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Maidan:- The Maidan (literally open field) is the largest urban park in Kolkata in the Indian state of West Bengal. It is a vast stretch of field and home to numerous play grounds, including the famous cricketing venue Eden Gardens, several football stadia, and Kolkata Race Course. Maidan is dotted with several statues and pieces of architecture, most notable being the Victoria Memorial. It is home to the oldest golf club outside Great Britain - the Royal Calcutta Golf Club. Due to the freshness and greenery it provides to the metropolis, it has been referred to as the "lungs of Kolkata".[ Maidan is a property of the Indian Army, and hosts the Eastern zone high command of the Indian Army in Fort William. The Maidan stretches from as far north as the Raj Bhavan building in Esplanade and as far south as the National Library on Belvedere Rd. in Alipore. The wide field stretches from the Hoogly River on the west to the Victoria Memorial on the east. It is a historical and cultural center of Kolkata as well as a center of leisure and entertainment for Calcuttans.
The roads on the Maidan are dotted with tiny greenish bungalows (club houses) belonging to various sports clubs. There are numerous patches for playing. Some of the larger clubs occupy the fields with wooden galleries. The big three of Kolkata football, Mohun Bagan, East Bengal and Mohammedan Sporting have a noticeable presence but there also are names with faded glory such as Rangers. Somewhere in between fit in organisations such as Kennel Club and Press Club. There also are lower order clubs, who do not have much of a following but have a noticeable contribution and sometimes spring a surprise – Wari, Aryans, Rajasthan and so on – and a host of office clubs.
Indian cricket began its long journey with a two day match on the Maidan in January 1804 between old Etonians employed by the East India Company. World’s oldest hockey tournament, Beighton Cup was instituted in1895, and is usually held on the Mohun Bagan ground in the Maidan. For the Indian Football Association, the Maidan has been the nerve centre.
The Maidan is not just cricket, football and hockey, apart of course from army parades. It is so many things to so many people. There are washermen who wash clothes and themselves in its ponds, shepherds tend their flocks, the health conscious citizens take their morning walks, the last vestiges of the horse-drawn hackney carriages ply on its fringes entertaining merry makers and businessmen make money. WhenJamshedji Framji Madan entered the ‘bioscope’ scene in 1902, he began to screen films in tents one of which was set up on the Maidan. In Satyajit Ray’s film Jana Arayanya there is a shot showing two unemployed young men, observing the sprawling urban comedy around them on the Maidan, identify the typical office clerk in the crowd. He is presented in a long shot, puny against the towering though squalid cityscape, trudging home after a nine-to-five day. Life on the Maidan is the quintessence of life in Kolkata.
Victoria Memorial:- The memorial was designed by Sir William Emerson using Indo-Saracenic style, incorporating Mughal elements in the structure. Lord Redesdale and SirDavid Prain designed the gardens. The foundation stone of the memorial was laid down in the year 1906. The monument was intended to serve as a tribute to the success of the British Empire in India.
Architect Sir William Emerson laid down the actual plan of the memorial. The design of the structure represents a fusion of British and Mughal architecture. White Makrana marbles were used in the construction of Victoria Memorial Hall and the building was inaugurated in the year 1921. The massive hall is 338 feet (103 m) by 228 feet (69 m) and rises to a height of 184 feet (56 m).
British government money was not used in its construction at all. Rather, the British Indian states, along with the individuals who wanted some favours from the British government, were the main contributors towards the cost of building the Victoria Memorial Hall.
The massive Victoria Memorial stands enclosed within 64 acres (260,000 m2) of blooming gardens. It houses a museum containing a large collection of memorabilia relating to Queen Victoria and the British presence in India as well as other exhibits. The Memorial also contains a Royal Gallery housing a number of portraits of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and paintings illustrating their lives.
After India gained independence in the year 1947, certain additions were made to the Victoria Memorial. These additions formed National Leader's Gallery, containing the portraits and relics relating to Indian independence.
I clicked this shot at afternoon time..

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Additional Photos by Indrasish Guha (Indrasish) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 261 W: 4 N: 717] (2943)
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