- Location: In 46 Muktaram Babu Street, near M.G. Road Metro Station
- Attraction type: Palace
- Significance: A private museum and zoo with an enviable collection of paintings, statues, mirrors, and chandeliers
- Best Time to Visit: October to March
- Visiting hours: 10 am to 4 pm; closed on Mondays and Thursdays
- How to reach: By Metro rail to M.G. Road Station; or by buses plying along Chitttaranjan Avenue, get down at Ram Mandir stop
- Nearest International Airport: NSC Bose International Airport, Dum Dum
Marble Palace is perhaps the most illustrious or all buildings of colonial Kolkata. This palatial residence of Raja Rajendra Mullick Bahadur is famous for his private collections and a zoo. The entire palace though owned by his descendants is partly a museum now and visited by thousands of visitors every year. Raja Rajendra Mullick was a connoisseur of fine art and his collections reflect his refined taste.
Built in the middle of the 19th century Marble Palace of Kolkata stands out with its neo-classical European architecture. This two storied palace with columns surmounted by a carved spire served as the main entrance. However this entrance is no longer used and you have to enter the palace through a side doorway. Though European in architecture the get up of Kolkata Marble Palace is Bengali is character with a courtyard inside. Around the courtyard you would find marble statues of Greek and Roman gods and goddesses. Macaws and cockatoos of the rarest varieties are seen perched on bird stands.
Inside the halls on the ground floor you would discover porcelain vases and artifacts belonging to Ming and Qing dynasties of China. A wooden statue of Queen Victoria is remarkable. This life sized statue seated on a throne is outstanding because of its intricately carved gown. Busts of famous personalities of 18th and 19th century Bengal, and British rulers are also seen on the ground floor.
As you move up along the staircase to the first floor take a careful notice of the bronze figurines holding tree branches with a filament bulb at the tip. The first floor is a viewer’s paradise. Original paintings of Rubens, Murillo, and Reynolds adorn the walls of the huge hall and verandah. Mirrors covering entire walls are stupendous. Large chandeliers of adorn the ceilings, while the floor is brilliant with multicolored marble inlays. Here again you would notice a number of statues and busts. Perhaps the most remarkable among them is Veiled Rebecca, a full sized marble statue of a woman drenched in a cloth. A lying baby of about five months sculpted in marble is lifelike. Watches belonging to 18th and 19th centuries are still in a working condition.
If the inside baffles you the outside of the palace would amaze you. The private zoo of Raja Rajendra Mullick has a collection of spoonbills, pelicans, hornbills, wild ass, zebras, and chimpanzee. There are statues of Christ, Virgin Mary, and Christopher Columbus is the premises of the Palace.
Hotels in Kolkata
Kolkata, being the most important metropolitan city in Eastern India, has abundant accommodation and dining facilities. Within city limits you could choose to stay in The Oberoi Grand, Taj Bengal Hotel, The Park, Hotel Hindustan International, or The New Kenilworth.