Victoria Memorial Kolkata is one of the finest British made architecture in India. as the name suggests is a memorial built in honour of Queen Victoria. Since its creation, the structure has become an icon for the city of Kolkata.
It was Lord Curzon, the then viceroy of India who suggested building this grand structure. The museum was formally opened in the year 1921. William Emerson was the chief architect of Victoria Memorial. The building was created in an Indo-Saracenic architectural style
I have visited the Memorial many times but this time I am able to share the visuals of the inside as the authority as allowed taking photographs inside the memorial.
There is a ticket counter at both the entrances. The ticket for the Garden cost Rs 10 and for the Gallery Museum, it costs Rs 30. But a foreign citizen has to pay Rs 500 for the museum.
The Garden of the memorial was beautifully designed on a total area of 57 acres with the building covering an area of 338sq.ft by 228 sq. ft. Most people visit the garden.
Entrance to Victoria Memorial Kolkata
One of the entrances of Victoria Memorial is on Queens Way and the other one is on AJC Bose Road.
On entering through the North Queens Way Gate, the first thing you will see are two lions sitting on both the side of the gate, in a sitting posture as if they are guarding the majestic architecture. After entering you can see a small garden in the centre, where there is no entry.
Then walking beside the garden you will come across the Queen Victoria’s statue seated in front of the memorial hall. On coming close to the front facade of the building you can see Allegorical statues of Motherhood, Learning and Prudence above the front facade. You can also notice the royal coat of arms set above the arched entrance.
On entering through the south side of Victoria Memorial, you will see the same garden and a statue of King Edward VII. Both the entrance has a well-paved road towards the building.
Inside the Memorial
The marvellous building is a beautiful museum too. With a huge collection of paintings, photographs, coins, manuscript, Arms and Armory and many more items related to the history of Kolkata and Bengal. As per the website, there are 28,394 artefacts, 3,900 paintings.
There are guides available and also, they offer free guided tours during specific hours.
The entire building is divided into several galleries.
• The Royal Gallery
• The Calcutta Gallery
• Durbar Hall Gallery
• Entrance Hall Gallery
• Portrait Gallery
• Queens Hall Gallery
The Royal Gallery has some beautiful paintings of the Royal families Queen Victoria, Prince of Wales (Edward VII) and other historic pieces used by Queen Victoria.
The Calcutta Gallery as the name suggest depicts the history of the city from Job Charnock to the time it was the Capital i.e. 1911.
Durbar Hall consists of British and Indian paintings from the 18th and 19th centuries. The entrance hall displays facts and history of the creation of this magnificent architecture, which includes its history of construction and knowledge about its origin.
On entering the Central Hall or Central Gallery you can see a marble statue of Queen Victoria. The statue is located in the centre perfectly below the main dome.
On climbing to the upper section of the building, you can see twelve canvas paintings by Frank Salisbury, covering the entire main dome. The painting shows the important events in the life of Her Majesty Queen Victoria.
Victoria Memorial is surrounded by a beautiful and well-maintained garden with 4 lakes around it. The Garden has paved to walk around and gives a great view of the Chowringhee. Many visitors come to Victoria Memorial’s Garden to enjoy their evening. Most of the part is occupied by couples.
Victoria Memorial in Kolkata has been always my favourite place but this was the first time I entered inside this architectural masterpiece and was awed seeing this icon. This is just my experience, in my words, which may not impress you. In the end, I would say, something can only be felt by being there and Victoria Memorial Kolkata is one of them.
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