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Shaheed Minar / Ochterlony Monument Kolkata

This is a 48-meter high monument, built with a unique blend of Turkish, Egyptian and Syrian architecture and is named after Sir David Ochterlony. In 1969 its name was changed to 'Shaheed Minar'. It was erected in 1828. There?s a fine view from the top of the column, but permission to ascend must be obtained from police headquarters, which is on Lal Bazaar St.

It was built to commemorate the British East India Company's victory in the Nepal Campaign of 1814 - 1816. In 1968, however, it was renamed Shaheed Minar or Martyrs' Column in memory of the Indian freedom fighters. Designed by J.P. Parker, this column is of mixed architectural style having a Syrian column, an Egyptian plinth slightly tapering towards the top, and a Turkish cupola. It needs 218 steps to climb to the top of the high tower. Political parties, trade unions and other groups frequently use the grounds adjoining the monument to hold public meetings. The custom of convening political seminars started in 1931 when a historical convocation took place here, presided by Rabindranath Tagore. The humanitarian poet had severely condemned the vandalism of the imperialist British Government that had shot a youth dead in the Calabooze in Hizli. Few years ago, the dome of the 'Minar' was coloured which kicked off a storm of protest.
Visiting Hours
It?s only open Monday to Friday and you should simply ask for a monument pass at the Assistant Commissioner?s office on the 2nd floor.
Travel Tips
A little distance away from the foot of the monument, there is a terminus for local buses as well as long-distance One can have a panoramic view of Calcutta from the top of this Minar. From there, the much-known Calcutta is transformed into an enigmatic fantasyland. But one cannot get at the top of the Minar at one's will until he has the permission of the Deputy Commissioner.

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