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Shahid Minar in Kolkata

Location: North East of Maidan.

Time to visit: 10 A.M. - 6 P.M.

Preferred timing : Morning 10 A.M.-12 P.M. and evening 4 P.M.-5.30 P.M.

Admission Fee : Nil but a special pass is required which can be obtained from Deputy Commissioner of Police located at Lal Bazar.

How to reach : Being located in the heart of the city, local buses and metered taxis are always available from various parts of the city. A great option to reach Shahid Minar is through the underground Metro rail. Maidan and Esplanade are the nearest stations from where the Shahid Minar is at a walking distance.

Photography / Video charges: Strictly prohibited.

Nearest Railway Station: Howrah.

Nearest Metro Station: Maidan

Nearest Functional Metro Station: Maidan

Nearest International Airport : Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport.

Time required for sight seeing : Half an hour.

This towering Shahid Minar is located at one of the most picturesque locales of Kolkata towards the North Eastern expanse of the Maidan. As the evening sun sets on the far horizon and dusk descends on the city of joy, this magnificent snow-white tower is lit up from all corners, which makes for a dazzling display right in the heart of Kolkata.

This monumental Minar (tower) was built by the British East India Company in the year 1828 to proclaim their hard earned victory over the Himalayan kingdom of Nepal. The original name of this tower was Ochterlony Monument, aptly named after Sir David Ochterlony of the East India Company who was instrumental in securing victory over Nepal in the war of 1814-16.

This tower is no ordinary tower, which was designed by renowned British architect - J.P. Parker. The visionary that Mr. Parker was, he designed this tower with a harmonious fusion of the Syrian, Egyptian and Turkish schools of architecture. The column is Syrian, the base Egyptian while the dome is unmistakably Turkish.

Adventurous tourists who are not satisfied with the mere sight of this magnificent tower and have the intention of reaching the pinnacle have to undertake the daunting task of climbing 218 steps in all. Once the last step is successfully encountered and you are on the highest platform, the City of Joy looks like a fairyland. This panoramic view of Kolkata viewed from the top of Shahid Minar is one of the most precious take away home memory for visitors.

Visitors who intend to climb up to the top of the Shahid Minar have to seek permission from the Lal Bazar Police Station, which is close by. A word of advice - "the Shahid Minar is not for the faint hearted and it is an absolute no, no for people with cardiac diseases.

The show doesn't stop once the pinnacle of the Shahid Minar has been conquered. There is more to it then meets the eye. The Minar being located to the left of Chowringhee Road which has now been christened, as Jawaharlal Nehru Road, happens to be the busiest shopping districts of Kolkata, is ideal for souvenir hunting. The roadside hawkers sell everything from Tibetan Thankas to Balucheri sarees. Within the periphery of the Shahid Minar you will also come across the street musicians of Bengal who belt out lilting Bengali folk songs.

In short, the periphery of Shahid Minar is throbbing with activity and if you happen to be there in the afternoon, the snack vendors are seen everywhere. Jhal Muri, a spicy mixture of puffed rice, Bengal's version of the popular Bhel puri is ready in a jiffy and laced with just the right amount of raw mustard oil. Equally mouthwatering are the puchkas. Again the street side fare is not for the faint hearted though - hygiene is not the uppermost concern here, but then sanitized puchkas never really tasted as good.

In short, for people who want to have a whale of a time, the Shahid Minar - Park Street corridor is the place to be in the whole of Kolkata.

Nearby Tourist Attractions

Maidan, Esplanade, Victoria Memorial, Birla Planeterium.

Last Updated On: 2011/07/13