Victoria Memorial hall - Kolkata

Victoria Memorial hall, Kolkata



India was ruled by the British for nearly 200 years. That time it was known as British India. British were long gone from India, but few of their magnificent works are still there as a trace of that era. One such thing from many of those is the Victoria Memorial Hall, which is located at the heart of Kolkata city (also Calcutta). It was made entirely using marble between 1906 and 1921 to dedicate the Queen Victoria. This memorial hall is located just beside the Gorer math (also Maidan). In current days this Victoria Memorial is museum for the public visiting.


Victoria Memorial hall, Kolkata
An angel at the top of the memorial building with a flute.



About the exterior of Victoria memorial. This memorial hall resembles a bit similar to the great Taj mahal. It is because of the several domes atop of the building. At the four corners of the building it has minaret like columns. At the center of the memorial it has a large dome. A top of the dome it has a statue of an angel. I heard that the statue is placed on a revolving plinth. In front of the building it has a statue of Queen Victoria who is sitting on a chair. At the backside of the memorial building it has a statue of Lord Curzon who proposed about this memorial.


Victoria Memorial hall, Kolkata
Frontal view of the Victorial Memorial.



Inside the memorial building it holds several exhibition galleries as a museum. Few of the galleries are such as Kolkata gallery, Portrait gallery, Sculpture gallery, Royal gallery, National leaders gallery, etc. Those comprises of pictures, sculptures, and few artifacts. I've seen several statues of famous people (i.e. Robert Clive). Everything was arranged very nicely for the visitors. If you like the history then it would take more than several hours to explore all the galleries. When I've visited there the tourists were not allowed to take any photograph from inside. Wish I were allowed to, as there were so many interesting things inside the museum.


Victoria Memorial hall, Kolkata
There were quite a few number of local tourists for a visit.



Opening and closing time


The gallery of Victoria memorial remains closed on Monday. And in other days it remains open from 10am to 5pm. The garden outside the Victoria memorial remains open everyday from 5:30am to 6:15pm. It is because lot of people do the morning walk and jogging in the garden.


Victoria Memorial hall, Kolkata
A statue of Queen Victoria in front of the memorial.



Entry fee of Victoria memorial


There are several type of entry fees available there. For the Indian adults it is 20 rupee, and for children it is 10 rupee. For the Foreign visitors it is 200 rupee per person. Apart from that they have annual and monthly tickets for visitors and morning joggers. Hopefully as a tourist you won't need those!


Victoria Memorial hall, Kolkata
Side view of the statue of Queen Victoria.



How to go


If you are not familiar with the public transportation (specially local buses) of India then it is better to use taxi. Victoria memorial is a famous landmark from Kolkata and everyone knows about it. Regardless your location it should not be more than 5 dollar for the ride. You can use the metro rail as well as it is very easy to use compare to the buses. Leave the metro near the stoppage Maidan and have a walk towards the memorial. You should be able to see the top portion of the memorial from a far distance. GPS coordinate of Victoria memorial is (22°32'41.2"N, 88°20'30.8"E).


Victoria Memorial hall, Kolkata
This nice piece of work is done on the pedestal of the Victoria's statue.



Where to stay in Kolkata:


Booking.com


Kolkata is the capital of West Bengal. That's why you'd find plenty of high or low quality hotels around. And most of the hotels are available to book through online. I've stayed in a cheap hotel (probably named Hotel oriental, and rent was 1000 rupees). You can find list of hotels from Kolkata from this link. Just an FYI, not all hotels from Kolkata can accept foreign guest as they need to maintain some sort of minimum standard and formalities.


Gorer math, Kolkata
View of great Victoria memorial from Gorer math.



Street foods


Outside the memorial premise there are very few street food vendors were selling Alu puri, Pani puri, Paw bhaji, etc. You could taste those if you are a fan of street food.


Victoria Memorial hall, Kolkata
It was getting darker due to the advent rain. So decided to be inside the museum.



