You must have heard something about this iconic city. One of the most precious jewels of India, Kolkata or Calcutta, as you may call it, remained the capital city of the British Empire till 1911 and of course, it was one of their presidency towns. Due to this backing, the city grew rapidly during the 19th century and along the way, gave birth to many historical monuments with interesting stories of origin. I’m sure you must be curious to know them. So, let’s get started, shall we?
1. Victoria Memorial
Built between 1906 and 1921, Victoria Memorial is a gorgeous looking marble building, dedicated to the memory of Empress Victoria. It was constructed to celebrate her 25-year reign in India. Designed by the marvellous architects William Emerson and Vincent Esch, the building is based on the Indo-Saracenic style.
At the top of its central dome, you’ll find the figure of the Angel of Victory. Its museum houses 25 huge galleries, each displaying a different set of unique collections. The building is often referred to as the Britishers take on the Taj Mahal. Why don’t you visit the place and figure this saying out? Get the best hourly hotel deals in Kolkata here.
Where to go: Victoria Memorial Hall, 1, Queens Way, Maidan
When to go:
Museum: 10 am to 5 pm daily except on Mondays
Gardens: 5.30 am to 6.15 pm daily
2. Marble Palace
This beauty is one of the most elegant and best-preserved houses you’ll find in Kolkata. The palace dates back to the nineteenth century. To be precise, it was opened in 1835. The colossal castle is mainly famous for its marvellous marble work on walls, floors and different sculptures. So, it’s pretty clear how the palace got its name, huh?
The mansion is currently owned by the descendants of Raja Rajendra Mullick, the original owner. The Marble Palace Zoo, lying adjacent to the palace, is another must-visit spot that will add all the more glory to your getaway.
Where to go: 46, Muktaram Babu Street, Jorasanko
When to go: 10 am to 4 pm daily, except on Mondays and Thursdays
3. Fort William
Built during the early years of British Rule’s Bengal presidency, Fort William is one of the most enduring and historical outcomes of the Raj-era. Spread over an area of nearly 71 hectares, the fort’s construction started in 1696 and took nearly 6 years to finally complete in 1702. The fort was opened much later in 1781 and has been in use since.
In 1756, the then Nawab of Bengal, Siraj Ud Daulah actually managed to conquer the city for a brief period. He then went on changing the name of the city to Alinagar which then led the Britishers to build a new fort in the Maidan. Although the Britishers did win back the fort later in the Battle of Plassey, this to-and-forth end up giving Kolkata two Fort Williams.
Where to go: Maidan, Fort William, Hastings
When to go: 10 am to 5.30 pm daily
4. Howrah Bridge
Now, who hasn’t heard about this beauty? One of the four bridges on Hooghly River, Howrah Bridge is currently the sixth-longest cantilever bridge in the world. With an impressive length of 705 m, it was the world’s third-longest bridge of its type at the time of its construction.
It was originally constructed in 1935 to replace a pontoon bridge linking the cities of Howrah and Kolkata and was opened to the public later in 1943. What is special about Howrah Bridge, you ask? It is one of the world’s oldest hanging bridges over a river without any pillars supporting its suspension. Physics, you never fail to impress us!
Where to go: Howrah, Kolkata
5. Indian Museum
Seldom referred to as the Imperial Museum at Calcutta, the Indian Museum is India’s oldest and largest museum. Additionally, it is the ninth oldest in the world. Founded in 1814 by the Asiatic Society of Bengal, the museum takes pride in possessing over a million collections of rare artefacts, Mughal paintings, armours and even mummies! The museum owns four galleries, each dedicated to a different part of natural history. They are the mammal, bird, insect and botanical galleries.
Where to go: 27, Jawaharlal Nehru Rd, Fire Brigade Head Quarter, New Market Area, Dharmatala, Taltala
When to go: 10 am to 5 pm daily except on Mondays and national holidays
6. Shaheed Minar
Formerly known as the Ochterlony Monument, Shaheed Minar is another thing that we received from the Britishers after independence. It was constructed in 1828 to honour their commander, Major-General Sir David Ochterlony, hence the original name. Based on Ancient Egyptian and Ottoman architectural styles, the monument is often called the Qutub Minar of Kolkata.
Where to go: Bus stop, Dharmtalla, Dufferin Rd
When to go: 10 am to 5 pm daily
7. Dakshineswar Kali Temple
Located on the eastern bank of the Hooghly River, Dakshineswar Kali Temple is one of the most beloved gems in Hindu beliefs. A form of Parashakti Adya Kali, Bhavatarini is worshipped here. The temple was opened in 1855 and has three floors. The original owner of the temple, Rani Rashmoni, was a well-known philanthropist and a big devotee of the Hindu Goddess, Kali. She founded the temple, following a dream she saw on her way to the pilgrimage to Benaras. The Goddess Kali has always been the symbol of power. Why don’t you pay her a visit and earn yourself some strength? Book hourly hotels for your stay in Kolkata here.
Where to go: Dakshineswar, Kolkata
When to go: 6 am to 12.30 pm and 3 to 8.30 pm
And here we have reached the end of this blog. If you loved reading about the history of these monuments, you’ll love visiting them even more! Plan your vacay to Kolkata asap to sharpen your history knowledge. Get amazing deals on hourly hotels in Kolkata here.