Archaeological Museum at Nalanda Museum

Archaeological Museum at Nalanda-Bihar
The museum established in 1917 houses the antiquities mainly those excavated from Nalanda, the earliest university cum monastery complex and from Rajgir.  

Out of 13463 antiquities, 349 are on display in the four galleries of the museum. The antiquities from Nalanda are datable from 5th to 12th century AD but some of those from Rajgir are a little earlier in date. The sculptures kept in this museum are made of stone, bronzes, stucco and terracotta but majority of those have been carved on Basalt stone. Most of the images belong to Buddhist faith but those belonging to Jaina or Hindu religion are also quite good in number.

The key gallery displays sixteen sculptures among which Trailokya Vijay (a Vajrayana diety), Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, Maitreya, Buddha in Varad, Dharmachakra and Bhumisparsh posture, Samantbhadra, Parshvanath and Nagaraj are worth mentioning. A scale model of excavated remains of Nalanda University occupies the central place of the hall. There are fifty-seven images and sculptures displayed in the first gallery. Those of Khasarpana, Heruka, Marichi, Vagesvari, Vaishali-mircle, Buddha in varad mudra, miracle of Sravasti, Surya, Lakshmi, Ganesh, Shiva-Parvati, Kuber and Rishabhanath are significant ones.

The second gallery exhibits one hundred and forty-seven miscellaneous objects including terracotta, stuccos, iron implements and inscriptions. The terracotta seal with legend “Sri Nalanda Mahavihariya Arya bhikshu sanghasya”, the stone inscriptions of Yashovarmana, Purnavarman of Vipula Srimitra, fragmentary tablet of Nidanasutta, terracotta tiles showing swastika and kirtimukha, Dharmachakra, Votive Stupas in pipal leaf motiff and sample of charred rice are some noteworthy objects in this gallery. The central showcase exhibits a multi spouted pot related to serpent worship found from Rajgir.

In the third gallery altogether ninety-three specimens of bronzes have been displayed. Two images of Buddha in boon giving posture, Tara, Prajnaparmita, Loknath, Bodhisattava padmapani, Buddha in earth touching posture, depiction of a Buddhist temple, etc. are some important images related to Buddhist faith whereas images of Ganesh, Surya, Kamadeva, Indrani and Vishnu, etc. are examples of Brahmanical religion. Out of thirty-six stone sculptures and images kept in the fourth gallery.

Kinnaras worshipping kalpadrum (2 pannels), Vishnu, crowned Buddha in preaching pose with important events of his life, Buddha in Bhumisparsh-mudhra with eight events, Marichi, Vajrapni and Padmapani Bodhisattvas are worth mentioning. Two huge jars found from the monastic complex at Nalanda have displayed in a separate shed. A rich wealth of stone sculptures and images, terracotta, bronzes and other antiquarian objects are preserved in its reserve collection.
Location info:
Address:Archaeological Museum at Nalanda,Rajgir,Bihar,India
Nearest City:Rajgir
Best time to visit: October to March
Summer temperatures range between 20 to 37.8°C, while winters see temperatures between 8 – 25 °C. Temperatures can dip below this range though, and visitors should carry woolens during December to February. The Best time to visit is between October and March.
Established in 1971, the Nalanda archeological museum is situated in front of the ruins of the famous ancient learning centre of Nalanda. The archaeological museum of Nalanda(Bihar) possesses the treasures of Buddhism in the form of stuffs related to the Buddha. The museum has a rare and beautiful collection of Buddha’s bronze statues, copper plates, manuscripts, stone inscriptions, pottery, coins and images of Hindu Gods and Goddesses. With two terra cotta jars or pots (1st century CE) standing just behind the museum, the place also owns unique samples of burnt rice, which dates back to the 12th century CE. The museum remains closed on Fridays, while on other days the visitors are allowed to view the museum from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Interesting things to do:
Interesting things to Visit:
The Nalanda University Archaeological Complex:
The Archaeological complex where once the great Nalanda University stood covers an area of nearly 14 hectares. The complex is dotted with exquisitely maintained gardens and red brick buildings. Looking at these buildings which are divided by a central walkway running from north to south, one gets the idea that the university was build in Kushana style of architecture. Monasteries are towards the eastern side whereas the Temples of Chaiyas are to the west. Temple No.3 is the most dominating in the complex and one can get a splendid view of the surroundings from its top. It is surrounded by many smaller stupas which are engrossed with numerous statues of Lord Buddha, some of which are partially destroyed.  

