- Founded by English traders in 1690 in the proximity of Danish, Portuguese and Armenian trading posts. Capital of India during the rule of the East India Company until 1912, capital of West Bengal located at the Hugli River, a stream connected to the Ganges River Delta. Population 14,282,000 (UN 2004). Largest city in India. The greater metropolitan area includes 19 cities adjacent and attached to Calcutta. According to UN estimates, Kolgata (Calcutta) will reach 17.6 Million in 2015 and rank 11 among the world's largest cities.