Horse cart ride


Outside the memorial premise you'd find plenty of horse carts or carriage that offer a ride on them. You could use those for an hour to ride around the open Maidan and the memorial. As the area is so vast it would help you to cover it in a 'quick but convenient to observe' way. Just an FYI, most of those horse are very poor in condition as they lack of good care. Lot of animal lovers urge tourists not to use them.


Victoria Memorial hall, Kolkata
Look how much dark was outside. A typical Indian monsoon weather in September.



Night show in Victoria memorial


They host an amazing light show just after the sunset (approximately from 6:30pm to 8:00pm, except Monday, public holidays, and July-September). If you chose to live nearby the Victoria memorial then it would be very convenient to watch the light show. I wanted to watch it, but unfortunately I didn't able to go during my visit as it was in between July-September range, such a bad timing. May be next time I'd go there.


Victoria Memorial hall, Kolkata
There were several renovation going on around the Victoria memorial.



How I've visited: I've gone there after having a short exploration around the Gorer math (Maidan). It was around the afternoon time when I was there. Probably because of rain it wasn't having usual crowd but not less either. Also the weather was not really good on that particular time. It was cloudy and getting very dark for that. So wanter to be inside the museum on that time. First I've explored the galleries inside the museum which took more than an hour. After that I've explored the outer side of the museum by walking around. The Victorial memorial building is surrounded by several gardens and lakes. But I didn't explore those due to time availability as well as rain. Also those gardens were occupied by the dating couples from Kolkata. Didn't want to disturb them.


Victoria Memorial hall, Kolkata
A lion statue made of marble.



When I was just about to leave the premise it started raining heavily. I had to take a shelter under a room near the check post of the memorial premise. There were other local people too. It was boring as I had nothing to do that time. But at the same time it helped me to be close with local people from Kolkata, who speaks the same language I do, Bangla.


Victoria Memorial hall, Kolkata
Found this British royal coat of arms somewhere around the building.



One thing only bothered me during my visit as there have been a heavy renovation going on around. That's why for most of the cases I didn't find any better picture of the memorial building. Not sure, may be July-September is an off season in Kolkata for the tourists as it rains heavy? May be that's why they've chosen that time for the renovation. That case try to visit the place in any other time, for example winter, or summer (if you are okay with Indian hot weather).


Victoria Memorial hall, Kolkata
A statue of a sepoy or a guard outside the memorial building.



Victoria Memorial hall, Kolkata
A statue of taking care of the babies.



Victoria Memorial hall, Kolkata
A statue where a child getting a reading lesson.



Victoria Memorial hall, Kolkata
A warrior father with his child. Looks like a Greek soldier for me. Or it could be a woman?



Victoria Memorial hall, Kolkata
Closer look towards the Angel of Victoria.



Victoria Memorial hall, Kolkata
This probably depicts the local people are paying tribute to the British high officials.



Victoria Memorial hall, Kolkata
Lord Curzon, one of the popular British lords in India.



Victoria Memorial hall, Kolkata
Not sure about this statue, saw this at the backside of the memorial building.



Victoria Memorial hall, Kolkata
Statue of a priest.



Victoria Memorial hall, Kolkata
Statue of the Lord Curzon at the backside of the memorial building.



Victoria Memorial hall, Kolkata
View to the inner side of a smaller dome located outside.



Victoria Memorial hall, Kolkata
There were several green gardens outside the Victoria memorial.



Victoria Memorial hall, Kolkata
Another nice green lawn around.



Victoria Memorial hall, Kolkata
Several lakes and ponds are there to walk around. Lot of local couples come here as a date!



Victoria Memorial hall, Kolkata
Such a bad day, it is about to rain again. Although people are dating around the pond.



Victoria Memorial hall, Kolkata
I was stuck there for an hour or so due to a heavy rain.



Victoria Memorial hall, Kolkata
Taking a final look towards the Victoria memorial before leaving.



Victoria memorial hall,
Kolkata (or Calcutta),
West Bengal,
Country: India,
GPS Coordinate (22°32'41.2"N, 88°20'30.8"E).



This article has written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog https://www.alonelytraveler.com/



Friday, 18 September 2015


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