August 19, 2007

Bhutan National Museum : Paro Ta Dzong

The Ta Dzong which has been built by Desi Tenzin Drukda in 1641, the then governor of Paro, as a watchtower to look over the Paro Dzong in case of invasions from the north (Tibetan). During that time the watch tower played an important role in protecting the Dzong which was the center of administration in the state from the Tibetan Invasion . The unique structure has six floors that go spiraling down from the top. During the olden days the building not only housed soldiers but also prisoners of war, mostly invaders.

History of Bhutan National Museum:
After the advent of modernism in the country the Royal Government of Bhutan, with an aim to showcase the country's rich culture and traditions, initiated the idea to introduce a museum for the first time and in 1968 the watchtower above Paro Dzong was chosen to initially house a modest collection of murals, numismatics, philately, etc.

Over the years, after much renovation the museum accumulated more and more objects from different parts of the country and is today a storehouse of Bhutan's cultural and traditional treasures. With over thirteen galleries, each holding exhibits from different periods and places in the country, the National Museum of Bhutan takes pride in its effort to educate its visitors, be they local or foreign, about the country's cultural history that date back to as early as 2000 B.C and its metamorphism over the ages into what it is today. After more than three decades, the museum has established itself not only as a huge tourist attraction but also as an institution of learning for both scholars and visitors; considering the history of the building, the National Museum of Bhutan can rightly be termed as a 'museum within a museum'.

The museum aims to:

  • Acquire, research, preserve and interpret the history, art and culture of Bhutan from the ancient to the present day.
  • Organize, maintain and develop galleries for the purpose of education and leisure.
  • Develop educational and documentation center in order to acquire and preserve documents relating to works of Bhutanese art and history.
  • Organize lectures, seminars and research on the museum artifacts.
  • Develop specialized reference books, periodicals, photographs and audio-visual materials
  • Develop information source and database of the artifacts.
A Guide inside the Museum:
Ground Floor: Galleries of ancient arms, urns, bronze and copper vessels, epigraph and wooden containers.

1st Floor: Galleries of cane and bamboo containers, urns, horn containers and farming appliances.

2nd Floor: Galleries of natural History and Buddhist ritual objects.

3rd Floor: Galleries of ancient tea pots, wine containers, jewelry, numismatics, evolution of men and women’s dresses, tribal dresses, charm boxes, wooden cups and personalized gallery of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel.

4th Floor: Galleries of Pre-History and early history of Bhutan, Life and Legacy of Pema Lingpa and Pha Drung Drung, Costumes of Regional dancers, Manuscripts, Images and Arms and Armour.
5th Floor: Galleries of Medieval Bhutan (11th to 15th Century), Thangkas, bronzes, slate carvings and Chapel of the Wealth Deity (Namse).

6th Floor: Galleries of Philately of Bhutan, photoplates of dzongs, Thangkas and Chapel of the Three Dimensional Mandala (Tshogshing).
For More details Please Visit National Museum official Website:
The Article and Image of Shield is from the Museum Gallery

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