MuseumsIt seems 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 will 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 do not get your hopes up. Many times the building and the area around the museum is more entertaining than the contents.

Museums inside the Kathmandu

Asa Archives:

Located at Tengal west of Nhyokha Tol, possess about 7,000 manuscripts and over 1,200 palm leaf documents most of them in Sanskrit and Nepalbhasa languages. The oldest manuscript in the collection here is dated 1242 AD.

Bhaktapur Museum (National Art Gallery)

Bhaktapur Museum also known as National Art Gallery, located in the famous place complex of Bhaktapur Durbar Square. The museum is a unique gallery. The museum consists of some of the rarest paintings of Nepal and wide array of manuscripts with painted covers and illustrations. Although this museum is primarily a Museum of paintings from early to late Malla period, the Gallery also contains bronze, brass stone and wooden images. In fact, the museum is the virtual treasure house to explore the medieval art tradition of Nepal.

Bronze and Brass Museum:

Opposite the Pujari Math at Dattatraya Square has a collection of domestic and ceremonial metal ware like kalash (ritual jar), ink pots spittoons and ordinary and ritual lamp.

Gurkha Memorial Museum:

Located at Lainchour, Kathmandu has a collection of medals (including the Victoria Cross), decorations and plaques won by soldiers who served in the British Indian and Nepalese forces. It also has on display uniforms, photographs, communication equipment as well as book on the Gurkhas.

Hanumandhoka Palace Museum:

This grand medieval palace complex, in addition to its architectural importance and grandeur, is also the heartbeat of medieval and modern historic ambience; three separate museums of historic importance are located inside the Palace complex Tribhuvan Museum: The museum is specially designed to display all the events, personal belongings, mementos of the late H.M. King Tribhuvan (1906 – 1951). He is fondly remembered as the father of the nation as he was primarily instrumental in ushering democracy in Nepal in 1951. The museum has a rare collection of photos, paintings / portraits of Royal family members. Mahendra Museum: The museum vividly sheds light on the late king Mahendra (1920 –1972AD). The exhibits include remake of his cabinet room office chamber and his personal belongings including walls, decorations, stamps and coins. As he is fondly remembered as a poet-king his original writing ambience and personal notes and manuscripts are displayed here. Birendra Museum: The museum is a recent addition in the Palace complex. This museum particularly contains the personal possessions of the present monarch, His Majesty King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah, including royal attires that he had donned during various state and historic occasions. Also on display are gifts, medals, honorary titles received from other head of states and other interesting memorabilia.

MuseumsNational Museum:

The museum has a large collection of weapons art and antiquities of historic and cultural importance. Initially built as a collection house of war trophies and weapons, the museum has an extra-ordinary collection of eighteenth and nineteenth century weapons, firearms locally made and captured from the various wars, leather canons and relics of natural calamities like great earthquake of 1934.In addition, the museum is the unique treasure house of medieval and modern works in wood, metal/ bronze, stonework’s and the paintings.

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.

National Woodworking Museum:

At Dattatraya square, Bhaktapur, is housed in the 15th century pujari Math, a museum in itself with the very finest if Newar Woodcarving including the peacock Window.

Natural History Museum

The museum is a window to the natural history of Nepal. Natural History Museum, Swoyambhunath established in 1975. the Natural History Museum house has a sizeable collection of about 55,000 specimens (over 40,000 zoological specimens including prehistoric shells to the stuffed animals, birds, crocodiles, butterflies and many more. 9,000 botanical specimens, 100 skeletons, some skins, fossils, rocks and minerals, plastic & clay models, trophies and other interesting exhibits

The main objective of the museum is to nurture an appreciation of Nepal’s natural history. Another objective is to serve as a research and educational facility in Nepal for scientists, teachers, students and other interested scholars. The museum, maintains a well managed scientific record of Nepalese flora and fauna. A large number of specimens (both flora and fauna) are exhibited in the museum’s exhibition hall.

Patan Museum:

Patan Museum is a house to some of the unique medieval work in bronze. The earliest specimens date back to 11th century or even earlier Lichhavi period. Most of the exhibits are deities from the Buddhist pantheon like images of Buddha and Lokeswore. Moreover, in the lesser number, there are icons from Hindu pantheon like Vishnu and other deities.

Museums outside the Kathmandu Valley

International Mountaineering (NMA) Museum – Pokhara

The Himalaya is the greatest mountain system in the world. It stretches 2400 km from east to west between Naga 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 profusion of high peaks lays the kingdom of Nepal. The mystery of the unknown, sheer beauty of majestic peaks and above all is an urge to experience the challenge of climbing. The first tentative steps towards Himalayan climbing were taken in 1920. Mt. Everest summited in 1953 by Tenzing Sherpa (Nepal) and Edmund Hillary (New Zealand).

International Mountain Museum is placed in Pokhara covering the 6 hector land. It is the record, document, history of great mountaineering feats achieved, chronicle past and present development of mountaineering activities in the world. The main Museum Hall is display of Great Himalaya and World Mountains, models of famous peaks, mannequins of famous climbers, culture and life style of mountain peoples, equipment and material used in mountaineering, flora and fauna including geology and another for audio visual.

Pokhara Museum – Pokhara

The Pokhara Museum, located between the bus stop and Mahendra Pul, reflects the ethnic mosaic of western Nepal. The lifestyles and history of ethnic groups such as the Gurung, Thakali and the Tharu are attractively displayed through models, photographs and arti- facts. One major attraction is a display highlighting the newly discovered remains of an 8000-year-old settlement in Mustang.

Annapurna (ACAP) Museum – Pokhara

Also known as the natural museum is another interesting visit in Pokhara. Run by the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP), the museum has an exceptional collection of butterflies, insects, birds and models of wildlife found in the area. It is located at Prithivi Narayan Campus east of the old bazaar.

Tamu Museum – Pokhara

museumsTamu Kohibo Museum has exhibits relating to the Gurung culture and shamanic traditions. It is on the east side of town near the Seti River.

Bhimphedi Hattisar Museum – Makawanpur
Bhimphedi museum is situated at Chowk Bazaar Bhimphedi, Makawanpur. Elephant howdahs totaling 85, brought from England and various other countries by the Rana prime ministers (1846-1951) for their journeys by elephant have been preserved here.

Dhankuta Museum – Dhankuta
At Dhankuta encompasses the Kingdom’s eastern sector. Apart from serving as a showcase for ethnic artifacts, the museum focuses on archeological exhibits.

Mustang Eco Museum – Mustang
In Jomsom contains 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 besides an herbal medicine section.

Lumbini Museum – Lumbini
The Lumbini museum 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 Buddha.

Kapilvastu Museum – Kapilvastu
It is situated 27 km west of Lumbini in Talaurakot. The museum holds coins, pottery and toys dating between the 7th century BC and 4th century AD. The museum also has a good collection of jewelry and other ornaments from that period.

Surkhet Museum – Surkhet
In Surkhet features ethnic artifacts of the western region. On display are ornaments Costumes utensils and weapons. Exhibits include items of archaeological and historical significance. Entrance Rs.5. Closed Tuesdays.

Tharu Cultural Museum – Bardia
Tharu museum is located at Thakurdwara, near the entrance of the Royal Bardia National park. The museum possesses costumes, accessories and household objects, which highlight the art and lifestyle of the Tharus, the indigenous people of the area.

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