Shahid Minar is only about 2 km from our hotel and we went to visit on our first day at Kolkata. It is a monument built in 1828, the memory of the commander of British East India Company, named Sir David Ochteriony. It was to commemorate his victory in the Nepal War that took place during the period from 1814 to 1816. Then it was known as Ochteriony Monument. Later, in 1969, it was rededicated to those who died in the struggle for Independence and renamed Shahid Minar.
We reached the place at 4.30 in the evening and saw that it was tall, about 48 meters in height. The base of the skyscraper was built in the Egyptian style, and the upper portion of the column reflects Syrian architecture. The dome of the tower is built according to the Turkish architecture. It has two balconies on the top floor. The vast space to the south of Shahid Minar is known as Shahid Minar Maidan or the Brigade Ground. A number of political rallies and meetings were held here in the past. The first political meeting was held in 1931, presided over by Rabindranath Tagore. The central bus terminus of the city is also around the monument.
We had got a special pass from the Deputy Commissioner of Police to climb to the top of the tower, as we were advised at the travel desk in the hotel. So we went in and climbed the steps leading to the top of the tower. We had to climb about 218 steps to reach the top. But once we reached the top, all our fatigue was forgotten. The view from there was superb. The sight was so fantastic that we stood there for a long time, feeling the cool evening breeze on our face and admiring the surrounding view.
We got down and wandered in the Brigade Ground for about 1 hour, enjoying the surroundings and having a cup of hot tea from the local vendor. As darkness fell, the tower got illuminated with bright lights from all its corners, which looked very beautiful. We stood there admiring it for some time and then left to the hotel.