5. TheVictoriaMemorial isa largemarblebuildinginKolkata,whichwasbuiltbetween1906and1921.
It is dedicated to the memory of Empress Victoria,
and is now a museum under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture.
The memorial lies on the Maidan and is one of the famous monuments
Architect : William Emerson , Vincent Esch
Conceptualised by George Curzon, Viceroy of India
Location :Jawaharlal nehru road, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
Why was it built: To commemorate Queen Victoria
Architectural Style: Indo-Saracenic revivalist style
Visiting Hours: 10am-5pm (Monday-Sunday)
How to Reach: Located in the metro city of Kolkata which is well-connected with
several national and international cities.
Nearest Metro Station : Maidan
Dimensions: 103 meters (length) x 69 meters (width) x 56 meters (height)
Material Used : Makrana marble
7. This monument is special for multiple reason...
1.This is made of while marble, so elegant in construction.
2. This monument depicts the british-era architecture.
3. You can see many historical paintings, sculpture, articles.
4. A wide greenery (trees, fountains) around the main building.
5. and, special activities around .
Speciality of structure?
8. Historical significance
The Victoria Memorial is a heritage building that resonates the colonial
influence in the city's architecture.
The Victoria Memorial, one of the top historical places in Kolkata,
is the brainchild of Lord Curzon, a Viceroy of India.
When Queen Victoria, who was the Empress of British India, died
in January 1901, Curzon suggested building a grand memorial to
He proposed the memorial to be a stately edifice with a museum
where visitors get a glimpse of the marvels of the past.
The foundation for the memorial was laid on 4 January 1906 by
the Prince of Wales, who later became King George V.
The building was formally inaugurated and opened for public
visits in 1921.
Later, additions were made to the memorial after India gained
9. 4.Though the monument was erected during the colonial era,
the donations were collected from the Indians as the British had only
partly funded the construction. As a result of the rapid decolonisation
that took over the country after 1947, many statues built by the British
(scattered all over India) were relocated to the garden of the Victoria
5. The wonderful portrayal and the apt personification of abstract ideas
were immensely popular through the creation of allegorical sculptures
that was clearly evident in the ancient, Indian temple architecture. These
unique sculptures were later adapted into Western architecture too, after
the 15th century. The Victoria Memorial is dotted with such sculptures
that depict art, motherhood, charity, justice, prudence and learning.
About the structure
10. It is perceived by many that the Victoria Memorial bears a striking resemblance to
the majestic Taj Mahal and we have reasons to believe so. Just like the Taj, this
monument is also built using the exquisite Makrana marble. Echoing the aesthetic
appeal of the Taj Mahal, the monument also bears a few structural similarities such as
the iconic dome, octagonal-domed chattris, domed corner towers and the high
About the structure
11. Today, this historical building is one of the top museums
There are 25 galleries inside the memorial, including the:
Calcutta Gallery, Portrait Gallery, Royal Gallery, Sculpture
Gallery, and the National Leaders Gallery, to mention a few.
The Victoria Memorial Museum is home to over 28,000
artifacts, including arms and armor, sculptures, and
antiquarian books, paintings, etc.
Apart from the magnificent edifice, the sprawling green
lawns surrounding the memorial are an ideal place to
hang out and go for morning walks in Kolkata.
The gardens cover an area of about 57 acres and feature
statues of Queen Victoria, Charles Cornwallis, Arthur
Wellesley, and Rajendra Nath Mookherjee, among others.
The property is now under the control of the Ministry of
Victoria Memorial: Today
Indian landscape paintings
by Thomas Daniell and
William Daniell, rare books
like Rubaiyat by Omar
Khayyam and illustrated
works of William
Shakespeare, the hand-
written Quran of Emperor
paintings, the personal war
diary of Tipu Sultan, etc.
12. Typology of structure : museum under ministry of culture
A large number of artefact’s from the
invaluable collections of the Memorial are on
display. They are suitably placed in various
The galleries include :
The Royal Gallery (currently closed for
The Queen’s Hall
The Prince Hall
National Leaders’ Gallery (currently closed for
Indian Schools of Art (currently closed for
The Victoria Memorial has the largest
single collection of the works
of Thomas Daniell (1749–1840) and
his nephew, William Daniell (1769–
It also has a collection of rare
and antiquarian books such as the
illustrated works of William
Shakespeare, the Arabian Nights and
the Rubaiyat by Omar Khayyam as
well as books about kathak dance
and thumri music by Nawab Wajid Ali
However, the galleries and their
exhibitions, the programmatic
elements of the memorial do not
compete with the purely architectural
spaces or voids.
The design is in the Indo-Saracenic
revivalist style which uses a mixture of
British and Mughal elements with
Venetian, Egyptian, Deccani and Islamic
The building is 338 feet (103 m) by 228
feet (69 m) and rises to a height of 184
feet (56 m).
