Exploring Nepal’s Biodiversity: A Visit to the Natural History Museum in Swayambhu

The Natural History Museum in Swayambhu, Nepal, is a must-visit destination for travelers who are interested in exploring the natural wonders of Nepal. Situated at the foot of the Swayambhunath Stupa, also known as the Monkey Temple, the museum offers visitors a chance to learn about the country’s rich biodiversity, including its flora, fauna, and geological formations. Here’s everything you need to know about visiting the Natural History Museum in Swayambhu.

Getting There

The Natural History Museum is located in the heart of Kathmandu and is easily accessible by car or public transportation. If you are coming from the airport, you can take a taxi or a bus to Swayambhu. The museum is situated near the Swayambhunath Stupa, which is a popular tourist destination in itself. You can also hire a local guide to take you to the museum and provide more information about the surrounding area.


The Natural History Museum has several exhibits that showcase Nepal’s diverse ecosystem. The museum has a collection of specimens from the Himalayan region, including rare and endangered species. Visitors can explore the exhibits on mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects, and marine life. The museum also has displays on geology, climate, and ecology, providing visitors with a comprehensive understanding of Nepal’s natural history.

The exhibits are displayed in a modern and interactive manner, making them engaging and fun for visitors of all ages. The museum also has a collection of fossils and minerals, including a section on earthquake science, which is particularly relevant to Nepal due to its location in the seismic zone.

Species Present

One of the highlights of the museum is the huge collection of insects, which includes 14,843 specimens of butterflies and moths, 4,142 beetles, and 1,464 dragonflies, as well as other insects. The museum also has a significant collection of aquatic life, including 890 specimens of fish, 107 amphibians, and 390 reptiles. The mammalian specimens total 225, and there are also 22 specimens of skeletons, besides 964 fossils and animal body parts.

The museum also houses an impressive botanical and mycological collection, including 124 specimens of algae, 2,320 fungi and mushrooms, 61 lichens, 1,124 bryophytes, 507 pteridophytes, 163 gymnosperms, and 5,034 angiosperms. Visitors can learn about the unique properties of these various species and their importance in Nepal’s ecosystem.

The Natural History Museum also has some truly unique specimens on display. The museum houses a specimen of the spiny babbler, Nepal’s only endemic bird species. Additionally, visitors can marvel at a specimen of the golden pheasant, an exotic bird from China.

Other Activities

Apart from exploring the exhibits in the museum, visitors can also participate in various activities. The museum organizes educational programs, workshops, and lectures on various topics related to natural history. Visitors can also take guided tours of the museum and the Swayambhunath Stupa, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can also indulge in some shopping at the souvenir shop that sells a variety of eco-friendly and sustainable products.

In conclusion, the Natural History Museum in Swayambhu is a fascinating destination for travelers who want to learn about Nepal’s rich biodiversity. The museum’s exhibits provide a comprehensive understanding of Nepal’s flora, fauna, and geological formations. With an impressive collection of specimens and an engaging display, the museum is a must-visit destination for all nature lovers. So, pack your bags, and head to Swayambhu to experience the natural wonders of Nepal firsthand.


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