Metcalfe Hall Kolkata in West Bengal is one of the and heritage buildings in India. 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 the culture, heritage, and artistry of Kolkata in half an hour? Then you are on the right page.
Table of Contents
- About Metcalfe hall Kolkata West Bengal
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.
There are 30 pillars. The pillars stand straight from the basement up to the ceiling. Metcalfe Hall Kolkata has five hall rooms and a two-storied traditional building. The architecture looks at the Temple of the Winds in Athens.
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 finished (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 is located on the ground floor of Metcalf Hall Kolkata. And 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 home of “Strong Sahib,” at Dharmatala. Later the library transferred to Fort William. In 1835 Governor-General Sir Charles Metcalfe took the initiative of setting up a house in the style of the Greek Temple of Athens.
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 rename this library called 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 is designed with the theme of “I am Kolkata.” After reopening the place, it’s now one of the popular places in Kolkata.
Recovery of Metcalfe Hall
In 2018, the Archaeological Survey of India declared Metcalfe Hall Kolkata is a heritage place. They decided to renovate Metcalfe Hall to its former glory. But it cannot use as a library again. They convert this hall as a permanent exhibition space, displaying proud moments of Kolkata.
The Asiatic Society Library occupied the ground floor for preserve journals, manuscripts, and the first floor is an exhibition hall of the Archaeological Survey of India.
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 idea, which all should appreciate.
The hall design has many beautiful things like a responsive touch screen, video projections, and hundreds of unforgettable photographs of the city. Like Jorasanko Thakurbari and the marble palace in Kolkata, the hall is very old.
Metcalfe Hall Kolkata Opening Timings
The visiting hours and opening time 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 Q.R. code and pay the entry fee.
Address:- 12, Strand Rd, B.B.D. Bag, Kolkata, West Bengal 700001
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My Holiday story in Metcalfe hall
First, I see, “Alpona” starts from the ground floor staircase to inside the hall approx. 70 miter 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 of 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 whole 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, and it creates a wave of the river.
I am surprised again, many windows were made there, and it is 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, one of the most iconic cultures of Kolkata’s Durga idol is placed, and our all-time favourite carom board.
There are also pictures of Bengali cuisine, such as 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 see Type-Writer, famous paintings, various types of photo collages, posters of old advertisements, sweet of Parry, the cigarette of Elephant brand, many years old Bengali calendar! Movie photo ad and bioscope sample.
Last, I found a Bengali wedding essential, “Topor.” A giant-size “Topor” has been decorated placed nicely.
After seeing so many things in one day, I am surprised and proud of being a Bengali.
Thank you to those people who have arranged so many things and decorate for us under one roof.
How to reach Metcalfe Hall
It’s very easy, 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.
Is it safe to travel to Kolkata today?
Yes, Kolkata is safe for women, children, foreigners, anybody. The crime rate is very low.
Where do foreigners stay in Kolkata?
Usually, foreigner stays in the esplanade, Park street area.
Is Kolkata costly?
The city is for everyone’s budget. A full mill can buy from a roadside just for rupees 30.
How many places are there in Kolkata?
As the city is very old (more than 300 years), many places you can find here, like victoria memorial, Birla planetarium, Indian museum, etc.
For 2 People taxi charges for full-day tour of Kolkata
Currently Approx 3000 rupees for two people full-day of Kolkata tour. It may vary in the situation.