It is constructed of white Makrana
The gardens of the Victoria Memorial
were designed by Lord Redesdale and
David Prain. Emerson's assistant, Vincent
Jerome Esch, designed the bridge of the
north aspect and the garden gates.
Victoria memorial : architecture
External decorative features
The memorial stands at a height of
200 feet including 16 feet height of
the ‘Angel of Victory’ placed on top
of the central dome.
Surrounding the dome are
including Art, Architecture, Justice,
and Charity and above the North
are Motherhood, Prudence and Lear
ning. All the allegorical sculptures
were sculpted in and shipped from
The ‘Angel of Victory’ is mounted
on huge ball bearings on top of the
central dome which rotate with the
The construction of the Victoria
Memorial was delayed by Curzon's
departure from India in 1905 with a
subsequent loss of local enthusiasm for
for the project, and by the need for
testing of the foundations.
The Victoria Memorial's foundation
stone was set in 1906 and the building
opened in 1921. The work of
construction was entrusted to Messrs.
Martin & Co. of Calcutta. Work on the
superstructure began in 1910. After
1947, when India gained
independence, additions were made.
Use of white Makrana
Like the Taj Mahal, the Victoria
Memorial is built of white
Makrana marble and is a
memorial to an empress. In
design, it echos the Taj Mahal
with its dome, four subsidiaries,
octagonal-domed chattris, high
portals, terrace, and domed
Victoria memorial : architecture
The building is a good example of the
colonial style of architecture. The
colonial style of
architecture is a combination of the
British/European style and the Indo-
Islamic style, which was in itself a
unique combination of the Hindu and
15. Victoria memorial : architecture
The entrance arches towering two storey’s high, with its rectangle shape at the base
dome having three tons of bronzed and victorious angels. The entrance dome is
engraven with the text of Queen Victoria's imperial proclamation
Floors and Floor treatment
The checkered design with a combination of white marble and black granite
is used at the majority of the area of Victoria memorial.
The flooring had geometrical patterns.
Under the dome the flooring had circular pattern with black and white
The marble stones used were mirror polished thus had glossy finish.
In some part of the monuments plane white marble flooring.
16. Victoria memorial : architecture
Ceiling and Ceiling treatment:
The monument has geometrical ceiling patterns with creative cornices
designs. They were all white in color.
Distemper paint was used over the ceiling.
The designs on the ceilings were matching with the room size and shape
having square and rectangular patterns.
Wall and Wall treatment:
Walls of the monuments were painted in white and off white color.
The walls were having smooth finish.
Inside the dome the side area on the wall had stones fixed on them. The stone
were Makrana marble fixed like brick design on the walls.
Stones were in white color, smooth in finish, and rectangular in shape.
The stone wall was deeply engraved with the text of imperial declaration
speech given by the Queen Victoria.
The furniture in the monument included storage cabinets, open shelf, tables, chairs
and side table.
Some of the furniture’s were made up of Mahogany wood with polish applied on
They were having smooth finish, dark brown in color.
They were heavy, strong and sturdy.
Some of the furniture were made up of oak wood.
The tables were made up of Sheraton style with straight legs and sharp corners.
The chairs had legs designed like ball and claw types. The back of the
chair had curved design due to which it is called ribbon back chair.
The Cabinets had clear transparent glass framed on them to view the displays in
The doors and windows were made up of wood and some of them were framed with glass.
The doors and windows were of dark brown color.
They were quite heavy and high.
The wood used in doors and windows were polished,.
Victoria memorial : architecture
There were not any specific colonial lighting fixtures and lights found in the monument.
The modern lights like the fluorescent tubes and incandescent bulbs were used in the
The spot lights were installed above the paintings displayed on the walls of the central
hall of the monument.
All the accessories were different from each other.
The monument displayed many accessories which mainly included pictures and statues.
The statues were life sized.
All statues were white in color reflecting the craftsmanship of the sculptor.
The pictures were of all sizes with golden frames.
The pictures were in color and in black and white too. The frames were straight as well as
ornamental in design and were quite heavy in weight.
19. Garden [57acres]
Apart from the priceless collection displayed in the
galleries, the Memorial has a well-maintained and
picturesque garden with water-bodies, lawns, gravelled
pathways, historical busts and statues, and a rich
collection of around 2378 trees.
The original scheme of the garden of Victoria
was drawn in 1915 in consultation with Lord
(acknowledged as the greatest amateur authority on the
subject of landscape gardening), Mr. E. White of Messrs.
Milner & Co., Landscape Gardeners and Architects and Sir
Superintendent, Botanical Gardens, Calcutta and Director
of Botanical Survey of India.
Currently, the garden is a major tourist attraction by
and attracts nearly 3.5 million visitors annually. It not
offers a visual treat, but is also a place that has over
years become a
favourite with the city’s young and old alike because
abundant greenery and open space.
The Library of the Memorial is a special reference library for Indo-British history,
history of Calcutta,
history of art and conservation, museum studies and the management of
It has 15,006 volumes in its collection and adds to the collection every year.
