Archaeological museum at Ratnagiri is one of the important site museums of Archaeological Survey of India which is built on the northern crest of the Ratnagiri village of District Jajpur in Odisha. Tibetan records refer to the existence of a flourishing monastic settlement at Ratnagiri. Inscriptional evidences have also proved the same.However, excavation conducted at the site between 1958-61 brought to light a large number of sculptures,inscribed slabs,terracotta seals and sealings, votive stupas, shrines etc..Befoore the establishment of the museum the antiquities were mostly kept at the site, store room and in other places which deserved proper display for mass awareness. Thus the need and idea of establishing a museum highlighting the antiquities, culture and heritage of this part of the country cropped up and Archaeological Survey of India took of initiative in this respect.
The construction of the aesthetically planned three terraced magnificent building was completed in 1990 and after necessary arrangements the museum was open to the public on 15th August,1998. It has 3400 listed antiquities of which 220 are displayed in the galleries. The Museum consists of four big galleries with a long stepped corridor displayed with sufficient number of antiquates, mainly related to tartaric Buddhism. These are varied in nature and include small votive stupas ,scultures of different medium and dimensions in stone, bronze, ivory etc.,stone and copper inscriptions, inscribed potsherds, innumerable terracotta seals and sealings, terracotta figures, variety of other metal objects like chhatras, haloes, ornaments, triangular objects, finials, flowers, decorated bands, smallvesssels, glass bangles, coins etc.
Amongst the displayed antiquates in gallery No-1-mention may be made of stone images of Buddha in various poses, Avalokitesvara, Khasarpana ,lokesrpana, lokesvara, Manjusri, tara, one six armed deity-all belonging to 9th to 11th century AD. special mention may be made of an image of seated Tara and an image of Manjushri in dhyanamudra both of which mark the excellence of modeling.
The important displayed antiquities in gallery no-2 include stone sculptures of Buddha, Bodhisattvas,Jambala,Tara in various poses, Vasudhara,Chunda,woman in dancing posture etc.Special mention may be made of the colossal Buddha head,image of tara,Vasudhara and that of Buddha in bhumisparsha mudra seated on Vispapadma.
Gallery No.3 has been organized with stupas, images of Buddha, Bodhisttava, Maitrei and some other vajrayan deities. Besides these, images of Durga and Vaisnavi , inscribed stone slabs ,stone disc etc. deserve attention . However , the images and objects in the wall-show-cases of this gallery are comparatively smaller in size .
The Gallery No 4 miscellaneous objects have been displayed which include teracotta objects , seals and sealings , ivory objects , inscribed copper plates , postherds and relic pots , objects of daily use etc. The special attraction of this gallery are the bronze images of Manjushri ,Yamari etc. these bronzes bear affinity with bronzes of nalanda (Bihar) and jhewan (bangladesh)
In the stepped corridor have been displayed few monolithic votive stupas and photo blow ups of excavated sites and remains of Udayagiri, Lalitgiri and Ratnagiri .In the reserve collector there are number of antiquities which include stone sculptural pieces , monolithic votive stupas, terracotta seals and sealings , bronze objects , coins, glass bangle pieces etc. which were found from Ratnagiri.
Opening Hours : 10.00 am to 5.00 pm
Closed on – Friday
Entrance Fee : About Rs. 2/- per head (Children up to 15 years free)
How to Reach Archaeological Museum at Ratnagiri
Tourist can reach to the spot by availing bus from Cuttack, Bhubaneswar, Kolkota and other small cities of Odisha. Journey can be more comfortable if tourists hire a four wheeler to visit the spot.