Three Museums in one tour: Art and History

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1 day

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All year long


Tour Details

Nepal’s cultural heritage, often hidden in the mountain communities, is another facet of its charm. The rich cultural values of the people who call the Himalayas home add depth to the region’s mystique. Additionally, beneath the rugged surface of the mountains lie geological mysteries that intrigue scientists and geologists. These mysteries have led researchers to explore and study the region extensively.

The International Mountain Museum, located in Pokhara at the foothills of the Himalayas, is a testament to Nepal’s dedication to preserving and showcasing the natural, cultural, and geological wonders of the region. This unique museum was established with the aim of systematically documenting successful ascents of the eight-thousanders, cataloging the geographic features, flora and fauna of the region, and documenting human activities in the Himalayas. The design of the museum itself is symbolic, with its roof resembling the silhouette of a mountain skyline, welcoming visitors to explore the wonders within. The International Mountain Museum serves as a hub for mountaineers, geologists, environmentalists, sociologists, and anyone passionate about the mysteries and values hidden in the Himalayan range. It is a place where the world can come together to learn, appreciate, and celebrate the majesty and significance of Nepal’s Himalayas.

The Gorkha Memorial Museum in Pokhara, Nepal, is a place of historical significance and cultural heritage. This museum pays tribute to the brave Gurkha soldiers who have served in the British and Indian armies for centuries. Inside, you’ll find a fascinating collection of artifacts, photographs, and documents that showcase the rich history and remarkable bravery of the Gurkha soldiers. It’s a must-visit destination for anyone interested in learning more about the courageous Gurkhas and their contributions to world history.

The Annapurna Natural History Museum, also known as the Butterfly Museum, is a captivating attraction located in Pokhara, Nepal. This museum is dedicated to the colorful and diverse world of butterflies and insects found in the Annapurna region. Inside, visitors can explore an extensive collection of butterflies, moths, and various insect species, beautifully displayed in their natural habitat. The museum provides a unique opportunity to learn about the local biodiversity and the importance of conserving these delicate creatures. It’s a delightful stop for nature enthusiasts and anyone looking to discover the fascinating world of butterflies in the heart of the Himalayas.

Price Includes

  • Pre-trip online personal advice
  • Lunch
  • Government registered, well experienced, English speaker and friendly local guide
  • Staff fees with all their expenses and necessary insurance
  • Entrance fees
  • All transportation during the tour

Price Excludes

  • Nepal visa fee
  • Health insurance (compulsory)
  • Any expenses which arise due to a change of the itinerary, because of landslides, political trouble, and strikes etc.
  • Drinks and Bar Menu

You can add to your pack

  • Guide in your own language
  • Sightseeing in Kathmandu
  • Accommodation in Kathmandu and Pokhara
  • Three meals per day in Kathmandu and Pokhara
  • Round trip vehicle or flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara
  • Taxi service
  • International flight


  • Combine several activities and extend your trip
What to Expect

First, we will visit the International Mountain Museum. This museum is nestled amidst the breathtaking Annapurna mountain range, providing a fitting backdrop for an exploration of the world of mountain climbing. As we enter, we’ll be surrounded by the grandeur of these massive peaks. The museum showcases a fascinating collection of tools and equipment used by climbers in their quest to conquer these towering giants. We can examine climbing gear up close, gaining an appreciation for the precision and determination required for such adventures.

What truly makes this museum special are the gripping stories of mountaineers and their incredible feats. As we wander through the exhibits, we’ll encounter tales of courage, resilience, and the indomitable human spirit. The experiences of those who ventured into the realm of the mountains, their trials, triumphs, and the challenges they faced are vividly portrayed here. For the more adventurous among us, there’s even an opportunity to get a taste of mountain climbing in a simulated setting – an exciting, albeit safe, glimpse into the world of high-altitude exploration.

Next on our journey is the Gorkha Memorial Museum. This museum stands as a testament to the unwavering bravery and sacrifices of the Gurkha soldiers. As we step inside, we’ll be transported back in time to an era when these remarkable heroes served their nations, including the United Kingdom, Singapore, India, and their beloved Nepal. The museum is adorned with historical photographs, artifacts, and memorabilia that vividly narrate the tales of these valiant warriors.

Our visit here will shed light on the Gurkhas’ pivotal role during World War I and World War II, where they fought gallantly in locations such as Neuve Chapelle, Givenchy, Loos, Ypres, Mesopotamia, Persia, Palestine, and Gallipoli. Though they endured approximately 20,000 casualties during World War I alone, their unparalleled bravery garnered them numerous prestigious awards, including the Victoria Cross. In World War II, more than 110,000 Gurkhas served in 40 battalions, with nearly 30,000 sacrificing their lives or being wounded in the line of duty. This museum serves as a poignant reminder of their dedication and service.

