Museum and Art Gallery of Victoria Memorial Hall

The entry dome is extremely graven with the text of Queen Victoria's imperial declaration speech. Within the memorial there is a extraordinary collection of artifacts which depict British Imperialism - statues of famous British figures as well as Robert Clive, General Stringer Lawrence, Lord Bentick, William Makepeace Thackeray, who was born here, Florence Nightingale, Queen Mary, George V and Queen Victoria etc. Loads of British India's Governors and Governor Generals are represented at this point in stone, dressed in Roman togas, like Clive, Warren Hastings, Cornwallis, Wellesley and Dalhousie. Outstanding paintings like portrait of Rudyard Kipling by Burne-Jones, Johann Zoffany's portrait of William Hastings and his family, Macaulay, Bishop Heber and William Hickey, Verestchagin's monumental representation of the Prince of Wales making his majestic 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 displayed and a vast painting which depict King Edward VII entering Jaipur in a royal procession in 1876. French guns seized at the Battle of Plassey are on exhibit next to with the black stone throne of the Nawab whom Clive defeated. In addition on display are several Indians devoid of discrimination. Amongst these are Keshab Chandra Sen, Michael Madhusudan Dutt, Rabindranath tagore along with his grandfather Dwarkanath Tagore.

In the Royal Gallery there are countless oil paintings which illustrate episodes from Queen Victoria's long, exciting life, reign, coronation in the Westminster Abbey in June 1838; her marriage with Prince Albert (1840) in the Chapel Royal at St. James' Palace; the baptism, wedding of her son, 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. A number of her possessions, resembling the pianoforte, her place of tuition in childhood, personal writing desk, chair taken for each day communication at Windsor, scrapbooks of her letters in Hindustani, for Queen was tought in the language by her preferred Indian attendant Abdul Karim, the very last letter she wrote to her people in India and many more.

The memorial is renowned for its exhibits of Indian and Western Paintings, manuscripts, postage stamps, Mughal miniatures, books that date back to the 1870, statues and sculptures, arms and armaments, sketches and further things of historic value in its Museum and Art Gallery. At the moment it is one of the chief attractions for tourists in Kolkata. At this juncture, on weekends, public picnic, families assemble, and transiting pilgrims bring flowers to the statue of "Maharani Victoria". Two regular sound and light show both in English and Bengali are held in the evening. The memorial remains open from 10 am to 17 pm on every weekdays excluding on Mondays and public holidays. For Indians the entry fee to the museum is Rs.10/-for all foreigners the entry fee to the museum is Rs.150/-. The Memorial is an autonomous body managed by a Board of Trustees with the Governor of West Bengal as the Chairperson, and is under the 'administrative control' of the Ministry of Culture, Government of India.


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