National Museum of Nepal is located in the Kathmandu neighborhood of Chhauni. It is worth a visit to view its collection of local treasures, which range from ancient stone carvings, wood carvings, metal sculptures, and ancient images of the Buddha and Hindu deities from different periods.
Located a short distance from the Swayambhunath, the National Museum consists of three buildings. As you approach it, the building on your 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.
Perhaps the most interesting exhibit at the Art Gallery are four stolen images that have since been returned from Los Angeles. The four items are the head of the 12th century Veenadharini Saraswati; 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. These were voluntarily returned to Nepal by an anonymous collector. Other prominent displays at the Art Gallery include the 2nd century image of the Lichhavi King Jayavarma.
The Buddhist Art Gallery holds a treasure trove of Buddhist paintings, sculptures and religious objects. The gallery is divided into three sections: the terai section, the Kathmandu valley section, and the northern Himalayan section. The terai section covers photos taken at Buddha's birthplace, Lumbini. In the Kathmandu section are bronze statues of Buddhas and Bodhisatvas. The northern Himalayan section displays Tibetan Buddhist art.
Opening hours of the National Museum
The Art Gallery and Buddhist Art Gallery, collectively the National Museum, has the following opening hours:
From 10:30 am to 3 pm, except on Tuesdays and govt. holidays.
From 10:30 am to 2 pm, on Fridays.
The Museum of Natural History is housed in a massive 18th century building. It showcases a stuffed menageric of mammals, reptiles, birds, amphibians and insects. One of the finest pieces here is the stuffed baby rhinoceros.
Opening hours of the Museum of Natural History
The Museum of Natural History has the following opening hours:
From 10 am to 4 pm, except on Saturdays and on official government holidays.