Finally, we’ll conclude our adventure at the Annapurna Natural History Museum, affectionately known as the Butterfly Museum. Located against the backdrop of the Annapurna region, a place known for its stunning mountains and lush forests, this museum offers an enchanting experience. Here, we’ll encounter a kaleidoscope of colorful butterflies and a multitude of diverse insects, all hailing from the Annapurna region.

As we explore the museum, we’ll not only admire the beauty of these delicate creatures but also gain insight into the critical role they play in their ecosystems. The exhibits emphasize the importance of preserving the environment they inhabit. It’s an immersive journey into the world of nature, where we can appreciate the interconnectedness of all living beings.

In conclusion, this one-day trip is a captivating blend of history, nature, and adventure. We’ll learn about the valor of Gurkha soldiers, witness the wonders of the natural world through butterflies and insects, and delve into the exhilarating world of mountain climbing. It’s a day filled with both fun and learning in the charming city of Pokhara.

  • World War Stories: Discover the incredible stories of Gurkha soldiers who served in World War I and World War II. Learn about their bravery and the battles they fought in places like Neuve Chapelle, Gallipoli, and Burma.
  • Gallantry Awards: Explore the display of hundreds of gallantry awards, including the prestigious Victoria Crosses, earned by Gurkha regiments for their remarkable courage and dedication.
  • Historical Artifacts: View a collection of historical artifacts, photographs, and documents that provide a glimpse into the lives and experiences of these brave soldiers.
  • Butterfly Wonderland: Immerse yourself in the colorful world of butterflies and insects native to the Annapurna region. Witness these delicate creatures up close in their natural habitat.
  • Environmental Awareness: Gain insights into the importance of conserving the environment and protecting the biodiversity of the Annapurna region.
  • Educational Experience: Engage in a fun and educational adventure, especially suitable for families and nature enthusiasts.
  • Mountain Adventures: Explore the world of mountain climbing and adventure. See tools and equipment used by mountaineers in their daring expeditions.
  • Interactive Exhibits: Enjoy interactive exhibits that allow you to experience the challenges faced by climbers, such as simulating mountain conditions and understanding the science behind the peaks.
  • Cultural Insights: Discover the rich cultures and traditions of people living in mountainous regions around the globe.
  • World Peaks: Learn about famous mountain peaks from around the world and the history of mountaineering.


The International Mountain Museum (IMM) in Pokhara, Nepal, has a rich history that spans decades, driven by a profound dedication to preserving the heritage of mountains and mountaineering.

The journey began with the realization that the history of mountains and mountaineering was at risk of fading away if not properly preserved. This recognition led to the establishment of the museum by the Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA) on November 1, 1973. The NMA understood the need to compile, document, and chronicle the past and present developments in mountaineering, not only as a tribute to the brave souls who conquered the world’s highest peaks but also to celebrate the indomitable human spirit of adventure and exploration.

The core mission of the IMM was to safeguard the remarkable stories of mountaineering achievements, particularly those in the Himalayan peaks, a region of unparalleled significance in the mountaineering world. This commitment took physical form with the ceremonial laying of the museum’s foundation stone on December 1, 1995.

Years of unwavering dedication and hard work followed, culminating in the soft opening of the IMM on May 29, 2002. Finally, on February 5, 2004, the museum was officially inaugurated, marking a milestone in the preservation of mountaineering history.

Throughout its history, the IMM has stood as a tribute to the courageous mountaineers who ventured to conquer the world’s most formidable heights. Beyond honoring their achievements, the museum has served as a place of inspiration for enthusiasts and scholars alike. It is a living testament to the enduring spirit of adventure and exploration that defines the human experience.

However, the journey of the IMM has not been without challenges. In the aftermath of the devastating earthquakes that struck Nepal in 2015, the museum faced a sharp decline in visitors and revenue during the years 2015-2016. Despite this setback, the museum persevered, welcoming a total of 2.1 million tourists by 2019.

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the temporary closure of the museum in March. Nevertheless, it managed to reopen its doors in November 2020, ready to continue its mission of preserving and sharing the rich heritage and knowledge associated with mountains and mountaineering.

Today, the International Mountain Museum remains a beacon of inspiration, attracting over 100,000 domestic and international visitors annually. Its three main exhibition halls – the Hall of Great Himalayas, Hall of Fame, and Hall of World Mountains – serve as windows into the world of mountaineering and the cultural significance of mountains.

The IMM also extends its reach beyond mountaineering, delving into the traditions, lifestyles, and rich heritage of mountain communities. It offers insight into local flora and fauna, including geological aspects, highlighting the pivotal role of mountains in our global ecosystem.

This remarkable institution additionally features exhibitions about the legendary Yeti, an “outdoors living museum” dedicated to Nepal’s indigenous tribes, and a captivating 31-foot replica of Mt. Manaslu.

