Location: Jawaharlal Nehru Road, Kolkata
Established in: 1962
Inaugurated by: Jawaharlal Nehru
Amongst the myriad tourist spots in Kolkata, Birla Planetarium is one place that has became remarkably popular within a span of few decades. Established in 1962, towards the end of the Jawaharlal Nehru Road, this planetarium offers magical experience to all those who have grown up watching the enigmatic stars in the sky. The planetarium, though formally inaugurated by Jawaharlal Nehru on July 2, 1963, had begun functioning from September 29, 1962 only. It is one-of-its-kind museum and exhibitory in India. The planetarium is the brain child of Mr. M.P. Birla and all the assets and property of this organization belongs to the 'Birla Institute of Fundamental Research'.
Birla Planetarium offers the visitors a unique experience through its various shows, of which some are related to the sky, stars, galaxies, solar system and planets. These shows are held here on a slot basis. They are organized in a big hall and are so real that you may feel that you have actually landed in the celestial world. Other than this, Birla Planetarium also conducts Post Graduate Diploma and M. Phil courses, in Astronomy and Planetarium sciences, in collaboration with Birla Institute of Technology, Pilani. An evening course on Astronomy is also conducted here, on a regular basis.
The Birla Planetarium of Calcutta is the center of astronomical studies in India. It has immensely contributed towards enhancing the celestial knowledge of the country, by conducting several seminars, conferences and work shops on the topic involving great scientists from all over the world. For this purpose, it also publishes a journal called 'The Journal of M.P Birla Planetarium' which includes interesting articles by scholars in the field of Astronomy. Other publications, like 'Bust Stories' and 'A Brief Introduction of Astronomy', have also been published by the organization.