Museums & Galleries in Nepal

Nepal is the most beautiful and stunning Himalayan country in the world. Though small in size, it is known in the world as a nation of color and contrasts-a hidden Shangri-La of nature, culture and adventure. In the countryside the way of life is still traditional, nature is at its best, high mountains and lush valleys are ideal places for trekking and mountaineering, flora and fauna invites a nature lover for a rendezvous with them. Nepal is rich with traditions of art and culture. Nepal is a landlocked country lying between 800 4'- 800 12' east longitude and 260 22'- 300 4' north latitude. The total area comprises 147181 sq. km. Nepal is bordered by the Tibet, an Autonomous Region of China, to the north and India in the east, south and west. The country is rectangular in shape, approximately 885 km long boarded by Mechi River in east and Mahakali River in west and roughly 200 km tall north to south.

 

Nepal is divided into three geographical regions known as, Himalayan region, Mountain Region and the Terai Region. In the north it straddles the hills and mountains between the enormous Ganges plain and high Tibetan plateau. The Himalayan range content close to the one third of the entire greater Himalaya range including 8 of the world’s 10 highest mountain. There are about 1300 other peaks well above 6000 meters high resting in this region. In the south a narrow strip of flat land known as Terai exist bordered by Siwalik Hill and Mahabharat Range. Between are boarded valleys, the inner Terai which were once infested with deadly malaria but this area is now a rapidly developing area since DDT was spread to eradicate Malaria. The Terai region is also known and fertile bread basket of Nepal. Between Himalayas and Terai the Mountain region covers 64% of total surface area of Nepal.

 

Nepal Museums.

 

Kathmandu valley is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage site and has well planned and well exhibited displays in museums and art galleries spread all over the Metropolitan area and also in its neighboring cities of Patan and Bhaktapur. The museums display unique artifacts and paintings from 5th century AD onwards to date, including archeological exportations of Nepal’s rare historical, cultural and religious monuments. The Museums and galleries in Nepal are-National Museum, Natural History Museum, Hanumandhoka Palace Complex’s Tribhuvan Museum, Patan & Bhaktapur Durbar Square Museum and Mountaineering International Museum of Pokhara are the main preserved show case of the country. Travelers can observe several unique Nepalese historical, cultural and religious monuments by visiting these sites.

 

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.

 

Opening Time:
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.

 

Opening Time:
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.


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

 

The Kaiser Library - It is near Thamel, the main tourist center of Nepal. It contains a collection of 30,000 books of Kaiser Shamsher 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.

 

Opening Time:
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.

 

Opening Time:
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.

 

Opening Time:
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.

 

Opening Time:
Open daily, except on Tuesdays

 

The Asha 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.

 

Opening Time:
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.

 

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

 

Nepal Galleries.

 

NAFA Gallery:
This gallery is housed in Sita Bhavan, a neo- classical old Rana palace Naxal, Kathmandu. The gallery has two sections: Birendra Art Gallery - a permanent hall which displays works of eminent contemporary painters and sculptors. The second hall is used for occasional exhibitions of established or newly emerging artists of the country. The Gallery runs under the aegis of Arts and crafts Department, Royal Nepal Academy.

 

Srijana Contemporary Art Gallery:
A cooperative venture of a group of contemporary painters and sculptors, this Gallery regularly organizes various Art exhibitions solo and group shows. Besides, this gallery possess a wide collection of contemporary works from many established names to exciting new names. Also. the gallery runs morning and evening Art Classes. The Gallery is located inside Bhrikutimandap Exhibition grounds, Kathmandu.

 

J Art Gallery:
Located in the prestigious address of Durbarmarg, Kathmandu - a minute walk from the Royal Palace, the Gallery is specially noted for the exhibitions, display and sale of authentic works of the established painters of Nepal. The gallery is well patronized by the diplomatic and expatriate community of Kathmandu.

 

NEF-ART (Nepal Fine Art) Gallery:
A few minutes walk down the street of Gabahal from the fabled Patan Durbar Square, the gallery is specially noted for its bias for traditional Nepalese paintings and sculptures. The gallery holds occasional exhibition of traditional (Nepalese) paintings locally known as 'Paubhas'. Paubhas display an idealistic type of expression, flat bright colors, intricate outline - primarily of Buddhist or Hindu pantheon.

 

Moti Azima Gallery:
Located inside a nondescript narrow facade of a three storied building, in Bhimsenthan (on the way to Visnumati bridge), Kathmandu the exterior is deceptive. For, inside the gallery contains a unique collection of traditional utensils, handmade dolls representing different ethnic groups and social customs of Nepal, excellent samples of local handicraft works and above all the whole house represents a typical medieval house holds environ of a Newar family. Owned by a private entrepreneur, the gallery is a local style boutique - shop - embracing all the typicalities available. The gallery is open till Sunday through Friday.

 

Nepal Art Council Gallery:
Situated in Babar Mahal- on the way to Tribhuvan International Airport, the Gallery has an excellent space area for exhibitions. The gallery occasionally exhibitions of paintings and sculptures. Owned by a local non - governmental organization the gallery is noted for the display of works of selected artists of the country and abroad.

 

For More information about Geography and History of Nepal

 

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