National Museum of Bhutan

Weather :

Timings : Summers: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM,
Winters: 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Entry Fee : Bhutanese: BTN 10,
SAARC Nationals: BTN 25,
Non-SAARC Nationals: BTN 150,
Monks, Nuns, Children (under 10): No Entry Fee

National Museum of Bhutan, Paro Overview

The National Museum of Bhutan is the pride of the country. Flaunting art and traditions, it has six floors, each of them narrating a unique tale from the past. You can see paintings, art pieces, animal masks and many more facets of the rich culture. Constructed in 1649 as a watchtower against Tibetan soldiers, it was converted to the National Museum in 1968, preserving the rich history of Bhutan within its walls ever since.

A paradise for history lovers and the ideal place for those who have a keen interest in gaining more information about Bhutan, National Museum in Paro is where history meets the present. Perched above Paro Dzong, it houses all the important artefacts and belongings from the past. The conservation of the historical objects, inscriptions and artefacts are necessary to keep the future generations updated about the history of the nation. Things which are more than 1500 years old can also be found here. The best place in the world to know Bhutan by its roots, it gives an insight into the local people’s lifestyle and the evolution of the culture of Bhutan.

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Exploring the National Museum of Bhutan

Star of the Museum
Egg of Mule

One thing which amazes and attracts the most number of eyeballs is an egg of a mule. Because of its popularity, it is also called “the Star of the Museum”. People are left puzzled by the fact as to how a mule possibly laid an egg. The museum also displays pictorial evidence to prove this oddity of nature.

Ground Floor
Pots and Vessels

Copper and Bronze utensils, used on special occasions by the local people, are displayed on the ground floor of the museum. The farming essentials are also displayed here and all the necessary information is also provided to the visitors.

First Floor
Cane and Bamboo Products

Both cane and bamboo are essential parts in the life of an average Bhutanese national. Sticks, utensils, showpieces, carpets, mats, woven baskets are some of the cane and bamboo items displayed here. These exhibits are found on the first floor of the museum.

Arms and Weapons
Armour used by former kings and warriors to defend the nation against foreign enemies are preserved and displayed at the museum. Bows, arrows, shields etc, from historical times, are kept. Not just the historical weapons, but modern ones such as advanced guns are also displayed here.

Second Floor
Ritual Objects

Robes, drums, daggers, cymbals and other objects used by the presiding monks in performing rituals are also displayed on the second floor of the museum. Through these objects, one learns about the religious beliefs and culture of the country.

Natural History Gallery - Animals and Birds Specimens
Birds and animals are considered an important natural resource in Bhutan. The museum displays specimens of crocodile, birds, animals and butterfly which are found in the country.

Third Floor
Clothing and Jewellery Collection

On the third floor of the museum, the articles of clothing worn by men and women are displayed. Not just common man’s, but Royal textiles are also kept in here for visitors to see. Traditional silver and copper jewellery are a major attraction here. The amulets on display are extremely beautiful. Coins are also displayed on the third floor, along with the textiles and jewellery.

Fourth Floor
Religious and Prehistoric Items
There's a small collection of earthen pots and other utensils at the entrance of the fourth floor which was collected from different parts of Bhutan from the stone age. The religious items such as daggers and swords used during rituals are also a part of this section in the art gallery. 

Fifth Floor
Scroll Paintings
In Bhutan, it is a tradition to make scroll paintings on cloth, also known as Thangka, which are made for religious purposes. This art has prevailed in the country since the 12th century and museum makes constant efforts to keep each historical thangka preserved and well maintained. From the origin of Buddhism to its development and propagation, everything is shown in the thangkas. These can be seen on the fifth floor of the museum.

Sixth Floor
Bhutanese Stamps
The sixth floor of the museum displays all kinds of stamps. They are in various shapes and colours and it is a delight to see them displayed in a very nice fashion.

Architecture of the National Museum

The six-story museum is constructed in a circular shape, having white coloured walls. During the renovation of Ta Dzong, art galleries were formed and proper storage arrangements were made to keep the ancient artefacts safely, to preserve their integrity. The walls of the museum are 2.5 metres thick and safely preserve the historical belongings of the country.
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History of the National Museum

Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, the third king of Bhutan, ordered the construction of National Museum in 1968. Ta Dzong, which served as a watchtower during times of war, was established in 1649 and renovated in 1968 to house some of the country’s most important artefacts.

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The structure was ruined in the 2011 earthquake, after which it was closed for reconstruction purpose. It was reopened in 2016.

How To Reach National Museum of Bhutan

The National Museum is located above Paro Dzong and can be reached through a cab. A local tour guide can help to hire one which will drive you to this storehouse of information.

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