States of India
Maidan & Fort William
After the events of 1756, the British decided there would be no repetition of the attack on the city and set out to replace the original Fort William, in the Maidan , with a massive and impregnable new fort. First they cleared out the inhabitants of the village of Govindpur and in 1758 laid the foundations of a fort. Around the fort a huge expanse of jungle was cut down to give the cannons a clear line of fire but, as usually happens, the fort has never fired a shot in anger.
The fort is still in use today and visitors are only allowed inside with special permission. Even the trenches and deep fortifications surrounding the fort's massive walls seem to be out of bounds.
The area cleared around Fort William became the Maidan, the 'lungs' of modern Kolkata. This huge green expanse stretches three km north to south and is over a km wide. It is bound by Strand Rd along the river to the west and by Chowringhee Rd, lined with shops, offices, hotels and eating places, to the east. The stream known as Tolly's Nullah forms its southern boundary, and here you will find a racecourse and the Victoria Memorial. In the north-west corner of the Maidan is Eden Gardens, while Raj Bhavan overlooks it from the north.