While in Kolkata, I observed that there are various historical monuments which showcase the architectural intelligence of the past centuries. One of them is the iconic Victoria Memorial Hall, a white marble marvel conceived by Lord Curzon as an honor to Queen Victoria. It is also known as the Taj Mahal of Kolkata. This grand building with extensive well kept gardens is situated at the end of Maidan Park and simply a masterpiece of British work of art.
History of Victoria Memorial from Wikipedia:
“On the death of Queen Victoria in January 1901, Lord Curzon, who was then Viceroy of India, placed before the public the question of setting up a fitting memorial to the Queen. He suggested that the most suitable memorial would be a “stately”, spacious, monumental and grand building surrounded by an exquisite garden.This was to be a historical museum where people could see before them pictures and statues of men who played a prominent part in the history of this country and develop a pride in their past.The princes and people of India responded generously to his appeal for funds and the total cost of construction of this monument amounting to one crore, five lakhs of rupees, was entirely derived from their voluntary subscriptions.Sir William Emerson, President of the British Institute of Architects, designed and drew up the plan of this building, while the work of construction was entrusted to Messrs. Martin & Co. of Calcutta. Vincent J. Esch was the superintending architect.”
Outside the Victoria Memorial one can take a ride in one of the numerous gold/silver coloured horse carriages around Maidan.
Victoria Memorial is a fantastic place that will take you into the world of past history. Inside the hall, you can see photos and effigies of prominent personalities, who made an incredible contribution in the glory of India.
There is a sound and light show in the evening, one in Bengali at around 6:30 PM and another in English around 7:30 PM.
The Garden is open on all days and only the Museum is closed on Mondays.