One Day Kolkata Sightseeing Trip by Cab
Victoria Memorial, Kolkata Tourist Attraction

Victoria Memorial Gallery Kolkata Entry Fee

  • 20 per person for Indians
  • 200 per person for Foreign Tourists
  • 0 Free entry for school children up to Class XII in uniform and Army personnel in uniform

Victoria Memorial Garden Area Kolkata Entry Fee

  • 10 per person per entry (Daily ticket)
  • 100 per person for Garden Entry (Monthly ticket)
  • 1000 per person for Garden Entry (Yearly ticket)
  • 2000 per person for Morning Walkers
  • 1000 per person for Morning Walkers (Senior citizens)

Entry ticket to Light and Sound show is Rs. 10 for Children and Rs. 20 for Adults.

Victoria Memorial Kolkata Phone

033 2223 1890

Rating: | 4/5 stars
Based on total 49 reviews

Victoria Memorial Kolkata Address: Maidan, Victoria Memorial Hall, 1, Queens Way, Kolkata, West Bengal, 700071, India

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Victoria Memorial Kolkata Timings

Day Timing
Monday Closed / Holiday (Victoria Memorial Gallery)
5:30 am – 6:15 pm (Gardens)
Tuesday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm (Victoria Memorial Gallery)
5:30 am – 6:15 pm (Gardens)
Wedesday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm (Victoria Memorial Gallery)
5:30 am – 6:15 pm (Gardens)
Thursday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm (Victoria Memorial Gallery)
5:30 am – 6:15 pm (Gardens)
Friday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm (Victoria Memorial Gallery)
5:30 am – 6:15 pm (Gardens)
Saturday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm (Victoria Memorial Gallery)
5:30 am – 6:15 pm (Gardens)
Sunday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm (Victoria Memorial Gallery)
5:30 am – 6:15 pm (Gardens)

Light & Sound Show Timings:
October to February:
6.15 p.m. to 7.00 p.m. (Bengali)
7.15 p.m. to 8.00 p.m. (English)
March to June:
6.45 p.m. to 7.30 p.m. (Bengali)
7.45 p.m. to 8.30 p.m. (English)

Links: | Map

If there is one place in Kolkata that should top everyone’s list of places to visit, it is the Victoria Memorial, one of the finest pieces of architecture. In the heart of the bustling metro city of Kolkata, Victoria Memorial stands as a reminiscence of erstwhile colonial grandeur.

The white marble monument is a perfect representation of sheer magnificence that entices its visitors and leaves them awestruck. The idea of the monument was conceptualized by Lord George Curzon, 1st Marquess Curzon of Kedleston and Viceroy of India as a ‘stately’ memorial for deceased Queen Victoria, the first Empress of British India.

Built as a memorial, the monument now serves as a museum that houses original artefacts that once belonged to the Empress Queen. Other than these, the gallery also displays a host of valuable collection of paintings and original manuscripts, as well as memorabilia of viceroys and governor generals who held important administrative positions during the Raj. The memorial gallery and the gardens surrounding its premises are spread across an area of 64 acres.

As one walks through the corridors of the hall, a certain sense of pride fills in just by imagining what might these corridors look like when royalty or dignitaries strolled around.

Architecture of Victoria Memorial

William Emerson, the then President of the Royal Institute of British Architects was the chief architect of Victoria Memorial, and built it out of white Makrana marble, sourced from Jodhpur in Rajasthan, India. He was assisted by supervising architect, Vincent Esch. The architecture of the heritage monument is based on Indo- Saracenic revivalist style with a mix of influences from Egyptian, Venetian, Deccan and Islamic elements. The construction of the memorial was commissioned to Messrs, Martin & Co. of Calcutta.

The memorial stands at a height of 200 feet including 16 feet height of the ‘Angel of Victory’ placed on top of the central dome. The ‘Angel of Victory’ is mounted on huge ball bearings on top of the central dome which rotate with the wind. Four allegorical sculptures namely, Art, Architecture, Justice and Charity surround the central dome. Three more allegorical structures, Motherhood, Learning and Prudence, are placed just above the front façade or north porch. All the allegorical sculptures were sculpted in and shipped from Italy.

The royal coat of arms is sculpted just above the arched entrance of the gallery. The central dome has four subsidiary octagonal domed chhatris clustered at lower level and four domed towers at four corners of the edifice along with high portals and roof.

