Timings : February - October:
Wednesday - Sunday: 10:30 AM - 4:30 PM, Monday: 10:30 AM - 2:30 PM
November - January:
Wednesday - Sunday: 10:30 AM - 3:30 PM, Monday: 10:30 AM - 2:00 PM
Entry Fee : Entry for Citizen of SAARC Countries: NPR 50
NPR 75 for Entry with a Still Camera
NPR 150 for Entry With a Video Camera
Entry for citizens of Other Foreign Countries: NPR 150
NPR 100 for Entry With a Still Camera
NPR 200 for Entry With a Video Camera
Also known as the Rashtriya Sangrahalaya among the locals, the National Museum is one of the prime attractions situated in the capital city of Nepal, Kathmandu. This century-old museum has preserved and revered the exhibits through all these years to uphold the rich historical significance of Nepal. Home to three buildings - the Historical Museum Building, the Buddhist Art Gallery, and the Juddha Jayatia Kala Shala - this monument houses cultural, historical, and philatelic sections, including weapons, artworks, coins, statues, postage stamps, and several species of plants and animals.
The National Museum came into existence about one hundred years ago and has managed to retain its significant position among the tourist spots in the country ever since. Being the largest museum of Nepal, it stands as a historical symbol for the country and plays a significant role in the development of museums, as well as the archaeological works throughout the country. The National Museum serves as a ground where people relive the long battles that were fought on Nepal's land.
Established in 1928, the National Museum of Nepal was constructed by renovating an ancient building built in the early years of the 19th century. Formerly, it used to be a mansion in which the de facto ruler of Nepal, Bhimsen Thapa, resided. Formerly, the museum served as a place to exhibit solely weapons and firearms which had been used during the war years in Nepal. The monument was called the 'Chhauni Silkhana' back then, which literally translates to 'arsenal museum'.
The prestigious museum was opened to the general public in 1939 after Juddha Shamsher Jung Bahadur Rana, the then Prime Minister of Nepal, permitted the Nepalese to visit the historical monument after paying a meagre admission fee. He raised two other buildings beside the main mansion and named one after himself. The Chhauni Silkhana was renamed as the Rashtriya Sangrahalaya, literally translating to National Museum, in 1967, under the reign of King Mahendra. The museum is under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation at present.
The Historical Museum Building is the oldest and the main building in the complex. Formerly, it was the residence of Bhimsen Thapa. At present, the building houses a Philatelic Gallery, a Historical Gallery, a Natural Science Gallery, and a Numismatics Museum. The extraordinary exhibition of armaments includes swords and shields, khukuris, and battle armour, which date back several centuries. It also houses leather canons which were seized during the first war fought between Nepal and Tibet in 1792, cane helmets, Birgun, and Thomson submachine guns.
The sword presented by the ruler of France, Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte remains the most valuable treasure, along with the plethora of relics from 1934, the year in which Kathmandu became a victim of a massive earthquake. Equally enthralling are the displays of the Natural Science section, which houses a variety of species of birds and animals of the wild, including mammals, reptiles, insects, and butterflies. The philatelic section, including an extensive collection of stamps from previous centuries, primarily draws in collectors from afar. On the other hand, the numismatic section houses bronze, copper, silver, and gold coins dating back to the Licchavi era and continuing until recent years. Finally, life-sized paintings of the rulers during the Malla and Shah dynasties along with the Prime Ministers adorn the walls of the building.
A repository of Buddhist sculptures, paintings, and ceremonial objects, the Buddhist Art Gallery provides a rich insight into the Buddhist art in the country of Nepal. This gallery is segregated into three sections, namely the Kathmandu Valley, the Terai, and the northern Himalayan sections.
While the first section comprises of figures of Bodhisattvas and the Buddha and Chaityas cast in bronze, the Terai section is ornate with numerous pictures of Lumbini, the birthplace of the Buddha. On the other hand, the northern Himalayan part offers a glimpse of the impact of Tibetan Buddhism on the country, which was supposedly full of rituals and religious practices. Owing to this, ritualistic artefacts like Phurpas, Dorje, Thangka paintings and Tibetan amulets are displayed in the gallery, among other religious materials. Breathtaking images and paintings of the Goddess of Wisdom Manjushri, Dipankara Buddha, and Yantras belonging to the 19th century wrap up the priceless collection of the Buddhist Art Gallery.
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