The Birla Planetarium in Kolkata, West Bengal, India, is a single storied building with circular structure, designed in the typical Indian style, whose architecture is loosely styled on the Buddhist Stupa at Sanchi. The planetarium authority provides shows in various languages at different times. If you are planning to visit then you should read this blog to gain the necessary information. Here are 10 things that you must know before visiting.
1. The Largest Planetarium In India
M.P. Birla Planetarium is the largest planetarium in Asia and also the second largest planetarium in the world. There are other Birla Planetariums in India situated at Jaipur, Chennai and Hyderabad.
2. What Is Birla Planetarium
Birla Planetarium is a large planetarium providing a virtual tour of the night sky and holding cosmic shows on a specially perforated hemispherical aluminum inner dome.
3. Where Is It Situated
M.P. Birla Planetarium is situated at Chowrangee Road adjacent to the Victoria Memorial, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and the Maidan in South Kolkata. The exact address is 96, Jawaharlal Nehru Road, Adjacent To St.Paul’s Cathedral, Kolkata, West Bengal 700071.
4. History Of Birla Planetarium
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 field 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.
5. Architecture Of Birla Planetarium
One of the interesting aspects about the Birla Planetarium is certainly its architecture. It is single storied and circular structured. 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.
6. Show Timings
The planetarium is open all days throughout the week and the shows are conducted every day. The timings of the shows in different languages 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)
7. What Happens Inside The Planetarium
A planetarium is a place where you can go to see what the night sky looks like. Planetariums have a large room with a dome-shaped ceiling and many seats. A special projector in this room can shine images on the domed ceiling and show you the stars and other objects of the night sky.
8. Easily Compared To A Mini Colosseum
Planetarium projector present in the premises is of Carl Zeiss 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.
9. Must Do Things
You must see shows such as ‘Zodiac signs and stars’ on the various constellations in the sky, ‘Journey to the Antarctic’, and the ‘New View of the Solar System’ that are held here at regular intervals and pack a delightful combination of education with stellar visuals. You can also be a part of the free discourses on astronomy.
10. Places To Visit Near M.P. Birla Planetarium
M.P. Birla Planetarium is situated in a very good location. There are many places nearby for visiting and spending the whole day such as St. Paul’s Cathedral, The Victoria Memorial, Indian Museum, Maidan, Mohor Kunj, Nandan and so on.
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