One of India's most educative cultural sites is set to become even more visitor-friendly.
The archaeological museum at Sarnath in the state of Uttar Pradesh is one of the main attractions for visitors to Varanasi on city breaks.
The museum is the oldest of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
Planned upgrades include:
- a souvenir shop with a publication outlet, displaying and selling ASI literature
- a children's activity corner
- a new, more customer-friendly lighting system: the normal lights have been replaced with eco-friendly LED ones to brighten up showcases displaying an average of four artefacts each. This will help to preserve the artefacts better as no ultra violet radiation and heat is emitted by them. These will consume just three watts of power instead of 50 watts
- a baby care room for visitors who arrive with infants and find it difficult to feed them
- new plants introduced in the horticulture section's already well-kept lawn.
Over 300,000 people visit the museum annually, excluding children.
The museum, which was built next to the excavated site at Sarnath, houses five galleries and two verandahs and its antiquities date back to 3rd century BC to 12th century AD.
It has a wide collection of sculptures, artefacts and edifices comprising various Buddha and Bodhisattva images and other ancient remains.
The museum is also famous for Ashoka's lion capital, an original ancient sandstone.
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