Top 6 places in Kathmandu Valley to widen your artistic horizons and analyze the rich history of Kathmandu are :
Baber Mahal Revisited, Thapathali, Kathmandu
The 250 roomed Baber Mahal situated in Thapathali, Kathmandu used to be a royal palace i.e. Durbar. However, after the fall of Rana regime in Nepal(1846-1951), then King Mahendra Bir Bikram Shah declared the nationalization of the all the Rana divas’ of Nepal in 1966. The owners were however allowed to keep some parts of the Durbar,the cowswheds and the guard quarters, for themselves. Gautam SJB Rana, a descendant of the family wanted to make the best of the partial property and thus with support from Kathmandu Valley Preservation Trust, architects Eric Theophile and Dr. Rohit Ranjitkar, he managed to turn it into one of the finest shopping malls in Kathmandu, renowned as Baber Mahal revisited. The project began in 1995 and ended in 1997.
The place consists of around 5 courtyards which includes 22 shops and 4 restaurants. It also has one of the most reputed art galleries in Nepal, Siddhartha Art Gallery.
NATIONAL MUSEUM, CHAUNI, KATHMANDU
National Museum located in Chauni also popularly known as Chauni Museum, was established in 1938. It is situated opposite the army headquarters in Chauni, on the way to Swayambunath temple. The museum is a treasure of ancient Nepali art and craft. It is divided into three blocks. The starting point is the stone, terracotta, and metal craft section that has numerous artifacts, including some of the earliest stone figures found in the country. One such is the five-foot tall limestone statue of Ansu Verma, the first king of the Lichhavi Period (fourth to twelfth century).
The headless figure of a Matrika(mother goddess), is said to be the most ancient stone figures found here. A subsection consists of terracotta and metal statues, the latter particularly fascinating, looking at them through an art connoisseur’s eye. The Newar artists and sculptors of The Kathmandu Valley have been renowned through the ages for their skill and creativity, and in addition to woodwork and stone craft, are equally adept in metal sculpting. The other section is dedicated to Buddhist art and crafts. From plenty of paintings to everything related to Buddhism, the place has answers for anyone about complex aspects of Buddhist symbolism. The third section is however dedicated to botanical and zoological specimens, historical articrafts, trophies, and weaponry used by Brave Gurkhas.
Patan Museum has become a primary attraction for tourists in Patan(Lalitpur).Patan is not just a day trip for tourists but has turned up as a place with a rich cultural event calendar, classy new pensions and cafes that have made it a destination in its own right. Off late the major attraction of Patan Durbar Square is, the Patan Museum. Patan Museum is abundant with its priceless collection of Hindu, Buddhist and Tantric artefacts all housed within the grounds of Keshav Narayan Chowk: the residential palace of the Malla kings. The museum added Mul chowk and Sundari Chowk courtyard within the grounds of Keshav Narayan Complex earlier this year.
The monuments of Lalitpur were strengthened during the rebuilding works by Kathmandu Valley Preservation Trust(KVPT) and thus remained unaffected by the earthquake. However, the monuments situated in the eastern wing of Sundari Chowk were in the process of renovation and were collapsed due to the earthquake in Nepal. Each and every section of the Museum comprises of different galleries depicting certain aspects of Buddhist and Hindu heritage of Nepal. The museum as a whole is a collection of historic buildings that are itself museum pieces. The galleries showcase the history of Buddhism, , an explanation of Tantrism as well as the various manifestations of Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu.
Park Art Gallery, Pulchowk, Patan
Park Art Gallery was established in 1970 by pioneering watercolorist Rama Nanda Joshi (1933-1988). It was the first independent art institution to impart art education in Nepal. The original gallery was once located in Ratna Park in central Kathmandu and was a landmark in its own right.
Park Art Gallery was established in 2970 by Rama Nanda Joshi. It was then the first independent art institution in Nepal to teach art education. The original Gallery was situated in Ratna Park. It was later shifted to Pulchowk in 1975. The gallery was renovated in 2006 by his family to commemorate him. The gallery has two sections. One is a room with Late Joshi’s watercolors on permanent display, while the other section has an exhibit of works by different artists in nepal.
Simrik Atelier, Patandhoka, Patan
Founded and run by Lok Raj Chitrakar, Simrik Atelier in Patan Dhoka (Patan Gate) is one of the leading exponents of pau:bha painting in the country. The artist’s most famous works are on permanent display in the Furukawa Museum of Asian Art in Tokyo. If you visit Simrik Atelier, you’ll get to know all about the art of pau:bha painting.
Bhaktapur Durbar Square
Bhaktapur Durbar Square, is one of the most enchanting architectural showpieces of the valley as it highlights the ancient arts of Nepal. Before the quake, there were 99 courtyards attached to this place but now only 6 are left. The main attractions are the 55 window palace, Golden Gate which leads to Mulchowk Court which is agian home to Taleju temple. The Durbar square is surrounded by spectacular architecture and vividly showcases the skills of the Newari artists and craftsmen over several centuries.