Monday, July 15, 2024

Tourism      Monuments      Museums & Memorials      Orissa     Bhubaneswar    

Odisha State Museum

Place : Bhubaneswar, Odisha.
Significance : It has a very good collection of archaeological exhibits excavated from east India.
Best Time to Visit : October to March.
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Orissa state Museum is situated in Bhubaneswar, the capital of Orissa. It is situated at the top of Lewis Road (Gautam Nagar) near Kalpana Square, at a distance of 2 kms from the Bhubaneshwar railway station. The museum, which was shifted to Bhubaneswar from Cuttack during the 1960s, has records of all important events in the state from the rule of Kharvela till date and is considered one of the oldest museums in the country.

The museum is famous for its huge collection of manuscripts on palm leaves. The history of the Orissa State Museum dates back to the year 1932 when two famous historians Professor N. C. Banerjee and Professor Ghanshyam Dash of Ravenshaw College, started the task of collecting archaeological treasures from various places which they housed within the premises of Ravenshaw College.

Initially,it was only an archaeological museum with a collection of sculptures ,terracotta, numismatics, copper plates and some variety of fine arts. Now the museum has more than 55,000 exhibits which are divided into sections that include archaeology, mining and geology, natural history, art and craft, contemporary art and anthropology. The collection includes musical instruments, rare palm leaf manuscripts, coins, copper plates, armoury, Orissan tribal artefacts, sculptures, costumes, inscriptions and stone carvings and is worth a visit.

These artifacts are arranged and displayed in various galleries namely Archaeology Gallery, Epigraphy and Numismatics, Armoury, Mining and Geology, Natural History, Art and Craft, Contemporary Art, Anthropology Gallery, Palm Leaf Gallery, The Patta Painting Gallery and Gopabandhu Gallery. Of these, palm leaf gallery located in the first floor at the end of the corridor is the most attractive one with a vast collection of rare palm-leaf manuscripts including the 12th century manuscript of devotional poem Gita Govinda.

Orissa (Odisha) State Museum also houses a library with a large collection of books, which is a destination point for researchers and scholars in different disciplines. Orissa State Museum is open for public on all days from 10am to 5pm. It will remains closed on Mondays and Government Holidays.

Archaeology Gallery

The archaeology gallery includes the collection of the civilization of ancient and medieval Kalinga that date back. The collection exhibited in three big halls of the gallery that date back between 3rd century BC and 13th century AD. This section displays sculptures of Buddhist, Jaina, and Brahmanical pantheons, Naga and Yaksha images, the Buddha image of Khadipada, Amoghasidhi of Udayagiri, Lokanatha from Bhubaneswar, Jaina Tirthankaras from Podasingidi and Charampa of Balasore district, Saptamatrukas from Dharmasala, the Dikpala figures from Bhubaneswar, Krishna-Vishnu of Dharmasala (a unique image symbolizing the fusion of Krishna and Vishnu in one), panels showing the Kaliyadalana scene, Vastraharana, transportation of elephants by boats etc. are some masterpieces of Orissan sculptural art.

Epigraphy and Numismatics

The early and medieval history of the State, as elsewhere in India, owes greatly to epigraphs and numismatics. The contribution of ancient Orissa in this context to Indian civilization is remarkable. The epigraphy gallery has the distinction of possessing original copper plate grants, stone inscriptions, a good number of plastercast impressions and estampages of the originals. These include the Bhadrakali stone inscription (2nd century AD), the Asanpat stone 8inscription (6th century AD) inscribed down below an eight armed Nataraja, the Jayrampur copper plate of Mahasamanta Achyuta, (the earliest grant in the collection) and the copper plate grants of the Sailodbhavas, Bhaumakaras, Bhanjas, Gangas and Gajapatis. These constitute very important source materials for research into the history and culture of the region. The numismatic treasures of the Museum consisting of Punch-marked coins of the pre-Mauryan and Mauryan age, Kusana and Puri-Kusana coins, Gupta gold coins, coins of Sri Nanda, Kalachuris, Yadava, Ganga fanams and silver coins of Mughal emperors throw considerable light on the history of the dynasties that issued them.

Entry Fee : Adult Rs.5/-; Child Rs.1/-; Foreigners Rs.50/-; Camera Rs.50/-