Trip Planner:   Asia  /  India  /  Uttar Pradesh  /  Varanasi  /  Museums  /  Archaeological Museum
Archaeological Museum, Varanasi
(4.2/5 based on 150+ reviews on the web)
See the famous four-lions pillar of Ashoka featured on Indian flag at Archaeological Museum, the oldest site museum in the country. Established in 1910, the museum houses the findings and excavations at the Sarnath archeological site. Five galleries and two verandahs feature nearly 7,000 sculptures and artifacts with a particularly good collection of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas images. In addition to the 2,260 years old sandstone pillar, you can admire a seated 5th century seated Buddha, cross-legged with a halo, or a life-size image of a standing Bodhisattva with a lotus. Explore the open-air section of pillar bases and sculptures set in well-maintained gardens. Make Archaeological Museum a centerpiece of your Varanasi vacation itinerary, and find what else is worth visiting using our Varanasi family vacation planner.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • My wife and I visited the museum as part of a trip to Sarnath whilst visiting Varanasi during a tour of northern India. Located about 10km from Varanasi, Sarnath is a Buddhist pilgrimage centre, and i...  more »
  • This museum has some of the oldest artefacts and also the Asoka Emblem. Its very well kept and has various sections showing the paintings, sculpture and implements in use during the 1st century CE and...  more »
  • A very well stocked museum of the archaeological findings from 3rd century. Those hwo love history, this place is a must. All you see need to keep in your mind as no photography is allowed inside. Tho...  more »
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  • अति सुंदर अति स्वच्छ अति शांत These are the words that explain the place. It has got the famous ashokan LION CAPITAL which is Indian emblem. It also preserves many things which have been excavated from Sarnath .
  • A very nice museum. Houses the Asoka Emblem. A must see if you are here in Varanasi.
  • Surprisingly clean and well maintained given the state of Varanasi in general. It was great to see India's National Emblem in person at this museum as well as many other beautiful Buddhist sculptures.
  • This museum houses the famous Ashoka Lion capital adapted by India as the national emblem. This was taken from the Ashoka Pillar erected behind the Mulgandha Kuti at Sarnath. In this Kuti, Buddha spent many rains and gave many sermons.
  • It exhibits the Buddhist Cultural wealth, recovered from the site of Lord Buddha’s first sermon at deer park Mrigadava in Sarnath. As the findings are mostly from Buddhist monasteries or vihar, the plan of building was designed by James Ransome on the pattern of a Sangharam or a vihar. The noble idea was conceived by Sir John Marshal, the then Director General of Archaeology in view of Buddhist character of antiquities. The construction of museum building began in 1904 & was completed in 1910. The Central hall is as main chapel, galleries as monastic cells and verandah occurring as in front of cells in a monastery. The whole building is made of sandstone with flat roof.