Title : Fort William.
Location : Eastern bank on Hooghly River, Kolkata, West Bengal, India.
Nearest Town : Kolkata.
Fort William is located on the east bank of Hooghly river, Kolkata, one of the major distributor of Ganges River, during Bengal Presidency of British, India. The name of the fort was called by King William III, England. At the front of the William Fort is the Maidan, now is known as Urban Park as largest in Kolkata. This is the most enduring fort during the Colonial era of Kolkata. At present there are two forts located on the place, the old one and new one.
At present, there are two forts, the old one and new one. The original fort was built under the regulation of John Goldsborough by the British East India Company. Sir Eyre Charles started building the fort near the bank of Hooghly River with its adjacent walls towards South East Bastion. John Beard, who was the successor of Charles added in 1701North East Basiton and started its construction for the Government House factory in 1702, exactly in the centre of the fort. The overall construction was completed in 1706. The old fort received projecting wings and two stories with internal room guard called as Black Hole of Kolkatta.
During the 1756, the Siraj UD Daulah, Nawab of Bengal assailed the William Fort, and conquered it temporary by changing its name to Alinagar. This resulted in the construction of a new building by the British Empire. The construction started in 1758 by Robert Clive, when the Plassey battle was completed during the 1781. Near about two million pounds were used in building up the new fort. As the nearby area of the fort was clear and hence the front Maidan was named as “The Lungs of Kolkatta”. This was stretched 3km in northern-south direction and 1Km wider. The Fort William is most enduring monument in Raj era structure. The fort is just mind blowing and is stretched over with an area of near about 70.9 hectares. In 1781, the fort was again redesigned by Robert Clive. From over all world, the fort is the only place where not a single gunshot was fired.
At present, the Fort is magnificently maintained with lush greenery Maidan and is owned by the Indian Army. The Eastern Command Headquarter is totally based on Fort Willliam in order to accodomate the provision of approx 10,000 army personnel. As you move inside the fort, the walls are scripted with history all over. The time when you enter the fort,till you exit, you will experience a totally different world. An era and a journey, when British ruled our nation, a time when East India Company was considered as mega Rich firm all over the world. At present, when you take a trip to Fort William, West Bengal, the history will explore rekindle the unmistaken by Raj Era charisma. A Charisma, that still loiters in Kolkata even though six decades are passed from the colonial rule.
The scenario of Fort William is not changed, except the St. Peter’s Church that was employed to serve as centre for British citizen as Chaplaincy of Kolkata no longer exists. While moving inside the fort, the main avenue, there is impeccably and disciplined dressed Indian Armycarry all weapons, a perfect picture as true patriotism spirit. The sturdy and courteous jawans are ever ready to help the tourist and visitors courteously.
For the relaxation and welfare of 10,000 military personnel, the residents of Fort William, the Indian army has provided all kind of facilities in the Fort Premises such as the Swimming pool, Emerald Blue, Shopping mall, Cinema hall, Outdoor playground, Laundry, recreational facilities, post office and even restaurants. If you dig the history of the William fort, one will be surprised to know the “Fear Psychosis” of colossal fort of the British East India Company. The Britishers, after the defeat from the hands of Siraj Ud Daula in 1756, the British compan after many years showed the symbols of wear and tear. The old William fort was again repaired and thus from 1766 was used as a customized house. The new William fort is currently used as headquarters for the Indian Army as the Eastern Command. The Army present over there guards this New Fort very restricted and heavily.
Structure of William Fort in West Bengal :
The Fort William is built of mortar and brick with irregular shape of somewhat similar to an octagon with an area of 5 Sq. km. The face of the fort is faced towards River Hooghly and five towards the landward. The design of the fort is similar to star best suitable in order to defeat against the cannon. The fort is also surrounded by a moat of about 9 m deep and broad with 15 m that can be folded and hence designed with an area by using enfilade in order to reach the attackers through the walls. There are in all six gates: Plassey Calcutta, Chowringhee, Tresury Gate, St, Georges and Water Gate. The same structure fort is available at the Thalassery Fort in Kerala.