The National Museum located on the way to Swayambhunath Hill is most popular among the Kathmandu people. It holds not only ancient artifacts but also interesting mementos of recent kings and recently used firearms. A visitor to the museum will understand much about the way wars were fought in this part of the world and the type of firearms that were used to conquer Nepal and later to protect it from the British Raj. Other artifacts include ancient statues, paintings, and murals. You may be interested in the doll collection as well as the stuffed animals there. The collection of coins in the complex includes coins going back to the second century BC as well as excellent samples from dynasties that ruled Nepal after the birth of Christ. It is open daily, except on Tuesdays and on government holidays from 10:30 am to 3 pm. Note that the museum is only open from 10:30 am to 2 pm on Fridays.
The Tribhuvan Museum is located in the Hanuman Dhoka Palace. This palace was the main seat of the Shah Kings for many years. Here is an exhibit that highlights the life of King Tribhuvan. King Tribhuvan is best remembered for his valiant efforts in liberating the nation from the rule of the Rana prime ministers. You may also wish to look out over Kathmandu from the Basantapur Tower in the complex. It is said that a benevolent king used to keep watch over his people from this window to make sure that food was being cooked in every home (the smoke coming from the roof-tops told him whether or not a cooking fire was on in every house). You may also wish to see the section that carries the mementos of King Mahendra and observe the Malla architecture and carvings. The museum is open from 10:30 am to 3 pm every day except Tuesdays. On Friday it is open from 10:30 am to 2 pm.
Museum of Natural History
The Museum of Natural History is also nearby the Swayambhunath Hill and has a fine display of Himalayan butterflies, snakes, and plants. Though it is among the least frequented museums in the Valley, a visit to the museum will show you many rare birds and insect species. The museum is open every day, except on Saturdays and on official government holidays from 10 am to 4 pm.
National Bronze Art Museum
The National Bronze Art Museum has a collection of some of the finest pieces of bronze created by Valley artisans and the number of items is about 900. With good representations of both Hindu and Buddhist religions, the artwork ranges from Malla to the later period. The oldest work of art there is believed to be from the 11th century AD.
National Art Gallery
The National Art Gallery is in the Palace of Fifty-five Windows. This palace is believed to be the first in the Kathmandu Valley to use glass, much coveted by the ancient rulers. Within the palace are beautiful paintings of erotic motifs, paubhas, and animals. The stonework is especially fine and a room outlines the life and times of the Shah Kings of Nepal. There are also samples of everyday items used in the past by famous people. Among the displays are scriptures that are among the most valuable in the kingdom. The museum is open from 10 am to 4 pm and only until 3 pm on Fridays.
National Woodworking Museum
The National Woodworking Museum in Dattatraya Square often surprises visitors. Upon entering the museum, guests ask for the exhibits. However, the building itself is the museum and contains very finely carved pillars, windows, doors, and struts. Also, there are wood carving samples that go back to the 15th century. Wood was a major constructing item long before that time but not much survives due to the adverse effects of time and weather. The building was constructed in the 15th century by King Yaksha Malla. It is called the Pujari Math and outside the Math, you have to get out of the museum and walk along an alley where the celebrated Peacock Window is situated. The museum is open six days a week, from ten to four. Tuesday is a holiday.
Bronze and Brass Museum
The Bronze and Brass Museum is housed in a newly renovated building near the Pujari Math. Much of the displays have been restored and are in excellent condition. Among the displays are items of everyday use to the ordinary people as well as items used by the rich and the famous of Malla times. Platters for worship, lamps, water pots, horns, and other items tell the visitor how the people in Bhaktapur led their ordinary lives. An ornate inkpot also tells us that the kings of yesteryears were very much interested in learning and writing. One such king is supposed to have learned seventeen languages and wrote verses in them. The museum is also closed on Tuesdays and stays open only until 3 pm on Fridays.
Located on the western fringe of the old part of Kathmandu, the archives possess an exceptional collection of over 6,000 loose-leaf handwritten books and 1,000 palm-leaf documents. The rare collection is an insight into the literary tradition of medieval Kathmandu. The oldest manuscript here dates back to AD 1464. Most of the manuscripts are in Sanskrit and Nepalbhasa languages. Asa Archives (Asa Saphu Kuthi), located at Kulambhulu west of Nhyokha Tole, is open daily from 11 am to 5 pm except for Saturdays and holidays.
