Ideal Time: 2-3 hours
Open Time: Garden: 5:30 AM to 6:15 PM
Gallery: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM every day, except Monday and national holidays.
Cost: Garden: INR 10
Museum - Indians: INR 20 Foreigners: INR 200
School children up to 12 years age in uniform and army personnel in uniform: Free
Another symbol of the British Raj in India, the Victoria Memorial is located in the heart of Kolkata, which was formerly known as Calcutta, in West Bengal, India. This white marbled beauty, which can rightly be called the epitome of grace and elegance, was built in memory of Queen Victoria to celebrate her 25 years of rule over India. Lord Curzon, the then Viceroy of India, undertook the task of putting up this magnificent monument for people to see and appreciate, and today the Victoria Memorial is counted as one of the best places to visit, not only in Kolkata but the entire country.
The reason behind the building of a monument of this grand a scale is indeed an interesting one. This stunning creation is the brainchild of Lord Curzon and was created to commemorate the twenty-fifth-year reign of the Queen over India. The Queen had become the figure head of India after the Revolt of 1857 and successfully ruled over the country until her death in 1901. Lord Curzon wanted that the monument that would be dedicated to her should be stately, spacious and large, with a beautiful garden. In fact, the funds for the construction of the Victoria memorial were raised from the people of India. A sum of 5 lakh rupees was raised, and the result is this awe-striking monument, that is a literal feast for the eyes. King George V and the Prince of Whales laid down the foundation stone for the memorial in 1906, and the memorial was finally opened to the general public in 1921.
The chief architect of the Victoria Memorial is William Emerson, the president of the Royal Institute of British Architects. He has tastefully lent an Indo-Saracenic style of architecture to the monument, while drawing inspiration from Egyptian, Venetian, Mughal and other Islamic styles at the same time. The 184 feet high building is constructed with Makrana Marble of white colour that was brought all the way from Jodhpur, Rajasthan. The vast gardens that surround the monument, and are spread over a sprawling 64 acres, were designed by botanist Sir David Prain and Lord Redesdale.
With over 25 galleries, including the Royal Gallery, the National Leaders Gallery, the Sculpture Gallery, the Portrait Gallery, the Central Hall and the Calcutta Gallery, the Victoria Memorial has a commendable and worthy collection of works of rare and antique books. These include the illustrated works of Shakespeare, the Arabian Nights and other books on music and dance. The monument is indeed a treasure trove of outstanding and noteworthy collections of paintings, weapons, textiles, artefacts, stamps, etc. A variety of enriching and informative exhibitions take place here from time to time, along with many other events such as illustrated talks and celebration of important days. A permanent show, Son-et-Lumiere, is regularly held here. Another show titled: Pride & Glory- the Story of Calcutta, which was designed as a venture with Bengal Chamber of Commerce, is also currently held here in both Bengali and English. The show timings are as follows: 1. October to February Bengali: 6:15 PM to 7:00 PM English: 7:15 PM to 8:00 PM 2. March to June Bengali: 6:45 PM to 7:30 PM English: 7:45 PM to 8:30 PM You can follow the link http://www.victoriamemorial-cal.org/exhibition/perpage/0/en to stay up-to-date with the latest events and happenings.
The gardens of the Victoria Memorial are home to a myriad of sculptures. A bronze statue of Queen Victoria on a bronze throne welcomes the visitor at the entrance of the memorial, while a walk around the garden reveals other statues like those of Edward VII, Curzon, Hastings and Dalhousie. Allegorical sculptures like Motherhood, Architecture, Learning and Justice can also be found here. Spread over 64 acres, the gardens are presently maintained by 21 gardeners and are a favourite destination for morning walkers.
Victoria Memorial holds a light and sound show called as Son-et-Lumiere from October to June. This interesting show does not showcase on Monday, Holi festival, national holidays and also remains closed from July to September.
Tickets: INR 10 (Bengali), INR 20 (English)
October - February: 6:15 PM - 7:00 PM (Bengali), 7:15 PM - 8:00 PM (English)
March - June: 6:45 PM - 7:30 PM (Bengali), 7:45 PM - 8:30 PM (English)
1. Victoria Memorial Gallery: The gallery is open from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM from Tuesdays to Sundays. The entry fee per head for Indians is INR 20, while for foreigners, it is INR 200. School children up to class XII in uniform and army personnel do not have to pay any entry fee. 2. The Gardens: The gardens are open on all days from 5:30 AM to 6:15 PM. The entry price per head is just INR 10, while yearly ticket costs INR 1,000 for senior citizens above 60, and INR 2,000 for others. Note that garden ticket does not entitle entry into the museum.
The Victoria Memorial is easily accessible by all means of transport. You can visit the place by taxi, bus or an auto rickshaw. If going by metro, Maidan Metro and Rabindra Sadan Metro stations are the nearest ones. Ferries are a cheap and quick alternative too and regularly ply from Princep Ghat and Bindan Ghat.
1. Photography is prohibited inside the main building.
2. For those not interested in the visiting the galleries, there is a "garden-only" ticket option available. The details for it can be asked at the ticket counter.
3. There are carriages available at the entrance of the Victoria Memorial for the visitors to enjoy a ride near the roundabout.
1 month ago by Antara Mandal
As a history buff, I loved the architecture of the museum. It is symbolic of the British raj when Queen Victoria reigned. The museum has some interesting collection like the Queen's dresses, some ancient books and even swords. There were a lot of pictures and paintings which got me to think about how it would be to live there as a Queen. The memorial is quite huge and it takes a lot of time to perfectly analyse every nook and corner of the place. I didn't get to spend much time there but if you visit you should spend an entire day there. I wanted to take a lot of pictures from inside the museum but it is prohibited. There are beautiful gardens and even a small pond around.
1 month ago by Soumita Ghosh
If you are a history enthusiast, then this place is perfect for you. In addition to its mesmerizing architecture, Victoria Memorial is famous for the museum and the galleries within. There are several portraits of Queen Victoria herself. Apart from that, there are many types of scenery painted on canvases that adorn the walls of this hall. Several sculptures and weapons are kept on display. Rare books are also preserved here. If you wish to spend the day here, then pack a sheet and some food and spread the former at any corner of the beautiful garden surrounding the hall. There is also a small pond within the premises and you can rest for a while by its side. If you are interested in photography, then this place is sure to provide some beautiful pictures.Although, you are prohibited to click pictures inside the main building.
Be the first to add a question