The Nalanda Archaeological Museum:
Situated to the opposite side of university complex, The Nalanda Archaeological Museum is among the most important attractions in Nalanda. The main display of the museum is the collection of numerous Buddhist and Hindu statues. The undamaged statues of Lord Buddha earn extra attention of the tourists. There are two gigantic terracotta jars behind the museum that date back to 1st century. Other items on display includes coins, copper plates, pottery, sample of burnt rice and stone inscriptions. The museum is open on all days except Friday between 10 am and 5 pm.

Nava Nalanda Mahavira:
Set up in year 1951, Nava Nalanda Mahavira is an international institute that attracts students from all corners of the world. Keeping the tradition of world class education alive, the institute imparts specialization in research and study of Pali literature and Buddhism. It is situated to the south of the complex of Nalanda University.

Surajpur Baragaon:
Situated on the north of Nalanda, this is a lake with a temple dedicated to Sun God. The temple houses number of statues of Buddhist and Hindu gods. Most impressive of them all is a 5 feet high statue of Goddess Parvati. The temple sees most rush of pilgrims during Indian month of ‘Vaishakha’ (April-May) and ‘Kartika’ (October-November). However the best time to visit the temple is during Chhath Puja which is the festival for worshiping Sun God. The colorful celebrations have to be seen to be believed.
Mobile range info:
How to reach?
Nearest Railway Station:Rajgir railway station at (12 km)
Nearest Airport:Patna airport at 89 km
Road Transport:Nalanda is connected by good road with Rajgir 12 km, Bodh Gaya 110 km, Gaya 95 km, Patna 90 km, Pawapuri 26 km, Bihar Sharif 13 km etc.
Nearest Visiting places:
Bodhi Tree:
This tree is worshipped as holy, divine and as a giver of enlightenment and wisdom. It is under this banyan tree (a pipal tree) that Lord Buddha meditated after renouncing all worldly pleasures and attained wisdom and divine enlightenment.The present Bodhi Tree is probably the fifth succession of the original tree under which the Buddha had attained enlightenment. Vajrasana (the posture in which he meditated), the seat of stability, is a stone platform on which the Buddha is supposed to have sat in meditation gazing east, under the Bodhi tree.  

Mahabodhi Temple:
Buddhism is today a world renowned religion. It is this temple that witnessed the divine enlightenment of Gautama Siddartha who renounced all worldly pleasures to find the answers to the questions that stirred his soul. He meditated under a pipal tree here and attained insight and wisdom that he preached to the world. This tree is also referred to as the “Bodhi tree”. A visit to this holy place will explain to you why the UNESCO declared it as a World heritage site in the year 2002.The Mahabodhi Temple, Bodhgaya built around 6th-7th centuries, is the largest but is a later structure constructed on the site of the Bodhi Shrine of Buddha. This temple was constructed by the famous Emperor Asoka who embraced Buddhism after feeling guilty of leading a life of war and destruction.
The temple is 170 ft high consisting of nine storeys of pyramidal towers. The structure has a stupa shaped dome at the top. At the base of the main tower are four towers at each of the four corners. On the edifice are several niches with Buddha images depicting scenes from his life. As you enter the temple you can see the main shrine which is built where Buddha attained Enlightenment. The place is called “the Navel of the Earth” (puthavinabhim) where Buddha gained wisdom, knowledge and light and later experienced this joy of liberation for the next seven days sitting there.

It is situated at a distance of about 16 Kms west of Saharsa in village Mahishi where an ancient temple of Bhagwati Tara is built. The idol of Bhagwati Tara is said to be very old and draws devotees from far and wide. On either side of the main deity, there are two smaller female deities which are worshipped by the people as Ekjata nad Nil Saraswati.

Chandika Sthan at BIRATPUR:
Biratpur village under Sonebarsa block of this district is famous for an ancient temple of goddess Chandi. This village is also associated with King Birat of the Mahabharat age. During exile the Pandavas had lived here for 12 years.The tantric Scholars and devotees attach much significance to this Chandi temple, which is said to form an equilateral triangle (TRIK) WITH Katyayani temple near Dhamhara ghat and Tara temple at Mahishi. During the Navratra people from distant places visit the village to offer prayers to the goddess of power.