Two massive marble lion statues at the main entrance of memorial grounds represent power. A colossal bronze statue of the Queen Empress stands a few metres away from the main entrance of the garden grounds. The bronze statue was sculpted in England by Sir George Frampton and shipped all the way to India.

Coming to the design of Victoria Memorial Gardens, the lustrous lawns and gardens encircling the memorial were designed by Lord Redesdale and David Prain. Vincent Esch, Emerson’s supervising architect, went on to design the most interesting parts of the heritage structure – the bridge of north aspect and garden gates. There are two large pools that adorn the memorial gardens.

Image Gallery of Victoria Memorial Kolkatar

History of Victoria Memorial

Upon the death of Queen Victoria in January of 1901, the then Viceroy of British India, Lord Curzon proposed to build a state memorial in the form of a grand white marble building to commemorate her reign as the Empress of India. The foundation stone of the building was laid by the then Prince of Wales, King George V on January 04, 1906. Apart from being a monument to the queen primarily, Lord Curzon was also interested in opening the memorial hall to public as a national gallery that would display few personal belongings of the queen.

The total cost of construction of the memorial amounted to 1,05,00,000 Indian Rupees. The entire amount came from the funds of Indian princes and native states. It was their way of paying tribute to the queen. A small portion of the funds also came from the British government in London.

Though the ground work had started in 1906, it took 15 long years to complete work on the memorial since Curzon left India following an unrest and opposition after the partition of Bengal in 1905. That led the construction to move at a much slower pace and by the time the monument was opened to the public in 1921, the capital of British India had shifted to Delhi from Calcutta. The memorial was inaugurated by the Duke of Windsor, Edward VIII.

The place where the memorial was built, was earlier the location of Presidency jail which was demolished to make way for the memorial. The staff and inmates of the jail were later relocated to Alipore.

Inside Victoria Memorial Gallery

The massive museum has 25 separate and huge galleries, the Portrait Gallery, the National Leader’s Gallery, the Sculpture Gallery, Queens Hall Gallery, the Arms and Armoury Gallery, and Calcutta Gallery, to name a few. There are, practically, 30,000 treasured artefacts in the museum which also has rare photographs, paintings by both Western and Indian artists depicting life of the queen.

The museum has the largest collection of antiquarian books of William Shakespeare, books on Kathak dance and Thumri music by Wajid Ali Shah, and also books like Rubaiyat by Ommar Khayyum and The Arabian Nights.

The museum repository also has the illustrated manuscript copy of Ain-i-Akbari by famed Persian writer, Abu'l-Fazl ibn Mubarak who was a court historian of Emperor Akbar. The book is a detailed statistical account of the reign and imperial institutions of Akbar.

The Royal Gallery

As the name suggests, this gallery is completely full of oil paintings and personal belongings of Queen Victoria. The paintings give out scenes from the life of the Empress like, Victoria receiving the holy sacrament during her coronation at Westminster Abbey, her marriage to Prince Albert at St. James’ Palace, celebration of her Jubilee services at Westminster Abbey and St. Paul’s Cathedral respectively.

The most impressive of all is the artistic depiction of Prince of Wales’ state entry in Jaipur in 1876 by Russian artist Vassilli Verestchagin. This is said to be one of Verestchagin’s masterpieces and is also the largest in the world measuring 7x5m. Among the exhibits, there are two cannons used in the Battle of Plassey. Another important artefact is Tipu Sultan’s dagger and his notebook of artillery, which was not kept for permanent display until 2015. The notebook was donated to trustees of Victoria Memorial by one of Tipu Sultan’s descendants, Sahebzada Ghulam Mohammad in 1904.

The best things to look for at Queens Hall Gallery are the personal possessions of Queen Victoria like her writing desk from Windsor Castle, her chair and her rosewood pianoforte. These were gifted to Victoria Memorial by Edward VII.

The portrait gallery comprises a collection of paintings of most influential people during the British Raj. The attractions of this gallery are masterpieces from 18th century artists, The Daniells, Thomas Daniell and his nephew William Daniell. The duo is famous for creating aquatint art pieces and are believed to have travelled all over India documenting about the country in their paintings. The memorial possesses the largest collection of paintings by the Daniells in the entire world.

