Victoria Memorial: Indo-Sarecenic Ravel Architecture

The large marble building in Kolkata summoned as the Victoria Memorial is an example of the rich heritage of Kolkata, West Bengal, India since 1921. It is dedicated to the memory of Queen Victoria and is at present used as a museum and a tourist site by the Indian Ministry of Culture.

ARCHITECT :

This beautiful structure had been architected by the then president of The Royal Institute of British Architects, William Emersion.

The gardens of the Victoria memorial had been designed by Lord Redesdale and David Parin.

The bridge at the northern aspect accompanied by the garden gates had been designed by Vincent J.Esch that is ,the then assistant of William Emersion.

 

ARCHITECTURE:

Influence and Style:

This is a design in the Indo-Sarecenic Ravel style conjugating the  British and Mughal elements with influences derived from the Venetian, Egyptian, Deccani and Islamic architects.

Structure:

The building is 338 feet by 228 feet and rises to a height of 184 feet. This construction is made of the Markana marble.

Markana marble :

This is a type of high quality white marble used specifically for structural décor purpose. The type is so called due to it’s mining origin in the town of Markana situated in Rajasthan, India. The same has also been used in the construction of the majestic Taj Mahal at Agra, India.

Geology and property:

In the Markana area , five steeply dipping bands are found. These bands refer to the orientation of a geologic feature.

The Markana marble being one of the two calcite marble varieties of India is not subjected to any kind of treatment after getting mined. Rather they are directly subjected to cutting and chiselling straight away.

CONSTRUCTION CREDIT:

The work of constructing the design had been entrusted with the Messrs.Martin & Co. of Calcutta after a few years of the laying of the foundation stone.

FEATURES:

The top of the central dome of the construction is embraced by the 16 feet figure of the Angel of Victory. There are a few other archaeological structures surrounding this dome as well.

There are 25 galleries in the Victoria memorial.

A few of them to be named are :

  • The royal gallery
  • The central hall
  • The national leader’s gallery
  • Portrait hall
  • The sculpture gallery

And so on.

 

GARDENS:

The beautiful greenery, sprawling across a 64 acre area. They are currently maintained by a team of 21 gardeners.

On the Esch’s bridge, there is a bronze statue of Queen Victoria seated on throne wearing the robes of the Star of India. This was made by George Frampton.

The Star of India or the Most Exalted Star of India is an order od chivalry that was established by Queen Victoria in the year of 1861. The order had inclusions of members of three classes. Namely:

1)Knight Grand Commander

2)       Knight Commander

3) Companion

Sir George James Frampton, having born on the 18th day of June,1860 was a notable British Sculptor.

 

This place is worth a visit.