Gaya Museum Alias Bodhgaya Museum
Location: Situated in the heart of the town of Gandhi Maidan, Gaya.Gaya
Museum- Gaya, 206 km from Patna, is an ancient Hindu and Buddhist pilgrimage
site. On view are ancient sculptures, bronzes and terracotta. There is a
section on numismatics, the decorative arts, paintings, manuscripts, arms and
armoury, geology and natural history.
Gaya, 206 Km from Patna is an ancient Hindu and Buddhist pilgrimage site.It is believed that Vishnu’s sacred footprint is preserved in the vishnupad temple. On view are ancient sculptures ,bronzes and terracotta. There is a section on numismatics, the decorative arts, paintings ,manuscripts ,arms and armoury, geology and natural history. The children’s section includes a dolls house.
Importance: The museum has been declared as Gaya Museum-cum-Magadh Cultural Centre with a view to collect, display and make available all the relevant information regarding living cultural heritage of the region under one roof.
The museum preserves about 2000 antiquities of varied nature. The rich collection of stone sculptures especially of Pala period is rare and outstanding. Besides, the Museum also possesses a good collection of coins of different periods (punch marked to medieval period coins), manuscripts, terracotta figurines ranging right from Mauryan to the Gupta period, Pala bronzes and other art objects. Among the important antiquities mention may be made of Visnu, danching Ganesha, Tara, Surya in stone, replica of Mahabodhi temple in bronze and Aa-ne-Akabari. The special attractions here are monuments of Pala period (750-1120 BC).
Besides these, there are coins of ancient times till Mughal era, old manuscripts, monuments from Mauryan to Gupta period, stone and bronze statues at the Gaya Musuem.
The museum was established in 1952 by a local lawyer Baldev Prasad, and was later acquired by the Bihar government and opened for public viewing on February 14, 1970.
The museum was established in the year 1956. The museum consists of two galleries and an open courtyard as well as two verandahs displaying the antiquities. The museum exhibits bronze and stone sculptures of Buddhist and Brahmanical faith of pala period, scenes related to Buddhist pantheon, Surya, Zodiac signs on railings of Sunga age, etc.
The first gallery exhibits sculptures including standing Yakshi figure having elaborate coiffure, crowned Buddha in Bhumisparsamudra, Maiterya, images of Buddha in different attitude, standing image of Manjusri, terracotta plaque depicting Buddha in Bhumisparshmudra, railing pillar depicting Surya, panel showing Sahasra Buddha, copper antimony rod, miniature pot, etc.
In second gallery are exhibited sculptures associated with Buddhist and Brahmanical faith. Among them mention may be made of panel showing Sapta matrika, Dikpalas, Dasavatara of Lord Vishnu.
The courtyard of the museum contains railing pillars, cross bars and coping stones which were shifted from Mahabodhi temple premises to the museum.
In outer verandah of the museum one colossal image of standing Buddha in abhayamudra and the varaha incarnation of Lord Vishnu is on display in the inner verandah.
District – Gaya
Commissionery – Magadh
Headquarter – Gaya
Sub-Division – Gaya Sadar, Sherghati, Tekari
Population – 26, 64,803 (27 Lacs)
Area – 4,941 Sq. Km
Sea Level – 113 Meter
Summer: 46°C – 18°C
Winter: 20°C– 4°C
Best Season – November – February
Road Route – 112 Km from Patna
Rail Route – Main Railway Station – Patna, Gaya
Nearest Railway Station – Gaya (16 Km),
(458 km from Kolkata; 220 km from Varanasi; 589 km from Puri)
Air Route – Main Airport – Patna
Nearest Airport – Gaya