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PLACES OF INTEREST

Victoria Memorial

A splendid architectural structure in white marble, modeled on the Taj Mahal, was built in the early 20th century. In memory of Queen Victoria and was formally inaugurated by the Prince of Wales in 1921 who later became King Edward VIII of England. The stately bronze statue of the queen near the entrance, the brass canons, wrought iron street lamps, manicured lawns, gardens and pathways, the magical lighting effect in the evening and a fairy tale 'Fountain of Joy' facing the memorial building create an atmosphere of unforgettable charm.



Indian Museum

Indian Museum 

This museum was established in 1878 on Jawaharlal Nehru Road. The museum is built in Italian architectural style and is considered as the largest museum in the country and one of the best in Asia. The largest museum in the country, the museum has six sections: Art, Archaeology, Anthropology, Geology, Zoology and Industry (economic botany). From the Egyptian mummy to the skeleton of the whale and some rare statues; the museum has every thing. One of the rooms has a collection of meteorites. The museum also has a unique fossil collection of prehistoric animals which includes a giant crocodile and a huge tortoise. The art collection has many fine pieces from Orissa and other temples and superb example of Buddhist Gandharan art.

      

Eden Gardens

Eden Gardens

In the North-West corner of the Maidan are small & pleasantly laid out Eden Gardens. The gardens were created in 1840 and named after the sister of Lord Auckland, the former governor general. The idea was to make a Biblical - style garden of Eden in India. The expanse dotted with beautiful trees and shrubs is intersected by winding paths, and there is a large artificial lake. Alongside the gardens, is the world famous Eden Gardens cricket stadium. The stadium is supposed to be the largest in Asia with a seating capacity of more than a lakh spectators. The Kolkata cricket ground, where International test & one day matches are held, is also with in the gardens. Near the gardens you can take a pleasant walk along the bank of hoogly river.


Maidan & Fort William

After the events of 1756, the British decided there would be no repetition of the attack on the city and set out to replace the original Fort William, in the Maidan , with a massive and impregnable new fort. First they cleared out the inhabitants of the village of Govindpur and in 1758 laid the foundations of a fort. Around the fort a huge expanse of jungle was cut down to give the cannons a clear line of fire but, as usually happens, the fort has never fired a shot in anger. 
    
The fort is still in use today and visitors are only allowed inside with special permission. Even the trenches and deep fortifications surrounding the fort's massive walls seem to be out of bounds.
    
The area cleared around Fort William became the Maidan, the 'lungs' of modern Kolkata. This huge green expanse stretches three km north to south and is over a km wide. It is bound by Strand Rd along the river to the west and by Chowringhee Rd, lined with shops, offices, hotels and eating places, to the east. The stream known as Tolly's Nullah forms its southern boundary, and here you will find a racecourse and the Victoria Memorial. In the north-west corner of the Maidan is Eden Gardens, while Raj Bhavan overlooks it from the north.


Ochterlony Monuments

Now officially renamed the Shahid  Minar, this 48m column tower over the northern end of the Maidan. It was erected in 1828 and named after Sir David Ochterlony, who is credited with winning the Nepal  War. The column is an intriguing combination of Turkish, Egyptian and Syrian architectural elements.
    
There's a fine view from the top of the column, but permission to ascend must be obtained from police headquarters, which is on Lal Bazaar St. It's only open Monday to Friday and you should simply ask for a 'monument pass' at the Assistant Commissioner's office on the 2nd floor.

      

St Paul's Cathedral

Built between  1839 and 1847, St Paul's Cathedral is one of India's most important churches. It's east of the Victoria Memorial at the South end of the Maidan. The steeple fell during an earthquake in 1897 and was redesigned and rebuilt. Inside there's some interesting memorials and stained glass, including the west window by Sir Edward Burne-Jones. It's open to visitors from 9 am to noon, and from 3 to 6 pm. Sunday services are at 7.30 and 8.30 am, and 6 pm.

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Sightseeing in West Bengal

Victoria Memorial India Museum Eden Gardens St. Paul Cathedral Tiger Hill Senchal Lake Kanchenjunga Dhirdham Temple Gymkhana Club Llyod Botanical Gardens Gompas Flower Nurseries Nature Interpretation Centre


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