Victoria Memorial Hall, the eminent building, stands with its prosperous view in Kolkata. It was 1901, after the death of Empress Victoria, when a great meeting coalesced in Kolkata. At the meeting, a resolution was passed to gather fund for building up the memorial hall. At last, in 1906, the construction was started with one crore and five lakhs of rupees. After the death of Queen Victoria, the 1st Baron Curzon of Kedleston, then Viceroy of India, suggested that a memorial should be built in the memory of Queen.
“Let us, therefore, have a building, stately, spacious, monumental and grand, to which every newcomer in Calcutta will turn, to which all the resident population, European and Native, will flock, where all classes will learn the lessons of history and see revived before their eyes the marvels of the past.”
King George V, the then Prince of Wales, laid the foundation stone on 4th January 1906 and opened for the public in 1921. Then, according to Lord Curzon,, the construction should be built up by marvellous marbles. William Emerson ( 1843-1924), the President of the Royal Institute of British Architects, planned the design. This building was shaped with the European and Indo-Islamic architectural style, which resembles the Taj Mahal built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan.
At the top of the central Tomb, there was an Angel, the symbol of victory which is always moved by wind. Near the main Tomb, there were many types of sculptures—the sculpture of motherhood, art, architecture, charity. Not only external beauty but also internal beauty has its elegance. There are almost 25 photo galleries that show ancient Bengal and correlate us with the ancient culture of Bengal. Other galleries like Royal Gallery, Sculpture Gallery show us the view of eminent personalities of those days.
On the ground floor,, there are preserved arms, armours that were used on the battlefield. Many manuscripts, coins, stamps, maps are taken place there, which always make the visitors curious about the past.
In present days Victoria Memorial Hall has taken a special place in visitors’ heart. It stands with its sparkling view in Queen’s Way, Maidan in Kolkata, West Bengal, India. Every day thousands of visitors go there to visit the museum. Many people gather there to take pleasure from the beauty of the garden and lakes. The garden covers an area of 64 acres, and almost 21 gardeners maintain this. The view of the garden is breathtaking, especially in winter.
Victoria Memorial light and sound show called Son – et – Lumiere is shown here in the evening for every day, except Monday, Holi festival, national holidays, and remained closed from July to September.
Tickets: INR 10 ( Bengali) , INR 20 (English)
Timing: October to February: 6:15 pm to 7:00 pm for Bengali
7:15 pm to 8:00 pm for English
March to June: 6:45 pm to 7:30 pm
7:45 pm to 8:30 pm for English
How to reach: Everyone can easily access any means of transport. You can visit this place by bus, taxi, auto rickshaws. If anyone accesses the Metro(Underground), Maidan or Rabindrasadan metro station will be the neatest one. Anyone can take the ferry, and the ghats are Princep ghat and Bidan ghat.
Image Credit: Subhrajyoti Saha