It is located on the western fringe of the old part of Kathmandu, the archivers 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 Nepal Bhasa languages. It remains open except on Saturdays and holidays from 11 am to 5 pm.
Located in the western end of Kathmandu and a few minute walk down from the famous Swoyambhunath Stupa, National Museum is considered the most important museum of Nepal. 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 greater earthquake of 1934. In addition, the museum is the unique treasure house of medieval and modern works in wood, metal/bronze, stone works and the paintings. The museum remains close on Tuesdays.
Entry fee: Rs. 50 for Chinese and foreign Nationals; Rs. 10 for SAARC Nationals.
The Natural History Museum:
Situated at the southern foothills of Swoyambhunath, the museum is a window to the natural history of Nepal. The museum has a size able collection of different species of animals, butterflies and plants. The special feature of this museum is a serial display of diverse life species from prehistoric shells to the stuffed animals, birds, crocodiles and many other interesting exhibits. It is open on all the weekdays except Saturdays and government holidays.
The Tribhuvan Museum: (Hanuman Dhoka)
The Museum is especially designed to display all the events, personal belongings, momentos of the late Tribhuvan (1906-1955). 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.
Entry Fee: Rs. 250 for all Foreign Nationals; Rs. 10 for Nepalese.
The Mahendra Museum: (Hanuman Dhoka):
The museum vividly sheds light on the late king Mahendra (1920-1972 AD). 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.
The Birendra Museum:
The Museum is a recent addition in the Palace complex. This museum particularly contains the personal possessions of the present monarch, late king Birendra, 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.
Nepal National Library:
One of the largest libraries in Nepal, this library contains more than 70,000 titles on various subjects. Although most of the books are in English, books in Nepali, Sanskrit, Hindi, Newari are also in the collection. The National Library has some rare scholarly books in Sanskrit and English dating from 17th century AD. Located in the old palatial Harihar Bhavan, Patan, the library is open on all weekdays except Saturdays and government holidays.
Located in the Kaiser Mahal (on the ground floor of Ministry of Education building), Thamel, the library is a personal collection of late Kaiser Shumsher Rana. The entire collection is the reflection of personal taste of late Rana which ranges from as diverse as law and astrology. The library has a collection of 45,000 books covering history, art, religion, philosophy etc. The oldest book in the collection is a Sanskrit manual of ‘Tantra’, the art of mysticism. This is believed to br at least 1000 years old. The library remains closed on all government holidays and Saturdays.
Located in the palace complex of Patan Durbar Square, the patan Museum is a house to some of the unique medieval works in bronze. The earliest specimens date back to 11th century of even earlier Lichhavi period. Most of the exhibits are deities from the Buddhist pantheon like images of Buddhas and Lokeswore. And in the lesser number, there are icons from Hindu pantheon like Vishnu and other deities.
Entry Fee: Rs. 250 for Chinese and Foreign Nationals; Rs. 25 for SAARC Nationals.
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 ministers. 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.
National Archive Museum:
Located in the famous palace complex of Bhaktapur Durbar Square, the gallery is in fact a unique museum. The gallery consists of some of the rarest paintings of Nepal and a wide array of manuscript with painted covers and illustration. Although this gallery is primarily a ‘Museum’ of paintings from early to late Mall period, the gallery also contains bronze, brass, stone and wooden images. In fact, the gallery is the virtual treasure house to explore the medieval art tradition of Nepal. The Musem remains closed on Thursdays and government holidays.
Entry Free: Rs. 20 charge for Chinese and Foreign Nationals; Rs. 10 for SARRC Nationals.
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 samplers of everyday items used in the past by famous people. Among the displays are scriptures that are among the most valuable in the kingdom.
Nepal Association of Fine Arts (NAFA):
Housed in an old building at Naxal, it houses the National Birendra Art Gallery, which has a collection of about 150 art pieces by prominent Nepalese Artists. Art exhibitions are regularly organized where paintings can be bought. NAFA also has studios where Nepalese artists can be seen at work. Open daily except Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, from 9 am to 5 pm.
Pujari Math Museum:
Situated in the 15th century restored building known as ‘Pujari Math’, Tachapal Tole (Dattatreya Tole), Bhaktapur the building itself is an exhibit. Built by Yaksha Malla, a 15th century king of Kathmandu Valley, the house is adorned with exquisitely carved wooden windows. The famous windows are Peacock and other latticed windows. Infact, the ‘Pujari Math’ is an excellent example of master wood workmanship of Newar artisans of Kathmandu Valley.
The Bronze and Brass Museum:
Located opposite the Pujari Math, Bhakatapur, the museum contains the typical Newari bronze and brass utensils, ritual pots, lamp stands, hookahs (Hubble bubble) other jars used since medieval times and in some cases till today.
Located in Tilaruakot (near the archaeological ruins of Tilaurakot palace complex- the ancestral home of Lord Buddha), the Kapilvastu Museum is about 26 km from Lumbini, the birth place of Buddha. The Museum has an interesting collection of coins, pottery, toys and other articrafts dating from 7th century B.C. to 4th century A.D. The museum also displays some unique jewellery pieces dating the same period. The museum remains closed in Thursdays and government holidays.
International Mountain Museum:
International Mountain Museum situated in Pokhara opened on February 5, 2004. The Museum is spread over a total floor area of 4,242 sq.m on 12.5 acres of land. The museum contains three main exhibition halls- hall of Great Himalayas, Hall of Fame and Hall of World Mountains. It also contains models of famous peaks, mannequins of famous mountaineers, culture and lifestyle of mountain people, flora and fauna including geology. The museum has been built with the theme of man, mountains and mountaineering. The museum also has model Nepali houses constructed in its premises.
Entry Fee: Rs. 300 for foreigners, Rs. 200 for SAARC nationals, Rs. 50 for Nepalese and Rs. 10 for students.