International Mountain Museum is one of the beautiful Museums to visit inside Pokhara Valley. More than seventy thousand domestic and international tourists visit the International Mountain Museum (IMM) every year. IMM records, documents and exhibits the past and present developments related to mountain and mountaineering around the world. The museum contains three main exhibition halls: Hall of Great Himalayas, Hall of Fame and Hall of World Mountains. Inside the museum, there are exhibits on famous peaks, descriptions of famous mountaineers, the culture and lifestyle of mountain people, flora subscribe and fauna including geology, in an attempt to represent the traditional culture and values of the Nepalese people.
Many people in the world may not know much about the small country called Nepal, but they certainly know about this peak, the tallest in the world, called Mount Everest.
Not only this highest peak but also other 8 of the 14 peaks above the height of eight thousand meters in the world stand tall in the Himalayan range of Nepal.
The Himalaya is the source of water resources for billions of people living in the world. Flora and fauna in the Himalayan range is the natural habitat for the thousands of known and unknown species that contribute to maintaining and restructuring the ecosystems of our world, day and night. The little surfaced cultural values of the mountain people, geological mysteries buried underneath; nature’s serene beauty- wonders on its rock- hard and melting surfaces- make the Nepalese proud and people of the world an epicenter for their explorations.
Mountains and mountaineering have a history of their own. Without preserving it, it will not be long before all the records and evidence will be lost forever. Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA), established on 1 Nov 1973, initiated the establishment of the International Mountain Museum (IMM) in Pokhara. The basic objective for its establishment was made to record, document and chronicle the past and present development of mountaineering activities in the world in general and to preserve the saga of the momentous feats in the history of mountaineering in the Himalayan peaks in particular. The foundation stone of IMM was laid on 1 Dec 1995. The soft opening of IMM took place on 29 May 2002 where it was officially opened on 5 Feb 2004.
Nepal’s eight thousand meter high peaks record names of thousands of successful summiteers until now but its history is very young. Mountaineers M. Herzog and Louis Lachenal scaled up Annapurna on 3 June 1950 and since then the records follow.
The Himalayan range of Nepal is not important to the summiteers record-holders only but also to the geologists, environmentalists and sociologists as it harbors innumerable mysteries and facts the scientists and geologists are striving hard to dig out.
And all its values and mysteries are showcased in the one and only Mountain Museum in the world – the International Mountain Museum, right at the footsteps of the Himalayan range, in Pokhara, Nepal.
With an objective of maintaining systematic records of the successful eight-thousanders, geographic flora and fauna and human activities in the range, the International Mountain Museum has been established at the footstep of fishtail peak and gateway to the mountain region. The shape of the museum roof itself resembles a mountain skyline to any visitor before entering the museum’s main gate.
Mountain People Gallery
It showcases indigenous inhabitants of the mountain regions of Nepal and the world. Their lifestyle and culture are exposed impressively below this first basement hall, influencing the subconscious of the visitors that they are at the height to understand and know the information displayed just below them.
For the close observation, when the visitors stare down the basement, they are ushered by the museum guides to the adjoining video hall to orient them about the people, culture and the mountains of the Khumbu region.
After the 18 minutes video orientation, when visitors are fully prepared to understand the information, they see life-size models of the mountain people of Nepal and the world. People of Nepal, Taiwan, Slovenia and Japan; their culture, costumes and artifacts amuse many visitors who are not from the mountain regions. This section is also important for comparative studies of the Alpine Mountain People of Europe and Nepal with the help of photographs taken 50 years ago.
The second hall is the Hall of World Mountains where visitors are introduced to the national and international mountains, historical background, highest peaks,
Information of all 14 peaks over 8 thousand meters of height and their photographs are available in this section. The geological section in this hall displays a collection of important rock samples that formed geological formations of the Mountain range.
