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Home>>East India>>West Bengal>>Historical>>Victoria Memorial

Victoria Memorial

Victoria Memorial

Victoria Memorial, Victoria Memorial travel, Victoria Memorial tourism, Victoria Memorial Historical Place, travel This is a memorial dedicated to Queen Victoria, built between 1906-21. The architectural blend of this monument is interesting. Mughal domes in tandem with Sarcenic and Renaissance styles. There is a very interesting museum in the memorial with over 3000 exhibits, including the Queen's piano and study desk. It is open daily from 10.00 am to 4.30 pm, except on Mondays.

Designed after the Taj Mahal in Agra, it has a vast collection of pictures, statues, manuscripts, letters etc, relating to the Nawabi and British times in Bengal. The memorial was the inspiration of Lord Curzon, who in 1901, felt that his recently departed Queen Victoria, required a suitable monument to her memory. She was the first British monarch to be awarded the title of Queen-Empress of India in 1877.

The building was designed by Sir William Emerson President of the British Institute of Architects. Vincent J Esch, an assistant Engineer in the Bengal Nagpur Railway, was the superintending architect and the work of construction was entrusted to Messrs Martin and Co of Kolkata. Lord Redesdale and Sir David Prain designed the gardens. Though the construction of the building substructure began in 1904, it was completed only after 20 years at a cost of 10 million rupees. The Prince of Wales formally inaugurated it in 1921.

Set amid 64 acres of lawns, fountains, and herbaceous borders this greatest symbol of the British, houses artifacts illustrating British roots in India. The building covers an area of 103.02m by 69.49m.

The 'H' shaped memorial consists of numerous hybrid features; it has Italian-style statues over its Victoria Memorial, Victoria Memorial travel, Victoria Memorial tourism, Victoria Memorial Historical Place, travel entrances, Mughal domes in its corners and tall elegant open curved colonnades along its sides. There are 3000 exhibits in 25 galleries in a chamber beneath the dome. Main entrance is from the north. A bronze statue of Queen Victoria sits enthroned in bronze at the entrance marble staircase wearing the regal Order of the Star of India. Above her, a black bronze angel known as Victory, holding a bugle in her hand was placed at the apex of the dome above the Memorial and has always been regarded as a curious addition to the monument. It is fixed to its pedestal with ball bearings and rotates when the wind is strong enough.

Excellent paintings such as, Burne-Jones's portrait of Rudyard Kipling, Johann Zoffany's portrait of William Hastings and his family, Macaulay, Bishop Heber and William Hickey, Verestchagin's monumental depiction of the Prince of Wales making his grand tour of Jaipur in 1876, the works of the Victorian artists Thomas and William Daniells, paintings of Robert Clive, marriage of the Prince of Wales with Princess Alexandra are exhibited and a huge painting depicts King Edward VII entering Jaipur in a regal procession in 1876. French guns captured at the Battle of Plassey are on exhibit along with the black stone throne of the Nawab whom Clive defeated. Also on display are some Indians without discrimination. Among these are - Keshab Chandra sen, Michael Madhusudan Dutt, Rabindranath tagore and his grandfather Dwarkanath Tagore.

In the Royal Gallery there are many oil paintings illustrating episodes from Queen Victoria's long, eventful life and reign- her coronation in the Westminster Abbey in June 1838; her marriage with Prince Albert (1840) in the Chapel Royal at St. James' Palace; the baptism of her son, her son's wedding, her residence of Frogmore, Queen Victoria at the first Jubilee service in Westminster Abbey in 1887 and the Second Jubilee service of Queen Victoria at St. Paul's Cathedral, June 1897 etc. Some of her possessions, like the pianoforte, at which she received tuition in childhood, her personal writing desk and chair occupied for daily correspondence at Windsor, scrapbooks of her letters in Hindustani, for Queen was tutored in the language by her favorite Indian attendant Abdul Karim, the last letter she wrote to her people in India etc.

The entrance dome is deeply graven with the text of Queen Victoria's imperial proclamation speech. Victoria Memorial, Victoria Memorial travel, Victoria Memorial tourism, Victoria Memorial Historical Place, travel Inside the memorial there is a remarkable collection of artifacts depicting British Imperialism - statues of famous British figures including Robert Clive, General Stringer Lawrence, Lord Bentick, William Makepeace Thackeray, who was born here, Florence Nightingale, Queen Mary, George V and Queen Victoria etc. Many of British India's Governors and Governor Generals are represented here in stone, dressed in Roman togas, like Clive, Warren Hastings, Cornwallis, Wellesley, Dalhousie etc.


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