West Bengal is a state in the eastern region of India and is the nation's fourth-most populous. It is bordered by the countries of Nepal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh, and the Indian states of Orissa, Jharkhand, Bihar, Sikkim, and Assam. The state capital is Kolkata(formerly Calcutta). West Bengal encompasses two broad natural regions: the Gangetic Plain in the south and the sub-Himalayan and Himalayan area in the north.
During the British colonial era from 1700–1912, Kolkata (then known as Calcutta) enjoyed the privilege of being the capital of British India and witnessed a spate of frenzied construction of buildings, largely influenced by the conscious intermingling of Neo-Gothic, Baroque, Neo-Classical, Oriental and Islamic schools of design. Unlike many north Indian cities, whose construction stresses minimalism, the layout of much of the architectural variety in Kolkata owes its origins to European styles and tastes imported by the British and, to a much lesser extent, by the Portuguese and French.