We left in March 2014. I actually had a little hesitation about leaving because it was just about 4 months since we lost our home during the earthquake that hit Cebu and Bohol. Although everyone in my family survived the earthquake, I was still mourning the loss of our home. But then, I also realized that if I didn't push through with this trip, I might not get another chance. My family was already settled into our new home by then, so I thought that it was okay for me to leave. So I did.
Yolanda and the earthquake brought too much heartache, I felt I needed a little break and inspiration. I wanted to go to a place that could jolt my senses. And India did just that.
Our first stop was Kolkata. We got our visas upon arrival. These cities allow Visa on arrival -- Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata. Effective 15th August 2013, this facility has also been extended at Trivandrum, Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Kochi. But if you want to be sure, get your visa from the Embassy of India before leaving the country.
THE VICTORIA MEMORIAL HALL
Up close, the Victoria Memorial was very impressive. I was in awe. The entire compound has well-tended gardens. Everything just looked like it came from the pages of a fairytale book.
Sadly, we went on a Monday. The Hall and the museum are closed on Mondays and weekends. So we just marveled at this beautiful structure and the gardens all afternoon.
On the death of Queen Victoria in January 1901, Lord Curzon, who was then Viceroy of India, placed before the public the question of setting up a fitting memorial to the Queen. He suggested that the most suitable memorial would be a "stately", spacious, monumental and grand building surrounded by an exquisite garden.
The princes and people of India responded generously to his appeal for funds and the total cost of construction of this monument amounting to one crore, five lakhs of rupees, was entirely derived from their voluntary subscriptions.
King George V, then the Prince of Wales, laid the foundation stone on January 4, 1906 and it was formally opened to the public in 1921.
Business Hours : 10am - 5pm | Weekdays except Mondays and Holidays (Republic Day, Holi, Independence Day, Eid-al-Fitr, Ghandi's Birthday, Dusserah, Eid-al-Adha, Christmas Day).
Fees : INR 10 (for locals) | INR 150 (foreigners)
(grabbed from official website of Victoria Memorial Hall)
Victoria Memorial 1, Queen's Way, Kolkata, 700071
ST. PAUL'S CATHEDRAL
I usually visit a Church when I go to a new place, so I was totally happy that we dropped by St. Paul's.
I will share more stories about Kolkata in the coming days. In the meantime, you might want to visit my Facebook Page for more pictures!
How to apply for tourist visa to India, click HERE.
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