Directorate of Museum
In the State of Bihar, there are museums of different categories such as:
|Museums owned by the State Govt.|
|Museums owned by Central Govt.|
|Museums owned by Universities/Semi-Govt. Organisations|
|Museums owned by Non-Govt. Organisations (Trust, Society, etc.)|
|Museums run by private individuals|
In Bihar, there are four Central Museums run by the Archaeological Survey of India. In addition, there is a Science Centre at Patna for the benefit of the youth of Bihar.
The Archaeological museum, Nalanda was established in 1917 to house the worthwhile representative antiquities found as a result of excavations at the famous Buddhist University site at Nalanda. The museum has its own building just nearby the ruins of the famous Nalanda Mahavihara. The antiquities displayed in the museum include stone sculptures and bronze images of Buddhist gods and goddesses and a few images of the Hindu pantheon belonging to the Pala period. The exhibited stucco figures are dated to the late Guptas. Besides, inscriptions of the time of Yasovarmadeva (8th century) and of Vipulasrimitra (12th century), sealings of royalties of Guptas and Maukharis and a number of official sealings of the Nalanda Mahavihara add to the weight of the exhibits. A few objects collected from Rajgir are also on the show.
The archaeological museum, Bodh Gaya was established in 1956 with a view to preserving locally scattered sculptures and other precious antiquities. The antiquities, displayed in its own small and impressive building, include stone sculptures and metal images belonging to the times of the Pal's. Two figures of Yakshis, ascribed to the first century B.C. are also exhibited here.
With the foundation of the Vaishali Sangh in 1945; a site museum, with the surface finds by a local private individual, Shri Rijali Singh; was started at Vaisali by the Sangh itself. After a lapse of three decades – in the year 1971, the Government of India established a site museum just near the old museum of the Vaishali Sangh on the northern bank of the Kharauna tank (abhiseka puskarini). The exhibits in the museum consist of the antiquities, represented by terracottas, seals and sealings, beads of semi-precious stones, punch marked and cast coins, pins and styli of bone, antimony rods of copper, balls of stone, terracotta and ceramic specimens, ascribed to dates ranging from Maurya to Guptas, and a few sculptures belonging to the Pal period, all from Vaishali and its surroundings collected either as surface-finds or as a result of archaeological excavations.
The idea of establishing new site museums at different places was discussed in the Superintending Archaeologists’ Meeting convened by the Director General, A.S.I., New Delhi in the month of May, 2000. In the meeting, a decision for setting up seven site museums was taken and accordingly a concept plan of the proposed site museum at Vikramshila was chalked out. Except few minor requirements and posting of museum staff, Vikramshila Museum is almost ready in all respects for its formal inauguration.
Considering the interest of the youths of Bihar, a Science Museum was established in Patna in the year 1978 which was named as Srikrishna Science Centre after the first Chief Minister of Bihar (Dr. Srikrishna Singh). This institution forms an unit of the National Council of Science Museums, an autonoums body under the ministry of Culture. It is located at Chhajjubagh, just on the south-western corner of the local Gandhi Maidan. The Science Centre has been set up with all round objectives for the benefit of the public, especially the students of Schools and Colleges.
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