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Museums of nepal

Nepal Museum, the first and pioneer museum of Nepal, opened to the general public on February 12, 1939, located at Chhauni on the western outskirts of Kathmandu, it later became popular as the National Museum, and it has three sections –history, art gallery, and Buddhist art gallery- housed in three separate buildings. In the art gallery, there are numerous sculptures of historical and artistic importance in stone, of King Jaya Verma, circa 185 A D’ is on display here. The National Numismatic Museum is housed on the top floor of the history section. The National Museum is open six days a week except for Tuesdays and public holidays.
The historical old Malla palaces of the valley have also been converted into museums. The Hanuman Dhoka Palace houses the biographical Museums of the Shaha Kings- Tribhuvan, Mahendra, and Birendra. The Patan Museum, with its rich collection of Nepalese bronze sculptures, has been established in the presidential palace compound of the Keshav Narayan Chowk of Patan Durbar. This Patan Museum was restored to its earlier glory with the technical and financial assistance of the Austrian government. It is considered to be one of the best museums in South Asia. The National Art Gallery at Bhaktapur was set up in the famous 55 window palace of Bhaktapur Durbar in 1961. In this gallery, Thangka paintings. Or traditional Nepalese paintings dating from the 13th and 14th centuries are preserved and on display. In Bhaktapur, we have two smaller museums at Dattatraya Square. The Pukari Math Museum contains wood carvings while the Chikanfa Math Museum has bronze metal artifacts and utensils used for religious rites and household purposes. Other museums in the valley are the museum of Natural History and the Museum of Swayambhu Bikas Mandal at Swayambhu. The latter holds a collection of Buddhist artifacts in stone The Nepal National Ethnographic Museum housed in the Tourism service center building a Bhrukuti Mandap Kathmandu displays life-size dioramas depicting the life and culture of different races and ethnic communities of Nepal.
Outside the Kathmandu valley, there are regional museums at Pokhara, Surkhet, Dhankuta, and Kapilvastu. Except for the one at Kapilvastu, the other museums are mainly ethnological museums depicting local culture. Among them, the prominent ones are the International Mountain Museum at Pokhara, the Tharu Cultural Museum t Thajurdwara in Bardiya National Park, and The Mustang Eco- Museum at Jomsom in Mustang.

Kathmandu valley Museum

1. Narayanhiti Palace museum
2. The National Museum
3. Taragaon Museum
4. The Natural History Museum
5. Military Museum
6. The Tribhuvan, Mahendra, and Birendra Museums
7. Aviation Museum
8. Nepal Art Council Gallery
9. The city Museum Kathmandu
10. National woodworking Museum

Narayanhiti Palace Museum

Ten years of people’s war and the nineteen days people’s movement established The Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal. After that Naranhiti Royal Palace was turned into Narayanhiti Palace Museum. The exhibition of the museum was opened to the public in 2009. The NBarayanhiti palace is named after a Sikhara style Narayan Temple located on the eastern part of the palace compound and a water fountain next to the temple. Since the water fountain is called hiti in the Newari language, the palace was called Narayanhiti by combing both Narayan and Hiti.

The main entrance to the Palace is called Gaurishankar Gate. The gate is 20 feet high and equally wide. The gate is an impressive example of Nepali woodworks and artistry. After entering through this gate, one reaches the Kaski Hall.
Kaski: This hall called Kaski Baithak, was used for receiving the visiting Heads of the States, organizing swearing-in ceremonies of the Heads of the Constitutional Bodies, receiving credentials of the New Ambassadors, and some other highly important functions.

