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5 Famous Museums In Kolkata (Calcutta) That You Must Visit

Kolkata is an enchanting location in India with its multi-colored culture, tradition, and history.

Every corner of the city is brimming with Rabindra Sangeet, patriots’ histories, trams, shipyards, festivals, and a whiff of Bengali cuisine in the air.

A science museum, a rail museum, a tram museum, and museums dedicated to famous personalities are just a few of the city’s many treasures.

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A visit to any of these museums while staying in Kolkata hotels is an enriching experience because they provide a deep insight into not only our history but also the history of the world.

In this article, you will get to know about the following museums in Kolkata,

  1. Victoria Memorial Hall
  2. Mother Wax Museum
  3. Indian Museum
  4. Jorasanko Thakur Bari Museum
  5. Kolkata Tram Museum

Let’s see each of these places in detail…

1. Victoria Memorial Hall

Victoria Memorial
Address1, Queens Way, Kolkata – 700071
Entry FeeINR 20 For Indians & INR 200 for foreigners
Timings10 AM-6 PM (All days except Monday and National Holidays)

The Victoria Memorial is in the heart of Kolkata, West Bengal. This white marbled palatial structure was built by Lord Curzon in memory of Queen Victoria.

It is a spectacular landmark in the city of joy!

The memorial is surrounded by a lush green and well-maintained garden that spans 64 acres and contains numerous statues and sculptures.

At the top of the memorial, a sixteen-foot-tall bronze statue of victory is mounted on ball bearings which adds to the overall charm and grandeur of the complex.

The Victoria Memorial looks magnificent, especially at night when it is illuminated.

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The Victoria Memorial Hall inside the monument displays the main exhibits of the museum. It displays the Art Of Abanindranath Tagore, the marvelous paintings and art pieces of Gagendranath Tagore.

The other masterpieces are the Samuel Davis Artworks, exhibitions of Magnificent Heritage of India, Krishna’s iconographic representations, and Sir Charles Doyles’ Calcutta’s colored lithographs.

Explore the antique collections of western paintings, Indian paintings, Rare photographs, and manuscripts.

You can also find rare collections too like the illustrated works of Shakespeare, books on music and dance, the Arabian Dance & other enriching treasures of weapons, textiles, artifacts, and stamps. 

2. Mother Wax Museum

AddressNo. 69 -1111, HIDCO Tower, CBD-1, New Town, Action Area II, Kolkata – 700156
Entry FeeINR 250 per person
Timings12 PM-7:30 PM (All days except Monday)

Mother’s Wax Museum has become a significant landmark in New Town, Kolkata.

The West Bengal Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited which is a government-owned enterprise in West Bengal has established a financial center in New Town.

The Museum is located on the fifth and sixth floors of this building. It is situated opposite Eco Park Kolkata.

Mother’s Wax Museum, which opened in November 2014, is inspired by Madame Tussauds in London.

Since then, the location has become a major tourist attraction.

The wax statues in the museum are divided into sections such as History & Leaders, Sports, Bollywood, Hollywood, and Music.

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Museums, as we know them, are built to preserve some of history’s most iconic people and events.

Mother’s Wax Museum in Kolkata houses fifty-four wax statues of our favorite people. It pays homage to the legends that our country has housed, witnessed, and remembered.

The statues preserve leaders of our country like Mahatma Gandhi, BR Ambedkar, and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.

The museum has also paid tribute to some of the real stalwarts in the fields of art, literature, and culture such as Rabindranath Tagore, Sarda Devi, Swami Vivekananda, Mother Teresa, and many others.

It has also brought life to some of the legends in the world of sports, namely  Virat Kohli, Sourav Ganguly, Maradona & Lionel Messi.

Worth Mentioning, the wax statue has also preserved some of the Bollywood and Hollywood stars including world-famous musicians such as Amitabh Bacchan, Sharukh Khan, Audrey Hepburn, Tom Cruise, Julia Roberts, Lata Mangeshkar, Manna Dey, and Kishore Kumar.

3. Indian Museum

Indian Museum
Address27, Jawaharlal Nehru Road, Park Street, Kolkata – 700016
Entry FeeAdult – Rs.50.00, Children – Rs.20.00, Children below 5 years – FREE
Timings10 AM-5 PM (All days except Monday)

The Indian Museum, located in Kolkata, is one of the oldest museums in the world and the largest in India.

The Indian Museum’s foundation stone was laid in 1814, and it has been a prime center of multidisciplinary activities ever since.

