Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Victoria Memorial Hall in Kolkata - Day 2

The fabulous monument of Victoria Memorial was designed by Sir William Emerson, president of the British Institute of Architects, using Indo-Saracenic style, incorporating Mughal elements. The foundation stone of the memorial was laid in 1906 and was inaugurated by the Prince of Wales, who later became King Edward VIII of England, in 1921. This splendid monument in white Makrana marble, modeled on Taj Mahal, has a beautiful garden designed by Lord Redesdale and Sir David Prain. The 184 feet tall building, constructed on 64 acres of land, is dedicated to Queen Victoria. Its massive hall is 338 feet by 228 feet!

Saw them on the way...

From outside...
Cops in front of the Hall

Towards the Hall
In the beautiful park
A large bronze statue of the Queen topped with a moving angel facing the Calcutta Maidan welcomed us to the Memorial. Its unique architecture reminded me of Roman and Italian palaces.
Bronze statue of the Queen
Bronze statue of the Queen
From another angle
Murals under the statue of Queen Victoria
Murals under the statue of Queen Victoria
Queen Victoria statue from behind
Queen Victoria statue from behind
The museum houses photos and effigies of prominent people who made an incredible contribution to the glory of India. The Memorial’s Royal Gallery houses several of portraits of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and some paintings illustrating their lives. After Indian Independence, National Leaders’ Gallery, containing the portraits and relics related to independence, was added to the museum.
It also has a group of amazing figures above the north porch that epitomize prudence, learning and motherhood. The statues of Motherhood, Prudence, Learning, Art, Justice, Architecture and Charity were brought from Italy.
The Victoria Memorial Garden remains open to visitors throughout the year, even on holidays, from 5.30 am to 7 pm. The entry fee is as less Rs 4 per person. Not just that, people can have monthly as well as yearly tickets by paying Rs 100 and Rs 1,000 respectively, per person.

Ticket counter
The Victoria Memorial Hall remains open to visitors on all working days except Mondays from 10 am to 5 pm. Entry fee for the museum is separate and for Indians it is RS 10 per person and Rs 150 for foreigners. Entry is absolutely free for schoolchildren who are below 12 years of age and who are dressed in school uniform and for Army personnel dressed in their uniforms.

Angel of Victory on the top
The museum also conducts light and sound shows regularly. The show -- Pride and Glory -- The Story of Calcutta -- was designed as a joint venture with Bengal Chamber of Commerce and is conducted in both English and Bengali.

The gardens are well-kept and peaceful. Sitting on the well maintained lawn in the shade of trees was absolutely refreshing, given the fact that it was absolutely hot. We could see several couples, mostly college students and to our shock a few school students, in their uniforms, coo-chi cooing to each other!
Well maintained garden

Couples ;)

Vij gets naughty ;)

Fallen branch
Workers busy lawn mowing

Ohhhh clouds...

Miss these clouds in Doha


Construction inside the compound

Another view

Statue of Curzon
Time to leave...

After clicking several pictures of the Hall and the Garden, we headed towards Birla Planetarium, which is very close by to the Victoria Hall.

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