History of Kolkata
The term ''Kolkata'' is derived from ''Kolikata,'' (a Bengali word) which is the name of one of the three Indian villages that existed prior to the arrival of the British in the country. The other two villages being Govindapur and Sutanuti and the present city of Kolkata is situated exactly where they were located.
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 at Balasore and Hooghly in mercantile activities for some time with a Firman (royal decree from the then Mogul Emperor Shahjehan (1634) at Delhi. This allowed the British company agents to build a factory in Kolkata but reside at Pipili,Odisha(Orissa). Two years later emperor Shahjahan's beautiful daughter, while applying scented perfume, her dress accidentally caught fire and she received severe burns. The emperor was very much concerned about his daughter's appearance and worried whether she would remain disfigured for the rest of her life, He brought a British surgeon of the East India company from Surat who completely cured her burns and pain and she began to lead a normal life. Instead of fees the doctor got permission from the emperor to build a factory at Pipili and to bring in the cargo ships through the Hoogly river. The same British doctor, two years later on request from the local ruler, cured the ailment of one of the girls in the local Nawob's family and this act of British doctor helped the company establish factories in Balasore and Hooghly.
After Aurangazeb became the emperor the company got a special Firman. However, as the Firman had a lot of holes, the British and the Nawob of Bengal were frequently at loggerheads with each other and there were many skirmishes between them. 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 the Chief of British, Job Charnock, Aurangazeb finally reissued a special Firman with no flaws. This allowed the British company to function in a place called ''Sutanuti.'' on the banks of the Hoogly river, On August 24, 1690 British flag was hoisted on the banks of Hoogly, thus new chapter had been added to Indian history which was going to change the political scene of India and also of the world Now, the British company had to pay just Rs. 3000.00 annualy - 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; it became a Presidency City in 1701 and called it ''Fort William'' after King William III of England, To accommodate rapid growth of population, build new facilities and extend the settlement, the company bought the adjacent villages Kalikata and Govindpur – from landlords (Zamindars).
Calcutta once had huge population of Angelo Indians as inter religious marriage were common prior to 1900.
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 later became a major center for the Indian freedom struggle and is home to numerous patriots and two Nobel laureates.
Charnokite (Hyperthene granite or pink granite): This attractive igneous rock, a variety of granite group has a large portion of Hypersthene, feldspar and quartz. It was named by geologist T. H. Holland 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.