Victoria Memorial Kolkata

Team FWDI 02 Dec 2023 1582 views
Victoria Memorial Kolkata

Overview - Kolkata Victoria Memorial Hall

The Calcutta Victoria Memorial, also known as the Kolkata Victoria Memorial, is an iconic and highly revered tourist attraction in Kolkata. This majestic structure, crafted from exquisite marble, graces the expansive Maidan in Central Kolkata with its grandeur. Its regal entrance on Queen's Way invites visitors to delve into a bygone era. The Government of India undertook its construction between 1906 and 1921 as a dedicated homage to Victoria, the esteemed Empress of India from 1876 to 1901. Spanning across an impressive 64 acres of meticulously landscaped gardens, this monument stands as the world's largest tribute to a monarch. Today under the watchful eye of the Ministry of Culture, it has evolved into a captivating museum that showcases not only artifacts but also echoes the architectural splendor reminiscent of imperial Anglo-Indian design. The Calcutta Victoria Memorial continues to enchant locals and tourists alike with its timeless allure and remains one of the city's most cherished attractions.

History of Victoria Memorial Kolkata

Following Empress Victoria's demise in January 1901, Lord Curzon, the Viceroy of India, proposed the establishment of a fitting memorial in Calcutta (now Kolkata), the then capital of India. He envisioned a majestic structure encompassing a museum and gardens, declaring, 

"Let us have a building stately, spacious, monumental, and grand, attracting newcomers and residents alike to explore history's lessons and witness the marvels of the past." 

Responding generously to Curzon's plea, government officials, princes, politicians, and the public of India contributed funds voluntarily for the construction cost. The chosen site near Raj Bhavan faced delays due to uncertainties about the foundations' strength but on January 4th, 1906; Prince Wales laid down Victoria Memorial's foundation stone.

Construction of the magnificent Victoria Memorial was entrusted to Messrs. Martin & Co. of Calcutta, marking the beginning of an ambitious endeavor in 1910. The grand superstructure work commenced, meticulously shaping this architectural marvel that would soon grace India's landscape. 

However, fate intervened when Emperor George V proclaimed the shifting of India's capital from Calcutta to New Delhi in 1912, unexpectedly relegating the Victoria Memorial to a provincial capital instead of its intended national glory. Undeterred by this twist of events, construction continued tirelessly and finally culminated in 1921 with the formal opening to the public. 

Over time, post-1947 witnessed noteworthy additions being made to enhance its splendor further. Remarkably, a smaller counterpart emerged in Hardoi District which later transformed into a vibrant city club brimming with life and history intertwined within its walls. Notably, even Mahatma Gandhi himself graced Hardoi with his presence during stirring meetings held throughout the tumultuous 1930s.

Victoria Memorial Timings and Entry Ticket 

The magnificent Victoria Memorial Gallery, located in Kolkata, is a treasure trove of art and history. Opening its doors from Tuesdays to Sundays between 10:00 AM and 5:00 PM, this iconic gallery offers an immersive experience for visitors. 
The entry fee is INR 20 for Indians and INR 200 for foreigners; however, school children up to class XII in uniform and army personnel are exempted from any charges. Adjacent to the gallery lies the enchanting Gardens of Victoria Memorial, welcoming nature enthusiasts daily from 5:30 AM until 6:15 PM. A nominal price of just INR 10 grants access to these picturesque gardens while senior citizens above 60 can enjoy them all year round with a yearly ticket priced at INR 1,000. For others seeking solace amidst lush greenery throughout the seasons, an annual pass costs INR 2,000.

Architecture and Design of Victoria Memorial 

The chief architect of the Victoria Memorial, William Emerson, showcases his immense architectural prowess through a harmonious blend of Indo-Saracenic style and influences from Egyptian, Venetian, Mughal, and Islamic designs. Standing tall at 184 feet, this awe-inspiring monument is crafted with pristine Makrana Marble imported from Jodhpur in Rajasthan.

Surrounding this magnificent structure are vast gardens encompassing 64 acres meticulously designed by botanist Sir David Prain and Lord Redesdale. The architecture speaks volumes about the grandeur and meticulous attention to detail that went into creating this iconic landmark. 

