The decision came soon after the War Memorial at the entrance of the Fort William was opened on December 16, the Vijay Diwas, to the citizens who seek to pay homage to the martyrs of the Indian Army.
The Army will open up selected areas of Fort William, the Eastern Command headquarters here, to the public, a senior officer said here on Wednesday. The decision came soon after the War Memorial at the entrance of the Fort William was opened on December 16, the Vijay Diwas, to the citizens who seek to pay homage to the martyrs of the Indian Army.
“We intend to open up selected areas of Fort William for people who are interested in the history of the city and fort,” Eastern Army commander Lt General Anil Chauhan said. He said the history of Kolkata and that of the Fort William are almost synonymous. “This will be done as part of an organised guided heritage tour or a historical walk on Sundays,” Chauhan said.
Army sources said the tour of the fort, where entry is restricted to civilians, is likely to commence on a regular basis on Sundays from February. An inaugural heritage tour was organised for a selected group of citizens on the Army Day on Wednesday, who were taken to the museum and a library inside the Fort William premises, apart from some other places of interest.
The original Fort William was built by the British East India Company at the end of the 17th century, which is now the General Post Office (GPO) and the Eastern Railway headquarters in Dalhousie area, the central business district of Kolkata. The defences of the fort could not brave the attacks of Nawab Siraj-Ud-daula’s forces in 1756, leading to the capitulation of the old fort to the Nawab’s forces.
The present-day fort on the eastern banks of the river Hooghly was built by Lord Clive after the Battle of Plassey in 1757 and its construction was completed in 1770.
Fort William occupies roughly an area of 177.42 acres and has an octagonal shape with 5 sides towards the land and 3 sides towards the Hoogly river, according to Army archives. Fort William houses the Army’s Eastern Command headquarter from 1963, when it was shifted to the city from Lucknow.