was earlier known as the 'Octarloni Monument' or in short 'monument'.
This was erected in 1828 to commemorate the victory of British army
under David Octarloni over the Nepal army in 1814. Charles Nolis had
made the blueprint of this monument. Its builder was J.P. Parker. A fund
was collected to erect this monument. Its cost was Rs. 35,000 in those
The construction of the monument encompasses an architectural variety.
The foundation followed an Egyptian style whereas the body of the Minar
and the dome resembled Syrian and Turkish designs respectively. The
Minar is 158 ft. high. It has two balconies at the top. One can reach
the balcony by using the serpentile staircase. 198 stairs lead from the
bottom to the first balcony. From here 25 more stairs lead to the second
In 1969, the Monument was rechristened as the 'Shahid Minar' to
commemorate the Indian freedom fighters. Different political parties
convene meetings, rallies and seminars behind the Shahid Minar at
The custom of convening political seminars started in 1931 when a
historical convocation took place here which was presided by
Rabindranath Tagore. The humanitarian poet had severely condemned the
vandalism of the imperialist British Government which had shot a youth
dead in the Calabooze in Hizli. Few years ago, the dome of the 'Minar'
was coloured which kicked off a storm of protest.
One can have a panoramic view of Calcutta from the top of Shahid Minar.
From there, the much-known Calcutta is transformed into an enigmatic
fantasy land. But one can not get at the top of the Minar at one's sweet
will. For that, one has to secure permission from the Deputy
Commissioner of Police, Lal Bazar (Enquiry) by signing a bond that the
venture is undertaken at one's own risk.