Patna Museum, also known as 'Jadu Ghar' in Hindi, is one of well preserved museum in the country which connect the glorious past with the modern age. Set up in the center of the city, the museum building houses splendid and large collection of artifacts of the periods belonging to Mauryan, Gupta, Sunga, Kushan, Mughals and British era. The museum boasts of few collection which are unmatched elsewhere.
The museum came into present form in 1917 AD in a architecturally beautiful building, built specially for it. Sir Edward Gait, Lieutenant Governor of Bihar and Odisha (1915-1920) was the founder of this museum. His bust stands inside the museum, near the entrance gate. The museum is surrounded by a beautiful scenery park. A number of statues, such as of Lord Hardinge, Viceroy of India dots the campus. The museum has a collection of over 45,000 exhibits, out of which only a small percentage of it are on display due to space constraint. The Relic casket, containing the mortal remains of Lord Buddha is one of its rare possessions. However the most famous collection of the museum is 'Didarganj Yakshi', the statue from 3rd Century BC. A brick sculpture of lord Buddha and stupas, named as Satabdi Smarak is situated in one of the corner of the museum. A cafeteria (Sangrahalaya Vihar) managed by Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation and a souvenir shop managed by HHEC (Ministry of Textile, GoI) is present in one corner of the museum. The museum building also houses few government offices like office of the National Mission for Manuscripts, Govt. of India and Bihar Research Society. The museum also houses an auditorium, named as Jan Nayak Karpuri Thakur Auditorium at the back side. It was inaugurated in 2000.
The museum building consist of two floor, with each floor having dedicated Galleries to display the artifacts in a proper way. The galleries are:
Natural History Gallery
Stone Sculpture Gallery
Orissan Stone Sculpture
Indian Stone Art Tradition
Budda Relic Gallery
Mahapandit Rahul Sankrityayana Gallery
Art Gallery & war-weapon Gallery
The Attractions :
Didarganj Yakshi : It is a life-size tall statue of a Chauri-Bearer, some 2300 years old. It is so called because it was found on the bank of river Ganga near a place called Didarganj in Patna in 1917. It is a masterpiece from that era, most probably from Ashoka's period. The upper part has been given finesse touch whereas the lower half is not as beautiful.The women is holding a Chauri (Fly whisk) in her right hand, where as her left hand is missing.
The statue is mesmerizing thing to look at. Built with great finesse , it has been acknowledged world wide during its exhibition & a superb example of the period that flourished on this land.
Buddha Relic casket: It is one of the most aspired thing for the Buddhist Tourists. The Holy Relic Casket, containing the ashes of lord Buddha was found in 1958-59 at a mud stupa site in Vaishali, which was built by the Lichchavis in the first half of the 5th Century BC.The casket is made up of soap-stone. the ashes were found just below the lowest layer & at the center of the casket. A leaf , a silver piece and a glass bead was also found in the casket.
The casket is situated in the Buddha Relic Gallery on the first floor of the building. It is closed for the normal visitors. However, if any one wishes to view the casket , then he need to buy a separate ticket for the same.
Silicified tree Trunk: It is a 53-feet tree fossil, the estimated age of which is 200 million years. It was found near Asansol (W.Bengal) by the Eastern Railways in 1927, during a track laying and later gifted to the museum. The tree is allied to the family of pines. It is formed as a result of Petrification, due to which the wooden tree got converted into solid rock. Its amazing to see such a long tree in fossil.
It is situated in a corridor of Natural History Gallery on the right side of the Ground floor.
Natural History Gallery : It is situated on the right side of the ground floor. It contains the variety of preserved animals, which can amaze the children. The life size Bison stands in the middle of the hall.Beside it contains tiger, dear,crocodile,panthers,birds & butterflies and many more. The fossiled tree turn is also here.
Stone Sculpture Gallery: It is situated on the left side of the ground floor. It welcome visitors by the mesmerizing site of the Didarganj Yakshi, place in the from middle of the hall. The hall also contain some other beautiful artifacts, like Gargoyle (12th Cent AD , in black stone), Rectangular slab depicting birth of Buddha etc. The halls opens into other small hall which the statues of Lord Buddha in different posture belonging to the Pala Period(800-1200 AD). Finest specimens of Pala arts are housed in the museum. Orissan Stone Sculpture & Indian art tradition contains the artifacts from the Gupta period.
Terracotta Gallery: It is situated on the midway to first floor. It houses terracotta from the Mauryan period, Sunga period, Kushan period ,Gupta period and so on. The Dancing Girl, Laughing Boy and Smiling Girl terracotta from the Mauryan period are worth viewing. It also houses terracotta from Mohen-Jo-Daro and Taxila.
The other galleries on the first floor includes Bronze Gallery, Rahul Sanskritayayana's Gallery, Weapon Gallery, Painting Gallery, Patliputra Gallery & Rajendra Gallery. All galleries are unique in there own way.
The Patna Museum is of national importance, because of its possession of some of the very rare artifacts. It is a must visit place for any visitor visiting the city.
How to Reach: It is situated on Buddha Marg, opposite to the Indira Gandhi Planetarium. Autos are easily available. It is easily accessible from all areas. For people coming on shared autos from Danapur side, one needs to get down at Income Tax roundabout (Golamber), walk towards Dak Bunglow Chowk and turn left at Kotwali Police Station. It is roughly 500 meter from It Golamber. For people coming from Gandhi Maidan or Kankarbagh side, needs to get down at Dak Bunglow and walk towards IT Golamber.
Visiting Information (as in November 2013) :
- Visiting Hour : 10:30 AM - 4:30 PM (Monday Holiday)
- Entry fee : Rs 15 (Indian Citizen), Rs. 250 (Foreigner)
- Buddha relics gallery visit : Rs 100 (Indian Citizen), Rs. 500 (Foreigner)
- Student group fee : Rs 2 per student on production of identity-card
- Lock room fee : Rs 2 per bag
- Auditorium fee : Rs 10,000
- Photo clicking fee : If any one wants to click photos inside the museum, then one has to buy an extra ticket. Ticket rates are as follow : Rs 20 ( For Mobile camera), Rs 100 (Flash Camera), Rs 500 (Video Camera), Rs 5,000 (Commercial Recording). If anyone is found taking photos inside the premise without having proper ticket, then fine can be imposed by the museum administration.
- Guide fee : The Museum offers guide facility to the desired person/persons based on following criteria : For 1 person, fee is Rs 25; for 2 to 5 persons, fee is Rs 50; and for 6 to 10 persons, fee is Rs 100
Patna Junction ~ 2-3 km
Airport ~ 7-8 km
Mithapur Bus stand ~ 8-9 km
- Indira Gandhi Planetarium ~ 0.1 km
- Buddha Smriti Park ~ 1.0 km
- Maurya Lok Marketing Complex ~ 0.5 km
New Museum Update : In 2012, State government cleared the way for the construction of Patna New Museum at a cost of Rs. 400 crore. Acting quietly, the State government conducted an international competition that brought in the best talent from around the world - including the architect involved in rebuilding the World Trade center - to design Rs. 400-crore new museum in Patna. Maki and Associates, a Tokyo-based architecture firm, and its Indian partner Opolis have been chosen. The Didarganj Yakshi, and many other important sculptures and artifacts will get the attention as it deserve in the new museum. The museum will be an state-of-the-art museum and one of the most modern and sophisticated in the country. The museum is expected to be completed by 2015.
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