Metcalfe Hall Kolkata is one of India’s heritage buildings. The name of Sir Charles, Metcalfe Hall was built. The place is at the junction of Strand Road and Hair Street. It’s the first library in India, named the Calcutta Public Library.
Do you want to get familiar with Kolkata’s culture, heritage, and artistry in half an hour? Then, you are on the right page.
Metcalfe Town Hall Kolkata
পড়ুন :- মেটকাফ টাউন হল মিউজিয়াম কলকাতা
About Metcalfe Hall Kolkata West Bengal
When you enter through the gate, many numbers of pillars are standing. Like the ancient Greek temples of Athens, the building’s architectural style is called the Tower of the Winds.
The 30 pillars stand straight from the basement up to the ceiling. Metcalfe Hall Kolkata has five hall rooms and a two-story traditional building.
Charles Theophilus Metcalfe was the acting governor-general of British India from 1835 to 1836. British created the structure to honour his significant work in the free press of India.
Construction began in 1840. It took four years to finish (1844). At that time, the City Magistrate C. K Robinson was the architect.
Before Metcalfe Hall announced a heritage building, The Asiatic Society’s Annex Building was located on the ground floor of Metcalf Hall Kolkata.
The 1st floor is occupied by the Archeological Survey of India (A.S.I.). A small museum with photographs of Archeological Surveys of India’s conservation project in West Bengal and eastern India.
Metcalfe Hall History
In 1830, Dwarka Nath Tagore established the first public library in Calcutta in the “Strong Sahib” home at Dharmatala. Later, the library transferred to Fort William. In 1835, Governor-General Sir Charles Metcalfe set up a house in the Greek Temple of Athens style.
In 1844, the house was built and named Metcalfe Hall. Metcalfe brought about 4500 books from Fort William and several personal collections. He established the Calcutta public library from this collection. In 1903, Lord Curzon renamed this library the Imperial Library. After independence, it was renamed the National Library India on Alipur Belvedere Road on 1st February 1953.
This building is divided into two parts; the 1st floor became an office of the Asiatic Society. They preserve the collection of foreign journals and manuscripts. Another floor is the office of the Archeological Survey of India.
Later, the house was renovated by A.S.I. and the Ministry of Culture, Govt of India. After, the government opened it to the public, and the hall was designed with the theme of “I am Kolkata.” After reopening the place, it’s now one of the most famous places in Kolkata.
Recovery of Metcalfe Hall
In 2018, the Archaeological Survey of India declared Metcalfe Hall Kolkata a heritage place. They decided to renovate Metcalfe Hall to its former glory. But it cannot be used as a library again. They converted this hall into a permanent exhibition space, displaying proud moments of Kolkata.
The Asiatic Society Library occupies the ground floor for preserving journals and manuscripts, and the first floor is an exhibition hall of the Archaeological Survey of India.
The I am Kolkata or Ami Kolkata Theme
In 2018, they started work to build an exhibition hall using the theme “I am Kolkata.” It shows the different cultures of the city’s past and present. Along with the traditional parts of our city, they use great technology and ideas, which all should appreciate.
The hall design has many beautiful things, like a responsive touch screen, video projections, and hundreds of unforgettable city photographs. Like Jorasanko Thakurbari and the marble palace in Kolkata, the hall is ancient.
Metcalfe Hall Kolkata Opening Timings
The visiting hours and opening times start from 10.00 a.m to 05.00 p.m. Metcalfe Hall Kolkata is open from Tuesday to Sunday. The hall is closed on Monday.
Watch the Kolkata tour on YouTube.
Metcalfe Hal Entry Fee and address
Metcalfe Exhibition Hall ticket booking price is 20 rupees. Scan the QR code and pay the entry fee.
Address:- 12, Strand Rd, B.B.D. Bag, Kolkata, West Bengal 700001
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How I Visit Metcalfe Hall – My Holiday Story
First, I see that “Alpona” starts from the ground floor staircase to inside the hall. 70 mitre long. It amazes me.
After entering the hall, you will see the famous hand-drawn rickshaws of old Kolkata.
Then, I see a wonderful thing: a light set up on a frame, and the frame shadow makes a beautiful “Alpona.”
After that, I press a button on the audio-visual show via Hand shadowgraphy.
After coming black, I saw a white picture of old Kolkata and renovation work pictures of the hall.
On the way to the first floor, old-time picture of Victoria Memorial Hall across the walls.
The wall is decorated with posters of old Bengali films, covers of famous Bengali books, literature, poems, dances, songs, plays, movies, theatres, etc.
The First floor of Metcalf Hall
On the first floor, in the first room, I see a boat where a display is placed, creating a wave of the river.
I am surprised again that many windows were made there, decorated with famous pictures. It would look like the windows of Kolkata. And there are many nearly extinct letterboxes hanging on the wall.
Beside the wall is one of the most iconic cultures of Kolkata’s Durga idol, and our all-time favourite carom board is placed.
Pictures of Bengali cuisine include shrimp, Hilsa, Biryani, cakes, and Territy Bazaar Chinese food. After entering another room, I saw a sample of old poems and books.
After that, I saw Type-Writer, famous paintings, various types of photo collages, posters of old advertisements, sweet of Parry, the cigarette of Elephant brand, and many years of Bengali calendar! Movie photo ad and bioscope sample.
Last, I found a Bengali wedding essential, “Topor.” A giant-size “Topor” has been decorated and placed nicely.
After seeing so many things in one day, I am surprised and proud to be a Bengali. Thank you to those who have arranged many things and decorated for us under one roof.
Metcalfe Hall Entry Fee and Timings
The entry fee is 30 rupees, and a group discount is available. The timing is 10 am to 5 pm.
How to reach Metcalfe Hall
Reach the Esplanade metro station and take a bus to Howrah railway station. Get down to Millenium Park. Opposite Millenium Park, Metcalfe Hall welcomes you.
Another way to visit is to take the Howrah Kolkata ferry service and reach Millenium Park. The next option is to Come to Dalhousie and reach the hall by 10 minutes walk. You can also come from B.B.D. Bag circular railway, 10 minutes walking distance from here.
Where do foreigners stay in Kolkata?
Usually, foreigner stays in the esplanade and Park Street area.
Is Kolkata costly?
The city is for everyone’s budget. You can buy a complete lunch or dinner from a roadside with a budget.
How many places are there in Kolkata?
As the city is ancient (more than 300 years), there are many places you can find here, like the Victoria Memorial, Birla Planetarium, Indian Museum, etc.
For 2 People, taxi charges for a full-day tour of Kolkata
Currently, 3000 rupees approx for two people full-day Kolkata tour. It may vary on the location or distance.