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Take A Trip Down Memory Lane By Visiting These Famous Museums Of Bengal

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Travel back in time by exploring collections of models, statues, paintings, antiques and memorabilia exhibited in these seven popular museums of Bengal that tell stories of the past.

Victoria Memorial

If you want a snapshot of India’s past particularly during the British era, this is where you need to go. One of the city’s most iconic locations, Victoria Memorial is the first place every tourist to the city heads to. The sparkling white marble structure of the Victoria Memorial was commissioned by Lord Curzon, the then Viceroy of India to commemorate the demise of Queen Victoria back in 1901 (although it wasn’t completed until 20 years after her death). Inside, there’s more to see than you would think. The main attraction is the soaring central chamber. The Calcutta Gallery is an excellent exhibition tracing the city’s colonial-era history. The museum also houses a number of Queen Victoria’s personal belongings.

Mother's Wax Museum

Touted as the first wax museum in India, the Mother's Wax Museum houses life-size wax figurines of famous people. Modelled on the famous Madame Tussauds museum, this place consists of wax statues of more than 19 eminent personalities from India. From Rabindranath Tagore to Kapil Dev, from Mithun Chakrabarty to Mahatma Gandhi and many others, are exhibited in picture-perfect settings. Did you know that the museum has been named after Mother Teresa? Well, now you do.

Netaji Bhaban

This old house opposite Forum Mall is now a storehouse of all things ‘Netaji’. The museum will give you a really interesting parallel understanding of the history of Indian independence. The biggest attraction is Netaji’s great escape route – it is printed on the floor and leads to the original car he used to escape in (the car has been remodelled recently). The museum also houses handwritten letters he sent to the British, and original newspapers that were published then.

Hazarduari Palace

Situated in Murshidabad, this palatial museum is now under the Archaeological Survey of India. What sets this museum apart from others is that out of the 1,000 doors, 900 doors are real while the remaining are fake ones, built to confuse the intruders. Spare an hour to admire the rich exhibits inside the museum - ranging from Nawab Siraj-ud-Daulah's prized possessions, swords and weapons, oil paintings of the Dutch, French and Italian artists, rare marble, porcelain and stucco statues to rare books and manuscripts and palanquins owned by the Nawabs.

Rabindra Bharati Museum

A pilgrim spot for all Gurudeb-obsessed people, Jorasanko Thakurbari, the ancestral home of the Tagores (which is an absolutely stunning piece of architecture) is also a storehouse of memoirs of Rabindranath Tagore. Everything from original paintings, photographs, personal items (including handwritten letters and books), there’s a lot of valuable belongings of Tagore.

Nehru Children's Museum

If you haven’t visited this museum as a child, now would be a great time to head here. The museum spans four floors and has an incredible collection of dolls. Although a tad motheaten, these dolls are very unlike the creepy Annabelle or Chucky (thankfully!). There are dolls from over 88 countries as well as from different periods in Indian history. The huge glass enclosure at the center of the room showcases the different states and their attire, through mini dolls. The Ramayana and Mahabharata in miniature models create a wonderful mythical world for your children where they can learn about the epics through visual stimulation.

Indian Museum

The Indian Museum is the largest and oldest museum in the entire Asia-Pacific region. Be prepared to get enthralled by over 100,000 rare exhibits comprising antiques, armour, ornaments, fossils, skeletons, mummies, and paintings. From remnants of the Harappan civilisation to Buddha’s ashes to Shah Jahan’s emerald goblet, there are rich histories waiting to be discovered as you walk about the museum. Other than being a storehouse of valuable information, the museum also conducts educational seminars and training programmes.