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Growth rate: 6.3%

Often termed fondly as the cultural headquarter of India, the capital of West Bengal has a population of 5 million.

Like its many other metropolitan cousins, Kolkata suffered from economic stagnation in post-independence India. However, since 2000, the city has witnessed an economic rejuvenation, thanks to the development of IT industry in Rajarhat in Greater Kolkata. The city's IT sector is growing at 70 per cent yearly -- twice that of the national average.

The city has seen a surge of investments in the housing infrastructure sector. Several new projects have come up in recent times.

Some reputed companies are headquartered here. Of them, Bata India, ITC Limited, Birla Corporation, Domodar Valley Corporation deserve special mention. Opening of the Nathu La in Sikkim as a trade route has put Kolkata in an advantageous position.

Like other metropolitan cities of India, Kolkata continues to struggle with problems like poverty, pollution and traffic congestion.