Reliving History at the Colonial Edifices of Kolkata

Counted among the largest cities of India, Kolkata is the administrative capital of West Bengal that receives a significant influx of domestic and international travelers throughout the year. The city boasts of having the title of the cultural capital of India, and was a prominent center for the historic Bengal Renaissance. This majestic land of Kolkata has been the birthplace of several great writers, poets and other iconic personalities. Frequent visitors have an opinion that any traveler who gets a chance to explore the metropolitan cities of India should consider putting this city in their itinerary. Nowadays, there are several travel portals offering all-inclusive Kolkata tour packages, which can be quite convenient for touring this place.

 

History of Victoria Memorial

 

Victoria Memorial

Victoria Memorial

A popular thing about this destination is the presence of splendid edifices from the colonial era. While talking about such quaint structures, Victoria Memorial cannot be ruled out from the list. It is a large hall built of marble that was constructed in the early 20th century as a dedication to Queen Victoria – the erstwhile queen of England. The building now houses a popular museum and is a prestigious tourist attraction. Located near the bank of the Hooghly River, it was built under the auspices of the viceroy of India – George Curzon. The foundation was laid by King George V in 1906 while the formal opening for people took place in 1921.

 

This structure was not an independent venture and included enormous funding by various Indian states and British officials. The architecture was under the supervision of the then-president of the Royal Institute of British Architects – William Emerson, who beautifully blended the best elements from British and Mughal designs. The splendid landscaped gardens present here were designed by Lord Redesdale and David Prain. There was a delay in the construction of this building due to the departure of Curzon from India that resulted in the loss of enthusiasm for the huge project.

 

Features

 

The impressive galleries of this edifice are delights to view and feature royal gallery, portrait gallery and national leaders gallery as the main exhibit venues. One of the largest collections of beautiful works by Thomas Daniell can be found here. Portraits of both Queen Victoria and Prince Albert are worth beholding and are showcased in the royal gallery. These portraits illustrate various aspects of their lives, including the coronation of the queen and her marriage to the royal heir. The Calcutta gallery was introduced by Saiyid Nurul Hasan during the 1970s and was devoted entirely for depicting the history of this city. Talking about the gardens of this memorial, these are some of the finest and well-maintained ones in the city and are looked after by about 20 gardeners.

 

This garden features a statue of Queen Victoria, which was crafted using bronze by George Frampton and shows her seated on an elegant throne. Some other statues can also be found here that were built to commemorate various other high-rank officials. It is because of the presence of such great locations and landmarks that India tour packages are provided with visits to these.

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