Victoria Memorial, Kolkata, West Bengal
Victoria Memorial was built on the memory of “Queen Victoria” between 1906 and 1921. It is a large marble building completely open for public. It is now a museum and a tourist destination under the auspices of the ministry of culture. Queen Victoria died on January 1906 then the viceroy of India Lord Curzon proposed to build a fitting material for her memory. Curzon said,
“Let us, therefore, have a building, stately, spacious, monumental and grand, to which every newcomer in Calcutta will turn, to which all the resident population, European and Native, will flock, where all classes will learn the lessons of history and see revived before their eyes the marvels of the past”.
Victoria Memorial situated on the maiden (ground), by the bank of the Hooghly river, near Jawaharlal Nehru Road (better known as Chowringhee Road). The building is 338 feet (103 m) by 228 feet (69 m) and height of the building is 184 feet (56 m).
The prince of Wales laid the foundation stone of the Victoria Memorial in 1906. Like Taj Mahal, it is also made of Makrana marble. The construction of the Victoria Memorial completed in 1921 and from that time till today it is open for public.
William Emerson (1843–1924 ), he is a guy who built the Victoria Memorial who is the president of Royal Institute of British Architects. The design of it is in Indo-Saracenic revivalist style. It is a mixture of the British and Mughal elements and inspires by Venetian, Egyptian, Deccani and Islamic architectural influences. The responsibility of construction was to assigned to Messrs. Martin & Co. of Calcutta.
Lord Redesdale and David Prain design the garden. Garden of the Victoria memorial covers 64 acres (260,000 m2). Gardens are maintained by a team of 21 gardens.
The funding of this project was done by states, individuals of the British Raj, and the British government in London. The people of India and prince of that time contributed to this project. The funding adds up to 1 crore five lakhs.
There are 25 galleries in Victoria Memorial such as royal gallery, the national leaders gallery, the portrait gallery, central hall, the sculpture gallery, the arms and armoury gallery and the newer, Calcutta gallery. Atop of the central dome of Victoria Memorial you will see the figure of the “Angel of Victory”.
Now, this is a great place for everyone. People come here to get some nice experience in their life. Tourists visit it from all over the world and take some great pictures for their memory. Usually, it is open in the evening from 4 pm to 8 pm. You will get fresh air in the open garden. The evening scenery is amazing. You can refer your friends to visit it.