Location : South Kolkata
Founded in : 1956
Founded by : Dr. B.C. Roy
Run by : National Council of Science Museums (NCSM)
Birla Industrial & Technological Museum is one of the most famous museums of Kolkata. It is located at the junction of Gurusaday Road and Syed Amir Ali Avenue, in South Kolkata. Before the place was turned into a museum, it housed the ancestral bungalow of the famous Tagore Family. It was sold to G.D. Birla, by Surendra Nath Tagore, in 1919. From 1919 to 1956, the place housed Birla Park and in 1956, the park was converted into a museum, after the bungalow used by the Tagore family was pulled down and the present building of the museum was constructed by architects N. Guin & Co.
The initiative to start the project of Birla Industrial & Technological Museum was taken by Dr. B.C. Roy - the then Chief Minister of West Bengal, the great industrialist G.D. Birla and the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. The main objective of this museum is to provoke scientific inquisitiveness and develop a percept of science and technology among the general public, especially the students. It was first-of its-kind museum at the time of its foundation. Since 1978, this museum runs under an autonomous body National Council of Science Museums (NCSM), set up by the Union Ministry of Education & Culture.
Birla Industrial & Technological Museum displays several models and exhibits diverse branches of physical science, industry and technology. Many of the displays and exhibits have been designed, created and fabricated at its own workshop. There are several galleries exhibiting models based on the theorems of Electricity, Nuclear Physics, Iron and Steel, Optics, Motive Power, Communication and Mining. Several films shows, demonstrations and programs of sky-observation through telescopes are held here, on frequent basis.
The Birla Museum of Calcutta also houses a small Animal Kingdom, which houses live snakes, reptiles, rabbits, an aviary and aquariums. Other attractions of the museum include Underground Mock-up Coal Mine and the Bonsai and Cacti Garden. You can visit the museum any day of the week, from 10 am to 5 pm, except for Mondays, when it is closed. It is an interesting place for those who love to explore the curiosity behind technological innovations. The near by attractions include the famous Birla Mandir.