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Kolkata is the capital of the Indian state of Bengal and the largest city in the state. In addition to being situated on the eastern bank of the Hooghly River, the city is about 80 kilometres (50 miles) west of the Bangladeshi border. East India's economic and financial centres are centred in Kolkata, which is also the major port of communication for the region's northernmost states. After New Delhi and Mumbai, Kolkata is India's seventh-most populated city, with 4.5 million people inside the city boundaries and a total population of over 14.1 million residents in the Greater Kolkata Area, according to the 2011 Indian census. It is the third-most populated metropolitan region in India in terms of population size. After reaching 15 million registered voters in 2021, the Kolkata metropolitan region would be the largest in India. The Port of Kolkata is India's first and only significant riverine port, as well as its oldest operational port. Kolkata is known as the Cultural Capital of India because of its rich cultural heritage.

As a result of India's independence in 1947, Kolkata, which had previously served as the country's commercial hub, cultural centre, and political centre, was subjected to decades of political turmoil and economic stagnation. Because Kolkata is a varied city with many different cultures, its culture is marked by peculiarities such as its particularly close-knit neighbourhoods (paras) and its freestyle discussions (adda). West Bengal's film industry (Tollywood) and cultural institutions such as the Academy of Fine Arts, the Victoria Memorial, the Asiatic Society of India, and the National Library of India are all based in Kolkata, which is also the capital of West Bengal. The Agro - based Horticultural Society of India, the Geological Survey of India, the Botanical Survey of India, the Calcutta Mathematical Society, the Indian Science Congress Association, the Zoological Survey of India, the Institution of Engineers, the Anthropological Survey of India, and the Indian Public Health Association are just a few of the scientific institutions that call Kolkata home, including the Indian Public Health Association. The city has been connected with four Nobel laureates and two Nobel Memorial Prize recipients. Despite the fact that it is home to many important cricketing grounds and franchises, Kolkata differs from other Indian cities in that it places a greater emphasis on association football and other sports.