It will be a treat when you visit Kolkata in the evening. Seeing the dusk will be enjoyable to you. It’s romantic, if you visit Prinsep Ghat and there lies Gwalior Monument.
Gwalior Monument, which is also known as Ellenborough’s Folly, or Pepperpot, is an octagonal cenotaph about 60 feet high. It is crowned with a bronze dome cast from guns captured from the Maratha Empire of late medieval era.
Gwalior Monument was erected in 1847 by Lord Ellenborough, the Governor-General of India, as a memorial to the officers and men who fell during the Gwalior War in 1843.
On December 13, 1843 Lord Elleborough wrote to the Maharani of Gwalior cautioning her that she should dismiss a usurping regent and that the size of her army should be reduced. Since she did not comply and the Gwalior campaign took place by the British East India Company.
General Sir Hugh Gough then violating the Treaty of 1804 with the Maharani of Gwalior, forded the Chambal river and invaded the town, Gwalior, which was known for the palaces and rich people, on December 29 in the year 1843.
Gwalior War at Maharajpur was fought under General Sir Hugh Gough had 14,000 men and 40 guns. The Maratha army under Bhagerat Rao Scindia had 18,000 men and 100 guns.
The British East India Company routed the Mahrathas but suffered 787 casualties. The Mahrathas lost 3000 men and 56 guns. On the same day at Punniar, 20 miles from Maharajpur, the left flank of General Sir Hugh Gough’s troops under General Grey routed an army of 12,000 Marathas and captured 40 guns. Gwalior Monument was designed by Colonel H Goodwyn of the Bengal Engineers and constructed by Jessop and Company. It was conceptualized by Lord Ellenborough. The base of Gwalior Monument is a single storied white marble structure with a spiral staircase leading to a marble cenotaph on the upper floor from the inside.
The top of Gwalior Monument is built like a Mughal “Chhatri” or umbrella supported by 8 bronze pillars, now it is decorated with flowers. The dome of Gwalior Monument is just similar to Gwalior Fort.
The dome of the Gwalior cenotaph is crowned with a bronze dome cast from guns captured from the Maratha army of Gwalior. From Gwalior Monument, the Hoogly River can be seen along with the full view of the Howrah Bridge as well as the Vidyasagar Setu. But now the entry to Gwalior Monument is restricted. Hence the view of Ganges from Gwalior Monument is awesome. The people of Kolkata can see the Gwalior Monument with much interest as a historical monument.