The Victoria Memorial is a magnificent monument located in Kolkata city of West Bengal, India. It is one of the most iconic and popular landmarks in the city and attracts thousands of visitors from around the world. It is a large marble building built between 1906 and 1921 by the British government. The building was dedicated to the memory of Queen Victoria. Today, this building is one of the top tourist places in Kolkata. It has 25 galleries including Calcutta Gallery, Portrait Gallery, Royal Gallery, and more. The place is also home to over 28,000 artifacts.
In this detailed article, I will mention interesting facts about the Victoria Memorial. Before that, let me add some key things about Victoria Memorial.
Also see: Interesting facts about Taj Mahal
Victoria Memorial Information:
|Queen’s Way, Maidan
|Museum under the Ministry of Culture
|10:00 am to 5:00 pm; closed on Mondays and National Holidays
|5:30 am to 6:15 pm; every day
|Museum Entry Fee
|₹ 30 for Indians; ₹ 100 for foreigners of SAARC countries; ₹ 500 for foreigners of other countries
|Gardens Entry Fee
|₹ 20 per person
|Annual Fee for Morning Walkers
|₹ 2000 per person; ₹ 1000 for senior citizens
|Nearest Metro Station
|Year of Establishment
|103 meters (length) x 69 meters (width) x 56 meters (height)
Facts About Victoria Memorial
- The Victoria Memorial was designed by Sir William Emerson, a renowned architect, and was built between 1906 and 1921. It is constructed in the Indo-Saracenic architectural style that combines elements of British, Mughal, and Venetian styles.
- Prince of Wales laid the foundation stone of the Victoria Memorial in 1906.
- The memorial is made entirely of white Makrana marble, which was transported from the same quarries in Rajasthan that provided marble for the Taj Mahal. The use of marble gives the monument a stunning appearance and makes it stand out.
- The monument was built in memory of Queen Victoria, who was the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 1837 until she died in 1901. It serves as a tribute to her reign and contribution to India.
- The cost of constructing the Victoria Memorial was borne by the Indian government, along with contributions from the British government, royal families, and prominent citizens of India. A total of Rs. 1,05,00,000 were spent to build the Victoria Memorial.
- Victoria Memorial was built on the site of Kolkata’s Presidency Jail which was established in 1778.
- The Victoria Memorial houses a museum that showcases a vast collection of artifacts from the British colonial period in India. The museum has various galleries, including the Royal Gallery, the Portrait Gallery, the Sculpture Gallery, and the Calcutta Gallery, among others.
- The museum’s exhibits include historical paintings, sculptures, manuscripts, rare photographs, weapons, textiles, and other artifacts that provide insights into the rich history and cultural heritage of Kolkata and the British Raj.
- The memorial is surrounded by beautiful gardens spread across 64 acres. These gardens are maintained properly and feature numerous statues, including that of Queen Victoria herself. The lush greenery and beautiful atmosphere make it a popular spot for locals and tourists alike.
- The Victoria Memorial hosts an enchanting light and sound show in the evenings. The show uses projection mapping technology to illuminate the monument and tell the story of Kolkata’s history, accompanied by a captivating narration.
- Angel of Victory is also an integral part of the Victoria Memorial in Kolkata. It is a bronze statue perched on top of the central dome of the Victoria Memorial. This statue represents victory and symbolizes the British Empire’s triumph during Queen Victoria’s reign. The Angel of Victory is depicted as a winged female figure who holds a torch in her right hand and carries a laurel wreath in her left hand.
- The Victoria Memorial is one of the top tourist attractions in Kolkata, drawing thousands of visitors every year. Its architectural grandeur, historical significance, and cultural treasures make it a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts, art lovers, and anyone interested in exploring Kolkata’s colonial past.
- The memorial is strategically located near the Maidan, a vast urban park in the heart of Kolkata. It is also near other important landmarks such as the Indian Museum, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and the Howrah Bridge, making it easily accessible for tourists and locals alike.
- The Victoria Memorial is not only a historical monument but has also become a symbol of Kolkata’s identity. It represents the city’s cultural heritage, resilience, and journey through time.
- During World War II in 1943, the whole Victoria Memorial was painted black to protect it from Japanese attack. British also stopped all photography of monuments during that period.