamil Nadu. They are widely used for decorative building work - flooring and walls.

It was named by geologist T. H. Holland of Geological Survey of India
Job Charnock- mausoleum at St.John's church, Kolkata,India en.wikipedia.org


in 1900 after the tombstone of Job Charnock, the founder of Calcutta, in St John's Church in Calcutta, India, which is made of this rock.
Ref:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Kolkata