proper again is divided into the `Old Town' and the `Added Area.'
The former, which covers 3,766 acres, is divided into eighteen wards,
and is situated between the Lower Circular Road and the Hooghly river.
This is the tract within the old Maratha Ditch, corresponding with the
original civil jurisdiction of the Sadar Diwani Adalat. The `Added
Area' lies south and east of the Old Town, and is separated from it by
the Circular Road; it contains 8,188 acres, distributed over eleven
wards. It was excluded from the Suburban municipality and added to
Calcutta by Bengal Act II of 1888.
The soil on which Calcutta is built has been formed at a compara-
tively recent date by the alluvial deposits of the Gangetic delta, and
excavations made for tanks and foundations disclose alternate layers of
sand and clay. A bore-hole sunk in Fort William in 184o revealed an
ancient land surface at a depth of 382 feet.
The climate is hot and moist. The mean temperature averages 79°,
the mean maximum being 102° in May and the mean minimum 48° in
January. The average temperature in the hot season is 85°, in the rains
83°, and in the cold season 72°. Humidity averages 78 per cent. of
saturation, ranging from 69 per cent. in March to 89 per cent. in August.
The annual rainfall averages 6o inches, and the average number of
rainy days in the year is 118.
At the beginning and close of the rainy season Calcutta is frequently
visited by cyclones, the most disastrous having occurred in 1737, 1842,
1864, and 1867. In 1737 the steeple of St. Anne's Church fell to the
ground, many houses were blown down, and all but one of the ships in
the river were driven ashore. In the cyclone of 1864 as many as 49
persons were killed and 16 injured; several brick houses were destroyed
or damaged, and only 23 of the 195 vessels in the port escaped without
The earthquake of June 12, 1897, was severely felt in Calcutta; the
steeple of the Cathedral was destroyed and 1,3oo houses were injured.
Calcutta is mentioned in a poem of 1495 as a village on the bank of
the Hooghly. When the Portuguese began to frequent the river about
1530, SATGAON, not far from Hooghly on the old
History. Saraswati river, was the great emporium of trade.
Owing to the shallowness of the upper reaches of the river, however,
ships used to anchor at Garden Reach, and their goods were sent up to
Satgaon in small boats; and a market thus sprang up at Betor, near
Sibpur, on the west bank of the Hooghly, which the Portuguese made
their head-quarters. In the sixteenth century the Saraswati began to silt
up, and Sātgaon was abandoned. Most of its inhabitants went to the
town of Hooghly, but about the middle of the century four families of
Bysakhs and one of Seths founded the village of Gobindpur on the site
of the modern Fort William. Shortly after this the Portuguese moved