A visit to Mother's Wax
The Wax heaven in Kolkata
Kolkata is called the city of joy, often regarded as the cultural capital of India. This city's story goes hundreds of years in history. It never stops pleasing you with its rich cultural elements, traditions and infrastructures that look no less appealing than the modern ones today.
This writer had a short, unplanned trip with her parents to the city of yellow cabs last month. Little did she know that a random trip would become one of her life's most joyous experiences!
Among everything else, the writer would like to revisit a place that belongs to the world of imagination, where all of your favourite stars and celebrities have gathered in one place, smiling and welcoming you! Sounds dreamy? It's the Mother's Wax Museum in Kolkata that will bring you a similar but unique taste, like Madame Tussauds.
Since childhood, Madame Tussauds has fascinated this writer. While she has yet to visit the famous wax museum in London, England, the Mother's Wax Museum in New Town, Kolkata -- on the fifth and sixth floors of West Bengal Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd -- has given her that experience. Inspired by Madame Tussauds, Mother's Wax Museum has established itself as one of the most popular parts of Kolkata city.
Mother's Wax Museum features 54 lively wax replicas of world-famous people at their finest moments. It seems as though time stopped at a particular moment. These wax statues include our favourite movie stars, athletes, musicians, poets and other celebrities.
Since the museum's inauguration, the area has become nothing less than a top tourist destination. The wax figures are a feast for the eyes and provide captivating social-media sharable photos. The wax figures are divided into different sections, as the museum promises something for everyone, including history, political leaders, sports, Bollywood, Hollywood, and music. And this journey will begin with Tintin welcoming you at the door with Snowy in the garden watching you.
History and Political Leaders
Like most museums, Mother's Wax pays homage to the legendary figures in India's history. Beginning with Mahatma Gandhi standing in front with his famous lines written over the walls, it will take you back to Kolkata in the 1900s. Warm welcome with a smile on the face of Pronob Mukherjee and A. P. J. Abdul Kalam will follow.
The museum remembers B. R. Ambedkar and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, too. However, we were over the moon coming across the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, standing there with his iconic style, raising his finger against all the injustice.
Kolkata is rich in knowledge and has long been a centre for the arts, literature, and culture. That is the city's true allure. Mother Wax Museum makes it a point to honour these luminaries, including Rabindranath Tagore, Kazi Nazrul Islam, Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay, and many others.
Tagore sits with a book in hand, and you can see a palm tree through the windows portraying his famous poetry and handwritten poems on the walls. Kazi Nazrul Islam is seen with a book in his hand, like walking through the streets, and Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay is standing in front of his table, just like making you acquainted with his usual things.
A part of the museum pays tribute to the heroes of cultural changes, the social reformers during the British Raj and earlier times, who fought for social reformation and brought changes in legal policy and laws, especially benefitting women and children. You will see Mother Teressa folding her hands humbly, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar sitting in his chair, Sister Nivedita and Raja Ram Mohan Roy.
Horror and Spiritual
The Bengali horror characters are mostly women; the museum depicted them finely. There is a horror room full of Bhoot, Petni, Shakchunni, Gecho Bhoot, Mamdo Bhoot in a room, from a young age to older ones. And, of course, there is this horror music to take your life.
Spiritual characters like Shami Vivekananda and Sarada Devi will make you pinch yourself to verify if you are dreaming or if they are standing really in front of you.
Mother's Wax will offer you an excellent view of some of the most intelligent minds in history, with Jagadish Chandra Basu and Albert Einstein sitting together and experimenting with something.
Sports is followed like a religion in the Indian subcontinent. In terms of popularity, nothing comes close to sports in India. Hence, Mother's Wax honours some of the sporting greats with their statues, like Virat Kohli, Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar, Pele, Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi.
There are famous Tollywood stars whom you will definitely want to meet at least once in your life. There is a standard space designed only for the legendary Oscar-winner filmmaker Satyajit Ray who can be seen standing with a cigar in his mouth with two of his creations, Feluda and Professor Shanku.
Mithun Chakraborty, with his disco dance pose, will give you an instant vibe. There were Suchitra Sen and Uttam Kumar's wax figures earlier, which were removed for some reasons.
Hollywood and Bollywood stars
If you are a movie buff, you must have your favourite movie star from the world's two most popular movie industries - Hollywood and Bollywood. From Audrey Hepburn, Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts to Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, your eyes will be dazzled. And then there is Jonny Depp, in his most loved Jack Sparrow look, waiting for his fans and Harry Potter, aka Daniel Redcliff, who will certainly make you click photos with them.
The museum made sure to make the music lovers' hearts beat faster by including music maestros like Pandit Ravi Shankar, Manna Dey, Lata Mangeshkar, Hemanta Mukherjee and Kishore Kumar. For pop lovers, there is Michael Jackson doing his iconic moon dance.
Children will also have a blast because there are Tom and Jerry, Motu Patlu and everyone's favourite, Mr Bean. Scenes when children go crazy over Tom cat and laugh innocently while sharing moments with Motu will surely make one happy.
About Mother's Wax
Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan, two of Bollywood's biggest stars, joined Kolkata's Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in inaugurating the Mother's Wax Museum in November 2014 officially. The city's first wax museum, which bears Mother Teresa's name, is 5,000 square feet in size. It started with 19 life-size wax statues of the state's most famous personalities, including Rabindranath Tagore, Satyajit Ray, Lata Mangeshkar, Manna De, Kishore Kumar and Sourav Ganguly. Later it added other international superstars from different sectors.
Visiting Mother's Wax
Visiting Mother's Wax Museum from central Kolkata is significantly time-consuming. So plan your trip in advance. It is located in New Town, the most recent neighbourhood to be added to Kolkata, which is expanding quickly and is frequently referred to as a planned metropolis. A journey to New Town is nothing short of a thrill ride because of its broad roads, tranquillity away from the bustle of the central city, and, most significantly, its minimal traffic. It remains open for visitors from morning to evening, five days a week.