Children’s Section
4,00,000 BCE

From Pre-history
to Proto-history

The dawn of civilization: first stone tools, early rock art in Bihar, farming in Chirand; discovery of copper and birth of Indus cities. The Aryans arrive. Vedic hymns are composed.
    600 BCE

    Rise of the Mahajanapadas

    Of the 16 Mahajanapadas, Magadha emerges supreme. Rajagriha becomes capital. First coins are minted. Mahavira is born. Buddha attains enlightenment. Ajatashatru’s fort Pataligrama marks the future city of Pataliputra.
      362 BCE

      Nandas: War and Peace

      The Nandas conquer Magadha and build a mighty army, attempting the earliest empire. Agriculture and irrigation advance. Greek conqueror Alexander reaches Punjab. His exhausted army refuses to advance further.
        323 BCE

        Mauryans: The First Empire

        Chandragupta Maurya overthrows the Nandas, aided by astute counsel Chanakya, writer of Arthashastra. Ashoka establishes largest empire of India. Kalinga War violence turns Asoka to Buddhism. He inscribes dhamma edicts.
          185 BCE

          Shunga: New Trends in
          visual arts and architecture

          The Shungas seize Magadha. Buddhism spreads far and wide. Stories are sculpted on railings of Mahabodhi Temple, Bodh Gaya. Buddhist art depicts Buddha through symbols as footprints and Empty Throne.

            Kushana: Cross-cultural encounters

            Kushana Empire stretches from Afghanisthan to Gangetic plain. Gandhara and Mathura become dominant art centres; Buddha is depicted in human form. Trade through Silk Route expands culture. Buddhism travels east.
              320 CE

              Gupta: Age of creativity
              and prosperity

              Chandragupta strengthens his kingdom with a Licchavi alliance. Gupta political influence spreads. Fa Hien visits India. Art, culture and learning reach unsurpassed heights with Nalanda and works of Aryabhatta and Kalidasa.
                606 CE

                Vardhana: A transitory phase

                Gauda King Sasanka rules over Magadha. After his death, King Harshavardhana gains control. He is a great patron of arts. Hieun Tsang visits Nalanda and Bodh Gaya, writing important travel accounts.
                  755 CE

                  Pala: Zenith of
                  intellectual exchange

                  Pala dynasty rule Bihar and Bengal. Vikramshila and Odantapuri universities are founded. Kurkihar becomes centre for metal art. Pala stone sculpting develops. Other Tantric forms of Buddhism develop, as Vajrayana.
                    1206 CE

                    The Sultanates: Delhi becomes the new centre of power

                    The Delhi Sultanate marks the beginning of Muslim rule in India; successive dynasties rule Bihar from Delhi and Bengal. Bhakti and Sufi movements gain momentum. In 1526, Babur establishes Mughal Empire.

                      Sher Shah Suri:
                      The Afgan interlude

                      Afghan Sher Shah Suri defeats Mughal Emperor Humayun and becomes ruler of India. His achievements include consolidation of the major route Sadak-e-Azam, today Grand Trunk Road. He issues the silver Rupiya.
                        1556 CE

                        Mughal: Consolidation
                        of Mughal Rule

                        Akbar becomes Emperor of India. Abu’l Fazl’s Ain-i-Akbari records Bihar as an important province under Mughal rule. British set up textile factory in Patna. Guru Gobind Singh is born in Patna.
                          1717 CE

                          Nawabs of Bengal and British accession to power

                          Winning the Battles of Plassey and Buxar, in1757 and 1764, the British East India Company take control of Bihar, Bengal and Orissa. Patna becomes an international trading centre. Golghar granary is built.
                            1858 CE

                            British Raj:
                            Archaeological exploration

                            British Crown takes over reign. Prinsep deciphers ancient scripts. Cunningham begins excavations at Nalanda and Bodh Gaya. Mauryan pillared hall is discovered at Kumrahar,1912. Bihar Province is created in 1936.
                              1947 CE

                              Independent India

                              Dr. Rajendra Prasad of Bihar is the first President of the Republic of India in 1950.

                                Story of my architecture

                                I am the Bihar Museum! I welcome you to explore my treasures and artefacts in my galleries, rooms, corridors and courtyards! I am situated on a 13.5 acre plot on Bailey Road in Patna. The total built-up area is 24,000 square metres and the total gallery spaces add up to an area of 9500 square metre. For this project, Maki and Associates of Japan teamed up with OPOLIS Architects of Mumbai, India.

                                Life is all about experience. Every second, in fact every nano-second, we are continuously experiencing. Even if we are not consciously thinking about it, we can feel, smell, touch, hear and see. How beautiful it is, this capacity to experience! It is what mothers teach their children and how teachers shape their students. I was built by my architects fundamentally for all visitors to experience history. You will enter the magical worlds of kings, poets, saints and countrymen, the history of times gone and many transformations.

                                Japanese architects Maki and Associates were selected through a competition. The design they submitted was unique for several reasons. For one, they saw my building as an Expanse. They wanted visitors to feel the sense of time by walking through spaces to understand the context of history in the present moment. They also envisaged travelling through me as in a Journey to show the epic scope of the narratives of history. I have a dispersed plan and I am stretched out long, not high, just two floors. Maki and Associates brought in the concept of ‘Oku’ to enhance your perception. You will move from cloistered spaces to open spaces, alternating between anticipation and contemplation.

                                More than 2000 years ago people in this region worked with metals and had developed advanced techniques compared to other parts of the world. The architects saw me as a Symbol of pride. The iron pillar in Delhi is estimated to have been made by a Gupta king. The pillar’s mix of metals has retained it rust-free. Hence, Maki and Associates sought to use Cor-ten steel plates as cladding to enhance my building in a permanent way, reminding people of the origins of metallurgy in this region.

                                Last, but not least, I am a place of Learning. This is my primary function – an institution reflecting Bihar’s pride where people can discover various facts and become informed about the rich history and natural history of this region. It was from here the seed was sown for the Tree of Wisdom to grow. Rulers from this very land once united the greatest empires of ancient India. I am built for people to come and explore, to make many trips to see me again and again and each time to learn or find something different. Through Expanse, Journey, Symbol and Learning Landscape, you will have many experiences of my spaces. Come, visit and explore!



                                ALL DAYS: 10:30am - 5pm
                                MONDAY CLOSED.

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                                +91 0612 2235732



                                Jawarlal Nehru Marg (Bailey Road),
                                Patna, Bihar 800001, India

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                                Children’s Section