|shaeed minar, Kolkata, en.wikipedia. org|
|1816 painting by Arthur William Devis. Sir David Ochterlony .en.wikipedia.org|
The Shaheed Minar (English: Martyrs' Monument), is a historical monument in Kolkata in memory of one Major-General Sir David Ochterlony GCB (1758 – 1825), who served under Lord Lake in the battles of Koil, Aligarh and Delhi. Formerly known as the Ochterlony Monument, it was built in 1828. He became a resident of Delhi in 1803 in recognition of his able administrative and military services to the English company. No sooner had he been promoted as the commander of the British East India Company in 1804, he successfully commanded the English army in defense of Delhi against the Marathas in the same year itself. He also won the war for the East India Company against the Gurkha in the Angelo-Nepalese war (1814–15).
|Sir David Ochterlony British General - Antique Print 1890www.ebay.com.sg|
The expenses for the monument designed by J. P. Parker were met through public subscription and funds. Work began in 1825 and completed in 1826. This monument in August 1969 was renamed and rededicated to the memory of the freedom fighters who lost their lives during the freedom struggle. It is a great memorial for the Indian martyrs of the Indian freedom movement and was renamed the "Shahid Minar," which means "martyrs monument" in both Bengali and Hindi. The monument underwent some major changes to attract more tourists.
It is located in the Esplanade area of central Kolkata in the north east part of the Maidan. The tower that rises to a height of 157 ft - 48 m is quite visible in this area and was built on a solid foundation.The classical fluted column has two parts - a Syrian upper portion and a Turkish cupola - dome. There are two balconies atop the tower. The top floor of the Minar can be accessed by a circular staircase, consisting of a total of 223 steps. It was built by the Burn and company.
The vast open space to the south of Shaheed Minar, is referred to as as the Shaheed Minar Maidan or the Brigade Ground where political rallies and fairs used to be held. It has a history of holding political rallies and fairs.