Kolkata is wrapped in beautiful landscapes, cultures, traditions, and art. It also houses some of the iconic monuments that are famous across the world. Not to forget the past linked to most of them.
These famous and iconic monuments are worth exploring and experiencing.
In this article, you will get to know about the following monuments to visit in Kolkata,
- Victoria Memorial
- Indian Museum
- Shaheed Minar
- Writer’s Building
- Biswa Bangla Gate
- Marble Palace
- Fort William
- Jorasanko Thakur Bari
- Howrah Bridge
- Princep Ghat Memorial
- St. Paul’s Cathedral
Let us see each of these in detail.
1. Victoria Memorial
|1, Queens Way, Kolkata – 700071
|06:00 AM – 06:00 PM
Established in 1921, the colossal Makrana marble building, Victoria Memorial, is situated in Central Kolkata’s Maidan area. The structure was built in memory of the then Empress, Queen Victoria.
It was constructed under Lord Curzon, who suggested building it at the then-British capital of India, Kolkata. Much history is wind around the Victoria Memorial and is showcased inside the building.
The grant building is now a museum and garden. The Indo-Saracenic revivalist architecture is splendid, with the amalgamation of Mughal and British elements. You will also find an architectural impact from Egypt, Venice, and Deccan.
On the top, you will see the Angel of Victory standing gloriously and portraying a magnificent look to the entire Victoria Memorial. There is a lot and see and explore inside, including portraits, paintings, antique books, and the rest you will have to find out by visiting.
The monument is the largest one dedicated to a monarch, now under the Ministry of Culture.
2. The Indian Museum
|27, Jawaharlal Nehru Road, Park Street, Kolkata – 700016
|10:00 AM – 05:00 PM
Also known as the Imperial Museum of Calcutta, it is the oldest and largest museum in all of Asia and the 9th oldest in the world. Located on Park Street, the museum has a collection of 2.2 million and holds rich history into it.
It exhibits the past from different eras and parts of the world. The exquisite collection of coins, antiques, skeletons, mummies, fossils, Mughal paintings, botanical things, and much more and be witnessed and learned here.
You can explore 35 galleries separated into 06 categories each, with different possessions, specifically, Archaeology, Geology, Anthropology, Indian Art, Economic Botany, and Zoology. There are a lot of exotic pieces of stuff ideal for all the history nerds.
The structure is built in the Italian form of Architecture and has three floors in total. The museum feels never ending when you get inside, and somehow the time stops at different periods. A distinctive world unfolds itself in front of the eyes providing a whole new experience.
3. Shaheed Minar
|Dharmtala Bus Terminus, Dufferin Rd, Kolkata – 700069
The 45 meters-elevated Minar was earlier named the Ochterlony Monument. It was put up in memory of Sir David Ochterlony, commander of the British East India Company, in 1828.
Situated at Dharmatala, Dufferin Road, the structure was later dedicated to the Indian Martyrs for the Independence movement in the country. Hence the name Shaheed Minar.
The monument is built with different architectural styles, the foundation is made in the Egyptian style, and the columns are formed as a classical flute. The upper part has a Syrian style of architecture, and the topmost portion has the structure of a Turkish dome.
The “Cloud Kissing Monument” has 223 steps in total, which leads to the top, and two balconies wrapping up the upper portion of the Minar. More of the past can be seen when you visit it.
You can access the staircase to go up to the top and get a 360 view of the enchanting surrounding. Although to access the staircases, you will need permission from the Kolkata police, and now it has become easier to get that.
Absorb in the history of the site along with the perfect sight.
4. Writer’s Building
|BBD Bagh, Kolkata – 700001
The Writer’s Building is a heritage building located in BBD Bag. It is the West Bengal state government’s official Secretariat Building. Its 150 meters long and was built to serve as an administrative office of the British East India Company.
The writer’s building was constructed in 1777 and came into use in the year 1780. The historic structure is spectacular and has a Greco-Roman form of architecture.
In the central bay, you will find numerous other sculpted statues of Greek gods and goddesses fringing the terrace. The sculpture of the Russian goddess Minerva on the classic portico’s top grabs all the attention of tourists and visitors.
Entry inside the building is not allowed for tourists. So you will have to witness the beauty from the outside.
5. Biswa Bangla Gate
|Biswa Bangla Sarani, Newtown, Kolkata – 700156
|12:00 PM – 05:00 PM
Kolkata Gate, or the Biswa Bangla Gate, was built on March 2017 and is situated in Narkelbagan, New Town. The arc monument was constructed by HIDCO and is a relatively new addition to the city.
The structure has a viewing gallery, fine-dine restaurant, and souvenir shops. The entire circular area is covered in glass to provide a magnificent view of the city.
In the restaurant, you will get various continental, Indian and Chinese cuisines along with some of their specialty items, namely, authentic traditional Bengali items, fish kabab, etc. Sitting and dining at such an elevation and enjoying the 360 views of the outside is a different kind of experience.
Before leaving, visit the gift shops, and you might also consider buying some stuff for your close ones.
There are staircases and lifts to take you to the top, and tickets are available on the ground floor, and the cost per person is ₹100. Biswa Bangla Gate looks stunning in the evening, as the entire gate shimmers in the light.
6. Marble Palace
|46, Muktaram Babu Street, Kolkata – 700007
|10:00 AM – 04:00 PM
|Free (Permit Needed)
The mansion in North Kolkata is one of the most sophisticated houses of 19th-century Kolkata. It shows off an iconic Neoclassical style of architecture.
