Much to Discover in the National Woodworking Museum
The ancient Pujari Math building was built during the 15th century by the Malla King known as ‘Yaksha Malla’ and it is only till recently that this intricate building was restored to its former glory. Nonetheless, like in most cases, the building is said to have been the home of a Hindu priest. This ancient structure, however, houses one of the most well known National Woodworking Museums. It is here that you will find within these walls the beautiful Newar woodcarvings which include the famous Peacock window. The Nepali Museum is located just across from the Tachapal Tole, or as it’s commonly known in English ‘Dattatreya Square’, in Bhaktapur, Nepal.
Interestingly, there is an astounding amount of mural paintings that adorn the walls - each of a different deity, such as Dattatreya, Shiva-Parbati and Bishnu. What makes the National Woodworking Museum of Nepal of such great interest to those visiting from afar or locally is its amazing collection of valuable wood carvings. This of course does not stop inside but extends to the exterior of this historic building where you can see an amazing array of architectural detail. A good example of the interior wood work's finer points is that of a small room located within the museum. Here you will notice 11 roof struts that were formerly from an ancient 15th century temple. If you take a closer look, you will notice the way it has been carved and the detail given to the linking of one strut to the other.
As you walk through the building, characterized by ‘quiet seriousness’, you hardly expect to find anything out of the ordinary, however, should you come across a ladder along your travels within the National Woodworking Museum take a peek up into the attic and you’ll be surprised to find a mass of cartoon-like figures depicting Lord Jagannath and one of his many siblings. In a glass case you will find a graceful effigy of a dancing Nartaki Devi wearing a quizzical look upon her face. Just a little way away you will notice another case, this time you will find a three foot tall highly wrought carving of Buddha being tempted by the ever deceiving Mara.
The museum is open on most days from 10:15 am to around about 4:45 pm, however, on a Friday it will close at 2:45pm. On a Tuesday and ton any public holidays throughout the year the museum comes to a close for maintenance and a general check-up. The cost to enter is not badly priced at Rs. 5 though there is an extra cost of Rs. 10 should you wish to bring in your camera. As always good research into the country your visiting, customs and places of interest will help not to spring any surprises especially if you have to watch your holiday budget.