Under the direct supervision of Nepal’s Department of Archaeology, the International Mountain Museum continues to stand as a testament to the enduring importance and legacy of mountains and mountaineering. It remains dedicated to the preservation and dissemination of this rich heritage, not only in Nepal but worldwide.


The Annapurna Natural History Museum, affectionately known as “The Butterfly Museum,” is a renowned institution that has gained this endearing nickname due to its extensive and meticulously curated collection of butterflies from Nepal and around the world. This museum, established in 1965 by the late American Peace Corps Volunteer Dorothy Mierow, holds a unique place within the Prithvi Narayan Campus premises, serving both the campus and the community of Pokhara and its surrounding areas. In those early days, Pokhara lacked the infrastructure of roads and electricity, making entertainment scarce. As a result, many of the exhibits, including dolls and simple displays, were created with children in mind. However, they also served as valuable educational tools, offering an opportunity for the less educated to learn about the broader world beyond their immediate surroundings.

To ensure that visitors from nearby villages wouldn’t be disappointed if the museum was closed, a group of pillars representing various ethnic groups in Nepal was placed outside the building. These intricately carved pillars symbolized individuals from different regions, including the Terai, Newar farmers from Kathmandu, Brahmins, hill people, and Tibetans from the mountainous regions. They were crafted at cottage industries in Kathmandu.

In 1988, the Visitors’ Information Centre for the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) found its home in the northeast wing of the museum, prompting the addition of a second floor. Under the auspices of the National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC), the ACAP was established in 1986 as an innovative approach to protected area management in Nepal. It encompasses an expansive 7,629 area and operates under a multiple land use principle that combines environmental preservation with sustainable community development. This approach integrates traditional subsistence activities with sound resource management, supplemented by small-scale conservation, development, and alternative energy programs to enhance local standards of living. The ACAP places a strong emphasis on increasing awareness among both villagers and visitors, recognizing that lasting environmental protection and cultural diversity cannot be achieved without such awareness.

The museum also features displays explaining the tectonic block theory of moving continents and rising mountains, offering insight into how the Himalayas and the Pokhara Valley were formed. Exhibits explore the formation of various types of rocks—igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic—with accompanying examples. The Geology Department of Colorado College contributed a set of hardness indicator minerals and specimens of metals like iron, copper, and lead. The museum showcases interesting rock and mineral specimens from Nepal and other parts of the world, including a relief map of Nepal created with assistance from the Department of Geography.

Colin Smith, affectionately known as Mr. Butterfly and Butterfly Baje, has been passionately preserving the butterfly wonderland for many years. The museum’s beautiful collection and the continuous stream of delighted visitors are a testament to their dedicated preservation efforts.

Over three decades, Colin Smith, a British Entomologist, has meticulously collected and preserved Nepal’s butterfly diversity, resulting in the museum earning the moniker “The Butterfly Museum.” The collection houses nearly all of Nepal’s 660 butterfly species, showcasing them in different groups to illustrate concepts like mimicry, camouflage, and the presence of rare and endemic species at varying altitudes. The museum also boasts specimens from the Parnassius group, offering insight into mountain butterflies from around the world. Additionally, there are displays of leaf butterflies and swordtails from various tropical parts of Southeast Asia. Visitors can explore various species of moths and intriguing dragonflies, making this collection the most comprehensive and well-organized in Nepal.

The museum further educates visitors about the region’s biodiversity through displays featuring approximately 70 plants and 150 birds on plywood strips and charts mounted on the walls. It includes 56 study bird skins of ornithological interest donated by Dr. Bob Flemming Sr.

Recognizing the ethical considerations surrounding stuffed animals, the museum employs life-size pictures on plywood and cement reliefs to represent around 90 different animals. Charts provide insights into altitude zones and the animals, fish, and snakes found in the surrounding zoogeographic regions. Biodiversity is also illustrated through depictions of wild and domesticated sheep and goats. Overall, the Annapurna Natural History Museum serves as an invaluable educational resource, fostering an understanding of the natural world and its intricate ecosystems among visitors of all ages.


Nepal, celebrated worldwide for its towering peaks, the birthplace of Lord Gautam Buddha, and the home of the fearless Gurkha soldiers, boasts a heritage steeped in greatness. The Gorkha district, where the name “Gurkha” originates, is where Nepal’s unification journey began under the visionary leadership of King Prithvi Narayan Shah. It transformed Nepal from a patchwork of quarreling states into a unified and formidable nation. These Gurkhas, renowned for their extraordinary valor, etched their names into history through their remarkable bravery when facing Western forces. Adolf Hitler once remarked, “If I had Gurkhas, no armies in the world could defeat me,” a testament to their unparalleled combat prowess. Their courage also led Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, Indian Chief of Army Staff, to declare, “If a man says he is not afraid of dying, he is either lying or is a Gurkha.”

