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One of the prime cultural and entertainment hubs in the city, Rabindranath Tagore Centre - ICCR is the venue for a number of fascinating events and exhibitions. Founded in 1950, the complex comprises an art gallery, an auditorium, a library and a conference center. From modern dramas, cultural plays and classical concerts, to awe-inspiring works of art, there is more than one way to seek entertainment at this remarkable cultural center.
However polluted it may be, Kolkata has its share of greenery, with spaces like Millennium Park, Eden Gardens, Deshapriya Park, Park Circus Maidan, etc scattered all around the city. Mahanagar Peace Park, built on what used to be Kali Singh Ground, is a Hooghly River Bridge Commissioners undertaking. Although not nearly as magnificent as the neighboring Victoria Memorial, it does add to the aesthetic brilliance of the area around it. The beautifully manicured park features foliage pruned to resemble giraffes and a central jet fountain. As the sun sets, this entire space is a visual treat as the musical fountain comes to life in an array of colors, perfectly choreographed to soothing Bengali music. After you visit Kolkata Race Course, Birla Planetarium and Academy of Fine Arts in the same vicinity, make a short stop at this carefully managed park.
Inaugurated by Jawaharlal Nehru in 1963, the M.P. Birla Planetarium holds the distinction of being the first of its kind in India. At the intersection of Shakespeare Sarani and Chowringhee, the white domed structure stands out in the midst of the daily traffic of people and vehicles. In accordance with its aim to educate, the planetarium offers a number of interesting ways to discover the varied facets of astronomy and related sciences. Student programs and a Post Graduate Diploma course in Astronomy & Planetarium Sciences is offered. However, if you just want to get the bare basics, you can take advantage of the free evening course in astronomy. Regular shows are conducted in Bengali, Hindi and English. The auditorium uses state-of-the-art equipment and can hold up to 688 people. If you need to get a closer look at the Kolkata sky, this is the place to do it!
St. Paul's Cathedral is one of the 'first Episcopal Church of the Orient' in Kolkata. Bishop Daniel Wilson initiated the construction of the cathedral in 1839 and it was completed in 1847. Designed by Major William Nairn Forbes, it is similar to the Bell Harry Tower in Canterbury Cathedral in Kent. The pristine white walls, the stained glass windows, carved wooden pieces and frescoes remind you of the Renaissance period. Though the church was completely destroyed twice, it was eventually restored and regained it's original grandeur. While you are visiting St.Paul's Cathedral, you can also check-out the nearby attractions like Victoria Memorial, Nandan, Mahanagar Peace Park and the Birla Planetarium.
Honoring Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru's love towards children and his passionate involvement in improving education for the youth, the Nehru Children's Museum was opened to the public on the leader's birthday, 14th November, in 1972. The unique museum strives to impart knowledge to children in an unconventional environment: the idea is to inspire the imagination by creating displays that pique a young one's curiosity. The four-storied space houses dolls, figurines and porcelain idols that belong to different nations and eras. It also has galleries that have recreated scenes from mythological epics like the Mahabharata and Ramayana. Apart from this, the museum fulfills its goal by conducting various events like competitions, workshops, and seminars that encourage the all-round development of children. It also helps needy children by organizing free courses and offering scholarships. Check website for details.
An angelic-white canopy crafted purely from Makrana marble, the iconic Victoria Memorial buildings lies nestled amid rolling lawns and groves of swaying palms. Built as a tribute to Queen Victoria of England, this magnificent edifice is one of the best landmarks that grace the city of Kolkata. This majestic building is steeped in a long-standing history - Lord Curzon, the Viceroy of India, decided to set up a memorial as grand and royal as the Queen herself. Nestled along the banks of the Hooghly River, the memorial comprises beautiful gardens, emerald pools, a museum, statues and busts of Britishers and Indians as well. An important fact to be noted is that Indian princes and citizens contributed generously to the Victoria Memorial funds and the total construction cost was approximately INR 1,05,00,000. Huge, carved pillars, intricately-patterned marble domes and tall towers speak volumes about the craftsmanship of the Indian artisans who played an integral role in executing the building to reality. The galleries and museum house British memorabilia including paintings, sculptures and artifacts that chronicle important events of the Queen's life; right from her coronation ceremony to her residence. Apart from that, it has the sword of the brave prince and warrior Tipu Sultan and cannons reminiscent of the Battle of Plassey. Words or a camera frame do not do justice to the sheer opulence and grandeur of Victoria Memorial, a site which has captured the hearts, souls and imaginations of many.