On This Day – Queen Victoria’s Birth Anniversary: Know About Britain’s Attempt to Counter Taj Mahal

On This Day – Queen Victoria’s Birth Anniversary: Know About Britain’s Attempt to Counter Taj Mahal

Queen Victoria was an iconic figure whose legacy is still untouched today. She served as the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 1837 until her demise in 1901. During that time, the United Kingdom witnessed enormous changes in terms of military, politics, and industries.


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The Queen reigned over India for years, and went on to be hailed as the ‘Empress of India’. Hence, after she passed away on 22 January 1901, the British Raj decided to construct a massive palace to commemorate her name.

The British attempted to counter-strike the fame of the Taj Mahal in Agra. However, it certainly did not turn out to be successful!

Victoria Memorial: Britain’s Attempt to Counter Taj Mahal

Lord Curzon, the then Viceroy of India, proposed to create the palace in Calcutta (present-day Kolkata, which was the capital of British India at the time). He said, “Let us, therefore, have a building, stately, spacious, monumental and grand, to which every newcomer in Calcutta will turn, to which all the resident population, European and Native, will flock, where all classes will learn the lessons of history and see revived before their eyes the marvels of the past.”

The total construction cost was one crore five lakh rupees in that era.

The palace, named the Victoria Memorial, was completed in 1921.

The Victoria Memorial is, without an iota of doubt, an architectural wonder. But still, it stands nowhere close to the grandeur of the Taj Mahal (it only echoes the design of the Taj Mahal with its dome, subsidiaries, octagonal-domed chattris, high portals, and more). So, we can conclude that Britain’s attempt did not turn out to be very successful!

Some Interesting Facts About the Victoria Memorial

The Victoria Memorial is a museum under the control of the Ministry of Culture.

The palace boasts an amalgamation of Indian and European architectural styles.

It has 25 galleries equipped with artifacts, paintings, and more.


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