|Museums of Nepal|
Yes, it does seem a bit strange to
think of traveling to Nepal to visit a museum. With all the natural beauty in
landscape, culture and outdoor temples you may need to weigh your options. We'll
give you a list here with fair warning: if you are a history buff or scholar and
see something below of interest, please make a trip to any place listed below,
otherwise don't get your hopes up. Many times the building and the area around
the museum is more entertaining than the contents.
The National Museum
at Chhauni near Swayambhu offers breathtaking bronzes and a rich collection of
paubha scroll paintings. It also has an extraordinary collection of ancient
firearms, leather cannons and relics of the Great Earthquake of
1934. Open daily except Sundays, Mondays and holidays, from 9.00 AM to 4.30 PM.
Entrance fee Rs.10 for SAARC nationals and Rs.50 for other foreign visitors. An
extra Rs.50 for cameras and Rs.100 for video cameras. (Ph: 271478).
National Numismatic Museum, housed
in the Mahendra Memorial Building of the National Museum at Chhauni, contains
an exceptional Nepalese coin collection spanning the Lichhavi and Malla
dynasties (2nd to 18th century AD) as well as the Shah dynasty. The museum also
holds unique pieces dating back to the second century BC. Open daily except Sundays,
Mondays and holidays, from 9.00 AM to 4.30 PM. Your entrance ticket to the National
Museum entitles you to visit the coin museum also (Ph: 271504).
Tribhuvan Museum inside the Hanuman
Dhoka Palace in Kathmandu Durbar Square highlights the life of King Tribhuvan
(1906-1955) who helped liberate the country from the Rana regime in 1951. The
galleries also have rare photographs, paintings and portraits of other
Shah rulers and members of the Royal family. Cameras are not allowed. Open daily,
except Sundays, Mondays and holidays, from 9:15 AM to 4.00 PM. Entrance fee is
Rs.250. Cameras are not allowed. (Ph: 258034).
Mahendra Museum, yet another attraction
in the historic Hanuman Dhoka Palace complex, vividly sheds light on the life
of late King Mahendra (r. 1955-1972). His cabinet room, office chamber and personal
belongings such as medals, decorations, gifts, coins, stamps, and his literary
creations are on exhibition in the museum. Open daily, except Sundays, Mondays
and holidays, from 9:15 AM to 4.00 PM. You can visit the Mahendra Museum with
your ticket to the Tribhuvan Museum (Ph: 258034).
Museum of Natural History behind
the Swayambhu stupa has exhibits on animals, butterflies, and plants. Stuffed
animals, birds and crocodiles are a big draw in the museum. Open daily,
except Saturdays and holidays, from 10.00 AM to 5.00 PM, entry is Rs.20 for foreigners
and Rs.20 for cameras. (Ph: 271899).
Library. Located inside Harihar Bhavan
in Pulchowk, Patan, the National Library contains about 70,000 books, most
of which are in English, with a smattering of books in Sanskrit, Nepali, Hindi
and Nepalbhasa. The National Library preserves some rare scholarly books in Sanskrit
and English dating from the 17th century. Open daily except Saturdays, Sundays
and holidays, from 9.00 AM to 5.00 PM (Ph: 521132).
Library. On Tridevi Marg, Thamel.
Collections of a single man, Kaiser Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana (1891-1964), adorn
this palatial building near Thamel. The repertoire of books here (over
45,000) covers as unrelated topics as astrology and law, with history, hunting,
religion and philosophy in between. Open daily except Saturdays, Sundays and holidays,
from 9.00 AM to 5.00 PM. (Ph: 411318).
Archives. Located on the western
fringe of the old part of Kathmandu, the archives possess an exceptional collection
of about 7,000 loose-leaf handwritten books and over 1,200 palm-leaf
documents. The oldest manuscript here is dated AD 1464. Most of the manuscripts
are in Sanskrit and Nepalbhasa languages. Asa Archives (Asa Saphu Kuthi), located
at Kulambhulu west of Nhyokha Tole. Open daily from 9.00 AM to 5.00 PM except
Saturdays, Sundays and holidays (Ph: 263417).
National Birendra Art Gallery, Naxal. The Nepal Association of Fine Arts (NAFA)
at Naxal has a collection of about 150 art pieces by prominent Nepalese artists.
