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Fort William Kolkata

West Bengal, an epicenter of the Bengali culture, is an eminent tourist destination. The state is also replete with some remarkable architectural edifices of the likes of Fort William and Victoria Memorial. Fort William is a rather impressive testimony of the British Raj's military acumen.

It is interesting to note that the state is the proud owner of two Fort William's, which served as a stronghold of the Indian army in East India. The imposing edifice was built under the able supervision of mastermind architects Sir Charles Eyre and John Beard.

The construction of the Government House, located within the rambling acres of Fort William, was started in the year 1702 and was completed in 1706. This edifice was christened after William II, King of England. However, the entire compound took a longer time to be completed and came into existence only in the year 1781. The whole idea was that Fort William was an impenetrable fort of the Indian Army. Currently, however, Fort William serves as the Military Head quarters of the Eastern Command and can hold a garrison up to strength of 10,000 troops.

The brick-and-mortar complex located in the heart of the city breathes in the freshness of greenery into the polluted and congested metropolis of Kolkata. Three sides of the building face the River Hoogly and the structure is surrounded by a moat 9 m deep and 15m broad. The building has six massive gates that open onto Chowringhee, Plassey Calcutta, Water Gate, St Georges and Treasury Gate. The current military head quarters houses a swimming pool, cinema hall, restaurant, telephone office, recreation club and canteen for the entertainment of the military officials. Tourists too can be enlightened by the wonders at Fort William's museum that houses arms, weapons, armors, swords, machine guns and muskets. There are also photographs that vividly illustrate the Burma campaign and the Bangladesh Liberation War. However, prior permission has to be obtained from the Commanding Officer in order to visit the secure premises of the arsenal.

Last Updated on June 5, 2013