CM Nitish Kumar his guide, PM Modi ‘experiences history’ at Bihar museum

’Faith inspires viewing. The exhibitions encourage curiosity. Best place to experience history and culture’s heritage. Congratulations’, wrote prime minister Narendra Modi in the digital visitors’ book, in Gujarati.

india Updated: Oct 14, 2017 19:11 IST
Vijay Swaroop
Vijay Swaroop
Hindustan Times, Patna
Bihar museum,Guide CM Nitish,Visitor PM Modi
CM Nitish Kumar showing Deedarganj Yakshini to PM Narendra Modi at Bihar museum in Patna on Saturday. (Santosh/HT photo)

Making time during his short visit to the state capital, to attend the centenary year function of Patna university, Prime minister Narendra Modi made an unscheduled visit to the newly-constructed Bihar museum, a favourite project of chief minister Nitish Kumar.

The PM was evidently impressed with what he saw during the 30-minute visit. For, he penned in his native Gujarati his impressions in the museum’s digital visitor’s book. It read:

“Faith inspires viewing. The exhibitions encourage curiosity. Best place to experience history and culture’s heritage. Congratulations” - Narendra Modi

With people eager to know what the PM penned down in his mother tongue during his visit, museum director J P N Singh, took help from a Mumbai-based Gujarati historian, to get it translated into English.

Modi, soon after reaching Patna, expressed his desire to visit the museum. Chief minister Kumar readily agreed to play the role of a gracious guide. So, he altered his programme and headed straight for the museum.

“He visited all the nine galleries and showed keen interest in history,” said museum director Singh.

Kumar, like a true guide, was seen explaining to the PM the rarity that was the Deedarganj Yakshini – one of the finest polished chunar stone ancient Indian sculptures, how it was found and preserved. “The Prime Minister, all along, was full of praise for the museum,” said Singh.

The new museum, with its luminous interiors, soothing lights, galleries showcasing the state’s heritage and its contribution to world civilization, houses artefacts including figurines and statuettes of The Buddha and Mahavir, besides Nalanda University.

It also has sections on the Bihari diaspora , Mahatma Gandhi’s first satyagraha in Champaran of 1917, philosophy of Chanakya and the reign of Emperor Ashoka .

Spread across 13.3 acres of land with a built up area of 2.5 lakh square feet, in the heart of Patna, the Bihar Museum has been built at a cost of Rs 517 crore.

The brainchild of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, the new museum is being projected as an essential stop for tourists. The museum was formally launched on October 2 this year, though a portion of the building has been open since 2015.

When the process of setting up the museum was initiated in 2011, the state government awarded the contract to Tokyo-based Maki and Associates, which executed the design with the help of Mumbai-based Opolis Architects.

The foundation stone of the museum was laid on June 9, 2013, and construction started in July the same year.

First Published: Oct 14, 2017 19:11 IST