Birla Planetarium in Kolkata- the sky show
Kolkata is known as the city of palaces due to its major tourist destinations. M.P Birla Planetarium in Kolkata is a research institute, educational hub,, and scientific platform that was established in the year 1962 and was inaugurated in 1963 in the month of July by the former prime minister of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. This is the first planetarium to be founded in India. The dome of the Planetarium measures 46 meters in circumference. The projector that is placed amidst the Planetarium is called Carl Zeiss universal projector. There are regular shows about space and the solar system, zodiacal patterns, and types of constellations. The Birla Planetarium has been modified with new updated versions after a break of twenty-eight months. From July 2017 the new hybrid system called full-dome projection has been replaced and you can view the shows in a more defined way. There is an electronic laboratory for designing science equipment.
Also Read: Top Weekend Getaways from Kolkata
Sky Show Timings
Sky shows are projected on a daily basis in three languages English, Bengali, and Hindi. Seven shows are shown every day starting from 12:30 pm to 6:30 and on holidays there are nine shows that start at 10:30 in the morning. The Planetarium holds a seating capacity of nearly 700 people. Presently the cost of the ticket is 80 rupees per person and there is a concession for students. The lists of shows are mentioned below. Each show runs for one hour.
- 12:30- Hindi
- 1:30- English
- 2:30- Hindi
- 3:30- Bengali
- 4:30- Hindi
- 5:30- Bengali
- 6: 30- English
How to go Birla planetarium
The Planetarium stands at the junction of Shakespeare Sarani and cathedral road and is easily accessible by buses, taxis, and metro. The nearest metro station is Maidan and the Planetarium is located just 1 km away which is walking distance from the metro station. You can also reach there by hiring a taxi if you are coming from Sealdah or Howrah station.
Other nearby tourists’ spots
- Pauls’ cathedral- it stands just on the left side of the Planetarium and is a large building of Gothic architecture operated by Christians.
- Eliot Park – this is a park featured with greeneries and a pond with sitting arrangements beside it. A wonderful ground for strolling of the couples.
- Victoria memorial– this one is located almost 3 km from the Planetarium and is dedicated to Queen Victoria that composed of a museum and galleries equipped with arms, paintings, arms, sculptures, and portraits.
Apart from these, you can wander about in the “gorer math” a ground with many past historical incidents. You can also spot the tallest building of Kolkata created by Tata steel from there.
Some useful tips
- There are no restaurants nearby, so you need to carry your own food and a water bottle.
- It is a mild cold inside so make sure to wear medium warm clothes.
- Visiting hours takes one hour including the show and spotting the things in the laboratory. Make sure to choose the timing as per your comfortable language.
Birla planetarium Other information
The Birla Planetarium is for those who have a keen interest to learn and know the depths of the universe and new discoveries of science. You would be excited to know and watch the shows which would leave a magical effect on you. From the beginning to the end you can experience the thrill of the show. It is almost like the Planetarium in London and is the second-largest Planetarium in the world. The present modified version plays in front of you the three-dimensional show which makes you feel like sitting in a spaceship and watching the universe from there.
This is great knowledge for the students as well as the adults. All updated positions of planets and threats of the universe are shown, the updated news of which are directly fed from NASA. You would be glad to know about the creation of the universes and how collisions have created a solar system and life on earth. That there is not one galaxy in h universe and thousands of galaxies are present. And how new inventions have been saving our earth from collisions of asteroids.