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In a close proximity to Kolkata Maidan lies tall imposing Shaheed Minar , once known as Octerloney Monument, after its founder Sir David Ochterlony. The 48 meters high minar today is a dedicated in the honor of those great soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the freedom of India. Today it has become the center of political meetings and rallies in
Kolkata. Party assemblages and seminars, on various contemporary issues
are often held here.
Shaheed Minar: Past & Present
Located In the heart of the metropolitan city of Kolkata near Esplanade, the Shaheed Minar is situated on the Kolkata Maidan. The monument that was established back in the year 1826 marking the victory of Sir David Ochterlony over Marathas in 1804 and the victory of the East India Company’s armed forces over the Gurkhas in the Anglo-Nepalese War. The monument is an excellent exhibition of architectural varieties. For instance; the base is structured in Egyptian styles. However the structure of the main monument follows the Syrian architecture. Further divergence can be noticed in the dome that represents Turkish architectural design. Overall; the architecture is symbolic of the Ottoman architectural designs. Shaheed Minar is located on Rani Rashmoni Avenue in the city of Kolkata in West Bengal. In recent times it has become the favorite venue for staging political meetings and rallies for all parties in West Bengal. It all started back in the year 1931 when the first convocation meeting was chaired by Nobel Prize winner poet Rabindranath Tagore on the eve of killing of Bengali youth in Hizli. West Bengal Government has decided to illuminate the tower at the evening times so that visitors can also go up the top during evening times. Since 1997 when a tourist jumped from the lower balcony of the monument, police permission is necessary for climbing the minar.Last persons who got on to the top of the Minar were Gopal Krishna Gandhi and his family, who was the former Governor of West Bengal.
Architectural Features of Shaheed Minar
The monument carries a combination of three types of architecture. While the base is made following the Egyptian architecture, the pillar follows Syrian design and the dome is constructed in Turkish Ottoman architectural design. The construction started in the year 1826 and was completed in 1848. It is under the protection of the Government of West Bengal. The monument was recently renovated in the year 2011. The chief designer of the monument was J. P. Parker.The monument has two balconies on its top where the visitors can move through a flight of serpentine stair cases. On count there are 223 steps to climb. Renovation of the monument was completed in June 2012.
Nearby Points of Attraction
The monument is located on the Kolkata Maidan and that has resulted in the vast field being called as the Shaheed Minar Maidan (Brigade Ground). The Maidan is a favorite abode for many people for escape to open air and greeneries from the busy jungle of concrete that Kolkata virtually is. You will find kiosks, stalls and souvenir shops all around just as in most tourist places. The surrounding area is being cleaned as well as decorated with flower plants to make the scenario attractive for the visitors.
Tourists who desire to climb on top of the monument has to obtain permission submitting their legal documents and identity with the Lalbazar Police Station. Foreigners will have to submit copy of their passports as well. Getting on top of the monument is an experience in itself as it offers a bird’s eye view of the great city of Kolkata, something akin to the London Eye. There are several places that are located in close proximity to the
monument that one should visit. For instance Victoria Memorial Hall,
Nandan Hall, the Indian Museum and the Planetarium are some of the
places that are included in every tourist’s itinerary.
How to Reach Shaheed Minar ?
If you are coming by air to Kolkata, you can avail public transport or hired taxis to reach Esplanade where the monument is located.Both bus and taxi services are available at Dumdum Netaji Subhash Airport. Similarly, those coming by train and reaching Howrah Station can avail bus, tram, and taxi services to reach Esplanade that is a tram and Bus junction point. Visitors can also avail bus services from different parts of the country and from all parts of West Bengal to Esplanade and visit the Shaheed Minar in Maidan.
Accommodation & Food Nearby Shaheed Minar
All types of accommodation, luxury, medium range, and budget type are
available in and around Esplanade area. Some of the famous hotels nearby
are the Pride Hotel , Taj Bengal , Swiss Hotel
Fortune Park Panchawati , ITC Sonar Kolkata , Park
Hotel , Fortune Select London , The Keenylworth ,
Peerless Inn , Broadway Hotel , Mayur residency , and Grand Hotel . There are many others within 5 km of the
monument and either accommodation or food will not be a problem. Besides
the in house restaurants in these hotels and other hotels there are
several different food points nearby.
Important Facts About Shaheed Minar:
Former Name : Ochterlony Monument Construction started:1825 Completed:1848 Type : Monument Location : Kolkata Maidan Address :11,Rani Rashmoni Avenue Kolkata,West Bengal, India Owner :Government of West Bengal Height :48 m (157 ft)
Shaheed Minar stands with its head high representing the rich culture and heritage of Bengal and India.