Kolkata (c-eniconˈkoʊlkʌtɑː; , , -bnKolkatāIPAHi-Kolkata, formerly known as Calcutta, is the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal. Kolkata was the commercial capital of East India, located on the east bank of the Hooghly River. The city of Kolkata has 4.5 million residents, and the metropolitan area, including suburbs, has a population of approximately 15.7 million, making it the third most populous metropolitan area in India and the 13th most populous urban area in the world. The city is also classified as the eighth largest urban agglomeration in the world.
Kolkata served as the capital of India during the British Raj until 1911 when due to geographical disadvantages and growing nationalism in Bengal the capital was shifted to New Delhi. The city is noted for its vibrant political culture, ranging from the Indian struggle for independence to contemporary politics. Once the center of modern education, science, culture, and politics in India, Kolkata witnessed economic stagnation in the years following India's independence in 1947. However, since the year 2000, an economic rejuvenation has led to an acceleration in the city's growth. Like other metropolitan cities of India, Kolkata continues to struggle with urbanisation problems like pollution and traffic congestion. Despite its problems, Kolkata remains the dominant urban area of eastern India and a major educational and cultural hub.