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Maidan and Fort William

Maidan and Fort William, Kolkata
The Maidan, located in the middle of Calcutta, is one of the largest city parks in the world. It is 1km wide and 3km from north to south. It is bound by Strand Rd along the river to the west and by Chowringhee Rd, lined with shops, offices, hotels and eating places, to the east. The stream known as Tolly's Nullah forms its southern boundary, and here you will find a racecourse and the Victoria Memorial. In the north-west corner of the Maidan is Eden Gardens, while Raj Bhavan overlooks it from the north. Running along the west side of the park is the Hooghly River, and on the east side is Jawaharlal Nehru Rd (Chowringhee Rd).

Fort William is situated on the east bank of the river Hooghly and was named after King William III of England. It was constructed in 1781 after the unfortunate happenings of 1756 in which many British soldiers with their families were killed by Siraj-Ud-Daula. Large area around the village of Govindpur was cleared off the forests and this fort was constructed, which for some time also lent its name to the city. The fort is still in use and it can only be visited with special permission, which is hard to get. Even the trenches and deep fortifications surrounding the fort's massive walls seem to be out of bounds. It was built with a cost of 2 million.

The Structure of Fort William
The Fort is a brick-and-mortar structure built in the shape of an irregular octagon surrounding 5 square km of which five sides look landward and three on the river, surrounded by a fosse 9 meter deep and 15 meter broad which can be flooded in times of emergency. There are six gates Chowringhee, Plassey Calcutta, Water gate St Georges and Treasury Gate. A telephone office, recreation club, canteen, cinema hall, restaurant, swimming pool and wide moat surround it. For the tourist, there is a museum housing arms and armours, swords, muskets and machine guns. Another section has photographs of the Burma campaign and of the Bangladesh Liberation War. The Arsenal inside is worth visiting with a prior permission required from the Commanding Officer.

Withing the Fort
Inside the Fort is the St. Peter's Church which was constructed in 1928. Swimming pool, Boxing stadium, Firing Range and other necessary arrangements are present within the Fort. There is also a provision for ten thousand interns of the Fort. The Fort has huge archways, one of which is known as 'Plassey Gate'. It is said that this is the only Fort in the world from where not a single bullet or cannon-ball has ever been shot.

Nearby Attraction
Indian Museum, Sahid Minar, Victoria Memorial, Rabindra Sadan, Race Course and Eden Garden are its nearby spots.

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