Myagdi: This room served as a Tea Room for the Heads of the constitutional Bodies and the ambassadors.
Parbat: In this room, the visiting Heads of the States and other dignitaries use to sign the Visitors Book and the Signing Ceremony that would take place after wearing in and credentials receiving ceremony for ambassadors.
Rujum: The used to be a waiting hall for VIPs seeking an audience with the visiting Heads of the states.
Rolpa: The room served as a place for the visiting Heads of the states to have meetings with the dignitaries.
The corridor stretching from the Rolpa to the Baitadi:
The Photographs of heads of states who stayed in the palace are displayed in the corridor. This tradition was started by the late King Birendra.
Dailekh: Bed Room for the visiting Head of the state.
Baitadi: Bedroom for the First Lady of the visitors Head of the state.
Acham: Bed Room for other family members of the visiting Head of the state.
Bajura: Dining hall for the visiting Head of the state.
Jumla: This hall was used by the visiting Head of States to rest before and after meals.
Dolpa: This room was used for the members of the royal family to have a view of various programs organized at the Gorkha Baithak.
Tanahun: This hall was assigned for the council of Ministers, the high-ranking royal officials, and the secretaries of the Ministries to have a view of the program organized at the Gorkha Baithak.
Gorkha: This hall having a “ceremonial Throne” with 6 feet in length, 4 feet in breadth, and 8 feet height was used for the Decoration ceremony to the members of the Royal Family and the ceremony to announce the Crown Prince. (Note: The ceremony of the proclamation of the Constitution of Nepal -1990AD was also held in this hall).
This room was used to house personal collections used by the Late King Tribhuwan.
Lamjung: This banquet hall was used for the special state Banquet to be given in honor of the visiting Heads of the States and another dinner party to be organized on the special occasions associated with the kings and queens.
Gulmi: This room was the private office of the king.
Dhading: Room to take rest for the then king.
Dhankuta: The bedroom used by the former king.
Dhanush: This hall was used for organizing teeka ceremonies and flooring teeka to the high-ranking officials on the occasion of Vijaya Dashami and also for conferring on medals on various occasions.
Thribhuvan Sadan: This hall built during the reign of Tribhuvan had many rooms. This was the place where the Royal Palace Massacre took place on 1 June 2001 AD (2058 jestha 19 V.S) In this place, the bullets were fired on the then king Birendra, Queen Aishwarya, crown prince Dipendra, Shruti, Nirajan, and some other members and relatives of the royal family. This building was dismantled after the incident.
Garden: The garden area contains the blooming of rare varieties of plants and a mass of beautiful flowers. The revolving shade (ghumneghar) and the rounded house (golghar ) that existed in the area were used for viewing the garden and water fountains around. The rounded house was also a place for unofficial meetings and reporting to the king.

Aircraft Museum Kathmandu

Aircraft Museum Kathmandu is an aviation museum located in Sinamangal, Kathmandu, Nepal. The museum is inside an Airbus A330-300 of Turkish Airlines that only flew for about eight months before suffering a runway excursion at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu in March 2015. It was established under a joint initiative by the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal[3] and pilot Bed Upreti and his trust. This museum was officially opened to the public on 28 November 2017. The museum’s exhibits include the aircraft’s original cockpit setting, model and miniature aircraft, and items documenting the history of Nepalese aviation. The museum is the second of its kind in Nepal after Bed Upreti had already set up a similar, yet smaller aviation museum, the Aircraft Museum Dhangadhi in Dhangadhi in Western Nepal. The museum cost around NPRs 70 million.

Birendra Museum

The Birendra Museum is a museum located in Kathmandu Durbar Square, Kathmandu, Nepal. It is located alongside Tribhuvan Museum and Mahendra Museum. It contains personal artifacts that belonged to King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah, who is an internationally known Nepalese king in modern history. On the west side of Nasal Chok, the Tribhuwan Museum has exhibits of items of the grandfather of King Birendra. Exquisite stone carvings, several impressive thrones, jewel-studded ornaments used for coronations, weapons, furniture, wooden temple carvings, and a coin collection are on display at the museum. King Tribhuwan’s bedroom, study, and personal effects have been recreated and preserved here. This part of the palace, next to Durbar Square, was built by the Ranas in the mid to late 19th century. The southeast corner of the courtyard has the King Mahendra Memorial Museum where two thrones are also on display.

Hanuman Dhoka Palace Museum

The Hanuman Dhoka Palace Museum is housed in the Hanuman Dhoka Palace and run by the Nepalese government. It is also known as a Palace Museum. The museum is part of the larger Hanuman Dhoka Palace complex, which is known as Hanuman Dhoka Durbar in Nepali. The palace gets its name from the stone image of Hanuman, the Hindu monkey god, that sits near the main entryway. ‘Dhoka’ means door in Nepali.
The museum tour begins with the section on the Shah Dynasty, the last clan to rule over Nepal until they were toppled in 2006. This section has artifacts relating to the lives of the various Shah kings, right from their infancy to marriage to their coronation.
There is also a section commemorating the historic changes in Nepal, such as the repealing of the slave system, an act that cost the government of the time Nepali rupees 3,670,000.