While the exhibits of Portrait gallery have paintings of significant people, The Durbar Hall gallery is a collection of a series of paintings on cultural heritage and way of life of both Britain and India. The various stages during the building of Victoria Memorial between 1906 and 1921 is displayed in a series of paintings and photographs in the Entrance Hall Gallery of the museum.

The National Leader’s Gallery

The National Leader’s Gallery was added after independence of India and features portraits and scenes from the life of leaders and personalities associated with the Indian freedom struggle and their significant roles. One of the most famous contributors to the gallery was Austrian artist, Walter Langhammer who had made Bombay his home ground and promoted post- colonial Indian art collectively with Mukul Raj Anand and Hermann Goetz.

Calcutta Gallery

The Calcutta Gallery is the newest addition to the museum on the occasion of the 300th Anniversary of the city. This gallery traces the development of the city right from its inception when Job Charnok sailed in and bought 3 villages till independence of India and its partition in 1947. Every significant event is traced and depicted through photographs, paintings, maps, sketches and important historical documents.

The gallery also depicts the 19th century Chitpur road through a life-size diorama. The concept of this gallery was conceived and promoted by Saiyid Nurul Hasan, the governor of West Bengal and chairman of the board of trustees of the Victoria Memorial.

The Gardens of Victoria Memorial

The gardens of Victoria Memorial are spread over 64 acres of land with tastefully manicured lawns, flowers of all colors and seasons, pools and fountains. The gardens are maintained and taken care of by a team of 21 gardeners. The central attraction of the garden is the bronze statue of Victoria seated on the throne wearing order of the Star of India. The statue is placed between the narrative panels on Esch’s bridge, and is the most photographed attraction.

The entire garden is sprinkled with statues of dignitaries of British India including Charles Cornwallis (1st Marquess of Cornwallis), Robert Clive, James Broun Ramsay (1st Marquess of Dalhousie) and Arthur Wellesley. When one enters from the south gate of memorial grounds, one gets to pass from the Edward VII memorial arch. The arch has an equestrian statue of Edward VII.

The marble statue of Lord Curzon is placed on the outside of the south entrance of the hall. Other statues that are placed at various places in the garden are of Lord William Bentinck, Governor General of India (1833- 1835), George Robinson, 1st Marquess of Ripon and governor-general of India (1880- 1884) and that of Rajendra Nath Mookherjee, a pioneer and an eminent industrialist of Bengal.

Light and Sound Show in Victoria Memorial

The evenings at memorial grounds are illuminated with the light and sound show. Entitled as ‘Pride and Glory- The Story of Calcutta’, the show traces the story of the glorious era of Calcutta. The show is also named as Son-et-Lumiere. It is highly recommended for everyone to attend the show. The memorial building also drips in colors which is another beautiful sight.

How to Reach Victoria Memorial

Victoria Memorial is very easily accessible from all major cities. Commuting within the city is also hassle free as there are several forms of transport available.

By Air: Nearest Airport: Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport

By Train: Nearest Railway Station: Howrah junction

There is no dearth of yellow taxis, and cabs (ola, uber, etc) from airport and railway parking that would directly take you to the memorial. Alternatively, you can book a private cab from top car rental companies in Kolkata for your entire trip and have a hassle free holidaying experience.

Nearest Metro Station: Maidan Metro Station

Places to visit near Victoria Memorial

Birla Planetarium, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Fort William, Princep Ghat, BBD Bagh Gardens are some of the places that you can visit on your trip to Victoria Memorial.

Visiting Hours and Entry Fees for Victoria Memorial Gallery

Memorial gallery opening hours: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Note: Gallery remains closed on Mondays and national holidays
Entry Fees:
Indian Nationals – INR 20 per head
Foreign Nationals – INR 200 per head
Free entry for students and army personnel (in uniform)

Visiting Hours and Entry Fees for Victoria Memorial Gardens

Opening hours: 5:30 AM to 6:15 PM all days
Entry Fees:
Daily ticket - INR 10 per head
Yearly ticket – INR 1000 (for morning walkers)

Opening Hours and Tickets for Light and Sound Show

October to February: 6:15 PM to 7:00 PM (Bengali) | 7:15 PM to 8:00 PM (English)
March to June: 6:45 PM to 7:30 PM (Bengali) | 7:45 PM to 8:30 PM (English)
Note: The light and sound show is not conducted between July to September
INR 10 for kids, INR 20 for adults
Note: Tickets for the light and sound show are distributed 12:30 PM onwards at the ticket counter

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