Birla Planetarium, Kolkata Overview
Kolkata’s Birla Planetarium is a magnificent edifice set up by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on 2nd July 1963. This one in Kolkata is one of the three planetariums present in India and is hailed as the largest of its kind in the world. Also known as Taramandal, the Birla Planetarium regularly hold many programs are in various languages including Hindi, English, Bengali, and other regional languages. The planetarium houses numerous innovations and creativity, giving out knowledge to its fellow visitors.
The Birla Planetarium was founded in September 1962, while the edifice was formally inaugurated in July 1963 by the then Indian Prime Minister Pandit J. L. Nehru. It was a major step in the fields of education, research and the development of scientific temperament as it was the second planetarium to be established in a Commonwealth country and the first in India. Shows such as ‘Zodiac signs and stars’ on the various constellations in the sky, ‘Journey to Antarctic’, and the ‘New View of the Solar System’ are held here at regular intervals and pack a delightful combination of education with stellar visuals.
Architecture of Birla Planetarium
One of the interesting aspects if the Birla Planetarium is certainly its architecture. The style followed in the architecture of Birla Planetarium has been adopted from Sanchi Stupa and is quite prominent even from a distance. A splendid dome ornaments the zenith of the Birla Planetarium and shines with white brilliance. The dome has a diameter of 23 metres and can accommodate as many as 688 people. Planetarium projector present in the premises is of Carl Zeiss make and perfectly compliments the magnificent visuals of the various shows. Columns have been allocated across the circumference of the place, and one can easily compare it to a mini-Colosseum. Manicured gardens add a charming grace to the planetarium complex.
Show Timings at Birla Planetarium
A number of interesting and informative shows are conducted for visitors and their timings are as follows:-
English: 1:30 PM & 6:30 PM
Hindi: 12:30 PM, 2:30 PM, 4:30 PM
Bengali: 3:30 PM & 5:30 PM.
In addition to these, extra shows are organized on Sundays & other holidays at 10:30 AM (Hindi) and 11:30 AM (Bengali)
How to Reach Birla Planetarium
The planetarium is situated at a distance of 18 km approximately from the airport and is easily accessible via cab through VIP road. It is located at a distance of 5 km from the railway station and can be easily reached via taxi through Acharya Jagdish Chandra Bose Marg.