National Museum Of Nepal
The National Museum of Nepal started as a museum for weapons and ammunition in the year 1928. Its original name was “Chhauni Silkhana” which, when directly translated, means: “The Stone House of Arms and Ammunitions.” Fortunately the potential and importance of the museum was noted and the museum, which was once only open to guests, became available to the public. In 1967 the museum was renamed to the National Museum of Nepal (Rashtriya Sangrahalaya).
Being located in Kathmandu, it has become a popular attraction to locals wanting to relive their history, and to visitors who are interested in Nepals’ past. Nepal’s National Museum is divided into three main historical collections, each of which are housed in a separate building. One of the collections concentrates on historical, religious art which has been exquisitely preserved and attracts thousands of visitors each year. Here breathtaking paintings, that date to the 18th and 19th century, adorn the walls. These are complimented by beautiful wood carvings from the same time period. Guests to Nepal’s National Museum will be astonished at the skill and detail used by craftsmen to complete their metal work. Sculptures from the 13th century and lovely terra-cottas demand the admiration of all that look upon them.
In the year 1995 the Japanese Government donated funds to the National Museum of Nepal to host an exhibit that consists of Buddhist Religious Art. This exhibit educates the public about the Buddhist religion through amazing pieces of art, and assists in the research of Buddhism and the preservation of its associated artifacts.
But it is definitely the arms and ammunitions exhibit that draws the most attention. Here visitors are able to get a unique insight into the weaponry of Nepal through the ages. The greatest attraction in this division is the leather cannon. It originates from the historical Tibetan war period which took place in 1792. Many of the firearms that are in the collection were made by local Nepalis, and this adds a touch of nostalgia to the exhibit.
The National Museum of Nepal has a wide variety of items and artifacts. In addition to those already mentioned, visitors can look forward to the doll collection, second century BC coins, stuffed animals and relics from the devastating 1934 earthquake. It is easy to understand why this museum has become so important to Nepal - it holds the country’s entire history under one roof.