The Patan Museum inside Patan Durbar in the Durbar Square specializes in bronze statues and religious objects, which add up to nearly 900 items. Some of the art goes back to as early as the 11th century, and there is evidence that certain objects date from the period of the Lichchhavi kings. Most of the statues are of Buddha, Bishnu, Lokeswar, and Devi, covering both the Hindu and the Buddhist iconology. The museum has recently been completely renovated which has enhanced its appeal. Open daily, except Tuesdays and holidays, from 10:30, am to 4:30 pm (tel: 5521492).
Nepal National Ethnographic Museum: A Taste of Nepal Culture
After you've had your fill of watching the mountains, touring the monuments and ransacking the shopping centers, there's nothing like browsing around the museums for some quiet indoor relaxation in Nepal experiencing Nepal's multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-religious and multi-lingual diversities. One of such museum is the National Ethnographic Museum which presents a kaleidoscope image of Nepal to the visitors.
In an effort to transform rich culture to the future generation as well as for the tourists to have a look at it right at the heart of the capital- Nepal Tourism Board and Nepal National Ethnographic museum has set up a permanent exhibition of eleven different ethnic communities ( the Thakali, the Sherpa, the Tamang, the Gurung, the Rai, the Limbu, the Chepang, the Jyapu of Newar group, the Magar, the Sunwar, and the Tharu) in the diorama hall at the Tourist Service Center in Bhrikutimandap.
A periodic exhibition of the individual ethnic community has been showcased in the ethnographic itemization of the entire life cycle in the ethnic exhibition hall.
The Museum aims to function as a living resource center to inform and educate both Nepalese and foreign visitors/tourists interested to know and learn about Nepal's architecture and culture (customs lifestyles and folkways).
Nepal National Ethnographic Museum
Tourist Service Centre
Bhrikuti Mandap, Kathmandu
Email: [email protected]
The museum will remain closed for maintenance on Monday only
Visiting Hours: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
International Mountain Museum, Pokhara
Himalaya is the greatest mountain system in the world. It stretches 2400 km from east to west between Nanga Parbat and Namcha Barwa peaks. Most find such an immense range of mountains hard to envisage because the scale is beyond one's experience.
Cradled among the mountains in the central Himalaya with a profusion of high peaks lies the kingdom of Nepal. Of the fourteen peaks in the world that exceed 8,000 meters no fewer than eight of them are in Nepal, including Mt. Everest the highest in the world.
The mystery of the unknown, sheer beauty of majestic peaks and above all, an urge to experience the challenge of climbing the world's highest mountains have attracted thousands of climbers to the Himalayan slopes.
The first tentative steps towards Himalayan climbing were taken in 1920′s, and several expedition teams were able to make important exploration and significant progress in climbing Mt. Everest, Nanga Parbat, K2, and Kanchenjunga. However, it was only after the opening of the Nepal Himalaya, followed by the successful ascents of the first peak over 8000m – Annapurna I by Maurice Herzog and Luis Lachenal in 1950 and Mt. Everest in 1953 by Sherpa Tenzing Norgay and New Zealander Edmund Hillary, the mountaineering activities in the Himalaya started to gain wider popularity.
The Museum Hall
The current work of the IMM project involves phase one of the project. Works in this phase include the construction and completion of the main Museum Hall building which will house the halls for exhibit display, audiovisual hall and conservation room for exhibits. The Museum Hall building covers a total floor area of 4242 sq. meters of the total 12.5 acres of the land owned by the Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA) for the IMM Project.
There will be two main exhibition halls, Hall of the Great Himalaya and Hall of World Mountains. These Halls will have models of famous peaks, mannequins of famous climbers, equipment and material used in mountaineering, culture, and lifestyle of mountain peoples, flora and fauna including geology.
International Mountain Museum
Email: [email protected] / [email protected]
Web Site: www.nma.com.np
The Lumbini Museum
The Lumbini Museum is located in the Cultural Zone, contains Mauryan and Kushana coins, religious manuscripts, terra-cotta fragments, and stone and metal sculptures. It also possesses an extensive collection of stamps from various countries depicting Lumbini and the Buddha.
Lumbini International Research Institute (LIRI), located opposite the Lumbini Museum, provides research facilities for the study of Buddhism and religion in general. Run jointly by the Lumbini Development Trust (LDT) and the Reiyukai of Japan, LIRI contains some 12,000 books on religion, philosophy, art, and architecture.
Kapilvastu Museum is situated 27 km west of Lumbini in the village of Tilaurakot. The museum holds coins, pottery, and toys dating between the seventh century BC and fourth century AD. The museum also has a good collection of jewelry and other ornaments of that period.