The 48 meter high Shaheed Minar is a prominent landmark of the Kolkata. It was built in the year 1828, it was named as Ochtorloney Monument to honour, Sir David Ochterlony who served in the Nepal War (1814 - 1816). In 1969, this monument was renamed as ‘Shahid Minar’, which means “Martyr’s Tower”. The name was changed to honour the sacrifice of Indian freedom fighters. The architecture of Shaheed Minar exhibits an excellent amalgamation of Egyptian, Syrian and Turkish style of architecture.
Located at the very heart of Kolkata, pristine white Shaheed Minar has remained a landmark monument for over a century and a half. The characteristic design and size of this edifice has drawn the attention of many. However, the Shahid Minar history remains just as interesting as its architecture.
This edifice was constructed in 1828 to commemorate the Major-General Sir David Ochterlony and he was the commander of the British East India Company. After independence, it was renamed as Shaheed Minar, to honor all the patriots who had laid down their lives for Indian freedom. It is also known as the 'Martyr's Tower'.
The structure of Shaheed Minar is a perfect blend of various architectural styles, including a Turkish-style rounded dome, an Egyptian foundation and a column inspired by Syrian architecture. A serpentine staircase with about 223 steps leads to the top floor of the monument. There are two balconies on the top; from where you can admire the beautiful city, Kolkata. Designed by architect J.P. Parker, the building offers a panoramic view of the city.
The architecture of Shahid Minar Kolkata shows a brilliant blend of Egyptian, Syrian and Turkish style of architecture. The foundation of the monument is based on the Egyptian style of architecture. The column is a combination of styles with a classical fluted column, a Syrian upper portion, and a Turkish dome. It has two balconies at the top.
The bottom or the base of the monument is built following Egyptian architecture. A pillar is set on the base and the pillar follows a Syrian design. There is also a third kind of architecture involved which is a Turkish Ottoman architectural design. The dome of the Minar is made by this design culminating the combination of three different architectural structures. It has two balconies at the top and the top floor of the minar is accessible by a serpentine staircase, a total of 223 steps. The view of the city from the top is said to be phenomenal.
How to Reach Shaheed Minar
The nearest international airport is Netaji Subhash Chandar Bose. It is a 30 minute drive from the airport to Shaheed Minar via VIP Road. The Shaheed Minar is a short way off, both from Howrah railway Station and Sealdah Railway Station. Though the distance from the train station to the ‘monument’ is less than 2 miles, given the traffic conditions in Kolkata, it might take quite some time to travel even this small distance.
Kolkata is well connected to all major cities in India by road. From Kolkata there are plenty of trams and buses, especially from Esplanade, that will take you to Shahid Minar.
Best time to visit Shaheed Minar
Best time to visit Shaheed Minar Kolkata is during winters from November to October. During the summer months, April to September, outdoor locations the weather gets too hot and humid.
Places to visit near Shaheed Minar
St John's Church
This church was built in the 17th century church and it was the first public building constructed by British in Kolkata when the city served as capital for British raj. St. John’s Church is the 3rd oldest church in Kolkata and is situated within the Raj Bhavan complex. The church is built in the squared shape and is of the neoclassical architectural style. The most magnificent feature of the church is the 174 feet tall spire.
Founded as far back as 1814, the Indian Museum of Kolkata is largest and oldest museum in India. There are 35 galleries in the museum which house most of the rare artifacts of both cultural and scientific importance. The museum comprises the sections like Art, Archaeology, Anthropology, Economic Botany, Zoology and Geology. The Mughal paintings of the Museum enthrall the viewers. The museum comprises the Egyptian mummy and fossil skeletons which provide spine chilling experience to the visitors. Bharhut’s Buddha Stupa, Buddha’s Ashes, Ashoka Pillar etc are few of the striking features of Indian Museum.
Pareshanth Jain Temple
Calcutta Jain Temple or Pareshnath Jain temple is dedicated to 23rd Jain Thirthankara namely Pareshnath. The temple is established in 18th century. Jain Pilgrims from all over India throng this temple. The idol of Lord Shitalnathji is incarnated in the main sanctum sanctorum. The diamond studded crown of Shitalnathji’s idol entices the visitors. The main sanctum sanctorum has a ghee lamp which has stayed on continuously right from the establishment of the temple in 18th century.
This planetarium focuses on educating the visitor about the universe. Set in pleasant grounds, the planetarium offers lectures in Hindi, Bengali and English, as well as a number of audio video displays. The structure of the planetarium is loosely modeled on the Buddhist stupa at Sarnath, where the Buddha gave his first lecture.
Shaheed Minar timings:10:00AM to 6 PM
Shaheed Minar Entry Fees:Nil