Victoria Memorial Garden 

The Victoria Memorial Garden, sprawling over 64 acres, is an enchanting oasis brimming with a multitude of sculptures. As one enters, the eye is immediately drawn to the majestic bronze statue of Queen Victoria seated upon her regal throne.

A stroll through this verdant sanctuary unveils a treasure trove of other statues including those commemorating Edward VII, Curzon, Hastings, and Dalhousie. Delightfully interspersed throughout are allegorical sculptures depicting Motherhood, Architecture, Learning, and Justice. Tenderly cared for by 21 dedicated gardeners, these gardens serve as a cherished haven for early-morning walkers.

Victoria Memorial Light & Sound Show 

The enchanting Victoria Memorial Light & Sound Show, known as Son-et-Lumiere, captivates visitors from October to June with its mesmerizing display. This unique spectacle illuminates the grandeur of the iconic Victoria Memorial in a breathtaking symphony of light and sound. However, it is important to note that this extraordinary showcase does not take place on Mondays, during the vibrant Holi festival, or national holidays. Additionally, visitors should be aware that the show remains closed from July to September, adding an air of anticipation and exclusivity to this remarkable experience.

Victoria Memorial Light & Sound Show Ticket Price

Experience the mesmerizing Victoria Memorial Light & Sound Show with tickets priced at just INR 10 for Bengali and INR 20 for English. Immerse yourself in a captivating journey through history as brilliant lights dance to narrate the tales of this iconic monument. Don't miss this incredible opportunity!

Victoria Memorial Light & Sound Show Timings

Victoria Memorial Light & Sound Show Timings is very comfortable and offers a mesmerizing experience that takes visitors on a journey through history. From October to February, the show starts at 6:15 PM in Bengali and continues till 7:00 PM in English. In March to June, the timings shift slightly with Bengali starting at 6:45 PM and English commencing at 7:45 PM.
 

Tips For Visiting Victoria Memorial 

As visitors explore the magnificent Victoria Memorial Kolkata, it is essential to keep in mind a few tips for an unforgettable experience. 

  • Firstly, be aware that photography is strictly prohibited inside the main building, allowing one to fully immerse oneself in its grandeur without distractions. 
  • For those uninterested in perusing the galleries, a "garden-only" ticket option awaits at the ticket counter, offering access to the stunning gardens and grounds alone. 
  • And for an extra touch of elegance and nostalgia, carriages await at the entrance for visitors seeking a leisurely ride near the enchanting roundabout.

How to Reach Victoria Memorial?

To reach the majestic Victoria Memorial, transportation options abound. Whether you prefer the convenience of a taxi or the charm of an auto-rickshaw, getting there is a breeze. If public transport is more your style, fear not! The Maidan Metro and Rabindra Sadan Metro stations await eager visitors. And let's not forget about those scenic ferries, whisking passengers away from Princep Ghat and Bindan Ghat to this iconic destination.
 

Our FAQ’s

What is Victoria Memorial in Kolkata?

Victoria Memorial is a historical monument built in honor of Queen Victoria, showcasing colonial-era architecture and housing a museum.

Construction began in 1906 and was completed in 1921, opening to the public in 1924.

It symbolizes the peak of the British Raj in India and serves as a museum preserving artifacts from that era.

Victoria Memorial is open from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM on all days except Mondays.

Yes, there is an entry fee. Different rates apply for Indian and foreign visitors.

Yes, guided tours are available to provide insights into the history and architecture of the memorial.

Photography is allowed in certain areas, but restrictions apply. Check with the staff for details.

There is no specific dress code, but visitors are encouraged to dress modestly and respectfully.

Yes, the memorial is equipped with ramps and facilities to accommodate differently-abled visitors.

A thorough visit may take around 2-3 hours, allowing time to explore both the museum and the surrounding gardens.

Outside food is not allowed, but there are cafeteria facilities available inside.

Yes, there is parking available near the memorial for visitors.

Yes, online ticket booking is available, providing a convenient option to avoid queues.

No, Victoria Memorial is usually open on public holidays, but it's recommended to check the official schedule.

Yes, educational programs and guided tours are often arranged for school groups. Booking in advance is advisable.

The winter months from October to March are considered the best time due to milder weather.

Yes, there is a souvenir shop on the premises offering a variety of memorabilia.

Large bags and backpacks are generally not allowed. Small bags are permissible, but security checks apply.

No, pets are not allowed inside the memorial premises.

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