View From High Court British Era Calcutta, 1880 Photo
Old 1880 photograph, view from the high court in British-era Calcutta, now Kolkata. Visible are the Calcutta Maidan or Esplanade and the Ochterlony Monument (pillar). In front is the statue of Lord William Bentinck. And on the side is the Government House showing the lion-arched eastern gateway.
Not sure of the identity of the other buildings that lie between the Government House and the High Court. The Maidan or Esplanade was an imperative requirement around a fortress. In this case, it was Fort William that lay adjacent to the Maidan (not shown). The open space was a precautionary measure in exposing an enemy attack. Thus it is how the Calcutta Maidan inevitably came into being.
The Ochterlony Monument shown at a slight distance was erected in 1825. In memory of Major-general Sir David Ochterlony, commander of the British East India Company. To commemorate his success in defending against the Marathas in 1804 and the East India Company’s army against the Gurkhas in the Anglo-Nepalese War.
In 1969, the Ochterlony Monument was renamed “Shahid Minar” by rededicating it to the Indian freedom movement. In memory of the martyrs. Lord William Bentinck was the first Governor General of India from 1834 to 1835. The majestic mansion of the Government House is viewed on the left. It would be the 0fficial residence of the Governor General of British India/Viceroy until 1911. Click on the photo for better view.
Did you know- that Fort William is surrounded by the Esplanade on three sides and at the back is the River Hooghly from where the British and other colonialists first entered the land by ships.