Founded in the year 1971, Nalanda Archaeological Museum has excavations from Rajgir and Nalanda, an ancient university and a monastic complex. There are around 13463 antique items here, out of which 349 are displayed in the 4 main galleries. The archeological items that were found from Nalanda can be traced back between 5th to 12th centuries AD. However, those brought from Rajgir are even older. Museum consists of sculptures and statues that are in stucco, stone, terracotta and stucco though majority are in Basalt stone. Images and paintings found here belong to Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism.
The main gallery has 16 sculptures including Buddha in Varad, Samantbhadra, Bhumisparsh posture, Trailokya Vijay, Maitreya, Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, Nagaraj, Samantbhadra and Parshvanath. On the entry gated of the central hall, a scale model of Nalanda remains is installed.
The first gallery has 57 sculptures and images out of some of the important ones include miracle of Sravasti, Goddess Laxmi, Lord Ganesha, Buddha in varad mudra, Vaishali-miracle, Surya, Heruka, Marichi, Rishabhanath and Shiva-Parvati.
The second galley of Archaeological Museum in Nalanda houses 147 assorted objects made including inscriptions, stuccos, terracotta and iron implements. Some of the displays that are worth mentioning here include stone inscriptions of Yashovarmana, terracotta seal saying Sri ‘, Nalanda Mahavihariya arya bhikshu sanghasya’, fragmentary tablet of Nidanasutta, stone inscriptions of Yashovarmana, Dharmachakra, terracotta tiles with swastika, charred rice samples and Stupas with peepal leaf motifs. Another noteworthy display here is a multi-spouted pot that points out towards serpent worship in Rajgir.
The third gallery houses 93 bronze specimens including those from Hinduism as well as Buddhism. There are images of God Surya, Lord Ganehsa, Lord Vishnu and Indrani, Kamadeva, 2 Buddha images in boon-giving and earth touching posture, a Buddhist temple, Bodhisattava padmapani, Loknath and more.
In the fourth gallery , there are around 36 images and stone sculptures comprising of Lord Vishnu, Marich, Padmapani Bodhisattvas, crowned Lord Buddha in preaching pose, Kinnaras worshipping kalpadrum along with others.
There is a separate shed in the museum that has 2 huge jars (belonging to 1st century CE) that were found in the monastic complex at Nalanda. The other possessions include bronze and terracotta items, images, copper plates, pottery and stone sculptures.
Timings:10.00 AM to 5.00 PM (Closed on Friday)
Indians and visitors of SAARC (Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Maldives and Afghanistan) and BIMSTEC Countries (Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Myanmar) - INR 5 per head
INR 100 per head
(Free entry to children up to 15 years)