The National Museum of Nepal

The National Museum of Nepal is a popular attraction in the capital city of Kathmandu. About a century old, the museum stands as a tourist destination and historical symbol for Nepal. Being the largest museum in the country of Nepal, it plays an important role in nationwide archaeological works and the development of museums. For the residents of Kathmandu, the monument serves to relive the battles fought on the grounds of Nepal. The main attractions are a collection of historical artworks (sculpture and paintings) and a historical display of weapons used in the wars in the 18-19th century. The museum has separate galleries dedicated to statues, paintings, murals, coins, and weapons. It has three buildings — Juddha Jayatia Khate Sala, Buddha Art Gallery, and the main building which consists of a natural historical section (collection of species of animals, butterflies, and plants), a cultural section, and a philatelic section.

The National Museum is under the Ministry of Culture, Tourism, and Civil Aviation. The museum has practical application in portraying and understanding the past and present traditions of the people of Nepal.

The National Museum of Nepal was established in 1928 A.D (1985 B.S) by using an old building built in the early 19th century. It was a residence built and used by Prime Minister Bhimsen Thapa. The building has a collection of bronze sculptures, paubha paintings, and weapons including the sword gifted by the military leader of France Napoleon Bonaparte.The museum then known as Chhauni Silkhana, literally meaning “arsenal museum”, was originally used to display firearms and weapons used in the war history of Nepal.

It was opened to the public in February 1939 by the Prime Minister of Nepal Juddha Shamsher Jung Bahadur Rana. He allowed Nepalese to visit the museum charging very little and raised a building for an art museum and named it after himself Juddha Jatiya Kalashala. Until then only foreign scholars/dignitaries and invitees or guests of the Rana Prime Minister occasionally could have a glimpse of the collection.

The Art Gallery was opened in 2023 B.S.Chhauni Silkhana was renamed as Rashtriya Museum (literally “National Museum of Nepal”) in 1967 during the rule of His Majesty the King Mahendra.

The National Museum of Nepal is in the city of Kathmandu at a short distance from the stupa. The classical building of the museum is on the Western side of the river Vishnu against a hilly background.[3] Entering the museum, on the left is the Art Gallery displaying statues, wood carvings, and paintings. The building straight ahead is the Buddhist Art Gallery displaying Buddhist art objects while the building on the right is the Museum of Natural History.

Nepal Art Council Gallery

The Art Gallery exhibits metal works, wood, and stone carvings. Prominent among the stone images is the one of Licchavi King Jayavarma of the 2nd century. This large statue found in Handigaon stands majestically after being restored by an Italian project. Four stolen sculptures — the head of the 12th century Veenadharini Saraswati from Pharping’s Kamalpokhari; the 9th century Buddha from Bhinchhe Bahal, Patan; the 14th century Surya from Panauti’s Triveni Ghat and the 10th-century Garudasana Vishnu from Hyumat Tole, Kathmandu — received from a Los Angeles based art-collector, have remained artifacts of great interest. These objects are kept in the stonework section of the gallery.
Nritya Devi is a restored wooden sculpture of a dancing goddess of the 15th century stored in the wood-carving section. Intricate motifs, carved on teak, Sal, or rosewood, on mountable window frames give a sense of refinement in woodcarving. A series of paintings depicting Krishna’s miraculous deeds known as “Krishna Lila” are important artwork and cover the major part of the gallery in the painting section.

Buddhist Art Gallery

The Buddhist Art Gallery stores Buddhist paintings, sculptures, and ritualistic objects. To provide a glimpse of the Buddhist art of the kingdom of Nepal, this gallery has been divided into three sections: the Terai, Kathmandu Valley, and the northern Himalayan sections. The Terai section is adorned with photographs of Lord Buddha’s birthplace in Lumbini. Chaityas (stupas), statues of Buddha, and Bodhisattvas cast in bronze comprise the Kathmandu valley section. The northern Himalayan section reflects the influence of Tibetan Buddhism, which apparently developed many rites and rituals. Therefore ritualistic objects like phurpa (magical dart used especially for the ritual slaying of human effigy of foes) and Dorje (represents thunderbolt) are found in this section. Thangka paintings made on cotton canvas or silk, Tibetan amulets, and religious objects, also adorn the gallery. Appealing images of Manjushri (the deity of wisdom), yantra of the 19th century (showing chakras of the body), Dipankara Buddha are other important parts of the Buddhist collection.

Nepal Historical Museum

The monumental building housing the Historical Museum was built by Bhimsen Thapa, prime minister of Nepal in the 18th century. Riches of Nepal’s biodiversity are exhibited in these chambers — mammals, amphibians, reptiles, birds, butterflies, and insects. Pelt, horn, or endo-skeletons of tiger, leopard, red panda, flying squirrel, rhinoceros, whale, colorful plumage of birds may be cited.

