Did you know that there are several off-beat Museums in Kolkata? Some of them are famous while others are lesser known ones that would leave you flabbergasted out of sheer interest in the place.
These places can best be described as jewels in the crown of Kolkata that are bound to leave you a little impressed and a lot more inspired.
Kolkata not only inspires us historically, but also currently, the city of joy is home to a collection of artefacts and other objects of artistic, cultural, historical, educational and scientific importance. It encompasses places where antique collections and art are preserved for public view. A visit to these Museums in Kolkata imparts knowledge about the civilisation of the past and present and adds a glimpse of the future as well.
Here’s a list of some off-beat Museums in Kolkata that you must pay a visit to.
The idea of visiting a police museum might not sound appealing but hey, don’t judge the book by its cover.
This place is a hidden gem and absolutely worth a visit. If you have an hour or so to spare, you can enjoy a delightful visit to the Kolkata Police Museum that reflects the rich tradition and history of policing in our city. The exhibit includes various arms and ammunitions seized during the freedom struggle of our country.
It also has 64 files related to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and his family members, kept for public viewing in a separate Gallery.
Some interesting things to look out for in this museum are:
- Curious firearms of the pre-independence era
- Police medals
- The rise of various departments in the police force
- Iron, copper and brass bomb shells used in the Alipore Conspiracy case
- Satyendra Nath’s pistols, revolvers and firearms
- R.B Rodda arms loot case
- Netaji’s hand-written page from his unpublished autobiography
Pictures of students taking part in the Indian National Movement at St. Xavier’s college ground
- Walking stick gun
- Pen-knife pistol
- Book bomb
- Pen pistol
- Knife shaped pistol
- Narcotic drugs
- Fragments of bombs taken out from people’s body,
- AK-47 bullets,
- Long belted cartridges
- Manual traffic signal used in earlier times
- Japanese bomb dropped in Calcutta during the 2nd world war
The list is more than fascinating. You need to visit this Museum in Kolkata it to believe it.
113, Acharya Prafulla Chandra Roy Road
Kolkata – 700 009
The museum is open to the general public from Tuesday to Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission to the museum is free of cost.
Also known as Children’s Museum, this place is an enthralling paradise for kids. Though they can’t touch the toys and figures, yet, watching a plethora of different dolls and in the process becoming aware of 88 different nations of the world, their attire and features, is an achievement in itself.
For a moment you might just get scared if Annabelle or Chucky’s thought comes to mind, but worry not, you have your friend Ganesha right next door, quite literally.
This is our favourite among all the Museums in Kolkata as it has dedicated a section entirely to Ganesh idols while another two sections cater to miniature models of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata showing 61 scenes from these epics.
While 37 different countries are depicted through their dolls, India is placed at the centre of the room in a separate glass archive which showcases all the different states and their attire, through mini dolls. These dolls and toys can clearly captivate your interest for quite some time.
94/1, Jawaharlal Nehru Road, Chowringhee Road, Hazra, Maidan Kolkata, West Bengal 700020
The museum remains open for the visitors from Wednesday to Friday from 11 AM to 07 PM and Saturday to Sunday from 10 AM to 07 PM. It remains closed on Monday & Tuesday. Entry Fee is Rs. 20/- for 16 years & above and Rs. 10/- under 16 years.
MAULANA ABUL KALAM MUSEUM
This is a small, well maintained museum which was earlier the residence of Maulana Azad. As you enter, you see various portraits and belongings of him with his prestigious Bharat Ratna award showcased in the centre of the hall.
How many of you have seen such an honorary award up front?
Doesn’t this make you want to add this Museum in Kolkata to your list of go-to-places?
Besides some furniture and personal belongings, some note-worthy things there are, two sets of his clothes, some of his woollen topies, a leather bag, his spectacles, walking stick and few pictures with some famous people of those times.
5 Ashraf Mistri Lane, Off Ballygunge Circular Road, 700019
RAJA RAM MOHAN MUSEUM
Dedicated to the 19th-century social reformer Raja Rammohan Roy, this museum is worth visiting if you want to understand the social history of Bengal from close quarters. The father of Bengal Renaissance, Ram Mohan Roy occupies a significant position in the state’s history.
Originally, the dwelling place of the legend, the building was later converted into a museum.
Exclusively dedicated to the legend, the museum consists of sketches, photographs, paintings and excerpts from the writings of Raja Rammohan Roy.
