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Maidan Kolkata Address: Maidan, Kolkata, West Bengal, 700071, India
Right in the middle of the city of Kolkata, lies a large urban green space and a public park, an unaltered portion of Calcutta, which spans a total area of 988 acres. The place is called Maidan which literally means ‘open field’ and is also referred to as the Brigade Parade Ground. It is the property of the Indian Army. The place is home to several heritage structures that are architectural marvels and many statues and is also host to quite a few tourist attractions along with broad roads and tram tracks.
The area that falls under Maidan stretches from Raj Bhavan in Esplanade which is in the North and goes till National Library at Belvedere Road in Alipore in the South, and the open field starts from Victoria Memorial in the East to Hooghly River in the West. Since it is the biggest green cover in the metropolis, people have taken major steps to keep it intact and it is also nicknamed as ‘Lungs of Modern Kolkata’ due to the green energy experience it provides.
The vast stretch of Maidan includes several football stadiums, the famous cricket stadium, Eden Gardens, Kolkata Race Course, the Royal Calcutta Golf Club, and numerous sports grounds. The place is also known for its major political rallies and cultural events held here, some of which have been written down to be of much historical importance. Hence, Maidan is also considered to be a place of historical and cultural significance.
Maidan is also called ‘Garh-er-Maath’ in Bengali, which literally means plain field in front of the fort.
History of Maidan Kolkata
The history of Maidan goes back to the Battle of Plassey in 1757, when the British had a major win over Siraj-ud-Daulah and decided to settle in Calcutta for good. They started building the much mightier and better fortified and the new Fort William by removing people from Gobindapur village, which was then surrounded by wastelands which formed an esplanade.
The grassy plain of Maidan along with Eden Garden Stadium and the present day Fort William collectively used to be the original village of Gobindapur and it was surrounded by the wasteland and dense forest spread across a total area of 1178 bighas out of which, only 57 bighas was habitable land. One year after the Battle of Plassey was concluded, the construction of the new Fort William along with the residences for British settlers started in 1758. All original residents of Gobindapur were removed and provided compensation by giving lands elsewhere for them to settle.
The dense forest was cleared off and thus the wide stretch of green cover of Maidan came into existence. This also helped direct access to the village of Chowringhee, which was otherwise cut off from the river due to the jungle.
A trivial fact about Maidan is that the first cricket on Indian grounds was played in Maidan between Old Etonians and Calcutta in the year 1804 and among the players was the son of the then Chief Justice of Bengal, Sir Elijah Impey. It was a two day match and the Etonians won the match by 152 runs.
Landmarks and Places to see around Maidan Kolkata
How to reach Maidan Kolkata
Due to its location at Central Kolkata and being a major tourist and shopping destination, reaching Maidan is very easy as its connectivity via multiple modes to and from other parts of the city and other parts of the state is quite good.
By Air: Nearest airport is Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose airport. Hire a prepaid taxi or private cab from top car rental companies in Kolkata to reach Maidan.
By Train: Nearest railway stations to reach Maidan from out of West Bengal are Howrah Junction Railway Station and Sealdah Railway Station. Board a local bus or hire a prepaid cab or taxi to reach Maidan from the above railway stations.
By Bus: There are multiple places one can alight at to reach Maidan. The major bus stops are Rabindra Sadan, Jeevan Deep, Shakespeare Sarani, Park Street or Fort William. You may board any bus that goes to B.B.D Bagh or Howrah Station and they all stop at all the above places.
By Metro: The nearest metro stations to reach Maidan are Maidan Metro Station, Rabindra Sadan Metro Station, and Park Street Metro Station.
By Tram: Using the heritage Kolkata tram is the best way one can trace the path of Maidan from Esplanade Terminus. Board at Esplanade Terminus and take the iconic tram ride to enjoy the slow paced life of the city of joy.
By Boat: Hop on to a ferry at Howrah or Malik ghat and get down at Babughat.
By Circular Railway: The nearest railway stations are Princep Ghat Station and Eden Gardens Station via circular railway line.
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