The Military section is a collection of weapons and artifacts from ancient, medieval, and modern Nepal. The leather-canons (seized during the 1st Nepal-Tibet war in 1792 A.D), cane helmets (from the time of early rulers), antique, electric, and Thomson submachine guns, Birgun (a gun supposedly invented by Gahendra Shamsher JB Rana) have remained valuable possessions. The gallery has a sword presented by Napoleon III and life-size paintings of tiger hunting as a royal sport, on display. Historical and modern paintings of Prime Ministers and kings of the Malla and Shah dynasties are exhibited along with showcases presenting Nepalese historical weapons. The Numismatic section preserves rare copper, silver, and gold coins from the Licchavi era (5th to 7th century) until modern times. Some tokens are made of clay or leather, and banknotes are also on display.

Natural History Museum of Nepal

The Natural History Museum of Nepal is located near the World Heritage Site of Swayambhunath. The museum was established in 1975. Since then the museum has collected 50,000 specimens of Nepal’s flora and fauna. The Natural History Museum of Nepal has been publishing a journal annually since 1977. The journal, entitled the Journal of Natural History Museum, is the oldest journal on nature in Nepal. The museum has also published numerous books and field guides on Nepal’s wildlife.
The museum is the scientific authority in fauna for CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) in Nepal. It conducts training programs on CITES-related issues for teachers, students, and people working in Nepal’s conservation sector.

The museum’s huge specimen collection is a treasure trove of Nepal’s biodiversity. There are 14,843 specimens of butterflies and moths; 4,142 beetles; 1,464 dragonflies and 1,604 other insects. It also has six specimens of lower chordates, 890 fish, 107 amphibians’ specimens, 390 reptiles, and 1,194 birds. The museum’s mammalian specimens total 225, and it also has 22 specimens of skeletons, besides 964 fossils and animal body parts. The museum also houses 107 models of plastic clay and 74 of rock and minerals. Equally impressive is the museum’s botanical and mycological collection: algae (124), fungi and mushrooms (2,320), lichens (61), bryophytes (1,124), pteridophytes (507), gymnosperms (163), and angiosperms (5,034).
The museum also has a specimen of the spiny babbler, Nepal’s only endemic bird species. A specimen of the golden pheasant, an exotic bird from China, is also on display.

Also on display is a specimen of the Atlas moth, the largest moth species in the world. Specimens of extinct species: The museum is now the only place to see a specimen of the mouse-deer (Indian chevrotain), which is believed to be extinct in Nepal.Strange specimens: The museum has some bizarre specimens, among them an eight-legged embryo of a goat, a four-legged chick, and a two-headed snake.

Fossils: The museum also has some relics from the country’s prehistoric times. There is a fossilized skull of the Archidiskodon, a species of elephant that roamed the Sivalik Hills of Nepal. Another ancient specimen is the molar teeth of Sivapithecus, a hominoid. The skull and the teeth are believed to be from around 3 million years and 8-10 million years old respectively.

The Taragaon Museum

A short walk from the Boudhanath Stupa and within the premises of the Hyatt Regency Kathmandu stands the Taragaon Museum, originally built in 1972 by Carl Pruscha and re-opened in March 2014.

The Taragaon Museum seeks to document the 50 years of research and cultural heritage conservation efforts of foreign artists, photographers, architects, and anthropologists on the Kathmandu Valley during the second half of the 20th century. The Museum showcases the restoration and rehabilitation efforts to preserve the artistic and architectural heritage of Kathmandu.
It was Mr. Arun Saraf’s vision to document what visiting architects, artists, and scholars contributed to Nepal since the 1960s after the “hidden valley” became accessible. The exhibition intends to constitute a tribute to the outstanding urban culture of the Kathmandu Valley. Mr. Saraf wanted to showcase the richness and complexity of the Kathmandu Valley’s heritage.
Architecture – Restoration & Rehabilitation:

Ms. Natasha Mittal Saraf started the restoration project to repair the buildings at Taragaon to become the Taragaon Museum, meant to demonstrate the preservation efforts on the architectural heritage of the Kathmandu Valley and to re-purpose to former hotel into a thriving Centre for Arts and Culture.

Taragaon is a unique contribution to the architectural history of Nepal. Rana architecture used white brick dust plaster, and the villas of the 1950s used plaster with cement coat, often kept grey to demonstrate “modernity.”Carl Pruscha’s outstanding merit is to have revived the use of red-facing bricks. The architect was inspired by the barrel-vaulted shelter buildings along the Ghats, a style which he introduced to Taragaon’s architecture. Architecture always has “imported” elements because architecture is essentially transcultural in character. Newar architecture incorporated central Asian and later Mughal elements, and the Ranas turned to Neo-Classicism. Visitors from all over the world appreciate Carl Pruscha’s unique contribution to the world of architecture.