Flora and fauna collected in the picture and real stuffed replicas; plants and wild animals excite the visitors as if they are watching the serene beauty and real wild lives in the wild in yet another small section called the corner of dedication, contributions of five prominent personalities are displayed. Dawa Norbu Sherpa – the prominent contributor in the constr4uction of the International Mountain building, Kumar Khadga Bikram Shah – who translated the vision of the international mountain museum, Dr. tony Hagen, explorer and the geologist, Reverend Kawaguchi Ekai – the first Japanese to visit Nepal on January 26, 1899, Dr. Hark Gurung – the renowned geographer, development partner and conservationist of Nepal are preserved here for public display.
Mountain Activities Gallery
This third hall displays the equipment, clothes, different professional loops of the ropes and photographs of French Expedition team leader; recorder holder Maurice Herzog who scaled Annapurna for the first time in 1950. Beside Herzog is Junko Tabei, the first Japanese woman to scale Mt Everest. Timanishi, the first Manaslu summiteers and other climber’s equipment are showcased here. This hall also introduces fourteen peaks over eight thousand meters in chronological order to the year they were conquered.
Equipment necessary for climbing mountains and rocks, their varieties and uses make the visitors familiar with how hard scaling these mountains can be. Last but not least is the famous legendry tales of Yeti, its myths, and publications of the elusive giant brown bear in one corner of the first floor. Although nobody has seen the creature, many have claimed of witnessing Yeti. Some have claimed to have photographed its footprints on an icy blanket, and some have seen it with their eyes closed. This section is dedicated to the Yeti whom nobody has seen but many like to believe in.
In order to create awareness about the ecology and environment of the mountain, a separate section is displayed beside the equipment section where garbage collected from Mount Everest between the years 2000 and 2003 demonstrates a gloomy picture of possible environmental degradation if caution of preserving the environment is neglected. Crossing this section takes the visitors to yet another section named Imaging Everest where plenty of photographs of British expeditions to Mount Everest from 1921 to 1953 are showcased. These pictures are donated by the Royal Geographical Society.
Lakhang room for those who want to internalize the true sensitivity of the prayer room of the Buddhist religion is all the time ready-room to offer prayers and the library on the right of Lakhang room is intact for both the scholars and students on the first floor.
The displays in the hall of arrangements in the basement end here and the visitors move to the first floor for further information related to the socio-economic life of the mountain people, their activities in the different periods. The present activities and future planned activities for better conservation of the environment, flora and fauna, for the sustainable environment of the region. This section is called the Hall of Associate’s Guest exhibition. In this hall, IUCN and ICIMOD display their past, present and future activities. The 39 quiz questions and their answers related to mountains are put on tin folios fixed along the railing to stimulate the visiting students with their IQ tests.
Living museum outside the building and within the Museum premises awaits the visitors in 5.10 hectors of land area. The living museum shows the real setting of the culture of indigenous people of different tribes and clans of Nepal, their homes and culture in real models.
Mt. Manaslu Model
The model of Mt. Manaslu is also built on the premises of IMM in order to give visitors a brief experience of the mountaineering expedition. The 31 feet high model of Mt. Manaslu is often crowded with a lot of visitors scaling and taking photographs. Mt. Manaslu was first climbed on May 9, 1956, by Toshio Imanishi and Gyalzen Norbu, members of a Japanese expedition. This mountain was first climbed by the Japanese and they have a very sentimental attachment with the mountain, that’s why Japan International Cooperation Agency and other alpine clubs led to the construction of his model in IMM premises.
Opening Hour of International Mountain Museum
The opening hour of Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA)’s International Mountain Museum (IMM) was added for two hours with effect from 7 April 2019. As per the new time schedule, IMM opens daily from 8:00 am – 6:00 pm for the 365 days.
Foreigner: Rs. 500.00
SAARC Nation: Rs. 250.00
Nepali: Rs. 100.00
Student: Rs. 50.00
Resident Visa: Rs. 250.00
Garden: Rs. 30.00
For getting around please see the following Map
International Mountain Museum
Ghari Patan, Pokhara, Nepal
Phone: 977-61-460742, 462322, 462336
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