A modernised Bharhut gallery with
fabricated panels and gateways creating an ambience of the age
has been presented here for public view.
The renovated gallery was inaugurated
on 18th March 2000 by H.E. the Governor of West Bengal, Sri Viren
J.Shah and the Chief Minister of Assam was the Guest of Honour.
Introduction: The magnificent remains of the railings
and gateway of the Buddhist stupa discovered in 1873 from Bharhut
near Satna in Madhya Pradesh are displayed in the gallery of
the Museum from 1878. The railings about nine feet high consist
of pillars, cross-bars and running coping stones. The eastern
gateway of the stupa about twenty- three feet high had survived
the ravages of time while three others, once placed on cardinal
directions were lost.
Profusely carved in red sandstone depicting scenes from the Buddha's
pre- birth stories, floral and animal motifs; besides yakshas
yakshinis and devatas, the Bharhut remains constitute visual
store-house for the reconstruction of the political, social,
economic and cultural history of India during the 2nd-1st century
B.C. The sculptures of Bharhut usher in a new epoch in the arena
of indigenous art tradition. Many of the scenes bear short labels
in Brahmi script of the 2nd century B.C. and mention donors who
provided funds for the constructions of various parts of the
stupa. On a gateway pillar there is an inscription recording
its erection during the reign of the Sungas by Vatsiputra Dhanabhuti.