The Gurkha Memorial Museum, established in 1994 AD, stands as a testament to the gratitude owed to Gurkha soldiers for their selfless service and unwavering bravery during the tumultuous periods of World War 1 and World War 2. Additionally, the museum pays homage to the numerous awards bestowed upon Gurkhali soldiers and their significant contributions to global peace and prosperity.

Initially serving as an archive of data with limited military exhibits, the museum’s expansion was made possible through generous grants and donations. Between 1998 and 2000, the British Government’s substantial grant allowed the addition of three more rooms. The museum continuously enhanced its displays, even importing surplus military items from the UK.

In 2004, a momentous occasion unfolded as Commander Colonel Peter Sharland provided leased land outside the Pokhara valley for the Gurkha Museum, marking a significant milestone. Subsequent expansions saw the museum opening its first floor to the public in 2005, with additional stories added by 2008, creating an even more extensive collection for public viewing. The museum’s comprehensive journey culminated in 2015 with the construction of a parking lot, offering visitors a fully immersive and richly realized experience of Gurkha history and valor.

Prince Harry’s words, “When you know you are with the Gurkhas, I think there’s no safer place to be really,” underscore the enduring camaraderie and unwavering trust that the Gurkha soldiers have earned, not only within the British military but in the hearts of those who have had the privilege of serving alongside them.

Quotes from individuals such as Professor Sir Ralph Turner Mc, Frank Richards, Colonel B R Mullalay, John Masters and  Patrick Davis further attest to the indomitable spirit and unwavering loyalty of the Gurkha soldiers, making their service under the British Crown a privilege and their friendship an enduring legacy.


Day 1Trip Itinerary

Embark on a captivating day of discovery in Pokhara as we guide you through its exceptional museum scene, offering cultural, historical, and natural treasures that define this city. We will meet at Lakeside. Our journey begins at the International Mountain Museum, located in Ratopairo, Pokhara. This museum is a tribute to the towering peaks of the Himalayas. Inside, you’ll find a fascinating collection of exhibits that celebrate the Himalayan range, the history of mountaineering, and the captivating culture of the mountain dwellers. Be prepared to be inspired by tales of intrepid mountaineers, interactive displays, and breathtaking vistas. Afterward, take a delightful break for lunch at a local restaurant, where you can savor traditional Nepali cuisine or international dishes, catering to your palate’s desires. In the afternoon, make your way to the Gurkha Memorial Museum, situated on Lamachaur Rd, Pokhara. This museum is a heartfelt dedication to the illustrious Gorkha soldiers. Inside, you’ll explore the valiant history of the Gorkhas through an impressive collection of artifacts, weaponry, and exhibits that pay homage to their courage and global contributions. Conclude your museum tour at the Annapurna Natural History Museum, located at Prithvi Narayan Campus, Pokhara. This museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the biodiversity of the Annapurna region. Witness the rich tapestry of flora and fauna and gain a profound understanding of the fragile ecosystems that make this area unique. The museum also spotlights vital conservation efforts working to preserve this natural wonderland. Wrap up your memorable day with a leisurely stroll through Pokhara or perhaps visit a local market to soak in the vibrant culture and traditions of this charming city. This one-day museum tour in Pokhara provides a rewarding exploration of the region’s mountainous heritage, military history, and natural marvels. We trust that this captivating journey through the International Mountain Museum, Gurkha Memorial Museum, and Annapurna Natural History Museum has deepened your appreciation for the city’s unique character and its breathtaking surroundings.

What is the best time to visit?

You can relish the experience of visiting the International Mountain Museum, Gurkha Memorial Museum, and Annapurna Natural History Museum in Pokhara at any time of the year. There isn’t a specific “best” time for these visits; they remain open and accessible throughout all seasons. This affords you the freedom to plan your excursion according to your personal schedule and preferences, without being constrained by seasonal considerations. Whether you opt for the vivid and pleasant seasons of spring and autumn, the serene ambiance of winter, or even during the monsoon season in summer, these museums eagerly await your exploration, promising enriching experiences whenever you decide to embark on this cultural and natural journey.

Travel insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory for every Firante’s activities. All the visitors must provide a copy of their comprehensive travel insurance policy certificate. The policy must cover medical and emergency repatriation.

Visitors are kindly requested to send their detailed insurance information after trek booking. In case of emergencies, we will be using the insurance policy and informational documents you sent us. It will help us arrange a quick and effective rescue operation, transfer for emergency medical help, etc. Please ensure that your insurance covers all costs incurred.

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Family Traveller

Firantes’ Pokhara Museum Tour was a cultural gem! Exploring the three museums was a captivating journey into Nepali history and art. The knowledgeable guides painted vivid stories, making each exhibit come to life. A splendid blend of education and fascination. Kudos, Firantes, for this enriching experience! 🏛️🖼️📚

August 30, 2023
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