The Victoria Memorial, Kolkata – Facts And History

 

The Victoria Memorial is an iconic monument located in the city of Kolkata, India. It was built in the early 20th century to commemorate the memory of Queen Victoria, who was the Queen of England during the British Raj in India.  It is widely regarded as an exceptional piece of architecture that fuses Mughal and British styles, making it one of the most outstanding instances of Indo-Saracenic architectural style in India.

 

History:

 

The idea of building a memorial in the name of Queen Victoria was first proposed by Lord Curzon, the then Viceroy of India in 1901. In 1906, the construction of the memorial began, and it was eventually finished in 1921. Sir William Emerson, who served as the President of the Royal Institute of British Architects, was responsible for designing the monument.

 

Architecture:

 

The Victoria Memorial is built on a 64-acre landscaped garden, which is a beautiful blend of British and Mughal gardens. The monument stands at a height of 184 feet, and the central dome is 103 feet in diameter. The structure is made of white Makrana marble, which is the same marble used in the construction of the Taj Mahal. The monument has 16 intricately designed pillars that support the central dome.

The monument is surrounded by a beautiful water body, which adds to its beauty. The garden surrounding the monument has numerous statues and sculptures, which add to its grandeur. The monument is also illuminated at night, which gives it a breathtaking look.

 

Museum:

 

The Victoria Memorial houses a museum that showcases the history of India during the British Raj. The museum is spread across 25 galleries and has a collection of over 28,000 artifacts. The galleries display various artifacts, including paintings, sculptures, weapons, and rare photographs from the colonial period.

Some of the notable exhibits in the museum include the throne of the Nawab of Bengal, weapons used during the Sepoy Mutiny, and rare documents and photographs from the colonial period. The museum also has a gallery dedicated to Queen Victoria, which has various paintings and photographs of the queen.

 

Light and Sound Show:

 

The Victoria Memorial also hosts a light and sound show, which is a popular attraction for tourists. The show takes place in the evening and narrates the history of the monument and its significance. The show is available in both English and Bengali, and visitors can enjoy the show while sitting in the garden surrounding the monument.

 

Visiting Information:

 

Except for Mondays and national holidays, the Victoria Memorial is accessible to visitors every day. The museum is open from 10 am to 5 pm, and the garden is open from 5:30 am to 6:15 pm. The entry fee for the museum is INR 30 for Indians and INR 500 for foreigners. The entry fee for the garden is INR 10 for Indians and INR 150 for foreigners.

 

Conclusion:

 

The Victoria Memorial is a magnificent monument and an important landmark in the city of Kolkata. It is a tribute to Queen Victoria and a reminder of the colonial past of India. The monument is an architectural marvel and a testament to the skills of Indian craftsmen. The museum and the light and sound show make it a popular tourist destination, and it is a must-visit place for anyone visiting Kolkata.

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