The Victoria Memorial, an iconic landmark situated in the heart of Kolkata (City of Joy). This splendid monument was built between 1906 to 1921 and conceptualized by George Curzon, Viceroy of India. This elegant building stands as a mnemonic of the city’s settlement and architectural heritage. This luxurious memorial is made of white marble and snuggled against lush green lawns. The Victoria Memorial is also considered one of the major tourist attractions in Kolkata. It is the must-visit tourist place for first-time visitors to experience the nature and beauty of the Victorian period.
History of Victoria Memorial
Since June 20, 1837, Queen Victoria was the Queen of the United Kingdom and the Queen of India since May 1, 1876. She died in January 1901, after her death Lord Curzon framed an idea of constructing an enormous and massive building including garden and museum, which can have the glance of the amazing past. The Prince of Wales George V placed the substructure stone of Victoria Memorial on January 4, 1906. Later, on May 6, 1910, Prince Wales became the King George V. The Victoria Memorial was opened in 1921 for the public after its construction completed and becomes the part of the best heritage buildings in India.
The Architecture of Victoria Memorial
When the construction of Victoria Memorial was started, William Emerson, the President of the Royal Institute of British Architects, was the chief architect of the Victoria memorial. The stunning and attractive memorial was designed in the Indo-Saracenic revivalist style. The style of the Victoria memorial is a mixture of British architectural style with Venetian, Deccani, Mughal, Egyptian, and many more beautiful styles. The Makrana marble was used to build the glorious Victoria memorial, which was brought from Jodhpur, Rajasthan.
This stunning building has dimensions of 103 m by 69 m with a height of 56m. The vast garden area of Victoria Memorial is spread on the 64 acres of land area, which was assigned to design by the Scottish botanist and physician Lord Redesdale and Sir David Prain. Vincent J. Esch. Messrs designed the garden gate and the bridge of the north aspects.
Attractions of Victoria Memorial
Victoria Memorial is one of the best and most visited museums in Kolkata. This museum has 25 galleries, which includes the sculpture gallery, the Calcutta gallery, the National leader’s gallery, the royal gallery, and many more. The royal gallery has many portraits of Victoria and her husband Prince Albert of Saxe- Coburg, and Gotha. The oil paintings in the royal gallery depicting the several moments of their lives. The Calcutta gallery was the newer addition in the Victoria Memorial by the education minister of that time Saiyid Nurul Hasan in the mid of 1970s.
The Victoria memorial museum is the house of the extraordinary collection of weapons, paintings, textiles, artifacts stamps, and coins. This museum also has the rare collections of some books, such as the masterpieces of William Shakespeare and Rubaiyat by Omar Khayyam.
The entrance of Victoria Memorial has a beautiful bronze statue of Queen Victoria. Other statues in the building include the statues of Curzon, Edward VII, Dalhousie, and many more. The Victoria memorial also has many allegorical sculptures like motherhood, architecture, and justice.
Light And Sound Show In Victoria Memorial
Regularly, the light and sound show is held in The Victoria Memorial. This light and sound show is one of the most captivating shows in India. Except for Mondays, national holidays, and July to September, this show is held regularly. The fare of tickets is Rs 10 and Rs 20.
The timings of the show are:
March to June:- In Bengali from 6.45 pm to 7:30 pm and English from 7:45 pm to 8:30 pm
October to February:- In Bengali 6:15 pm to 7:00 pm and In English from 7:15 to 8:00 pm