The incredible city of Kolkata, which teems with passion, fervor, art, film and theatre, is the home to some of the country’s most magnificent colonial structures. Feted for its colonial edifices and assorted buildings, the monuments in Kolkata reflects the rich cultural essence of the city. The backdrop of Kolkata is dotted with numerous historical structures, from both British and other historical eras, which proudly exhibits the grandeur of the colonial architecture style. For antiquarians and enthusiasts, these monuments hold up as an open book of history that eloquently displays the magnificence and the splendor of the colonial era. Most of the monuments built during the British era boast of the city’s splendiferous art and architecture. A trip down the monuments of Kolkata is likely to surprise the visitors with its charming legacy. Explore the article to know more on the monuments of Kolkata and its historical importance.
Landmarks Of Kolkata
Howrah Bridge, popularly known as Rabindra Setu, is one of the busiest cantilever bridges in the world. This engineering marvel, constructed during the glorious British era, was completed in the year 1943. This magnificent landmark, which spans over Hooghly River, links Kolkata to Howrah, and is apparently one of the most used bridges in the world.
Rabindra Sadan, located at the junction of A.J.C. Bose Road and Cathedral Road, is the apparently described as the hot bed of Bengali culture and art. Named after famous noble laureate Rabindra Nath Tagore, this seat of Bengali art and culture was established in the year 1967. This cultural is mainly divided into four stages- Rabindra Sadan stage, Nandan, Bangla Academy and Gaganendra Prodorshonshala. Rabindra Sadan holds a special place among the art lovers and functions as one of the major entertainment centers for the Bengalis. If you wish to explore all about Bengali culture, there is no better place than Rabindra Sadan.
Raj Bhavan, the magnificent milk white building, is the official residence of Governor of West Bengal. Built in 1803, Raj Bhavan stands as one of the finest examples of British architecture. The magnificent structure, which was designed by Mr. Charles Wyatt, is styled after famous Kedleston Hall in Derbyshire. This three storeyed building, which is spread over 27 acres of land, has different sections dedicated to different purposes. The building mainly consists of Marble Hall, Blue Drawing Room, Brown Dining Room, Throne Room, Ball Room, Banquet Hall and Council of Chamber. A visit to Raj Bhavan is likely to remind you of Victorian grandeur.
Vidyasagar Setu, built over Hooghly River, acts as a connecting link between Kolkata and Howrah. Popularly known as ‘Second Hooghly Bridge’, Vidyasagar Setu was erected in 1992 to facilitate the regular transportation between Howrah and Kolkata. Named after 19th century Bengali reformist Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, this cable-stayed bridge is apparently one of the longest toll bridges in Asia and is indeed one of the biggest prides of Bengal.
Shaheed Minar, located at Esplanade, is a rare monument of Egyptian, Turkish and Syrian architecture style. Formerly famous as ‘Ochterlony Monument’, these looming tower was built in 1848 by Sir David Ochterlony in commemoration of his victory in Nepal War. This huge pillar of Kolkata serves as a vantage point and offers a panoramic view of the entire city.
Marble Palace, located at Mukta Rambabu Street in Chorbagan, is exquisitely designed mansion with nearly 100 types of marbles from all over the world. Built in 1835 by Raja Rajendra Mullick, a wealthy landlord of Bengal, Marble Palace is hugely popular for its excellent artistry and captivating beauty. This marble edifice is decorated with beautiful paintings, statues and chandeliers and offers a true taste of Bengal royalty. Thousands of tourists throng this architectural delight every year to experience its majestic splendor.
Writer’s Building, located at the northern end of Dalhousie Square, was built in the year 1780. This building initially served as a company quarters which housed the junior writers of East India Company. Thus, it came to be known as the Writer’s Building. Today this Gothic structure serves as the administrative office of West Bengal government. This colossal building also known as ‘Mahakaran’ acts as the hub of political activities.
Fort William, situated on the banks of river Hooghly, was named after King William III of England. The foundation for this majestic fort was laid down during the British era in 1696 but was completed only in 1781. This fort, which was constructed with the purpose of preventing attacks from Muslims, was erected out of thick mortar and brick. Today, this fort serves as a military area and the weapons store inside is worth watching. However, make sure you take the permission of the commanding officer before you visit this place.
M.P. Birla Planetarium
M.P. Birla Planetarium near Maidan is the largest and oldest planetarium in Kolkata. The circular, dome shaped planetarium is also popular for its pure Indian architecture. Late Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru officially inaugurated the planetarium on 2nd July, 1963. Ever since its establishment, the planetarium has served as a boon for the students and common people, enlightening them on astronomy and interesting facts about outer space. The planetarium houses regular shows on outer space, which is apparently one of the major attractions of this place.
National Library, located near Belvedere Estate is the largest library in India and second largest in Asia. Built in 1953, the library houses approximately 2 million books and about half a million manuscript in various languages like Bengali, Assamese, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam etc. Apart from this, you can also find rare books, classifieds and original letters related to renowned personalities. A visit to National Library is likely to awe you with its vast collections.