Among the numerous sites on which the city of Joy, Kolkata, takes pride – The Birla Planetarium takes is place amongst the top few. Its Asia’ s oldest and largest Planetarium. Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, inaugurated it on July, 1963. The single-story circular structure is inspired by the Great Stupa at Sanchi and is equally attracting to its inner Astro world. Locally, it is known as the “Birla Taramandal”. It is in Jawaharlal Nehru Road at the vicinity of Victoria Memorial and ST. Paul’s Cathedral in Kolkata.

Main Attraction:

A visit to the Birla Planetarium is perhaps one of the most innovative ways to ignite your interest in science and the motion of planets. People, especially the astronomy lovers, flock in from all over the world to experience the amazing shows. A trip here includes a tour of the planets. Interesting details about the planets and the other interesting celestial bodies present in our universe are discussed. Silence rings loud while the show goes on. This is a testament of the mesmerizing effect of the shows here. Pictures of famous astronauts and other celestial bodies are put on display in the hallway. One can have a look at them after attending the show.

Other Attractions:

The Planetarium regularly holds many programs are in various languages including Hindi, English, Bengali, and other regional languages. Another exciting thing is that whenever there happens an eclipse solar or lunar you can go to this planetarium. They provide you a telescope to watch this wonderful phenomenon closely. It is an exciting experience that remains in your heart forever. The astronomical observatory of the planetarium is well equipped with a wide range of telescopes and accessories. You can find cameras and solar filters. The highly sophisticated equipment gives you a clear vision of space. Daily shows are hosted for hordes of visitors. They get enlightened about the vast universe, solar systems, and the galaxies. The shows also touch upon several facts pertaining to astrophysics and astronomy. The Planetarium offers an M.Phil Degree Course, a Post-Graduate Diploma course and free evening course in astronomy.

Recent Attraction:

The Planetarium recently added a new feather to its cap called Our Universe. This offer the visitors an out-of-the-world experience in viewing celestial bodies. It is a show that allows you to embark on a cosmic journey of 45 min by boarding a spaceship. The journey takes off at 6:30 PM from the planetarium every day. This is undoubtedly an excellent effort that went in making this concept accessible for common people.

Show Details:

The planetarium is open on all days and the shows are conducted everyday. The timings for the shows in different languages are as follows:

Hindi – 12.30pm, 2:30 pm and 4.30pm

English – 3.30pm and 5.30pm

Bengali – 1.30pm and 6.30pm

Special shows are also conducted on Sundays and Holidays at 10.30am in Hindi and at 11.30am in Bengali. Occasionally the shows are also conducted in other languages like Gujarati, Oriya and Tamil. Bookings open 30 minutes before the show starts. The price for the ticket is Rs. 40 per person.

Birla Planetarium is crowded on holidays and weekends. Spare an hour for this one of its kind experience on your visit to the City of Joy, Kolkata. Birla Planetariums exist in other cities as well, such as Hyderabad and Chennai.

Please note that making video recordings or taking photographs is strictly prohibited inside the planetarium.