Museums in Kolkata: Information, Ticket Price, Timings

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West Bengal is the land of intellectuals and is known for its rich history. Not only is it the state capital but it is also the cultural capital of India for being home to some of the best authors, musicians, and artists born on Indian soil, including Rabindranath Tagore, a Nobel laureate and the author of the national anthem of India. The rich history of Kolkata can be traced to the several museums that it houses. Museums in Kolkata offer an altogether different perspective of the city. When you plan for a tour to the city, your Kolkata tour package must include some of these museums, for they are the soul of the city.

1. Indian Museum

Indian Museum is India’s second largest museum. It is sometimes called Jaadughar, or “House of Magic”. The Asiatic Society of Bengal established it in 1814, making it the oldest museum in the country. This is a must-visit place for history buffs as it houses a wide range of artefacts, ranging from ancient relics to marvellous Mughal paintings. The museum has been divided into 6 sections and it has a total of 35 galleries. These galleries showcase artefacts of Indian art, ecology, zoology, anthropology, and archaeology. You can also view some unusual remnants of the Indus Valley civilisation in this museum, along with some Buddhist relics, ornaments, and ancient scriptures. It also houses the only Egyptian mummy in Kolkata. If you want to see a mummy in a Kolkata museum, this is where you should head to. Indian Museum is open to visit from 10 am to 6:30 am on the weekdays and 10 am to 8 pm on the weekends. It is closed on Mondays. The price of the ticket is ₹ 50 for adults and ₹ 20 for children.

2. Nehru’s Children Museum

If you are out on a weekend getaway from Kolkata or within the city, one of the museums that you must visit is Nehru’s Children Museum. Located on Chowringhee Road, the Nehru museum in Kolkata is an educational and fun museum designed especially for children. The museum is dedicated to teaching Indian and world history to children in fun and interactive ways. The museum was inaugurated on 14th November 1972, the 83rd birth anniversary of Indian’s first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru. The Nehru’s Children Museum showcases dolls from 92 countries and various dolls from different parts of India. You will also see miniature models of some epic scenes from the Ramayana and Mahabharata. The museum also regularly hosts workshops, competitions, and other events for the children. You can visit the museum from 11 am to 7 on the weekdays and 10 am to 7 pm on the weekends. It is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. The ticket price for this Kolkata museum is ₹ 10 for children up to 16 years, and ₹ 20 for everyone above the age of 16.

3. Birla Industrial and Technological Museum

As the name suggests, Birla Industrial and Technological Museum is a science museum in Kolkata. It has 12 breathtaking galleries, each dedicated to a field of science and technology. This museum was found in 1959 and is said to be the first science museum of India (Fun fact: This museum kick-started the rage of science museums throughout India). This museum was a brainchild of then-Chief Minister of Bengal, Dr BC Roy. Here, you can see various models of scientific theorems related to biotechnology, communication, nuclear physics, etc. The museum also has a mock coal mine to show the process of coal mining. Furthermore, the museum also regularly organises various events like sky observation, science fairs, and seminars. It also has a library that is stocked with journals, magazines, and some rare books. The museum can be visited from 9:30 am to 6 pm on the weekdays and 10:30 am to 8 pm on the weekends. The ticket price is ₹ 50 for the general audience. A separate ticket is to be bought for the Coal Mine and Science show.

4. Victoria Memorial

One museum in Kolkata that people know about throughout India is the Victoria Memorial. It is one of the most stunning historical places in Kolkata that everyone visiting the city must check out. The museum was built between 1905 and 1921, when India was under the British Raj, in the memory of Empress Victoria. It is now a museum that houses precious relics from the British Era. It shows you a glimpse of the colonial period of Kolkata. The museum has about 25 galleries and is the perfect place to visit for history buffs and art aficionados. It also houses the largest collection of paintings by Thomas Daniell and his nephew William Daniell. You can visit from 10 am to 6 pm on the weekdays and 10 am to 8 pm on the weekends. The gallery of the museum is closed on Mondays. The price of the ticket is ₹ 50 for everyone.

5. Mother’s Wax Museum

There is also a wax museum in Kolkata that you can visit. It’s located in the International Finance Centre in Newtown. This museum is also referred to as the Madam Tussaud’s of Kolkata for the large number of wax statues that it houses. Here you can get your photo clicked with 50+ Indian and world-renowned celebrities, including Kolkata’s cherished stars Rabindranath Tagore, Saurav Ganguly, and Subash Chanda Bose. It is a museum that you cannot afford to miss in Kolkata. You can visit the museum between 12 pm and 7 pm between Tuesdays and Sundays. The ticket price of the Mother’s Wax museum is ₹ 250 for everyone above the age of 3. The entry is free for children under the age of 3.

6. Smaranika Tram Museum

Trams have been an integral part of Kolkata. Now they are things of the past. However, a single ring of the bell of a tram can still take a Calcuttan down a nostalgia trip. This is one of the newer Calcutta museums and was set up in 2014. However, it houses trams from 1938. Here you can see a wide range of memorabilia, artefacts, and replicas of various types of trams that have been used as a means of public transport in Kolkata. This includes flat-wagon trams, watering trams, horse-drawn tram carts, and more. You will also come across many rare photos of not only old trams but of old Kolkata. It is one of the museums in Kolkata that is filled with joy and happiness. You can visit the museum from 1 pm to 8 pm on all days except Thursday.

7. Kolkata Philately Museum

Also known as Kolkata Postal Museum, it’s one of the most offbeat museums in Kolkata. When a person thinks of visiting a museum, they don’t think of visiting a postal museum. But Kolkata typically being Kolkata, it is no surprise that it has a postal museum as well. As one would expect from a museum like this, its exterior looks bland and the museum is spread across just 4 rooms. But within these walls, it houses some stunning artefacts related to the Indian post. Here, you can check out postal stamps, revenue stamps, postcards, and more, from different periods of history. The museum also showcases photographs that depict the construction of the GPO and postal maps of Kolkata. Here you can also find a postal saving passbook of Rabindranath Tagore and a postal certificate signed by renowned Indian physicist, Sir CV Raman. This museum can be visited between 11 am and 4 pm on all days. Even its entry is free.

Kolkata’s history is rich and sublime. All of these museums trace and preserve this history in as much detail as they can. So when you are visiting the City of Joy, don’t forget to visit these museums in Kolkata.

Kolkata, Museum

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