About India States of India Hindi Literature Religion Art & Culture About Us Contact Us Privacy Policy

Bihar Museum Patna Bihar

Bihar Museum is a museum located in Patna. It was partially opened in August 2015. Later, in October 2017 remaining galleries were also opened. More than 100 artifacts were transferred here from Patna Museum.

Bihar Museum Patna Bihar

Bihar Museum is a museum located in Patna. 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. Later, in October 2017 remaining galleries were also opened. More than 100 artifacts were transferred here from Patna Museum. Patna is a city with a storied past and this land saw the advent of many glorious civilizations. The history of this city unravels like a ball of thread that surprises you with twists and turns as we travel over two millennia. The Patna Museum established in 1917 will soon turn a century old along with the date of discovery of its most cherished and visited artefact – the world famous Didarganj Yakshi, a statue of monumental Mauryan vision. In the state of Bihar, the need for a new museum was seriously felt, the Patna Museum having limitations, both in physical space as well as in its design and methods of presentation. Department of Art, Culture and Youth, State of Bihar (DACY) proposed a new Museum on Bailey Road on the site west of the Patna Museum. Commonly known as the Jadu Ghar, literally house of magic, to most residents of Bihar, the Patna Museum has celebrated artefacts and collections. Many of these objects of history and art are relocated to the new Museum with the vision of making it a central focus to celebrate the glorious history of this region, a catalysing force that united ancient India. With this in mind, based on competitive bidding, the world's largest and leading firm, Lord Cultural Resources were commissioned to do the planning of a world-class Museum in Patna.

The existing Patna Museum was the starting point for the new Museum and the vast collections from the Patna Museum were carefully researched and analysed. It was decided to keep much of the natural history as part of the interpretation of that existing Museum as the large silicified tree that was cemented into the ground. This also became the signifier of the natural history collection at the present Patna Museum. At Patna Museum, it was proposed new exhibits would be added, exploring the modern history of Bihar from the colonial period forward, with a focus on the heroism of the struggle for independence and the achievements of Bihar and India since Independence.

The direction for the new Bihar Museum was provided by the Chief Minister and senior levels of the Bihar State government. The Bihar Museum will focus on human history. The permanent collection galleries of the Bihar Museum have two basic components – the history galleries and the art gallery. There are also the Orientation Gallery and Special Displays. From the collections culled from the existing Patna Museum, the Bihar Museum represents artistic heritage from ancient times, thematically as works of art. There are dedicated areas on the tribal arts, crafts and performing arts of the various regions of Bihar.

The Museum is visualized especially keeping the needs of Bihari residents in mind, to create a sense of belonging for people of the State and to create an inspiring environment for children and youth to learn and progress. It attracts a crowd from world over and is an exciting tourist destination and cultural hub. The exhibits and displays are tailored to create interactive spaces and people are encouraged to make repeat visits.

Vision and Mission of Bihar Museum

The vision for the new Museum is to be a world-class showcase for the ancient history and heritage of the lands now known as Bihar. It will be a destination for resident Biharis and also for domestic and international tourists alike. The mission of the new Museum is to celebrate this ancient past and to inculcate a sense of pride in modern-day Biharis.


In July 2011, the Bihar Government signed a Memorandum of understanding with Canada-based consultancy firm Lord Cultural Resources in July 2011 to appoint them as the museum planning consultants for the project. In January 2012, following an international architectural competition, Japan-based Maki & Associates and its Indian partner OPOLIS, Mumbai were appointed as the primary consultant architect for the project. The completed museum is spread over 5.6 hectares, having 24,000 square meters of built area. Lord Cultural Resources designed the exhibitions in the museum's nine permanent galleries. Artefacts from ancient India to 1764 are on display in Bihar Museum's permanent gallery, while those of the post-1764 period are on display at the older Patna Museum. The 2300 year old Didarganj Yakshi is among the highlight exhibits in the Bihar Museum.

Location of Bihar Museum

It is located in Patna, the capital city of the East Indian state of Bihar. Its exact location is on the southern flank of Jawaharlal Nehru Marg, Bailey Road, in Patna. It is spread over an area of 13.9 acres. The site of the proposed museum was earlier occupied by seven old bungalows between LN Mishra Institute and Hartali Mor in Bailey Road. Later in March 2013, the building construction department demolished all the bungalows. Architecture of Bihar Museum

For the design of the Museum building, world renowned architectural firms were invited to submit their proposals and selection was on a competitive basis. Japanese firm, Maki and Associates submitted the winning concept, which they proposed to execute with OPOLIS Architects, based in Mumbai. Maki and Associates was established in 1965 by Fumihiko Maki in Tokyo after his 10-year stint in the USA. They are the recipients of many prestigious national and international awards. For the Bihar Museum, Maki outlined a concept that was appealing to the sensory experience, fitting with practical considerations and making provisions for the future growth of the establishment. The architects visualized the Museum as if viewing it through different lenses to expand on four different facets.

