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Before railways the most efficient mode of land transportation was by river - and the Ganges River system runs nearly three quarters of the way from the opium fields (in what is modern Pakistan and Afghanistan) to Calcutta. The only comparable port facility would likely have been Bombay (modern Mumbai), but without the advantage either of large scale river ...


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Calcutta had two functions. One, it was an assembly point for opium gathered from other parts of India because many rivers flowed in that direction from near the opium fields as Pieter mentioned. Second, it was a port in the part of India (east) "nearest" to China and under British control. Third, as of 1772, Calcutta was the headquarters of the British ...



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