Some have been recreated wherever it was necessary. Exhibits in the museum can be subdivided into six segments—commemorative items, books, paintings and sketches, period furniture, panels and dioramas, and the death mask of Rammohan.
A visit to this place among all the other museums in Kolkata is a must if you want to increase your knowledge bank about the Bengal Renaissance.
Weekdays, 10 AM to 5 PM
85 A Raja Rammohan Sarani, Kolkata – 700 009
Kolkata probably became the first state in the country to have a boat museum. This museum in Kolkata has 46 models of boats including ones that were used during the Harappan civilization as well as boats in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Bengal and Bangladesh. History reveals the importance of ancient Bengal as a strong naval power on which, depended its flourishing trade and commerce. Bengal or Banga being primarily a land of waterways, boating is bound to be the principal means of all purpose of life. Boating used to be an important profession of the people.
The models of various boats in the museum are crafted by the Rajbangshis of Dakshin Dinajpur district of West Bengal.
Picture: Rangan Dutta
A visit to this place among all the other museums in Kolkata is a must if you want to increase your knowledge bank about the history of boats in Bengal!
You can read more about the boat museum by the legendary Rangan Dutta here
Cultural Research Institute, Ambedkar Bhawan, P 1/4 CIT Scheme VII (M), VIP Road, (Near 3-A Bus terminus), Kolkata 700054
Open on All Working Days 11 AM to 5 PM.
Kolkata, being the only city in India and one of the few in the world, that still has trams plying on its roads, ought to have a tram museum where our childhood nostalgia and calm can be revived in our otherwise fast paced lives.
This museum is called Smaranika. It is essentially a 1938 Tram which has been refurbished at the Nonapukur workshop, retaining its actual exterior from its golden days and only renovating its interiors, giving it a full wooden finish to serve the purpose of a museum.
The tram, which is the museum itself, houses memorabilia right from its inception to present day− Conductors’ caps, uniforms and the coin exchanger machines and many such artefacts of the trade are all on display in one of the two compartments of the tram.
The other side of the tram houses wooden a bench and table along with walls filled with quotes, old Calcutta pictures and literature from famous figures of Bengal, essentially Rabindra Nath Tagore.
Situated at the CTC compound in Esplanade. One can be inside the tram museum for a maximum period of 30 minutes for which a meagre entry fee of Rs.5 is charged.
MOTHER’S WAX STATUE MUSEUM
Featuring 19 life-size wax models of celebrities, heroes of the past and present, Mother’s Wax Statue Museum is an attempt to replicate the iconic wax museum of central London.
The museum has statues of Rabindranath Tagore and Amitabh Bachchan to name a few and has been set up in the satellite township of Rajarhat New Town. The museum features life-like wax figures of icons and celebrities
A visit to this place among all the other museums in Kolkata is a must if you ever happen to be at Eco Park!
Oh and if you plan to visit Eco Park soon, here’s a complete list of activities that you can fill your day with!
The museum claims to be biggest wax museum in India.
Veteran sculptor Susanta Ray formed the statues only by seeing images of the personalities.
6th floor, New Town Financial Hub, opposite Eco-Tourism Park
Some 500m south of Howrah train station, the open-air Railway Museum has a two-storey station model, several 19th-century steam locomotives and a toy-train ride (₹10). To get here, walk south of the Howrah train station complex along Foreshore Rd, keeping the Hooghly River to your left.
A visit to this place among all the other museums in Kolkata is you are near Howrah Station.
BIRLA INDUSTRIAL & TECHNOLOGICAL MUSEUM
Birla Industrial & Technological Museum displays several models and exhibits diverse branches of physical science, industry and technology.
There are several galleries exhibiting models based on the theorems of Electricity, Nuclear Physics, Iron and Steel, Optics, Motive Power, Communication and Mining. Several films shows, demonstrations and programs of sky-observation through telescopes are held here, on frequent basis.
It is an interesting place for those who love to explore the curiosity behind technological innovations.
- Children’s Gallery
- Fascinating Physics
- Life Science, Mathematics
- Mock-up Coal Mine
- Motive Power
- Popular Science
Underground Mock-up Coal Mine and the Bonsai and Cacti Garden.
It is located at the junction of Gurusaday Road and Syed Amir Ali Avenue, in South Kolkata.
You can visit the museum any day of the week, from 10 am to 5 pm, except for Mondays, when it is closed.