The design aimed to create: • The Museum as Expanse – a museum that reflects the many layers of Bihar's history.
• The Museum as journey – a museum that reflects the memories and epic scope of the Bihar region.
• Museum as Learning Landscape – a museum that reflects Bihar's educational needs and 4) Museum as Symbol – a museum that reflects both India's past and future.

Instead of a building that was compressed in floor area, Maki and Associates elaborated on the advantages of a dispersed scheme whereby the building was spread out and the surrounding landscape integrated harmoniously. This also allowed for the play of courtyards and terraces in the design, seamlessly alternating indoor spaces with outdoor. Wishing for the visitor to discover history by journeying through built spaces, the architects brought the Japanese concept of Oku to engage with the multiple layers of space. Oku creates a sense of anticipation and contemplation as visitors proceed from once space to the next. Maki and Associates have thus created a pleasurable and inviting experience, where stories of the past are enhanced by their adept and sensitive architectural philosophy. Every time you visit the Museum, it will be a renewed experience. From the rush of the world outside, time slows down within the spaces, allowing you to delve deeply into the well of the past.

Building on the idea of a journey through the "cloisters" of Bihar's memories, a variety of spaces open up to you: large and intimate, open and sheltered, indoor and outdoor. From this "macro-experience" the architecture allows you to get into the "micro-level" which allows a concentration into the exhibits. By creating contrasts in the exhibition spaces, the architecture breaks the monotony of the viewing experience. In-between, invigorating outdoor spaces like the Peepal Court, which is a triangular terrace and the Niranjana Aangan, which is a Buddha sculpture courtyard, bring natural elements to be integrated with architecture.

The spaces divide galleries into different specializations, also distinguishing the children's gallery with its own orientation section. The architecture constantly works to enhance the feeling of wonder and belonging to allow the visitor to explore and discover. The environment is thus envisioned as a learning landscape, a place that creates a sense of calm that is conducive to education.

The Museum as a symbol of Bihar penetrates the visitor's consciousness by its uniquely juxtaposed forms and building materials. Iron has links to India's ancient civilizations that thrived in this land and Maki has used weathering steel, also known as Cor-ten Steel, to enhance this symbolic connect with iron, industry and progress.

The architecture of the Museum thus works as a constructive shell for ordering the exhibits and to guide the visitor through a holistic process of learning and journeying through an expansive ground to discover the history of India and for each individual to connect with the greater symbolism.

Exhibits, Bihar Museum Patna Bihar

The Bihar Museum has several galleries. These include the Orientation gallery, the children gallery, the regional gallery, the contemporary gallery, the historical art galleries, the Bihari Diaspora gallery and the visible storage gallery. The exhibits on different subjects are displayed in separate galleries. Each gallery is huge and has many artifacts on display including ones dating back to the fourth century.

Orientation Gallery, Bihar Museum Patna Bihar

The gallery gives an overview of the Museum and a theatre is located at the end of the gallery. A brief film introducing the museum and its collections is screened in the auditorium regularly. Film shows on Bihar's timeline and Bihar's history are also shown.

Children's gallery, Bihar Museum Patna Bihar

Its collection of artefacts and exhibit items is divided into six domains: the Orientation Room, the Wildlife Sanctuary, the history sections on Chandragupta Maurya and Sher Shah Suri, the Arts and Culture section and the Discovery Room. Among the exhibits are a simulated the Asian paradise flycatcher, the Indian giant flying squirrel, animals, birds, trees and plants native to the state of Bihar. The gallery's focus is family learning; most exhibits are designed to be interactive, allowing children and families to actively participate.

Collection Section of Bihar Museum Patna Bihar

Bihar Museum's stores have a vast coin collection, bronze and stone sculptures, paper documents, thangkas, miniatures and costumes and an array of archaeological finds. These are divided in 7 storage sections according to subject matter and materials. In addition there is a workroom for organizing new acquisitions and a supply store.

• The Bihar Museum is the official repository of pre-1800 archaeological finds within the state and all future notable archaeological finds will be stored here.

• The Museum aims to continue to develop and grow its collection through research-based activities and potential partnerships with local, regional and national museums and repositories.

• The Museum will develop both display collections and study or research collections, but will limit collection growth by being selective about the materials it accessions into the collections.

• Cataloguing and digitization is an ongoing activity at Bihar Museum, which will enable proper utilization, records and conservation of the collections, made accessible to authorized personnel.

• Coin Vault -

Bihar Museum has a wide-ranging and significant coin collection – some 30,000 coins that range across the time of Pataliputra to the modern era including 500 gold coins. The Coin Gallery highlights the best of this collection.

