About ASI Nalanda Museum

Nalanda Museum established in the year 1917 is one of the most prestigious site-museums of Archaeological Survey of India. It houses antiquities found from the excavated site of Nalanda Mahavihara supposedly the earliest university cum monastery complex which flourished during 5th – 12th centuries of Christian era under the patronage of Gupta, Maukhari and Pala rulers. Later on few object collected from the neighbouring villages of Nalanda and few from Rajgir too were added to the treasures of this museum. There about 350 artifacts at display whereas more than thirteen thousand are kept in the reserve collection. Display includes stone images and sculptures, bronzes, stuccos, terracottas, inscription, iron objects, ivory & bone objects and potteries etc. arranged in four galleries and the main hall.

At present the museum has more than one thousand six hundred antiquities, out of which three hundred sixty or so are displayed and remaining have been preserved in the reserve collection. There are three galleries, and a corridor exhibiting the objects through pedestals and showcases.


The main hall exhibits master pieces of stone and two huge earthen storage jars. Twelve handed Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, about two meters high image of Samantabhadra, Nagaraj with seven serpent hood canopy, a colossal image of Buddha seated in dharmachakra mudra, a tantric deity Trailokyavijya trampling Shiva-Gauri, and Buddha seated in bhumisparsa mudra are worth mentioning specimens in this hall. The central space of the hall has been occupied by a scale model of the excavated site in a table showcase.