View on the Hooghly (Hugli), from the Elgin Collection: 'Spring Tours 1894-98', taken in the 1890s. Looking north over the rooftops towards the Hooghly River at Calcutta, with the Howrah Bridge in the distance. The Export and Import Jetties can be seen in the foreground. Calcutta is a city and port in eastern India and the capital of West Bengal. It was founded in 1690 by the British East India Company on the banks of the Hooghly River, a distributary of the River Ganges. The port provided access from the sea to the hinterland of Bengal, India’s richest province. In little more than half a century the original trading port grew into a considerable city, clustered round the Company’s fort. The modern port was commissioned on 17 October 1870 under the Calcutta Port Act and went on to become the premier port in British India.