Museums

Nepal has glorious past and priceless heritage to boast about. The country has a special tryst with history. From the birth of Buddha to the reign of Ranas, Nepal has seen it all. Nepal’s tryst with the history has left many witnesses. These witnesses have been protected in the museums and galleries across Nepal. They are being protected with great efforts and that protection comes with a fancy price tag. Indeed you will appreciate the works done, in the extreme financial constraint, by the Archeological Survey of Nepal and Ministry of Culture. Things that have been excavated and collected from the length and breadth of Nepal have been kept on display at various museums in Nepal.
The National Museum

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.

Timings:
From 10:30 am to 3 pm, except on Tuesdays and govt. holidays.
From 10:30 am to 2 pm, on Fridays.


The Tribhuvan Museum

It 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 min isters. 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.

Timings:
From 10:30 am to 3 pm, except Tuesdays.
From 10:30 am to 2 pm, on Fridays


The Museum of Natural History

This museum is 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.

Timings:
From 10 am to 4 pm, except on Saturdays and on official government holidays


Kaiser Library

It is near Thamel, the main tourist center of Nepal. It contains a collection of 30,000 books of Kaiser Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana. Many of the books are romances and adventure-writings from Europe and were imported all the way from England by special order. It is said that Kaiser Shumsher knew many of the books by heart and took pride in the diversity of the collection. The topics range from esoteric religion to law. The gardens at the back are also interesting and the Ministry of Education is located in the complex.

Timings:
Open daily,except on Saturdays and on official holidays.


The National Bronze Art Museum

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 art work ranges from Malla to the later period. The oldest work of art there is believed to be from the llth century AD.


The National Art Gallery

This museum 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.

Timings:
From 10 am to 4 pm, and
From 10 am to 4 pm, on Fridays.


The National Woodworking Museum:

The National Woodworking Museum in Dattatreya Square often surprises visitors. Upon entering the museum, guests ask for the exhibits. However, the building itself is the museum and contain very finely carved pillars, windows, doors, and struts. Also, there are wood carving samples that go back to the l5th 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 l5th 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 ceiebrated Peacock Window is situated.

Timings:
From 10 am to 4 pm, except on Tuesdays.


The Bronze and Brass Museum

It is housed in a newly renovated building near the Pujari Math, Much of the dis- plays 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 iives. An ornate ink pot 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.

Timings:
Open daily, except on Tuesdays


Asa Archives

It is 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.
Timings:
from 11 am to 5 pm, except Saturdays and holidays.


The Patan Museum

It is 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 llth century, and there is evidence that certain objects date from the period of the Lichhavi kings. Most of the statues are of Buddha, Bishnu, Lokeswar, and Devi, covering both the Hindu and the Buddhisf iconology. The museum has recently been completely renovated which has enhanced its appeal.

Timings:
from 10:30 am to 4:30 pm, except Tuesdays and holidays


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