The Victoria Memorial in Kolkata (Calcutta) is both a symbol of the city and the entire British Raj. The giant, white marble tribute to Queen Victoria was erected over a 20-year period, starting in 1901, as a way for Lord George Curzon, the viceroy of India, to honor the queen following her death.
The architectural marriage between the symmetry and domes that are characteristic of the Italian Renaissance and the minarets and detailing of the Indo-Saracenic movement makes the building appear as a cross between the Capitol and the Taj Mahal. Inside you’ll find a museum which provides visitors a walk through the history of Kolkata and the complex relationship between Britain and India in West Bengal. The 25 galleries display more than 3,500 Raj-related artifacts: Queen Victoria’s desk and piano are among these pieces.
The reasonably well-kept gardens surrounding the monument make for pleasant picnicking, especially on cooler days. Come after dark for a short light and music show in English.