National Museum is the first museum that lies on the bottom level of Swayambhu, a holy hill of Kathmandu Valley. It occupies about 50 Ropani of land with different types of buildings, gardens, and opens space in its compound. Now it provides the service to collect and display rare and precious art heritages. The history of this museum shows that at the beginning it was an Arsenal house, built by Prime Minister General Bhimsen Thapa in 1824. After it, in 1926 Rana Prime Minister Chandra Shumsher added two wings in the north and south of the main building and it was given the name of Silkhana Museum. Later in 1938 Rana Prime Minister Juddha Shumsher changed its name to Nepal Museum and its doors were opened to the public on 12th February 1939 (Amatya,1999:45).
In the beginning, the buildings of this museum were not constructed for the purpose of storage, conservation, preservation, and displays of art heritages. While it developed as a museum it realized difficult to manage it inappropriate manner. For fulfilling that requirement, then Prime Minister Juddha Shumsher has established Judhha Jatiya Kala Bhavan in front of the Nepal Museum in 1943 A.D. and opened to the public on 18th April 1943 A.D. After it, there is an art section of the Buddhist collection, which was extended through the financial support of the Japanese Government in 1997A.D.
Passing time this museum has been facing changing administrative system and managerial situation. From the early till to 1951 A.D. it was regulated as the separate department of the government. It shifted its administrative authority under the Ministry of Education with the leadership of curator from 1951 A.D., which remains till to 1962 A.D. Later on, it is managed under the Department of Archaeology till now. As per the management, the name of this museum is being changed. In the beginning, it was known as Arsenal Museum which was transformed into Nepal Museum in 1939 A.D. Later on, it changed its name to National Museum in 1968 A.D., which is remained popular till today. Now, mainly historical galleries, Judhhajatiya art galleries, and Buddhist art galleries are providing service to visitors in this museum. Gradually, it becomes an important destination for the visitors like students, international and domestic tourists.
The museum also has an auditorium having the sitting capacity of 142 participants with a comfortable chair with a podium facilitated, good audiovisual and lighting system. It complexes are provided with gardens and is also good for a day’s outing for a family with children and spend a day in an academic tour and relaxation.