A walk through State Archaeological Museum
Kolkata: The State Archaeological Museum takes you on a journey of the artistic history of Bengal. Spread across two floors, the seven galleries of the museum display innumerable artifacts that were a part of the different eras of Bengal.
The first gallery displays ancient pieces of terracotta sculptures, pre-historic stones and pictures of excavations carried out by the archaeological survey team, placed in proper order and beautifully presented. The art gallery right next to the first one is a splendid collection of Bengali artistic talent and the styles they preferred in different eras. The colorful paintings of old women, Gods and Goddesses, court proceedings, make up the initial part of the gallery. Towards the end is the portrayal of the Chokkhudan ceremony performed by Lord Rama as an appeasement to Goddess Durga, through the use of a number of paintings, all kept in order of their action.
The first floor houses a medium sized sculpted Goddess Durga along with various other statues and sculptures portraying the rich sculpting history that existed in this state. The sculpture gallery holds around ten terracotta figurines of Lord Surya and Lord Vishnu, with a central shelf for Goddessess like Saraswati and Kali. The sculptures are of different sizes, some eroded and some reconstructed. The magnificence and details that the sculptures hold, till this date, is beyond expression.
A huge model of a Buddhist monastery, holding similarities with the Nalanda University ruins in Bihar, is on display as at the gallery of excavations. The Chandraketu Garh ruins with a display of the huge carved out walls and pillars, along with small metal weapons that were found in those areas, are a major attraction of this museum. The journey ends with the small room of metal artifacts collected through eras, putting weapons and idols on display. The State Archaeological Museum fills one's heart with rich abundance of art and appreciation for the beauty of the State we reside in.