Located in the western end of Kathmandu and a few minutes walk down from the famous Swoyambhunath stupa, National Museum is considered the most important museum of Nepal. The museum has a large collection of weapons, art and antiquities of historic and cultural importance. Initially built as a collection house of war trophies and weapons, the museum has an extra-ordinary collection of eighteenth and nineteenth century weapons, firearms locally made and captured from the various wars, leather canons and relics of natural calamities like great earthquake of 1934. In addition, the museum is the unique treasure house of medieval and modern works in wood, metal/ bronze, stoneworks and the paintings. The museum remains close on Tuesdays.
The Natural History Museum:
Situated at the southern foothills of Swoyambhunath, the museum is a window to the natural history of Nepal. The museum has a size able collection of different species of animals, butterflies and plants. The special feature of this museum is a serial display of diverse life specie from prehistoric shells to the stuffed animals, birds, crocodiles and many other interesting exhibits. It is open on all the weekdays except Saturdays and government holidays.
Hanumandhoka Palace Complex:
This grand medieval palace complex, in addition to its architectural importance and grandeur, is also the heart beat of medieval and modern history of Nepal. In tune with its historic ambience, three separate museums of historic importance are located inside the Palace complex. One single entry ticket entitles the visit to all the museums and they remain open on all weekdays except Saturdays and government holidays.
The Tribhuvan Museum:
The museum is specially designed to display all the events, personal belongings, mementos of the late H.M.King Tribhuvan (1906 - 1955). He is fondly remembered as the father of the nation as he was primarily instrumental in ushering democracy in Nepal in 1951. The museum has a rare collection of photos, paintings / portraits of Royal family members.
The Mahendra Museum:
The museum vividly sheds light on the late king Mahendra (1920 1972 AD). The exhibits include remake of his cabinet room, office chamber and his personal belongings including walls, decorations, stamps and coins. As he is fondly remembered as a poet-king, his original writing ambience and personal notes and manuscripts are displayed here.
The Birendra Museum:
This museum is a recent addition in the Palace complex. This museum particularly contains the personal possessions of the present monarch, His Majesty King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah, including royal attires that he had donned during various state and historic occasions. Also on display are gifts,. medals, honorary titles received from other head of states and other interesting memorabilia.
One of the largest libraries in Nepal, this library contains more than 70,000 books on various subjects. Although most of the books are in English, books in Nepali, Sanskrit, Hindi and Newari are also in the collection. The National Library has some rare scholarly books in Sanskrit and English dating from 17th century AD. Located in the old palatial Harihar Bhavan, Patan, the library is open on all weekdays except Saturdays and govt. holidays.
Located in the Kaiser Mahal (on the ground floor of Ministry of Education building), Thamel, the library is a personal collection of a Rana nobility late Field Marshal Kaiser Shumsher Rana. The entire collection is the reflection of personal taste of late Rana which ranges from as diverse as law and astrology. The library has a collection of 45,000 books covering history, art, religion, philosophy etc. The oldest book in the collection is a Sanskrit manual of 'Tantra', the art of mysticism. This is believed to be at least 1000 years old. The library remains closed on all government holidays and Saturdays.
For visitors with a slight bent on medieval history and religious traditions of Kathmandu Valley, Asa Archives is probably the best library to visit. Housed in a private house in Kulumbbhula, the western fringe of old part of Kathmandu town, Asa Archives has a rare collection of 6000 loose-leaf handwritten books and 1000 palm- leaf manuscripts. A manuscript dated to 1464 AD is considered the oldest manuscript available here. Most of the documents / manuscripts are in Sanskrit or Nepal Bhasa (Newari Script). The Archives is open daily except government holidays and Satu rdays.
Located in the palace complex of Patan Durbar Square, the Patan Museum is a house to some of the unique medieval works in bronze. The earliest specimens date back to 11th century or even earlier Lichhavi period. Most of the exhibits are deities from the Buddhist pantheon like images of Buddhas and Lokeswore. And in the lesser number, there are icons from Hindu pantheon like Vishnu and other deities.
The National Art Gallery:
Located in the famous place complex of Bhaktapur Durbar Square, the Gallery is in fact a unique museum. The Gallery consists of some of the rarest paintings of Nepal and a wide array of manuscripts with painted covers and illustrations. Although this Gallery is primarily a 'Museum' of paintings from early to late Malla period, the Gallery also contains bronze, brass, stone and wooden images. In fact, the gallery is the virtual treasure house to explore the medieval art tradition of Nepai. The museum remains closed on Thursdays and government holidays.
Situated in the 15th century restored building known as 'Pujari Math', Tachapal Tole (Dattatreya Tole), Bhaktapur the building itself is an exhibit. Built by Yaksha Malla, a 15th century king of Kathmandu Valley, the house is adorned with exquisitely carved wooden windows. The famous windows are Peacock and other latticed windows. In fact, the 'Pujari Math' is an excellent example of master wood workmanship of Newar artisans of Kathmandu valley.
The Bronze and Brass Museum:
Located opposite the Pujarimath, Bhaktapur, the museum contains the typical Newari bronze and brass utensils, ritual pots, lampstands, hookahs (Hubble bubble) other jars used since medieval times and in some cases till today.
Located in Tilaruakot (near the archaeological ruins of Tilaurakot palace complex - the ancestral home of Lord Buddha), the Kapilvastu Museum is about 26 km from Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha. The museum has an interesting collection of coins, pottery, toys and other artifacts dating from 7th century B.C. to Fourth century AD. The museum also displays some unique jewellery pieces dating the same period. The museum remains closed in Thursdays and government holidays.