A visit to Patna Museum would no longer be restricted to a stroll down the heritage lane. Come July, visitors at the museum would be able to take back memories in the form of handloom and handicraft products from a new museum shop.
A cafeteria is also being developed as part of the museum shop, where visitors would savour their favourite delicacies. The new museum shop is being constructed on the northern side of the premises.
“The structural work on the new museum shop has been completed and we are in the process of finalising the interiors. The décor of the museum shop is based on Rajasthani artforms. We are in talks with the Handicrafts and Handlooms Exports Corporation of India Limited to undertake the management of this shop. The new facility would also comprise a cafeteria, which would offer delicacies from various regions among other snacks. The shop, in all likelihood, would open for public by first week of July,” said JPN Singh, additional director of Patna Museum.
Apart from the shop, the museum authorities are working on plans to develop a new ticketing lounge, which would have seating area, ticket vending machines, luggage and body scanning sections and cloak room among others.
“It has been observed that the present location of the ticket counter at the entrance gate is a bit uncomfortable and unsafe for visitors, especially for large tourist groups and school trips. Visitors are forced to queue up on the footpath on Buddha Marg, and at times, on the road itself, for buying entry tickets. We have chalked out a plan to develop a ticketing lounge, which would be constructed by extending the existing ticket counter,” said Singh.
The parking location would also be changed from Buddha Marg to Vidyapati Marg on the south of the museum. “The existing parking arrangement is in front of the museum at Buddha Marg. To decongest the traffic on this stretch, we are mulling to shift the parking area to adjoining Vidyapati Marg,” said Pandey.
Visitors are also upbeat about the new arrangements at the museum. “I am glad that the authorities are mulling to change the location of the parking area in front of the museum. At times, the particular stretch on Buddha Marg is chock-a-block because of visitors’ vehicles parked in front of a business management college situated opposite the museum,” said Pankaj Kumar, a frequent visitor to Patna Museum.
About the new ticketing lounge, he said it would also be a “good initiative, as people would not be required to stand on the road for getting entry tickets”.
Patna Museum was built in 1917 to house historical artefacts found in the vicinity of Patna. The items on display in the museum include coins, paintings, instruments, textiles, thangkas (Tibetan silk painting), bronze images, sculptures and terracotta images of Hindu deities and Buddhist monks. The museum also houses a rare collection of paintings from the British period, depicting the day-to-day lives of English officials.