Home | Kolkata Tourist Attractions | Victoria Memorial
Location: Opposite to Planetarium
Significance: Raj Era Monument
Victoria Memorial is one of Kolkata’s most famous landmarks known as a monument where history comes alive. Some historians claim that it was an attempt by the British to build a monument that would rival Taj Mahal in terms of beauty and elegance. Although the final completed specimen could not match up with the Taj, it still possesses a charm & artistic brilliance of its own.
Victoria Memorial Kolkata rekindles the opulent Raj era nostalgia. Exhibiting a fine blend of European and Mughal architecture, the monument is clad in White marble and is a visual delight. The idea of its birth was conceived by Lord Curzon who decided to build a fitting tribute to Queen Victoria. Kolkata was then the capital of India and as such the most suitable choice for the construction. Sir William Emerson designed the outlay of the building and the enormous amount of funds required to construct it was raised from the Indian princes and peoples of India.
The Prince of Wales laid the foundation stone on 4th January, 1906 which took 15 years to be complete. On 21st December, 1921 the Duke of Windsor opened the memorial to Public. Within the fort are housed galleries displaying Kolkata’s historical legacy right from Job Charnock's discovery of Kolkata till the year 1911 when Delhi was made the British Capital in India. Rare souvenirs like the Nawab's throne, Ivory chair of Warren Hastings, medals awarded to Prince Dwarkanath Tagore by Queen Victoria pistols used by Warren Hastings in actual warfare are also showcased.
Another attraction of the Victoria Memorial is its scenic garden stretching over 64 acres of beautiful landscape. The garden itself houses several Raj era statues and ruins and is visited by both young and old for rejuvenating morning walks and jogging along its winding pathways.
The spectacular Sound & light show Son-et-Lumiere is also a must see, depicting historical incidences of Kolkata starting from setting up of British East India Company, India's freedom movement and the 300 year old evolution transforming the city from a fishing village to one of India's largest metropolitan cities. In a nutshell, Victoria Memorial is a destination which beautifully portrays the history of Kolkata and a must visit for everyone visiting the city.