The times when British merchant, Job Charnock, had checked-in in Kolkata area in 1686; Kolkata was more of a rural backwater. However, (now Kalighat) had been a centre of attraction for centuries. Job Charnock’s efforts encouraged the development of a miniature version of London in Kolkata in the form of English churches situated down the wide streets, stately buildings, and well sculptured gardens. However, the dream of converting it into a grand city shattered when they got to see the underprivileged service-class Indians living in overcrowded slums. In 1756, the city witnessed a meteoric rise when the Nawab of Murshidabad, Sirajud-daula took its reign in his hands and imprisoned a number of colonial aristocracy members in a small room thereby causing the death of 40 of them.
But, the Nawab could not rule for long as in the following year he lost control of the city to Clive of India who retook Calcutta after defeating the Nawab at the Battle of Plassey (now Palashi). Britishers built a stronger fort and declared the town as the official capital of British India. During the late 18th century, it was even possible to hunt tigers in the bamboo forests, around which the present day Sudder St is situated.
The middle-class Calcuttans underwent an amazing cultural awakening, triggered by Bengali Renaissance movement during the late-19th-century. The infamous division of Bengal in1905 fueled the flame of the Indian Independence movement in the city. Though, Bengal reunited in 1911, the growing intensity of independence movement forced British to transfer their colonial capital to Delhi which was relatively less troublesome.