In addition, it subscribes to several periodicals and newspapers. The library has a
sizeable collection of rare books, which includes important private collections,
including those of George Lyell, B.C. Law, and D.C. Ganguly.
It also subscribes to several daily newspapers and periodicals.
A large number of users from outside VMH used the reference library this year.
In the Reference Section, 1900 books were used by researchers.
26. View from outside of the entrance
Rs.20 per person for Indians
rs.200 per person for Foreign
Rs. 0 Free entry for school children
up to Class XII in uniform and Army
personnel in uniform
2 .BUILDING LEVEL
PARKING: Outside, parking available.
There is no structured parking in Victoria
Memorial but free parking is available
around Maidan Area & also depending on
crowd this may not be available!
27. View from the entrance of Victoria memorial
George Curzon Viceroy of India monument at the
Victoria Memorial in Kolkata.
29. The ground plan of Victoria memorial consisted of a high entrance followed by a portico, which is
topped by terraces.
The portico is connected with a passageway towards the central queen hall and at the both side
have sculpture gallery at the left and picture gallery at the right.
The Queen’s hall is topped by a huge dome as Tajmahal.
This dome is directly taken as the influence of Islamic
architecture of India.
The farthest side of the hall decorated with rows of
The main hall is succeeded by the rectangular prince hall.
At the left side of the prince hall, Calcutta gallery is situated, which was generally used for meeting
31. Plan shape and form
The ‘I’ shaped memorial consists of numerous
It has Indian style statues over its entrances
In design, it echo's the Taj Mahal
with 1.DOME 3.DOMED CORNER
TOWERS 2. FOUR SUBSIDIARIES
4.HIGH PORTALS 4. OCTAGONAL
DOMED CHATTRIS 6.TERRACE
32. 1.The roofs may have been inspired by the timber roofs
in Kerala .
2.Its pillars are of corinthian order and has square flat
3.The roofs in the buildings are varied.
4.there is the flat roof and the gable roof with dormer
5. the gabled ventilators on the roof besides a chimney
and some of the fenestrations reflect a victorian
6. It was designed and completed in 1884 by robert
• The arches, columns, and all other details are
cut in stone. the arches which occupy the
longer faces of the building have on them
intricate jali work carved in stone.
• The projecting eaves are supported by stone
brackets and this seems to be a hindu influence
• The arches in the veranda and the exterior are
Its pillars are of corinthian order
33. ARCHITECTURAL EXPRESSION
Much might be said about the external sculptures, one of
which on the north side depicts a lion's head with water
flowing out of it and passing into four troughs representing
the four great Indian rivers - the Ganges, the Krishna, the
Indus and the Jumuna - thus symbolizing the life-giving
work of Britain in India.
34. Understanding function at building level
Area requirements and programming
The memorial is situated on 64 acres of lawns, ponds, shrubbery and herbaceous borders
The building, covering an area of 103.02m by 69.49m, is 56.08m high up to the base of the figure
of Victory, which is another 4.88m high.
The mercantile class and some of the princely states of India entirely and voluntarily subscribed
the total cost of its construction amounting to Rs 1, 05,00,000.
It is said that a goods train about 27 km long would have been required to bring the entire
building materials needed for the memorial.
The total weight of the building has been calculated to be around 80,300 ton and the quantity of
marble for it measured 450.24 cubic meters.
The marble for the memorial was acquired from the same quarries of Makrana in Rajasthan, from
where SHAHJAHAN had obtained marble for the Taj.
The cost of marble, including freight charges, was initially estimated to be around Rs 2.5 million. 34
37. Light and ventillation
There were not any specific colonial
lighting fixtures and lights found in the
The modern lights like the fluorescent
tubes and incandescent bulbs were used
in the monuments.
The spot lights were installed above the
paintings displayed on the walls of the
central hall of the monument.
The magical lighting effect in the
evening and a fairy tale 'Fountain of
Joy' facing the memorial building
create an atmosphere of unforgettable
Evening view of memorial
42. INSIDE THE MUSEUM
A statue of Queen Victoria is placed inside the
memorial.in queen’s hall
View of queen’s hall from upstairs
43. INSIDE THE MUSEUM
Built in marble, the building features dome shaped designs, tall pillars
and corner towers.
Interior of monument shows symmetry, balance and principles of Design
ceiling of church architecture rounded and
symmetry of indoors interior through light, stone, rhythm,
44. Besides being a great example of gothic architecture of Kolkata infused
with various Indian architectural features, Victoria Memorial regarded
as a treasure to Kolkata and a famous tourist spot also.
The memorial today treasures many paintings, attires and other items
used by the British duringtheir rule in India.
This building, which housed around 3500 items, can also be termed as
the British museum.
Today it is the main attraction for the tourist in Calcutta.
The Fountain of Joy in the premises of the memorial presents an
atmosphere of memorable charm.