Kolkata Tour Packages
Birla Planetarium Kolkata Timings
|Monday||12:00 pm – 6:30 pm|
|Tuesday||12:00 pm – 6:30 pm|
|Wedesday||12:00 pm – 6:30 pm|
|Thursday||12:00 pm – 6:30 pm|
|Friday||12:00 pm – 6:30 pm|
|Saturday||12:00 pm – 6:30 pm|
|Sunday||12:00 pm – 6:30 pm|
Hindi – 12:30 pm, 2:30 pm and 4:30 pm
Bengali – 3:30 pm and 5:30 pm
English – 1:30 pm and 6:30 pm
Special shows are also conducted on Sundays and Holidays at 10:30 am in Hindi and at 11:30 am in Bengali
Birla Planetarium is among Kolkata’s famous landmarks, the oldest and largest planetarium in Asia and the second largest in the world. The planetarium is situated adjacent to the iconic Victoria Memorial, and St. Paul’s Cathedral and at a walking distance from the Maidan metro station and also from Park Street circle. The design of the planetarium is loosely based on Sanchi Stupa.
It is popularly called Taramandal and was built in the year 1962. The magnificent building was inaugurated by the then Prime Minister, Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru. There are regular one hour shows on wonders of the universe and on facts about the galaxies held at the planetarium through the course of the day in three major languages, Hindi, English and Bengali. There are shows in other regional languages too, but occasionally.
Architecture of Birla Planetarium Kolkata
The architectural style of Birla Planetarium is inspired from that of Sanchi Stupa. The massive dome is very prominent from a distance and is easily recognisable. The original Universal Planetarium projector was from Carl Zeiss in Germany which had operated for 100,000 hours for 52 years, from the day of its inception and catered to 25 million visitors.
After the renovation of the planetarium in 2017, the upgraded and most advanced Carl Zeiss projection system, with Start Master ZMP Opto Mechanical coupled with 9 Ultra high-resolution VELVET digital projectors were put up. This system is called full dome projection and can simulate the night sky accurately. There are, in all, nine state-of-art full dome projectors that collectively create an impression of the cosmos.
The dome of the planetarium is of splendid 23-meter diameter AstroTec (USA), made of high precision aluminium and can seat 688 visitors at one time. There are columns allocated across the circumference of the planetarium which gives it a look of mini colosseum. The manicured gardens of the planetarium complex are a visual delight.
There is an astronomy gallery with huge collection of celestial models of renowned astronomers as well as fine paintings. The astronomical observatory of the planetarium is equipped with a C14 telescope with accessories like ST6 CCD Camera and solar filter.
The construction of the planetarium was commissioned to ML Dalmiya and Co. owned by the late Mr. Jagmohan Dalmiya, the former President of BCCI.
History of Birla Planetarium Kolkata
The Birla Planetarium was the brainchild of Mr. M. P. Birla, an industrialist and philanthropist based out of Kolkata. He was the founder of M. P. Birla Group. Apart from being a planetarium, it is also an institution for the study of astronomy, astrophysics and cosmology. The doors of the planetarium was opened on 29th september 1962, and started functioning from the same day however; it was formally inaugurated on 2nd July 1963 by the then Prime Minister, Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru.
An important historical aspect or trivia about the planetarium is that it has been conducting free evening courses in astronomy which has become quite famous among people from all walks of life. The course is a 10-month course conducted on a weekly basis (once a week).
The centre also introduced a post-graduate Diploma course in Astronomy and Planetary Sciences for students with a background in Physics and Mathematics. This was initiated in 1993 with a detailed curriculum in astrophysics and astronomy. There are also a series of graded programmes conducted for school kids depending on various age groups.
In the year 1980, the planetarium was the venue for 7th International Planetarium Director’s Congress wherein, planetarium directors from all over the world participated.
Shows in Birla Planetarium Kolkata
Set up as a foundation to serve as an institution dedicated to the study of science and research, Birla Planetarium was the first planetarium to be set up in Asia and the second to be established in a Commonwealth country.
There are several shows that are featured. The major languages in which the shows are played are English, Bengali and Hindi. Shows that are held at regular intervals are ‘Zodiac signs and Stars’, ‘Journey of Antarctic’ and ‘New View of Solar System’. After its renovation, ‘Our Universe’ has become the most loved and sought-after show. This is a custom- made show giving visitors an experience similar to sitting in a spaceship. Another show called ‘Cosmic Collisions’ is also a great watch.
The practice of delivering live lectures during the shows makes it a unique thing about Birla Planetarium Kolkata. This practice not only imparts additional information to all visitors, be it a student or a tourist, this also gives visitors an opportunity to interact with experts in the industry.
Birla Planetarium Kolkata Timings and Ticket Price
The planetarium opens at 12:00 PM every day and there are shows in 3 languages, Bengali, Hindi and English
Hindi Show Timings: 12:30 PM, 2:30 PM and 4:30 PM
English Show Timings: 1:30 PM and 6:30 PM
Bengali Show Timings: 3:30 PM and 5:30 PM
There are extra shows in Hindi and Bengali on Sundays and holidays at 10:30 AM and 11:30 AM respectively.
Note: The planetarium is closed on first Thursdays of every month.
Tickets are issued half an hour before the respective show.
General: INR 100 per head
Discounted rate: INR 40 for students in a group of 25 or more (this is on request).
Bookings can also be done online through their official website.
How to reach Birla Planetarium Kolkata
The easiest way to reach Birla Planetarium is to hire a cab (Ola, Uber, etc.) or yellow taxis from the airport via VIP road or Howrah Railway station parking via Acharya Jagdish Chandra Bose Marg. The place is easily accessible from all major locations.
By Air: Nearest airport - Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport
By Train: Nearest Railway Station - Howrah Junction.
By Bus: There are local buses and mini buses that ply regularly from Howrah Junction station. One may board any bus going towards Park Street More (circle). Birla Planetarium is located at a walking distance from Park Street more towards Esplanade.
You can also choose to travel in a private cab during your stay in Kolkata. Book your cab from top car rental companies in Kolkata and have a relaxing holiday in this happening city.
Nearest Metro Station: Maidan Metro Station
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