• Bronze Sculptures -

The Museum is home to many fine bronze images, many which date from the post-Gupta era (6th-9th centuries). The oldest image reportedly dates from the Sunga period (ascendant after the fall of the Mauryan Empire, ca. 185 B.C.E.). As with stone sculpture, most of the subject matter is religious in nature, but the difference here is the relatively larger number of Jain images. (An excellent Mahivira image is on display on the second floor, along with other Jain tirthankaras) The Jain images are dated based on prior cataloguing as mostly from the Kushana and the early Gupta period. Bronze sculptures are much smaller than the stone sculptures, with a good deal of small bronze figurines in the collection.

• Paintings and Miniature -

The visual art collection consists of Rajasthani miniatures, miniatures of the Patna school and the Delhi school. Most date from the modern era (18th-19th centuries) as select Daniell Prints on display at the Historical Art Gallery.

• Thangkas/ Miniature/ Costumes Lab -

A collection of 37 Tibetan thangkas, date from the 15th to the 20th centuries, including one for every Dalai Lama of the period. These are interesting and significant, and are specially housed. Selections are displayed in the Buddhist Art of the Historical Art Gallery.

• Costumes/Textiles/Thangkas -

The Museum has small textile and costume collection not related to Bihar and select Tibetan costumes. These are limited to the recent period (19th and 20th centuries).

History galleries of Bihar Museum Patna Bihar

History Gallery A

The gallery has various artefacts from the Harappan Civilization also known as Indus Valley civilization, the second urbanization and Haryanka. The whole collection of this gallery represents the advanced technology and sophisticated lifestyle of the Harappan people. The gallery has objects from the fourth century BCE to the first century BCE. It has objects spanning three major dynasties of India; the Mauryas, the Nandas and the Shishunagas. The gallery also houses fragments of railings from various ancient Stupas that are carved on with episodes from Buddha's and Mahavira's life.

Explore the prehistory and protohistory of the Indian subcontinent with a focus on Bihar! Discover Indus Valley, the second urbanization, Buddhism and Jainism. Journey into the past to discover Haryanka, Shishunagas and Nandas. Witness the Mauryan Dynasty's rise and the grandeur of Ashoka's reign.

History Gallery B

History Gallery B has exhibits on the Sungas, the Kushanas and Kushana art, followed by the Gupta Empire, arts and culture. There is an exhibit on the Mundeshwari Temple and on Harshavardhana. The journey continues on to the Great Buddhist Mahaviharas, the Palas of Bengal and three sections on Pala sculptures.

History Gallery C

History Gallery C recreates Medieval Bihar, Delhi and Bengal Sultanates, the Mughals and Sur Dynasty, British Accession and battles for Bihar at Plassey and Buxar. Bihar during The Nawabs of Bengal, Patna School of Painting, Sufism in Bihar and Patna's connect with Sikhism are main sections.

Regional gallery

The gallery has curated exhibitions of Crafts, folk culture and traditions of Bihar.

Historical Art

The gallery's star attraction is the world-famous Didarganj Yakshi in Chunar sandstone from the Mauryan period. The exquisite craftsmanship of the Patna School Paintings, Bronzes, Buddhist and Jain art can be seen here. Other sections have Female Deities and Terracotta Artefacts, Hindu Deities and Daniell Prints, Thangka Paintings, Buddhist art and medieval Miniature Paintings.

Visible storage gallery

Apart from the galleries, there is publication and education section, sales counter, cafeteria etc. There is a restaurant for authentic Bihari cuisine, named as The Potbelly inside Bihar Museum.
The Visible Storage section displays priceless objects including an impressive collection of terracotta artefacts and sculptures. The Coin Storage takes you through a journey from the earliest currency of punch-marked coins to medieval coins

Bihari Diaspora

The Bihari Diaspora gallery provides the historic context of relocation of Biharis and recent stories that illustrate the influence Bihar has had around the world. It continues the narrative beyond the History Galleries taking the story of Bihar into the modern world.

Heritage tunnel to Patna Museum

In January 2023, Government of Bihar appointed Delhi Metro Railway Corporation Ltd as consultant for the construction of a 1.4-km-long proposed subway (heritage tunnel) between Bihar Museum and Patna Museum.


Bihar Museum's branding and wayfinding signage consultants Lopez Design Pvt. Ltd received multiple awards for their design for the museum's brand identity, including the iF Design Award, German Design Award and the Kyoorius Inbook Award 2016 in the Writing for Design category for its booklet I am Bihar Museum. In December 2019, the museum received the GRIHA Award along with a five-star rating. GRIHA stands for Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessmen

Read more!

Bihar Museum Patna Bihar