If you visit Kolkata, and not visit the Victoria memorial mansion, then you really haven't experienced one of Kolkata's best sites.
The mansion, being the emblem of the city, has quite a lot for the visitors to see, especially its vast garden area and the main interior halls.
Built in honour of the British monarch Queen Victoria, the hall is a pivotal tourist attraction in Kolkata.
As I reached the memorial gate, I found the area quietly bustling with lots of visitors, along with some foreigners. Tickets come in two forms. One is intended for only the garden tour, costing only 10 rupees, and the other one is with the additional entrance to the Victoria mansion, which adds 20 rupees more.
The garden itself is about 64 acres of land, as the memorial is situated on a vast area, and is adorned with various seasonal flowers, creating a wonderful ambience to roam around in. This is a common place of hangouts for families, couples, or the youth. There is also a very eye-catchingly big pond and a beautiful fountain on the premises.
The whole garden area has some sculptures and statues, the prominent one being the sitting black Victoria statue, and the standing white Lord Curzon one. If your gaze strays skyward, you will see, at the top of the memorial, a 16 feet tall statue, The Angel of Victory. Surrounding the central dome, visitors can also spot some other statues which signify art, architecture, charity and justice.
MEMORIAL MUSEUM VISIT
As you approach the mansion, you will see some statues depicting motherhood, at the top of the porch, one being very prominent, along with some smaller sized ones. Despite being around since the early 20th century, the marbled building is still well managed and well organised in its appearance.
This towering building is 184 feet tall at its central dome height, and houses a big white marble statue of Queen Victoria at the centre of the building, right below the vast dome. On the ground floor, there are some galleries of the various types of British paintings, and Victoria memorabilia is everywhere. The whole building has 25 galleries. The ones to look out for in particular are the Royal Gallery, Portrait Gallery and Sculpture Gallery, with the latest addition of the Indian National Leaders’ gallery, added after the Indian independence from the British Raj.
The building has a total of two spiral flights of stairs in the East and West side of the building. On each floor, where one can take a walk that perfectly encircles the central courtyard below, and allows a top view of the beautiful inner dome area.
Photo: Samiul Raijul