Palace sights in Kolkata (Calcutta)
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This grand 1853 mansion is indulgently overstuffed with statues, Victoriana, Belgian glassware and fine paintings – there’s even a reputedly original Rubens. The music room is lavishly floored with marble inlay but much of the antique furniture remains haphazardly draped in torn old dust-sheets. It’s an odd place where admission is technically free, but guards, guides and even the toilet monitor all expect tips. Before visiting you need to get a permission note from either West Bengal Tourism or India Tourism.