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Pokhara Natural History Museum

Pokhara Natural History Museum

Annapurna Natural History Museum sign
Annapurna Natural History Museum sign

Dorothy Mierow built the Pokhara Natural History Museum in 1965 as part of her Peace Corps service project. It was originally developed to provide entertainment to people in the area. Although it has kept its original purpose, it has developed into an educational facility. The Pokhara Natural History Museum identifies the different animals, and rock types found throughout Nepal. It also has a small section on Himalayan culture.

In this blog post I review the Pokhara Natural History Museum and provide a brief history.

History

Annapurna Natural History Museum
Annapurna Natural History Museum building

The Pokhara Natural History Museum was built on unused Prithvi Narayan Campus’ land.  As part of the agreement for the construction of the building, the museum had to be freely available to all people. The original purpose of the building was to provide entertainment and be educational. The dolls and simple exhibits were for children while the advanced exhibits were there to educate people about areas of Nepal outside Pokhara.

Exhibits

When you enter the main entrance, you arrive in an educational area for kids.  There are paintings on the walls and cement statues of animals on the ground. Next to each animal is a plaque identifying the animal and providing information about it.

My favorite animal was the squirrel.

flying squirrel
Surprise M.F.

In the room directly south of the main entrance is the Annapurna Conservation Area Project room. This room contains several displays including mounted animals, and geological collections.  Among the mounted animals are the Himalayan Monal and a leopard. The geologic displays have fossils and types of metamorphic, sedimentary, and igneous rock found in Nepal.

Himalayan Monal mount
Himalayan Monal mount

East of the ACAP room is the cultural display. This room has toy dolls, pictures, masks, and other historic artifacts that represent the many different cultures in Nepal.

glary picture of a mask in a glass display case
Glary picture of a mask in a glass display case

The southernmost room is the butterfly museum. This room has almost all of Nepal’s 660 species of butterflies and moths. The biodiversity of the butterflies on display is amazing. The collection is so impressive that the Pokhara Natural History Museum is also known as the Butterfly Museum.

Butterfly Museum

Tropical butterflies of southern Nepal
Tropical butterflies of southern Nepal

Colin Smith collected and preserved most of the butterflies in this collection. The collection grew over the course of 30 years and is Nepal’s largest collection of butterflies, moths, and dragonflies. The displays are organized to show mimicry, camouflage, endangered and threatened butterfly’s. There are also comparisons of the same species of butterflies from different parts of Asia.

Tssoria issaea male and female butterflies from Manang
Tssoria issaea male and female butterflies from Manang

 

Stilbochiona nicea butterfly
Stilbochiona nicea butterfly

 

Ypthima confusa and Dallacha hyagrive butterflies
Ypthima confusa and Dallacha hyagrive butterflies

 

Precis orithya recycle butterfly

 

Common Meadow Blue male and female butterflies.
Common Meadow Blue, male and female butterflies.

Museum Hours

Sunday through Thursday: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm (4:00 pm in winter)
Friday: 10:00 am to 3:00 pm
Closed for lunch: 1:00 pm to 1:30 pm in winter, 1:30 to 2:00 pm in summer

Closed for public holidays

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