Located in the heart of Patna, the Bihar Museum was inaugurated in 2015. It intended to create an engaging and appropriately scaled response to a prominent site—an ambitious and multi-faceted museum program. Supplementing the old Patna Museum (built in the late-1920s) with 24,000 sq. metres of new space, the Bihar Museum houses a rich variety of treasures from the region. It also has event and education spaces, which nurture a newfound sense of pride and connection to Bihar’s glorious history. The museum was designed by a Japanese firm called Maki and Associates, along with Mumbai-based Opolis Architects.
The permanent exhibitions in the Bihar Museum are showcased via four distinct yet interrelated exhibition areas. They are distinct because each area has its own communication tools, learning objectives, and display characteristics. But together they all respond to and express the museum's mission. The four exhibition areas are:
The Bihar Museum’s collection comprises of art objects (stone and bronze sculptures, miniature paintings, and thangkas), prehistoric objects, anthropological artefacts, and social history objects. The permanent collection galleries of the Bihar Museum have two basic components—the history galleries and the art gallery. The museum’s collection of artefacts and artworks on exhibit tell the story of Pataliputra and Bihar from ancient times to the 18th century. Some of the highlights of the museum include world-famous Didarganj Yakshi statue, a gallery dedicated to Mauryas, Nandas, Shaishunaga Dynasty, and the Indus Valley Civilisation.