International Mountain Museum an important tourist destination of Pokhara

POKHARA, Oct 16 : The International Mountain Museum in popular tourist spot Pokhara has been an important tourist attraction to elongate the stay of tourists-foreign and domestic alike- visiting Pokhara lately.

The one and only mountain museum in the world showcases all value and mysteries of mountains. It illustrates various aspects of mountaineering tourism, mountain activities and mountains which occupy around 25 per cent of the land mass of our country.

Situated at Pokhara Municipality-17 at Ghari Patan, Pokhara across 100 ropani of land, the Museum has been mostly attracting students, researchers and adventurous tourists since it was officially opened on February 5, 2004.

Open throughout the year, over 2.1 million visitors have observed the Museum so far, according to the Chief Administration Officer Rishiram Poudel.

The number of visitors from SAARC-member countries stands at over 176,000 while those from other foreign countries were recorded at over 250,000. The number of Nepali students remains the highest, over 932,000, while over 700,000 Nepali visitors visited the Museum established at the foot step of Machhapuchchhre Mountain and gateway to the mountain region.

The Museum has collected over Rs 200 million in revenue from the sales of tickets over the course. Visitors could obtain information about 14 peaks over 8,000 metres, 8 of them being in Nepal, in chronological order to when they were climbed for the first time.

The Museum also features wall climbing facilities.

The museum entry fee for students is Rs 50 per head and Rs 100 per person for the general public. A visitor from SAARC country has to pay Rs 250 and the visitor from other countries Rs 500.

Of 14 mountain peaks over 8,000 meters in the world, Nepal is home to eight including Mount Everest, the world's highest peak measuring 8,848 meters.

Other seven highest peaks, namely, Kanchenjunga (8,506 m), Lhotse (8516 m), Makalu (8,485 m), Cho-Oyu (8,202 m), Dhaulagiri (8,167 m), Manaslu (8,163 m) and Annapurna (8,091 m) are in Nepal.  

Visitors to the museum can observe and get information about mountaineering, trekking and skiing at once.

Rocks brought from the summit of Everest and from Israel's Dead Sea are other attractions in the museum.  

Arrangements are in place so that people with disabilities can visit the museum without any hurdles.

The Museum, remaining as a model one in the entire Asia, reflects objects mountaineering activities related to several countries including India, Pakistan, China, Japan, Slovenia, Taiwan, Australia, the United Kingdom, America, Israel and Korea.

Arrangements have been made by which the visitors can acquire information on every topic through an advanced digital guide installed at the museum.

The visitors can observe the culture and custom of various ethnic communities. Dummies of the people belonging to different ethnic groups with their unique costumes have been put on display.

The visitors will first get to the audio-visual room as soon as they enter the museum where they can get information on mountain tourism. Thereafter, they will observe the various other aspects. Museum guide Sarita Kandel said there is also a library at the museum which has collection of 3,500 books on mountain tourism.

According to Kandel, the museum has become an attraction especially for people conducting study and research in mountain tourism. She said most of the visitors take out time to read in the library.

There is a 31 metres tall replica of Mt. Manaslu, mountain climbing, pond and rock garden, and a model scene of the Nepali village life within the museum premises. The visitors are attracted by these and other things in the museum.

Former president of Pokhara Tourism Council, Som Thapa said the state should prioritize the development of this kind of tourism infrastructures to make the stay of tourists longer. He sees the need of all sides concerned to work towards increasing the number of visitors as well as their stay in the country in the context of increasing investment in tourism.