Art exhibitions are held regularly, and there are also studios where artists can
be seen at work. housed in a fine old unrestored Rana palace, named Bal Mandir.
Open daily, except Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, for 9.00 AM to 5.00 PM. Enterance
fee Rs.25 for SAARC nationals and Rs.75 for other foreign visitors. (Ph: 411729)
Museum inside Patan Durbar in the
Durbar Square specializes in bronze statues and religious objects, which
add up to nearly 200 items. Some of the art goes back to as early as the 11th
century. Most of the statues are of Buddha, Bishnu, Lokeswar and Devi, covering
both the Hindu and the Buddhist iconology. Open daily, except holidays, from 10:30
AM to 5.00 PM (Ph: 521492). Entrance fee is Rs.120 for foreign visitors.
National Art Gallery in Bhaktapur
is housed in the old Malla Palace of 55 Windows in the Bhaktapur Durbar Square.
The museum has a rich collection of paubha scroll paintings, bronze,
brass, stone and wooden images. Open daily, except Sundays, Mondays and holidays,
from 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM. Entrance costs Rs.10 for SAARC nationals and Rs.20 for
other foreign visitors. (Ph: 610004).
National Woodworking Museum in Tachapal
Tole (Dattatreya Square), Bhaktapur, is in the restored 15th-century Pujari Math
building built by the Malla king, Yaksha Malla. The Pujari Math is a museum in
itself, with the very finest of Newar woodcarving including the famous
Peacock Window. Open daily, except Sundays, Mondays and holidays, from 9:30 AM
to 4:30 PM; Entrance fee Rs.20. (Ph: 610005).
Bronze and Brass Museum is housed
in a 15th-century Math opposite the Pujari Math at Tachapal Tole, Bhaktapur. A
rich collection of domestic and ceremonial metalware is exhibited in the
museum: kalash (ritual jars), ink-pots, spittoons, ordinary and ritual
lamps. Open daily, except sundays, Mondays and holidays, from 9:30 AM to 4:30
PM. Entrance fee is Rs.20 and an extra Rs.20 for cameras. (Ph: 610448).
The Dhankuta Museum
is a regional museum encompassing the eastern sector of the country. Dhankuta
is the headquarters of the Eastern Development Region and is located north of
Dharan and Biratnagar. Apart from serving as a showcase for ethnic artifacts,
the museum focuses on archeological exhibits. Open daily except Tuesdays and holidays
from 10.00 AM to 5.00 PM. Entrance fee is Rs.5 and an extra Rs.10 for cameras.
Museum and Fish Exhibition Room at
Bhimphedi, Makwanpur, houses a rare collection of cages built by Rana prime
minister Jung Bahadur, plates depicting the Nepalese and British crowns, and clothing
worn while going hunting.
Elephant Museum is situated at the
old Hattisar or elephant stables at Bhimphedi, Makwanpur. Elephant howdahs,
totalling 85, brought from England and various other countries by the Rana prime
ministers (1846-1950) for their journeys by elephant have been preserved here.
Mustang Eco Museum is located about
15 minutes walk from Jomsom airport. The ground floor of the museum houses
a collection of beads, bones and pendants as well as ceramic vessels
found at the burial caves of Mustang. The relics date to 800 BC. There are also
musical instruments, costumes and mannequins that reflect the culture of Mustang.
A floor above is the Herbal Medicine section. On exhibition are herbs found in
Mustang and Dolpo. Open daily, 8.00 to 11.00 AM and 2.00 to 5.00 PM.
Tharu Cultural Museum, Thakurdwara, Royal Bardia National Park. The Tharus
are an indigenous people of the Terai with a colourful culture. The museum possesses
exhibits such as costumes, accessories and household objects which highlight the
art, traditions and lifestyle of the Tharu people.
Mountain Museum, Pokhara. A project of the Nepal Mountaineering Association,
the museum will commence a series of soft openings in the autumn of 2001, with
the grand opening in 2002, designated the Year of Mountains by the United Nations.
The museum has a unique shape with the roof structured fanning out to look like
a range of mountains, In 2001 the museum will be ready to house exhibits from
past expeditions, geological specimens, archival photographs, satellite maps and
other paraphenalia. Support for the museum will be from Trekking/Mountain peak
permits. Supporters include mountaineering associations throughout the world,
and individual supporters from Japan, China and Nepal.