Nalanda At A Glance

Nalanda 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.

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.

About Gallery No. 1

Nalanda Gallery No. 01 exhibits stone images and sculptures of Buddhist, Jaina and Brahmanical faiths through wall showcases and pedestals. Khasarpana Avalokitesvara, tantric deity Heruka trampling Shiva, Aparajita trampling Ganesa, six headed Yamantaka, Marichi riding on chariot driven by seven pigs and a panel showing eight scenes of Buddha’s life are significant enough among Buddhist specimens whereas Shiva-Parvati, a bifacial panel showing Shiva Parvati & Kuber, Vishnu, Lakshmi and Revanta are Brahmanical highlights. Jaina images include Parsvanath and Rishbhnath, mounted on wooden pedestals shown in dhyana & kayotsarga postures respectively.

About Gallery No. 2

Gallery No. 2 is miscellaneous minor objects found during excavations such as seal-sealings, terracottas, brick-tiles, stucco objects, ivory and bone objects and iron implements etc. have been displayed in Gallery No.2. Terracotta seal with legend “sri nalanda mahaviha riyarya bhikshu sanghasya”, decorative swastika tile, iron padlock, terracotta tablet with pratitya samutpads sutta, sample of charred rice, stucco head of Buddha & Bodhisattva and a multi spouted pot found from Rajgir are noteworthy specimens in this gallery.

About Gallery No. 3

Gallery No. 03 is meant exclusively for the bronzes of Nalanda. Besides Buddhist sculptures such as Buddha in abhaya, varada & bhumisparsa mudra, Prajnaparmita, Tara, Loknath and many others, some Brahmanical deities like Vishnu, Ganesa, Surya, Kamadeva too have been displayed. The objects of day to day use like scepter, quiver, waist-band etc and some miniature stupas & temples of architectural interest have also been displayed in independent show cases.

About Gallery No. 4

Gallery No. 04 exhibits stone images of Buddhist interest like important events of Buddha’s life, Padmapani, Vajrapani, Tara, Marichi, Jambhala and two miniature temples. Two panels depicting Kinnaras worshipping Kalpavriksha and stone inscriptions of Purnavarman, Yasovarmadeva & Vipulsrimitra are the special attraction of this gallery.

"The Archaeological Site of Nalanda Mahavihara (Nalanda University) is included among the world heritage list of UNESCO (2016)."


A visit to Nalanda museum is infact a meaningful journey through the corridors of our glorious past.


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Entrance Of Nalanda Museum

The Beautiful Nalanda will start after this. People need to buy a ticket of Rupees 5 to take the view of the beautiful Nalanda Museum.


Archaeological Musuem Nalanda
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Campus Of Nalanda Museum

Campus of Nalanda Museum is also as beautiful as the monastries of Nalanda. You will find a beautiful garden with different types of trees and plants.


Archaeological Musuem Nalanda

Nalanda Museum Building

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Nalanda was very likely ransacked and destroyed by an army of the Muslim Mamluk Dynasty under Bakhtiyar Khilji in c. 1200 CE. While some sources note that the Mahavihara continued to function in a makeshift fashion for a while longer, it was eventually abandoned and forgotten until the 19th century when the site was surveyed and preliminary excavations were conducted by the Archaeological Survey of India. Systematic excavations commenced in 1915 which unearthed eleven monasteries and six brick temples neatly arranged on grounds 12 hectares in area. A trove of sculptures, coins, seals, and inscriptions have also been discovered in the ruins many of which are on display in the Nalanda Archaeological Museum situated nearby. Nalanda is now a notable tourist destination and a part of the Buddhist tourism circuit.


Archaeological Musuem Nalanda