Victoria Memorial was located on the banks of the River Hoogly and was built between 1906 and 1921 in the memory of Queen Victoria. It is built in white Makrana marble and is one of the most popular tourists sites in Kolkata. Every person visiting Kolkata is sure to have visited Victoria Memorial. It is open to the public on all days of the week from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm, except for Mondays. I visited the place in the evening at 3.00 pm.
It was a beautiful structure and the architecture reflects a blend of British and Mughal style with some influence of Egyptian Venetian, Islamic and Deccani architecture. I was told that the building was 338 ft long and 228 ft wide, with a height of 184 ft. The garden surrounding the building was very beautiful with colorful flowers and decorative plants. It takes a team of 21 gardeners to maintain the garden. On the central dome there is the figure of Angel of Glory and surrounding the dome I saw many other sculptures depicting art, architecture, justice and charity as well as motherhood, prudence and liberty on the northern porch.
Inside, I learnt that it had 25 galleries, which included National Gallery, Royal Gallery, portrait gallery, central hall, Calcutta gallery etc. in the Royal Gallery I saw a number of portraits of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in oil paint. It also had a piano that was used by Queen Victoria since she was a girl of 10 years old, a writing desk of the queen and the painting, The Jaipur Procession. Calcutta Gallery shows you a visual display of the history of Calcutta and its development. It also contains many paintings by eminent artists of Kolkata.
Victoria Memorial also has a rare collection of the works of Thomas Daniell and his nephew William Daniell. I also saw illustrated works of William Shakespeare, Arabian Nights and Rubaiyat by Omar Khayyam.
The garden here is spread over an area of 64 acres and there is a bronze statue of Queen Victoria sitting on her throne near the northern gate. I also saw many other sculptures and statues in the garden. I enjoyed my visit to the memorial and took back vivid memories of the visit.