National Art Gallery
Located in the premises of Bhaktapur Durbar Square in the beautiful historical city of Bhaktapur, the old Malla Palace of 55 windows now houses the National Art Gallery. The gallery holds a collection of Manuscripts and chronicles like paubha scroll paintings, bronze, brass, stone and wooden images.
The remarkable collection of paintings and murals are the pride of the museum. The paintings and arts in exhibition here are dominant of Buddhism. There are some very old paintings that are known as Thankas that were used by Buddhist monks to concentrate during prayers. These oil paintings that feature the Hindu and Buddhists deities date back to the Malla period and the stone-carved figures belongs to the Licchhavi period.
One of the other attractions of the gallery is the fine stonework and a room that outlines the life and times of the Shah Kings of Nepal. There are also many valuable scriptures and materials of everyday use, samples, in display. The second floor of the building is entirely dedicated to historical chronicles and manuscripts that belong to various monarchs from Rana and Shah Dynasties and provide deep insight in to the political, cultural, social and economical conditions of that period. However, some of the documents are considered as classified and are not on display. However, researchers could seek permission from Ministry of Culture to gain access to the classified documents. The gallery could be of great interest and help to the students of history and also the researchers.
The fact that the gallery is housed in a former palace also adds up to making the gallery an interesting place. One could presume and understand how the life of the people living in the palace might have been. The huge windows, high ceilings are contrast to the narrow doors. The National Art Gallery is, thus, of high interest and use to those who seek to understand the lifestyle and time during the Malla period. Also, the building, 55 windowed palace – Pachpanna Jhyale Durbar – is considered as one of the high architectural value and of historical importance in Nepal.
The gallery is opened from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm every day except on Sundays, Mondays and public holidays. The entrance fee is Rs 10 for SAARC nationals and other foreign visitors Rs 20 is charged.