Archaeological Museum, Sarnath

Archaeological Museum, Sarnath

Archaeological Museum, Sarnath

Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh

M: 09410546420, 0542-2595095 (o), 0542-2595095 Ext. 23

F: 0542-2595096

E: [email protected], [email protected]

It is the oldest site museum of Archaeological Survey of India, preserving and showcasing the antiquities excavated from Sarnath. In 1905, this museum was initiated adjacent to the excavated area at Sarnath following the suggestions of Sir John Marshall, then Director General of Archaeology in India. There are five galleries & two verandahs representing antiquities from third century B.C. to twelfth century A.D. excavated at Sarnath, prominently from Mrigadava, the site of Buddha’s first sermon. The northern gallery is named as Tathagata while following it is the Triratna gallery. The main hall as Shakyasimha gallery has Trimurti gallery towards its south. The gallery towards the southernmost direction is named as Ashutosh gallery. Verandas on northern and southern side are called Vastumandana and Shilparatna respectively.

About the collection : Among its iconic collection, the Lion Capital of the Mauryan Pillar which has become the National Emblem of India forms the most important part. Furthermore the images of Buddha and Tara, the inscribed standing images of Bodhisattva in red sand stone dedicated by Bhikshu Bala, seated Boddhisattva Padmapani, stele depicting miracle of Sravasti, stele depicting Astamahasthana (eight great places) related to Buddha’s life, depiction of Ramgrama Stupa being protected by Nagas, Inscriptions of Kumardevi also form focus. The sculptural school of Sarnath with image of Buddha in preaching mode forms another iconic artifact of this museum.

Brahmanical deities like Shiva in different forms, Vishnu, Ganesh, Kartikeya, Agni, Parvati, Navagrahas, Bhairava and a Andhakasuravadha (killing of demon Andhaka) by Shiva showcase other major collection amidst a lintel depicting story of Shantivadina Jataka as a beautiful work of art affirms special mention.