The main building, as the birthplace of Nepalese museum is called the Historical Gallery. First Prime Minister General Bhimsen Thapa had built this building or the purpose of military barrack. the influence of French architecture can be seen in this building. Till 1938 it was used as repository of arms and weapons because it was popularly known as Slikhana. In 1938 A.D., it was officially opened for general public with the name as Chhauni Silkhana Museum. The building consists of a courtyard were various kinds of worshipping are made on the auspicious occasion of Dashara and Chaitra Dashain. The main building consists of many galleries with different type of collections. This building is consists of different sections like natural history section , doll section, ethnological section, Mustang section, arms and ammunition section, portrait section and illicittrafficking section. Due to the earthquake, the first and second floor of this building has been closed temporarily.
NATURAL HISTORY GALLERY
The objects that are collected and displayed here in this gallery are extremely important and rare. The form and contours of various animals have been prepared following the taxidermy technique and they look as they did when living. Also in this gallery one can very clearly view astonishing objects relating to natural science. From this gallery’s presentation one can gain knowledge of various types of animal species, birds and reptiles. Another important part of the gallery is the display of the mandibular bones of a whale, the largest among all mammals on the earth. Another equally important object displayed here is the remain of a Lycoptera, a fossilized reptile that belongs to the Jurassic period (approximately 130 million years old). This gallery has proud privilege of having such an old and rare object in the museum. The fossil was gifted to then Defense Secretary MR. Madam Aryal during his visit to the people’s Republic of China. It was because of his effort that the museum got the opportunity to display this rare object in this gallery. Many important objects that are a part of this gallery have been acquired from the Governments of different countries. One among these objects was gifted by the United States of America. This was a rock collected from the moon. Similarly, a replica of a stuffed baby rhino prepared under special methods was brought from the UK.
THE DOLL SECTION
The dolls section is another important attraction in the gallery. The small human figures displayed here represent the lifestyle and attire of different people around the world. Looking through these magnificent dolls, one can feel that the world itself is a colorful garden with the people from different cultural backgrounds.
THE ETHNOLOGICAL SECTION
Nepal as the heartland of Asian continent has remained as an independent Nation throughout the history. Though the size of the country is small, its ethnic variety is surprisingly great and that has made Nepal as a “turn- table” of Asia. The Nepali people living in diverse geographical and natural environments have developed vastly differing languages, customs, practices and other ways of life through the ages. Nepal is a country rich in terms of cultural diversity, with more than one hundred ethnic and caste groups. Thus, Nepal is considered as a “small world” with greater variations of people and culture.
The ethnological section provides as overview of the life styles of different caste and ethnic groups representing three regions from north to south: the Mountains (Himal), the Hills (Pahad) and the Terai of the plains (Madhesh).
THE MUSTANG SECTION
Mustang is the trans himalayan river valley located in central Nepal drained by the River Kaligandaki. The valley is traversed by the people since prehistoric times linking the Gangetic plains of south and Brahmaputra Valley of Tibetan plateau who travel to and from either sides with the aim of pilgrimage as well as trade purpose.
All the visitors and pilgrims trekking to Muktinath were and are always amazed to see big holes on the cliffs all along the way. But very few of them think what that is? what was that for? who made them and when were they made and for how long were they used for?
Thousands of pilgrims for hundrends of years saw the holes, but curiosity remained always as silent as over before. The burial caves were exposed while a shaft was being dug to install the water pipe for mini hydro project in Chokhopani terrace across the Kaligandaki river from Tukuche village. It was on Friday the 6th November in 1981. The burial caves, later on proved to be older than three thousand years.
Virtually there are hundrends of cave concentrations and thousands of caves hewn out in them. Millions of people must have used them for thousands of years during the course of historic time.
This was the history of Mustang archaeology that started by chance as in other important archaeological sites of the world: the Mohanjodaro of Pakistan, Lascaux of France and terracotta army of Xian, China.
Few of the amazing finds are exhibited in two showcases one with organic artifacts and next one with potteries.
The organic artifacts also are preserved due to the and climate in the region.
The bamboo baskets and other artifacts dates from the start of Christian Era to 16th Century A.D.
Photo Credit : Bipash Mahato