At the heart of the town of Paro, Bhutan is the National Museum of Bhutan. Set in the picturesque countryside of Bhutan, the museum is located amongst misty mountains and green slopes. The Museum was established in 1968, it was formerly the Ta-dzong building which was owned by Dzong, a monarch of Bhutan. It was renovated and transformed into a cultural center to hold some of the most precious works of art in the country. The museum is known for its colorful art and majestic bronze statues.
According to museum records, there are over 3000 works of Bhutanese Art, all of which cover around 1,500 years of history in the country. There are six floors which visitors could explore; as soon as you enter the premises on the ground floor is a space dedicated for farming equipment, pots and vessels. Large vessels made from copper and bronze were used by Bhutanese to store water, food, and even to cook for large family gatherings.
On the first floor, there is a display of modern and traditional weapons that have been used by people. The weapons that were used for the coronation of Bhutanese kings have also been displayed. There is an impressive selection of weapons that were used in war: rifles, guns, cannons, swords, helmets and shields are exhibited along with descriptions of how they were used and for what purpose. A curious collection of bamboo products are amongst the weapons’ display. Bamboo was the main component of household items and intricate weaving techniques were used to create baskets, storage vessels, and other articles.
The natural history gallery is on the second floor, and it has a collection of animals and plants that thrived in the tropical jungles of the country. Visitors can take a look at the national animal of Bhutan, which is the Takin. Native to Bhutan, these animals are much like Bison and are found amongst the bamboo forests in the Gasa district. They are difficult to spot because they are solitary animals so the best place to see one in plain view is at the museum.
The third floor has an extensive collection of coins, clothing and jewelry. The exhibits have been placed in a way that you can see the evolution of dressing in Bhutan and also look at the development of their currency. If you are interested in mapping the religious history of Bhutan, then you should take a walk on the fourth floor. There are religious art pertaining to Buddhism and images which reflect the spiritual journey of Buddhists in the country. If you have the time, you should also take a look at the fifth and sixth floor, and the fifth floor is occupied by ancient paintings and the sixth floor features an exhibition of stamps.
The National Museum of Bhutan should definitely be included in the list of things to do in Bhutan. If you are looking for accommodation in the country try out a Bhutan hotel that is close to Paro. There are several Bhutan tour packages offered by hotels which include a trip to the museum. Consider the Uma Bhutan as it has some of the best deals for tourists.
Angela Fernando is an impassioned travel writer who composes pieces under the pen name Sumaira Narayan. She loves writing about new and exciting places around the world and hopes to visit them all someday.