Kolkata, also known as Calcutta, is a bustling and vibrant city that attracts thousands of tourists annually. The City Of Joy’s rich cultural and historical heritage is reflected in its architecture, art, music, and cuisine. Known for its colonial-era buildings, lively street markets, and bustling crowds, Kolkata never sleeps and offers an enriching experience to each of its patrons.
The beautiful and iconic city is also home to some of India’s most famous landmarks, such as the Victoria Memorial, Howrah Bridge, and the Indian Museum. Despite being a rapidly growing metropolis, Kolkata has retained its old-world charm and continues to be the undisputed cultural hub of India.
One of the city’s most significant landmarks, The Victoria Memorial, is located in the heart of Kolkata. The architecture was built in memory of Queen Victoria to celebrate her reign of 25 years in India and was inaugurated in 1921. The stunning building is made of white marble and intricately blends British and Mughal architecture.
The museum houses an extensive collection of artefacts from the British era in India, including paintings, sculptures, manuscripts, and other historical objects. Victoria Memorial Kolkata is very similar to its counterpart in London and packs numerous exciting things for you to explore.
- Victoria Memorial Timing: 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
- Entry Fee: Indians: INR 30/-
- Foreigners (For Nationals of SAARC Countries): INR 100/-
- Nationals Of All Other Countries: INR 500/-
- Where is Victoria Memorial located? : Victoria Memorial Hall, 1, Queens Way, Maidan, Kolkata, West Bengal 700071
Victoria Memorial: History
The history of the Victoria Memorial is fascinating. A brainchild of Lord Curzon, Victoria Memorial was built to commemorate 25 years of the Queen’s reign over India. Queen Victoria took control over the country after the revolt of 1857 and ruled it till 1901, the year she passed away.
To honour this reign and time period, Lord Curzon wanted to build a grand architectural marvel which was stately and spacious and was surrounded by beautifully landscaped gardens. Thus began the establishment of Victoria Memorial Hall in 1906, when Prince Charles and King George V laid down the foundation stone. An amount of Rupees 5 lakh was raised to build this striking edifice, which was eventually opened to the public in 1921. Today, Victoria Memorial is one of Kolkata’s most important tourist attractions and exemplifies its vibrant culture.
Also Read: Amusement Parks in Kolkata
Victoria Memorial: Architecture
An impressive example of Indo-Saracenic Revival architecture, the Victoria Memorial, was designed by British architect William Emerson. The memorial is made of white marble bought from Jodhpur in Rajasthan. It has architecture inspired by Egyptian, Venetian, Mughal and other Islamic styles that prevailed during that period. The building is 184 feet high and covers an area of 338 by 228 feet.
The central dome is 82 feet in diameter and is supported by four octagonal chhatris (domed pavilions) at each corner. The exterior of the building is decorated with intricate carvings and sculptures, including figures of angels, lions, and dragons. The memorial also houses a beautifully designed museum that displays paintings, sculptures, and artefacts related to India’s colonial history. Victoria Memorial is surrounded by 64 acres of landscaped gardens designed especially by renowned botanists Sir David Prain and Lord Redesdale.
3 Things To See at Victoria Memorial
1. Victoria Memorial Garden
Spread across a massive area of 64 acres, the gardens surrounding the structure are home to numerous sculptures that should not be missed. The entrance is marked by a bronze statue of Queen Victoria, while sculptures of famous figures such as Edward VII, Curzon, Hastings and Dalhousie are spread around the garden. Symbolic structures such as Justice, Learning, Architecture and Motherhood are also displayed here.
2. Victoria Memorial Light And Sound Show
Called the Son-et-Lumiere, this show gives you a rich insight into the history of Kolkata and should not be missed. The show takes place at 6.30 PM every day except Monday. You can catch the show on Wednesday in English and Thursday in Hindi, while the rest of the days, it takes place in Bengali. The ticket for the same starts at INR 100/-.
3. Victoria Memorial Galleries
Home to over 25 galleries, Victoria Memorial packs a lot of art, rare photographs, antique books, weapons, textiles and artefacts for you to check out. Royal Gallery, the National Leaders Gallery, the Sculpture Gallery, the Portrait Gallery, the Central Hall and the Calcutta Gallery are some of the best attractions here.
As you set out to explore this beautiful architectural marvel of Kolkata, make sure to make the necessary bookings beforehand. The LaLiT Great Eastern Kolkata imbibes the spirit of the City of Joy, and the amenities here keep up with all your contemporary needs. Enjoy a vacation unlike any other at one of the best 5-star hotels in Kolkata.