Calcutta – Naming Of the City
One of the first theories suggests that after the settlement of British in the trio village, all three villages were assimilated into one and named ‘Kalikata’. The reason behind naming the place ‘Kalikata’ was purely a marketing strategy used by the British who stamped ‘Kalikata’ on their export goods to compete with the Portuguese trade in Calico from Calicut in Southern India.
The second theory suggests that the naming of the city might also have been due to its riverside location. The first half of the name ‘kol’ bears reference to a particular feature of indentation in river banks; thus the place was named ‘Kolikata’.
The third assumption is the most popular and hilarious one. It is so said that the name was the result of a miscommunication between an Englishman and a local grass-cutter. When the Englishman asked the Bengali villager for the name of his village, he answered ‘kal-kata’ (‘I cut it yesterday’) thinking that the questioned referred to his bundle of grass.
Another popular theory also says that the city was named after the Goddess Kali, known to be the most popularly worshipped deity of the region. The different versions of the city’s name was finally anglicized by the British and called Calcutta. However in 2001, Buddhadeb Bhattacharya the then Chief Minister of West Bengal named the city back to its roots and called it ‘Kolkata’.