Madan Bharti Asthan:
The place is situated in Mahishi Block. It is said that a religious discourse (Shastrath) was held between Shankaracharya and the local scholar Mandan Mishra. Bharti, wife of Madan Mishra, who was also a great scholar, was named as Judge for the discourse. It is also said that Shankaracharya, after his initial victory over Madan Mishra was challenged by Bharati, was outwitted by her and he (accepted defeat).

SUN Temple at Kandaha:
Like Deb (in Aurangabad district), the SUN Temple at Kandaha village is an important religious and historical place which has been duly recognized by the Archaeological Survey of India. The idol of sun god riding seven horsed chariot, has been carved on a single granite slab. At the door of the sanctum sanctorum, there are inscriptions which a deciphered by historians, confirm that this sun temple was built during the period of king Narsimha Deo of Karnata dynasty who ruled over Mithila in the 12th century. It is said that a brutal Mughal emperor named Kalapahad had damaged the temple which was however renovated by the famous saint poet Laxminath Gosai.

Laxminath Gosai Sthal at Bangoan:
The famous saint and poet of which is hardly 9 Km away from the district head quarter. The huge bunyan tree under which the remains of Gosaiji have been preserved is the centre of great reverence for the people of the district.

Dewan Ban Mandir:
One Shiv Ling is established in the temple situated in Sahpur-Manjhoul of Nauhatta block. It is said that the Ling was established by Maharaja Shalivahan some time in 100BC. The Hindus celebrate a festival called jitiya after the name of Jimutbahan who was the son of Maharaja Shalivahan. Description of this place is found in Shri Puran. The ancient shrine at Dewan Ban was washed away by the turbulent Koshi river. The local people have however build another temple in the adjacent area.

It is an old village, important since the time of Mughals and is presently the head quarters of the block of the same name. The village has a ‘Shiva temple’ about 80 feet in height. The temple which was damaged in the earthquake of 1934 was reconstructed by Raja Srinand Singh of Srinagar Estate. There is a grave of Madho Singh on an earthen mound about 50 feet high. Madho Singh had become a martyr in the battle of Ladri Ghat. Offerings are made on he rave both by Hindus and Muslims.

Bihar School of Yoga:
Bihar School of Yoga houses a Yoga Research Library. Comprising of a well-stocked and large collection of books and data, the library is an asset in itself. Here, you will find the school’s publication on Yoga, health techniques and research, apart from other books on yoga. The school, located at Ganga Darshan, is built over a large hill overlooking the Utter-Vahini Ganga. The location of the training is very apt, as it provides the perfect ambience for the establishment of such a training centre.

Bhimbandh Wild Life Sanctuary:
Occupying an area of about 682 sq km, Bhimbandh Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the south-west of Munger District of Bihar. The sanctuary falls to the south of the river Ganges and is at a distance of 56 km from Munger. Besides being famous for its wildlife, the place is also well accounted for its hot water springs. These hot springs are basically found at the valley portion and the foothills of Bhimbandh.

Kharagpur Hills:
Kharagpur, in Munger District of Bihar, is a beautiful town at the foot of Kharagpur Hills. The main attraction of the town is the Ucheshwar Nath, a temple devoted to Lord Shiva. Kharagpur Lake, a large reservoir constructed by the Maharaja of Darbhanga, is just 3 km downtown. Malnipahar and Maruk hills are other spots worth visiting.
Nearest Petrol Pump:
Oil Petrol Pump:Near R’Block Railway Crossing,Nalanda,Bihar,India   Hp petrol pump:chouripar po noorsarai,new sarai,nalanda,Bihar,Indiaph:06112-42633
Rajgir Residency:Nalanda,Bihar,India  
Royal Residency:Nalanda,Bihar,India
Chanakya Hotel Patna:Bir Chand Patel,Patna,Bihar,India,Phone:(91)612-2220590
Hotel Patliputra Ashok:Patna,Bihar,India,Phone: 612-2226270
Things to carry:
Tips & Suggestions:
Help Line/Phone Number:
Police Station:100
Nearest Hospital:Nalanda Medical College Hospital:Patna,Bihar,India
Society/Community Phone Number: