Shaheed Minar – Cloud Kissing Monument
Before starting the blog about Shaheed Minar – Cloud Kissing Monument, first make it a point what the word SHAHEED signifies …Shaheed, both Bengali and Hindi term, means the soldier or revolutionist who really love their motherland, can sacrifice their life with a smile on their face, that soldiers are honored as Shaheed…Shaheed for the country..
Now introducing a brief history about Shaheed Minar…
Shaheed Minar, one of the iconic monument of Kolkata, which has a height of 48mtr stands with pride face up towards the sky from the year 1828, formerly known as the Ochterlony Monument, was constructed in the honor of Major-general Sir David Ochterlony, commander of the British East India Company, to memorialize both his successful defense of Delhi against the Marathas in 1804 and the victory of the East India Company’s armed forces over the Gurkhas in the Anglo-Nepalese War. J.P. Parker designed the structure.
In August 1969, United Front Government again rededicated the monument as “SHAHEED MINAR” in the honor of the patriotism freedom fighters who gave their lives to make independent India from British Raj.
Samuel Langhorne Clemens who better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American writer, entitled “Shaheed Minar” as the “Cloud Kissing Monument” with total count of 218 steps till the top of the Minar, having Egyptian Style foundation base.
Now a day’s Government restricted common people to go up on the monument. The last persons who went up there was former governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi and his family.
Furthermore, the real beauty of the Minar gets bloom both in day and night time…both have significance beauty…
In daytime one can witness the magnificent architecture of Shaheed Minar with the windows goes up in a spiral design along with the 4 sides of the base of the Minar, 3 sides of which, designed by circular Corinthian leaf garland and the entrance gate in the north, made of Iron, emblem with the wings of two Eagle which signifies the strength of soldiers who can bears all the hurdles with their arms open to protect the motherland.
The monument made up of three types of architecture… the base of the Shaheed Minar, made following Egyptian Architecture, followed by the great pillar follows Syrian Design and the dome at the top followed the designer of Turkish Ottoman architecture. Additionally, it has two balconies at the top from where one can mesmerize the eternal panoramic beauty of Kolkata City which remains as a lifetime achievement for one.
Not to mention in the night monument starts glowing in different colors which definitely grab the attention of all the visitors.
- On one side of the base of the great column, a white circular marble disc is embedded. On marble disc, an inscription is written “Sir David Ochterlony, Baronet, Grand Cross of the Military
Order of the Bath, Major General in the Army of Bengal, died at Meerut on the 15th July 1825. The people of Bengal, natives, and European, to commemorate his services as a statesman and a soldier, have in grateful admiration raised this column.”
- The first convocation, held in Shaheed Minar under the leadership of Kabiguru Rabindranath Tagore to condemn the killing of a youth in Hijli by the British in 1931.
- Mackintosh Burn Ltd was the contractor.
How to go:
The Shaheed Minar, situated in the middle of the city, Esplanade. Metro is the best route to travel.
Nearest Metro station is Esplanade Metro Station.
Open 24 hours.
- For permission contact the office of the assistant commissioner of police
- Should carry a photo ID and address proof and a photocopy of each. Apply for permission a day or two ahead of the day of your visit date. Foreign visitors need a document from their hotel/guesthouse and passport photocopy.
- Carry a powerful torch or flashlight and water and wear comfortable shoes.
- Cameras not allowed inside.
- Moreover without fitness test, one cannot get the permission.