Bharat Virasat-Victoria Memorial Hall, Calcutta

Victoria Memorial Hall, Calcutta



The Victoria Memorial is a large marble monument dedicated to Queen Victoria, the then Empress of India. It was built between 1906 and 1921. The building stands on Queens Way on the Maidan in Central Kolkata. It houses one of India's largest and oldest museum libraries. It is situated on a 57 acre plot, with 21 gardens. There are 3,900 paintings in the museum's collection, and over 28,000 artefacts of all kinds.

The Victoria Memorial was conceived by Lord Curzon as a monument to Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom following her death in 1901. The memorial was always designed to be a museum. It is made of brick and masonry work, and clad in white Makrana marble on the outside. It has a grand Entrance room, the Royal Gallery, the circular Queen's Hall in the center, the Prince's Hall, and the Darbar Hall on the lower floor, with other galleries on the upper floors. The sides of the memorial are linked by open colonnades.

The building's base design is in the Italian Classical Renaissance style, upon the insistence of Lord Curzon, the then Viceroy of India. However, a number of Indian elements are incorporated into the design of the memorial such as the Indian corbels in the frieze of the entablature and jalis in the arches, in the upper storey of the exterior. The dome and chhatri features of the roof, and the use of white marble are inspired by the Taj Mahal. The central dome has a diameter of 18.59m at the base.

A large statue of Queen Victoria by Sir George Frampton, showing her seated on a throne, is seen on the northern side of the memorial. There are two large ponds on the east and west of this statue. A statue of Lord Curzon in marble, sculpted by Frederick William Pomeroy, stands on the south. The King Edward VII Memorial Arch, with a bronze equestrian statue of the King – the eldest son of Queen Victoria – by Sir Edgar Bertram Mackennal, an Australian sculptor, stands on the southern approach road. There are two reflecting pools on the East and West on the south.

The grand two-storey high lobby on the north features Queen Victoria's coat of arms over the central arch, while the secondary arches on the east and west have the coat of arms of Auckland, Dalhousie, Ellenborough, and Hardinge.

The Entrance Hall houses marble statues of King George V and Queen Mary. The central hall features Thomas Brock's statue of a youthful Queen Victoria in her coronation robes. While the interiors of the Entrance Hall and the Queen's Hall are clad in marble, the Prince's Hall and Darbar Hall have inner walls of sandstone.

Extracts from two of Queen Victoria's proclamations - on the occasion of the assumption by the Crown of the Empire of India (1858) and on the occasion of her assumption of the title – Empress of India (1877) - are displayed prominently in the Queen's Hall, the centerpiece of which is a statue of Queen Victoria herself. There is a series of twelve semi-circular canvas paintings by Frank Salisbury, depicting the important events in the life of Queen Victoria, underneath the central dome.

Two bronze sculptures in bas relief created by Sir William Goscombe John, originally created for the pedestal of an equestrian statue of the Earl of Minto were presented to the Victoria Memorial by the Dowager Countess of Minto and can be seen at the entrance of the memorial.

A statue of the Angel of Victory stands atop the central dome. It is 16 ft high, 3 tons in weight and is supported by a steel rod driven through the hole of the stone finial, secured at the bottom by steel ties and braces. It works like a giant wind vane rotating when the wind speeds are higher than 20 kmph. The statue holds a laurel wreath in her right hand and a trumpet in her left hand.

Constructed in:

20th century CE


60.96 m


120.71m x 86.26m

Local Language(s):



The Prince of Wales (later King George V) laid the cornerstone on January 4, 1906, and, after lengthy construction work, the building was formally opened on December 28, 1921.



All Visitors

50 /-

Opening Hours

10:00AM - 6:00PM

Time required

8 hours