The International Mountain Museum
The first and only of its kind in Nepal, possibly the whole world, the International Mountain Museum in Pokhara was inaugurated on February 5, 2004. Meant to be homage to both the mountains and the mountaineers, the museum consists of five galleries covering the triangular relation between Man, Mountain and Mountain lifestyle. It was envisioned to provide an updated, comprehensive repository of information related to the geography, ecology, and culture of the entire Himalayas.
Of its five main galleries, the Gallery of the Mountain People of the World showcases the articles of the mountain people that represent their culture, like their dresses, ornaments and implements used in their daily life. The Mountain Gallery exhibits geological information of the world mountain system including their origin and mountain habitat. Similarly the World Mountain Activities Gallery includes information on all great expeditions, and other mountain adventures like skiing, hunting, and paragliding.
While the Great Exhibit Gallery is meant to display private collections of the individuals and institutions for a certain period of time, the Associates’ Exhibit Gallery exhibits the activities of the organisations like International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), and World Wildlife Fund (WWF), working in the field of mountain conservation.
One of the central attractions of the museum is the model of Mt. Manaslu that stands 31 feet from the ground. The museum now houses research, and conference halls, a restaurant as well as a 21 metres tall artificial climbing wall in its premises.
Made possible by the tireless attempts of the Nepal Mountaineering Association, it covers an area of 4142 metres. It is an ambitious project carrying the objectives of recording and documenting natural history and culture of the Himalayas as well as all the mountains of the world; recording and documenting all major mountain activities in the Himalayas and other main mountain ranges of the world; and to be an educational and research center as well. A string of mountaineers from the whole world, mountaineering organisations, and other well-wishers contributed to the collection of fund to construct it. In a nation that boasts of the world’s eight 8000m-plus tall peaks, they have unanimously welcomed its establishment with great joy.