In Archaeological Survey of India, due to the various explorative investigations those were initiated since the times of its first Director General, Alexander Cunningham, vast quantity of antiquarian remains were collected. The creation of site museums had to wait until the arrival of Sir John Marshall, who initiated the founding of the local museums like Sarnath (1904), Agra (1906), Ajmer (1908), Delhi Fort (1909), Bijapur (1912), Nalanda (1917) and Sanchi (1919). The concept of site museums is “to keep the small and movable antiquities, recovered from the ancient sites, in close association with the remains to which they belong, so that they may be studied amid their natural surroundings and not lose focus by being transported”.
Archaeological Survey of India with its 46 site museums and is one of the leading organizations. Archaeological Site Museums covers the length and breadth of the country, i.e. Shri Surya Pahar (Goalpara, Assam) in east to Archaeological Museum Dholavira (Kutch, Gujarat) in west; Kangra Museum (Himachal Pradesh) in North to Mattanchery Palace Museum (Kochi, Kerala) and Fort Museum, Fort, St. George (Chennai, Tamil Nadu) in South.
Archaeological Survey of India although put efforts to provide latest available facilities in its museums in tune with the present state of art. However, Archaeological Survey of India is also of the view that the burden of modern technology may not distort the natural surroundings of the site/museums. Our aim is to unfold the glory of the past to the world instead of artificial creation of the past. The Archaeological Site Museum is much different from National or State Museums and the main objective is to educate, to inform, and to entertain the people about culture/setting of an archaeological site.
The Kapilavastu museum, under the jurisdiction of Lucknow Circle (http://asilucknowcircle.nic.in/) of the Archaeological Survey of India is one of the newest and ambitious museums. The museum is the integral constituent of archaeological site at Piprahawa and Ganwaria identified as Ancient Kapilavastu, the home town of Lord Buddha. Collection of the museum includes seals & sealings, objects of terracotta, metal, ivory, bone, etc. from 8th B.C.E. to 5th Century CE.
Presently, the museum is consisted of two galleries showing the history of Kapilavastu and the different aspects of the life of Lord Buddha.