Dr. Nathaniel Wallich, a famous Danish botanist, founded the Indian Museum in the Asiatic Society Building in 1814.

It is popularly known as ‘Jadughar,’ and houses the best collection of contemporary paintings, sacred Buddha relics, Egyptian mummies, and ancient sculptures.

The Indian Museum also houses some of the most exquisite collections of souvenirs, ornaments, fossils, skeletons, antique collections, armors, and exquisite Mughal paintings.

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The museum currently has 35 galleries divided into six categories: art, archaeology, anthropology, geology, zoology, and economic botany.

There is also a library and a museum for those interested in history. 

The exhibits housed in the Indian Museum are quite unique.

An Egyptian mummy, all of whose organs have been extracted except its heart, a Buddhist stupa from Bharhut, Gautam Buddha’s ashes, the Ashoka Pillar, which bears the four-lion symbol that is known to be India’s emblem, and a fascinating collection of meteorites are among the main collectibles on display here.

4. Jorasanko Thakur Bari Museum

Jorasanko Thakur Bari, Kolkata (Kinjal bose 78, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)
Address259, Rabindra Sarani, Singhi Bagan, Jorasanko, Kolkata – 700007
Entry FeeINR 20 per adult in India and INR 150 per adult foreigner
INR 10 per student in India and INR  100 per student foreigner
Timings10:30 AM – 5 PM (All days except Monday)

A trip to Kolkata would be incomplete without a visit to the Jorasanko Thakur Bari, or Tagores’ ancestral home.

Rabindranath Tagore, a poet, artist, and the first Asian to receive a Nobel Prize, was the most notable of them.

The magnificent mansion is one of Kolkata’s most beautiful heritage buildings, as well as the birthplace and childhood home of Rabindranath Tagore. 

The Thakur Bari was also the home of Bengal School of Art founders Gaganendranath and Abanindranath Tagore.

The building also houses a magnificent museum, Rabindra Bharati Museum, which was founded in 1961 and exhibits intimate stories from the Tagores’ lives.

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Locals refer to Thakur Bari as the main center of Bengal’s art and cultural reformation, which includes the Bengal Renaissance and Brahmo Samaj.

The location is now a destination for artists and art lovers from all over the world.

Maharsi Bhavan in the Museum complex is dedicated to Tagore’s father, Maharsi Devendranath Thakur.

Three galleries in this Jorasanko Thakurbari Museum exhibit the heart-touching family photographs of this noble laureate, the evolution of Tagore as a poet and philosopher, Tagore’s work, and heroes of Bengal Renaissance-like Debendranath, Dwarkanath, Rabindranath, Abanindranath, etc.

The Rabindra Bharati Museum has wonderful collections of photographs, paintings, traditional crafts and sculptures, and a few pieces of furniture. 

5. Kolkata Tram Museum

Address6, Sido Kanhu Dahar, Maidan, Kolkata – 700069
Entry FeeINR 10 per person
Timings1 PM-8 PM (All days except Thursday)

This museum’s archives contain everything you’d want to know about trams.

The museum’s artifacts include photographs and articles about all types of trams, from the first ones used, such as horse-drawn trams, to the versions that followed, such as Disinfectant Trams, OmniBus, Flat Wagon Trams, and Watering Tramcars, to name a few.

The museum has a wooden exterior, which is how the tram was originally built, but the interiors were modified at the Nonapukur workshop.

One tram car has been converted into a cafeteria for visitors, while the other cars display interesting tram souvenirs documenting the tram’s journey from its foundation to the present day.

The museum opened in 2014 and is also known as ‘Smarnika,’ which means remembrance.

The museum truly pays homage to trams and the memories of thousands of people who used to and still use trams every day.

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The building in which this museum is housed is the first thing that captivates you and adds to your excitement. It’s because the structure isn’t made of bricks and mortar like the city’s other museums.

The tram museum is housed within a vintage tram that was built in 1938 and is still operational.

This museum also has some interesting exhibits such as rare photos of old Kolkata streets, old tram passes and tram tickets, pens and caps used by tram conductors, coins used when trams first started running, armlets, coin exchanger machines, and tram parts such as pull-off springs and red lamp governor switches.

The tram museum in Kolkata exhibits information not only about trams in Kolkata or India but also about trams throughout history.

These are some of the popular museums to visit in Kolkata.

Kolkata has well preserved not only its own heritage but also that of the country, thanks to museums that are a source of pride for locals.

Visit these famous museums and recollect histories, art, and culture.


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