Eden Gardens: In the north-west corner of the Maidan are the small and pleasantly laid out Eden Gardens. A tiny Burmese pagoda was brought here from Prome in Burma in 1456, it's set in a small lake and is extraordinarily picturesque. The gardens were named after Lord Auckland, the former Governor General's, sisters. The Calcutta cricket grounds are also within the gardens.Across from the gardens there is a pleasant walk along the banks of the Hooghly.
Botanical Garden: On the west bank of the Hooghly, south; of Howrah, are the extensive Botanical-Gardens. They stretch for over a km along the river front and occupy 109 hectares. The gardens were originally founded in 1786 and initially administered by Colonel Kyd. It was from these: • gardens that the tea now grown in Assam and Darjeeling was first developed. Prime attraction in the gardens is the 200 year old Banyan, claimed to be the largest in the world.
Indian Museum: Conveniently situated on the corner of Sudder St and Chowringhee the Indian Museum was built in 1875 and is probably the best museum in India and one of the best in Asia. It's so convenient to the many hotels around Sudder St that if you're staying there you should not fail to drop in, if only for a few minutes. Its widely varied collection includes oddities such as a whole roomful of meteorites. Other exhibits include the usual fossils, stuffed animals, skeletons and so on including a number of unique fossil skeletons of pre-historic animals.
Maidan & Fort William: After the events of 1756 the British decided there would be no repetition and set out to replace the original Fort William, near Dalhousie Square, 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 which, when completed in 1781, would cost them the awesome total, for those days, of £2 million.
Victoria Memorial: At the southern end of the Maidan stands the most solid reminder of British Calcutta, in fact probably the most solid reminder of British India. The Victoria Memorial is a huge white marble museum, a strange combination of classical European architecture with Moghul influences or, as some have put it, an unhappy British attempt to build a better Taj Mahal. The idea behind the memorial was conceived by Lord Curzon, the money for its construction raised from 'voluntary contributions by the princes and peoples of India', the Prince of Wales (later King George V) laid the foundation stone in 1906 and it was opened by another Prince of Wales (later the Duke of Windsor) in 1921.
St Paul's Cathedral: Built between 1839 and 1847, St Paul's Cathedral is one of the most important churches in India. It stands just to the east of the Victorial Memorial at the southern end of the Maidan. The steeple fell during an earthquake in 1897 and following further damage in an 1934 quake it was redesigned and rebuilt.
Howrah Bridge: Until 1943 the Hooghly was crossed by a pontoon bridge which had to be opened to let river traffic through. There had been considerable opposition to construction of a bridge due to fears that it would effect the river currents and cause silting problems.This problem was eventually avoided by building a bridge that crosses the river in a single 450 metre span with no piers at all within the river.