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Top 5 Historical Forts in West Bengal (India)

Several historic structures are situated in West Bengal, each representing different eras and the history of the place.

From ancient times to British rule to Calcutta becoming the first capital of British India, the state has a long past.

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Various forts are also constructed in different parts of the state under separate rulers throughout history. They are now an iconic location for you to visit and explore. Some of them are in ruins.

In this article, you will get to know about the following forts to visit in West Bengal,

  1. Buxa Fort
  2. Kurumbera Fort
  3. Fort William
  4. Fort Radisson
  5. Fort Mornington

Let’s see each of these historic forts in detail.

1. Buxa Fort

DistrictAlipurduar
Constructed in1873

Elevated at 284 ft, the Buxa fort protected the portions that linked Tibet and India through Bhutan. The then king of Bhutan used it for the protection of the connection.

Situated at Buxa Tiger Reserve in the Alipurduar district, it is now in ruins after it was abandoned in 1951.

The history of the fort goes beyond the time of the British. The Buxa fort was constructed out of Bamboo wood, and later they were replaced with stones by the Britishers.

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It worked as a detention camp and a high-security prison. It was the most unfeasible prison in India, next to Andaman’s Cellular jail. The mysterious fort was also the camp of Tibetan monks and refugees when the Chinese invaded the Tibetan monasteries.

For those who are not only fascinated by history but also love some adventure, there is trekking. Different routes are there amidst nature that will finally take you to the old historic structured fort.

2. Kurumbera Fort

Kurumbera Fort (Koushikvu, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)
DistrictPaschim Midnapore
Constructed in1469

The medieval fort of Kurumbera is located on the outskirts of the Keshiari town in the Gaganeshwar village. It was constructed by Suryavamsi Gajapati, the Odisha king, between 1438 and 1469 AD.

Archaeological Survey of India preserves the fort.

This fort constitutes a magnificent ancient architecture of Odisha with a Mughal architectural element.

You will find beautiful spherical domes and a stretched courtyard circled with a pillared corridor along with an altar at the center of the fort. The surrounding is wrapped up in a vibrant past aura, and the scenes are lovely.

The fort you see at Kurumbera is most like all the typical forts. However, it lacks some of the fort characteristics like safe storage for gunpowder or weapons, layered walls, watch towers, bastions, and all the other safety features.

It was very soothing and suited fort for public gatherings.

3. Fort William

DistrictKolkata
Constructed in1696

Stretching over 70.9 hectares, Fort Williams was built during the Bengal Presidency of British India around 1696. It is located on the banks of the Hooghly River in Hastings, Kolkata.

Under Sir Lord Clive, the foundation of the mighty octagonal structure was laid.

It has a very rough history locked in it and is also known as the ‘Black Hole of Calcutta.’ The fort was built very meticulously, keeping all the plans in mind. The whole structure and the moat surrounding the area were to protect it from any attack.

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The fort is now under the control of the Indian Army and is in full use. Titled after King William III, it is now the Headquarters of the eastern command of the Indian Army.

The St. Peters church is a popular attraction inside the fort complex. You can visit the colossal fort and explore more about it and the significant past that surrounds the building.

4. Fort Radisson

DistrictSouth 24 Parganas
Constructed in1783

When it was turning into ruins, Fort Radisson or Fort Raichak was converted into a full-fledged five-star hotel. Sited by the bank of the river Hooghly, it is located in the lovely town of Raichak, in South 24 Parganas.

The Britishers built it in 1783 to avert the pirates who would use the river route to reach Kolkata.

It has now become an amalgamation of history and nature and represents the Lavish Hotel. You can visit the place and stay there to spend a fun weekend trip to rejuvenate yourself from the chaotic life.

The surroundings of the historical place are fun to explore, and there are a lot of activities, such as fishing and boating. Apart from the fort, you can tour the Diamond Harbour, the lighthouse, Chimgrihkhali Fort, and the Ramkrishna Mission Ashram present there.

5. Fort Mornington

DistrictHowrah
Constructed in18th century

About 80 kilometers from Kolkata, there is a small town called Gadiara, where West Bengal’s oldest fort, Fort Mornington, is situated. The place is stunning and has a complementary view of the confluence of the rivers Hooghly, Damodar, and Rupnarayan.

During the middle of the 18th century, Fort Mornington was constructed under the British general Lord Robert Clive to ward off the pirates.

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The remnants of bricks and some structures are left today as it has wared off with time.

The view from the ruins is brilliant, as the rivers stretch with the sky above it as the crown.

It is a great weekend destination to enjoy, explore and have a little fun in nature.

These are some of the famous historical forts situated in West Bengal.

Every spot is worth visiting. Plan a good escape and explore the forts and the surrounding history.

Apart from all the past, the natural ambiance of these places is also very inviting and provides refreshment for the mind and body.


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