Odisha State Museum, located in Bhubaneswar, the capital city of Odisha, is the archive of Odisha's greatest mysteries. From ancient coins to the history of wars fought in Odisha, you can find everything in one place.
How to reach Odisha State Museum
The museum is located near Kalpana Square, in front of the Buxi Jagabandhu statue. Or you can say at the opposite side of the Utkala Kanika Galleria.
Entry to the complex requires an entry ticket, which costs around Rs. 20/- per person and if you are thinking about taking some photographs, you have to buy a separate ticket. Taking pictures without it is strictly prohibited in some sections.
A beautiful and well-maintained garden surrounds the building. Once you enter the campus, you can find the parking area on the right side. Then you can walk into the building entrance. You can find the location on the map below:
In front of the main building, there is a sculpture of two peacocks sitting on a tree branch, which looks so beautiful. At the gate, you can find a statue of a woman with exposed upper half, welcoming you to the museum.
Once you enter the building, you can find a sculpture with Buddha's face on it, a replica of the Gateway of Ratnagiri mahavihar. There are two paths on both sides of it, out of which the right one is for entry, and the left one is for the exit. You have to go through the right one.
Now, let's explore the different sections inside the museum.
The Foundation store of the museum
President of Indian Union, Dr. Rajendra Prashad laid the foundation stone of the Odisha state museum on the 29th of December 1957 at the request of Dr. Harekrushna Mahatab, the chief minister of Odisha at that time. You can find all these details on the board that is placed at the entrance of the museum.
The first room: Sadhabas, Kalinga War, and Muktheshwara temple
Once you have entered the first room, you can find a beautiful sculpture describing the journey of the sadhabas, the ancient miners from Kalinga. They used to travel to distant lands like Java, Sumatra, Bali, and other Indonesian places for business purposes. And to celebrate that there were people celebrate with boita bandanna every year on Kartika Purnima. On the Sculpture, you can find those other words at the center of the structure, working on a ship called a Boita in Odia.
You can also see their wives cheering them and praying for their born voyage and successful business trip.
On the left side of the same room, you can find a sculpture describing the Kalinga war fought between the army of Kalinga and the army of Ashoka the great. You can find a culture where you can see the current conversion of Ashoka to Buddhism. Or you can say the transformation from Chandashoka to Dharma Ashoka.
Also, in front of you, you can find a miniature sculpture of the Mukteshwar Temple. You can find its Torana, which is famous for its one-of-a-kind architecture and Kalingan temple designs.
The rooms filled with statues
Next to the first room is another room or a hallway containing hundreds of ancient statues and structures. Some of them deteriorated due to external damages or aging. You can find statues of Ganesha, Natraj, Chamunda, and lots of other Hindu deities. Some of those statues are more than 500 years old, and they are collected from three different places of Odisha. Just for a quick note, photography and videography are not allowed inside this room without a permit. For our blog, we took permission from the guard over there and started taking a photograph.
Section with older Odia manuscripts and the ancient coins
There is a section in the museum where you can find the development of the Odia language and its alphabets and the number system. Everything is carved on stones. As in ancient times, there was no other way to preserve writings. Our ancestors Jews Craving things on the rocks away to pass the information from one generation to another.
Next to the room, another room contains the coins dating back from Samrat Chandragupta Maurya's time. You can find coins Issued by different dynasties in Odisha at varying times, including the coins issued by Mughals and Britishers.
Learn about Odisha's geology
On our trip, we also visited the Geology section in the Odisha state museum. It contains a collection of precious minerals and ores available in Odisha. For example, different varieties of coal, Bauxite, fake gold, iron ores, etc. And the information provided over here is very informative as well. For example, in the corner of the room, you can find the small design of a Coal mine. Next to it, a table holds the small format of the steel plant, most probably the Rourkela steel plant.
Apart from the sections mentioned above, there are sections for living creatures in Odisha, including the Elephant tusk section, a section with different art and craft designs, old Odia movies, etc. Now, writing everything on this blog post will take some time. We will keep improving the blog with additional content, but you can always visit the museum and explore the place!