Bihar Museum, located in Patna, is a renowned attraction that offers a fascinating journey into the history of Bihar. Its purpose is to educate and instill a sense of pride in today’s generation. This museum is relatively new in the city and was created due to the lack of space at the century-old Patna Museum.
To make the best use of the available space, the focus here is on Human History. As a result, visitors can explore a wealth of information about Bihar’s history. The exhibits feature ancient artifacts with artistic significance, artwork from various tribes, and insights into both the past and present of Bihar. It’s a must-visit destination for those curious about the heritage of this region.
Bihar Museum History
In July 2011, the Bihar Government signed an agreement with the Canadian consultancy firm, Lord Cultural Resources, to be the museum planning consultants for this project. Following an international architectural competition in January 2012, the primary consultant architect for the Bihar Museum became Japan-based Maki & Associates, in partnership with OPOLIS, Mumbai. This remarkable museum now spans 5.6 hectares, with a built area covering 24,000 square meters.
Lord Cultural Resources took charge of designing the exhibitions in the museum’s nine permanent galleries. The museum showcases artifacts from ancient India to 1764 in its permanent gallery, while those from the post-1764 period can be found at the older Patna Museum. Among the museum’s standout exhibits is the 2,300-year-old Didarganj Yakshi.
Notably, in October 2017, India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, visited the Bihar Museum alongside Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
You’ll find the Bihar Museum located on the southern side of Jawaharlal Nehru Marg, Bailey Road, in Patna. It occupies a sprawling 13.9-acre area. Previously, this site was home to seven old bungalows, situated between LN Mishra Institute and Hartali Mor on Bailey Road. However, in March 2013, the building construction department demolished all these bungalows.
Bihar Museum Construction
The Bihar Museum, situated in Patna, covers an extensive area of 5.6 hectares, boasting a total built-up area of 24,000 square meters. What makes its architecture intriguing is the unique arrangement of buildings, including galleries, educational spaces, administrative areas, and a welcoming lobby. It’s worth noting that this architectural marvel is a collaborative effort between an Indian and a Japanese firm.
Another captivating feature of the Bihar Museum is the presence of numerous terraces and courtyards that seamlessly link indoor and outdoor spaces. These courtyards are cleverly designed to allow natural light and fresh air to flow into enclosed areas. Among them, there are four notable open spaces, each with its distinct charm.
- The first is the Waterfall Court, known as Jal Angan, which serves as the central terrace connecting to the main museum.
- The second is the Peepal Court, a triangular courtyard located just across from the Waterfall Courtyard.
- Next up is the Amphitheatre, an open-air theater capable of accommodating 200 people, perfect for plays, events, and performances, conveniently situated near the entrance.
- Finally, there’s the Niranjana Courtyard, named after the River Niranjana, featuring a flowing water channel beneath a bridge that connects one of the History Galleries with the Visible Storage Gallery. This museum’s architectural design truly enhances the visitor’s experience.
Bihar Museum Architecture
The Bihar Museum project was a collaborative effort endorsed by the state cabinet, bringing together two architectural firms: Maki & Associates from Japan and OPOLIS Architects from Mumbai. Covering a vast expanse of 5.6 hectares and boasting a total built-up area of 24,000 square meters, this museum stands out for its unique architectural design.
The layout features a fascinating arrangement of structures, including galleries, educational spaces, administrative areas, and a welcoming lobby. Inspired by the Japanese concept of Oku, the buildings are thoughtfully spread across the landscape to seamlessly blend with the natural surroundings.
Notably, there are no towering structures here; instead, COR-TEN steel plates have been used in construction to enhance durability. The museum comprises various sections, including a Children’s Gallery, an Orientation Gallery, three History Galleries, a Visible Storage Gallery, and an Art Gallery, making it a must-visit destination for a diverse range of interests.
Bihar Museum Galleries
The Bihar Museum is home to a variety of galleries, each with its own unique theme. These galleries encompass the Orientation Gallery, Children’s Gallery, Regional Gallery, Contemporary Gallery, Historical Art Galleries, Bihari Diaspora Gallery, and the Visible Storage Gallery.
To ensure a focused experience, different subjects are showcased in separate galleries. You’ll find each gallery quite spacious, filled with numerous artifacts, some of which date all the way back to the fourth century. It’s a treasure trove of history and culture waiting to be explored.
Inside the Bihar Museum, you’ll discover the Orientation Gallery, offering a glimpse into the museum’s essence. Towards the end of this gallery, there’s a theater where visitors can enjoy a short film introducing the museum and its remarkable collections, regularly screened for all to enjoy.
The Orientation Gallery serves as an educational space, shedding light on how history is studied and interpreted by experts. It features a blend of audio-visual presentations and gallery exhibits designed to help visitors grasp the techniques used in archaeology and historical research.