This best-preserved heritage building is located on Muktaram Babu Street, Jorasanko. The marvelous palace was built in 1835 by Raja Rajendra Mullick and is now owned by his descendants.
The marble floors, walls, sculptures, and every other thing of the mansion are made out of white marble and, therefore, the name Marble Palace. Abutting the charming traditional Bengali-style courtyard is the Thakur Dalan.
The Corinthian pillars, sloping roofs, and fretwork verandas make it much more beautiful. Chandeliers, western carvings, Indian and European paintings, and numerous other things fill the place.
There are lots of other things waiting for you to be explored. The iconic building is worthy of your visit as it portrays the lifestyle and tastes of the then-rich Bengali merchants.
7. Fort William
|Fort William, Hastings, Kolkata – 700021
Another iconic monument in Kolkata is Fort William. Built between 1696 to 1702, it is situated on the bank of the River Hooghly, spreading over 70.9 hectares of land.
Tons of history are hidden inside the structure.
The old fortress is still intact, without many changes, except for St. Peter’s Church, which is now a library. The octagonal-shaped structure surrounded by lush greenery is enchanting to look at.
At the entrance of the fortress, a war memorial has been designed. The museum inside houses artifacts and pieces of stuff related to the Indo-Pakistani war of 1971 and the Bangladesh Liberation War.
It is now under the Eastern command of the Indian Army. Every day the fort is open from 10 AM to 05:30 PM, and you would need permission in advance to get inside the premises. An entry fee is not required to get in.
8. Jorasanko Thakur Bari
|267, Rabindra Sarani, Jorasanko, Kolkata – 700007
|10:30 AM – 04:30 PM
North Kolkata’s Jorasanko Thakur Bari is Rabindranath Tagore’s birthplace. The 18th-century mansion is situated in Singhi Bagan, Jorasanko. The heritage structure attracts a lot of visitors and tourists from all over.
It is the place where the poet spent all his childhood days at. Covering around 35,000 sq. meters of land, the luxurious brick red house shows an entirely different era. The rounded verandas, wings, and alleys portray the living style of the people of those times.
The house is now converted into Rabindra Bharati University and is the hub of Indian Classical Fine Arts. The place demonstrates the art and culture of Bengal. It is loved and admired by artists and art enthusiasts from everywhere.
The Rabindra Bharati Museum, situated here, displays tales related to the life of the Tagore Family. It is delightful to know about the life stories and witness the house of the First Asian Nobel Laureate in Literature and his family.
9. Howrah Bridge
|Near Howrah Station, Kolkata – 700001
A steady cantilever bridge connecting the cities of Kolkata and Howrah is the iconic Howrah Bridge. Built over the Hooghly River, it was opened in 1943 to the public.
The interesting fact about this bridge is that it has no nuts and bolts, and around 26,000 tons of steel was used for its making. The complete structure is on the piers of concrete monoliths. The bridge even bends a bit in strong wind.
Howrah Bridge is the 3rd longest bridge of its type and stands with all its glory to date. It is the gateway to the city of Kolkata and constitutes 08 lanes for Bicycles, pedestrians, and strand roads. Kolkata Port Trust maintains the structure.
The glory is seen in the evening when the entire bridge lights up. Take a ferry in the river and enjoy the view from down the waters.
10. Prinsep Ghat Memorial
|Strand Rd, Kolkata – 700021
During British Raj, in 1841, the Prinsep ghat memorial was constructed. The place is one of Kolkata’s most visited places due to its tranquillity and scenic beauty.
The white memorial was dedicated to James Prinsep, the son of John Prinsep, who used to work as a merchant for the East India Company. James Prinsep himself was an antiquarian and a notable Anglo-Indian scholar.
Palladian architecture is seen in the grand structure along with Gothic and Greek inlays. There is a slight resemblance between the memorial and the Brandenburg Gate of Berlin. The Britishers used this ghat for embarkation and disembarkation.
Nowadays, you can visit the place and enjoy its vibrant ambiance, opulent structure, flowing river, lush nature, and the view of the Vidyasagar Setu from there. You can sit and chill by the river or go boating in the river. The evening is the best time to visit as the entire surrounding lights up.
11. St. Paul’s Cathedral
|Cathedral Rd, Maidan, Kolkata – 700071
|09:00 AM – 12:00 PM & 03:00 PM – 06:00 PM
Constructed in the 1800s, this Victorian-era cathedral showcases majestic Gothic architecture. It is the first Anglican cathedral in Asia and was dedicated to Paul the Apostle. This iconic monument is one of the most famous churches in Kolkata.
St. Paul’s Cathedral is a Church of North India under the Diocese of Calcutta. It is located on Cathedral Road, Maidan, near the Victoria Memorial.
Quite a bit of the past wind around the splendid cathedral, now a landmark in Kolkata. Along with the notable features of the structure, you will also find a library and a lovely garden on the premises.
It is also an inhumation site of Bishop Daniel Wilson, the founder, Sir John Paxton Norman, the then-acting chief justice, and a few others. Visit the place and dive into its beauty and history.
These are some of the most iconic monuments in the metropolitan city of Kolkata.
Each of them is very welcoming and will not fail to astound you. The heritage and history the place offers are stunning.
Take your time and drop by each of them while visiting the city.
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