Victoria Memorial – Iconic Festival of White MarbleVictoria Memorial, Kolkata is an incredible architectural marvel in the City of Joy celebrating its uniqueness and iconic stature since almost a century. Dedicated to Queen Victoria commemorating in white marble, the monument is a museum and favourite tourist destination.
Victoria Memorial – A Quick Glance
Built in: 1921
Commissioned by: Lord Curzon
Dimensions: 103 meters (length) x 69 meters (width) x 56 meters (height)
Total area: 57 acres
Architectural style: Indo-Saracenic revivalist
Architect: William Emerson
Material used: Makrana marble
Victoria Memorial Timings and Tickets
10:00AM to 6:00PM (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, And Friday)10:00AM to 6:00PM (Saturday, Sunday)
Monday and National Holidays closedVictoria Memorial Museum Entrance Fee: Rs.500
Note: Ticket counter closes half an hour before the closure of galleriesThe Gardens timings: 5:30AM to 6:00PM (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday)
The Gardens Tickets Fee: Rs.20Note: Garden ticket does not entitle entry to the museum building
Victoria Memorial: An OverviewThe Victoria Memorial is a huge monument in white marble which is iconic with the City of Joy. Another relic of the British Raj in India, the Victoria Memorial is an elegant structure built in the memory of Queen Victoria to commemorate her 25 years of rule over India. The monument is almost a replica of the original construction in London with the same name.
The History of Victoria MemorialOne of the most visited places in Kolkata, Victoria Memorial was ideated by Lord Curzon, who was the Viceroy of India during that period. After the demise of the Queen Victoria, the Empress of British India, on 4th January 1901, Curzon suggested the idea of Victoria Memorial as a grand commemorative plaque to honour the Queen.
The main purpose of constructing the monument was to make a stately edifice along with a museum and to offer the tourists to learn about the phase the Queen reigned and the marvels of the past. The Prince of Wales laid the foundation of the Victoria Memorial, Kolkata; he was the same who was later known as King George V. The monument was formally inaugurated in 1921 when it was opened for visitors. However, several other changes and additions were done after India’s independence in 1947.
Victoria Memorial ArchitectureThe Victoria Memorial, Kolkata is built in Indi-Saracenic revivalist style of architecture. That’s why you may spot the perfect blend of Mughal as well as British elements in the constructional style amalgamated with Egyptian, Islamic, Venetian, and Deccani inputs. Built of Markana marble, the monument stands tall at 56 meters and measures 103 meters by 69 meters.
The design of the Victoria Memorial closely resembles to that of Taj Mahal and it consists of a main central dome, four domes in smaller size along with high portals, and domed octagonal chhatris, domed towers at the corners, and terrace to complete the entire format.
The monument is 184 feet high and is entirely made of Makrana Marble of white colour. The marble was brought in all the way from Jodhpur, Rajasthan. The Victoria Memorial, Kolkata is surrounded by vast gardens that spread over a huge area of 64 acres. The gardens were designed by botanist Sir David Prain and Lord Redesdale.
Angel of Victory on Victoria MemorialAnother major attraction of Victoria Memorial is the Angel of Victory – a 16-feet tall figurine that stands on top of the central dome. The fairy poises perkily over the dome of the Victoria Memorial being mounted on large ball bearings. When it was constructed, the mechanism made the figure rotate with the wind and it was a magical sight to behold. However, with time, the system that made the angel move stopped working and the defect was noticed in 1978 only to be working again in 2013.
The fairy is a black bronze figurine, holding a bugle in her hand and is placed at the apex of the dome above the Memorial. It is fixed to its pedestal with ball bearings and acts as a weathercock when the wind is strong enough. The angel weighs five-tonnes.
Victoria Memorial GardenThe gardens of the Victoria Memorial portray a myriad of sculptures. The most prominent one is a bronze statue of Queen Victoria on a bronze throne that welcomes the visitor at the entrance of the premises. A walk around the premises would take you to several other statues including those of Edward VII, Curzon, Hastings and Dalhousie. Allegorical sculptures like Motherhood, Architecture, Learning and Justice can also be found here.
Spread over a huge land of 64 acres, the gardens are maintained by 21 gardeners and are a favourite destination for morning walkers and joggers.
Victoria Memorial Light and Sound ShowFrom October to June, a grand Light and Sound Show, called Son-et-Lumiere, is conducted in Victoria Memorial.
October - February: 6:15PM - 7:00PM (Bengali), 7:15 PM - 8:00 PM (English)
March - June: 6:45PM - 7:30PM (Bengali), 7:45 PM - 8:30 PM (English)
The show isn’t conducted on Mondays, and other National Holidays. The shows are also closed from July to September.
There are many more shows and exhibitions held from time to time, along with many other events such as illustrated talks and celebration of important days. Another regular show named Pride & Glory - the Story of Calcutta is currently held in both Bengali and English. It was designed as venture with Bengal Chamber of Commerce.
Galleries and Exhibitions at Victoria MemorialThe Victoria Memorial is an amazing collection of rare and antique books. These books include illustrated works of Shakespeare, the Arabian Nights and other books on music, dance and other forms of culture.
With over 25 galleries including the Royal Gallery, the National Leaders Gallery, the Sculpture Gallery, the Portrait Gallery, the Central Hall and the Calcutta Gallery make the Victoria Memorial a gorgeous and extremely cultural hotspot.
The Victoria Memorial, Kolkata is a treasure trove of unique and remarkable collections of paintings, weapons, textiles, artefacts, stamps and many more.
Victoria Memorial, Kolkata is an eternal and iconic monument in the heart of the city that reflects the city’s colonial-era history. The monument is a treat to the eyes and is exceptional for its magnificently photogenic views across reflecting ponds in the northeast and northwest sides. Complete with exotic and majestic views and some classic piece of culture and literature, Victoria Memorial Kolkata is a must visit.