One of these presentations, titled ‘New Finds,’ showcases images and videos of artifacts unearthed during recent discoveries like the Telhara Excavation. Another presentation offers insights into the archaeological sites in and around Bihar, highlighting the ongoing efforts of archaeologists.
A fascinating section within the museum is the Visible Storage, where you can spot an array of artifacts, including coins and terracotta pieces. Additionally, there are plans in the works to create a Historical Art Section, where visitors will have the chance to marvel at masterpieces from ancient India. This gallery is a fantastic starting point for your journey through Bihar’s rich history and heritage.
Bihar Museum has three history galleries, History Gallery A, Gallery B and Gallery C.
History Gallery A
History Gallery A will embark you on a chronological journey through time. This gallery presents a fascinating array of artifacts, meticulously organized to showcase the rich history of the region. Starting from the Prehistoric and Post historic periods, you’ll delve into the Early Bihar era and explore the eras of the Magadha, Maurya, and Ashoka Dynasties.
But that’s not all; this gallery also provides a detailed exploration of the evolution of Buddhism and Jainism. You’ll find an impressive collection of artifacts from the Harappan Civilization, also known as the Indus Valley civilization, as well as the second urbanization and Haryanka period. These artifacts offer a glimpse into the advanced technology and sophisticated lifestyles of the people of that era.
The time span covered by this gallery ranges from the fourth century BCE to the first century BCE, encompassing the reign of three major Indian dynasties: the Mauryas, the Nandas, and the Shishunagas. As you explore further, you’ll come across fragments of railings from various ancient Stupas, adorned with depictions of significant episodes from the lives of Buddha and Mahavira. History enthusiasts of all ages will find this gallery both informative and captivating.
History Gallery B
Gallery B offers a treasure trove of insights into key historical periods. Here, you’ll discover fascinating details about the Gupta Dynasty, the Pala Dynasty, the teachings of Mahavira, and the captivating era of the Mughal Empire, which marks the medieval period in India’s history.
Within this gallery, you’ll also find a Visible Gallery, showcasing an impressive array of terracotta artifacts. These treasures are sourced not only from Bihar but also from various other regions across India. It’s a captivating journey through time and culture, waiting for you to explore.
History Gallery C
Step into History Gallery C, where you’ll encounter a captivating display of artifacts from Medieval Bihar, the Delhi Sultanate, and the Bengal Sultanate, including the Sur Dynasty. Additionally, this gallery provides intriguing exhibits that shed light on the British Accession period.
Within this gallery, you’ll also find a special section dedicated to Coin Storage. Here, a fascinating collection of coins from days gone by is thoughtfully presented for your exploration and enjoyment. It’s a journey through history that’s both educational and engaging, making it a must-visit during your museum experience.
At the Bihar Museum in Patna, young explorers have a dedicated space known as the Children’s Gallery. Inside this engaging area, children can explore six distinct experiential learning zones: the Orientation Room, the Wildlife Sanctuary, History sections, the Arts section, the Culture section, and the Discovery section.
In the Orientation Room, young minds have the opportunity to delve into natural environments through interactive exhibits, captivating images, and informative graphics. This immersive experience helps them grasp concepts like climatic changes, endangered species, and Bihar’s rich history.
But it’s not just about learning; this gallery also offers a range of fun activities for children. The exhibits bring various concepts to life through storytelling and dramatic recreations, utilizing a variety of tools and visual aids to make learning engaging and interactive.
Among the exhibits, you’ll find a simulated Asian paradise flycatcher, the majestic Indian giant flying squirrel, as well as animals, birds, trees, and plants native to Bihar. This gallery is designed with family learning in mind, with most exhibits encouraging active participation from both children and their families. It’s a place where young learners can have fun while expanding their knowledge.
The gallery has curated exhibitions of Crafts, folk culture and traditions of Bihar.
The gallery’s main attraction is the Didarganj Yakshi.
Bihari Diaspora gallery
At Bihari Diaspora Gallery, you can delve into the remarkable contributions of Bihari people in shaping the history and culture of distant lands where they settled. This gallery offers a historical perspective on the relocation of Biharis to countries such as Mauritius and Bangladesh. Some journeyed as laborers during the early days of the East India Company, while others embarked on their own explorations.
Activate an interactive map to trace the origins of Bihari culture, explore trade routes, and learn about the diaspora’s dispersion across foreign lands. In addition to exploring the past, you’ll also uncover contemporary stories of Bihar’s people, their achievements, and their global engagements. This allows you to gain insights into the significant influence Bihar has exerted on the world.
Despite facing challenging circumstances, both ordinary Biharis and notable figures from Bihar have left an indelible mark on the history, culture, and society of India. Their journeys and endeavors have shaped destinies far and wide, making this gallery a must-visit for a deeper understanding of Bihar’s global impact.