Military Museum in Nepal

Opposite the National Museum in an army compound, this will likely appeal only to fans of military history. Lined up on parade outside the museum are a two-person tank, Nepal’s first-ever Rolls-Royce, gifted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1961, and a Sky van transport plane.
The interior displays lead past endless paintings of death and mayhem depicting Nepali battles over the centuries, including several against British and Tibetans, as well as an armory, including a fine bazooka and circular weapon rack. Look for the portrait of the intriguing 18th-century queen Rajendra Laxmi Devi Shah, who trained as a soldier and led her army on three campaigns. The museum closes an hour earlier between November and March.

The military museum is located in Chhauni just opposite the National Museum. The military museum is more likely to the fans of military history. The building of the museum was built in December 2000 by the Nepalese army and the museum was officially opened in July of 2005. The museum is still in development while the army is trying to expand the museum and expand the historical artifacts. Inside the museum, there are lots of collections of history. The museum is lined up with Nepal’s first-ever Rolls-Royce gifted by Queen Elizabeth II and a Skyvan transport plane. The interior inside the museum displays the endless paintings of death and mayhem depicting Nepali battles over the centuries. The museum also has a wide range of collections which includes the artifacts, history of the Nepali army, and the object that light up the sacrifice, dedication, and devotion of the army to the nation. In the beginning when the museum was opened the museum was free for all the visitors but 8 months later the administration started collecting the entry fees for the museum. The museum is also a research center for the student for their studies.

Nepal Art Council (NAC)

The Nepal Art Council (NAC) was established in 1962 as a national institution, with the prime objective of promoting the art and artists of Nepal. King Mahendra was the patron, with incumbent Prime Minister Kirti Nidhi Bista as Founding President, Nepal’s leading modern artist Lain Singh Bangdel as General Secretary, and independent promoter of the arts Gen. Mrigendra SJB Rana as Treasurer. It was conceived, constituted, and initiated as a Public-Private partnership. A brainchild of Bangdel, NAC was brought to life through his total dedication, and the unceasing support of his peers: Prime Minister Bista and Gen. Mrigendra Rana. It was later registered as a service-oriented non-profit, non-government, organization, and has remained a pioneering and leading institution in the arts ever

The completion of the current building in 1991, with grants from the Government of Nepal, Government of India, and donations from the private sector has allowed the Council to further expand the range of its activities. In recent years, the premises of the Council have been renovated and infrastructure upgraded to meet international standards.

By pioneering the nurturing of artistic talent for over half a century; the Nepal Art Council has played a pivotal role in helping a new generation of contemporary Nepalese artists working in various genres, to emerge and attain the level of excellence we witness today.

Spread over an expansive 28,423 sq. ft., NAC provides the finest and most central state-of-the-art gallery space in Kathmandu today. The galleries (covering four floors and 14,000 sq. ft.) are well-equipped with acoustics and digital facilities to host a plethora of local, regional & international activities – ranging from exhibitions, seminars, talk programs, workshops, film shows, art classes, fellowships, and cultural exchange programmers has been actively participating in collaborative events at home and abroad, including a plethora of other social, developmental and art-related activities and is well-equipped to accommodate and host major regional and international events.

Patan Museum

Patan Museum is housed in a courtyard within the Northernmost building complex of the Durbar area. The most picturesque setting of the palace that has been created in so small a place by piety and pride is known now to the people as Keshav Narayan Chowk after a temple standing at the center of the courtyard dedicated to Keshavnarayan- a form of Lord Vishnu. This part is recorded in history as Chaukot Durbar or four-cornered-fort-palace. In an International Campaign by UNESCO for safeguarding the monuments of Kathmandu valley, the Austrian Government joined hands with Nepal Government to preserve Patan Durbar Square. The ensuing project began in 1982 with the repair of Keshav Narayan Chowk that led finally to the transformation of a teaching museum to the dissemination of knowledge on Buddhism prevailed in Patan- the city of Art and Architecture. This is the first public museum in Nepal that has been created as an autonomous institution of this type managed by its own Board of Directors. The museum has been acclaimed, by visitors, as one of the finest museums in South Asia. The popularity is growing day after day and is economically self-sustained now. The collaborative effort of the Austrian Government with the Nepalese counterpart did not only restore the historical palace to its original grandeur but also created a Model Cultural Institution in Nepal.

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