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Tags : Museum

Timings : 10:30 AM - 05:00 PM

Time Required : 10:30 AM to 01:00 PM
01:30 PM to 05:30 PM

Entry Fee : Children: INR 50Adults: INR 100Foreigners: INR 500

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Bihar Museum, Patna Overview

Bihar Museum is one of the famous attractions in Patna built to provide insights into the history of Bihar and inculcate a sense of respect and pride in the hearts of the current generation. The museum is a recent addition to the list of attractions in the city. One of the main reasons for establishing the museum was to create more space to house and exhibit artefacts since the century-old Patna Museum is running out of space. Since there was little scope to relocate installed artefacts, the decision of keeping the focus on Human History was taken. Therefore, the Bihar Museum is where visitors can find information about the human history of Bihar to a large extent. The displays include ancient artefacts of artistic heritage, artworks belonging to various tribes and insights into the past and present of Bihar.

Bihar museum spreads over an area of 5.6 hectares of land and has a total built-up area of 24,000 square metres. The architecture has an interesting dispersed-scheme of buildings that include galleries, educational and administrative areas and a lobby. In fact, the construction of the building is a joint endeavour by an Indian and a Japanese Firm.

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Architecture of the Museum

Bihar Museum was a joint venture approved by the state cabinet. It involved two Architecture firms working on the project, Maki & Associates from Japan and OPOLIS Architects from Mumbai. The museum spreads over an area of 5.6 hectares of land and has a total built-up area of 24,000 square metres. The architecture has an interesting dispersed-scheme of buildings that include galleries, educational and administrative areas and a lobby. The design was inspired by the Japanese concept of Oku. To enhance one’s perception, the buildings have been spaced all across the landscape in a way to integrate them harmoniously with the surroundings. The construction does not include tall buildings and has been erected using COR-TEN steel plates in the casing to enhance its strength. The structure consists of a Children’s Gallery, an Orientation Gallery, three History Galleries, a Visible Storage Gallery and an Art Gallery.
Another aspect of the Bihar Museum in Patna is that the buildings have several terraces and courtyards that connect the indoor and outdoor spaces. The courtyards have been designed to allow light and air into the closed spaces. These are four large open spaces with trees and water bodies. The first one is the Waterfall Court/ Jal Angan which is the central terrace joining the main museum. The second is the Peepal Court, a triangular courtyard just across the Waterfall Courtyard. Then, there is the Amphitheatre, an open-air theatre for plays, events and performances that can accommodate 200 people and is located near the entrance. The last courtyard is the Niranjana Courtyard, named after River Niranjana, and has a channel of water flowing underneath a bridge that connects one of the History Galleries and the Visible Storage Gallery.

Galleries at the Museum

The Orientation Gallery inside Bihar Museum gives insights into how history is interpreted and written by the experts. It consists of audio-visuals and gallery exhibits to help visitors understand how archaeology and historical records are used to draw conclusions. The audio-visual, called ‘New Finds’, provides pictures and videos of artefacts collected from some recent discoveries like the Telhara Excavation. Another audio-visual provides information about the archaeological sites in and around Bihar emphasizing on the continuous work put in by the archaeologists. The exhibit, named ‘How we know what we know’, provides interesting information on how history is brought to life through the discovered artefacts, oral traditions, accounts and texts. A section of the museum has Visible Storage where one can find coins, terracotta artefacts etc. Plans are being made for a Historical Art Section where masterpieces from ancient India will be put on display.  

Bihar Museum has three history galleries, History Gallery A, Gallery B and Gallery C. History Gallery A houses artefacts that have been chronologically displayed from the Prehistoric, Protohistoric, Early Bihar era and the era of the Magadha, Maurya and Ashoka Dynasties. The evolution of Buddhism and Jainism is also explained in depth. History Gallery B has information about the Gupta Dynasty, the Pala Dynasty, the Mahaviras and the Mughal Empire (the medieval period). There is a Visible Gallery in this section where one can find an impressive collection of terracotta artefacts sourced from Bihar and several other regions in India. History Gallery C has exhibits from Medieval Bihar, the Delhi Sultanate and the Bengal Sultanate including Sur Dynasty and exhibits showing British Accession. A section of these galleries is maintained as the Coin Storage area where coins from bygone times have been displayed.

There is a space reserved for children at the Bihar Museum in Patna which is called the Children’s Gallery. There are six separate experiential learning zones in the Children’s Gallery. They are the Orientation Room, the Wildlife Sanctuary, History sections, the Arts section, Culture section and the Discovery section. Orientation Room is where children get to witness natural environments through exhibits, images and printed graphics. This helps them understand the climatic changes, know the endangered species and learn the history of Bihar. Along with infotainment, this gallery also has activities for children. The exhibits contain demonstrations of several concepts through storytelling and dramatic recreation with the help of various tools and visual aids to encourage learning.

Exhibit at the Museum

As soon as visitors enter Bihar Museum in Patna, they get an orientation tour that includes an overview of the museum, its map, the galleries and the exhibits with their information (includes Historical Art, Regional Art, Visible Storage, Bihari Diaspora and Contemporary Art). Here, important timelines and milestones from the prehistoric times of Bihar have been displayed too.

This is where visitors can also get to understand how archaeologists discover and interpret historical data. They can also watch an Orientation Movie which covers information of the Mesolithic remains in Munger, the Taradih Neolithic site in Bodhgaya, locations where the Chirand stayed in Saran, the Chalcolithic site of Sonepur in Gayr, the painted rock-cut cave shelters of Kaimur, Nawada and Jamui.

The History Galleries at Bihar Museum provide in-depth information about various dynasties, their rise, reign and downfalls. Information about the spread of Buddhism and Jainism along with the history of the Gupta Dynasty, Mauryan Dynasty, Ashoka, Magadha, Pala Dynasty, the Mughal Empire etc. can be easily found here.

Other than this, Bihar Museum also has an impressive collection of regional, historical and contemporary art. There are old coins, terracotta artefacts, sculpture

How To Reach Bihar Museum

Bihar Museum is located on Bailey Road (Jawaharlal Nehru Road) in Patna and is easily accessible via Patna Roadways. From the centre of the city, it takes about 15 to 20 minutes to reach the museum by road. The local bus connectivity is pretty good but tourists can also opt for auto rickshaws and taxis.

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