Visible storage gallery
Beyond the captivating galleries, the Bihar Museum offers a variety of amenities to enhance your visit. You’ll find a dedicated publication and education section, a sales counter for souvenirs, and a welcoming cafeteria, making it a well-rounded experience.
For those craving authentic Bihari cuisine, don’t miss out on dining at The Potbelly, a delightful restaurant located within the museum premises. It’s the perfect place to savor the flavors of Bihar during your museum adventure.
Exhibit at the Museum
When visitors step into the Bihar Museum in Patna, they are welcomed with an informative orientation tour. This tour offers a comprehensive introduction to the museum, complete with a map highlighting the galleries and exhibits, including Historical Art, Regional Art, Visible Storage, Bihari Diaspora, and Contemporary Art.
During this orientation, visitors also have the opportunity to delve into the rich history of Bihar, starting from prehistoric times. It’s an exploration of how archaeologists unearth and interpret historical data, brought to life through an engaging Orientation Movie.
This film covers key archaeological sites such as the Mesolithic remains in Munger, the Taradih Neolithic site in Bodhgaya, the Chirand settlements in Saran, the Chalcolithic site of Sonepur in Gayr, and the remarkable painted rock-cut cave shelters found in Kaimur, Nawada, and Jamui.
Moving on, the History Galleries within the museum provide a detailed narrative of various dynasties, their ascendancy, rule, and eventual decline. Here, you’ll find valuable insights into the spread of Buddhism and Jainism, as well as the histories of significant dynasties like the Gupta Dynasty, Mauryan Dynasty, Ashoka, Magadha, Pala Dynasty, and the Mughal Empire.
Beyond history, the Bihar Museum boasts an impressive collection of regional, historical, and contemporary art, including ancient coins and a captivating array of terracotta artifacts and sculptures. It’s a journey that takes you through time and culture, making your visit to the museum a truly enriching experience.
Lopez Design Pvt. Ltd, the branding and wayfinding signage consultants for Bihar Museum, earned recognition with several prestigious awards for their outstanding work on the museum’s brand identity. Notably, they received the iF Design Award, the German Design Award, and the Kyoorius Inbook Award in 2016 for their exceptional booklet “I am Bihar Museum,” winning in the Writing for Design category.
In December 2019, the museum achieved further acclaim by receiving the GRIHA Award, along with an impressive five-star rating. GRIHA, which stands for Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment, signifies the museum’s commitment to sustainable and eco-friendly practices. These accolades are a testament to the museum’s dedication to excellence in design and environmental responsibility.
How To Reach Bihar Museum
Bihar Museum is located on Bailey Road (Jawaharlal Nehru Road) in Patna and is easily accessible via Patna Roadways.
By Train: 4.2 KM away from Patna Junction Railway Station
By Air: 5 KM away from Jay Prakash Narayan Airport
Bihar Museum Address
Address : Jawahar Lal Nehru Marg, Bailey Road, Veerchand Patel Road Area, Patna, Bihar 800001
Bihar Museum Timing
Timings : 10:30 AM – 05:00 PM ( Monday Closed)
Breaks : From 01:00PM To 01:30PM For Lunch
Bihar museum Entry Fee
To explore the Bihar Museum, here’s a breakdown of the entry fees:
- For adults, it’s Rs 100, while children can enter for Rs 50.
- Educational groups of students can visit for Rs 25 per person, and foreigners are charged Rs 500.
- If you plan to capture the memories with your camera, both mobile and DSLR cameras are permitted for photography and videography.
- However, please note that there is an additional charge of Rs 100 for camera usage. This way, you can make the most of your visit to the museum while keeping these fee details in mind.
Bihar Museum : FAQs
Is Bihar Museum free for students?
Students can enjoy a discount at the Bihar Museum, provided they present their original ID card. This discount grants them a 50% reduction from the regular fee, which is currently set at Rs 100. So, with your valid student ID, you can make the most of this offer and explore the museum at a discounted rate of Rs 50.
On which day Bihar Museum is closed?
On Monday Bihar Museum remains closed.
Is there a restaurant for food and drink inside the Bihar Museum?
Yes, the restaurant is there which serves tasty food but of course. All kinds of food like fast food, Chinese food, and Indian food are available.
Is car parking available near Bihar Museum or not?
Car parking is available near Bihar Museum.
Who designed Bihar Museum?
Architect Fumihiko Maki designed the Bihar Museum in Patna
When was Bihar Museum opened for public?
It was partially opened in August 2015. ‘The children’s museum’, the main entrance area, and an orientation theatre were the only parts opened to the public in August 2015.
Places to visit near Bihar Museum
- Patna Museum
- Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalaya
- Gol Ghar
- Agam Kuan
- Sanjay Gandhi Botanical Park
- Martyr’s Memorial
- Khuda Baksh Oriental Library
- Srikrishna Science Centre
- Buddha Smriti Udyaan
- Indira Gandhi Planetarium
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